About Me

My photo

Used to work for AVIVA offshoring IT to India.  Now retired through ill health, writing my life story as a series of blogs chronologically from birth to current time.  At www.jw-alifeofsurprises.blogspot.com

Friday, 20 January 2012

JW - A Life of Surprises: My Blog Design Changes

JW - A Life of Surprises: My Blog Design Changes: As many of you will be aware, Blogspot allows the blogger to alter the design of the blog. I have changed the design (again?!! some will say...

My Blog Design Changes

As many of you will be aware, Blogspot allows the blogger to alter the design of the blog. I have changed the design (again?!! some will say), but do so in trying to make it easier on the eye to read, for it to load quicker into browsers and on phones (especially) and thereby hopefully increase the readers enjoyment and number of readers as well.

You can let me know if you prefer this new simpler layout, with room for comment tabs, scoring buttons and the like at the end of the page (as was originally), with a simple historical tab on the right to access older posts


if you prefer the more recent version called Dynamic Views, with the glitzy background and several choices as to views, (Flipcard, Magazine etc) by :-

1) adding a comment
2) selecting keep it up (tic) for new layout
3) stop - to go back to dynamic views.

If i get no mail i will assume the current (new) look is OK. To date i have had 8,350 views.  Not the millions i had envisaged (ha, ha!) but the mail and comments so far have been very kind and motivating so thanks to those who took the time.

I am in the midst of writing the next blog and will post asap.

regards and thanks for reading

Jonathan (JW)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Intermission - Photographs added to older blogs

Dear Reader(s)

I have added some more pictures to earlier blogs, as when I started this journey, they were in crates in storage.  I still have some more to trace as well, that may help illuminate further blogs........  None the less, these pictures are now in their appropriate place..  I have published them here under one blog, (as well as under each individual blog they belong in), to save the seasoned reader the trial (ordeal) or enjoyment of re-reading the updated blog.  So (drum roll) in reverse order, the photos and blogs they appears in are:-

Blog - Teenage Kicks
Me holding August the Rabbit, his last summer.

Julian, Grandma and myself circa 1971
Dad (Eddie) in Europe (somewhere) with bonkers hair, I think he had just taken his Fez off.
Blog - Hold The Lobster Thermidor
Dad again, but sat at his desk at RMC cigar in hand, process on wall and documents to read.  Archetypal picture of its time.
The trip to the Scottish Highlands, middle picture, second left is the author, absolutely knackered

From Left, Richard, Julian and Jonathan, three little gentleman (ha)
At the wedding reception of Mark and Monica - From left, brother in law David Uncle Reg, Uncle John, Uncle Ken, Richard (seated) and me, with half shandy in handy.  Note Richards velvet suit, very 1979

Older sister Helen, poodle Mitzy and me, with cat Sophie in Helens arms
Julian in front, me at the back.
Dad, Mum, Me with towel.  No idea who other kid is.
I hope these pictures add to your enjoyment of this blog and that you continue to read and feedback to me once in a while.
Jonathan (JW) Weaver

Monday, 16 January 2012

FREE!! California Girls here I come....1988

An American Citizen I

Perhaps it was because I was no longer aching for her, no longer looking like a mug, hoping for a change of heart, that Stephanie and I started to get along.  I was suddenly less needy.  What had i been thinking!  As I wrote in the last blog:  - http://jw-alifeofsurprises.blogspot.com/#!/2011/12/loves-labours-lost-or-played-for-sucker.html, I had been shat on from a great height, by a girl who was on the rebound.  Little old homesick Jonny had been a perfect boyfriend, but no longer, I was free of the ties that bound me up. 

The first morning of our long weekend in LA, I lay asleep on the floor for some time; I had been partying all night with my newfound friends, staying at the hotel and was worn out and hung over.  “We are going to waste the tickets to Knots Berry Farm” she moaned.  “So what” I thought, but she nagged me until I got up and showered, a shower which I needed seeing as I could still smell the mix of booze, perfume, smoke and sex from the previous nights debauchery wafting off of my body.   

Dressed and ready to go we jumped into the Ranger and headed to Knots Berry Park.  It’s a very large (or was to me back then) theme park and had its own characters (people dressed up like football mascots) much the same way as Disney sends out Goofy, Mickey and Pluto etc, to amuse the crowds.  We found that Stephanie was taken with the three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.  True, I probably represented the Big Bad Wolf and would go on to fulfil that hypothesis throughout my life; enjoying the chase, attempting to blow a girls knickers down whenever the opportunity presented itself and huffing and puffing after the chase and during sex.
I was back in the real world and as such my behaviour obviously changed.  Stephanie noticed and I could see the inquisitive looks increasing as I became more blasé, especially around other women.  After a good half day at Knots Berry, we headed back to the hotel.  Once again Stephanie chose to hit the hay early and I headed off to the bar, only this time, I did not have the look of doomed man heading to the gallows.

The group I had partied with the night before appeared and we headed out to the Liquor Store where I bought more refreshments and then headed back to their rooms to resume where we’d left off earlier that day.  I crashed into my bed on the floor in the wee hours and slept.  Stephanie was out of bed early as ever and I surveyed my position.  I was once again single and made myself a promise that I would not allow myself to fall head over heels so easily, (whether that can ever be achieved, you decide).  What was strange but not unexpected was Stephanie’s sudden interest in my whereabouts and attitude that had rapidly changed from gibbering wreck to nonchalance and general indifference to her.

I told her I had been partying with some guys (omitting the girls) and we started to chat away as much about ourselves and our current situation as where we’d end up later that day (Disney World).  How it came about I don’t know, one minute we were talking, the next she was frantically pulling me onto the bed, pulling my t-shirt over my head and my boxers off and we made love like it was the first time, (we knew it was going to be the last time).  We were dressed and headed out to the car again when I started to wonder why what had just happened, had happened?  My mind started whirring, does she want me back?  Does she love me?  Did she ever stop loving me? My angst was off and running for a while until, sitting in her car and watching her drive I realised, it was break up sex, nothing more, purely break up sex.  So bollocks to her, enjoy the weekend and run like a fucker when you get home.

Disney was its usual excellent self, the original theme park but it past me by, a dream.  Imaginary figures made real by an artist’s pen and thrust upon a willing audience, eager to take part in their own dream of fairytales come true.  My fairytale had fucked me for pity’s reasons and I was better off in the real world than I was seeking anything more than just that, so I stopped philosophising and grew up just a little bit more.

Back home after another horrendous drive up Highway 101, she left me and my bags on the street outside my apartment and drove away.  I went in and called Mark, told him my news and he was up to see me the next day after work. 
Mark going to work for Fred Valari Studio's
I had letters from home waiting for me, my sister had written to say she had met a new friend at her work at Norwich Union and this friend knew someone in San Francisco, named Dall, she had a daughter and a host of brothers, they were from Malaysia and Singapore, I should look them up, a number was noted down.  I called Dall and she invited us to town to me her and her family.  Mark and I (he was in the midst of a break up with Debbie so he was happier away from Cupertino) caught the train into the City and grabbed a cab to Delores Street, just south of Market, near the district now known as SOMA (South of Market).  There were and still are a host of nightclubs in SOMA amongst them DNA which was a big hit at the time we were there. 

Dall lived in a large 4 storey townhouse, large steps leading up to the front door with garage parking under the house.  Dall opened the door to let us in, she was a petite, pretty mid 30s Asian lady, very refined delicate and soft spoken, what jewellery she wore was small, discreet and expensive.  The house had Oak floors and high ceilings, bespoke furnishings and as we were led into the front room and she left to get us drinks, Mark and I were scared to move less we break something.

She returned with drinks and we were invited to sit, her brother Jamid would be along shortly to join us for dinner, her other brother Jag may join us later.  In all there were 5 or 6 siblings I can’t recall all their names, but all looked healthy, wealthy, and wise, if you take my meaning.  Jamid arrived in a black soft top BMW 3 series.  He was enthusiastic, funny, smiling all the time.  Mark and I got along with him as did he with us.  We were to become fast friends for the spring and summer of 1988. 
Jamid and Mark
Pretty soon, Mark had untangled himself from Debbie and we both, along with a good friend of Marks he knew through his Karate named Dave, moved into a 3 bedroom apartment in San Mateo.  We had the ultimate bachelor pad; honestly, we were like Joey, Ross, and Chandler in Friends.  Take your pick as to whom I resembled. The place was a 3 Bed/bath apartment, with a large living/dining room, it had walk-in closets and parking beneath.  We were a stone’s throw from Foster City, and Belmont, Burlingame, each with Mall / movie theatres and excellent restaurants. 
Mark and Dave
I had started a “friendship” of sorts (it was all about sex so I can’t say relationship because it wasn’t that) with a very athletic girl named Tammy, who had a young son.  She lived in Belmont and we shagged every chance we could for a 3 week period until I got interest from another girl and moved on.  She told me (who am I to doubt) that she had worked for the comedian Robin Williams, teaching his children to swim.  To be honest, she was stunning and I was an idiot to move on, but I was relationship scared and scarred, so was having none of it and sought out the girls for sex and nothing more.  Looking back, I behaved poorly I suppose, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and as a lover of women was not going to turn down a free banquet when presented with a menu as fine as the one on offer in California.

I proceeded to embark on a period of high intensity “safe” sex, with as many partners as were willing.  You’d think that I would have gotten it out of my system, but would in 1989 be presented with an international menu of such delight and intense flavours as would ruin the taste buds of a lesser man through wear alone.  You, dear reader will have to continue to show your allegiance to this blog, if you want to discover the source!

And so, with zeal, Mark, Jamid, and I set Jamids BMW soft-top to full speed ahead and would drive into San Francisco most weekends and take in the bars on Union Street until the wee small hours.  Jamids brother Jag,, lived just off Union Street with Jack his partner in a beautiful 2 storey townhouse.  A Porsche Carrera GT parked under a wrap in the garage, Oak floors, Stainless Steel kitchen cabinets and a Grand Piano, just a few of the toys the boys used for entertaining and impressing.  They also had a beach villa over the Golden Gate at Stinson Beach, positioned overlooking the sea, reached by turning off the road into Stinson Beach and up a steep climb to the gated driveway.  A spa and pool were on the deck, the master bedroom overlooking the lot and bare wood interior and white cotton furnishings inviting you in.  The boys were generous, kind, fun, hysterically funny at times.  They were laid back, welcoming, unquestioning, and Mark and I were welcomed in as friends, and we never felt like we were intruding. 

Mark and Jamid doing the Riverdance!
Jamid was carefree and relishing his bachelorhood, he was a “face” back in the city and we were included in the party whenever we accompanied him, Dall or Jag and Jack.  With summer songs on the cassette player in the BMW we cruised around town, going to Golden Gate Park, where the Japanese Tea Gardens (http://japaneseteagardensf.com) offer tranquillity and peace in the heart of the city, along with Green Tea and Rice Crackers.  Whenever I have been back to San Francisco I go to the gardens for an hour or two.  The spring was party after party. 

I was still writing songs and the break-up with Stephanie obviously added to the songs I was writing in terms of content.  Around this time, Marks friend Frank from the former Fred Valari Karate studios had been spending more time with Mark and had introduced him to his sister Andrea and her daughter Erica, who was around 3 years old.  Andrea had moved out to California from Boston and she was setting herself up in business as a childminder.  Mark and I would pop in every now and again and soon we were “popping in” more often, Mark was falling for Andrea.

Mark, Jamid , Dave and Pam at La Pinata - Burlingame, Calif.
This did not stop Mark and I going out for beers and dinners and we frequented TGI Fridays in San Mateo for dinners and drinks.  Dave our apartment partner had met a new girlfriend Pam, and he was often hogging the living room so we’d make ourselves scarce.  To show the depths to which I had sunk in terms of how I was then treating girls I will relate this story.  Mark and I were sat on the balcony seats in TGI Fridays, at a table overlooking the bar.  Drinking wine and eating pasta, we were laughing and catching up, when Mark looked at me and said “you are getting laid tonight”, now I liked Mark, don’t get me wrong, but that was out of the question and I told him so. 

“No, not me you idiot, the girl with long dark hair, with her friend at the bar to your right”, I looked over and she was beautiful, not too tall, lovely figure, tight jeans that were nicely filled and a smile as white as a polar bears back.  I smiled at her and she smiled back, so I motioned her to come over, which she did.  I offered her a glass of wine from our bottle which she took; I asked her if she and her friend wished to sit with us, which they did.  I offered to buy her dinner, she declined, but I ordered appetisers anyway and she and her friend ate them whilst I boasted of my song-writing prowess, she fluttered at my English accent (yes, I know), we ordered more wine; we held hands under the table. 

Mark got the Goppa – again (see http://jw-alifeofsurprises.blogspot.com/#!/2011/03/women-pool-porn-and-beer.html for more detail about the Goppa) and threw himself on another grenade for me (although as I recall this grenade was not bad).  We talked and chatted, kissed and cuddled, made it out to her car, whilst Mark made excuses and headed home in his car, I got a BJ in the car-park, and then it was off to the apartment. 

The apartment complex itself was T-shaped.  Two storeys, cars parked in garages or bays beneath the apartments.  No other parking was allowed and signs everywhere told of the fines and tow away ramifications should anyone transgress the rules!!  Bollocks to that I thought.  It was dark I had a separate stairway that led directly to my bedroom.  I mean come on – you couldn’t expect me to bother with tea dear, maybe a coffee?  Easy access meant minimal time fannying around with the niceties and more time engaged in the reasons for being in my room in the first place.

We had completed a serious session of “to you, to me, on you, on me” gymnastics and were lying back surveying the damage done to the bedroom furnishings and carpet burns on her chin, when a yellow flashing light started appearing in my vision and hers.  “What’s that?” she asked, “oh nothing” I said, followed probably by “now I’ll un-cuff you and we can play a new game, ok?”  “Ok”.  We began playing the new game whilst the yellow light began to be accompanied by a throbbing engine and high exhaust noises.  She stopped, I had to stop, annoyed.  She wanted to look out of the window, so we got up and looked.  A large tow truck was parked outside below my room, towing someone’s car or trying to.  I opened the balcony door leading to the stairs and looked down.

The apartment manager was stood below helping this fat, greasy guy hook up the tow bars to the tyres on the car belonging to the girl in my room.  Ooops!  I said to her “hey, your cars getting towed”, she screamed pulled on her panties and bra and ran out clutching her jeans to her chest and screamed again, this time to the driver of the truck” hey, that’s my car, stop!”  The manager was having none of it and they continued in hooking her car to the truck and the greasy twat began winching the car up to the back of his vehicle.  The girl was now dressed in jeans, no shoes mind or top, save for her bra.  “Help me stop them?” she implored looking up at me.  I looked at her, at the truck driver, at the manager and the car and said “No, no point, they’re going to take it anyway”.  I turned and went into my room and picked up the rest of her stuff.  I went back out, gave it to her, and went back in.  I called her a cab, told her it was coming, and went back in and shut the door. 

The last I saw of this poor girl was of her running after the truck towards the entrance to the apartment complex.  I opened the door again, the manager was stood below and he said “that your girlfriend?”, “Nope” I said, “thought not” he replied.  "No one parks unless they live here; you guys know that, not my problem”.  “Nor mine” I said.  What a complete wanker I was, mind you I did call her a cab!