A challenge to myself

I’ve been thinking.  This blog needs another dimension to it.  I was hoping that the whole idea of talking to you about my life on the road would almost be enough, but I think it needs something else to make it work.

I think that this is going to be something of a confessional, and if you find that embarrassing or uncomfortable then just don’t read any more. Writing it helps me.  I have something to believe in.

I will promise total honesty so you will come to know some of the most inner thoughts about my life, past and present.   I will try to make it interesting as well as honest.  In another way it’s a challenge to myself as I am going to be honest with myself through the blog, and that might be difficult.  This isn’t the persona of Mr Alexander, it’s just me talking as me.

The next few months are going to be very difficult for me financially.  Although the travelling show had a good summer and the theatre company, called Cat’s Paw Theatre, I started seventeen years ago and with whom I work a lot through the year is going very well, I have another business which causes me enormous problems, heartache and financial anxiety.  I’ve managed to keep it going for nearly ten years but it takes every spare penny from the others and I can’t get rid as other people depend on me and ditching it would create real problems for them.  I will tell you more about it at some point but not just now.

So the starting point is that I have to survive the next few months, really until May when the shows start and right now I’m not sure how I’m going to do it.  So the challenge to myself is to survive and how I do that is going to be the subject of the blog and please join me, support me on the challenge.

So to begin with, I’m going to stop drinking. Mostly because it’s taking a lot of money to support the habit.  I have been spending between £5 and £8 a day on drink, and that is far too expensive to carry on. Actually I have already stopped as I avoided alcohol entirely last night.  It was New Year’s Eve.  It was hard not to have a drink as I still have a few beers left in the lorry, some whisky and a quarter bottle of gin but I didn’t. It wasn’t as hard as giving up smoking all those years ago, but it was hard.  I’m going to leave the bottles staring at me as a reminder.  They’ll do for guests. Last night was the first night I had not had a drink in probably two or three months.  I’ve been drinking every day, depending on the numbing warmth of whisky and the refreshing balm of the beer to take the pain away.  But it has to stop, not just for health reasons.

I’m going to be highly frugal.  That will be part of the challenge.  My biggest weekly financial outlay is for the dogs.  They live on a diet of chicken peas and rice, cheap ham, a little cheese and hot dog sausages.  I also treat them to Bakers small dog mix which they really enjoy but I suspect is not entirely good for them.  Someone told me it was the equivalent of a MacDonalds for dogs.

I tend to nibble a little of their chicken, and use cheap ready meals, augmented with some fresh vegetables.  I enjoy proper cooking though and for example have just made a saucepan of Chile Non Carne with a packet of Quorn mince, a tin of kidney beans and a few mushrooms, tomatoes and an onion with some chiles, garlic and herbs and it lasted me three days augmented with a baked potato, some frozen chips or wedges and some peas, leeks and asparagus.   I shop in Aldi and B& M and we have the Famous 50p shop a short scooter ride away and there are some great bargains there.

I just watched Steven Fry and Bear Grylls on catchup.  The one where they went up a mountain in Italy together.  If you missed it, watch it. What an inspiration they both are.  With role models like them I can’t go wrong. 

So the challenge is there, the gauntlet thrown down.  Survive now and thrive later.  I will keep you in the picture.

Another tea night looms!

Until tomorrow,

All the best from a road near you,

Mr Alexander aka David

Mr Alexander