Sorry but this goes on a bit!

This time last year, I went to Music Live at Birmingham NEC (England/UK). It was about 6/7 months after the court case ended, and I thought that I was pretty much OK again at that time.

Today, I went back to the same event. I realised that last year, I was still shot to bits!

I barely slept last night because I was so excited at the prospect of going to an event that was purely for me! I knew that I had to keep my hands in my pocket, or I’d have a visa bill to pay off!

I got up at around 05:00am and set off about an hour later. It was pitch black! I’d used some internet based software to plan the route. Predicted duration was 3 hours… not on an empty road with 3 lanes it wasn’t.

It was pitch black when I set off. It gradually got lighter & I switched my main beams off. It took quite a lot longer to get to a stage whereby I switched my headlights off completely.

There is one particular place on the M1 I like! It’s a down hill run, where there is an ‘X’ shaped bridge that is stretched horizontally. I have seen this vista framed in all seasons of the year, in Autumn, it is particularly glorious. It is like a last blaze of glory, for the trees before they rest for winter. There were aspects, where leaves were golden in the rising sunlight, but mystified within the ground fog. Crimson reds were all around, and I noticed some bushes that were like black crushed velvet, against the many autumn hues of earth colours. It was almost magical

I had to stop and eat twice, and then have a coffee when I got there, before the doors opened.

Once inside, I think I felt a bit like Tom Hanks in the film ‘Big’, when he goes into the toy shop, and finds the keyboard that you play with your feet.

It dawned on me that last year I was walking around like someone that had drunk 20 cappucinos, without having even one! I didn’t feel remotely like that this time.

Last year I had a photograph taken with Jim Marshall. I look quite subdued considering that I was stood directly next to one of my heroes. This year, I got someone to take a photograph of me on my mobile, stood next to a cut out of Kerry King – I just look so much more alive!

I bought some stuff, and have no regrets so far!

I spent about 3 and a half hours there without buying anything totally on impulse (get that one)!

The return journey would have been around 150 minutes (heavier traffic), so I stopped at the Meadow Hall shopping centre at Sheffield. Just had a walk around, and bought some DVDs, food and wine for tonight.
When I started to drive home again, I changed the CD in my car. The one I chose to play was by Metallica, and it’s basically a load of cover songs.

I’ve never played this CD since before I went to court. At that time, when I played it, many of the songs felt really personal. I just used to listen to them in the car whilst I felt really sad and distanced.

It’s bonfire Night here in the UK on 5th November, but many people are celebrating tonight. I just switched the CD on, as I hit the motorway. Just as the first word came out of the speakers, a rocket/firework went up over the motorway. This happened all of the way home (170 miles total).

When I first told my friends about the abuse, one of them later said that he felt guilty, because it was like Pandora’s box! Once they took the lid off, you just couldn’t put it back on again.

I recently became Godfather to his new baby daughter. She’s absolutely beautiful and so pleasant.

As I was driving home today, I obviously had the fireworks lighting up the sky, all of the way home.

What I also had, was a picture of my god daughter smiling in my mind!

When Pandora’s Box was opened, all sorts of things were released, like pestulance and plague. When the lid was finally put back on, only one thing was left…HOPE.

I spent much of today by myself, but had several conversations throughout the day (maybe because I just looked like someone that would talk back) – it was one of the best days I’ve had since I was 12.

I think that is because I had a day for myself, but also because I have the one thing that was left in Pandora’s box…hope! That is my God Daughter…. A blank canvas. But one that smiles and gurgles!

Maybe life is OK again!

Sorry for rambling…best wishes …Rik.

PS – I’ve probably missed bits, but I don’t care…it was a good day! Hope you all have them.

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*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!