Hot Nights and Cold Drinks

As this summer draws to a close and the nights inevitably get both shorter and decidedly colder, I’ve decided to take a look back at this summer and all the various changes that have occurred over the last few months.

At the beginning of spring, I was in a comfortable job that I had been doing for a number of years and I honestly didn’t see my life changing very much at all. The most I expected was to move to another archery club to continue to practise my chosen sport. Everything in my life had a kind of rhythm, a routine to it, and I’m sure that by now you know, routine is something that I love.

I soon came to the sad but inevitable conclusion, though, that I needed to find a new job.  I’d been unhappy for a while at my job, but had pushed on, because it was familiar.  This was a scary thing for me to even contemplate, as I have such an aversion to change.  That  being said, I went to several interviews and was offered a few positions, but I couldn’t see myself feeling at home in those places. In the end, I accepted an offer at a place that I felt was “me” and that had an unusually good feeling about it, I started in my new role which was a step up from my old job, and I must admit I was nervous about this new role and the responsibility it entailed.

However, I was blown away by the place and how it was run. It was different to anything I’d seen before.  We were busy – I mean really busy.  We could easily do 60 covers (meals) in three hours, yet there was no stress or arguments as my team worked exceptionally well under pressure. This made my work life easier, and I felt more content than I had in a long time.

During the summer months, I started on a new project that is one of the hardest tasks I’ve set myself for a long time. It is really pushing me outside of my comfort zone and forcing me to grow emotionally. It is also keeping me very busy during my time off and I can’t wait to be able to share it with everyone, I have also had a couple of people look me up due to my work as a poet and a blogger, who are also trying to raise autism awareness. One wanted to interview me one as The Aspergers Poet, looking at my work and influences; the other was an in-depth interview with me as a blogger and an independent adult who is on the autism spectrum.  I was thrilled to do both and I was excited to see the results.

This has, in turn, had a knock-on effect with social media and web-based traffic, and has also lead to me being offered a spot as a contributing writer to Mental Movement. This was quite a shock and a huge privilege for me. As the saying goes, from small seeds giant redwoods grow…

We are now coming to the end of the summer and the tourist season once again,. Some of my great front-of-house team are preparing to return to their studies at university in the uk and further afield. I’m going to miss those I’ve been working with over the summer, and wish them every success as they start their individual life stories. Hopefully, they will return for Christmas or maybe next summer and we can swap stories, who knows? Throughout all of this, though, I’m forced to think back to all the changes that have happened over the last few months, nearly all of them I would have never predicted happening if you spoke to me a year ago.

Finally, I have recently had some very surprising, exciting and unexpected news that my eldest child is now expecting a little one of her own. And so, the circle goes round again. I must say that I was quite pleasantly shocked by the news and I think that, like most people, even if I was 60 I was never going to be ready to be a grandparent! I’m incredibly moved by it, though, and filled with weird emotional stuff that I’m not entirely sure how to process. This new addition to our family is due at the end of the year and will be the fitting end to a year of change and personal growth.  I can’t wait to meet my granddaughter.

Stay Safe X


Everyone’s a little Autistic

I was spending my downtime after a very busy weekend at work watching some videos by the brilliant Agony Autie, and one of them really struck a chord with me as an Aspie. In this video, she discussed a phrase I’m sure most of you that are on the spectrum have heard at some point or another – that classic line of “Everyone’s a bit Autistic”.  It got me thinking about this phrase, and why NTs feel the need to use it. Personally, I find it to be very ignorant and rude thing to say, but I have to try and see it from their point of view; it’s mostly well-meant, and I do understand the point they’re trying to make. (I also think that it can be useful to observe that autistic traits can be found amongst NT people, but nevertheless, whenever someone says this I can feel my nerves twitching. It’s like telling someone with depression that you know how they feel because you get sad too; it just feels really belittling, ignorant and (depending upon the person) sometimes quite disrespectful.

At times like this that I look at why someone would say this, and I think a big part of this confusion, and why the claim that we’re all on the spectrum matters, is because of the existing immense confusion and misinformation surrounding autism in general.

Today, there are many people who believe  that autism is made up;  that it’s just extreme naughtiness or extreme personality; saying that basically parents need to be stricter with their kids and stop looking for excuses; that people need to stop blaming their problems and parental shortfalls on some fantasy  disorder. This ridiculous type of thinking moves ASD away from being an identifiable, medically recognised, neurodevelopmental disorder, and places it instead on the completely “normal” spectrum of humanity.  It makes it seem like it’s just a bunch of troublemakers  disowning their own decisions and not facing their problems. This kind of attitude is probably the reason why a lot of the public doesn’t understand what we mean when we refer to the autism spectrum and Asperger’s syndrome.

That said, maybe it’s time we took it upon ourselves as bloggers, vloggers and writers to start educating the public about the existence and meaning of the autism spectrum and what it’s like to be on it. We might get the message across to them. Some people are on the autism spectrum, and some are not. If we were to try and rewrite what “autism spectrum” is, it would do more harm to the ASD community as it would no longer match the medical definitions.  That means that we would create further confusion, possibly raise doubts about its existence, and give uneducated people more excuse to say, “aren’t we all a little autistic?”

Stay Safe X


TV: the 42″ Mirror

This morning, I decided to try and begin watching the latest offering from Netflix called Atypical.. I had been waiting for this for quite a while, in fact, ever since it was announced online. This bold new show is about the life of a young high school student with Autism called Sam, played by Keir Gilchrist.

Mrs Bob and I decided that we both wanted to watch it together, as it seemed from the trailer to be an intriguing concept.  We started watching the first episodes, and something suddenly struck me while watching Sam. The way he acted around everyone he came into contact with and the way he dealt with situations that most people would call normal everyday situations, made me feel that I wasn’t really watching a TV show. I was looking into a huge, 42″ mirror.

This show made me feel very uncomfortable in its accuracy and attention to detail; even though the character was played by a neurotypical actor. Mrs Bob noticed and reminded me that I do and say a lot of things that were portrayed by him. This was a very big wake up call and a stark reminder to me that no matter how much I try to hide it, or pretend to be more like the rest of the neurotypical world that inhabit, I will never and can never be NORMAL no matter how fucking hard I try. The really hard part is the fact that I don’t see myself as being autistic; possibly because I was diagnosed very late and only 2 years ago.  I’m pretty high-functioning, too,  so to the untrained eye i can appear relatively normal, but just quirky.

Apart from a big wake-up call, the show reminded me that no matter how hard I try to fit in and socialise with the world, I will always be a stranger with my nose pressed up against the window of a world that I can never really fully be a part of or understand.

It made me feel more alone than I have in a very long time and it did all this by forcing me to take a long hard look at myself and how the world sees me. I want to watch more than the two episodes I’ve already seen, but it might take a while….

Interestingly, Mrs Bob found it uncomfortable to watch too.  She identified very strongly with the character’s family and their anxieties and frustrations with the lead character.  I’m glad it wasn’t only me that felt it was incredibly realistic!  But this is a very important show. Many autistic viewers have slated it, but I do wonder whether that’s because it was a bit close to the bone, as it was for me…

Roadcones and Glowsticks

This week has been a very strange and somewhat stressful one for me and for Mrs Bob, mainly because she has had to deal with me and my reaction to things, which, let’s face it, is not always the most appropriate or mature.

We begin on Saturday, as we travelled down to the deepest darkest depths of Cornwall for a very good friend of Mrs Bob’s Big Birthday party. This involved my good lady driving, and meant that I could have a few beers – something of a rarity these days! We got some lunch at the hotel we were booked into, and relaxed in our room with a spot of TV and reading.

The party itself was not as scary as I had imagined it might be, and after some Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan, I actually had a go at having a conversation with some of the other guests. There were a few times when I screwed up and said the wrong thing, but hey, I’m really not good at peopling. Everyone was totally lovely, though.  The food was wonderful and the music was amazing, and it was topped off with a beautiful poem written and read by the birthday girl’s daughter.  It apparently rained all night too, not that I noticed at all. The following morning, I had something I hadn’t had for a while; in fact I can’t remember the last time I had one…. a hangover! I had to work that evening as well, and we were due to be busy that night. We headed home and stopped off at not one, but three locations for food on the way back home, but the waits were too long.  Eventually, we got food and headed home so we could unpack and relax.

Work that evening wasn’t as bad as it normally is on a Sunday, as a local sports team had cancelled their match and this meant we had 30 less people in. Still,  we had 40 booked in for live music and some cracking pizzas. I had my best front-of-house team on duty, so we managed to stay on top of things all night. By closing time, I really just had the closure checklist to perform, before locking up and heading home to enjoy my “weekend”.

My weekend, which is Monday and Tuesday, was a mixed bag of emotions. I had a nice relaxing day on Monday, working on a new project and an interview for a book, while taking the occasional break to play some online games and read some graphic novels. Tuesday, however, was very different. We had received a letter last week saying that the only road in and out of where we live was going to be closed completely between 7 am and 7 pm, for two days. This would cause problems for us, so we decided to stay at Mrs Bob’s mother’s place, as she wasn’t going to be there.  This meant that we could only use one car, as there was space for only one, and we had to spend two nights away from home.  I am not keen on this, as I don’t like being away from my house or routine. Fortunately, due to the weather,  we only spent one night away from home as the work was cancelled first thing on Wednesday morning.  We hastily packed up and headed home, to be greeted by our adopted house guest, Dog, who was most perturbed that we had dared to leave him alone. This all changed with a nice bowl of food and a snuggle.

it was good to be at home again, as I could properly prepare for the start of my working week, which was brilliant as we ended up being very busy that night.  Last night was just as busy; I had only one table free all night, and one of the chefs had booked the evening off, but we managed to keep everyone happy and have a bit of a laugh.  I even managed to have some great conversations with the guests as well, which is no mean feat. In fact, I’m getting better at the whole small talk business. I must confess that a number of customers were talking about aeroplane engines – a subject I know quite a bit about, as I was in the industry for most of my previous working life. I enjoy also talking about the history of the pub and village, which Mrs Bob has found out about since I started here.

I did doubt that I would be able to do what I do as a job, for a number of reasons; I haven’t managed people in a long time now and the thought of 50 covers in less than three hours was scary, too. But if anything, I have learned this week that if you have a solid, cohesive team in your marriage or at work, then you can achieve anything together.

Stay Safe X

So Little Time

I would like to take this time to apologise for my lack of ramblings on the site of late. This has been for a number of reasons for this, mainly the fact that I have been so busy with my day job, as we are really starting to head into the tourist season. I have also now taken on a new role with a lot more responsibilities than my last job.  Apart from these thing, my two days off each week have been taken up with a number of exciting new things.

Firstly I’m working on a new project/idea that my long suffering wife, Mrs Bob, is helping me with. This is a very time-consuming and emotionally charged project that will take up at least the next twelve months of my life maybe even more.  I’m so excited about it, though, that I’m sure the time will fly by. Secondly, I have been sorting out a couple of interviews regarding me and my life on the spectrum; one for a web-based magazine that approached me, and another for a book about independent adults on the autism spectrum and their lives.  I’m extremely excited at the thought of seeing this in print, so that’s taking up a lot of time. I have also been trying to work on some new poetry and all the while maintain a social media presence and be a good husband!

But rest assured, I haven’t forgotten about you guys at all and I will be back later in the week with a round up of what’s been happening in my life.  This week has been particularly chaotic, even by my standards.

If there is a subject that you would like me to cover and discuss, please feel free to contact me on social media or drop me an email at,