Mitchell's Mustard Blog

March 4, 2017

Thermometer face

Filed under: My Work — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 1:42 pm

With Captain being a little poorly we had arranged his first ever visit to the vets, The idea of getting this brut into the carrier case made me nervous. So much so, I sat in the garden and smoked two cigarettes planning the execution of such task. He’s very much a mummy’s boy and with Mallory being at work this was down to me. I sold it to him as ‘the adventure of the two furry boys’ in which he just stared at me wondering why I wasn’t stroking his belly. I picked him up, the moment he clocked that we were heading closer to the carrier case all shit broke loose. Half his body was in, I was pushing against his backend to give him no room to escape. He knew he wasn’t going to win this fight but he also wasn’t going down without swinging. Once he was in, I placed him on the table. BB circled him, flitting her tail and tapping away on the table with her twinkle toes. She was either assessing the situation for a quick impromptu escape route or she was teasing him like a sibling would. All the food, cuddles, and toys are now hers. My money’s on the latter. As I left the house I was carrying the case in my arms instead of by the handle hoping that this would calm him, after a few minutes of clinging on claw deep into my wrist he finally calmed down and accepted his journey. When we had arrived at the vets waiting room he had buried himself in his blanket, only his little furry face was visible, his big scared kitten eyes darting from one corner of the room to the other watching all the other animals awaiting their fate. When his eyes met mine I could read his expression ‘Beardy, I don’t like you right now.’ After ignoring another of my reassuring pep talks we were called into the vet’s office. The vet enticed him out of the carrier case and cuddled him for a couple of moments, her pep talks seem to work better than mine. Placing him on a table she weighed him, listened to his heart, all the usual check up itinerary ticked off. There was just one thing left to do, I bent down to hold his eye contact and held his shoulders as instructed. His loving eyes staring into mine as he had finally forgiven me and realised there was nothing to fear. She then took his temperature. His smile disappeared, his eyes widened, a look of panic and confusion splashed across his face. ‘What? . . What are you doing? . . But why?’ All of his pride had just fallen off the table and rolled out of the room. ‘Beardy, I want to go home, now!’ His facial expression could not be mistaken. I didn’t even have an issue getting him back in the carrier case. By the time we made it home he’d had enough, he took his treat, swore at me in his language and slinked off to sleep for a couple of hours.

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December 17, 2016

Forever Sleeping

Filed under: A Little Something, Just a Thought — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 12:56 pm

As he lay motionless I placed my hand on his side, never have I felt something so cold and empty. He looked the same, but different. His golden coat looked grey, a misty outline of life laid to it’s lost meaning. My hand missed the rise and fall of his chest as I sat crossed legged next to him. I pulled at the neck of my school jumper as a distraction from the tears that fought my childlike pride. I knew I needed to leave but I wasn’t ready, I hadn’t said everything I needed but I still couldn’t find the words. It’s expected apparently, loss binds you up and you rush to say the right things rather than say what’s actually on your mind. Sitting here in the hallway of my family home, too young to understand how to feel and too naive for what happens next. Brushing my hand over him, feeling his greying coat between my fingers for the last time. Stroking him and rearranging his hair so he looking clean and neat, I didn’t want him to leave feeling unkempt and unloved because he couldn’t do it himself anymore. I leaned forward and rested my head against his, my pride gave way and let my emotions take over.

   “You’ll always be my boy, I love you”.

   Those are the words that I found, those are the words I’m pleased I said, those are the words that will stay with us forever.

   He had given me a childhood of love, a companion, a hairy four legged brother. It was a hard way for a young boy to say goodbye, a vision that will stay forever. I have so many fond memories of his character, his presence. Laying with him for hours with my head on his chest, the power of his existence beating against my ear. He’d follow us like there was something to gain, but in hindsight I think he felt like he had gaining by just being with us, by our side. The one thing I shall never forget . . For us he was our brother, our family member but we had the luxury of other things in our life. We had friends, jobs, school, the outside world. . For him we were everything.

   It was painful, the way you left us. It changed me, made me view things differently. There’s parts of me that wished we had never found you forever sleeping in our hallway, but there’s also parts of me that wouldn’t change a thing.

September 23, 2016

The things I would tell a younger me

  • Don’t start smoking . . It may seem like everyone else is doing it but smoking will stay with you longer than most of those people.
  • Be yourself . . I wasn’t happy with who I was until I reached my 30s, it wasn’t too late but I could have been happier earlier.
  • Not everything your parents tell you is true . . They want the best for you but sometimes their opinion can make your playground smaller.
  • Be respectful of others feelings . . Everyone has a personal battle and some of your actions can affect others in ways you couldn’t imagine.
  • Appreciate the people close to you . . One day they won’t be there anymore and the things unsaid will haunt you.
  • If you believe in something, fight for it . . If you let it slip through your fingers then chances are you didn’t care about it that much.
  • ‘There’s always tomorrow’. . In most cases that’s bullshit, you’ll only keep putting it off, get it done!
  • Learn to agree to disagree as early as possible . . Everyone has a different opinion on things, most aren’t worth falling out over.
  • Some days you’ll feel like you’re alone, you’re not. . Talk to someone, open up and trust people. Your pride can take the day off.
  • Stop shaving . . You look much better with a beard. Stop complaining about the itchy stage, man the fuck up.
  • Don’t fear doctors and dentists. . They’re here to help you (and make you skint). Your health should be a main priority.
  • Don’t be negative . . Stay away from negative people and energy, that shit is incredibly  contagious. Don’t be part of the chain!
  • Drugs . . Do what you have to do, just be safe. Don’t be peer pressured into taking anything you’re not sure about. You can easily find yourself in a black hole that will chew you up and spit you out.
  • Learn a new language, or musical instrument . . You will try to learn both later in life and find them both near impossible.
  • Never think any idea is too big. . If you want it, go for it. If you fail then at least you have tried, that’s better than most. Shoot for the stars!
  • Nothing good comes easy. . If you want something to work then you have to be willing to roll your sleeves up and work for it.
  • Balance your work and personal life. . There is a fine line between the two and it can tip either way. Do you work to live? Or live to work?
  • Be polite. . Just because a lot of people around you have no manners, doesn’t mean that you should act the same way. Two wrongs do not make a right.
  • When your Grandma is ill, go see her more often. . Say the things you want to say, hold her hand, tell her you love her. Saying it to a hole in the floor isn’t quite the same.
  • Research tattooists properly. . Have a good look around before you settle on a tattooist or you’ll find out halfway through your second tattoo that the tattooist line work is a little off because he has a glass eye!
  • Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. . Or you’ll find that the people who befriend you or fall in love with you don’t actually know you. Don’t lie to them and don’t lie to yourself.
  • Girls that like bad boys. . Don’t even bother! You might have your father’s mind and mouth but you have your mother’s heart and emotion. You will never fall under the ‘badboy’ category.  
  • Don’t get too involved in others bullshit. . Be supportive but be careful or their bullshit will eventually become your bullshit. You have enough weight on your shoulders, you don’t need theirs as well.
  • And finally. . Believe in yourself. Don’t put yourself down, there’s plenty of other people out there that will do that for you! Be kind to yourself, and for god sake smile more.    

July 14, 2016

His Loving Touch

Filed under: A Little Something — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 3:09 pm

“Fuck. . . I’m sorry” he yelled.

The words that echoed around the walls as she lay looking up at a crack in the ceiling, it wasn’t the only thing damaged in this house. His voice had changed so much over the years, it had lost it’s edge of calm, of love, and reassurance. It had become angry, just like him. Soon after it would turn to desperation while she cried nursing the new trophy of their altercation. The kind of trophy you didn’t want on show, hidden under her make up rather than proud on the mantle piece. This had become her life. Another day, another bruise. She was strong, had built up a tolerance to his knuckles. But this time was different, the type of knock that puts your world on it’s side, pulling you into a plume of darkness, the ones you have to wake up from.

“I didn’t mean it, darling. I didn’t. . . It was an accident” he pleaded.

She flinched from his skin, she could smell the alcohol seeping from his pores. This smell had become resident in their household, a long time gone were the scent of flowers and peace. She stay laid where she landed, he collapsed back onto the sofa. His presence of anger turned to adolescence, holding his troubled mind in his damaged hands.

“You have to forgive me, my love” he begged.

She had never feared him before, she knew the telltale signs as to when she should keep her distance, but never actually feared him. But she lay there fearing the next moment, the next day, and the next time his anger touched her skin. Her nausea could have been from concussion, realisation, or their unborn child.

“Help me, please help me” he sobbed.  

The thing she feared the most was that she didn’t want to be there, but she didn’t want to be anywhere else either.    

February 29, 2016

She Got That From Her Mother

Filed under: A Little Something — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 9:30 pm

It was either the nausea, or the pain streaming through his head that woke him. Before he opened his eyes he knew things weren’t okay. With all the telltale signs around him, it was his gut feeling that put him in panic mode. Knowing he was awake but feeling like he was dreaming, he would pinch himself but movement was limited. Frustrated that his body was ignoring his commands, like a child with no control. His lungs rebelling as his chest squeezed tight, looking for the biting point, the line of no return. Finding it hard to concentrate, like distracted adolescence. The pain, enclosed breathing space, a loud humming from a distance. All the things playing hide and seek with his senses added to his confused train of thought. His mind jumping back and forth, current to past. The uncomfortable seat he was slouched in, the smile on his daughter’s face. The fear of opening his eyes, his wife holding his hand.

Feeling his chest start to pulse, liquid leaving his mouth and nose. It felt like a memory, but the realisation kicked in with the damp feeling in his lap. Is this a dream? If so, he wanted to wake up now. He felt guilty, confused because he didn’t know what for. Feeling his throat wheeze reminded him of his father, he had smoked for years against everyone’s complaints and concerns, his father’s whistle. The memory stuck with him while he slipped deeper into the dark. Remembering the anguish across her face, the sound of his daughter crying his name as he left. Tears found their way down his face through sealed eyes, his nose burning.

You only regret making a decision once it’s too late, no energy to turn back time. His life slipping away through his pores. He remembered attaching the pipe to the exhaust of the car, taking a look at life outside before he closed the garage door and sealed himself in. His mind was fighting but his body refused to react. Fatigued, frightened, alone. His final thought was of his daughter, she was beautiful, strong. She got that from her mother.   

October 11, 2015

Bricks and Mortar

Filed under: A Little Something — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 5:36 pm

Dear you,

The reflection of the mirror never pays you justice. I sit there and watch as you get ready, knowing that you just can’t be replicated. Like that of a picture, beautiful, but never able to compete with the real spectacle. The glow, the desire, the overall being. I don’t know if this is real, so many questions. But none important enough to stop me admiring your presence. Believing in the tomorrow, the stars may not be aligned, but I’m working on that. I’ll roll my sleeves up and build the ideal setting. I’ll dig the tunnel, fix the bridge, pull your boat ashore. We are the river, not the drift wood. I’m not one for coasting, as long as I have strength, I’ll hold you high because I want to show you the sights. I have no interest in being your history, your regret, your once was. There’s no future in that, directionally driven and I wasn’t built with a reverse gear. Not born for games, the only match I’m looking for is one you can ignite, hold it under my heart so you can see me for who I am. In fear of the burn, but not enough to stop me from playing with fire. ‘Home is where your heart is’ they say, and I want you to be my bricks and mortar. Like a kite on a windy day, letting you down isn’t an option. We may dip, a little sway here and there, but there’s always the strength to bloom in the sky.
Because of you, I know that romance isn’t dead.

Me

October 9, 2015

Drawing a Line In The Sand

Filed under: A Little Something — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 1:49 pm

Like the strength of waves, beating and crashing. A power of vengeance, sorrow, and regret. Pulling away as it rises, then striking, giving only a moment to catch a breath. He had never felt tears like it before, the waves behind his eyes. The heartlessness in seeing a proud man break down, to crumple like an addict, pulling limbs in as tight as possible, folding into nothing but himself. Protection from any other blows, but wasting time because he knew that the first one had already defeated him. “You don’t realise the size of your heart until you feel it ache” he said to anyone, and no one. Surrounded by all the love one man could ask for, yet, in this moment he felt further away than he had ever been before. He was used to the distance in miles, not emotions. His wife and children loved him, stood by him, but in that moment he refused to reach out. They are the love he lived for, but he had just lost the love that he had never lived without, this was untravelled territory. The unconditional love will always resume, but the warmth that came with it had faded away in it’s sleep. Today, drawing a line in the sand, no going back, it’s all different now. Everything looked the same, smelt the same, but it wasn’t. The world was now missing a vital part of his life, his idol, his hero, his father.

The Cigar Shack

Filed under: Just a Thought — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 11:44 am

Holding light from times past, and a swirling desire for times to come. This little wooden pocket of memories, It’s filled with love. The kind of love you can’t buy, trade, or surrender. Tucked away in the centre of a city we love, a stone’s throw from the hustle, this little delicate corner always keeps the silence, for when we return. To step in and take a breath, to take a moment, an hour or two. There’s no busy clock hands, no intermittent reminders, all outside communication is sealed away in a bottle and thrown overboard until we decide to return to civilization. A little white china ashtray gripping our addiction as we pick at olives and pistachios. Cigarette smoke rising into a game of kiss chase, converging before dancing along the walls and running off into the night together, no looking back. As the evening starts to turn, the chill creeps in around the corners hungry for its first victim, only to be disappointed by the woolen tartan blankets that we find ourselves nestled up in. The contagious rhythms of Pink Floyd and laughter take over, folding the silence up, and keeping in a safe place for when it’s needed again. These sounds echoing around the walls before they become etched into the night sky. A delicate little spot that never seems to be busy, our own little find, tranquillity. The occasional interruption from the bar staff informing us of the origin and history from which our rum has endured. The ice gently singing a song as it taps the side of the glass, a sweet melody of partnership. Whether it sings for it’s own duet, or for us, we’ll never know. But we can always turn it into whatever we want, we’re both good at that, making any situation a good situation, our own. Eventually it becomes time, time to fold up the blankets, extinguish the cigarettes, let the ice finish it’s last tune. As we step away, we watch the lights fade as the cushions regain their original plump form. We know this little wooden pocket will be there when we return, for as long as we remember why it’s there, for us.

June 13, 2015

I can’t promise you tomorrow

Filed under: A Little Something — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 9:28 pm

The surrounding earth meant nothing, not right now. He could hold the dirt in his hand and watch the grains slip away with the wind, it still meant nothing to him. In this moment it wasn’t real, the ground he sat on that worked it’s way into the fabric of his trousers, the tree he leant against that gently swayed in the wind, the forest that cocooned him with danger and protection, none of it was real. He refused to believe that he was awake, he didn’t want to be awake. Not any more. The colours that danced around him played tricks on his eyes, submerging only to rise again, like a playful game of peekaboo that he never enjoyed. The side wind pushed at his tears to confuse their direction, his cheeks felt sore, his eyes tired, his body weary. Knowing that he would have to start getting used to this feeling. It was cruel. Once he gets to the stage of looking for a silver lining in his story he’ll think there was a sense of relief getting his results, the weeks of not knowing had caused him nothing but worry, now there was no need to worry about himself, he needed to worry about all those that surrounded him, depended on him.
The words came as a shock, even though he had prepared himself for the worst, there was still that little bit of hope that clung on like a leaf in autumn. Like a hammer to the heart, he still held self preservation until he reached his car, until he had made it to his current spot, it was their spot. Today it was lonely.
He wasn’t scared of dying, he was scared of telling her that he was dying. Knowing that she’ll be strong until the very end, he’d leave her knowing that he had let her down. He feared watching her face crumple, mirroring her heart. The thought that he would hurt her like this and have no way of fixing it. The old wise words ‘time is a healer’ had no room in his existence, not any more. He loved her, funny thing is he loved her more now than he ever had done, he didn’t think that was possible. All the little things she did that frustrated him now meant nothing, all the petty arguments that they passed to and fro meant nothing. He loved her with everything, more than any man had tried, or ever could.
Wiping the tears from his cheeks, pulling his achy body from the floor, he needed to face his fear, he knew that they’ll have so much to do but with such little time, a true understanding that forever is just a word, a myth, a lie. But love, love is the glue for this broken story, and love will keep them marching on until the end.

April 18, 2015

We can’t afford to live like David Gandy

Filed under: My Work — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 5:28 pm

David_Gandy_by_Conor_Clinch_(2013)_-_cropped

In this day and age, for some unknown reason, most articles in which you read about mens fashion, health, and lifestyle expect us all to have unlimited funds from that rumored tree in the garden, and a constant day off from the sometimes overbearing rat race. I know we’d all love to live a lifestyle similar to Harvey Specter, you’d be crazy not to. But let’s be realistic here. Being a man of 32 years old, I’m one of few in a position of having very little depending on me. Most men at my age, shared with their partner, have a family to feed, bills to pay, larger financial expectations to fulfill. So it’s rare that today, a modern man like yourself, will flick through this months must have gentleman’s magazine and decide to treat yourself to this new seasons blazer that will cost the equivalent to your next months rent. Or maybe your new born baby can go without nappies for a week so you can pick up a pair of socks that apparently best compliment your new Italian leather loafers which last month put you in debt with your utility bills? What I’m asking is, because most of us live a realistic lifestyle, does that mean we can’t be seen as fashionable? If we can’t afford the luxuries of their advice does that mean we will struggle to look after our appearance? Do we have to follow the guidelines of these so called gentleman gurus that lead us to the temptation of being broke yet looking good with it? Of course not!
If you’re not bothered by the label that’s sewn into the garment then you’ll be just fine, sometimes people are more worried about the brand they wear than how the actual item looks. There’s an old and wise saying ‘Money can buy you a suit, but it can’t buy you taste’. We all know that person, whilst out for a pint, they tell you the brand and cost of every item they’re wearing. A man with taste doesn’t need to talk about what he’s wearing, where it’s from, or how much it cost. He’ll let his outfit do the talking.
What I’m trying to say is, don’t be fooled into thinking that the glossy dream on the pages of an over priced magazine are the instructions to a modern day gentleman. You don’t need to spend your annual income just to look good. The sooner we realise that we can’t afford to live a David Gandy lifestyle, the sooner we’ll be comfortable in our own style. Just remember, he gets paid to look that good! We all have our own style, we’re all that little bit different, roll with it.
Whatever you do, don’t let your baby go without nappies, if you do then that’s a clear sign that you have an issue that needs addressing and your dress sense is the least of your worries.

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