the last few weeks and days of my life have transformed me, like very few periods in my life ever have. maybe when my son died, or maybe when he was born, but little else in my life has caused me to define and redefine myself as much as the last few days and weeks have. i have lost friends and gained friends. i have had a punch up on the street with one of my best mates, and i have not had a punch up in decades. i have learned a lot about myself and a lot of it i wish i hadn’t. i have had to look at myself hard and admit things i don’t like. i am shallow and fickle and very selfish. i am proud and arrogant and stupid. i have had to look at myself very hard, in a way that made me realise that i am deep and serious and not what i just said. i am as stupid as i am clever. i am a walking contradiction. i can feel real and deep hurt, but i have a capacity to hurt others that exceeds that, and i do not like that about me. i’ve made new friends but lost old ones. i have had to redefine some friendships and redefine how i see myself. i have reconnected with some and disconnected with others. i have seen people change and i have changed. ‘life is like a great wave,’ a one legged surfer’s ex once said to me, ‘try to control the wave and it will crush you, all you can do is read it and ride it’. i have grown and i have shrunk, and growing is the more painful and difficult. i have lost and i have found, and sadly i have learned more from what i have lost, although i am learning right now that if my neighbour does not turn his music down, i am going to find my cricket bat and he is going to lose some teeth.