AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
It’s Syd and Kyd
It’s Syd and Kyd
Wake up from the nightmare and live the dream
Hello, and a massive ta very much for having a peep at this ‘About’ page. Here I will sketch a picture of me, and my Battle of Hastings (history,) my kids, my dog and our mind-blowing mission.
Syd and Kyd is a wicked 61-year-old single dad, his gorgeous 9-year-old son Jo and Alfie our playful Staffordshire Bull Terrier rescue dog. Presently we are living hand to mouth on benefits in cold rainy Blackpool in the north-west of England. In August 2017 I had a dream that we would flee this mundane life and relocate to the tropics. After all, I didn’t defeat terminal cancer to live out the rest of my days making ends meet in a ‘Groundhog Day’ existence of unemployment and despair. So our mission impossible is to make this daydream a reality.
This website gives you the opportunity to follow the adventure as we plan and execute our unthinkable escape. Watch closely as we magically make our dull existence disappear as we fight for a new sparkling life in the sun. It isn’t going to be a piece of vegan cake though because the only dosh we have are the Government handouts we receive to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. How will we achieve this impossible dream?
Follow us and see. Maybe it will inspire you to change your mind and change your life.
A red-faced baby screamed blue murder in a cot further down the maternity ward crying out the bragging rights as the hellish Manchester United Red Devils defeated God’s own team, the heavenly sky blue Manchester City, on the day Syd drew his first breath. If that wasn’t an omen of the forthcoming shit I would have to undergo then I don’t know what was. It was 22nd September 1956 when I painfully entered the world feet first.
Well, the basic nitty-gritty stuff first. I was brought up in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, South Manchester. My dad was a Gardener and my mum a Care Worker. Two younger brothers followed in my footsteps. It was a warm happy loving family and holidays were had in Blackpool and Rhyl but I hated those tacky holiday resorts, always preferring the wild mountains and moors.
Two significant life-changing events occurred during my early childhood. First my point-blank refusal to eat animals in a meat scoffing family at the tender age of five. I loved animals and just couldn’t see how we could eat them if we loved them. Luckily I was permitted to be a veggie in those vegetarian is unhealthy, weird and uncool days. I have never eaten meat since and my parents eventually became veggies too! The second was reluctantly going to watch a football match with my dad when I was nine years old. My team lost 3-2 but the crowd, the energy, the noise and the floodlights mesmerised me. I was a Manchester City fanatic from that very moment.
School was always playtime so I never tried and never completed any homework, eventually being expelled for having long hair. Off to college for more fun and games and it was a water into wine occasion when I actually managed to obtain 2 GCE O-Levels. Had a list of jobs that would fit into an early Clash track – Petrol Pump Attendant, Factory Worker, Warehouseman, Solicitor’s Clerk, Transport Manager, DJ, Labourer, Truck Driver but not a Bus Driver, Ambulanceman or Ticket Inspector.
The far out kyd
In 1972 I was the council estate hippy in bell-bottomed jeans, trippy colourful tie-dyed t-shirts and long flowing blonde hair. I stuck out like a rainbow butterfly next to my hard thorny mates who were either skinheads or suedeheads. I was nicknamed Psychedelic Syd. Young cheeky Manc scallywags would scream and taunt “Weirdy Weirdo” but it didn’t bother me, in fact, I loved it as I proudly floated by dreaming of beach-buggies and overland journeys to India while humming Syd Barrett tunes. Those were the days.
Next, we trip forward to the eighties when Psychedelic Syd spun the vinyl in the local nightclub once a week; The Doors, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Stones, Hawkwind were played to the local hipsters.
Roam Around The World
I have always had itchy feet since being knee-high to a grasshopper. As a child, I read every travel book I could get my little hands on. Leafing through atlases as I dreamed of becoming an explorer. In 1988 the dream came true. I hit the road. Turkey, Morroco, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Laos and Dubai were all visited. I have worked as a teacher, businessman, manager, translator, student recruiter, and filmmaker to support my intrepid lifestyle overseas I even taught in a brothel but you’ll have to wait until I get around to writing a post about that amusing experience. My eternal wanderlust has given me some fabulous experiences. I am at my happiest when trekking in the mountains, exploring a steamy jungle or walking on a white sandy beach of a tropical island.
Four kids to three woman! Each of my offspring is good-looking too. It must be in my jeans! Sorry I mean genes. ha-ha
My eldest daughter Panvilas is 28-years old and works as a model in Bangkok. She was born a boy and was christened Eric and given the nickname Jay which means vegan in Thai. He informed me that he was gay when he was 16 and at 20 had a full sex change later going on to win Miss Universe! I will write a post, ‘My Son Won Miss Universe,’ in the coming weeks
Eugene is now 20-years old and is studying graphics and illustration at Huddersfield University. I have raised him as a single dad since he was just two-years-old. We have lived in many countries and even backpacked around wild China and Laos for a year. I have it all on film which I will edit and upload as a series to this site.
Francesca, Eugene’s sister is eighteen and living in Lille, France with her mother. She was just one-year-old when the marriage broke up and left with her mum while Eugene stayed with me. We have kept in touch and see each other a couple of times a year. She is studying art at college.
Jo has had a difficult start in life. His early years were spent in Laos but at the age of three, he moved to The UK when his father got terminal cancer. Not only did he have to witness a very sick dad fighting for his life but was soon to be abandoned by his mother. Since then I have raised him alone through an extremely difficult period. I am glad to report he is a happy nine-year-old, doing well at school and loving life. He goes swimming and camping but most of all he enjoys playing computer games.
Iv’e got TERMINAL CANCER-Prognosis of Six Months!!!!!!
Remember when you were young; you shone like the sun. Now there’s a look in your eye like black holes in the sky. CANCER.
The clinical nurse handed me the DS 1500 form so my benefit claim could be doled out immediately. My bulging eyeballs focused on the words TERMINAL ILLNESS before glancing back at the nurse. I whispered, “This means I’m gonna die.”
She held my quivering hand and compassionately responded, ” I am sorry but your tumour is very large and advanced.” I gazed in uncomfortably numb shock at the cream wall as the silence drowned the screams.
Just a few months back I was sporting a deep golden tan, employed in the tropics as a Film Maker and right here right now I am as white as a ghost, on benefits with one foot in the grave.
I had inoperable Stage Four neck cancer. Three courses of mind- bending chemotherapy to poison the tumour; After each of the first two courses, I was admitted to an isolation ward for a week with my very own Zimmer frame. My bats in the belfry brain was alive to the fact that I was dying.
The oncologist informed me that no further chemo was possible. At least my final hours wouldn’t be in chemical La-la land before ending up as a stiff in a fridge in the morgue. Always look on the bright side of life.
The prognosis was 6 months to live. However, I could burn the tumour by going on the harrowing chemo radiotherapy trip that only had a 0ne in five shout of working. More chance of Leicester City winning the premier league I laughed. Seems like death is the only thing I’ve got left to live for!
Two weeks of brain-damaging ‘should I stay or should I go‘ deliberation before the madcap finally laughed and opted for 6 weeks of treatment at Preston Royal Inferno! At the end of the ordeal, I was a death warmed up burnt and blistered bag of bones sprawled on my sick sofa eight miles high on morphine pouring sickly yucky liquid into my peg tube to keep me alive.
My mum died to join my dad on the other side. Next, my wife bent her mouth to my ear with her face twisted in anger and rage and screamed, “Ghostface hurry up and die.” She abandoned me and the kids aged 14 and 4. I was alone taking care of two young children while fighting for my life. You may be the loneliest person in the world but you’ll never be as lonely as me.
Meat is Murder
In an effort to fight the cancer I cut out all processed food and became a raw vegan drinking a rainbow of fruit and vegetable juices and also forced my broken body to exercise. It did the trick because five years later I got the all clear and was discharged from the hospital with a massive smug grin on my ugly mug.
Before the cancer diagnosis, I was an unhealthy vegetarian living off chips, diet coke, four cheese pizza, baked beans on toast and pints of dirty beer.
I am now a vegan not only for my health but for the animals too. If I can be healthy without harming another living being then that compassionate lifestyle suits me down to the ground. I am mainly raw consuming 80% fruit and 20% vegetables.
You can’t love animals and eat them
Jo was a meat-eater then a vegetarian and now he mainly vegan. It is difficult because his school doesn’t provide vegan meals so he has a veggie lunch. However at home and when we go out he eats a vegan diet. Of course, it is his choice but I hope that when we start visiting animal rescues and sanctuaries in the near future it will convince him that a cruelty-free lifestyle is the best for all living beings.
The Temple of Love
Psychedelic Syd morphed into Psycho Syd when I spun the vinyl at an Indie nightclub. The music scene had changed and I was now getting people up and dancing to tunes by bands such as Joy Division, The Sisters of Mercy and Alien Sex Fiend. Psychedelic was not suitable for this gothic era so it was snipped to Psycho which was ideal. And the name has stuck ever since.
Whenever I meet friends in a pub whether it be Manchester, Bangkok, Hong Kong or bloody Blackpool I am always greeted with, ” Hello Psycho.”
I inevitably reply, ” Norman if you don’t mind,” which leaves other patrons startled, to say the least.
And after the harrowing battle with cancer left me looking like a death-warmed up ghoul, the nickname ‘Psycho’ is perfect perfection.
Adopt don’t Shop
The four-legged member of the team is Alfie a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He arrived as a two-year-old rescue dog on 15th September 2014. His cage came with him. I told them to take the cage away and gave Alfie the sofa.
He has been a wonderful addition to the family. He is playful with a lovely temperament to both humans and other dogs.
I love him so much that wherever I go he goes. So he will be relocating to the tropics too. I visualise him running on the beach, swimming in the sea and going for walkies in a steamy jungle. Alfie deserves to live the dream too!
Will it Come True? Definitely Maybe!
Our ‘Mission Impossible’ is to flee a life of surviving on welfare in Blackpool. I want to work and do something worthwhile before I meet my maker. Of course, making this dream a reality won’t be a walk in the park but nothing life changing usually is.
If I face this task with the same ‘never say die’ spirit that I had when I defeated terminal cancer then it will surely happen.
It will mean giving up all the benefits and having to earn enough money for us all to survive which is risky but I love a challenge. And writing and filming at off the beaten track locations and about animal sanctuaries is my dream job. FFS! I am not willing to live a despondent life on benefits any longer.
To find out more about our mission impossible go to this link: https://sydandkyd.com/mission-impossible/