Saturday, 24 April 2010

So, the dating saga continues

On to the third man who's emerged over the past wee while: after one idiot, one nice but ultimately unreliable and slightly elusive guy, there comes a charming Canadian. And I am delighted!

We met at a conference a couple of weeks ago, where I had to host a table. I had no influence over the seating plan I must add, and ended up with him on my left for the evening. He was a great conversationalist and more than once rescued me from technical chatter of cancer scientists when I was beginning to lose track and bring it all back to lay man's terms.

We discovered a mutual friend, a good friend at that who has since been doing his share of match making....

Confident, intelligent, cheeky. He's not the most handsome man I've ever met, but he has that spark about him. Tucked under the beard is a great smile, and a whole lot of insight. Oh, I do like a beard.

Anyway, we had our first proper date last night and it was delightful. His car had been ditched for the evening before we'd even made it to dinner, and we spent the evening laughing and sorting the woes of the world out.

For a change I'm not wondering if he'll call or when. I know he will. When doesn't really matter.

I'm also not daft and counting chickens, but it is very good to know there are still some decent men left on the market which restores my faith in why I bother with this dance we all do.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Dear Jim

Tonight I found out someone I once knew died this week. Suicide I think, from the vague messages filtering through.

It's a weird one. I didn't know him for a long time. He was the best friend of an old friend of mine. We had a fling of sorts about four years ago. He worked abroad, and when in the UK lived in elsewhere but we spent some interesting and fun times together.

We connected in a way we all sometimes, but rarely, preciously, do with folk. A bright spark of recognition, soulfulness and humour.

I haven't seen him for a long time. We enquired after each other via the mutual friends, but our paths rarely crossed.

He was a wonderful man with tattoo of Calvin and Hobbs on his bottom that was acquired in a drunken dare in Hong Kong. He was a photographer, amongst other things. Silly and passionate with an inherent sadness at his core.

I was with him when he got the call to tell him his mum had cancer. I watched him receive the news I had heard for myself only a couple of years earlier. I watched him deflate. That kick in the guts of life turning in an instant, of child becoming parent. I watched him cry, and begin to run through the scenarios. I held him, and told him the truth.

I am sad for him. But, he is free. I am more sad for my friend who has lost his best man. Tonight I have cried for them both.

I will write to our friend tomorrow.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Reality meets Blogging

Blogging and reality have been crossing over recently, and it seems to be no bad thing.

I never knew if anyone would ever use the 'contact me' button, or why I even added it really, but it's been there a while. Sometimes leaving a comment below a post just doesn't fit.

I've had kind words from Stacia by email, IT advice from Vextasy and a few other surprise messages here and there. Each has been personal, supportive and helpful in very different ways.

Over the past couple of days Kim (over at Ramblings of the Bearded One) and I have been in touch about his exhibition. This has meant letting him know my name, and allowing him to see who I am and what I do. It's likely that I will now be bold enough to cross that line, visit the gallery and say hello to the man himself rather than simply leaving random comments on his blog.

The line is a little more blurred than it once was, and it's ok. There are still only three 'real' people who know where my blog is, but others know it exists.

My sister has for many years met new friends around the world courtesy of Lonely Planet's thorn tree forums, residents hosting or welcoming travellers as they pass through. I always thought this was a bit odd. A bit risky too. But, people are generally good rather than bad. She has made lifelong friends with some of these and even been to one wedding. I had one of her internet friends as a lodger for six months. A wonderful late middle aged American radiographer who played blues guitar and told tales of being at Woodstock in his teens. He met his wife because this travelling gathering of like minded souls.

She has become part of community, and so have I. I no longer think it's weird or risky. I posted a while back about feeling like part of an alternative community, and I am pleased that this – despite its virtual nature - seems to be solidifying and real connections being formed.

PS Stacia – when you make it to the UK, I'll walk with you a while.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


....I just wonder when it's going to be ok. When I am going to be ok?

Every time I get close I feel like I am being sucked back into a void where I don't really know who I am, dragged down by the priorities of others, by my morphine filled mother's illness, by the weekly losses endured by the relentless journey of my father's alzheimer's, by fears that paralyse me into inactivity, by one more man who fails to treat me with respect, by another hope dashed.

In theory, I know it's up to me to make me happy, but being a carer sucks so much of my energy, fighting with my demons and work do too. Sometimes there's not so much left over to give me the energy to try any harder.

Perhaps one day I will belive in me, and I will do more than exist.

Monday, 5 April 2010

The Fridge - A Portrait

I've had these magnets for years, and things I know i'll forget when I go shopping are added to the fridge. The veg, milk etc I buy regularly never make an appearance. I still manage forget or overlook the list regularly. I was hugely amused by my fridge this weekend, when I realised it looked the the shopping list of a 1950s housewife! With the exception, perhaps, of the chilli and noodles. I don't know if I've ever had to buy a mop before, they've somehow always just appeared in my life....where from, who can remember?

The top half has some daft 'bodice ripping', 'literary' magnets that were a present (featuring a sabre toothed tiger, pirate ship, and a moist grotto) a gym timetable, gig flyer and taxi numbers stuck on.

Every time I have folk round I inevitably wake up the next morning to find all sorts of messages, filthy tales, and general nonsense. The boys tend to make as many rude words as possible. I suspect our fridges say as much about us as our bookshelves, choice of clothes or any other of our accoutrements! What does yours say about you?

Sunday, 4 April 2010

A rant on bad manners

Today I am pissed off and tired. My next neighbour had a party for her daughter's 17th birthday last night, and I came home to drunk teenagers in the stair well and someone being sick outside my bedroom window. Lovely. Given that I was arriving home at 2.30am, no judgement was passed! Safe to say, not much sleep was had though. So, tired and grumpy as a result.

Grumpy also because three people over the course of the weekend have bailed out of plans. I had a lovely dinner last night with old school friends visiting home for the weekend, but the rest of the weekend's plans have been a write off. It's just rude and inconsiderate. I understand that people's plans change, and there are things need occasionally need to take priority. But, today I'm sitting here doing my accounts instead drinking coffee and lunching and catching up. I had been looking forward to a social weekend after a hard going week. It rather feels like it's easier to let me down than other people. Maybe I need to stop being nice, understanding and accommodating of others' whims and priorities. Arghh!

At least I know tonight's music and chat will be fun.

Rant over.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

A year and a thank you

I've been neglecting my blog a bit due to wishing to escape my computer as quickly as possible at the end of some very long days. But today I can't let pass without marking it.

It is a year today since I left work. I walked out of the office, not wanting fuss or bother, sad and nervous about the future.

I'd taken a huge step. I could have fought it, but instead put my hand up and said 'I'll go'. I negotiated hard over my redundancy, buying myself some time and a little security in an uncertain world.

I think there have been two things that have surprised me, and made me happier than I'd expected of this past year. Firstly, I hadn't quite realised how determined I could be, how stubborn in the face of all I worked towards crumbling around me. I decided to be brave, fight, take some risks. I'm still not quite earning as much as I was, but doing well enough and life's pace is more manageable, flexible and pleasant.

The other is finding one of the best friends I think I've ever had, right under my nose.

My friend Tash (Violet Sands) was made redundant shortly before me, and shortly before me she'd also crumpled. I've known her more than five or six years through volunteering with young people. We'd always got on, but things changed very quickly once we started talking redundancy, the future, hopes, dreams, work, counselling, new worlds.

Without her, I'm not sure I would have come as far as I have. And, I know it goes both ways.

We're two single thirty-something freelancers in the not for profit world (she's an artist as well, clever girl). Although she lives about an hour away, she is probably more present in my life than anyone else.

We speak almost every day, a morning phone call instead of the chat over the kettle with a colleague. We listen to each others ups and downs, proof read work, share ideas, refer clients, eat Chinese, check the other hasn't hit the 'snooze' button once too often, laugh, cry. Cry some more! Then laugh about it....

She is one of only three 'real' people who has ever read my blog. So, Tash, thank you for everything.

To friendship, lives lived differently and the future.