Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Past

This time last year I was begging a nurse to feed my father. He'd just woken up after two days of being out cold from a seizure. We had had the resuscitate or let him go conversation.

Protocol dictated that a physio must visit to assess his ability to swallow before he could be given anything to eat or drink. On Christmas Eve, with three or four days to go before the appropriate person would be back at work, my father faced being so weakened that he would never recover.

He was more lucid than he'd been for a while and wasn't yet ready to let go of life, and we weren't ready to let go of him. She finally agreed to help. By Christmas Day he was eating well, and I was desperately grateful.

These few days were the beginning of the end. The beginning of six months of dying. When he returned to his usual hospital unit, he never walked again and said little, but he was still there. I am glad I fought for him.

I'm sad that his last Christmas was spent in strange environment with us visiting for an hour or two, trying to make everything as normal as possible. It broke my heart. It still does.

In amongst friends' talk of family and festivities, all I can do is miss him. What's going on around me feels so very alien. Life does go on, but so does loss. I not yet ready to remember him with a smile. I can only find sadness and memories of fighting a medical system, a dying body and mind, and a family still grieving. I am tired and tearful.

I hope this time next year I will be able to raise a glass to him, look back at his life and be glad he was my Dad.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Last night I saw your cousin amongst our happy band of waifs and strays. I haven't seen him since we met. And, tonight I saw Joy. She doesn't have much time for me, and I haven't seen her for months but she took me to one side to tell me what you'd told her about me. Hearing her words reminded me that it was all real.

I'm sitting in front of my laptop, typing to you, thinking about you, thinking about John Martyn and holding hands.

I fell for you in unexpected moment of madness or vulnerability or something. Something.

There you were. Flawed and temporary, and beautiful.

You made me beautiful.

Those are moments I will never forget.

So, tonight I'm thinking of you a world away, a world apart and I am grateful for whatever that was and wishing you were here, or I were there, or that you were mine.

I wish you well and a Happy Christmas.

Sunday, 13 November 2011


If another person suggests I think about going on a group singles holiday, I may be tempted to punch them.

Friday, 11 November 2011


I have utterly indulged myself in BBC4 music documentaries that remind of what was fifteen and twenty years ago. Hearing even the first notes of particular songs transports me back to my school leaving, art college self. And I wonder what's changed, which bits are the same?

Music so powerfully part of the young adult, that memories and emotions and identity are right there with me as I listen to a snoring dachshund in my reasonably civilised surroundings, so very far from the infinitie possibilities and exploration of those days.

I'm lucky, many of those folk still travel with me, and it's good to remember where we came from, why I love those friends. I wonder why I let go of others or how we drifted.

I had a friend called Tommy. The joker, the philosopher, the musician, the pusher of boundaries. He could be found in the middle of it all, wondering if he belonged and carrying on regardless. He had a wonderful giggle and did the things I wouldn't dare to. He was also serious sometimes, exploring the world to find his place, and irreverant. A wearer of hats, and purveyor of late night conversation who always scraped through.

I was twenty when he died.

The news came in dribs and drabs. No mobile phones then, landlines engaged, local TV reports about the climbing accident and the night he spent clinging to life at the end of a rope whilst the rescue helicopter tried to reach him, his death in hospital, phone calls coming with uncertain news, no one really sure if it were true, or just too stunned to believe it, a visit to one of his close friends with no phone to deliver the news.

We were a big, broad group of friends who'd spent our holidays and weekends together at outdoor camps. They were my alternative family, still are.

We huddled together, shaken by this unimaginable loss. Suddenly life was big, and real, and scary.

It changed us.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Hospitals and flashbacks

This evening I left mum in the hospital where my father died. She's having her first hip replacement in the morning. She's scared about the anaesthetic.

It seems so routine after all we've been through these last years, but it's left me wobbly.

It was strange being back there, and hard to realise quite how tense and stressful and sad these years have been. After leaving mum tonight I wonder how did I ever get used to leaving my father there?

She's on her own, scared and worried and strange surroundings. Logically, I know she'll be fine. But, but...there's always that nagging doubt.

I didn't know how worried I was, am, and I'm left surprised. I thought I'd become numb to hospitals and sickness, perhaps I had. Having a few months' break has undone that resolve.

Questions rattle round my head. What if something happens? What if these were my last words to her? What if it's not ok? I should have said...

I just need to ride it out and know that I'll relax tomorrow once I've made the lunchtime call to check all is well.

I love her and want her to be ok.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Old Friends: Missing in Action

Sometimes it's hard not to be the grumpy single girl, and my scribblings of the past couple of years testify to that but here its is again.

I'm always delighted for my chums when they find someone new, fall in love, have kids, but it can be difficult to lose them as priorities shift. There's been a spate of folk recently who've found new love, and somewhere in the whirlwinds of their romances they neglect the people who stood by them when they were the ones reaching for the hot water bottle rather than their lover.

I'm happy enough living on my own, and having my freedom -being able to play the fiddle at 2am naked if I fancy it, or wearing bizarre combinations of cosiness as winter begins to bite, eating nothing but baked potatoes every evening for a week and indulging hours in the bath without caring about how much hot water is used.

But, as they're hanging the nursery curtains and sitting down at a table in the new restaurant, you look round for the folk who were once there to share the vestiges of the week and debate the book you've just read. You realise the numbers are dwindling and wonder what you will do do with your weekend.

I smile as I think of the proud father and friend whose man is on bended knee, and wonder if they stop to remember to keep space in their lives for the ones who helped them get there. And, who'll still be there if life doesn't turn into the dream they'd hoped for.

In the meantime, those of us left behind must huddle closer together and keep reaching out for the new.

What will the weekend bring? I don't know but, at least it may still be an adventure.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


On Sunday night I came home and typed. I typed because it's what I do when my head's too full of spinning thoughts that need straightened out. When I sit down to do this, I rarely know what's going to come. I need to unravel the threads, to clarify.

I go through fits and starts. Unlike many other bloggers, I don't write regularly for an audience, I write for me. If someone finds this place and reads, responds then so be it.

There are a very few 'real' folk who know where this place is.

When the hard things come along, I'm better at typing than I am at saying the words out loud.

On Monday morning I asked a question of the man a wrote about on Sunday night. Why? I'm not certain.

I wrote my last post to him, because it was what was in my head after a conversation that wasn't easy, had no hope of conclusion, and is likely to remain so. It then dawned on me that he may still know where this place is, having seen it once before. Did he still know how to find it?

Last night he told me he didn't, he had tried and failed to find his way back here. I'd opened the proverbial can, and today I sent the link. I'm still not sure why I did when it makes me so vulnerable and when I could have just let it drift.

Will there be consequences? I don't know.

There are risks. I doubt he'll break the confidence because by doing so, he'd be vulnerable too. The risks are exposing myself and making him upset that I have written about him. I could hide it all, but I can't un-think thoughts or re-write history. And, I don't want to.

The benefits? Well, at least it's honest. I have told my story. Perhpas he will see the good in these words, if they are read.

Do I trust him? Yes.

Do I know how he'll respond? I have absolutely no idea.

Do I regret pressing 'send'? I don't know yet.

He is a clever man, a kind man, a creative man. I think he may just understand that sometimes I struggle to say words out loud, despite my constant chatter. And, that there are other ways of expressing what fills our thoughts and souls.

The deed is done, and only time time will tell. Opening up just freaks me out a little...

Sunday, 23 October 2011


I'm sitting here crossed legged on the sofa, in clothes that are a comfort blanket, the television's blaring in the corner and its banality washes over me. I sit down to write because I don;t know what else to do. I don't know what I want to say. Whatever arrives on these pages will come from hands and heart, and I will try not to self edit. I need to write this, whatever 'this' is.

My head has been full of you this weekend. A late night call, an hour passed in seconds. In chatter and smiling and remembering fathers and in just being. Remotely.

If the past years have taught me anything, it's that being selfish and putting oneself first – living with integrity – is the thing that matters. It matters because it makes us happy. It matters because without it we can't give others happiness. I am typing because I need to look after me. I don't find it easy (Selfish - A Question).

Tonight I was excited to see you and torn. Tonight I walk away from my plans because I need to say what I need to say to you. I need to say that I don't know what to do. I need to say that I want it to stop, but I also want it more than anything.

You have a life and demons, and I have mine. Between us there is something simple.

I don't want to feel guilty, conflicted.

I want to sit with you forehead to forehead, breathing you.

All logic dictates that I should cut you off. If it were uncomplicated lust, that would be easy. We do not indulge the physical. I don't know how to let you go, but I do know that I will not come to you.

When this first started – did it start? - I just thought this was the straying eye of a man ensconced, looking to reclaim a bit of independence, soothe himself. But more than a year down the line I know it's not this. It has grown strong. I try so hard to walk away. Sometimes I can't.

I fail to make a point this evening, I just waffle words that have no direction. All do is share my internal debate. It doesn't help.

You need to figure out what it is that you want. You need to do that for yourself. I want you to be happy.

My head is full of the words of W.H. Auden. Odd what springs to mind when one's own words are not enough, too much.

I want so much to not to need you, miss you.

I type the words 'I love you' and delete them. Type, fight, delete. Type, fight, delete. Fuck.

I want to find the courage to figure out what I need. I want to be happy.

I wish that you would wrap me in your arms and keep me there, safe.

I want to lie with my head on your chest and listen to your heart beat. I want to feel your weight on me. I want this to be ordinary.

I want not to fight my feelings.

I will not ask you anything, or for anything.

Time will tell us the answer.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Dad, Dignity and Gaddafi

I walked into the kitchen at work yesterday to be greeted by newspapers whose front pages bore the image of a dying man. I knew Col. Gaddafi was dead. Late night radio and news on the way to work told the story of a tyrant's demise. However, when I saw those images that's not what I saw.

I struggled to hold back tears as I saw the images of a vulnerable, injured, weak, elderly man who was scared and whose life was slipping away.

I saw my father's final hours. I saw him lying in bed, struggling to breathe. I felt the fear of leaving him, knowing I might be leaving him to die without us holding his hands.

I'm shocked by my reaction. I am shocked that I'm likening the image of a tyrant to the man I loved so dearly.

Time and history will write the story of a selfish dictator. Libya will recover and heal.

I understand why Libya celebrates. They have won their freedom. I am angry with our press and our politicians for celebrating the death of a human being.

We demand that dictators, tyrants, cruel leaders and war criminals should treat their prisoners and people fairly. Our society subscribes to the principles human rights, and asks this of others.

Revelling in the a dying man's most private and vulnerable moments is not ok. By doing so we reduce ourselves to the cruelty of those who are evil. If we revel in the death of a man, we are no different to those who kill. We are complicit and we are hypocrites.

War, accidents, abuse, pain or other circumstances ensure that we will not all have a good end to end to life. Where it is possible, we all deserve to die with dignity.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Selfish - A Question

It's a while since anyone used the contact form on this blog, and the question below was contained in an email that had disappeared into my junk mail. Glad I found it though - thanks for the message. I hope the enquirer doesn't mind it being shared.

It's a good question, which I guess I'm now throwing open to the floor.

'I always wonder why being selfish is socially rejected. Though I see nothing wrong with it, social fabrics compel us sometimes. What are your views?'

It asks something I've not completely resolved in my own head yet. I know I need to learn to be more selfish, and I'm getting there but it doesn't sit very comfortably with me.

I'm a perpetual big sister, often worrying about what other folk want, at my own expense. Although far less now.

The problem is with not being selfish is that no one ever gets the best of you, and you don't get the best of you. The analogy which helps me explain what I mean is that of the oxygen mask. The stewards on a plane always warn you that, should an emergency happen, that you must put your own mask on first before attempting to help others.

If you don't put your own oxygen mask on first, you won't survive. Nor will those that need your help with their own masks.

So, being selfish can be a giving thing to do. Partners, family, friends and colleagues get the best of you and not the watered down, exhausted or over emotional version. Being selfish means putting your own needs and feelings out there even if they contradict those of others. It's the only way you'll ever get close to understanding and being understood. Honest, if scary, communication.

However, there's a line for me. I can't be selfish if I know it's going to damage someone else – and, I think that's where the 'social fabric' element comes into to play.

I'm not there yet, but I am learning to be selfish after all, and not feeling guilty about it!

What do you reckon?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Money: On a mission

If there's one thing we Brits hate talking about, it's money. We're secretive about it, embarrassed about it, it seems like 'bad form' to discuss it. How many of us know what our friends earn, for example?

Like most folk, it's not something I talk about a lot, apart from the typical 'that's cheap' or 'I can't afford it right now' or the like.

This has been a huge year of change for me, and one of the things that's included is money. And, specifically, debt.

Last year, for the first time ever, I took a career job (as opposed to skint student bar job etc) because it pays me well and not because I was driven to do it.

For a long time money has been a huge source of stress and embarrassment for me. I hid from the reality of it – ironic in recent years when I was involved in setting up the programme for a national debt and financial literacy charity.

It all started in my student days when the collapse in the construction industry all but killed my father's business and the family's money dried up, the home I grew up in was sold and downsized, and so on. I ended up with too many student loans trying to help pay my way through seven years of uni. I haven't been debt free since I was 19. And, I'm not now.

Recently I have been talking about money though. It perhaps seems crass or inappropriate. I am by no means driven by acquiring lots of it, but the weight of monthly commitments has held me back from doing what I want to do. I am doing what I can to change that. Unfortunately it also means that the topic creeps into conversation more than I would like. Sometimes, I need to process out loud. We should be able to talk about money, and seek advice from friends as we would on relationship or work dilemmas but it doesn't fit with the British cultural psyche. Maybe I seem impolite or too open or overly concerned with the material. I'm not, but I do want to get to a place where life is simpler.

My debt has been accrued not because of a lavish lifestyle but because of extended student years, two redundancies and some unwise decisions. It felt like some awful secret.

However, way back in February/March time, I decided enough was enough. I am a woman on a mission. There are spreadsheets, budgets and a plan. All of which I lapsed from using whilst I watched my father die and then helped my mother get back in her feet, tackling her finances worm by worm. Over the past few weeks I've revived the spreadsheets, the spending diary, pinned down every balance and interest rate, reviewed my mortgage, given myself an allowance so I can overpay debts, and worked out how on earth I'm going to cover a big dry rot bill. I can see the end of the road and have learned a huge amount along the way.

It feels fantastic.

I don't want to be slowed down by money any more. I want to be in charge of it, sort it and take responsibility so that I can finally see the fruits of what I work so hard for and be free. And, one day, be able to shift a gear again, earn less and enjoy more.

In the meantime, while I'm in the process of getting back on track, I'll just need to apologise to my friends for occasionally discussing something we normally run a million miles from!

Thursday, 1 September 2011


I'm still utterly baffled by this last week's encounter. But, what has done is remind me of what I need. Talking with a near stranger holds a mirror up to your beliefs and wants.

I've been very slowly learning that my life is mine. Dad dying has given me some space to start to rebuild and figure out what it is that I, and no one else, want for me.

The tides have been turning for a while now. Like most big things in my life, I'll happen upon a decision almost by accident after digesting for a while or even the smallest of doors opening. Catharsis will come.

A couple of months ago an email from a recruitment consultant in Sydney strengthened an idea in my head – I could leave. I could do, or be, something different.

I have no idea what the future looks like but I do know change is afoot. It's in my gut.

These past years, the only big part of my life I could really (or felt able to) influence was work, and I made it happen. I'm at a point in my career when I've done enough. If I don't climb any further up the ladder, then that's just fine. I've got a good balance of success, satisfaction and experience without pushing it further for now. Often, I just want to stop and do something practical instead.

I can feel my real life shifting, and it's not about loss. I have the opportunity to dare to dream about my future again, rather than fighting very hard to make the present as good as it can be and watching the past dim through sickness. Although letting myself imagine is a little scary – like I'm tempting fate - but it's time I do.

I don't know what's going to give, but I know something will.

I no longer feel duty bound and tied.

I deserve to be happy and to embrace the world in my way. Who knows if I'll stay put in this city and have a change of house or routine or whatever, or whether I'll jump on a plane and have an adventure. For the first time since leaving university I feel like my life is mine and that there's a world of possibility to grab hold of.

I know who I am, what I don't want and, somewhere, somehow, the rest will emerge. I must not, will not, let myself get stuck. I want beauty and risk and happiness and pain and challenge and love and freedom of my own making. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A headful of words and nothing to say

I can't look back as I walk away. If I do, I will cry.

There are two champagne flutes on the draining board, remnants of a night that would lead somewhere I could never have anticipated.

What's to follow may seem like the trite ramblings of a fleeting holiday romance, but for now they are real and alive. I don't know what to make of it all. So, I will type as I drink a glass of the end of the bottle of red wine of last night.

I wander into the pub to meet a friend and to sit amongst the group of waifs and strays in the place that is my social haven. People with lives and conversation.

There are two friends and another.

The smiling, handsome stranger I assume is another visiting musician or part of the crowd I've yet to encounter. We say hello and introduce ourselves, and it is the beginning.

This used to be his place. He is here for old time's sake and the familiar. I'm not sure whose friend he is, but he is welcome and he is here. Somehow, somewhere along the course of the evening chat to turns to flirting, it's nice but pointless. He lives on the other side of the world. I have no intention of following through with someone who is unavailable.

But – there's that word - as I try to shake off the flirting, pretend that isn't happening, I weaken. He is upfront. I am too. Yes, we can can have a drink and that is it. That is all.

I open the bottle of prosecco meant for tomorrow's party. We smoke and listen to music. And, somewhere amongst these threads, there emerges a person I want to listen to. A person who's listening to me. We kiss and talk. They are the kisses of teenagers new in the world, from adults reclaiming some innocence . Words of discovery. I unfold the sofa bed in my sitting room, so that sleep is found with John Martyn playing. There is no need for anything else.

Even as I type, these words seem absurd. Surreal.

As the morning unfolds, we hold hands and each other knowing reality must intrude. There is a visit to the jewellers and lunch, dragging out the moment where we must part. But, parting doesn't seem like an option. There is a an evening to squeezed be from these last couple of days of his trip home.

An evening turns into 24 hours as I take an afternoon off. I'm nervous and excited when I meet him. There are drinks, and dinner, and too little sleep. Ideas and intimacy seem more more important. Sleep will come after.

His hands are rough from making things, and so very gentle. His smell is just his smell, and oddly familiar. He as a muscular, slight frame and deep eyes. As we make love he is gentle and good humoured . He reads my eyes. There is no quest for quick gratification but a need for connection and consummation of whatever this is.

A day spent in our home city, in an art gallery, on a terrace, wandering round a film set that the city has become, in eating, in walking at a good pace, in trying to pretend the inevitable does not exist and enjoying the moment at hand. Happy, authentic, interesting.

We've talked of death and love. Of fun, of fear, of olives and good cheese, of places and people, of family, our teenage selves, of books and dreams, of furniture and simple lives, of driving, of not beng parents, of losing friends and lovers, of having adventures, of god, of sex, of music, of all of it.

We have spoken of this, of being surprised, and sad that this is it.

He feels important. He is a world away. Clever, creative, well read, cheeky, less tall than me. Both of us with coloured pasts just being whoever we are now, and somewhere in all of this is a connection that scares me a little. He makes me feel beautiful. This is beautiful.

He finds me at a cusp of then and now, with a future that must be embraced and celebrated, and which I'm a little terrified of.

Our words slow down, and eyes and hands cling and seek. I have no idea how to articulate what is in my head, and I know that it wouldn't change a thing, so I stop. And hold him. And kiss him goodbye, both hands slipping from his as we turn finally and walk away.

There are no words that can bring our worlds together.

In another life, he is someone I could fall in love with. 

Tomorrow this may all seem like a bizarre fantasy, and I am afraid it will still feel all too real.

Thank you for reminding me how it should be.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Our virtual universe and TED

The internet is a world that is so vast that I'm sometimes baffled by the possibility of so much information, thinking, humour, personality or connection that it creates. It's like trying to quantify or understand where the universe starts and stops.

I love that there's so much out there, and occasionally lose hours to a brief question following whatever Google throws at me. There also times where there's just too much choice and I find myself simply browsing those handful of websites I visit daily.

I've recently added a new site to the places I visit often - I'm sure many of you will have encountered the site before, but if you haven't TED is a not for profit organisation founded on 'ideas worth sharing'. They are, and I'm sharing them here too. The site is simple, attractive and a world of thinking, laughing, challenging talks. Each talk is posted as a video, so you can see the person behind the words too.

I love that the content is searchable by categories beyond an academic topic; where you can visit those that are 'inspiring' or 'ingenious'. I've found myself listening to talk of physics or global challenges or love. Often these are things that I'd never pick a paper or book to seek ideas on, not even realising I was interested. It is a place of joy and debate, of power and honesty.

In the past day TED talks have made me wonder, smile and cry.

This talk on letter writing below made me think of my father: what do I keep of him?

It also makes me glad of the letters my Grandpa wrote to me every week whilst I was at boarding school, never expecting a response. They arrived every Friday, with two second class stamps so I could write back if I found a quite moment and write to someone else too. I still read these letters from time to time. And he is back with me, in his careful copperplate script. Written with effort as his eyesight faded in his late eighties. I treasure those envelopes and the love contained in them.

This one from Neil Pasricha is a gentle and funny reminder that, no matter what, there are things in our lives that are joyful and worth stopping still for a moment to observe and appreciate.

And one final one from Chris Jordan, whose profile quotes this simple thought;

"As you walk up close, you can see that the collective is only made up of lots and lots of individuals. There is no bad consumer over there somewhere who needs to be educated. There is no public out there who needs to change. It's each one of us." Chris Jordan on Bill Moyers Journal

I can only encourage you to take virtual wander, and lose yourself in this beautiful, funny, courageous place.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

A (sometimes) lonely response

My last post has resulted in a flurry of commentary here and elsewhere, and an identification with the isolation that comes with watching your friends settle and move into family lives, when what you know is the same old routine that has existed for too long but with fewer people available to help fill the gaps as child rearing or marital lives take over.

All I know is that my happiness can only come from me, no one else is going to 'fix' that. It is my responsibility. However, it's sometimes like wading through mud and a friendly face at the end of the day would go a long way to relieving that.

As I lurch from one failed dating attempt to another, I'm glad I'm still trying despite the frustration and sadness that sometimes rears its head in posts like my last. I also know that the things in life worth having are worth fighting for, working hard for, taking risks for....even if they don't work out.

Sometimes, I also know I need to stop trying. Stand still and look after me. The rest will come.

Living alone is a huge privilege but it can also be hard going. I know I have good friends, and a family who care, but sometimes 'lonely' happens anyway, and can swiftly morph into 'unloved' and consequently 'unloveable'. A quick google search produced this on page 1 of 'lonely'. Some honest words on a subject few people ever discuss.Emily White: Lonely

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Sometimes I think I'm just meant to be on my own. It just seems that nothing ever quite fits when it comes to men.

Dad dying has brought how lonely I am into sharp focus. I am no-one's priority, and it makes me very sad.

Tonight I found myslef ouring a glass of wine, lighting my first cigarette in two days and browsing an online dating site where I dabbled a while ago. Then I started crying.

I keep trying, I keep letting myself be open to the potential and hurt. Time and time it just comes to nothing, and I wonder if I'm at a point where I should just accept that perhaps this is the way my life is meant to be. I am not sure I've got the energy to keep trying.

I appreciate that this may all sound very self indulgent and self pitying, but I just don't know how to play this particular game. Perhaps I am simply unlovable.

Even though it is mid summer, I put the heating on. I need sometimes to wrap myself in warmth when there is noone to hold me.

I question whether I should press 'publish' on this rambling. But, right now it's how I feel and this what this space was created for.....I may delete later when I decide that I shouldn't be so damned wallowing.....

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Reluctant Freedom

I moved back to my home city four and half years ago to help care for and support my parents. This wasn't the selfless act it perhaps seems, I was simply exhausted and time poor from travelling back and forwards between two cities too often. My organisation had an office here, and a transfer was possible without impacting my job.

Since I came home, my entire routine has been defined by hospital visiting or caring. With one parent still needing support, those circumstances are still partly true. But, with one now gone, the load has lifted significantly.

Suddenly, I have time. I am not bound by visiting hours. My mother is well and able enough for my sister and I both to be away at the same time without having to coordinate our every move.

I miss Dad, but I'm also finding a freedom. Freedom to chose how I spend my time. I'm also finding that I'm not very good at just stopping. Until a month ago, a duty-less evening or a day of nothing was a rare treat. And one spent just catching up with the basics and resting. Now, I have time.

I have to redefine my existence here. I have to find a routine and life of my own. I'm taking small steps towards just 'hanging out' and have aimless days or evenings. These things still are tinged by a nagging sense that I should be doing something, be somewhere else. There is a lingering guilt. A sadness that I'm enjoying some space only because my Dad has gone.

I'm still grieving, but beginning to allow myself to be a little excited about anticipating a future that belongs to me.

The biggest thing I need to do is learn to relax, and learn that I no longer need to plan every movement.

PS there are words emerging in my head about the impact these last years have had on my relationships and friendships. I'm writing this to remind myself that it's a post I need to write.

Sunday, 19 June 2011


I've not been here much over the last three weeks.Somehow, since Dad died, I just haven't felt like writing much. I will be back but, in the meantime, please bear with me.....

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Where to begin again?

The past week has been really odd, and today is even stranger. After a week of crying and organising, today is an ordinary everyday sort of a day and don't know quite what to do with myself. After keeping going through the horrible last few weeks, it's over. There are some details and practical things, like collecting ashes and dealing with lawyers, still to be done but there's a big gap.

It's a Dad sized gap which means we are at the end of nearly four years of a 6pm hospital visiting routine. I'm feeling oddly guilty just sitting here and doing nothing.

The thing I've found strangest about Dad dying is realising how kind and generous our friends are, and making myself accept that kindness. There are people who've stepped up and been here who I am humbled by. A friend drove more than 200 miles yesterday to come to the funeral of a man she'd never met. She was there for me. It's one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me and I am so very grateful.

I also realise that over the past few years I've probably been a pretty hopeless friend. I've been caught up in the demands of my family with little energy left. That will now change.

So, here I sit questioning if I can face the house warming party of a friend and thinking I must, as he found the time to be at my father's funeral.

I know much of my grieving has been done over these weeks, months and years of gradual losses. I learned how to miss my father a long time ago. However, the adrenaline crash has come and I am flat and tearful. Exhausted by a seven year long journey that has been so very difficult and I am left wondering what I will replace it with.

Friday, 27 May 2011

He's gone

And I am sad. It's the end of a very long road.

Monday, 23 May 2011

We carry on

I am waiting for the phone to ring and for my sister to tell me he is gone.

I hate leaving him. I hate leaving him, so dosey on morphine now delivered intravenously because he struggling to swallow the pills. I hate leaving him alone with his music and the kind nursing staff.

Mum doesn't seem to want to stay beyond him falling asleep. She is trying to keep hold of the remnants of 'normal'.

Weeks have become days, and days will become hours.

I feel guilty for not being at his side, but must follow Mum's lead. She is is the person who we now need to travel along with. We'll do whatever is right for her as she loses the love of her life.

We have said our 'I love you's and goodbyes.

I hope he knows we are with in thought even when were are not present. I don't know what he knows of it all.

It is so very lonely for all of us. We can't reach the person we are so desparate not to lose.

I know that in years to come I will read these pages and weep. Today, I just want someone to hold me. Does he too?

I feel guilty leaving him there, but the time for vigil will come. Until then there is work to be done, and dishes to be washed, and tears to be shed so that when we are there gentleness and smiles are what he hears.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

It's time to say goodbye

My father is dying. I have said goodbye to him so often, fearing that he would no longer be there when I came back. This time though, I know it's real. I've returned early from a holiday to be with him and my family.

I'm beginning to regret leaving the hospital this afternoon. Mum, and my brother and sister are due to return in hour or two and I think I should go as he may not be here tomorrow.

His breathing is laboured. His chest rattles as struggles for breath and to cough. He is grey.

Nothing will ever prepare you for the sadness of helping to feed the man who once fed you, or hearing him desperately trying to cough and failing. Knowing that nothing you do will make it better, only less difficult.

He is in his last days, if not his last hours.

The man I love most in the world is leaving me.

The last seven years have been so very hard. He's gone from knowing something was wrong as his memory began to fail him to being bed bound and shrunken, unable to do anything other hold our hands. Dementia is cruel. A silent thief.

Nothing will now stop this relentless decline. Each week has brought a new loss. We have fought hard for him, to get and give him the care he has needed with respect and kindness, and he has fought to stay present.

It is time for him to go. It is time for us to help him do that with peace and love. I just don't want him to be alone or scared.

Perhaps this evening will be the last time we are all together as a family, and I will say good bye one last time.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

On Friendship

This post's been in my head for a while – something that rarely happens, normally I just type – and it's long overdue. I know its subject, but its content I'll find as I go.

Two weeks ago a parcel dropped through my door on a Saturday morning. After a long and difficult week with Dad and work, I was exhausted. I picked it up and much to my surprise, it wasn't junk mail, or a bill or an industry magazine. Adorned with Australian stamps and handwriting I've known for twenty years, I knew exactly who it was from.

There was a time when I was the go-to friend. I was the pourer of wine, mopper up of tears, fixer of problems, mover of flats, listener. I was a good and active friend.

Seven years ago my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and a few short months later my father with dementia. I became I daughter first, and friend second.

Whilst I still lived in the other city, when I was in present in my old life, little changed for those around me. I didn't have a voice for what was going on, it was separate, somewhere else. In my home city more and more often, I was the carer, emotionally and physically.

My friends asked 'How are your mum and dad?'. I don't really remember being asked asked 'How are you?'. I didn't know how to be the one who needed help, this was not my role. I had never learned to ask, to talk. They didn't know how to deal with me being the the one who struggling, and I gave up trying.

As the months, and years began to pass it became clear I couldn't sustain my life somewhere else and moved home to spend whatever time I had left with my family.

There are those who've stood by me and those who've dropped out of my life. There are also those I've let go, because they just don't get it, get me any more. It is very sad.

I'm also very privileged to have some particularly amazing folk who have persisted.

I rarely pick up the phone, often too worn down by it all to talk it all out again, choosing instead to curl up at home and shut the world out.

There is the university acquaintance who got in touch when she heard I was here. She has since become someone whose friendship has been loyal and emotional and exactly what I've needed. Glasses of wine and sunday breakfasts are part of my month. She asks 'How are you?', and wants to know the answer no matter how hard it is to give or hear. She's moving abroad next week. I will miss her and her beautiful boy who's made me giggle whilst i've been on the verge of tears. I also know she'll still be part of my life.

There are Skype calls and cards from Dubai from the friend who was part of a group of girls in that old city whose journey has been similar to my own. She is spiritual and passionate, and will never let me fall. She is there and with me, even though she is half a world away.

There is the friend whose redundancy hit within months of my own. A girl I didn't know so well until we found ourselves travelling that road together. She has been persistent and active, and while I was self employed – as she is too – we spoke every single day. We kept each other going despite being two hours apart, and I'm not sure what I would have done without that support.

There is a wire angel hanging on my front door. It arrived in another parcel from the friend in Australia, who is a perpetual traveller now settled for the meantime in a world apart from my own. Over twenty years of friendship we've rarely lived in the same place and correspondence has always been part of us. She writes long emails and letters and gets little in return form me. Each of these is treasured, makes smile or, occasionally, cry. We steal evenings where we can to fix the problems of the world, and I am better for it.

I am so very grateful for the persistence of these folk. Even when I don't call back, or take an age to get my act together, they call. They write. They worry if they don't hear from me. They ask. They listen.

I have learned to accept their help and kindness, delivered in very different ways. It sounds odd to say that hasn't been easy, and one day I hope can return to being the friend I once was and give some of it back..

There are some older, some newer or renewed friendships which fill my life too, but today I'm thinking of these fine women, and I can only say thank you.

So, the parcel made me think of all of this. I opened the envelope to find a card and some news, some support. Wrapped in a sheet or two from the international edition of the earlier week's Guardian (the letters page I read), was hand made jewellery. Beads and earrings. Bright and colourful from the hand of the friend who is so very far away. They are trinkets, full of kind thoughts and creativity, and I love them.

Monday, 11 April 2011

To the man who is not my lover

The lawyer is a lovely man. Decent, kind and funny. Sensible. He's attentive and thoughtful: ideal husband material. My mother would love him. Could I? I don't like the way he speaks to waiters.

As I lay in bed last night it was not him I was thinking of, it was you.

I'd like to learn you. Learn your landscape. Trace the lines between freckles and moles. Hear the stories of scars and travel the curve of your spine.

I know your hands. Strong, broad, creative fingers. The nails a little dirty from a weekend of work. I know their gestures, and briefly, sometimes, their fleeting touch. A reminder that amongst the chatter we are connected, invisible to those around us. I hope.

I know your eyes. They are bright and pale. They see me, keep me close to you when words aren't always possible.

It is the age old story of poetry and pop songs.

It is simple, and bitter sweet purgatory.

With you, I am me. There is no effort, or emphasis, no hiding of parts. No masks. There is only acceptance and understanding. The calm in the eye of a storm. The world around us brings confusion and fear, the potential for hurt.

I let you talk, and say little.

But, how often in a lifetime do we have this privilege? You have wakened part of me that I'd forgotten could exist or ignite in someone else.

My phone beeps. A text from you, no words just a kiss. Ditto.

I fell in love with you too.

An email from my sister

Meeting was OK. Dad's psychiatrist and Margaret the nurse. They think dad is coming towards the end (we were offered a leaflet called 'coping with death') and really just wanted to know what we wanted in terms of how aggressively to treat some of his symptoms - like the eating and chest infections.

We said that we wanted him kept in the unit and kept as comfortable as possible, as he seemed to have a really bad time of it in the general hospital. They explained that they were feeding him as much as possible, but their guidelines say they have to stop as soon as they think he might be aspirating the food, or dozing off, so he is eating less than he used to, hence why he is losing weight.

They understand and agree with us, and will try to keep him as comfortable as possible.

Mum took it all fine, but I'm not sure if she really took in that we might be nearing the end. She was telling them all about how her hip ops might interrupt her visiting for a while, and I got the impression that the unit think another bad chest infection might be his last. They will give him whatever drugs he needs to keep him calm and well.

Not brilliant news, but not unexpected. We can feed him what and as much as he wants. They really just wanted to meet us to discuss whether or not he goes back to the general hospital if he gets unwell again. We said no, because it didn't seem to do him any good the last time.

Glad I managed to make it along.


I hate the appearance of my blog right now. Techincal problems have left me having to revert to an old basic blogger template until I can find the time and brain space to figure out how to get it back to resembling something I actually like. Normal service will resume soon.

Vextasy - thanks for the advice. Very helpful,


Sunday, 20 March 2011

The worst choice

The only inevitability of life is death. We all know this. It doesn't ease the pain of the journey.

My father has been on this course of antibiotics for three and half days. They aren't working. Tonight we are told he probably won't get any better than he is now. He lies in a hospital bed struggling to catch his breath through the infection. Limbs diminished, bruised from nurses trying find a suitable vein, but still with a grasp surprisingly strong as he holds our hands. Does he know it us, what is happening to him?

This is the greatest loss I have ever faced, and I know it will be awful. Worse for Mum, the love of his life.

I will miss him.

This week there will be decisions to make. Keep him 'nil by mouth' while his lungs try to fight the pneumonia, and he is starved of food or let him comfort eat whilst the infection deepens filling his lungs and starving him of oxygen. How do we even begin to contemplate either?

I always imagined that my dad would walk me down the aisle, see his grand children find their way in the world, see me settled before leaving me. Instead, I sit here alone with my laptop and a glass of rioja for company wondering how much longer he will cling to life, to us.

Saturday, 19 March 2011


After years of this illness that is stealing you, I think much of my grieving is done. You're not my dad any more. But, then, a moment catches me as I see your photo and desperately try to remember the man that you were.

I'm scared that the memory I have of you will be of the man, weak and without words lying helpless in a hospital bed. I don't want this to be my memory. I look at the photo of you, healthy, smiling, happy amongst friends and family and I struggle to connect with this image, feel it. It is this memory I want and struggle to find.

Like most children, I guess, we take for granted what we have while we have it.

Tears run slowly down my cheeks as I type.

I want to remember the man who took me swimming on Saturday mornings. I want to remember the man who made me feel safe and loved when I though the world was falling down round me.

I reach for these memories and they are interrupted by today's reality. You lie there, needing comfort, a little human connection. It is a long time since I heard you say my name.

I think you know who we are, well, to the point that you know you are safe with us. Loved by us. But you are slipping away with these memories of you. I am scared of forgetting you. Scared of losing you. Scared of losing these remnants of a life.

I miss you. I don't want you to go, and I know you will soon. I wonder if then I will be able to remember your laugh, your smile, your kindness?

Dementia is cruel. It is a perpetual thief of small pieces of life. It is a temptation of hope and grief. One loss at a time.

I will cling to the little I have left of you.

Friday, 18 March 2011


My father has pneumonia. My mother is fighting against all that she's being told. It's understandable. He's slipping from our grasp. He's very sick.

He lies there with his specs on his bedside cabinet. Without them, he can't see. The world becomes even more confusing than it is already in the strange surroundings of an acute medical ward. Strange noises, lights and people with no way of reaching out to ask for what he needs.

I try to find compromise between my mother and the staff in award not geared towards those with dementia.

I understand her anger, it's really simple fear. Fear of loss. Fear of losing her husband.

A difficult exchange with an unprepared junior doctor ends with a little give and take, and a promise of better care. They need to treat his illness, but they need to care for the person and it's this bit that's missing. Simple things we all need, like respect, make such a difference. A pair of pyjamas and specs on him not on a table would make him the man and not a body in a bed.

He is dying. Maybe he will recover and go back to his unit, but for how long? Even if he is able to fight the pneumonia, each week and day brings fewer words and glances, more sickness.

He grasps at the sheets and gown with anxiety and all we can do is fight for him to be seen as a person and not an inconvenience in a busy ward.

I am scared of what is to come.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Techincal glitches....

It's been a long while since I edited the appearance of my blog, but the background image has disappeared and I can't seem to get it back. I don't even seem to be able to change the basic template so that it's not just white space....arghh!

Any ideas?

Sunday, 20 February 2011


I've lived in my flat for just over four years, since I moved back to the city of my birth. It's the place where my family are and some of my friends. I came back to help care for sick parents. Sold a place I loved, in a place I loved and bought a flat here.

It's never felt like home. It's somewhere I've been living. Somewhere that I always hoped, thought, would be temporary. It was a choice I made, but not one that I sought out. A duty, conscience at play. But, here I am.

I spent some of the money I made on the old place making this cheaper one mine. New kitchen, bathroom, shower room. Apart from my spare bedroom, I haven't finished decorating a single room. Each needs something doing. Mostly it's small things.

The shower room door was sanded down ready for painting months ago, albeit three years after the tiling and everything else were finished. It would take me a just few hours to paint the damned ceiling and door. Still, I haven't done it.

I have only hung one picture. It's a map of Scotland. It used to hang in my office, then in my old bathroom. I'd gaze at it whilst I was on the bath and wonder where I'd travel to next.

However, in the past few months something has shifted. Maybe I've just accepted that this place is my fate for now. I've been using up some annual leave days this week. I've drunk coffee, lunched, seen friends and family, caught up with myself, slept.

I have also hung three pictures and painted my bathroom ceiling.

Maybe this place will be home soon.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Badly behaved.

On Friday night I did something that happens more often than I like. I got drunk. There, I said it.

I went to the pub. Tired, stressed, pissed off. The drinks flowed, and we were still there at closing. A friend owns the pub, so the doors were locked and on we sat. Talking nonsense.

I shared a cab home with two friends which somehow turned into a night cap in the one who is my neighbour's house.

Of the two of them, one I know well, the other not so well. The one I don't know so well, told me he 'fancies' me. This was a bolt from the blue. Particularly as, by that time, he'd been offered my spare room. I suspect it was beer talking, He came back to mine, played guitar, chatted. I remember him trying to kiss me, I remember saying it wasn't what I wanted, but he was ok to crash with me. I woke up yesterday morning with a very sore head and someone in my house.

My recollections of what happened are very hazy, at best. I feel ashamed and stressed by it.

I'm paranoid that I've let something slip that I shouldn't. Now, I don't know if I have or haven't. Maybe I am just being paranoid, It hate it that I drank that much, I hate that I behaved that way, I hate it that I'm not sure of the turn of events.

Either way, it makes me feel humiliated and worried.

Why do I do this to myself? I hate it. It's not healthy. Maybe I need to step away from these folk for a while. There's always someone who drinks too much.

I'm feeling paranoid whilst forgetting that all those in my company were behaving in the same way as me. Why we do always feel like we're the only one?

Nonetheless, how I'm feeling is compounded by the fact I haven't slept through a whole night for about two weeks now. Too much going on at work and in my head.

Anyway, I just need to off load some of my shame here in the hope that emptying my head of some it will help me sleep tonight. I have a huge day at work tomorrow and somehow I must find a way of switching off my brain and finding some rest.

I hate birthdays.

Tomorrow is my 36th birthday, and it's unwound me a bit. I'm in self pity mode and it's not pretty. I haven't slept properly for more than a week.

As much as I try to be pragmatic and positive about my life, I am lonely. I feel like i'm past my sell by date. Any notions I had about what I'd do with my life always and only extended to thinking about what I'd do before I got married and had kids.

Instead, I'm sitting here on Sunday morning with my laptop wondering what i'm going to do with my life.

My birthday always does this to me. It seems to serve as a marker of what I haven't done rather than what I have done. I'm embarrassed if ever there's fuss made. It brings out the very worst in me.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Time passes

It is seven years this month since my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I remember so clearly the moment when my life turned on its head, when child became parent. Very shortly after my father's dementia was diagnosed.

Since then it has been series of hospitals, pain, fear, caring and loss. My routine is ruled by their illnesses. My mother was given two short years to live, but battled through it all and is still here. But she is damaged. She has one breast, constant pain, and scars that cannot be seen.

My father simply exists, we have no way of knowing if he is happy, sad or aware. He just is.

I \am sad for them both, but I sad for me too.

I have given up a lot to care for them, and I am tired. I also - and I hate admitting this - resent much of it. No-one is to blame. Illness is.

I have lost relationships and friendships which couldn't stand the trails that have come with it all. I have turned my life and its geography upside down. Somehow all these years have passed, and I am still sitting here alone having missed much of the years I was so looking forward to. My parents have been denied their retirement.

I wish it were otherwise. I wish I had the generosity of spirit not to be angry about what their illnesses have put me through, not to hate that I stopped being able cope with the burden for a while.

It is what it is, and all I can do is carry on.

Child as parent.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Another letter to the man who is not my lover

Even though it'd dark, there's a daft bird singing outside when it should be sleeping, as should I.

I'm glad you came to chat this evening. My colleagues appreciated meeting someone who once lived in the amazing place we work. To us it's an office, to you it was home as it is to all those people who cannot live independently. You humoured those young people and befriended them. I love that about you.

We mumble words of need and apology. Apology for what has been said and wonder what to do with them.

I wish I had 24 hours with you: To talk, hang out, figure out whatever this is or isn't. Work the fantasy out of our systems...

You are careless with your affection. Paying me a little too much attention, whilst telling me it might just be easier if you'd never said anything. I can only agree. It's fine for you. You get to go home to a partner, a friend and I return to reruns of old soaps and a bottle of wine. You ask if it would be easier you ignore me, That is just as suspicious as paying me too much attention. It's also disrespectful of our friendship. I tell you 'you are my friend first and foremost', and that's how I will treat you.

I just wish we had a time and space away from it all just to talk, to sort through the mire that is unfulfilled longing.

I don't need anything from you, other than some kind of resolution. Even if that resolution is that your words are disloyal, misplaced, regretted. I just can't continue as is. Seeing you with her pains every part of me and I need to move on, and it's only with your help that that's going to happen.

What do we do?

I miss you too.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A Question for the man who is not my lover

Life would be simpler if you'd never declared your feelings. What is the point of me knowing them? You dangle words of longing and need at me, with occasional declarations about a future.

Your eyes meet mine as you sit with her. I'm glad that since September this has only happened once before, this sharing of space. Glances of apology and awkwardness. I have done nothing wrong, other than share your company, listen to your declarations, feel them, let you see me.

Why then should I feel so tense? It is the words that float in the air between us. Unheard by others. There, present, in our heads and your eyes, words that don't pass your lips but are communicated nonetheless.

I want you, and I don't. I can't control what you say, but I can ask you to listen.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Ordinary is welcome

I'm pleased to be back at work today. There is some semblance of normal returning. After a festive seasons of highs, lows and confusion the everyday is very welcome.

Dad is back in his usual dementia unit within the hospital, a place that knows and cares for him well. His two days of not waking, nearly a week of not swallowing, and consequently not eating, are past. He's as up and about as he gets. A chest infection has set in, but at least it's being takien care of. I hope it passes quickly.

My mother can only demand so much of my time when there is an office to go to. She exhausts me and irritates me. She makes it hard to love her. She makes it hard to say 'no' to her.

And then there is the musician. I want him and don't in equal measure. The thoughts of him fill too much of my head. It's almost as if he wants to be found out. We are not having an affair, but we are doing something. I just don't know what. It is an emotional betrayal. Worse perhaps than some meaningless one night stand. At least, there is little contact between the times when we find each other amongst friends. We are not spiralling, yet.

Going back to the usual routine is reassuring and distracting from all of these things. There are fewer hours in the day to ponder those questions for which I have no answer.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Lost and found

I'm sitting in front of my laptop having missed two calls from the musician. I don't know what he wants. I'm not sure if he knows either.

I've had a sober evening driving, and he is catching up on festive cheer having worked through Christmas and Hogmanay. His tongue loosened by alcohol, he has been playing a risky game this evening. I don't know what to do.

It worries me because I don't want to be the other, complicit in a betrayal. It worries me because he reaches a part of me so rarely seen by anyone and I am glad. Tempted. Scared. Excited.

He does not try to seduce me.

He tells me again and again that he misses me. I ask what I am to do with these words of his. There is no answer.

Comfortable amongst friends he pays me a little too much attention. He brushes my hair from my face in front of other people. When I leave to smoke, he follows. He kisses me. I do not reach out to him. I want to.

I am scruffy in jeans and jumper when his beautiful partner appears, lean and glamorous in fake fur and a dress.

He follows me to the door. I am only leaving because I am scared of these feelings being exposed. I ask him where he's going, he simply says he wants to be with me. I brush off his 'I wish....' statements. He can't be with me.

'I miss you'

'Me too'

A peck goodnight.

A voice emerges from the dark street. Someone calls him by his name. Has his acquaintance heard the declarations of want, need? These are not words my words, at least. Mine are only those of 'I know', 'what am I supposed to say?'

My phone has been ringing in my bag as I drive home. I send an innocuous text. A holding statement: neutral. Has the acquaintance asked a question? Has someone else seen our legs too close under the table, his hands reaching for me? Where is she as he is phoning me?

It is dangerous. It is emotional. It is not a flirtation. It is soulful and full of sadness. Snippets of each others lives and dreams learned over a couple of years and only now connecting in this dance of the past few months. A little joy in the moments when we find each other.

We don't call or text or email or make plans, knowing an affair is not what's wanted. There is no hiding behind excuses or lies. We circle round our folk, mostly in a friend's bar which has become a home for this lovely group of waifs and strays.

My phone rings. He has slipped away to tell me he misses me. To tell me it may take a long time, but the risks are his and he will bear the weight of the hurt that may come, that he wants to be with me, loves me. He chides me for protecting him, for pushing him away from something that could easily become an explosive situation. He takes responsibility for whatever this is.

He tells me he loves everything about me, stealing these moments of simple glances. He tells me I am beautiful. There is much silence. I can hear him breathe and sigh. I miss him too.

He is under my skin, in my head, thoughts of him are part of my day and I am part of his.

I want someone to whom I can give myself wholly. I cannot do this with him whilst he is not mine. I cannot, will not.

The choice is his. He will only be welcome in my heart if he is free to be there.

I want him and I must find a way not to.

I am angry at the situation, myself, him. It would be so very much easier if nothing had ever been said. I try to be angry with him for making it this way.

I want to be angry with him, but with each time his eyes reach beyond my masks and fear, my resolve weakens.

We say goodnight at last. I do not know when these words will come again, but I know they will.

He's found me, found the me that exists in these words and less often in reality. My layers are stripped away and he is there with me.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

I want him

I am at risk of falling in love with the man I cannot have.

The musician still tells me how he's feeling about me, and I can only resist for so long. I want him. I want his softness and his kisses and his words and his eyes and his passion.

We hold hands and look. Unable not to.

He is taking risks. He has told my sister what's going on his is head.

He is not mine. Nor is he likely to be.

I beg him to stop saying all the things he does. It isn't fair.

I don't want him to stop though.

He is someone else's and it makes me weep.