Tuesday, 31 August 2010

i love every beautiful tuesday....

today... well, i was awake a few hours ago, got some sleep and now i'm up. that's my day. i sit by the window and it is raining. this is the first rain that's happened since i've been in Washington and it kinda makes me feel like i'm home. Muffin's asleep and i just at a biscuit. i reckon i should just get on with the list this week... i can see this being a good one.

the fact that my boyface can bake... who knew? i woke up in the middle of the night last night to the smell of cinnamon and chocolate chips. i was initially concerned the house was burning down and that it had accidentally been built out of confection and was emitting the best death-smell in the world... my fears were soon quelled by snuggles and forehead kisses from Muffin, telling me that his biscuits tasted JUST like the ones his dad used to make. i awoke this morning to consume one immediately and fall harder in love with him than i knew was possible.
The Eels
morning snuggles... god, to have them again... they make my days complete. it's so nice to wake up and have someone hold me and kiss my neck... nothing is better and nothing makes my mornings more special.
the sound of the Simpsons crying
American applesauce
Mark Dixon
tuna mayonaise
Polish soup
Mitchell and Webb
Bison Grass Vodka
Liam Sharp
watching boys wee
my leaving party... much like my birthday, my leaving party was special because i spent the entire night in a state of shock that all of the things that happened, all the people that were there, it was all because of me. the people were there because they loved me and would miss me. the songs were sung because it was known they'd make me smile. that night was so special and it was special because it was mine and i will never, ever forget it.
Caribbean Queen
the way babies snort when you pick them up
Red Velvet Cake Yoplait yoghurt
my last several days in england... nothing ever in the world could compare to them. the hugs received, the smiles exchanged and the words shared... i honestly don't imagine i will ever experience such love again in my entire life. i adore every single person that made the effort to see me and contact me before i left, it will be forever remembered and i thank you.
sucking on the grass when i've finished a bottle of Bison Grass Vodka
extra-long Pow hugs... in the days before i left the hugs became longer and the squeezes tighter. his hugs are always my favourite anyways, but the last several were incredibly important to me... he squeezes me like he meant it, like he was really going to miss me and goddamn i squeezed him back.
cucumber and ham sandwiches
John Snow's ties
Chewing with my mouth closed
felt-tipped pens
miracle whip
when my glasses frames are still warm after having just been adjusted
how polite the french are
all my goodbyes at the airport
Welch's grape juice
Red Robin
The Magnetic Fields
being able to text Paige and Ashley
Mexican food
not HAVING to talk... but just sitting and listening to things around me... lyrics to songs, birdsong, quiet.... i like that and wish i could have it more often.
OMGBOYFACE... are you KIDDING me?! i am now officially in america and i am with Muffin. we are slowly working out our daily routines which makes me happy and feel incredibly domesticated. i love it and being able to wake up to his face and know that he is there, loving me and here to support me whatever i decide to do.
Graham emails... he's a good boy and really has been an incredible person since i met him. he's listened to me talk nonstop and has emailed me with lovely sentiment that i really, really couldn't thank him enough for. he's a wonderful person and i wish that everyone could meet him and love him.

it's five!

five years ago today... my sister was ringing me. you've all read about it, you all know the story. it was the call i knew the content of even before i answered the phone. my mum had died.

five days ago today, i was somewhere over the atlantic. i was still drunk and my eyeballs were still puffy from saying goodbye to all my favourites. i had taken six 10mg valium and just wanted to sleep but was distracted by the DISGUSTING woman sat next to me who refused to take her stupid neck-pillow-thing off, even whilst walking down the airplane aisle to her seat.

five hours ago i was in the middle of a jet-lag coma, certain i would never come out of it. i laid on the bed and apologized profusely to Muffin for being so tired. my head just simply refuses to play nicely with the Pacific time zone. i keep waking up when i would wake up in england... keep waking up and pining after the mornings when i would prance into Pow's room and squish his face until he was conscious enough to respond to breakfast and a cup of tea.

five minutes ago i was harassing janey on the Book of Face, missing the banter that we typically have... wanting so desperately to tell her of all the people that i have seen that she'd disapprove of just as much as me. deciding that i would have to begin the task of taking photos discreetly so i could share SOME form of my life with her like we used to.

america is treating me okay... like i said, i've been here five days, give or take a few hours. i've had more sex than you could shake a freaking stick at and have officially done one of those HUGE shops at Wal*Mart that features you having to sign away your firstborn (it was worth it though, as i now have the sexiest pair of knives i've ever seen and a hot pink mixing bowl). the charity shops have treated me well and my skin seems to LOVE the climate enough to stop breaking out at the drop of a fucking hat.

Washington is beautiful. Muffin is wonderful but has been over-compensating and feels the need to constantly try to impress me with the sights and points of interest in the area, when all i really want to do is sit and... actually, i've no idea what i want to do. at the end of a shopping trip or a mince around town i come home and just feel lost. i am here, in this house that is unfamiliar to me, has a distinct lack of my THINGS (because i'm a fucking retard who didn't pack until the last minute whilst she was drunk and weepy, thanks Nick, by the way). i've placed my fake teeth on the shelf and my books are over there on that chair, but it still doesn't feel like HOME.

my head is still in england... at least time-wise. i seem to be narcoleptic and enjoy falling asleep every chance i get... every opportunity there is for me to stop for even the slightest moment, i am out like a light.

being with Muffin is really, REALLY nice, but still feels incredibly strange. i keep picking out stupid faults and i don't know if it is because i'm scared and want to go home or if it's because i really, honestly am trying to look out for ME this time. i was laid in bed with him this evening, on my left side, nestled against his right, explaining to him that i loved him but that i really, REALLY need to be happy for me. the stupid thing? i feel guilty for saying that... for saying that i will get back on a plane in november if i am not happy. i need to be happy. i need to feel like i am thriving. i need to feel normal right now...

the most normal i felt was last night. i hadn't heard from Pow in ages so i rang him (i worry, A LOT and was fairly certain that he had died and was a bloated corpse in his bed with his purple and orange sheets strewn around him and just a tee-shirt on.). speaking to him immediately calmed me. his voice... all i can remember at the moment is those last few minutes at the airport. he was drunk (from birthdayfuntimes) and laid across two chairs. i held his hand and he rubbed my tiny thumb joint with is giant thumb. he snoozed and i watched him... trying, as usual to memorize his face. he opened his eyes and saw me staring. he squeezed my hand and said, "i'm gonna have to get used to this."

"to what?" i enquired.

"to you not being around."
instant weep. i squeezed him and he crawled onto the floor and laid his head on my lap and i scratched his head for an hour and kissed his face as i told him all my favourite things about him.

speaking to him again made things okay. made me feel like i could do this. he makes me feel strong and like the decisions i make are good ones and that i am actually a strong person who can make it through all this stuff... all the travel, stress, sad, worry, lonely and fear. he reminds me that in light of all those things, i will have cuddles, beautiful, lovely, warm, happy, smiles that i could never, ever replace. i love him and need to go call the takeaway.

Friday, 20 August 2010

It’s getting harder… no, not THAT! Well… maybe that.

Six days… 

I crapped my pants on my way into work this morning when it dawned on me that all I have left is six days.

That’s 132 hours (I know that, for you math buffs out there, you will equate six days as NOT being 132 hours, but the extra twelve hours are actually taking into account the final few hours.)

That’s 7,920 minutes… 

That’s NOT a lot of time. 

At this time in approximately 132 hours I will be on my way to the airport with several of my favourites on toe to hand me tissues, hug me and tell me I’ll be okay. I will be an emotional trainwreck after having spent the day celebrating Pow’s birthday and participating in what I can only describe as epic events for the preceding week. Epic because of their special nature and importance in making this transition easier. I have set myself the task of attempting to memorize as many details about the next week as possible with my eyes, brain and camera so I can take them with me to consume when I begin to pine after England. 

I feel the events of an epic nature officially started on Monday when I arrived home to the beaming faces of my two current favourite boys, Pow and Graham. They had been recording a song all afternoon that Graham had written about Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru Murthy. Because they had been such hard workers all day I immediately set to washing-up, cooking dinner and baking cookies for the three of us. Once they finished recording the audio they needed to make a video for it, ever the helper, I instantly set myself the task of making ties and helping with the audio for the remainder of the evening. 

Tuesday with the Powtalk in bed. It shifted me in ways that I did not know I could be shifted and made me love my life more than I ever knew possible. I won’t really elaborate more because you’ve read the entry… there’s no point boring you with details that you can easily scroll down and read. I’d rather save the finger energy and brainpower. 

Wednesday was DanPow haircut day. When he walked through the door I was on the sofa kinda watching Hollyoaks and kinda talking to Muffin. Pow looked manly in a pair of black manslacks, a black manblouse and proper manshoes. He had been on a film set all day and looked the part of his character, a racist, no-nonsense cop on the beat! The instant he came in he pulled his sunglasses off and said he wanted his head shaving… I said I’d do it if he did mine, so we did. I finished my conversation with Muffin and the evening progressed from haircuts to dinner to films and generally just a beautiful night with just the two of us. I spent a lot of the evening appreciating the silences between us, knowing that that would be the last of them before I leave (because houseguests will be arriving VERY soon and staying until I step on my plane). We talked, laughed and laid our heads on one-another’s shoulders until we were both too sleepy to do anything but flail our arms around and complain

Yesterday proved to be amazingly magnificent and also proved that every single day before I leave will be better than the last. I arrived home to see Pow walking up the street with arms full of shopping. I helped him put his shopping away and we decided we wanted to see the new Ellen Page film so we pranced in the rain to Blockbuster and purchased that and “I Love You Philip Morris” (I saw this at the cinema ages ago with Muffin and can I just say, if you’ve not been lucky enough to have seen it yet, sort your BLOODY life out and see it immediately! It’s amazingly well done and a great story). The original plan for the night was meant to just be Pow and myself relishing in our last night together in peace but it was decided that Graham needed to come round to sing and play guitar for me so I could film it. 

We started watching “Whip It”  (again, if you’ve not seen this, sort your life out. it’s really cute, fun and heartwarming) and it was decided that I would be joining a girl’s rollerderby team when I arrive in Washington and that that would officially make me the coolest, cutest, most useful wifey in all the land. We mused over rollerderby names for me to use until Graham arrived. He and I began smoking almost immediately and Pow and I huddled together on the sofa until the film ended and then the boys armed themselves with guitars. As soon as the film was over Pow suggested, rather fabulously, that my rollerderby name should be “Butcher’s Girl.” this would be for TWO reasons… ONE: that’s my name, don’t wear it out! TWO: Hot Japanese Girl, Pow’s band, has a song called “Butcher’s Girl” which I could plug when I become a super rollerderby champion and then they could get invited to do a tour of America just by being awesome and associated with me, thusly shooting them straight into international stardom! 

I sat on the sofa and filmed the boys practicing their Hot Japanese Girl set and generally being silly. They became progressively louder until, at around midnight-thirty, the door went in a loud and startling manner. Immediately concerned it was the police or a disgruntled neighbour, we halted any noise to see if they would leave. The knocking persisted for a further two minutes and Pow decided he HAD to answer it. Graham and I braced ourselves for the unknown… when the familiar alarm ping went off we winced and heard a shout of glee fall from Pow’s mouth and I heard a voice I knew and missed a lot. An old friend of Pow’s and a man I love massively was at the door, chancing us still being awake… Mr Liam Sharp (if you don’t know who he is, go ahead and take a moment to click the link on his name and become suitably jealous that I have such awesome friends). We hadn’t seen him for six weeks because he’s been in america on holiday with his family, so it was a pleasant surprise to see his big, beautiful face. 

I leapt up off the sofa and squealed with delight, bursting into the hallway to hug him. 

the rest of the evening was a blur of booze... i lasted until five in the morning and then had to go die, otherwise i would NOT have made it into work today. 

i DO remember many occasions where i just had to stop and think to myself that i have an incredibly fortunate life to have so many beautiful people in it. i sat and watch Liam as he and Pow sang and Graham played guitar and felt like i was JUST where i needed to be and i smiled. 

just now though, and all the other minutes in the day, it becomes more difficult to think about leaving... about giving that last hug to people. the main person currently is Pow, and i presume that's because i see him most, but for godssake it is going to destroy me. i am trying to make sure i go through every motion of my days remembering everything that's special for me but sometimes my heart takes over and i have to get misty-eyed... 

i almost feel like i'm six days away from cheating on england and my life with some other younger country and life. i certainly hope it's worth it.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

the entry that is like an ocean metaphor

The wave crashed violently and descended on tuesday night… 

As you all know, my head has been swarming with many varieties of fish for the last week… some like tiny, beautiful little Clown Fish (Amphiprioninae), all cutesy-poo and flippy. All swimming by in an array of colours and playing nicely together, making things feel all light and fun like the ever-famous Disney-Pixar film which has now made fish shop workers hate any customer that comes in asking for a “Nemo.” Deeper and more menacing were the Angler Fish (Lophius Piscatorius), being all bitey and occasionally gobbling up some of the cuter, more fun fish, just because they could. Overall, the Anglers had gotten a little out of control and tuesday it had culminated into a darkness that left me sleepless, distressed and weepy. 

The darkness came from the fact that I have ALLOWED those Anglers to take over for so long and forgot to occasionally stop to feed the Clownies. I had allowed myself to become consumed by the stupid stresses, doubts and worries that have been attempting to take over my life for the last couple of months. Despite what everyone I have confided in has told me, I have refused to accept the fact that this isn’t forever… for me, the things I will be leaving next week will be gone… the current that I live in at the moment is constantly shifting and evolving and to abandon it for a year is to pretty much say goodbye to it because when I come back in a thirteen month’s time, it will not be the same at all… people will have changed, I will have most likely lost touch with some of my favourites and buildings will have been built and torn down. 

Tuesday night the waves came with the help of Pow… he arrived home with a random piece of shrubbery in one hand and a guitar and pastries in the other. I had been milling around the house tidying, cooking and packing and felt deflated. When he arrived I had been curled-up on the sofa watching Mitchell and Webb, wishing I wasn’t feeling so emo… he came in with a proud face and I hopped-up to finish dinner. I cooked and in between stirrings of the pot we talked and hugged. 

We sat and ate… I felt numb. He asked if I wanted to talk about what was going on with me, something he doesn’t do often… my chin did that little quivering thing and my eyes leaked a little bit… 

The next hour and a half was an interesting deep-sea dive of sorts. I grabbed each Angler one by one and showed them to Pow, explaining each of their anatomies… the Muffin one, which makes me feel anxious, lied-to, hurt and terrified. The America one, which makes me feel excited but insecure and doubtful of my future. I had shown these Anglers to Janey, Alison and Ashley over the previous couple of days and they supported me, offering me validation and warm e-hugs. Pow didn’t offer me this courtesy… he was bluntly honest and on Muffin’s side, making me hate him briefly and wonder why he couldn’t just tell me that I am right and offer me a hug like everyone else. Our conversation became heated and all the Anglers became riled so we ended it, finished the film then rinsed his hair. 

The thing Pow was most firm on was the fact that I NEEDED to speak to Muffin about what was going on… so I did just that. Despite Muffin’s almost complete lack of time for me, I finally got in touch with him voice-to-voice and we talked… we hashed things out in between my mobile beeping at me that I had texts. I hung up still not feeling 100%, but more like, 92.6%. 

I checked my messages… the first one was from Pow, reminding me to stay calm and to let him know how it went. 

The other from Christopher, telling me he didn’t think he was going to be able to face meeting up with me before I leave and asking if I ever thought I was going to go “home.”  I replied to the Ex, asking what his definition of “home” was and saying I understood about not wanting to meet up, but I’d really like to.

I then replied to Pow, telling him it went okay and telling him Christopher had texted me. 

He asked if I wanted to talk. 

I said yes. 

He told me to come in. 

I put on a cardigan and padded into his room and curled-up on the left-hand side of his bed. I had never laid on his bed before and was surprised by how comfortable it was. I went through the entire conversation with Muffin, telling Pow the highs and lows, wondering the entire time what he was thinking. He then turned to his side and curled-up facing me and he began to talk… I watched his face as the light next to his bed got dimmer and dimmer (as an aid to allow you to fall into a natural sleep). I listened to his words as I inhaled, attempting, as usual, to memorize the moment. My eyeballs got misty as we discussed his relationships and my move and how he coped with a similar situation. 

He then asked me about my text from Chris… I rolled onto my belly and read it to him. Almost as if to put a period on the end of the final sentence in the text, I received another one from Chris and read it aloud without pre-reading it, which was a big mistake on my behalf. I choked on the words “coffee machine” as i read them out... I remember so well how excited I was when I picked it out and I remember how I HAD to give it to him two weeks before Christmas because I just couldn’t wait to see the glee on his face when he opened it. 

Pow and I talked for an hour more… we talked about the significance of the coffee machine and how his household item was a hand blender. We talked about his divorce and my divorce and how he thinks a proper goodbye is very important. As he talked I laid there and wondered how I was going to go an entire thirteen months without him… he spoke to me about the past and how I’ve changed since I’ve known him and it made my chest hurt to think that this boy that knows me better than anyone else will be 9,000 miles away and there’s nothing I’m going to be able to do about it. I won’t be able to train someone in that time and I don’t have the desire to in the first place. 

We talked until his medication kicked in and he was too slur-y for me to pay attention to anymore and I asked for a hug. I grabbed him and held him and instantly started to cry. I cried and told him how much I was going to miss him and how much I loved him. He brushed it off like he always does and I left him to sleep. 

once i got into bed we texted for a while longer, until I was on the wrong side of 3am and I was going to die if I didn’t go to sleep immediately… 

I laid there, after the final text in a haze of complete content… like everything, all the tension, stress, fear and awful feelings had built up and finally been allowed to crash on the beach of my life and retreat.
Everything’s gone now… like it’s all been washed-away. The only niggling feelings that I have are ones of absolute anguish from imagining what that final hug with Pow will be like or how emotional I will get at my leaving party. I feel okay now, like I CAN deal with this and like this ISN’T forever… although it will feel like ages and when I come back things won’t be exactly the same, I will be fine and that’s all that matters. Chris and I will meet up, Pow and I will continue to make fabulous memories for the next seven days and I will arrive in Seattle next Thursday into the waiting arms of Muffin with a positive outlook and hopeful smile (and most likely sleep in my eyes and tears on my cheeks). Life is going to go on and all the good things that usually happen to me will continue to happen… I work hard to have all the little bits of magic in my life take place and I won’t settle for any less now, despite all the darkness, ugly and terror. I deserve the best and I am going to continue ensuring I have the best. 

Thanks Pow.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

nine days...

With less than two weeks until I leave now I am finding myself doing the same things that I did when I left America… 

All those years ago, when I was just days away from leaving I severed ties… I’m not sure why, but I did. I found myself pushing away the people that I loved the most. Looking back now, six years on, after catching little signs of myself doing it again, I can see that it might have been a way for me to make it easier for them to cope with my leaving… it was an awful thing for me to do because as a result I lost precious time with some people that were very important to me. The time that I lost with Ashley I can never have back and I hate myself for the way I acted… I hate how volatile I turned and I hate every horrible word that I said to her. I turned into this bumptious little creature that only wanted people to offer her the exact support that she wanted or they were not allowed to be her friend (and omg she WOULD delete you from her Myspace!) 

Before, when it happened I blamed it on the people I was pushing away, insisting that they REFUSED to be happy for me so I DIDN’T need them in my life (yes, I was overly dramatic and nineteen). In the weeks before my departure I began hanging out with people I had never really hung out with and ignoring the people that had loved me and supported me for years… I fabricated stories in my head that justified me not returning their calls or not going out on playdates with them when really, towards the end, all they wanted was to say goodbye and all I needed was the love of a supportive friend. I blatantly avoided both and now there are some friendships that I will never have back fully. 

Today though, I see it happening again… I see myself refusing to go out or not replying to texts and justifying it by saying that nobody’s been in touch all this time and now that I’m two weeks away from leaving they’re coming out of the woodworks, so why should I bother now? Urgh. Poison, that is what that is. I realize within an instant of thinking a thought like that that I am being unreasonable and stupid… I realize that I need to just get a bloody grip and stop taking part in this destructive parade again… I realize that what I am doing is trying to make it easier by avoiding having to see faces, more for me this time than anyone else… 

Right now, it hurts to see certain people’s faces. Where I used to go through my photos on a regular basis and work on memorizing the faces of the Nick, Franny, Chris, Vic and Janey… i can’t now. I’ve not been able to go through my photos in nearly a week for fear of falling over into an inconsolable heap of tears, snot and stomach cramps. Their faces make me hurt because, for the last several years, they have played leading roles in my everyday life and the fact that I now have to cut them from the cast list due to site relocation makes me want to die a little (please note, I am aware that I did not list Pow as one of the faces that I typically spend time memorizing and that is because… well… his face has been memorized over and over again and it’s gone bigger than mere facial recognition now. SEE BELOW.)

A lot of the time I just want to be a recluse (not the arachnid, but generally just hermitting away). I tend to want to stay at home and crochet or watch films without having to actually face any of the reality of the situation, which I know isn’t healthy… I need to make sure I am living these last nine days to their fullest potential but at the moment, I don’t want to… I don’t want to go out and have to be reminded of all the things I am leaving, I don’t want to have to start saying my goodbyes just yet and I don’t want to have to start having those final talks with people. 

The fact that I will be leaving in less than two weeks is made worse by the fact that people have now started telling me how much they will miss me. Despite the fact that I KNEW I was leaving and I KNEW that some people would miss me, I had anticipated that a lot of people would realize I’m not really THAT great and just get over it rather quickly which would be less emotional for everyone concerned, but they’ve not and it’s not. People are telling me how much they will miss me and I don’t know how to respond beyond, “I’m going to miss you too.” It’d be nice if it stayed at that, but then, THEN they want to take it further and tell me WHY they will miss me, which forces me to have to think about why I will miss them, which in turn forces my eyes to water and then makes me look like my eyelids have double chins. I don’t like for my eyelids to have double chins, it’s not very becoming. 

I love that people will miss me and I wish I had the actual strength to talk about how much I was going to miss every single person individually with them, but I don’t because I hate crying in front of people and I hate showing actual emotion. I am fine offering random and dramatic displays of emotion for show, but real emotion? Nothanks! I guess the best way for me to progress this post is with a list, hey? A list of people I am going to miss and why… I know I will most likely miss people off and most likely a lot of the people on this list will not even read it, but it’s here, just in case they do stumble across it and also to help me process… 

Pow… I typed his name and had to take a break… the thought was slightly too much. I go through phases where I want to watch him as much as possible but other times I can barely bear to look at his face… his big, sad eyes and giant nose, the face that I have become almost as familiar to me as my own of late is not going to be with me every day now, and, well, at the moment, as described above, I am spending more time memorizing other things about him than his face, as that’s been memorized a billion times over. Lately, it’s been his hugs. That’s what I’ve been attempting to learn. I drive him crazy by asking for no less than five hugs a day and he always supplies them with a huff and then a giant squeeze, occasionally a back-scratch. He grabs me with his giant frame and my chest immediately becomes tense because I know that these hugs are the last of them… after ten days I will not have another Pow hug for a long time. My chest knows this and my heart follows suit and tenses up, making my head go all fuzzy and my eyes start to water. He squeezes me and I inhale, attempting to memorize the way he smells (as if I hadn’t already filed THAT olfactory wonderland away in the old memory bank  five years ago under “safest smell in the world”)… lately, for me, my memories have needed to be more than just visual, particularly with Pow.  I know him so well and as much as I love seeing his face and all the different… sigh. I can’t think about his face right now. Just know that this boy, it will kill me to leave him. I try to make sure I tell him every day how much I will miss him but he always brushes it off with a joke… he doesn’t deal with emotions very well, but he has been amazingly good at dealing with me and my ways of coping with leaving. I have gone through such severe ups and downs with the move and he has held my hand and told me it is okay through every little second of it. I have no idea how I would have gotten through these last four months without him, no idea at all. He’s a solid rock and an incredible friend… the friendship I have with him is better than any film could depict and bigger and more complex than any solar system (UFOs and all). With Pow, I will miss nightly moviedates, dinners and hugs at the top of the stairs before going to bed to text until we fall asleep.  I’ll miss phone calls even though we’ll see one another in five minutes, coming home to hear him tell me about all his revelations from the day and working on projects with him. I can’t bear to think about not having his giant, stupid smile trying to cheer me up when I’m having a hard day and just thinking about the moments that I will miss him singing me impromptu Pow songs makes me feel like staying. I love him and need him just as much as he won’t admit he needs me and am terrified of how I will react to that last hug at the airport. 

Janey… whoa mama, this is a big one. If possible, her and I have bonded more in the last month than we ever have… we are closer and know more about one another than ever before. She is a stupendously incredible friend who has helped me through some bloody tough and occasionally sticky times and I love every single thing about her. She makes me feel completely confident, beautiful and generally okay about myself, and that is something I cannot say about any of my other friends. I am going to miss an endless list of things about her, but for a much shorter period of time as Muffin and I will be flying out to visit her for my birthday and then she will be coming to visit us for Christmas. With Janey, I’m going to miss morningtime phone calls, lewd texts and racist chats. I will miss eating everything all the time, being seen as ridiculously annoying by any shopkeeper ever and people-watching with sometimes embarrassing consequences. She has opened my eyeballs to a lot of things and I will never, ever be able to replace her, and I wouldn’t want to. She’s miraculous. 

Nick… for as little as I see him or speak to him, I never, ever find myself doing anything but being completely mystified by his existence when we DO meet up. He is so personable, fun and energetic and I love that about him. He never misses a beat when there is a need for a funny comment or silly dance. He’s always on hand to make me laugh and smile and give me a beautiful hug when necessary. He’s one I will miss bigger than most because he has played such a huge factor in pulling me out of my rut after my divorce and helping me through seeing Chris in public again. Nick has been so supportive and is really a genuine friend who cares not just for me, but also for what my actions will do to others. I am going to miss the late nights with him after everyone else has gone the most… the nights where we sit in the garden or inside, me with Buddy on my lap and him with a pint in his hand, talking about everything and nothing all at the same time. I love Nick and I love the things he brings out in me. God, with Nick I am going to miss his face, the inside jokes, the pub, his songs, his dancing, working in the kitchen with him and his voice… god I am going to miss his voice. I am certain that aside from his hair, that’s my favourite thing about him. 

Franny… effortlessly beautiful; that was the first thing that I needed to say. Now that that’s out of my system, I can move on. When I first saw Franny I was completely in awe of her stunning face and how beautiful she could make a pair of sweatpants look. I mean, how is that POSSIBLE?! For months I would go to the pub and watch her face (which makes me sound like a stalker… it must be said that i openly watched her face, not from some seedy corner of the pub with an overcoat and hat on and a glass of whiskey in my hand, but from the bar or from the table in the middle of the pub in front of the bar)… she has an indescribably beautiful face that I could stare at forever. I remember we began bonding over some random game on the telly… it was Wales vs. France from what I can remember and I was openly berating Wales (I was not conscious of the fact that this is where Franny is from) whilst gushing about the hairy players on the French team. It was that night that we began talking and from there we have progressed into dinner dates, smoking sessions and endless hugs. I love Franny and wish she was more confident… I am going to miss seeing her make everything she wears look incredible, smoking fags in the beer garden with her and her uplifting texts, which always seem to arrive JUST when I need them the most. 

 Charlie… in the time I’ve been in England I think I’ve only seen Charlieface about five or six times… very brief but incredible visits. We can go months without talking but the instant I see her and our arms are wrapped around one another I remember everything I love about her. she is painfully beautiful and talented… I adore her face and eyes so much. I wish so much that we had spent more time together in the time I’ve been here, god I wish so much… but I can’t help but know that the brief visits we have had were special and perfect in their short-but-sweet glory. I am going to miss the text that make me want to cry and I am going to miss our brief visits so much. her hugs are so beautiful… she’s fantastic and I’m so glad I’ve met her. 

Christopher… as much as I didn’t want to be married to him, I will still miss him. I will miss seeing him places and remembering times when I didn’t hate his face (which, to point out, I don’t hate at the moment, fyi). I will miss knowing that there is someone around town that knows as much about me as he does… someone who will offer me the knowing glances of a hardened ex-husband after seven years in the “danie slammer” (which sounds a bit like a euphemism and was not intended as such… it was more meant to mean that he spent seven years with me, learning about me and with no escape). I still occasionally find it to be quite a foreign concept that we were married and now we’re not, so I will still occasionally miss seeing his big face around and having talks with him. I worry that all ties with him are going to be severed and the thought of that upsets me… he’s a good person and the thought of losing him from my life completely makes my heart hurt. 

Lee Lee… oh my tiny little jewish sensation… my heart hurts for him so big. I added him on Myspace years ago when I saw him on Pow’s friend list and was shocked by how beautiful his face was… not much time passed before I realised his face was not the only beautiful thing about him and fell hard for his jokes, eyes and smell… Lee Lee works at LUSH and therefore HAS to smell amazing constantly (it seems to be a contractual obligation for all LUSH staff). That is one of my favourite things about him and the instant I receive anything from him I smell it, I smell it and fall in love with him all over again. Lee Lee has a sense of humour that is very special to him… the jokes he tells and the way he tells them are particularly funny because it’s him that says them… he and I do not see one another often but we speak on the phone regularly and write when one of us can remember… he is stupendously perfect from a distance or close up and I will miss our conversations, letters (which really shouldn’t stop just because I’m going to America because they will only be BETTER once I’ve moved), beautiful nose, eyeballs, laugh, vegan sass and random LUSH gifts. I can’t believe how happy I am to have randomly added him because of his beautiful face all those years ago. Thanks my little Jewish pancake.

The Tattoo Boys… special in their own private way… if one were to look at our relationship from the outside they would wonder why I hang around there, but I love those boys so much and secretly, they love me too. Kevin, Thomas, Greg and Lee are four of the most gentle, lovely boys in the land and every time I go in the shop I get the perfect mixture of sass and wonderful from them. I love them individually for specific reasons… Kevin because he’s incredibly talented, interesting to talk to and is a genuinely nice, sweet person when you look beyond all the tattoos and scowls. Thomas is incredibly gentle… he tries to put on a front when he’s around Kevin but he’s a young lad that has a really good head on his shoulders and is quite possibly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life. They are all tremendous fun to hang around with and my days in the shop go by so quickly with their banter and stories. I will miss long tattoo sessions and talking about music, artists, ink, aftercare and my ex-husband. I will miss the horrible names we call one another and flipping them off when I see them on the street. I will miss them so much and never, ever trust another tattooist as much as I trust them. 

Goncalves, Challis, Graham, Hannah, Dave, Jax, Leigh, Shaun, Tom, Alison, Judith, Eleanor, Will, Potterton, Mitzy, Karl, Reno, Luke Winn, Don, Pete, Meek, Tree, Culleton, George, Esmee, Tanya, Eddie, Shawn Kenney, Mark, Antonia Bee, Lester, Jaacqy, Buddy, Missy, Thuy, The man from the Caribbean market, Stafford, Theo, Emma, The girls in the Guildhall Market, Dave, Russ, Emma, Liz etc etc... i need to post this or i never will... 

I hate this Tuesday… I hate it and want it to end…

Now that I have THAT out of my system, I shall carry on. 

It’s been a tough week. I’ve had a lot of emotional times as my leaving date draws nearer. I am finding more and more “last times” for things… seeing certain people, eating certain things and doing certain activities. The best I can do when I feel that familiar tense, weepy feeling in my chest is to remember that it isn’t for forever… but it still bloody hurts. Everyone keeps trying to tell me that, that this isn’t a forever thing, and I am perfectly aware of that, but I still want to grieve… I am nervous of leaving all of the things and people I know so well for something I am so completely unsure of. 

Currently, I am nine days away from stepping onto a plane, away from the last six years of my life, all the things I have spent so much time, energy and tears building, only to go to a future I am not sure even exists.
My week, despite emotional confusion and terror has been beautiful, I promise. It has been filled with excellent memory-making, photo taking and cookie baking. I’ve enjoyed nearly every single moment in between tears and will continue to enjoy my moments between tears as much as I can. 

I guess we should just get on with the list… other posts are coming in time to help shed some light on all this stuff, so keep your eyeballs peeled and enjoy my list… 

The fact that Pow sometimes just HAS to call and talk to me even though he knows he’ll see me in like, ten minutes… it started about six months ago… I was walking to the bus that would take me into town for a weekly cinemadate with Pow when my mobile went off… it was Pow and I immediately assumed he was ringing to tell me something had happened and he wasn’t going to make it. I asked what he wanted and he said he was just bored and wanted someone to talk to whilst we were walking… we spoke until I could see his large, bumbly frame in front of me and then went on with the rest of our evening… those are my favourite phone calls… and they happen more frequently now. even just the other night I was sat on the sofa and he rang to ask if I needed anything from the shop as he was on his way home… we talked until the alarm ping went off as he walked through the door and then we finished talking. It’s just… hrm… I love talking to him. We can talk constantly and still never be finished. That’s what I love about us. He’s just an amazing person, that’s all I really need to say, an amazing person that I love to talk to as often as possible.
Stolen flowers
… as a joke relating to ex-husband having only ever given me stolen flowers, Reno stole me some flowers off a table in the pub the other night. they immediately went into my book and make me squee with delight every time I see them and remember his cheeky little face as he handed them over.
The Parson’s Nose
The smell of garlic on my hands when I’ve been cooking
Krishnan Guru Murthy
Interesting news articles
Vivid dreams

Mornings with Pow
… my favourite thing about my days… nothing tops my mornings. I get up, bumble around the house and then go wake Pow. We have cups of tea and toast and talk and have a massive hug before I set off for my day. His face in the morning, seeing it being all big and smiley is just what I need sometimes…
Knowing I only have three days left of work
Good hair days
Pow’s voice
How supportive Pow’s been
… heh, Powblog, it seems. With all my doubts and concerns I’ve been lucky to have Pow around to tell me that whatever I decide to do is okay with him… that he’ll help me and support me. he offers me the good and bad sides of every decision and makes me feel like it’s okay to feel the way I do, knowingly patting my knee and telling me that I’m dealing with everything really well. he’s an amazing friend and I really, honestly don’t know how I would have gotten this far without him.
Days when I don’t question myself
Long coach journeys
Homemade lasagne
Green beans
The way people I didn’t expect are getting emotional about me leaving
…it seems to be happening more and more now... people are coming up to me or getting in touch that i've rarely spoken to... getting in touch and telling me how much they'll miss me. it's nice and makes things feel really special in my life to know that there are people that i've not even clocked who love me.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Back in the Driver's Seat...

It’s easy to go through this fast-paced world feeling as if you are being dragged through your weeks on the back of a wild horse. Many of us go from one thing to another until we end up back at home in the evening with just enough time to wind down and go to sleep, waking up the next morning to begin the wild ride once more. While this can be exhilarating for certain periods of time, a life lived entirely in this fashion can be exhausting, and more important, it places us in the passenger’s seat when really we are the ones who should be driving.

When we get caught up in our packed schedule and our many obligations, weeks can go by without us doing one spontaneous thing or taking time to look at the bigger picture of our lives. Without these breaks,
we run the risk of going through our precious days on a runaway train. Taking time to view the bigger picture, asking ourselves if we are happy with the course we are on and making adjustments, puts us back in the driver’s seat where we belong. When we take responsibility for charting our own course in life, we may well go in an entirely different direction from the one laid out for us by society and familial expectations. This can be uncomfortable in the short term, but in the long term it is much worse to imagine living this precious life without ever taking the wheel and navigating our own course.

Of course, time spent examining the big picture could lead us to see that we are happy with the road we are on, but we would like more time with family or more free time to do whatever we want at the moment. Even if we want more extreme changes, the way to begin is to get off the road for long enough to catch our breath and remember who we are and what we truly want. Once we do that, we can take the wheel with confidence, driving the speed we want to go in the direction that is right for us. “

The old adage dictates that “If you want to change your world, you must first change yourself. “  It seems at the moment that my world is doing the opposite… it seems that my world has decided that it will change around ME, drive me wherever it wants, and I will have to change myself to fit around it and get off at whatever stops it decides it . I presume this is because there was no way I was going to make all the acceptable changes by myself… 

I seem to have developed this outstandingly huge fear of all things moving-based at the moment and even the thought of discussing it causes my eyeballs to moisten and my stomach to threaten tossing up all of its contents, so really, the thought of changing myself first to change my world was the last thing on my mind.
Small changes have been made, mind…  I’ve not been completely useless. 

I’ve begun the slow process of un-nesting…  something that I should have been doing for ages but have been putting off because of the giant doom and gloom of it all. Obviously, the un-nesting started back in September when I split up with Christopher and large chunks have taken place since then (i.e.: January 14th: Stacey Moving In and June 12th: Moving House.) and I’ve even, over the last five months written list after list of the things that I feel I absolutely will NOT be able to live without for a year in america… but Saturday was when I actually started taking real steps towards packing and preparing to move… I have now officially gone through ALL of my clothes and split them into four piles…
  1. Clothes I am taking with me to America because OMGICAN’TLIVEWITHOUTTHEMFORAYEAR,
  2. clothes I am keeping out for the next two weeks and then putting in the roof just before I leave,
  3. clothes that I just don’t want or need at all at the moment and therefore am putting in the roof immediately,
  4. and at the suggestion on Pow, clothes to go to our favourite charity shop (which is Chernobyl Children)
After splitting up all of my clothes on Saturday I became fraught and had to go out… I decided early-on in the day that I was going to wear a wig out and confirmed that this was acceptable with Goncalves (my playdate companion for the day) via text prior to planning my outfit around my amazinggreen wig. When he texted me to confirm a wig was tolerable he asked who I was hiding from… my response was “myself.”

I’ve been feeling the need to hide from myself a great deal lately… I feel so lost and fraught. When people ask me how I am I don’t even try to pretend anymore, my response is always, “Fraught.”

I guess the easiest way for me to explain what’s been going on is via list… I heart lists and they always help me to make sense of what is going on in my head and tend to offer a more easy-on-the-eyeballs way of showing you where my head and heart are at. Prior to Monday morning I felt like my life was not being controlled by me… like some other outside force had barged its way into my world, pushed me over like a kid in a schoolyard and started moving things around… kind of like an emotional interior decorator? Not everything has been moved in a bad way though, which is important to point out; there are things… well, actually, when I think about it, everything has been moved most likely into JUST the right place for my life to evolve as it needs to, I’ve just not seen the potential for growth yet. 

Anyways, below you can see a list of the big movers and shakers in my life… the big changes or events that have taken place as of late that have thrown me for a bit of a loop and left me confused and sometimes intrigued by the potential of their outcomes… 

  • The Big One Happened Saturday… I rose from my bed early and got onto the computer. I had been dreading and putting-off this particular activity for the previous several weeks and couldn’t really put it off anymore. I needed to pull the band-aid as it were. I searched through my photos and found the three best ones and started typing. I typed about time, demeanor and food… all relating to Chevy and how well he would get on in another house… a stranger’s house. I felt like I was going to sick-up during that half an hour, feeling like I was typing out an advert to sell my own child. Chevy Chase had been my favourite thing in the world for so long… I had loved him more than I loved my own husband for many months. So many mornings after Chris and I split up I could only bear to face them after I went into the lounge and saw his tiny little face peering up at me, begging for a treat. I would drop to my knees in front of his cage and talk to him about how I was feeling and he would listen to everything I had to say as I fed him his tiny, chocolatey drops. As soon as I had posted the advert I burst into tears… I cried for exactly three minutes before my mobile went off, it was a woman on the line who asked if the rabbit was still available. We talked for about twenty minutes about who knows what… something to do with the housing estate she lives on, her pedigree cat and her husband being a builder. None of it seemed relevant to me because all I wanted at that particular moment was a hug and for someone to tell me that I could keep Chevy, stay in England and be with Muffin without a single change to my personal circumstances. Needless to say, this did not happen… within an hour this woman was knocking at my door. I answered it and showed her to the kitchen where Chevy resided… her aloof husband and I carried him to their car and I stood there. She attempted to make small talk about tattoos and showed me her “favourite” which was of a tiny, faded, poorly-done purple pig’s face on the inside of her left cankle. I feigned interest and smugly showed her the cupcake and scissors on my chest. She then drew her attention to Chevy again and I pulled a face unknowingly. She demanded that I not cry until after she left because then she’d cry… the laws of logic state, in my mind that if you tell me not to do something, I will do it, including displays of emotions, so I immediately began to cry and she left without so much as a “thank you.” So… there we are. After two years, I have given my tiny, furry best friend to a woman that smelled of cat pee and was missing three teeth. I find it difficult sometimes to walk past the back door without my stomach falling… pining after Chevy and wishing that he was still there, begging me for a treat and drinking his water noisily. But no, he’s gone and I’m almost gone too. 

  • Post-Pet Abandonment… I went up the stairs and wept in the doorway to Pow’s bedroom… he called me in and I sat on his bed and cried. Seeing as he was nude, having only just woken up, his emotional support went no further than the random jut of his knee into my thigh as some crude re-creation of a shoulder pat or rub. It was appreciated and after I had cried a sufficient amount I made us breakfast and started packing… well… going through stuff… I immediately decided I needed to wear the wig, as you read earlier, and so I put it on and ran up and down the stairs to ask for Pow’s opinion on outfits between every fourth or fifth article of clothing investigated for it’s moving potential. After two hours I was bored and needed a drink so I left… I brandished my sunglasses and walked through the summery air with my emotions hidden beneath my wig and flowery cardigan. After a long night out I woke up Sunday morning hating myself for not having done more with my room as it looked like a very organized bomb went off in four separate places and left individual explosions of colour, fabric and memories across my personal space. I made a cup of tea, turned on some music and started to make my way through the piles again, putting them into the necessary storage containers… suitcases for some, boxes for others, bin bags for the unlucky few. I am now officially living out of two suitcases… all of my favourite clothes have been selected and the rest have been banished to the roof for the next thirteen months. I spoke to each article of clothing individually and promised I would come back for them before sealing them away and hating that I’ve had to do this for a second time, but this time with better planning. I’ve since started going through my paperwork and looking around the room aimlessly with Pow, trying to figure out just how much space he will need once I’ve gone and therefore, just how much I can get away with not packing, but it’s not gonna be easy… I’ll say that now. 
  • Looming Over Everything… is the fact that Pow is going through a lot of emotional junk… because we’re both going through our own versions of emotional hell, we had a few teething problems. I returned from London to find that his girlfriend had broken up with him… he had been snippy and offhand prior to my departure to London and the reason, it seems is that Amy had broken up with him and that he didn’t tell me so as to avoid upsetting my last journey to London. The first couple of days after I found out were fairly ugly… we fell out every five minutes due to miscommunications and hyper-sensitivity and have finally ironed out all the kinks. Things are back to a relatively stable state of normal and we co-exist again with all the special moments that we usually have. Last night was particularly special due to the fact that we had dinner, hair colouring and films together and it all felt normal again. We sat and laughed and I heard him mutter under his breath “I’m really going to miss you.” I turned to him and asked him to repeat what he said because I wanted to be sure that THAT was what he had just said… it was. The rest of the night was spent in between hugs and flashes of the camera. We finished our film (“Adventures in Babysitting”) and rinsed his hair before having a nice chat at the top of the stairs and dancing. I went to bed with an ache… every day that draws near makes it all hurt so much more… every hour that passes reminds me that I will be 9,000 miles away from my best friends and have no way of knowing what that will do to me. I am so terrified of how it will affect my emotional state, but really, only time can tell and until then, I will abscond as many hugs as possible from the people I love. I am slowly coming to terms with it all and making sure I tell them as much as possible how much I love them but it never feels like enough… it doesn’t ever feel like I can squeeze them hard enough.
  • Of Course, There’s Always Family… I hadn’t spoken to LaDonna (my eldest sister) for several weeks… the last time I had spoken to her was about four weeks ago and I was drunk and asleep when she rang. It’s always difficult discussing certain things with her, things like my tattoos, the holes in my ears and Muffin. Muffin is the one I tend to get the most pensive about due to their slightly questionable past… in a nutshell, LaDonna hated him from the moment she first laid eyes on him. I’ve no idea why (but I like to speculate that it was because of the large holes in his ears and septum ring), but it got so ugly at one point that LaDonna started as argument with him in the middle of the hospital when she came in to visit our mum and Muffin was there visiting her (as I was in the Residential Home at this point, so I was unable to visit her). Over the years LaDonna has always had little nice to say about Muffin, but since he and I have become serious I have decided to try to name-drop him more and more often, just to get a feel for her opinion of him… most name-dropping has gone very well and I was delighted to mention his name again on Sunday, but just to tell her that we would find someplace that was not her house to stay during our visit in September. She immediately asked why we would do such a thing and said that she would not go out of her way to make him uncomfortable and would like for us to stay. Wait, what? So there we have it dudes, my sister seems to be warming to the Muffin idea, which pleases me… granted, she did also have to drop the bomb that she worries for my personal safety due to the amount of times he’s been deployed compared to the number of ex-soldiers who flip out and kill their loved-ones. Meh. At least she’s getting there slowly.
I guess at the end of it all, everything is working out… I finally feel like I am slightly in control again... like I am back in the driver's seat and it feels good. And despite the fact that occasionally things seem a little muggy and terrifying, they’re coming along and in fifteen days I will be in America, with Muffin, at Taco Bell. 

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

tuesday or something...

i'm tired and stuff... doing another blog, so i won't write a big thing here... just wait for the next blog. 

and have a lovely tuesday... 

and a list... 

Playing on swings… it took me two weeks of harassing and prodding him before he submitted. It took me making him an incredible stuffed toy, several dinners, cookies and countless cups of tea before he was willing to finally go play on the swings with me. Last Wednesday Graham and I were due to meet at 1727 to swap the latest edition of our themed megamix swap and then go play on the swings. I changed the time of the playdate due to me being covered in SERIOUS amounts of dust and debris from the latest documents that I have been sifting through for workies. I needed a bath and I needed it STAT! I came home, had an incredible bath, shaved my leggies and put on my favourite trousers and jumper before retiring to the sofa to await the arrival of Graham the tiny. He arrived and we sat, swapped discs and had a fag whilst we mulled-over the songs on the musical gifts we had just given one another. Post-fag we marched to a nearby park and played… the swings were TECHNICALLY designated for the bottoms of toddlers, but we happily perched atop the cages created to hold in even the writheiest of children and talked as we swung. We talked about what wild animals we would be, our first impressions of one another and jobs we used to have as I kicked my legs back and forth to create as much swinging action as possible. I paid little attention to most of the conversation as I enjoyed feeling the wind dance around my face and watched the ground change size below me depending on where I was on my pendulous route. I love swinging and in a small way, I love Graham for going with me because it’s been years since I’ve gone and he’s the first person who’s obliged me. More swinging to come.
losing weight
… whilst I’m not doing it in the most healthy of ways, I am still doing it and I feel very excellent about it. I have now developed SUCH a massive stress-ball in my stomach that I can barely bring myself to eat more than about 800 calories a day. I become full very quickly and tend to not find myself very hungry for quite some time between eating. People are worried and… well… I’m not. I don’t feel unhealthy. I feel okay… just a little vomittous occasionally. I am sure it’ll pick up again once I’ve settled, but until then, I can now enjoy the fact that I’m officially below thirteen stone and can fit into my wedding dress again (for anyone keeping count, that means I’ve lost 49lbs, not a lot, but enough to make me a happy camper.)
… I seem to have become the biggest hug-slut in the history of the world at the moment. I am sure all my friends are bloody sick and tired of having me ask for hugs, but I don’t care. Last night, before bed, I asked Pow for a total of five hugs, every one after the first prompting a sassy response from him and a shrug from me. At the moment I want to grab everyone that I love most and cuddle them constantly… I can’t get enough of hugs. They have a natural power for making me feel calm and taking away all the ick that I have in my head, so I will continue using these as my free and easy form of Valium.
Graham hugs
… VERY few and far-between, which is what I think makes them so special. I’ve have TWO hugs from him in the time that I’ve known him… the first being in the first couple of days and the second being last Wednesday at the end of the day. It was the tightest, most fabulous little bear hug ever and I want MORE!
things that remind me of people
when boys take their top shirts off and the bottom shirt pulls up too, showing off their tummies
… gahhhhhh! Yummy!
the way Nick got jealous of Graham
… perhaps last week? I posted an entry on IHTAT that said Graham was the funniest person I had ever met… a statement I said with little or no thought. He’s hysterical and although I’ve met a lot of funny people in my life, Graham usually takes the cake with his amazingly quick wit and seemingly endless knowledge of mostly everything. It seems I paid too little notice to this comment though as it was brought up on Saturday night after the pub had shut and Nick and I were sat alone in the beer garden. I was untangling the wire for my headphones when Nick told me that Graham is not actually the funniest person I’d ever met. I confirmed that he was and Nick and I carried on a conversation circling around reasons why Nick is funnier than Graham and why I am wrong. It was cute and made me want to snuggle him. I love Nick and secretly think he is ever-so-slightly funnier than Graham, but only slightly, and in a different way.
realizing that what I have with certain people is really special
… oftentimes I find myself getting jealous when I see other people hanging out with Nick, Pow or Janey… the stupid part of my brain that is not very confident becomes wrapped-up in wondering why I’m not good enough and why they aren’t hanging around with ME… this turns into a horrible spiral that makes me begin hating myself for being jealous and hating the other individual for infiltrating my zone…. Then it clicks: what I have with certain people in my life is so, so special. There are things I will do and say with Pow, Janey and Nick that I’ll never do with anyone else and likewise, there are things they will do with  me and say to me that they wouldn’t dream to do with or tell anyone else, so I know very much that the careful cultivation that I have done on the crops of my friendships has not been done in vain, as at the end of the day, they are still my most special creatures and a small part of them loves me an extra-special amount as well.
the smell of boiling pasta
nights in the pub when everyone else has left and it’s just Nick and me
Rob Rouse
being in my office alone
fresh green beans
bad (terrible)horror films
walking around with no real aim
planning visits with LaDonna
… that’s what every phonecall with my sister features at the moment, planning. We discuss the dates I will be in Cheyenne and what I’d like to do, where I will stay (with her) and how nice it will be to see one another. It’s just going to be so nice to see my family again.
the fact that nobody else’s cakes will do


Thursday, 5 August 2010

the things my dreams are made of...

Last night I dreamed about my old house… 
I dreamed about my mum… 
It’s not often that I dream about her but when I do it is always incredibly vivid.
In my dreams she’s always alive and relatively well. I don’t ever dream about her being ill or not being there. If my mum is in my dream she is not just a memory, she is a real, living thing that I interact with and hold.
I always hold my mum in my dreams…  the way I wish I always had. I never held her enough when she was alive (that’s not to say that I held her at all when she was dead… I just made that sound incredibly odd. Just to be clear, I never once held my mum when she was dead… though I did touch her skin AND look down her top to investigate the colouration where no makeup had been applied).
Prior to moving to England I would visit her every two days between my shifts at Mini Mart and the mall… I would go to her room and lie on her bed and she would talk to me about what she won at pinochle or how well it went when she had called the numbers at BINGO the previous day. I would listen to her and snooze for the hour I had before having to get on the bus to my second job. She would talk about how she wished she could see the grandkids more and how proud she was of me.
Most every time I went to visit her I found myself unable to embrace her. I don’t know if it had to do with me being a sassy teen who was “too cool” to hug her mum or more to do with the fact that I was frightened of her being so ill, but hugging her… sigh, that’s it, isn’t it? I was terrified of her illness. Despite her large frame and outstandingly beautiful smile, she was so frail and I hated that. If you so much as brushed the skin on her arm she would bruise. She was forever covered in blemishes from where she had bumped herself on her wheelchair or the walls during her daily routines. I remember so clearly how tiny and frail her arms and hands always looked, the skin so perfect underneath all the bruises and cuts… the cause of the weak skin being her medication.
Medication time was always the most fun. Lamotrigine, Phenytoin, Hydrochlorothiazide, Amytriptiline, Levodopa, Glucophage, MAO-B Inhibitors, Wellbutrin… names of things that I forced myself to memorize from a young age but names that I should never have had to become familiar with. I would watch as she swallowed three of those little cups of brightly-coloured tablets to take away her pain, swelling, depression and sleeplessness. Some days they worked and other days she couldn’t cope. Other days she could barely leave her room. Other days I sometimes found it hard to look at her because her face reflected so much pain. I hated seeing my mum in pain. She would always try to smile but I could tell when it was fake… when she was putting it on to stop me from worrying.
But when I dream about her I never, ever have to worry. In most dreams she is suddenly as fit as she was when I was eleven… just before she fell very ill. In most dreams she always seems to have something I am looking for. Sometimes it’s a food I’m craving, other times she’ll be spending time with a friend I’ve been pining after. Last night it was an underskirt for one of my dresses. I went into her room at our old house and she said she had been going through her clothes. I laid on the bed and smelled it. It smelled like the sweet odour of her perfume and patchouli… there was an ocean of clothes scattered across the floor of every colour and fabric… some of them were actually ones she used to own, shirts that were silk or crushed velvet in deep purples and bright reds. I crawled to the floor and began sifting through her clothes, much the same way I used to when I was a child… I was mystified by all the things that she owned, wanting immediately to wear everything and to have her tell me I was beautiful. I lifted up her favourite shirt… it seemed so real, the way the fabric felt cool in my hands from the fan that had been blowing fresh air into the boiling summer atmosphere.
I kept digging, travelling from the foot of the bed into her wardrobe, touching all of the different fabrics to my face to smell them and memorize her scent. It was when I had reached the right-hand edge of her wardrobe that I found the underskirt… the perfect underskirt made from netting in several pinks and black, perfect for me to wear under my dress at my leaving party.
I put it on and it looked faultless. I pranced into the lounge where she was sat on her chair with the sunlight hitting her face. She was sleeping. I woke her up and she told me I looked beautiful and I hugged her. Her hair hit my face and it was so soft, smelling of a random mix of Herbal Essences shampoo and her perfume. I started talking to her about Muffin and the phone started to ring and I hopped up to answer it. I couldn’t find it and it got louder… then I woke up.
I woke up and missed her. I missed her so much it hurt today. The missing was made worse by a discussion that forced me out of my office this morning.
There’s a woman that used to work here who was diagnosed with cancer last year… cancer that spread through her entire body. She’s in her early sixties and last year was only given two weeks left to live. A year on she has just started her third bout of Chemo and Radiation-Therapy (as they have found a lump on her brain). Everyone is very close to this lady and it was discovered yesterday that she was in hospital and had been for quite some time. Two of my colleagues immediately went to see her and this morning every detail of their visit was explained from the way that she looked to the way she slurred her words.
It was at the mention of slurred words that I had to leave the room… I immediately bolted up and announced I had to go get a cola. For me, “slurred words” is synonymous with the last conversation I had with my mum… I still remember every single word that she said to me and just how her voice sounded as the phone was put to her ear. She couldn’t hear me through all the machinery whirring around her to keep her alive so she was shouting, presumably because she thought I had the same machinery keeping my ears from hearing correctly as well. My mum was on heavy doses of Morphine and Valium to help to ease the pain and everything she said sounded like it was being played to me in slow-motion. All of her words blended together and it made me hurt. I could hear what a struggle it was… I could hear her piecing the words together, not wanting to make a mistake, wanting to say everything as clearly and consciously as possible so as to not worry me.
I put down the phone after the nurse reassured me that she would be fine in the morning and I could ring then… I wept. I’ve no idea why I wept, but I did. I wept because I wasn’t there and couldn’t hold her, I wept because I had spent so much time being terrified of her illnesses, I wept because I loved her and was 8,000 miles away. All she ever wanted was to have me nearby and I left her.
Within four hours she had died and my sisters were booking my flight back to america.
I don’t know why exactly it is that when I dream of her I always find the things I’m looking for and I don’t know why exactly I never dream of her in any other way than how she was when I was eleven, but those are, without fail, always my favourite dreams.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Divorce: Day 321

Today, finally, it is all over for me. 

Today, finally, I don’t have to think about it anymore. 

Today, finally, I received my Decree Absolute. 

The Decree Absolute tells me that the marriage has been completely dissolved. It tells me that I no longer have any legal ties to Chris. It tells me that I am no longer legally a Butcher. 

The marriage was actually legally dissolved on 29th June but it seems that there was a problem with paperwork and my copy went to my old address. I had to ring yesterday and speak to a very curt woman who snapped at me for a number of reasons before promising to re-send my copy of the paperwork and hanging up on me. 

It is a genuine relief that now, today, ten months and eighteen days after we decided that our forever was over, I can rest easy and not have to worry about it anymore. 

I’ve been pining for his father a lot lately… John was a fabulously eccentric man who I always seemed to get along with quite well. He was always so friendly and warm with me in his own racist, shouty, only-in-pants sort of way and I miss him a lot. I’ve not seen him now for over a year. It was 21st of July last year and we went on a trip to Calke Abbey. We walked through the massive gardens and I leapt over the barriers to pluck the fresh raspberries off the bushes for an after-lunch snack. That Tuesday hosted a beautiful afternoon that ended with us having a fabulous gammon dinner at home and with Chris and I deciding not to travel back to Wiltshire with them due to financial constraints and a job I had been given doing wardrobe for a short film with a friend. 

I’ve loved John from the first time I heard his voice… his accent being the perfect amount of West Country for me to understand and mock occasionally. He is so loud and has a rare type of self-confidence that oozes onto me when I am around him. He cares not what anybody else thinks, he just does what he wants when he wants and I love that about him. 

Out of all of Chris’s close family, John has always been the one that has made the effort to talk to me and be friendly with me. He’s always been kind and funny and spoken to both of us on a very regular basis. He called almost weekly and I always loved hearing him immediately shout down the line, in his oh-so-familiar voice, “You alright my lover?” I would instantly shout back “you alright John?!” and we’d talk about the recession, booze and work. 

I miss John and I am hoping that I will get to see him during a brief excursion I will be making down to Wiltshire next week. I shall most likely ring him tonight and see if he would mind a quick cup of tea with me… just for me to say goodbye properly and thank him for being such a wonderful father-in-law. He was the best father-in-law I could have imagined having and it’s going to be hard to not have him in my life anymore… 

I find it so difficult to believe that it’s all officially over now. Monday I found myself watching Chris as he sat and talked in his typically animated way to some random person. I was stood with Franny and Jax, waiting for the music to start at a gig I really had no interested in being at, when Chris came out and sat. He was wearing the red and black checked shirt that he bought during one of our Matalan dates over a year ago. His hair was a mess and he was quite clearly inebriated. It was the first time I was presented with him very forwardly touching ANNA in front of me. I attributed this mostly to his being slightly drunk, as I know he gets that way… that’s just the thing though, I KNOW him and it hurt. 

Stood there in that beer garden I love so much, tossing words back and forth between us, I noticed he smelled different. I found myself wondering why he changed his man-perfume and when.
I noticed he had a different mobile and I asked him how long it took him to choose it, knowing before I finished the first word that the answer would be “more than two weeks”… because he LOVES to investigate every single option available from every single source, most times he doesn’t even achieve a purchase as he becomes exhausted from the process long before his brain will let him click into grab-the-wallet-take-out-card mode. 

My heart began to hurt, remembering that he was my husband… I was married to him at one time and we were happy. I watched with harsh judgement at the lack of warmth that ANNA seems to supply to him and I worried that he doesn’t get enough cuddles. He deserves cuddles, they were always his favourite. Even though things were awful in the end I still loved nestling under his chin for a hug… I loved feeling the embrace and emanating body heat of someone else. I wonder why she doesn’t… why don’t they ever seem to touch one another or show any form of outward affection? 

He asked me how I was… not in a patronizing way, but in a way that expresses general worry. He always asks me that and his big green eyes look so genuine every time. he knows me and he knew from the moment I told him I was moving away how terrified I would get so now he doesn’t even bat an eyelash when I begin explaining to him how little I am eating or how the lack of sleep is affecting my daily routines.
From the very first day that I announced I had become emotionally entangled with Muffin again Chris has been concerned for me. He told me often that I was perhaps rushing into things and that I needed to take some time for myself to be free and easy and not have to live for anybody else. I scoffed my way into my citizenship, a flight and moving house before finally sitting down and wondering if he was right… I hated admitting it to him as we were stood there under the neon blue fairy lights, but I really am worried I’ve not taken enough time for myself… I went from being married to Chris to being divorced to planning ANOTHER forever with Muffin within a month… 

Even in the time leading up to my leaving I am not taking time for myself… I am creating for other people, baking and cooking for other people and tidying for other people. I just want to relax… I want to sit, watch every film on my shelves I’ve not watched yet and not have to worry about anything except what bit will be best to pause for a toilet/snack/nap break. I am taking as many precious little moments as I can do for myself, but I am still finding my candle burning at each end and I don’t have the time or energy to re-build. 

So here I am, 321 days into being divorced and twenty-two days from a flight halfway around the world… I have never in my life been more terrified of anything. I’ve never questioned something so much in my head or made so many excuses…  I can honestly say at the moment that I’ve no idea what I am doing… 

I wonder if I should have listened to Chris all those months ago when he said I needed to take a break. 

I wonder if I should have stopped trying to be some sassy and in-control-of-her-own destiny girl and taken the advice of someone that knew me better than most at the time… 

I wonder what will be on my megamix from graham.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Everything’s jamming… and not in a Bob Marley sort of way…

No. I am not good this week, for many reasons, most of which I am finding it hard to put my finger on specifically. 

I SHOULD be happy… a great deal of fabulous things have taken place in my little life in the last week that could possibly be glorious enough to make a rich man happy, but no… I am hard to please with all my stress and blargh. 

Yesterday afternoon I arrived home after several days in London (but it was my last trip to London before I leave, adding a great amount of doom and gloom to every corner we turned and piece of siu mai that I ate.). I had spent the previous four days in a state of almost constant laugh with janeyface as we went on adventure after adventure. 

The adventures began on Thursday evening when I arrived after having been journeying on the train in First Class accommodation. I decided to treat myself since it was my last trip to London for a long while and since it was totally only a fiver. I minced into train car “G” in my jeggings, lemon-yellow Dr Martins and gingham cowboy shirt with a giant smile on my face. I am generally friendly to everyone and was especially friendly to the lady that was sat across from my designated seat. She immediately judged me, presumably because of my tattoos and amazinghair… without a second’s hesitation I became Vivian Ward from “Pretty Woman” and she became the shopkeeper (who I shall name, for the purposes of this blog, Katrisha). i went about my business… I sat proudly in my extra-roomy seat and pulled out my crocheting and tub of blueberries and strawberries. I began working on my latest project whilst Katrisha sat across from me pretending not to judge me. She kept her head directed towards her HR Service Level Agreement but kept sweeping her gaze across me and no doubt wondering why National Rail would allow scum like me to sit in the first car when it was CLEARLY only for high-powered business people and high-class prostitutes (Katrisha was the former, but COULD have been the latter, were she about twenty years younger). As the ticket inspector shuffled up the aisle to make sure there were no intruders she began to trundle in her seat, no doubt excited beyond belief to witness the forcible removal of me from the car after I was dramatically unveiled as the holder of an economy ticket instead. I passed my ticket to the gentleman and he glanced at it for a moment, Katrisha stared at him with relentless intent, desperate to hear him announce loudly to the entire car that I was NOT to be sat there and could I please move and that I needed to quiet down or he would call for backup (because clearly, all ticket inspectors have a stock of backup inspectors for the particularly rambunctious passenger who is insistent on staying put). The inspector looked at my ticket, smiled at me and stamped it before handing it back to me. Katrisha was instantly deflated, you could see that. The remainder of my journey was spent being watched by Katrisha and a very mature gentleman who spent the first half of the ride swapping between seats, falling over and crying. They both watched me intently as I crocheted… I am certain the gentleman wanted to talk to me which is why he stared at me so incessantly, but I was uninterested and therefore ignored him. 

Anyways, talk about being side-tracked! 

So I went to London and janey and I participated in a great deal of activities and funtimes… it wasn’t until my last day that it really hit me that every single thing that I did whilst I was there would be my last. Each shopkeeper that I had become so familiar with over the years, each street name I had studied so as to navigate on my own seemed to all be in vain, as I would not be returning to Hackney ever again. 

Alas, we played like we’d never played before. Thursday we drank, made friends with some random ethnics, drank more and slept nude for some reason. Friday we went to Dim Sum, pranced in Chinatown and went home to craft and watch a crap-ton of films. Saturday we went to Walthamstowe (see below) and then to Brixton (also see below) for a Caribbean meal. Sunday was Hackney Farm (ALSO see below), a long walk to a taxidermy and surgical tool shop and home for tattooing and Father Ted. It was a glorious weekend and I couldn’t have imagined a better last trip to London. I love janey and I love our adventures. 

I came home with slight hesitation but a bounty of gifts for Graham and Pow. Prior to my leaving I had a conversation with Graham about his skin colour and the fact that I thought a red shirt would really suit him. He advised that he had no red shirts and demanded I get him one during my trip to London, but stipulated it could cost no more than £3. I did this times two and he was pleased with his bounty of gifts (see “Dexter” below). I brought Pow a pair of surgical scissor-type things for Johnny and three seashell animals for our shelf… he had been quite emo as of late and after a long, drunk texting marathon with him on Thursday I was feeling quite sick at the thought of facing him. Things felt odd and mechanical between us, so I hugged him and went to the pub. A series of events took place that left me feeling quite dejected and left me questioning the foundations our friendship is based on and now I am left here, this afternoon wondering what it will be like when I see him later today. 

This wondering comes after a series of incredibly aggressive texts and curt replies from him. he’s never been like this with me and I hate it. I just want to hold him and will both of our achey, stressy awful away but I don’t feel like he’ll let me do that. I am terribly pensive about going home this evening for fear of what is in store for me… I guess all I can do is hold my breath when I open the door and expect the worst and take whatever’s coming to me. 

So… there we are. my week in a nutshell… I feel like our photocopier, jamming-up every few minutes with all the junk that is being put through me. I’m feeling so fragile at the moment that if I were to even be bumped too hard by a passing pedestrian, I would most likely fall to pieces…

here, have a list.

Cillian Murphy
watching pen ink dry
stand-up comedy 

my cupcake tattoo… for the amount of times I have been asked if it is real or how it looks so perfect, I love it. From the handles of the scissors to the bottom of the lowest pink splodge, I love my almost-newest tattoo. Not just the tattoo though, but the entire session as well. I love Thomas and I love getting work done by him. We spent the whole time listening to Eminem’s new album and talking about his new procurement of the shop. It was a wonderfully perfect day and it is a wonderfully perfect tattoo.
being sung to
… Graham sings to me almost every time we are together and I love that… I love it when he grabs his guitar and starts to strum one of the special emo chords that make my heart want to burst. When Graham isn’t singing to me then Pow is and my favourite is hearing him sing. He sings random silly things to me that I try to memorize so I can take them with me to america, but there’s no way I could ever remember every one of those details. Sigh.
Pow smell
contemplating band names
dogs carrying newspapers
… a janeyblog coming this week, keep your eyeballs peeled.  

Dexter… it was last Wednesday evening. I was sat on the sofa with Graham and watching Zoo TV, singing along to one of Bono’s many hits and ostracizing his trousers every chance I got, whilst I was doing this my fingers were wrapped with brown and orange wool, working on a fox for Chris Tree. Graham watched me for a short time before asking me if I would make him something. Ever-looking for an excuse to not work on the fox I said yes. He asked me if I would make him a Dexter… I asked what a Dexter was and he told me that he was a 2-d cartoon he had created a while back that is used for many little sketches he does. I said yes and that was when the project planning meetings began. We had three that night and by Sunday Dexter was complete. Monday afternoon I pranced out to the back garden with Dexter in hand and asked Graham if he wanted to see him. He nodded and I passed him over. Pow took photos of Graham’s tiny, happy face the instant he received Dexter, but I have no idea where they are… it was the most beautiful little face you could have ever imagined. He beamed like a new parent and snuggled Dexter to his chest immediately. He said he was perfect and hugged me. those are the moments that I live for… the ones that allow me to hand over something someone has been wanting and see how their faces react. It’s a beautiful thing to know that I am able to do that to people… make their faces light up so big. Dexter is one item I am particularly proud of making… probably in the top five.
self-heating face masks 

Hackney Farm… by far my favourite farm that I have ever been to. It’s so, so tiny but also so perfect. it’s got a ridiculous amount of chickens (the ones that wear trousers), a small mammal area (with guinea pigs and rabbits), goats, cows, a donkey, sheep and PIGS!! The most recent daytrip to the farm allowed me to see the two ginger beasts who have no names… I call them Danie and Janey as they remind me of us (lying around being flatulent and kicking one another). I remember when I very first went to the farm almost three years ago. Those two ginger ladies were so tiny compared to their massive size now. I always go to them first and pat their bellies with force, talking to them in a squealy voice before being startled by a chicken or lured by the other pig… the biggest of them all… she’s beautiful and I love her. I love farms and I love Hackney Farm most.   
Kimya Dawson 
Graham Williams… he is just SUCH a special creature and I hate that I only just met him. most nights we stay up on the Book of Face or on our mobiles, messaging back and forth about the news, music or racist things (I must point out here that I am NOT actually a racist, I just find the words and entire concept hysterical). Yesterday whilst I was on my way to the shop I asked if he wanted anything from the shop and he offered me a list consisting of one fizzy pop that is neither light nor dark, one sweet that had been dipped in something and one packet of crisps that are crunchy. He stipulated NONE of the packaging could have red on them and spouted off a number of other things that I didn’t pay attention to because I was attempting to memorize the moment. He is just literally the funniest, most fabulous person I’ve ever met in my life and I love spending time with him. This week will feature a playdate on the swings, blue cakes with coconut in and emo megamixes we’ve made for one another. I am muy excited!
… a stupendously jolly man who runs a Caribbean restaurant in Brixton… I love him and his wife’s incredible cooking.
riding first-class on the train
discussing food with janey
… because that’s literally all we ever do… discuss food or sex. I love janey.
stopping-off at random pubs with janey
… one of the few people I feel genuinely close to at the moment. For all the people that seem to have abandoned me, Franny is there offering me hugs every chance she gets. I love her and I love spending time with her. she’s a beautiful creature inside and out and is another person I HATE myself for not having bonded with sooner…
Lee Lee
Thai breakfasts
… sausages, egg, curry and rice OH MY!!
when Muffin surprises me
… he’s getting better, slowly. He’s been surprising me with random phone calls and photos at least daily and my heart is all pleased for this. he’s a delightful boy.
apple juice
Sam Rockwell
dim sum
… full of all the most fabulous trinkets, clothes, foods and people ever. I love it so big.
sea shell animals
… oh. em. gee.
elderly couples
good buttercream icing
cowboy shirts 

my Kevin tattoo
Father Ted
Belle & Sebastian
Ardal O’Hanlon
smoked salmon
… but ONLY when accompanied by soy sauce and wasabi… NOM!!
being familiar enough with London to be able to navigate confidently
The Lucy Show
my hair
all-butter cookies
my drawings
fresh watermelon
riding the underground
English Countryside
sideshow freaks
Flight of the Conchords
spinach dumplings
soy sauce
boiled potatoes
strange and confusing game shows
sunny days
Polish soup
really old hospitals
animals that have been preserved in jars
… best market, chinese pound shop and people-watching locale in the WORLD. Fact.
good posture
Fox Gloves
… the flowers, not tiny mittens for woodland creatures, although wouldn’t THOSE be CUUUTE?!
caramel shortcake


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