Darts Night

The cub has recently discovered a new activity that has gripped his attention – playing darts. He’s now old enough to be trusted with proper sharp darts rather than the magnetic set that has adorned the door next to his desk, so lady s has registered him with the local darts academy.

His grandfather is of course extremely pleased, and has invested in a high end board and a selection of flights and components so that everyone in the house can have their customised setups to suit their play style. The cub has a practice routine to do every day and so it was that we ended up in a mixed doubles series of darts matches last night. I was in a team with lady s, and the cub was in a team with his grandad.

It was just a lovely quiet family moment of playing together with quiet banter, promises of being dumped if it ended up needing a double one to win, and hardly anyone being hit by rebounding projectiles. I suspect there may be more this afternoon while lady s is at work.

Oh, we played best of three, and we won 😉

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Pleasant Nonsense

We’re a little late to the party but after seeing a cheap bundle of all three films we’ve watched all three John Wick movies and delighted in their glorious B-Movie schlock while trying to identify all the well-known faces that pepper the assault course. The relentless drive from brutal set piece to frantically kinetic set piece was exhausting at times, but the quiet world building also impressed with its shorthand approach. Once you accept the world’s premise of ridiculously stylised seedy riches, glamour and violence, the deadpan charcoal black humour positively sparkles.

If you’ve been hesitant about trying them, take this as the nudge off the sidewalk you were waiting for.

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It’s Nearly the Weekend

I don’t know if it’s the tail end of a bug or something but I seem to be very tired again as a consistent base-level status. Fortunately it’s almost the weekend, and in this instance that’s three days off. I’ve just got to get past an early start to oversee an asbestos audit of one of the buildings I manage. Who knew being a library manager could be so exciting?

I’m going to spend a couple of days with lady s – our first catch up this year – and part of it is going to be spent supporting her as she continues to develop and firm up the expression of her non-binary feelings. She wants to have the option of dressing and presenting in a more masculine way as she deals with her gender dysphoria – but has expressed that she wants to continue using she/her pronouns. To that end I’ve offered to help her pick out some masculine cut clothing options while I’m there.

How do I feel about this? It’s an opportunity to go clothes shopping, and as we’re a fairly similar build it does give us both wardrobe options if either of us is visiting the other. More importantly I’m supporting my partner in a matter that has been causing considerable distress and in a way that will hopefully help them feel better.

I have however been told off for suggesting buying a squeaky toy to put in her boxer shorts. No matter what, the teasing and silliness continues..!

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Dancing in the Library

We’re trying something new as part of our links with the local schools and the arts community. Over the next three months a number of schools will be working with a dance theatre group to create and produce interactive performances in one of our library spaces.

This week the group has begun rehearsing and getting to know the area – and today was their first experience doing so with the public in the building and interacting in that space.

It went rather well. Both in terms of logistics with nobody getting in each others way, and in terms of public response and reaction. The latter ranged from a very British nonchalance, to families engaging the team and joining in.

Bodes well.

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Mental Health Awareness

My workplace is taking the general mental health of its employees seriously enough to be rolling out information and training in resiliency and self awareness, and making sure people know that support is available. I’m glad to see it, and even more so to have my staff acknowledge that they’ve found some of it useful, or at least thought-provoking.

My own use of the tools is somewhat undercut by the experience of being in long-term counselling for some nineteen years or so, and doing many of the practices already as part of my self-care discipline. It would be easy therefore to allow a degree of jaded thought if not for remembering that many people are encountering these concepts for the first time and that my journey does not invalidate the courses, the assessments, or the information in any way.

It would be easy to scoff and roll my eyes at the results telling me that I have negative thoughts and high levels of stress – because it’s not telling me anything that I’m not already aware of – but the tools and challenges suggested are ones that colleagues are finding useful.

I know I have negative thoughts and impulses because I challenge and fight them every morning, afternoon, and evening and do my best to not be defined or controlled by them. The thing is, I don’t really know how many others around me fight them too: Not unless they tell me by word or deed. So that’s why I’m so glad for the new focus at work. It’s more chipping away at the stigma.

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Fiction Fragment: Border Time

Gerald Thorne sat in his study, running the thin silver chain links flow between his ink-stained fingers. He was aware of the soft rumble of the traffic outside, but it was the patient ticking of the clock that held his attention. The clock itself was on the marble mantelpiece behind him. It’s mechanism ran smoothly with gentle winding every week or so, and it had travelled with him everywhere that it had been practical to take it.

It had been a present upon his graduation decades ago. It’s simple ornamentation was classic in its beauty. It had always kept perfect time, except for under certain esotoric conditions.

With the thick drapes excluding the outside world, and the only light coming from thick candles either end of his desk, the scene had a timeless quality that seemed gathered and layered, condensed even. The steady ticking of the clock continued to slice that timelessness into even segments that fell away into eternity.

He looked and trickled the chain links from one hand to the palm of the other slowly, back and forth in time with the clock. The silver gleamed in the candle light like water catching the evening sun. The moment of dusk was near: the border time, the boundary of night and day. The procession of seconds continued, each as unremarkable as the next as Gerald’s awareness of the outside world faded and focused on the moment.

The clock skipped a second. And then another. All was silent. Gerald gripped the silver chain, and then he heard the click of a dog’s claws on the vinyl flooring outside the door.

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Not as might be expected?

We’ve had a very lazy Sunday, Lady M and I. Mostly because it’s been a bit of a full on week again and colds are still trying to either linger or set in.

With all this feeling run-down it’s probably not too surprising that Lady M currently has some form of opportunistic inflammation of the joints on her wedding ring finger. This has made removing and replacing the rings while washing and so on really quite painful, so she has reluctantly not been wearing them while she treats the swelling with a topical cream.

This morning she told me that someone at work had noticed her bare ring finger and had in hushed and horrified tones asked if we had split up. On being reassured that this wasn’t the case, they then expressed that they had been worried that I had run off with lady s but we’re relieved everything was okay – especially when Lady M gave a robust rebuttal to that notion.

It did prompt me to, somewhat tongue in cheek, coin the word ‘monogonormals’ in response, but it is actually appreciated that her colleagues have such concern for Lady M’s well-being. Thank you. You’ll be relieved to know that Lady M did not disclose your identity to me.

The stereotype of polyamorous relationships having any more of a temporary shelf life than ones we are socialised to accept as ‘normal’ is one that can appear at any time. Accusations of being a commitment-phobe, or of being greedy are not uncommon for people with this relationship model.

My truth is that I love my partners and know that they love me too. I have as much of a crystal ball as the next person for knowing what the future brings; but as long as we carry on with talking and listening, reaching out and giving space, and evolving with our experiences then that’s a good strong basis to face the future with confidence and trust.

It really is that simple.

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