A Quiet Day

I deliberately took an extra day before I had to travel “just in case” – and I’m glad I did, because it has been lovely to just sit quietly with Lady M and have the day go quietly by.

We’ve taken turns playing on the XBox, reading, and sitting in silence – had a walk and a coffee, bought some snacks, and finished more work on a dress and top that Lady M has been creating.

Tomorrow will be more eventful, but it’s been good to just…stop.

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Switching My Brain Off

At least for a little while – its been a busy old day, with many customers needing perhaps a little bit more hand-holding than anticipated. Nothing particularly outrageous happened; its all just been a bit relentless. On the bright side however, I’m now not due in to work until next week, and there are celebrations and shenanigans to attend in the meantime. As an added bonus, it happens to be payday tomorrow as well – meaning I can breathe a bit more easily for a bit.

I think my staff may have been a little concerned for my sanity today, all the same. I may have appeared at various moments looking a bit wild-eyed as I avoided certain customers, focused on completing certain tasks, and felt steam coming out of my ears as I attempted with my fellow managers to play enough shell games to cover staffing requirements. The relaxed expression currently on my face comes at least in part from the knowledge that I won’t be called upon to have anything to do with that for five days – three of which being a bank holiday so I don’t have to feel too guilty about my colleagues stressing in my absence.

My out of office emails have been set. My morning alarms switched off. I may even have a gin and tonic shortly…

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I was in therapy last week, talking about various events in a busy couple of weeks, and how I’m keeping on top of some things, and how other things are knocking at me, and otherwise having a mental and emotional check-up.

As anyone who’s worked their way through counselling can tell you, it’s hard work that spares no blushes when everything clicks – and your relationship with your therapist can be as intimate when it comes to knowing each other as a long term partner. They learn what makes you tick, your tells, your buttons, and at their best when to back off and let you do the heavy digging.

That’s certainly the relationship I have with my counsellor – leading to more than one conversation where we’ve talked about her being as much my partner as either Lady M or lady s when it comes to our therapeutic relationship.

One of the things we explored was my sexuality, and in no small part how the attack so long ago has impacted on how I’ve expressed it over the years. The conversation veered between romantic and platonic connections past and present, and while contemplating it, I said the following (slightly paraphrased):

“For years I’ve not been comfortable showing or talking about myself, let alone exploring what it means to be me. Fear has been with me literally for decades, mixed up in the memories of the assault, but it’s only been the last couple of years that I’ve been able to start to reconcile things in my head.

Over the last couple of years I’ve met and got to know such a wide range of people at kink events and general social occasions that it’s helped me to start to separate the pain and violence of the attack from the sexual aspect and honestly come to be more comfortable in who I am and how my attractions manifest.

It’s my partners, metamours, and friends that have surrounded me with love and accepted me as I start to let go. I’m still having hard times, by more and more I’m just getting irritated and angry about them than being overwhelmed.”

Now, we talked about a lot else and the above is mildly edited for brevity, swearing, and other material that I’m either not going to talk about or that is irrelevant right now.

When I finally stopped talking, my counsellor gave me a picture to consider and think on, based on what is been saying – telling me that it matched the mental image she had of me while I talked.

The picture, if you hadn’t guessed, is the lion in the picture in this blog entry. It has a lot of resonance for me – and for my partners for various aspects they have experienced of me.

There’s all sorts of symbolism of fierceness, nobility, pride (and indeed Pride), polyamory (multiple lionesses tolerating me), and protectiveness. There’s a lot more to unpack, and I’ll probably have a whole string of blogs as I pick over the various meanings, projections, and inferences that I bring to it.

So that’s what I’m quietly ruminating over at the moment

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I finally have some glimpse of the truth and irritation that lives in the hearts of fifty percent of the population. It’s my day off, and I needed to get some more coffee.

I was already slobbing around in a teeshirt and tracksuit bottoms, so I pulled on some trainers and slung my new hoodie on, gathered phone, wallet, and keys and stride in out. I was halfway down the stairs from the flat when my brain started to twig there might be a problem.

Where was I going to put my keys? Where, for that matter, my wallet or phone? I was halfway across the estate before my brain caught up to the conclusion that I had no pockets. Ah, I thought, so this is what it’s like.

I could have turned round then, but my coffee was calling, so I carried on, thinking that I really wished I had something to carry them in rather than all consumed in one of my fists. The only way to be more convenient and have my hands full would be… Yes, a bag over my shoulder.

It was at this point that my irrational hatred of “manbags” or satchels rose to the surface. Why need one? I thought, if you already have pockets?

As I walked across the car park, I spotted various women grimly holding possessions or wandering carefree with their handbags. I then got a bit confused at seeing a woman with pockets still carrying things in her hand until I realised she was playing Pokémon Go as she walked up to her car.

Once in the supermarket I if course had a basket, and then the luxury of a plastic bag in which to put my possessions along with my shopping.

How have women not risen up in fury yet at a lack of pockets?

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Piss-Up In A Brewery

One of my brothers has his birthday next week, but decided to have a celebration this weekend as he’s away on the actual day. The initial notification said it was from five, but at some point the plans changed, because when I checked about things yesterday morning I was told it had changed to the afternoon, and was now at a local brewery.

The brewery in question was the Pilgrim Brewery in Reigate, which is tucked away in a courtyard off the top of the high street. It overlooks a cricket green and a croquet club, somehow managing to be possibly the most English view ever even as the beer flowed and the wide array of food laid on courtesy of a local deli tempted the taste buds.

There were a lot of people I didn’t know there. Lady M had a migraine so didn’t come along, and lady s was working. I had to force myself to be sociable therefore, but fortunately most people were happy to chat away and my anxieties soon eased away. Neighbours, local pub quiz organisers, some mutual friends, and assorted friends of his family were in attendance – so there were several variations on “so how do you know him” conversations to go through.

There were a couple of variations on the “ah yes, I’ve heard about you” statement that were directed my way but no one elaborated on what they’d heard so I just smiled benignly, and proceeded to talk happily and at length about my lovely partners, my extended family, and how proud of my daughter I am.

It wasn’t a riotous bacchanal, but it was a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon. It’s also now revealed a couple of very nice bars that I shall have to introduce the polycule to at some point.

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Indoor Water Features

I don’t think I’ve ever worked in a building that I’ve wished would collapse before I arrived at before. Perhaps I’ve led a sheltered life. Today’s work location continues to amuse and appall in equal amounts as more and more buckets are required to catch the water.

If the ceiling wasn’t largely made of thick concrete slabs, I’d be expecting to be able to star watch at night soon, but no instead we are almost lulled into meditative trances by the impromptu indoor water features dripping into and out of time with each other.

Add in to the mix a fairly important computer giving up the ghost and therefore knocking out the public’s ability to log on to our public terminals, and emergency staffing called in to cover for family emergencies and you can imagine my bouquet of delights today.

Oh I was also having a performance conversation with a team member, and doing a health and safety induction with a volunteer, while also supervising surveyors, workmen, and a legionnaire’s inspection among all this as well.

I did manage to get a couple of cuppas though, and I’m now off for a couple of days, so there’s plenty of time for the place to collapse while I’m away.

I do like to keep a positive attitude about these things.

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Newsletter Stuff

Following a recent speculative application for an internal secondment at work, a few opportunities opened up almost as recompense for not getting the role. One of those has been joining the editorial team of the staff newsletter – which is largely used to tell people about policy and procedure, laced with pieces about events put on at various libraries.

It has also a bit of a reputation for being somewhat dry in tone, so they’re looking to find ways of making it more interesting.

So I’m on my way to a meeting this morning halfway across the county to brainstorm some ideas and generally meet and greet my colleagues. I’m going to need lots of coffee I think.

So far the insertion of subversive acrostics has been rejected, but my staff have been gleefully suggesting ideas to bring to the meeting which range from publishing book reviews from prison library newsletters to asking senior management to write “a day in the life” articles.

What’s the worst that could happen?

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