Woe, woe, woe your boat…

I stayed over at lady s’ on Sunday, and we rounded out our evening with trying out the worst jokes and puns we could think of. The puns in particular got more and more laboured and tortured, fuelled by YouTube videos playing in the background. Inspired by a brief piece that mentioned the extinction of Moa birds, I piped up with “Moa, Moa, Moa your boat, gently down the stream…” and got covered in the mouthful of drink she’d been swigging at the time. It’s the little sillinesses in our shared weird little humours that I love – even as we have to endure some bloody awful jokes along the way.

By way of contrast, there’s a building I work in that has had ongoing problems with leaks; but today a new wrinkle presented itself and I’m very glad I’m not working there at the moment. A colleague had noticed an odd smell, and discolouration near a wall, and on investigation found that the underfloor heating was flooded. After joking among ourselves that we now had not only a built in spa at the library, but hit and cold running damp, the hysteria was firmly muffled and the engineers called in.

We’ve established it’s nothing as simple as the local river rising – and therefore ruled out that it was a hitherto unknown vampire defence – and now await the reports and recommendations on how best the building can be rescued.

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Big hugs

One of the guiding principles of dating lady s has been that it is public, known to all, and that includes her son. He is very much a typical boy of his age, so has taken our comings and goings in his stride, tolerating us as only he can.

But an interesting development has come about recently, where I’m greeted with big hugs and involved in conversations. It’s nice. It doesn’t stop him occasionally being a little ratbag when it’s time to get dressed for school, but again that’s business as usual.

It could just be that he’s just buttering us up with his birthday and Christmas both in the near future, but even the anti-school protests have mellowed, so perhaps he’s just… growing up?

The hugs and silliness are fun though.

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Nice to be appreciated

It’s very easy to get hung up on the thought of awkward or just plain rude customers, but I do get some lovely people in too. That’s not to say that they can’t also have their moments, but today saw someone donate a couple of really big boxes of biscuits about library purely as a thank you for being there.

We hadn’t done anything unusual, and the customer is a regular who we occasionally have to remind that we are closing – he just wanted to show appreciation in a simple way. He apologised for their being a homely selection, and we assured him that was fine, we were a homely bunch.

Just a nice moment that I thought I would share.

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Consider That You May Be Wrong

I was cornered (literally) recently by someone who had had rather a lot to drink, and who had some pressing truths that he wished to share or possibly impart upon me. So yes, I got harangued by a drunken relative recently. What was I harangued about? Well, to be honest, I’m still not entirely sure – as it was a long rambling monologue that veered between the present day, my childhood, parental behaviour, my being an enigma, the infrequency of visits to this person, my coming out, my relationships, my immediate family, and that I had been heralded as someone who would take over the world one day.

Now, aside from a champagne glass that I had held aloft to join in toasts, and a glass or two of wine with the meal, I was entirely sober – and so was mindful enough to cock an eyebrow and let them ramble rather than try to unpick the unholy mess.

Since then, I have been trying to unpick it slowly so that I can process and discard each element rather than trying to react at the time even as another three statements were loaded on top. The whole thing was topped off with the quote that I’ve used as the title to today’s blog – “Consider that you might be wrong.”

Now, my entire modus operandi is to assume that I might, and probably am, wrong – it manifests as perfectionism, hypercriticality of myself, and no small degree of anxiety on an ongoing basis – so “consider that you might be wrong” is hardly a great challenge. As the conversation didn’t actually specify what I might want to be considering, I thought it best to just let the monologue die rather than wade into some potentially very murky waters.

Was I being urged to consider that I am wrong about my career choices? Or about my relationships and sexuality? Was I being told I was wrong to be an enigma, whatever was meant by that? Or was it wrong that I had decided to be myself rather than following someone else’s path for me?

It’s been nagging at me, but I don’t think I want to go back to the individual concerned to ask clarification questions because I don’t owe them any answers or explanations, and if they can’t directly ask me questions, why should I struggle to interpret a series of convoluted insinuations?

Ugh.

I feel better for getting that down on the page.

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Back Home

There really is nothing quite like your own bed to stop and relax, no matter how comfortable other beds have been. The shape I leave in my own mattress feels like a while body hug when I get back, and tensions I’ve only peripherally noticed begin to ebb away.

Perhaps that’s why, after crashing to bed for a couple of hours when we got home, I’m already feeling lighter and ready to return to work in the morning. That’s not to say I won’t be grumpy and stressed when I do, but for the first time in about a week or so my neck doesn’t hurt.

It could, admittedly also be tied to having got through yesterday, and so there’s a sense of a new start – or it could even be the prosecco that Lady M and I have shared this evening.

A little from all three columns I suspect.

I’m home, surrounded by my books, journals, fripperies, and little luxuries. I’ve spent a couple of days with my loves doing Christmas shopping, eating, and gossipping. I’ve about a month of work to pile through, and then I’m off until the new year. Right now? That feels good.

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Another Year

I was just now dozing and the fireworks outside the hotel woke me up. And just for a moment I was back There and my breath caught.

I’m awake now. My eyes are burning, and all the muscles in my neck and shoulders have reknotted. Sleep may come, or it may not. It’s only half past eight in the evening, and it feels a long road to the dawn.

It’s another year from Then. Another victory against Them, and another stretch since one of the semi-colon moments in the sentence of my life.

Tonight in the here and now I’m tired, and exhausted, but I’m still here, and loved, and supported. I feel no urge to flee and end all that. The shocks and flashbacks are… endurable, and they will subside. I’ve had them long enough and understand them enough from counselling to recognise and trudge past them again.

They’ll be back, but so will I. I have too much to live for in my loves and family and friends – even if the black dog does his best to sometimes obscure that. I’m stubborn, diamond-cored from the pressures that got me here, and that’s where we are.

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On a Boomerang

We had a lovely time at my cousin’s wedding on Saturday at a grand gathering of family. Readings were delivered by actors, music by string quartets, and the food was stunning. After the wedding, the day was spent celebrating at Hoghton Tower – and it was one of the grandest celebrations it has been my pleasure to attend.

It was also the Charleesi’s chance to introduce everyone to her boyfriend, Sir B and, you know what? He did well. They survived being plied with many many drinks without going over their limits, and given they’d had very little sleep due to train disruption that had got them in to Preston at about 1am, they were reasonably clued up and alert.

Being full time students in their third year, I’d expect nothing less.

It was good to see them properly as a couple too, rather than the hurried crossing of paths we’d had back in May at Comiccon. They’re good together, they’ve my nod of approval. It’s so easy to see how much they care for each other and are comfortable with themselves and each other at the same time. A true delight to observe.

Sunday we drove back home, dropping the kids back at university on the way, and today we just chilled until a few hours ago when we headed down to catch up with lady s.

We’re making good use of our holiday.

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