Well, we had planned to be in the Midlands today for an extended photoshoot, but quite aside from the minor issue of large portions of it trying not to be under water right now, our photographer is currently recuperating from an operation to deal with a bleed on his brain a couple of weeks ago.
Quite understandably he’s under strict doctor’s orders to not work, and while we talked about coming over to be sociable anyway he wasn’t feeling up to it so we’ll catch up another time. It’s only the third time that fate has intervened in our plans for shoots so we’re not going to get a complex about it. We’re just glad that he’s making good progress back to health.
So instead we said those immortal words: isn’t it time we sorted out the guest room?
Now it’s true that it’s been a bit of a dumping ground while we sorted out other rooms, but at least we’ve already got all the paint and supplies. This morning therefore became an exercise in stripping everything feasible out, as well as excavating the paint and brushes from the boiler cupboard – the same one containing all the Funko boxes from our collection.
In addition to the general debris, we also had most of our cosplay props, some costumes, and what felt like half a ton of material and scraps – along with most of the games we’ve accumulated over the last few years.
So, it’s been a busy day so far. We’re currently on a break to let the ceiling dry before we give the walls a quick wash down and get on with finishing the room. And then we can reorganise what’s in there once that has all dried.
Hopefully we’ll make good time this afternoon, or we’re taking turns sleeping on the sofa and piles of costumes this evening.
Well, we had planned to head North to spend time with a photographer, but issues with their health and of course the flooding in the Midlands, we changed our plans. We went to the cinema instead – but having booked online we were somewhat surprised to find the entire place locked up and empty.
A sympathetic security guard had wandered over to see why so many people were annoyed, I did feel sorry for him. He did at least contact the office and arrange for us not to be charged parking – which was a good move.
So I may have wandered into a bookshop to buy things with some of the money very generously gifted me yesterday. Book three of Locke & Key, a signed copy of False Value, and a hardbound edition of DCeased have therefore made their way home with me and I’ve been a happy little bookworm.
Oh, and I finally got round to starting on my Jack Crawford cosplay for the Red Dragon Con next month. This has mostly got to the point of trying out different shades of purple shirt and ties as it really is a very simple costume.
So, not the day planned, but nothing like a bit of flexibility to make the day whizz past.
I am having a wonderful day of new books, fresh coffee, games on the XBox and very little else. I may even have had a tipple or two.
In other news, Lady M took delivery of her new work car – a Hyundai Ioniq that I am desperately failing to not refer to internally as the Erotique as both she and myr s have been salivating over it at some length. I haven’t driven it yet as I’ve been drinking but I look forward to getting used to it, even if it is an automatic. I must admit the wireless phone charging is neat though.
Being a geeky little polycule, sometimes the best gifts are simple, and sometimes you just have to embrace the madness. In the run up to Valentine’s Day I was browsing Etsy and found someone making little lego-style lightsabers for keyrings with accompanying tags that recreated the famous exchange between Han and Leia: “I love you.” “I know.”
Although there were options to buy multiples, the site would only make them available in pairs, so rather than just getting us one each I got two identical sets – and then as I gave them out, invited both Lady M and myr s to select one for their keys and I’d have the other.
As you can see, they both opted for the same piece and so now I have this double token to put a smile on my face. Simple things please me.
I was chatting about internal lives recently, especially where it comes to issues of attraction, and fantasy, as you do. Innuendo and sometimes not even single-entendres feature heavily in many of the conversations I have with partners and friends – so this always means keeping at least half an eye on boundaries.
You might think that this is particularly true with regard to some of my older colleagues, but as they spent some time trying to see if I was shockable I consider them fair game for as much veiled near-bone ribbing as possible. One of the great joys of getting older has been finding people generally not being particularly precious, or at least being more thick skinned. So while still remaining within the bounds of decency, the jokes and conversations and can and do get a little pointed.
So far so normal in general, but the real debate was around recognising the internalised tensions that some people have about recognising and owning attraction and boundaries. The conversation then meandered around the differences between ethical non-monogamy and cheating and how this informs mainstream representation of relationships in the media, such as the ubiquitous love triangle that always has polyam viewers wanting to throw things at the screen.
This belief that someone who is polyamorous will uncritically listen to and support someone in an affair is one of the major annoyances that I and my partners have encountered again and again.
Even with my hyperactive brain and ability to fall in love several times a day, I have no guilt over crushes and attractions – and I’m lucky enough in my dynamics that I can even mention them and it becomes a source of amusement or sometimes mutual quiet agreement where we fantasise out loud for a brief period before getting on with the day.
I long ago accepted that I have a filthy mind, and that fantasy is a strong element of my internal life. That’s just who I am. But breaking trust and hearts? Causing hurt? Why add to the cruelty of the world? It’s selfish and destructive.
It generally boils down to this: even if you can’t pin down where the line in the sand for your relationships is, you know when you’re crossing it. If you don’t know, then you need to have some sober conversations to check in and make sure you’ve agreed where those lines are.
Nice slow day today, with my brain more or less switched off, and it’s just what I needed.
Lady M continues to shower me with early birthday gifts: games and books for the most part. I am both very lucky and slightly bewildered by the cornucopia of choice now presented to me for the next time we meet with people. Cards Against Star Wars, Choose Your NSFW Poison, and X-Men Munchkin are all now carefully propped up, ready to be unleashed.
As for this evening, I’m currently stood at Osterley Tube Station waiting for myr s to arrive from seeing Lindemann up in town this evening. I’ll take them home for a quick cuppa, freshen and change before putting them in an Uber back to Portsmouth so they can do the school run with the cub in the morning. If we had a spare car I’d do it myself, but alas the logistics don’t quite match up this evening.
Anna danced in the snow, her heart as light as the footsteps of her partner. Round and round the stones she went, their path weaving in loops and curves. Snow fell, but she barely felt the cold. She was buoyed on delight and a song only she and her partner could hear.
They danced on and on, faster then slower, to no discernible style. Some steps wafted like a waltz, others more sharply akin to the tango. Featherlight snowflakes dusted her skin and settled on her eyelashes, highlighting the growing ruddiness of her cheeks.
She didn’t feel the burn of the growing chill, or pay attention to the growing fuzziness of her thoughts. Her eyes were fixed on her suitor, her mind on the dance that swept away everything else in the world beyond the glorious moment she was in.
They found her huddled body the next morning at the foot of the fallen stone called the long man. Her eyes were still open, twinkling in the frost that glazed her. Her bare feet were raw, blood staining the snows where her feet had passed in intricate delicate swirls that suggested a pattern maddeningly just beyond perception. No one knew where she’d come from, or why she was there, and the locals didn’t comment on how there was only one set of footprints that led up to and around the stones.
I’ve been going to the same counsellor now for the best part of twenty years. Initially it was do deal with issues around trauma, depression, anxiety, and prolific self harm, but these days is as much a clear space to keep grounded and to work through and process life in general. Lady M has recently started seeing one too.
I mention this because we had a huge power cut a couple of evenings ago in our neighborhood. With our usual aplomb we both said ‘candles’, turned on the torches on our phones, and soon had enough light from various sources to relax on the sofa and have a quiet natter about life, the universe, and everything else our attention latched onto.
Lady M started recounting how she was talking about our polycule in session, and how supportive her counsellor had been. From various online discussions I’ve become aware of just how lucky we are to have found people who have not been judgemental, let alone supportive of how and who we love. Some of it seems in support of something that makes us happy, and some of it is recognition of the emotional labour and honesty required to make these – and indeed any – relationships flourish.
While all of us are out – and in general have had positive regard from co-workers and most of our families, it has still been hugely important to have these structured places to be able to talk in depth about each other and what’s going on in our collective and individual lives. Humour plays a huge part in how we talk about and to each other – and while it’s not my place to recount what Lady M says she talked about and the responses she got, I do want to share something from one of my recent sessions.
I’d been talking about myr s and their embracing of their non-binary journey and was asked how the changes made me feel. I said that the great advantage to my partners of my being bisexual was that I can put my hands in their pants and be very happy with whatever I found there. It took my counsellor a good couple of minutes to stop chuckling.
I don’t have the time right now, I refuse to be ill. That should do it, right? I mean that’s what people keep telling us for mental health issues, so overpowering this persistent sinus pain and attempt at blocked nose can be sent packing with coffee and spite? Yes?
If a positive attitude was all it took to battle my own brain (do you see the conflict there?) Then surely stubbornness will work with merely physical complaints, it only makes sense.
Okay, I know I’m preaching to the choir here. Everyone I ever met has battled at some point so this is hardly esotoric territory or a sudden surprise and revelation. I’m just letting off some steam.
I’ve got three more days of work before I start my holiday. It’s all feeling a bit of a slog at the moment.
I’m still not quite sure where it came from. I think it was partly Lady M complaining of sore skin as I hugged her earlier. It sparked a memory of what I’ve long held as the missing weekend where I was diagnosed with diabetes.
Some context here for those who haven’t heard the bare bones: we’re not sure how long I was diabetic before I was diagnosed as I was largely asymptomatic beyond tiring easily, but I put that down as much to being very overweight and unfit. I developed a rash on my legs, and increasing swelling and redness and started being very unwell, but was stupid and didn’t go to the doctor. My wife at the time eventually worked out something bad was going on and got me in front of medical professionals
They promptly admitted me to hospital and when I came to I was told they’d got my kidneys and liver working again, had been at most a couple of hours from death, and did I know I was diabetic?
Which was quite a lot to take on at once. Especially as I promptly picked up necrotising fascitis in my legs while on the ward and lost more time as my system threw up its hands in disgust.
So the flashback was a very clear memory of putting my bare foot on the ward floor and leaving a pus footprint, and of telling my father that I could smell something rotting, and I was sure it was me. And the memory of the physical pains, and the smell, just were there.
And then I remembered later, post various surgeries when I was strong enough to stand up and go shower, where layers of skin fell off my legs like sheets of paper. Utterly painless, and fascinating, and I clogged the drain.
I think this is meant to be a sign of my brain feeling strong enough to start processing what it’s been suppressing. How wonderful. Yay?