I am very lucky to have a great many amazing people in my life – today is all about celebrating the women who have shaped, supported, challenged, and occasionally rolled their eyes and let me learn from my mistakes in my life.
Obviously I cite my amazing partners at this point – because let’s face it I’d be a hopeless mess without them – but also the people I’ve known along the way here, as well as family, friends, and colleagues.
I could write a long rambling post here, but it feels like that would veer into being about me and that’s not what it should be. Today is about celebrating and hyping these amazing people who make the world a better place
Oh, yeah, by the way, today’s been the eighth wedding anniversary of myself and Lady M – eight years since we all gathered at Rowton Castle and had a massive party that also happened to have a wedding attached to it.
In typically disjointed fashion I’ve been back at work trying to remember passwords and catch up on all the many weird and wonderful things to have happened during my week away, while Lady M stayed home, ran things to the tip, and spent half the day chatting with the ex-Lady M about how proud we all are of the Charleesi.
By contrast, myr s has been struggling to find a way to style their new haircut in a way compatible with a favourite character in the Final Fantasy series – so I’ve been vaguely trying to remember what I used to spike my hair many moons ago when I had some.
The eighth anniversary is known as a Bronze anniversary, so as we always try to incorporate something of the relevant material in our gifts, I gave among other things a bronze knotwork pendant and a bronze keyring with the date on it – and Lady M gave me a miniature bronze armillary replica, and a set of bronze gaming dice from The Grinning Gargoyle
And then being soppy romantic buggers we sat on the sofa and caught up on some episodes of Altered Carbon before pottering around a bit more while I tinkered with laptops and desktop patching because we both have work again in the morning and celebratory silliness will have to be reserved until the weekend – where we’ll be catching up with Lord and Lady P for the first time in ages.
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.
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.
In a show of total disorganisation this year, we’re all working or in different places today, but its still a day that mixes humour, love, inappropriate comments, and a smidgen of soppiness thanks to technology and a degree of bloodymindedness. I managed to press a card into Lady M’s hand this morning as she scuttled out the door before dawn – and will have to wait a couple of weeks before I can do the same for myr s (but at least card and token presents have been arranged for both for as and when we get the time to stop and draw breath).
I even debated getting something for Lady J, our metamour, and do have a suitable card of admiration that steers away from smushiness that I’m still debating filling out. I have after all been accorded the accolade of being one of the few humans she can tolerate, so it seems churlish not to throw something her way if only to make her roll her eyes at a dreadful joke.
One of the things I’ve learned to embrace over the years is that love takes many forms, and even on a day concerned with romantic love there’s no reason not to celebrate and acknowledge the various connections that have significance should I want to. That said, I am glad that my counselling session due today has been rescheduled to Monday evening – because with the best will in the world, and no matter how much I love my counsellor, tonight is not a night where I necessarily want to be doing a lot of emotional labour.
Instead I intend to close the doors when I get home and largely switch my brains off. There may even be cuddles on the sofa and a bottle of wine. One of the benefits of being a slushy and soppy polycule is that we actively work on being present and there for each other all the time – which includes giving each other space as much as showering each other with tokens of admiration. In some ways it takes away some of the sense of pressure of any individual day – but there’s no harm in indulging the opportunity to ham it up every now and then.
It’s been ages since the libatious librarians got together. All plans for celebrating birthdays and Christmas and New Year got scuppered by people’s holidays, or being ill, or just plain bad timing. The end of January (at last!) was the perfect excuse therefore to catch up, and to celebrate various people’s career moves and successes.
There was a lot of drinking. A fair amount of eating. Nachos were sent back and refunded for being pitifully small for a so-called sharing plate. Silliness, commiserations, and teasing happened in equal measure – and yes there were even tears and hair holding in the toilets.
And everyone has checked in this morning on the group chat in fine spirits and with reasonably clear heads. A successful mission I feel.
There’s one disadvantage to our tactics of buying things through the year to space out the cost and stress of Christmas – and that’s all the wrapping.
That’s what I’ve mostly been doing the last couple of days, and I’ve lost track of how many rolls of paper I’ve gone through. At least the card inside the rolls will end up integrated into props down the line – and most of the paper is recyclable.
In theory I could wrap things as I go, but there is something therapeutic about wrapping presents in large numbers that I enjoy. I am reaching the point soon where I will have to reorganize what is stacked under the tree though.
In the meantime I’m having an early night so that my back can stop complaining about being hunched over the table. A day back at work should sort that all out. I did leave instructions for the Saturday staff to have fun with the Christmas decorations, so I’ll be seeing what they did soon.
Despite the best efforts of her employers we were determined to help lady s celebrate her birthday this weekend.
As she was having to work the actual day, we arranged to head down on Saturday after I finished work, and we gathered together with Ladies J and B to escort her to the pub for food and drink and a quiet evening of silliness.
And the nice thing is that we don’t need to drink to have fun, be daft, and let our humour out to play. The next morning would see us having a breakfast too, but we were mindful that lady s had to work soon. So we contented ourselves with putting the world to rights over pizza, puddings, and pints of diet soda.
The following morning we showered lady s with gifts before breakfast and dropped her and Lady J to work. Lady M and I spent the day being tourists before Lady M headed home. I lurked in the area until lady s finished work and ubered her home. The rest of our evening was spent watching YouTube clips before bed called and we turned in.
Lady s said it felt in many ways that it didn’t really like a birthday this year, but a 12-9 shift will take the wind out of most people’s sails. Between us, I think we did our best to counteract it all
Aaaand we’re back from the Welsh valleys, gently baked from the glorious sunshine. We’ve been to another wedding anniversary celebration – this time of my mother’s cousin – and so we’ve been meeting various relatives whose names I have no hope of remembering. (To be fair I am awful at remembering most people’s names).
Our journey had been long, mostly due to roadworks and tailbacks from accidents, but I suppose that’s normal for any travel on a bank holiday weekend. We’d all been booked rooms at a hotel in Llangamarch – which certainly broke the ice – so the first evening was spent generally catching up and welcoming people.
Saturday was quiet – we were exhausted – so we slept through breakfast and instead went down to Llanwrtyd Wells to the Caffi Sosban which we’d so enjoyed last time we’d visited. One hearty brunch later, we went back to the hotel to chill out. We knew hat a minivan had been booked to make several runs on Saturday evening to drive us down to the farm freehold itself.
And yes, there was much wine, food, and conversation through the evening. Dogs were herded, small children steered away from the alcohol (mostly), and geese avoided.
We’re generally an amiable bunch, and storytelling really plays at the heart of all our gatherings. Sometimes the stories are even true.
At the end of the evening, the minivan reappeared and made multiple runs back to the hotel. An amazing evening, and with such glorious weather we were a little reluctant to head straight back to London.
Nevertheless, we left early to try and get the worst of the travel done before the roads filled – so we meandered back without any extra drama and have spent the rest of the weekend relaxing. All in all, a great break in routine.