Monday, 28 April 2014

Itchy feet

April 28th 2014. 01:15.

Awake. Alert. At home.

After my overtime shift, walking home in the peaceful clear midnight streets, I'm hardly tired, either mentally or physically.

It's been the first time in a couple of months that I've been and done some overtime. Always really easy to get back in the swing of it, and nice to be there to help and advise people.

What shall I do with the time that I've booked off so suddenly ? I'm thinking of going away. I'll have to speak to my parents, to see if they can look after the cats, but I really want to get away. Even if not for the whole time, even if I don't go very far.

I just need to be somewhere else. Not because I'm running, not because I'm hiding, but because it's a big planet and I've only seen a very, very, very small part of it.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Not so lazy Sunday after all

Sunday April 27th 2014 11:28

Chloe stayed overnight, it's nearly half past eleven and she's still not up. Not that I can criticise that much, I only raised myself from my pit about 10am.

Yesterday, amongst the many things that I did, I finally took 'writer' up on their offer to use their 'pro' version of online writing software. (Writer from big hugelabs )

This means that I can back it up on other cloud devices, and it also means that I can use it where no internet connection is present. This can be handy with my Chromebook when out and about. The internet isn't always present.

Clutter free no nonsense writing. Writer

Trying the Pro version for $5 a month (what's that about £3 ?) with no commitment is an easy way of figuring out if this is something I think is worth it. There's a life time version that costs $119, which will be worth it if I used the added features. It'd take just under two years for that to become cheaper than the monthly version (there's also a yearly subscription). Time will see. I have used the free version considerably. It was my software of choice when doing NaNoWriMo.

I suddenly discovered the other day at work that instead of having just under a week of holiday to use up by the end of May, I have just under three weeks !!!!

Slight panic as I try to find a way to get all that holiday in, before the end of the month, and in a month with two bank holidays in. Oooops.

The other slight panic of the day, was checking my calendar and finding out that I had signed up for a shift in the out of hours call centre for tonight. Again. Ooops.

Nice overtime, but really, after having what feels like a short weekend, interrupted by my teenage daughter, and being considerably shorter than last weekend..... Just makes me a bit grumpy. Not me, being grumpy. That never happens. Well, okay, maybe on occasion.

It seems then that my plans for the weekend of doing absolutely nothing, and then complaining about not doing anything have been disrupted on an epic scale.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Don't know what you've got till it's gone (or at least you can't have it).

Sunday April 13th 12:35.

It's a glorious sunny day. Despite other glorious sunny days already visiting upon us so far this year, this one leave me more inclined to go out and do something purely because I can't.

I can't because I'm on standby, so that means I need to be thirty minutes travelling time away from being able to get to the emergency call centre.

Luckily, this is only a fifteen minute walk away from where I live, however it does still limit my choices of activities today.

Having my daughter stay with me all week, despite being at work, and on standby has been another thing that has made this week different to the others. Now that she is staying untill next Tuesday, (and I come off standby 8am Monday morning) it will be a period where I have had to change my normal routines.

There's nothing exciting about it. But it is more.. well, normal than normal. Usually I either have her to stay with me when I'm on holiday, if for a few days, or if it's an overnight stay at a weekend, I'm not working.

This is the first time she's had to deal with me being out at work, and coming home tired etc, and vice versa. Her being a teenager means this isn't so much a problem. She probably relishes the fact that there's no one here to boss her about all day, or to nag her because she's spent the entire day watching some crazy download series on my Macbook.

t does mean that I've pretty much not seen my Macbook for a week. I am missing it, I get to see it, but getting to actually spend any time on it. No. I am relegated to the Chromebook. When Chloe's friend came up to stay over Friday night, I didn't even get that.

Not that I mind the Chromebook. But again, I'm yearning the things that I can't suddenly do, or use. Is that just rather childish ?

But I can't go on Second Life.

So, while my daughter is out with my parents for a bit, and grabbing some more things from home, I'm sitting here in the sunshine, soaking up the ultraviolet radiation. I've been up since about 8:30am. But now that Chloe's out, I don't feel the burning need to race upstairs and grab my Macbook back and cram in some Second Life time or some film editing before she returns.


Don't know what you've got till it's gone eh ?

I also am certain that when I return home on Tuesday, I shall notice how quiet the flat is, how clean it will stay, how things will be where I put them. How much more like a house, and less like a home it will be.

Some people are just never happy are they ?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Fence ? What bloody Fence ?

Tuesday April 1st 2014.

Day off today, and after staying out until past eleven pm last night, I didn't actually get out of bed until about ten am today. This means that I've pretty much wasted another day off. Another day off when the sun was out, it wasn't windy, it wasn't raining.

I could have done so much. But achieved so little. I decided not to clean the flat, mainly because it's only really the kitchen that needs cleaning and the vacuuming of the carpets required. I didn't want to risk aggravating my back. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

Knowing that I was off work today, and wanting to celebrate actually getting to the end of another difficult day, I went to the pub after work. Went to the pub and stayed there for about five hours.

I feel myself less tolerating of some of the excuses some of my friends give themselves for the things that go wrong with their lives, or the scrapes, in or out of work that they get themselves into. I like to be supportive and to provide a shoulder to cry on, but there comes a point when I run out of empathy or sympathy for people that don't learn from their own fucking mistakes.

I get tired I guess from hearing the same old thing, and that some people in particular want someone other than themselves to be at fault, and someone other than themselves to take responsibility for fixing things.

Rant over ?


Not quite.

A lot of my evening in the pub was spent giving my less than sage advice to relatively new friend. For the sake of anonymity I'll call him Dave. Dave is someone that I met for the first time a few weeks ago, during another well lubricated evening at the pub that moved on from the pub to someone's house. This was all innocent enough, and all that happened there, and was intended to happen there was some drunken story telling and experience sharing.  It seems that a little while after this, he has been painted for some reason with alternative motives in mind by a friend of one of the persons also at that night's events.

Personally being forever misunderstood and making a hobby off misreading the 'signs' I don't know that I'm the guy to turn to in such situations. But to me he did turn, and I did my best to try and help advise in the situation. Sometimes it's better than to be thought a bastard, than to try and correct this erroneous slur, and get yourself instead deeper and deeper into a situation that it is much, much better to avoid. Like. The. Plague.

If you find yourself at the bottom of a hole, stop digging ? That too.

Once we had moved on from this topic, he then proceeded to declare that it was his mission to get me 'introduced' to the gay scene. His motivation was entirely kind, and brought from his experiences and memories of a dearly loved friend who sadly passed away, but that had introduced him to the lady that is now his wife.

Trying to explain to someone, in a pub, that you not only really don't like 'gay scene' pubs, you don't really like 'straight scene' pubs, or clubs or anything, because they're generally places with lots of people in them, and that's not something I like, is difficult. I am not offended by his offer, or insistence. I am just uncomfortable with being cajoled into things.

I decide, I put my foot down, and I won't, I won't, I won't, I won't. I tell you. I won't.

Oh go on then.

There's also the part of me that realises that I won't get any different experiences or 'outcomes' in my life if I don't do anything other than the things I have always done. Change won't come from repetition of the same old things.

Whilst getting carried away, he offered to take me to London's Soho and to be my 'wing man'. Now, I'm sure there's a perfectly good book or screenplay in here somewhere, but as a person that's much happier sitting and reading a book than going out and getting wasted, or making a fool of themselves in front of people they've never met before, I don't know if this appeals.

Better to make a fool of yourself in front of people you're never going to meet again than the ones you'll have to sit across from in the office on Monday, I guess.

Whilst luxuriating in my bath this evening, I returned to that topic that has plagued me pretty much all of my life since I was about thirteen. That of other people's expectations of me, and my expectations of myself in relations to others. My sexuality.

When I was in my early teens, I realised that I didn't seem to think or feel about things in the same way any of my class mates at school seemed to. It was fair to say I was a late developer, and was still playing with Lego when I went to senior school (though just not in class any more). In fact, to think of it, given the chance, I'd still play with it today. Gone off topic ? Much.

Anyway. There were people, some friends, and one teacher in particular that were convinced that I was gay, and were rather interested in defining me as such. On the other hand, I had people like my family, mostly my parents, and some of my friends, and later work colleagues that were more interested in 'just getting me to have a bit of skirt' and see the error of my ways.

Aside from all the deeply hurtful and destructive things that my Mother and I said to each other throughout my teenage years, about my sexuality, none of it helped. None of it gave me the space to figure out easily what I wanted, and needed to make me happy. I spent an awful lot of years, trying to answer their question 'which is he, gay or straight'. When in reality, I had actually answered it succinctly in my stumbling coming out to my parents when I was sixteen. 'Hey mum, I think I'm bi-sexual'. Now my Dad (who I'd spoken to moments before, having talked to him when we took the dog for a walk) was very quiet about the whole thing, other than pretty much to convey to me that he wasn't really surprised. His reaction was sadly massively over looked by my Mum bursting into tears and saying unhelpful things like 'how can you possibly know what you want' or 'you're the most un-gay person I know'.

The Age Of Consent. by Bronski Beat
Most of my teenage years were spent dealing with the anger and hate that this situation generated. Me desperately trying to find a way to express myself, and  be myself, and my Mum telling me 'not to tell my grand parents, because it would hurt them' or asking if I really needed to be so 'obvious'. Ironic really considering that I was the most 'ungay' person she'd ever met. The pink triangle badges and blaring out of Bronksi Beat's 'Age Of Consent' LP didn't allow me to go unnoticed. (remember, this was back in the days of 'Clause 28', and the age of consent for gay men in the UK was 21)

This was the late 1980s and thankfully today is a very different world. However I have to correct my daughter, for using the 'that's so gay' as a derogatory term. Things are better. Just last week, same sex marriage became legal in England. Not something I ever thought would happen in my lifetime.

Progress is made, in deed.

But it is still those early teenage experiences, and my resulting marriage (to a woman), settling down, becoming a parent that has almost left me wondering if my parents know that I haven't just 'changed my mind'. We never speak of it. We never speak of anything to do with it. It's not an avoided or taboo subject of conversation, but I feel selfish for bringing it up.

The first time around, I was indeed selfish. I was a teenager. It was pretty much my job to be selfish, loud, uncompromising and to write a lot in my diary, including some truly awful poetry and to play really loud music.

It's just that, I don't know where I fit. I've had so many people telling me over the years that I was neither one thing nor the other, and that I was really what they wanted, or expected, and that I should fit into their neat little stereotype or impression of me, that it's kind of overwhelming.

I was twenty-one when I first slept with a woman, the woman that I would later marry and have a wonderful daughter with. It was also at the same time that a light-bulb came on in my head, when I came to the realisation that it didn't really matter whether I liked men or women, it was for other people to try and put labels on things. I was quite happy skirting 'the' question.

It was only after I got divorced that it came up again. Through the depression and stress of the divorce, my eventually leaving the place I had worked at for seventeen years. I still came back to the same point, the same thing in my head.

That I didn't really feel like I belonged in any society, gay or straight. I never really figured out, if this was because I was just unsociable or if I just felt slighted by both, and had a chip on my shoulder, so shunned them.

I guess, just wishing for the fairytale (excuse the pun) that it shouldn't matter what 'sort' of pub it is, that if I go in there, and there's someone that I really like the look of, and really want to spend some time with, and want perhaps to get intimate with, it isn't a problem for that to happen. No matter what pub. That's just a fantasy isn't it ? Is it ? Maybe I just read too much into these things.

I just find that because of, despite all the progress there being a need for a gay pub, or club, that I consider that a false environment. Because by it's nature, to me, it doesn't feel like somewhere you go to in order to just have a chat. It becomes a pickup joint, a meat market. (again forgive the pun). Now this may entirely be my prejudice, bearing in mind that in my life, I have been into such bars three times. The most recent, on a birthday, I think my thirty-eighth. I had a great time then.

Maybe, I'm the one that doesn't really believe in being gay and being happy ? Maybe I'm the one that's homophobic ?

Maybe there's a part of that. All those messages still in my head, trying to program a response.

To be honest, I am rubbish at relationships regardless of the gender of the partner. I am equally rubbish at spotting that someone likes me, or doesn't like me, if I like them. I'm crap at it. I think a blind man would do better at interpreting body language than I do.

I've never really learned to throw caution to the wind and say 'oh fuck it, I'm gonna go with the flow tonight, and see where the night takes me'.

My sensible mind always stops me. what is that bit that really holds me back, stops me committing ? The insecurities, both mine, and those given to me (what a nice gift) by others played on this, questioned whether this meant I really am, or do. Because I don't do that much 'doing'.

Do straight people, when growing up, have to wait till they've had sex to declare they are straight ? Of course they don't.

But why is there this expectation, that I feel, that I should be this or that, I should be doing this, or wanting to go to this club because I'm Bi, and I should be up for that. Always ? Is that really true, or is that my over-sensitivity to the issue.

It's funny, because in relationships with either gender, I get different things out of them. I perform a different function in the role. Now in a relationship with a woman, that's easy, because society has so 'kindly' given us (when I say given, I mean forced upon us) all these rules about what a guy does and what a girl does. Thankfully some of the most absurd stuff about gender politics is evaporating.

It is only recently, on TV and in films, that we start to see positive same sex role models. I find intimate (I don't mean bedroom intimate, I mean close quarters) interactions with other human beings, difficult.

Somewhere, there's probably a psychotherapist screaming at a screen, or scribbling down some sort of diagnosis, or name for what I am, but that's the point.

Do I really want other people to give me my definitions ?

Do other guys seriously wonder how different their lives would have been, had they been a girl ?

The trouble with asking SOOOO many questions, is there gets a point, that without answering any, your head just spins and spins and spins.

Society likes to put people in little boxes, to give us labels. It's how groups are able to distinguish and expel those that they don't understand, or that don't belong.

I've always felt I don't belong. I've always felt that there's things that other people seem to find easy, that I find really hard. I also find that I see things that other people don't see.

The universe is a much more connected and beautiful place than a lot of people, sadly ever take the time to sit and realise.

If you can't find the beauty in everything, then you can't find the beauty in anything.

So, 'are you this way, or that way, or are you on the fence ?'

Fence ? There's no bloody fence, you can freely walk from one garden into the other garden. No fence, no gate.