Tag: love

Did you break up with that boy?

Hello, dear readers. I’ve been having a frightfully busy time with work and travel, which is why I haven’t blogged in two weeks or played any video games. I thought about doing some gaming now because I have a night off for the first time in ages, but it was that or talk to you.

I spoke to my mom on the phone yesterday and we had a nice chat. She said ‘did you break up with that boy you were seeing?’ She was referring to Harry, as he was the clear winner of that epic period of romance which happened a few months ago and is referred to here on TLYW as Starry Skies.

‘No!’ I replied, in surprise. ‘Why would I break up with him? He’s lovely and we have a very good quality relationship.’

‘You stopped blogging about him’, said Mom. ‘Well because things are taking off, that’s why, and I wanted to keep it more private’, I said. ‘We are getting to know each other and are probably going to start living together. He is an absolutely delightful boy from a nice family and is kind to his grandmother.’

‘Oh, that’s very good’, she said. ‘That’s so important.’

She is right, it is. That’s why he is special. Added to which he has the brain of a mathematician and the body of a model, is a fantastic cook, loves cleaning and loves me. He is irresistible. He is so cute that he lights the place up like a Christmas tree, it’s like Christmas around here all the time. I couldn’t ask for more, could I.

Harry and I were talking the other day, we were standing in the hall where he was kindly tolerating my smoking out of the window. ‘I think I’ve done very well and that I am lucky to have you’, I said to him. ‘If I ever show signs of forgetting, remind me that I said that’.

So that’s where we’re up to. We are having a Relationship and are going to live together. It’s a big step for me as I’ve been single for 7 years, pretty happily. I am out of practice and a bit nervous. It occurred to me the other day that the last time I entered a new relationship, in the sense of committing to an actual partnership, was 2005. I was 39 then, I’m 51 now. My partner back in 2005 was 29, and my partner now is 24, so there’s that. God damn. I feel young. I also feel a bit like Stephen Fry because I am that fat. I also feel a bit like Calvin Klein because I am that glamorous.

Harry bravely gives his heart to me even though he believes that I will one day tire of him. This just makes me love him more, but he is wrong. I will not tire of him. If he wants a serious relationship, then we will see how serious he wants to get. I wonder what type of wedding he would like to have. Maybe I will get that beach wedding in the Bahamas I’ve always wanted. Not while there’s a hurricane there, obviously. Maybe wait for the weather to calm down.

Shall we have a tune? I think we should. Let’s have some vintage Christina Aguilera. I’ve been using Shazam recently. Enough said.

Christina Aguilera: Back In The Day (2006)

 

Real Food Market at King’s Cross, London

I was passing through King’s Cross between business meetings, and happened across the Real Food Market.

Bread, cheese and cheesy bread formed the basis of a couple of delicious meals with Harry. I was completely enchanted by the doughnuts and bought several, which I then realised I could not sanely eat, as I am already the size of Mariah Carey and I am supposed to be trying to look attractive for my new boyfriend, albeit not in a spangly leotard, so I took them downstairs to my neighbours.

Here’s a link to the official website. Recommended if you are in the neighbourhood.

http://www.realfoodfestival.co.uk/real-food-markets/kings-cross-market/

Dear old Mariah. Here she is, in fine voice in 1990. I didn’t listen to this kind of music back in the day, I wanted Biggie Smalls, Snoop and Ice Cube, but in retrospect I can appreciate what a great voice she had and that she was only about 20 or 21 at the time of this recording.

Apparently she has a new single out tomorrow.

Mariah Carey: Vision of Love (1990)

I have been travelling and there will be more food and travel news soon.

Camden Lock

A date with Harry. We went to the market at Camden Lock. It rained, because we like that in Britain, in the summer. It makes a change from the winter sleet.

Lunch. Obviously very important. I had a chicken katsu burger and sweet potato fries.

General outdoor scenes. Harry and I are falling in love and it is turning into quite a serious relationship. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up living together or even getting married, if his parents can handle the shock of the considerable age gap.

A hipster selling moustache wax and beard butter.

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The fancy tea shop. Harry is a big tea aficionado.

The Japanese shop.

A stall selling candles. They all looked and smelled delightful but I couldn’t have any because they are paraffin and my lungs don’t get along with paraffin candles. I discovered this after I bought a huge sampler pack of miniature Yankee Candles in all different fragrances, so I sent them to my sister-in-law who I don’t particularly like.

I love the photo of this lady and her husband. It was very clear that she desperately wanted one of these candles, if not several, and spent ages looking at them, but her husband did not take the hint. Then she tried passing them to him in an attempt to get him to take an interest, but he was not having it. As you can see, he is not even looking. I felt bad for her. We had a little chat about how nice the candles were, because she needed somebody to agree that they were nice.

And that’s all the news for now, as I am super busy today. I have lots more photos to share with you, but they will have to wait for next time.

Stamppot

Food is a huge part of my life since I met Harry. We eat out. We cook at home and try out recipes. He is a good cook and is encouraging me and giving me confidence. This afternoon, I cooked and he wasn’t even there. You don’t see that happen too often outside of Xmas.

At work, I am learning about Holland so I had a go at making Stamppot, which is a Dutch dish. Stamppot roughly translates as ‘pot of mashed vegetables’. Here’s my amateurish cooking. The results were quite good and I even put some in plastic tubs in the freezer for later consumption. I felt very domesticated and quite victorious, even though I made plenty of mistakes and cooking has never been my strong point.

The essence of a stamppot recipe is this: get some root vegetables, eg potatoes, boil and mash them; get some green, leafy vegetables, eg kale, boil and stir into the mash; stir in fried onion and bacon pieces. Season and serve with pieces of smoked sausage.

Here’s my amateurish version that I did today, with extra bacon instead of sausage.

Realised that I needed to use up a bunch of interesting-looking vegetables from the farmer’s market, including these carrots. img_3928

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Chopped up a potato. Chopped up a red onion. Vaguely fried everything in butter in the saucepan for a while, with no clear idea of what I was doing, then developed a sense of purpose and transferred the onions to a frying pan. Left the carrots and potatoes in the saucepan for boiling.

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Looked around for more of the market vegetables to throw in the boiling pan. Cauliflower. Red cabbage.

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Chopped up another onion and fried with some bacon pieces and too much oil. I always use too much grease and have much to learn about frying.

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Don’t forget to boil some kale. Later realised I should have put the cabbage in with the kale, note for next time.

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Make sure everything’s cooked.

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Mash the potato (cauliflower, carrots, etc), add milk and seasoning – big spoonful of Dijon mustard gives it a kick. Stir in the leafy veg, bacon and onions. Yum.

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I loved everything about this recipe and will definitely make some different versions of it to try out various combinations of ingredients and also to get good at cooking bacon and smoked sausage, a subject of which I know little.

There will be more food posts soon. As I mentioned, it’s a big part of this romantic relationship I’m suddenly having. We are cooking and eating while getting to know each other. I’m quite fat but that’s not really Harry’s fault and is mainly because I secretly eat cake when he’s not around.

 

NutriBullet and general food news

OK, so I am on a mission now for improved health. You know me, I am happiest when I am on a mission. I’ve done 10 hours of walking in the last four days and I am right on the brink of resuming weight training. I’ve been walking on Hampstead Heath, which is gorgeous, as you can see.

I have finally acquired a NutriBullet, two years after everyone else, and it has been a real game-changer. As we all know, eating healthily is a lot of hassle, especially if you are like me and you don’t want to cook. I have all good intentions and everything and I don’t mind making a salad once in a while but I can’t possibly do that three times a day, it is out of the question. The NutriBullet, which is a fancy type of blender, is the antithesis of cooking. You don’t have to cook anything and you don’t even have to use a plate to eat the results, you can drink it straight out of the cup you made it in. No cooking, barely any washing-up.

I am photographing everything I eat, because that’s a proven method of keeping me from eating junk, so here are a couple of photos.

Spinach, spring greens, strawberries, pineapple, ice, protein powder, nuts. Chuck in blender, add water, pulverise for 1 minute, slurp.

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Kale, spinach, banana, peach, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, protein powder, nuts. A really great way to use up fruit that is on the turn.

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Look at that, delicious.

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I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so healthily and I feel fantastic.

I am dating Harry and we are falling in love with each other. He’s excited that I’m excited about health and I have made a couple of nice meals for us. A simple mixed salad with smoked salmon. Observe my beautiful Portmeirion tableware.

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This was yesterday, I was so proud of myself. A salad made with spinach, red onion, strawberries, raspberries, blue cheese and sesame seed croutons.

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Soon I will start letting Harry cook, because he likes to cook. Score. I am so happy with this boy, he is really lovely and I have cancelled all of my other relationships except for Fyodor, who doesn’t count because of being in Russia.

Starry Skies, Chapter 8: Ice

I was in the London Bridge area last night because I was on a second date with Chockney, who you may remember from Chapter 6.

In theory, Chockney is perfect. He is very attractive, despite his advanced years. He is sensitive and artistic, yet solvent (makes a nice change, usually if the people I date have any money it’s because they are still living off their parents). He is clever. He’s transparent and not secretive. He’s quite engaging and he’s a nice person. He’s sincere. He really likes me. He is my age. He is available for a relationship.

As you know, dear readers, I fall in love about twice a week, but as for being in a relationship, I would have to cast my mind all the way back to 2010, by which time that relationship was in a terrible state and had been for a couple of years, which is why I ended it and started this blog. The last seven years have been the happiest years of my life. I’m so glad I captured it all here.

Chockney talks about being in a relationship like it’s perfectly normal, which I don’t think it is. I don’t think it is normal. It’s common but not normal. He uses phrases like “being on my own” which make absolutely no sense to me, I have no idea at all what it means and I’m not very sympathetic to it. We’re all alone, all the time, from birth until death, and anything else is an illusion.

I can no longer remember what being in a relationship is like. The aspects I can remember aren’t very valuable to me. Honestly, I think I just hated the drudgery of parenting and being in a relationship made it slightly more bearable. But the parenting is over now, he’s grown up and gone to live in another city. There isn’t anything in my life that I don’t like except for doing my tax return and having to think about things like mortgages and pensions. In every other respect, my life is sweet and a work of art.

I don’t even know what I am doing with this guy. The last time I had real feelings for someone, it was the Person Who I Wasn’t Supposed To Be In Love With in 2015 and 2016. That was sincere love. I miss it a lot, I miss him a lot. I wish I could have that again but now I’ve found someone who basically ticks all the boxes and is offering a Real Relationship, I am horrified. I am a block of ice. I don’t mind having dinner and listening to myself make conversation, I am very engaging company. But I don’t want to be kissed and sex could not be any further from my mind. He takes for granted that I’m not seeing anyone else, because he’s not concentrating hard enough to ask the right questions. Am I ‘in a relationship’ with anyone else, definitely not, and have not been for 7 years. Are there people in my life who I am in some way involved with, yes, obviously, there always those people. All the time. Even if we don’t count Harry, there are two people in France who are excitedly waiting for me to come out there and join them in August. I’m spending a week in the south of France with the rich American lawyer and then I’m going straight from him to a games designer who I’ve known for a number of years who lives in the part of France that borders Switzerland. None of these things could correctly be described as ‘being in a relationship’ but they are very much real people and they are alive. They are what I have instead of a partner.

Chockney assumes that if we begin A Relationship (in fact, I think he thinks it has already begun), it will be monogamous. Again, because he thinks monogamy is normal and not merely common, he doesn’t ask me. He just assumes that monogamy is what people do, probably because he is old. If he asked me, he would discover that I haven’t been in a monogamous relationship since I was 16. That was the 1980s. That’s how long ago it was. If I tried something once in the 1980s and haven’t done it again since, that’s a reliable sign that I don’t want it and I am not interested.

I am a block of ice. I am a nuclear winter in a pretty frock and meticulous make-up. Don’t even try to hold my hand, I have never liked holding hands, I find it embarrassing, it makes me feel like I’m five. You can walk along next to me and that’s all you’re getting.

Why am I even seeing him, you may ask? Good question. I can identify two reasons.

(1) I have certain household repairs that need doing that are beyond the abilities of the 24-year-olds that I usually date. I could pay someone, but I don’t want to.

(2) More seriously, everything was changed by The Person Who I Wasn’t Supposed To Be In Love With, who haunted my life like a beautiful, insubstantial ghost in 2015 and 2016. I loved the Person with all my heart. I was swept away. I would have spent the rest of my life trying to make him happy. I haven’t seen him in six months and I still miss him so much. It makes me teary if I think about how much I loved him and how we used to romantically gaze at each other. I miss that. I would love to have that again. But apparently I can only love ghosts. I can’t deal with it in real life. Real-life chances of love, like this one, turn me into stone. I am the Ice Queen. I will break his heart.

He needs to go. Right after he’s mended a few things around my house.

Let’s have a tune. Church.

M.O.P. – Cold As Ice

Starry Skies, Chapter 4: Maxime

Maxime is a mature man of 30. He is one of London’s 20,000 French ex-pats. He looks very French and is really unusually handsome. I did not burst into tears or feel as though I were going blind but there was certainly a sharp intake of breath. His message to me said this:

Dear Madame, I have read your whole profile and I feel as though I will never recover. You are The One. I am totally and completely in love with you. Please have pity on me. You have torn my heart from my chest.

I was rather taken aback, as you might imagine, but of course I replied, because who’s not going to reply to a message like that, especially when it comes from someone with the face of a romantic hero who is in London and not in Russia. We moved the conversation to Whatsapp, as one does, and I logged out of the dating app. I assumed he just wanted sex, which would not be very difficult to get, with his unusually handsome appearance, especially in a city like London, with a population of 8 million people. As such, the conversation might predictably have focused on simple, practical matters such as getting me to come out to meet him. Instead, there was a long conversation, lasting all evening and again the next morning, in which he continued in a similar vein and said things like this:

I love you already.

Please, don’t text anyone. Say you will be only for me.

I’m totally in love with you. I’m really serious.

I can’t look at any other woman now I’ve seen you. Please come and be with me.

I hardly knew what to say. He wasn’t asking for sex. I wasn’t even in London – as most of this was unfolding, I was in Spain. I avoided saying anything that directly referred to this imaginary relationship between us, because what could I say, so I made general remarks about love. I thought he would become bored and quit. I was wrong. At the end of Day 3, he proposed.

Marry me. Be my wife. I cannot live without you and I cannot love you any more than I do.

‘Why do you love me?’ I asked. ‘Because I was born to love you’, he confidently replied. ‘When I saw your face and read all your beautiful words, it was like being struck by lightning, I was shocked. I knew that you were the one I was made for. You are tender. You are passionate. You are beautiful. You think like me. You talk like me. You were made to love and be loved. I am here now. Let me love you. I am your husband.’

He would not give up. He insisted that he was serious. He proposed again and again. He begged me to come home to London. I let him think that I continued to stay in Spain. In fact, sceptical of his extravagant claims and in no mood to be diverted from a path I had already set for myself, I returned to London for a matter of 48 hours, just long enough to take care of some business and pack my suitcase afresh, and then I went to Paris, where another French man was awaiting me, whom we shall call Alain, after Alain Delon.