Tag: love

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.

Marc Almond

I ticked another item off the bucket list by seeing the glorious Marc Almond in concert in Camden on Wednesday. He is going to be 60 this year, his voice remains incredibly powerful and seems unspoiled. He is a vocal athlete who has somehow preserved all of his abilities. He was a big influence on me circa 1982 and I was glad to go and pay homage at long last.

almond poster

 

Soft Cell ft. Marc Almond: Where The Heart Is (1982)

I am still dating the stunning red-haired model and another guy who’s also young and extravagantly good-looking but my heart isn’t in it really. I am still attached to the Person from last year. I personally think it is a bit cruel to text me and ask cryptic questions about how I am and then don’t ask to see me.

Colds & flu, surprise text messages, huge bottoms.

I am on my third cold of 2017. Cold and flu viruses are sweeping Britain. Apparently flu is up 38% compared to December and coughs are up by 28%. I despair of ever making it to the gym again.

My present cold isn’t quite as terrible as the previous one, which I only just recovered from in February, because I have less painfully blocked sinuses. I still have a sore chest, a headache and a fever, though, so it’s not good. I’m not getting any work done today and I’m too sick to enjoy having a day off. I am just drinking water and sleeping. Such a waste of time.

Of course, I have plans for this weekend, don’t I. Both Saturday and Sunday. Have to wait and see how I get on. Saturday’s event means going out at 9.30 in the morning. It’s now 2.30 on Friday afternoon so I still have 19 hours to try and feel slightly better.

As a result, there isn’t really any news. The only news I have to report is that on Tuesday I received a surprise text message from the Person who I wasn’t supposed to be in love with from last year. That came quite out of the blue, I didn’t expect to hear from him again. We had this short and cryptic conversation where he wanted to know how I was, apparently for no reason. I have rarely met a more ambivalent man. Probably he was having a spasm of missing me, enough to text me but not enough to suggest seeing each other. Maybe he has flu as well, who knows. Have to wait and see if I hear from him again.

While we are patiently WAITING to feel better and to receive messages from handsome boys, let’s have a tune. I saw this video for the first time today and I simply adore it. This is one of the most beautiful young women I’ve ever seen, the video is like a fairytale and she preaches a message of self-love and body positivity. ‘I’m getting thicker and thicker’, she says, waving her perfect, huge bottom. We could all use some of that. I might start looking to her for fashion and beauty tips, not to mention advice on how to be happy.

Behold.

Lizzo: Scuse Me (2016)

lizzo

Happy Valentine’s Day

I still have a terrible cold. My doctor says I don’t need antibiotics, just steam my face and be patient. I am being patient already!!

I tried to commit carbicide and have gained about half a stone but I have go back on the diet tomorrow because next Sunday I have a second date with the gorgeous model. My cold had better be over by then. It’s five days away. Surely I have to be better by then. Anyway, happy V-day.

jodieknit-valentine

2016: The Year in Review

The story of my life is documented in these pages, I see that now. Six years of my life are here. I see how it all fits together. I see the successes, the plans that didn’t quite work, the changes of direction, the life-changing events. I was 44 when I started this blog and now I’m 50. I don’t live a quiet life. I travel and I run at my work responsibilities head-on at 100 miles an hour.

So, let’s do a review of the story so far and 2016 in particular. The beginning of 2016 found me three months in to an unexpectedly gruelling job at an unexpectedly disorganised company. A job which I took to resolve an economic and career crisis of 2015, which in turn was precipitated by experiencing violent crime in 2014. By the beginning of 2016 I was working at full pelt for a company that was giving me enough work to keep three people busy and just barely keeping my strength up.

January

I returned to the World’s Worst Company for a second season of work, which was predictably horrifying and involved more 14-hour days at the office. I was being illegally overworked, harassed in the workplace and facing a prisoner’s dilemma about whether or not to quit. At this point I’d neglected my private business for a few months and I was not yet economically stable so I couldn’t afford to make any rash decisions, rash being a good word for the state of my skin at that time.

I was terribly in love with the Person Who I Wasn’t Supposed To Be In Love with and this was by far the high point of January as well as the low point; this pattern persisted through several other months during 2016.

Photo: nicely-packaged chocolate and toffee in a shop in Hampstead. I was passing through on my way to a business meeting.

ocelot

Tune of the month. DSK: What Would We Do

February

More of the same. Work, stress, work, love, disappointment, work, hope, rinse repeat.A grim, dark month. I was caught on a hamster wheel of workplace abuse and my health was suffering for it. I tried to make a plan to deal with the situation.

severe butthurt

Tune of the month: Derajah Ft Paketo: Inna De Yard gave me strength.

March

March was better because the spring season at work was coming to an end. I could see light at the end of the tunnel and my sense of humour started to return. I have some really nice photos to show you from this month.

Firstly, because I like to show you photos of London, here’s a tray of rings that I photographed at Camden Market one day on my way to work.

camden-rings

And now for the best thing about March. l became aware that the World’s Worst Company holds an annual art competition. I further realised that a lot of people take it very seriously and spend hours at home labouring over paintings of bowls of fruit. I desperately needed to cheer myself up so for a few days I spent every spare minute at work, including during boring meetings, drawing giant cartoons on pieces of A3 paper, using marker pen. They took ten seconds each to complete. If anyone asked me what I was doing, which they did, I replied ‘I am entering the WWC art competition’ and they would nod sagely. I enjoyed this a lot because I was blatantly just taking the piss. I entered some of my drawings into the competition. To my astonishment and joy, they actually liked my work and exhibited it alongside the more serious artists. LOL. 10/10 would produce terrible art again.

Tune of the month: there wasn’t one. I was still quite worried about tax and possibly going bankrupt.

April

Hooray! The hellish spring season at work came to an end. At last! Summer arrived early and I took this photo of birds sitting right in the middle of the flower bed in the park, as though they owned the place.

bird-flower-bed

My clients loved me and I experienced applause and emotional return from large numbers of people, which was fantastic. I am a crowd-pleaser. I please crowds. It’s very thrilling. This was also a point in the year when the Person seemed very emotionally involved with me and I was drunk on it. I was loved and in love. It wasn’t a bad month.

Tune of the month. Duke: So In Love With You.

May

Quite unexpectedly, and just in time for the off-season at my day job, my private business started to pick up. I did some commercial work for a French company that more or less solved my tax problems, at least in theory.

The situation with the Person Who I Wasn’t Supposed To Be In Love With heated up so much that the air would crackle if we were in the same room together.

Then business picked up again, I won an exciting and wealthy new client and I realised that the summer was going to involve a lot of travel. Hooray for travel and money! This was the economic turning point of the year.

May was not a month for photos. We did have a few tunes.

James Brown: I Got Ants In My Pants

June

June was a bit nuts. We had Brexit, so embarrassing. So expensive and embarrassing. I was quite fat at 160lbs. I am not going to show you the actual best photo of the month because it is a photo of me and the Person at an event together. Oh god, I was so in love it was the most exciting thing for years. I cancelled a date with the Head Honcho for the very last time and broke off a budding relationship with a professional footballer who was crazy about me, because the Person was all I could see. It was very intoxicating.

Here’s the second best photo of June instead.

london wall

Tune. D/R Period: MoneyAs you can see, I was experiencing renewed financial confidence this month, despite Brexit causing the pound to lose value. I played this tune a lot over the next few months as money, or at least contracts representing money, started to roll in. What a blessing. Just what I needed and at the right time.

July

July absolutely kicked ass. I couldn’t have asked for more. I went to a party in New Jersey and went shopping and museum-visiting in Philadelphia and got paid for all of it. It was great. I love business travel more than I love almost anything else in the world. It was beautiful. The only thing that could have made it even better would be if the Person had been with me. But you know what, although they were back in London, they were in constant contact during this period, we talked on the phone, and it was beautiful. I stayed in an incredibly swank hotel, ate well, enjoyed the sun and the locations. Life was really good to me in July.

Various photos of New Jersey and Philadelphia. It was so lovely. I felt re-born.

August

As you can see, July smashed the ball out of the park, so I could not believe my good fortune when August got better and better. I packed another suitcase and made my first visit to South Africa, where I was taken on an expenses-paid tour of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. It was beyond my wildest dreams, I stayed in more excellent hotels and had my 50th birthday in glamorous surroundings, while being fed and treated like a celebrity. It was totally amazing.

I hardly posted any South Africa photos at the time, so let’s remedy that.

Music in August, recorded in Cape Town.

September

After two fantastic months of travelling, I returned to London feeling valued and well-paid and thus with more of a sense of normality. September meant returning to work for another season at the World’s Worst Company. I knew it was going to require all my strength and initiative to get through it. Fashion was my main strategy for keeping my morale up for the next few months, and so September marked the beginning of a three-month period in which I wore more dresses than I’ve probably ever worn in my life. It was quite something. I kept 15 pairs of shoes at the office and wore tulle petticoats as a matter of routine. The person who I was not supposed to be in love with could not stay out of my office.

By this time I was only one bad cup of coffee away from quitting the World’s Worst Job and so I played a lot of disco at work as well as wearing flamboyant clothes, to keep my spirits up. It worked and my customers loved all of it.

Tune of the month. Suzanne Paul: Blue Monkey

October

I finally got paid by one of my commercial clients, after waiting for only several months. I instantly became solvent again. I went to Human Resources at the World’s Worst Company and handed in my notice. Thank god for that. That was the worst experience I’ve had in 30 years of going to work.

Yet another commercial client came on board, securing my financial future for a bit longer. I was well happy. Around this time my workload really became quite hard to manage. I was being illegally overworked by the WWC as per usual and in addition to this the new commercial client started generously handing me projects that all needed to completed by Xmas.

I ate things like this, that’s salmon, a poached egg and some French onion soup. I was eating at a restaurant at St Pancras station, en route between meetings.

october-meal

The Person who I wasn’t supposed to be in love with continued to hang around and it was like this, considerably helped by the outrageous fashions I persisted in wearing.

snow-white

A part of me really believed that the relationship might last.

Tune of the month: The Shirelles

November

Dental work. Fatigue, extreme fatigue. Working two full-time jobs. Counting the days until I could stop going to the offices of the World’s Worst Company.

At exactly this moment, just when I was really using all the strength I had to meet my work obligations, the Person pulled the rug from under my feet, right at the end of a blissful day together that had seemed to secure our future. Fucks sake. I was so physically exhausted that my regret and disappointment about the relationship were overshadowed by the feeling that he could have bloody WAITED until December to stop being supportive of me because I really needed some kind of support.

I took some beautiful photos of my beloved Person in November, I suppose the last ones I’ll ever take of him. How I loved him. If I could, I would show you. Instead, here are a couple of photos from around London in November.

December

At long last, December arrives, bringing it with the last days and hours of the most demanding, on-site aspects of the World’s Worst Job. I was very sick by this point, that job made me so ill, every season. I was surviving on basically no sleep and experiencing constant tension headaches.

Then, as if by magic, things started to wrap up. Things started to reach a conclusion and other things did not spring up to take their place. I stopped going to the WWC every day, which was a gigantic relief. I finished my project for my most recent and most demanding client. Somewhat to my own amazement, I thoroughly cleaned and decorated my house, all before 21 December. And then it was holiday time, and then it was actual Christmas. I had 9 consecutive days without any work and all I did was eat stodgy food and play with the Playstation and it was a fantastic way to end the year.

That might be one of the most eventful years I have had. Thank you SO MUCH for coming on the journey with me. I wish every single reader a very happy and prosperous 2017.

Moving forwards to a solution.

As my two full-time jobs are very much in full swing, I am still completely exhausted. I think nothing of getting up at 4am or even 3.30 every day and putting in a full day of work before I go to the office. My head aches, my sense of humour is suffering.

  • Three more weeks and counting until I don’t have to go that office several days a week. Just three more weeks to go. I can physically survive until Friday 9 December, then I can sleep all weekend, then I can work from home and do more tax returns.
  • Business is booming. New client talking about a project in January. Current client happy. Previous client talking about sending me back to Africa because they want me to become an expert on African brands, retailing and shopping, so that means visiting lots more countries. We are looking at Ethiopia (Selassie I! Rastafari!), Cote d’Ivoire and another one TBC in the first instance. This would be great for 2017. Send me home to Africa. I feel it is where I need to be. I might have an epiphany in Ethiopia and stay there.
  • As long time readers may remember, the one shining light of 2016 that kept me going while I endured a whole year of daily work hell was the Person who I’m not supposed to be in love with. We were together all day the other day and it was a really nice day, then the same evening he suddenly became unpleasant. He had a funny turn like that, where he just became a complete bitch out of the blue, in August, that lasted two or three days. At that time, I complained. He apologised and made an effort to be nicer. Then this week he did it again. I have no words, except I do, actually, and complained quite bitterly, but he doesn’t have the balls / cognitive and language skills / necessary motivation to take any action to make amends, so I take it that we are through with each other. Thanks, buddy. You really could have waited until December because I have another three punishing and thankless 80-hour working weeks to get through. I really didn’t need you being a little bitch right now.
  • ONE OF MY CLIENTS HAS FINALLY PAID ME. Fucking hell. I finally got paid for that US trip I did in the summer. As a result:

my-plan

It is the obvious solution, isn’t it. I haven’t counted but I think I go on holiday on average every two years and it has proved to be great at restoring my health and helping me to resolve life’s big problems.

  • Jordan, 2013. 2013 was a tough year, in lots of ways. It was pretty horrible. The Head Honcho didn’t help. At my lowest ebb I went to Jordan and stayed at the Intercontinental in Aqaba. It was great, the weather was great, I went to the gym every day and lost weight and fell in love. One of the best holidays I’ve ever been on.
  • Spain, 2015. I returned to the UK, was the victim of major crime, flirted with anti-depressants and my business went off the rails. By Easter of 2015 I was having a one-woman economic crisis and career apostasy so I went to a resort in Spain, read some business books and re-designed my life from the ground up.
  • Destination tbc, 2017. Following Spain, took a second job which could have been the start of a second career, but wasn’t. Worked insane hours. Got my business back on its feet and started believing in capitalism again. Quit the second job. Experienced romantic trauma. Went on holiday to a luxury resort in (TBC) where it is hot and I can swim in the sea and get some outdoor exercise and also rest.

Decision made. I am very tired and a bit broken. I’m going to start looking at destinations with the right weather for this time of year. I’m thinking maybe it’s time to visit my brothers and sisters in Jamaica.

Sing along. Jah. Jah. Jah-maica.

Dr Alimantado: Johnny Was A Baker (1978)