Wednesday, 22 February 2017

If I keep looking back, I'll never move forward

Times a changing. As ever a million and one things have happened since my last post.

I would like to talk to a boyfriend I had. I broke up with him yesterday. He was emotionally abusing me. I was abused as a child, and there was an eerie comfort to his behaviour, but I had to let him go. I've tried to do this numerous times. "He's dead to me!" I'd casually proclaim. And anywhere from two days to four months later he'd worm his way in. At first I thought it was just me being 'weak', but having spoken to my friend Ash, she assured me it was him. She had been stuck in a similar relationship with an equally manipulative man and it took her 6 years to get out. Great, something to look forward to. /s

It was a strange 18 months. At first he was nice, but then so was I. We are all on our best behaviour in the beginning. We weren't dating back then; in fact, we were only 'boyfriend and girlfriend' for the last two weeks. I referred to him as my part-time-boyfriend, a nicer term than fuck-buddy and less annoying than 'friends with benefits'. As time progressed he started to change, I noticed, and I changed. I was more defensive, I'd find myself responding like with like. Abuse or be abused, is a motto in my confused mind. I stepped back, unhappy with my behaviour, and so I was being abused.

And strangely enough, even though I knew, I couldn't leave. I was aware of his little moves, because I've done it before too. I've played that game many a time; however, at the time I was unaware. I knew I wasn't being nice to my partners, but only now do I realise where that was coming from. He has similar attachment problems as I do, and I felt a kinship. I knew where he was coming from, I understand why he behaves like that. And that's just me making myself feel guilty, without adding his.

He would gaslight me and emotionally manipulate me into having sex with him. He would disrespect my house, he was always late, he was never there when I needed him, but always there when he wanted me. He'd make me feel guilty about going on a road trip, but was 'too busy' to see me if I stayed. He'd want to know who was in his van, and sitting in his chair. On the extremely rare occasions he bought me something [one can of cider] he'd make a big deal out of it, yet he would often drink my drink. He'd complain that I wasn't drinking fast enough, and that I was spoiling his mood, because I wasn't being 'fun'. He would loudly reminisce about the 'good old times' when I would get drunk and lose my inhibitions. After I'd driven to his house, he would moan that I'm making him walk 10 minutes to a suitable stopping place, a stopping place I'd chosen as he'd make a big scene about me parking outside his mother's house. Of course, he wasn't 'moaning', he was merely commenting on where I had parked, and he would apologise that I've taken it the wrong way, and then he'd ask if I had a hard day at work.

He did obviously have some good points, some damn right charming ones too. I shan't get into them here. I don't want to read this later and start to miss him.

I finally realised during counselling last week, that I felt trapped. And that was thoroughly unacceptable. Last night I sent him a final message. I was unsure whether it was 'acceptable' to end a relationship via text, but was reassured by Ash, that under no circumstances should I talk to him, as he will find a way in. She'd once gone to break up with her one, and ended up having sex with him. That's happened to me before too.

I've done what I can, I've sent a message, blocked him on all platforms and deleted his numbers. Now I just need to wait for him to start calling from every other phone he can get his hands on.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

So much has happened, I hardly know where to begin, and as usual what I have written before.

I am still stuck at my parents, in a seemingly unending charade of joy. How I wish I were not here. The subtle comments, the looks and the sighs. To be free again, to smell the rain, and to hear the birds. To feel as though there is no reason to get up, and to snuggle back into bed, comfortable that my existence is justified.

But no. I awake, surrounded by windows and walls, on a camp bed, haphazardly located in a room previously dedicated to ironing. The furniture, full of sheets and towels, and the few possessions I have here, stuffed under the 'bed'.

Headphones on, I listen to the newest song to hold my attention, disappearing between the melody into a place of tranquillity; blissfully unaware of the noise around me. And yet, this is not enough. I can feel the energy, the tension, the misery. It seeps from this house and permeates my being. I feel like I'm drowning. Lost behind the smile and the child of old.

Monday, 28 November 2016

I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. The feeling of homelessness, and being back in London, specifically being back at the parents. The atmosphere here chips away at my soul.

I'm trying to find a van and dad keeps getting involved. I can't afford much, heh, I'm surprised I can afford anything. Initially I wanted to borrow £500 so I could get a better van. I want a Vauxhall Combo. He offered to lend more and more money, and we're now at £2000. It took me until today to realise that I don't want to lend the money from him. Not only that I'd have to work more to pay him back, but also because it will be lorded over me, like some kind of magical offering.

Urgh. The other day I went to see a Combo. Had a feeling five minutes in that this wasn't 'the one'. Mother said keep looking anyway, seemed like the perfect choice. Right engine size, clean outside, low miles, good price. On the test drive, I noticed that the clutch/gears didn't feel right. Mentioned it a couple of times to seller. When we got back, I asked to see the paperwork. Well that's handy, I thought. The clutch was changed on on the second to last service. It even had service history you see. Well ladies and gentleman, this clutch was not changed. Being the observant human that I am, I noticed our dear friend had taken it upon himself to write in the service book. “Clutch and Breaks changed”. Yes, the 'breaks' were changed too.

He was unimpressed that I noticed the ink was wet, and further unimpressed by my wonderfully condescending tone. “That wasn't very nice now was it?"

Cue today, I'm sat in the ironing room, which is the only place I could secure some semblance of privacy. I'm going to buy the cheaper van, one that will last me a few months, until I've decided what I want to do in the middle-term. It's hard planning that middle game. I know in the end I want to own some land, and thanks to Wife, I'll be adding a yurt to the shopping list. In the short term, I want a van. So how do I get from ironing room to land?

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

To The North

Northwardly, I continued driving. I visited John O'Groats, some 690 miles from London. I had done well. From the village famous for being the furthest point from Lands End, I'd have expected more. There was a sign. I left.

I then drove to Dunnet Head, the northernmost point on the UK mainland. It's a small peninsula in the northeast of Scotland. It looks like a weird-sticky-out blob on the map. There was a lighthouse to greet you, and Hoy. Stretched before me, green atop blue, the island captivated me. This was my first experience of seeing islands that close. They were the Orkney Islands. It was breathtaking, and then as you turn your head, the view sweeps across the mainland. It's easy tell why this was a strategic military location; you can see every-fucking-thing from here.

Sign in shop window. "Open 8 Days A Week!" I knew Scotland was different, but damn, some crazy shit happens north of the wall.

On my way off 'The Head', there was a not-very-old-old-man on a mobility scooter. Nothing unusual here, except that he was driving it in the middle of the road. Literally (never used lightly), on the central white line. I slowed down to pass him, neither beeped nor stared. Not that that concerned him as he was now shouting at me to "fuck off", and whilst repeatedly sticking his fingers up at me, nearly crashed into oncoming traffic. Good times.

The heather was in full bloom and I was treated to rolling purple hills, swaying in the distance. Combine that with the islands and insta-karma, I'd say that was a rather splendid day.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Apples; an introduction to their awesomeness

As the title suggests, I love apples, however, not all apples were created equally.
The apples we eat today are man-made cultivars; clones of their parents, churned out on machine-like trees. They are chosen for the shade and distribution of colour, their size and shape, yet not taste. When taste is not required when selecting apples, it does not bode well for the eater. Occasionally to make life better, a 'sport' appears. This is essentially a mutation, where a random new apple grows on an individual branch. An abomination no doubt, to our Jesus friends. This is how some of the new 'breeds' of apple appear, if, that this, they can grow it again successfully. Most apples are 'created' by combining existing cultivators together. Take the newly popular 'Pink Lady', or Cripps Pink as it is officially known. This wonderful example of an apple is a hybrid between 'Lady Williams' and 'Golden Delicious'. I dislike Golden 'Delicious', almost as much as I hate Gala. This suggests to me, that the 'Lady Williams' must be a fine apple indeed. Can I find one? No. It's on my to-do list.

Anyone who enjoys apples as much as I, may have noticed the recent deterioration of the 'Braeburn' and 'Granny Smith' varieties. Both previously delightful apples, now tarnished with the 'Delicious' brush. Having been so preoccupied with appearances, someone forgot to taste them. Now I find the Smiths are floury and the Braeburns bitter.

There is hope for the apple. There are now over 7,500 cultivars, some of which still taste good. The Galas, Smiths and the 'Delicious' duo are making way for the new, the aforementioned Pink Lady, the Jazz apple and the Honeycrunch. Fresh and fruity, these apples are a delight to behold.

And now follows some random facts about apples...

1) Apples were one of the earliest fruit trees to be domesticated, over 2,000 years ago, and is now know as 'Malus Domestica'.
2) Red 'Delicious' has an exceptionally long shelf life, and is often bought for decoration (which is probably why it tastes shit, although not a fact)
3) Most apple trees are grafted onto root stock, designated with M numbers e.g. M25. Grafting onto another trees roots, will determine the final shape and size of the mature apple tree.
4) The Granny Smith cutivator, was supposedly created by an old woman who would throw her food scraps out of the window. Two apple seeds combined in a chance seedling and created the tree, which was named after her. It is thought to be a mix of the Malus Domestica and the common crab apple, M. Sylvestris.
5)Not all apples are round! Common shape names include: oblate, oblique, oblong and ovate. 
6) Apple Day in the UK is celebrated yearly, on October 21st.
7) Stored correctly, apples can last for months; not that the supermarkets want us to know that.
9) Apples belong to the rose family and his plant family includes pears, plums, almonds and strawberries.
8) I'm eating an apple now.

Go on, eat an apple, you know you want to ;)

Monday, 13 June 2016

AIA - All-inclusive Anonymous 01/04/16

Ring ring, went the telephone, in the week before Christmas.

"Hey, you're an atheist right? You don't celebrate Christmas do you?" Not what I'd expected to hear, but hey I went with it.
"Ummm, I like presents"
"Can you do me a favour?" asks the friend on the phone.

Now this is a dangerous request from said friend, as she has spawned four times, and perhaps wants a babysitter. Casually, I ask "what do you want?"

"I need you to come with me, my mum had an operation, her foot hurts, I'll lose the tickets, it's free, I need another adult to check in with me..."
"Tickets? Tickets for what?
"TURA, on Boxing day"
"What's on Boxing Day?"
"The flight" she said somewhat exasperated.

"Whoah, wait, hold up. Are you suggesting, that this 'big favour' you wanted to ask, is for me to go on a free holiday, on a fucking aeroplane?"
"Well that's just fucking awesome. I'll be there"
"You will?" she sounded both unsure and grateful.
"Why do you sound so surprised" I replied. "When have you known me to turn down free shit.....wait a minute, is there a catch? Are you abandoning me with the horde?"
"No, no, no you can go off if you want, get a hire car, whatever."
I thought this conversation couldn't get any better....and then she casually told me it was 'all-inclusive'.
I got excited about free food. And then, it dawned on me....I'd get free vodka too.

"Friend, I love you so much"

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The Ballet of Thor: featuring the Scotish weather.

I left the licking man shortly after, and as I was driving down the road, it started to rain. And rain it did. I was driving 40mph on a 60mph road as I approached a wide-stress-free bend. And then suddenly I was was facing the other direction, casually chilling on the verge, observing the now oncoming traffic as it passed. I say passed, as no one bothered to stop. Why would they? I'd only spun a 180, and ended up on the grass in the middle of a Thor shower. Somehow I lost the back wheels, and went spinning towards the verge, bumped neatly over the kerb and skidded across some previously-attractive gravel. Understandably so, I was shaking, my hands unsteady as I tried to roll a cigarette. After taking two pulls, it occurred to me that the next person to skid off this road, will likely end up right where I had 'parked'. So off I went at 10mph (literally) and found a nearby castle. 

It wasn't an English Heritage castle, so there was a sign outside "warning" you'd have to pay £4.50 to park. I drove up to the gate human, told her the story and she let me in. She also reassured me that there must have been something on the road, oil she surmised. Not that it helped. (I was scared of bends for weeks!)
After another shaky attempt at rolling, I headed further north, much to the protests of my family, who after my stint as a stunt double, insisted I return to London. 

It was, unsurprisingly, still raining. Triple wiper rain. Going so fast they were holding on to the windscreen for dear life, and still I could barely see. Yet all the while, I was being overtaken by lunatics. I'm driving 25-30mph on a national speed limit road and can see fuck all past the wall of water. I'd not been happier to see a HGV in all my life. Finally, I thought, something I can see. So much for that. Within five minutes he was half a mile ahead, and in ten minutes I couldn't see him anymore.

Still raining, I pulled into an Asda carpark to re-admire their weird food. The natives were in t-shirts. Out of 30-ish people, only one was wearing a waterproof jacket, and even he never bothered to put his hood up.
After distracting myself in Asda, the storm had passed, and I continued. I came across a sign for 'Foyers Falls' and took a detour. Still, after Whitby, I had not learnt, that when one walks down, one must walk up. The falls were stunning. Would I visit them again? No.

I saw hairy cows with horns. I have nothing further to say about this.

In Scotland, there is such a thing as a 'bothie'. We would describe it as an abandoned building in the absolute-there-is-no-fucking-road-middle-of-nowhere. They have been left there for walkers to sleep in, some, apparently, even have chairs.

Passed a 'petrol station'. I'm sure that in the back, a donkey was pumping the fuel. 143.9p per litre. I'd been warned about this in Hull, but daaaaaaaamn. The M25 service stations are cheaper.