A Younger Woman’s Bed

I went to Stories Aloud last night for their first birthday. Yay Sarah. Good work. There were two authors there who both agreed that – newsflash – writing needs to be worked at. It is probably arrogance ( I am reminded of the famous Thatcher reply when asked if she was pretentious – who, moi?) but as writing is one of the few things I seem to be happy plugging away at and quite enjoy I have decided to give a slightly longer piece a go. I have a thing about slightly edgy titles as I believe it accomplishes the internet version of a flashy cover in Blackwell’s et al. The bed bit is coming. I promise.

Her name is, well, that’s not important and I met her through a friend. She has two neurotic cats that I think I am allergic to, in a nice little flat in Oxford. Being the all round super guy that I am I stepped in to cat-sit when she had been let down at the last moment and they had already paid for their tickets.

On the surface it is just fine. A seven-day sideways step can’t be that tricky. Can it?

I have turned on the slightly baffling monster telly two or three times now. Turns out that it is possible to watch all-day police pornography shows with satellite TV. Who’d a thunk it? 20/20 cricket is ok, though not as soothing as Test Match stuff but the gem in all of this is a channel called Sky Arts HD. I didn’t know the Dirty Digger thought culture was anything other than something that grew on old yoghurt.

Opera’s, organ recitals and the like. organI was fascinated as they tried to sex-up an organ recital by placing cameras inside the organ and then doing tight-in shots of  hands and feet playing the beast then immediately cutting away to the corresponding action shots from within. I am now much better informed as to what happens inside all the guts of the organ. Strangely though, I was just enjoying the impressive panning shots of this behemoth of an instrument and the up-skirt internal organ shots added nothing. Still, I guess they are trying. However, I can take about 20 min then it’s telly off and back to my book, or more usually my keyboard.

I have shopped for what I eat and drink in Waitrose so am more comfortable that I don’t need to survive on Kraft Dinners kraft dinnerand an odd little coffe machine. Proper espresso, industrial strength from a Bialetti stove top type thing. There is always that slight frisson of “will it explode and kill me with some cheap cast aluminium shrapnel?”. I find the post-brew survival adds to the caffeine buzz. Cheese, red wine and bananas were also lacking. No fear Waitrose is here so all is good on the comestibles front now.

In my bedroom I have an old mattress that needs changing, an orthopaedic pillow – that also needs changing – but most importantly of all I have a lovely down duvet with nice John Lewis Egyptian cotton bed linen. In her room it is a nice but slightly too firm mattress, bed linen with a bit of synthetic fibres making me sweat like a man on death-row capped off with a synthetic duvet. It doesn’t drape very well but rather it just uses your body as the apex point to form a mini circus tent. Due to my increasing years and general softness – I talk about Rule #5 but don’t always follow it – I want the duvet to settle over me and form a nice and gentle hermetic seal all around my body.

I am not used to waking up in a young woman’s bed slightly cold and sweating on such a regular basis.

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Back To Life, Back To Reality

A few things;

  1. A massive Happy New Year to all my friends.  A bit late but I’ve been on planes.
  2. Home from Canada, all de-aeroplaned (read nicely showered), changed, Radio 4 playing, proper coffee ingested, fire lit and people I have never met being properly surly and dismissive at Heathrow. Ahhhh, home at last.
  3. News broken face to face with my dear mother. Can be open with everyone now without the fear of it getting back via a third party.
  4. Lucy and I are separated and the paperwork is in for the divorce.  Why are people so amazed that we are civil and unprepared to enrich the legal profession ? We are adults and can sort things out in a civilised manner. Sure there are differences and things that grate – hell, we are getting divorced – but nothing that can’t be discussed and agreed. We are both relieved to be shot of the annoyances and frustrations that each brings the other. Lucy has been kind, helpful and supportive when I needed it and for that I will be forever grateful.
  5. I have been in another relationship since mid August and I now live with Rebecca. We met long after Lucy and I decided to separate and Lucy and Rebecca have met and get on, which is very nice for me and Héloise.
  6. I had a great catch-up with my 94 year old Grandmother. She is doing extremely well and it is very pleasing. If I make it to 70 like she is at 94 I’ll be a happy bunny.
  7. 2012 hasn’t been a stellar year. I have been getting divorced, writing sweary ranty blog posts (I promise to try and make it less offensive in 2013), having really really bad bicycle crashes, got filled with surgical steel,  got a good job only to be made redundant 2.5 months after I started, moved house, nearly lost my marbles, had about 4 months of functional memory loss thanks to the painkillers blah blah blah.
  8. Resolutions – pah.
    • Get a job – Really, that is priority 1
    • Reconnect with some friends that I have not given appropriate attention to and try to rebuild the relationships
    • Go on a couple of good holidays with Rebecca (am thinking Canada and Italy)
    • Read more books (not having a telly is a definite advantage)
    • Get the metal out of my shoulder and start regular swimming
    • Cycle properly
    • See more opera

Here is to 2013 being a great year as it can’t be any worse!

Blovember #23 – Mozart & The Beastie Boys

‘Cos it’s Friday. 7 more days to go and truly amazed I have come this far with NaBloPoMo. Must be a displacement activity…

Climbing – Until my big bicycle crash in May I was quite into my climbing and still listen to the noise. The better someone is the easier they make it look and this 10y old girl cranking V13 in the US is going to knock Adam Ondra out of the park. Soon.

If you are tight for time then watch from 5 min in.

Hip-Hop and Rock makes the best motivational music. This song would definitely make the DID list:

What’s the work that The Beastie Boys are motivating me to do? I remain stunned at the poorly written volumes of selling self-help books and crappy courses, poorly delivered that are out there. With that in mind I am starting The Compelling Event (means something to TAS and IT sales veterans, my target market) which will be a very niche specialist sales process consultancy and training firm. I have no immediate plans to write a book but I have pretty much got the bulk of the text down for my website. I’ve registered the domains and pretty much got the content written for the website, though presently it needs editing  into a coherent and tight message. Whilst the website won’t be getting me business it will serve to prove my presence and add credibility to my message. Selling myself and actual paid work will come through contacts in the first instance.

Want to bring a chill to your spine? Then listen to The Queen of The Night from Mozart’s Die Zauberflote:

This is definitely top of my list for the next opera I want to see. Are you listening, Glyndebourne?