Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ghost writer

I was out in town on Friday night...the first Halloween in years that I've not been at home, or guiding a small skeleton and a little devil around our neighbours' doors (M had that pleasure this year). Me and a friend went to see the Samhuinn fire festival, by the same people who do Beltane in May. It turned out to be a bit of a damp squib...impossible to see anything (what little I could see consisted of women dressed in scanty red outfits dancing around in a vaguely choreographed fashion), and appalling acoustics. Not to mention the biting cold. The pleasure of the evening, however, came from the costumes of the spectators. Like my sister (Fragments), I hadn't been aware of a growing trend for adults to dress up on Halloween. We stopped for a drink in the City Cafe, a favourite haunt (groan) of me and my friends in our clubbing days, and I felt underdressed. And a bit on the old side, as most of the clientele were in their early 20s. Most were dressed according to a pirate theme. First prize, however, must go to a tall, skinny, male goth/punk, with his short, spiky hair, his black drainpipes and leather jacket, and the most beautifully executed skeleton make-up. I, on the other hand, in the clothes I'd been wearing for work, could have been a ghost, for all the attention I attracted.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dodos and peacocks

Looking at the wonderful Sartorialist blog got me thinking about - surprise! - clothes. A few years ago, an Emporio Armani outlet opened in Glasgow. Then, and now I think, the only one in Scotland. Of all designers, I find Armani's work the most consistently beautiful, and have for a long time yearned for an Armani suit...dark blue, fluid, no embellishments, trousers not skirt. To be worn with sleek hair and minimal make-up. I vowed not to enter the Glasgow shop until I had enough money to buy one. I still haven't been in the shop, although I've probably been in a position once or twice since I began working to fulfil my dream. It's not that I've given up on the dream; more that my life didn't turn out in a way that would allow an Armani suit space to shine...or glow subtly and beautifully. I do a job that means that it would simply look odd to gad about the place in an expensive suit...I manage no one, I'm at the bottom of the ladder. The only meetings I go to I'm merely a silent participant at the table. There's a sort of unwritten rule that I must remain semi-invisible. You might think a dark blue Armani suit would blend in well - it's hardly a garish Versace number - but I know the way people dress at my work, and it's for the most part dowdy and low key. And at the moment, I'm too self-conscious about my body shape to shine.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Diary made

A certain someone closely related to me suggested that it was perhaps about time I blogged (that must be an official verb by now), to which I replied that either I had to blog prolifically or not at all. One must either cultivate an audience and keep them tantalised with regular juicy morsels from one's interesting life or not bother. I've opted for the latter, mainly because it simply hasn't felt like anything worth blogging about has happened.

Not that that stops other people. I regularly read - and thoroughly enjoy - two blogs (GP and LP), but with a few rare exceptions most blogs seem to be nothing to write, er, home about. When I write, I can't help but think how I must come across, both to people who know me and people who don't. Perhaps the key is to write for myself, purely for the pleasure of self-expression. But if I wanted to do that, I would write a journal.

So, I'm not quite sure why I'm doing this again, but to make someone special happy (that's you, LP), I shall attempt to write more frequently, and to be more conscious in my daily life of blog-worthy occurences. I shall also post more regularly on "The Peas n Me"; in fact, I'm going on there now to post a little tiny anecdote.

And I'd appreciate any tips on how to attract traffic to my site...for example, what are these tags of which you speak?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pinprick of eternity

I'm in philosophical mood, which is reflected in June's Observer piece. Perhaps it was the effect of St Paul, or - less likely - the wisdom/acceptance of what cannot be changed, that (perhaps) comes with turning 40, but I feel happier being on my own than I did when I first contacted The Observer in November last year.
If I'm honest, I'm not entirely sure where a relationship would fit into my life at the moment. I feel fulfilled in many ways: the twins are easier, and I'm beginning to enjoy their company more; work is quieter and will probably continue to be so; and I'm in my element producing and performing theatre, and creating a beautiful garden.
When I picture having someone to come home to, or having someone come home to me, I don't get the sense of comfort I used to get. In fact, I shudder slightly to think of how it would mean that I would have to deal with someone else's habits and mess when I've only just come to accept dealing with that of the twins. There would be someone to scrutinise my own habits and mess in a way that two five-year-olds are incapable. Sure, it would be nice to have someone to curl up in bed with, but the way I live right now I get to decide when - or whether - anyone sees me grumpy and dishevelled first thing in the morning. I get to choose what programmes to watch at night, and what to eat for dinner. Again, it would be great to be cooked for, and to have someone to appreciate my attempts at food preparation, but the price to be paid seems too high at the moment, and the difficulty of finding someone special enough to share my life too offputting to even bother to look. Have I given up searching? No, but having given up on my cherished desire to have a baby with the love of my life - a mythical being, it would appear - I'm in no hurry to settle for second best.
Incidentally, did you know that philos is the Greek word for friend or lover? I looked up the origin of the word philosophy thinking it had something to do with Greek pastry. Ah, food, it never lets you down...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

St Paul of Tranent

God, I'm not the most prolific blog writer, am I? Thought I should write an update on my progress with The Observer. Paula and I are in touch sporadically, and she gives me things to think about/exercises to do, and I don't do anything about them. Probably too lazy. Or don't want to think about my predicament. Or something. It is meeting Paul that has had more of an effect than my pathetic attempts to think about why I'm alone, or what sort of relationship I want.
Paul is a friend of my brother's who was at my 40th birthday party in January. Since then, I've been seeing him from time to time, and we've done quite a bit of snogging and managed to resist doing more, mainly due to his self-control. The physical contact is great, but it has been the conversations that have had the most impact on my life.
Paul made it clear from the beginning that he wasn't interested in having a relationship at the moment. He's doing an apprenticeship that takes up a lot of his time and energy, and he's getting over a long-term relationship that broke up last year. I don't know how he's done this, but he's got me reassessing my urgency about finding a partner. I no longer feel in a rush. I've more or less abandoned the idea of having more kids, but feel quite at peace with myself about it. I trust that the right man will come along at the right time. Perhaps it's Paul - though not at the moment - perhaps it's not.
What has also happened is that I've stopped obsessing about the break-up of my previous on-off (mostly off, and even when it was on it was never very clear where I stood) relationship. And Paul deserves a sainthood for that alone.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lighten up

By request of a certain LottieP, I offer a more upbeat selection of tracks than those on the left:

Indeep – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

Eve feat. Gwen Stefani - Blow Ya Mind

Black Box - Ride On Time

The Source feat. Candi Staton - You Got the Love

B52s - Planet Claire

I continue to be Observed...

Not married yet though. Not that that's my goal. The Observer piece was very fair, although the picture was horrid: I looked fat and miserable. I'm not surprised I haven't been flooded with letters of interest. Not that any man would be that vacuous. I particularly liked that they printed my profound observation on the attraction of 40-something men to women in their 20s with no "baggage" - baggage meaning life experience, kids and more than three decades under their belt. Oh, and the odd wrinkle. And also that I wouldn't regard the year's free counselling as a failure if I'm alone at the end of it.
The discussions with the counsellor, Paula Hall, have made me realise how complicated relationships are. I didn't think they were simple before, but I now see that finding someone who's right for me is almost a lottery. I certainly don't believe in there being one person out there who's perfect for me - and it being a (not very simple) matter of finding them - but it feels like it's going to be terribly difficult not to settle for a sub-standard relationship in order to avoid being alone for the rest of my life. I've lost sight of what is good and bad in relationships, and have put up with a lot of crap, some of it instigated or perpetuated by myself. I said to Paula that I would write a sort of "shopping list" of the qualities I want in a partner, but I now see that it's nowhere near as clear-cut as that. Not only is some compromise inevitable, a prospective partner may have some wonderful qualities that I hadn't even thought of. And it's not like I can simply put my order in on the Tesco website.
Funnily enough, I feel very little envy of anyone else's relationship, or life for that matter. Although I find my life hard at times, I feel quite content in many ways. It's more a case that there are a few things missing than there being things I would like to change. Time for myself and someone to come home to are top of the list.