Sunday, 22 August 2010

wedding: the process of removing weeds from ones garden

I've not really blogged about it thus far, save few practical updates, but it is 5 days away and the time has really come to do so. Ask me when I'm getting married? For a long time it was 'once I graduate' or 'the summer after next'. After christmas etcetera it became 'this year!' and '27th august'. Recently it became months, then weeks. I know I was supposed to have the rapid fire answer of "ONLY x days" on whatever occasion but I never did, I just knew it was coming, I knew it would come with autumn.
Last Sunday Stuart and I went to Kelvingrove park for the last day of summer. It was warm and humid and you could have been in a swimsuit but I had called the change in the season a week or so prior. One morning I woke up and the sun had become white. I opened the window to air the bedroom and there was a sharpness to breathe, something of freezings coming for far away. A few days ago it was windy and the washing line flapped violently. For the first time since April pegs fell from the peg holder. I ritually cleared the summer garden, took in the last carrots and potatoes and pandered to the parsnips and leeks. Thoughts turned to bulbs. Last night I was waiting for the washing machine to finish lest it burn my kitties alive and I looked out the window. At 10pm it was deeply dark, the ground was wet and the rain should have been gentle but the gusts splattered it abusively. It was autumn already and not just a touch, it is now coming thick and fast.
We are going to Bath for our honeymoon and then onto London. I expect that autumn hasn't quite the grip in the south of England yet that it has here, so we will be in the roof top spa and hopefully the last of summer we will bask in for a day.
So the wedding has come. All I have heard from friends, family, gift-givers, well-wishers and gossipers alike has been just how fast it will come in. It will come in in no time. It'll be the wedding and you won't know where the time has gone. To be sure I do know where the time has gone; it has gone into my degree and the painstaking planning and arranging of every detail of this DIY wedding. It has become like a living thing, constantly needing care and attention so it survives. Friday is its coming out party and then it will be fully grown.
I've done a lot for it. My printer is tired of bleeding ink in monotype corsiva, my hands are tired of glueing, my brain is swarming with guests and my sofa bed it fed up with being a holding bay for boxes of ivory coloured items.
I think it will rain on my wedding day. It feels like it is coming to it. Of late it has been humid or gusty or mildy drizzly; something has to give. It will probably be on Friday - and I have an umbrella.
I'm picking up my dress tomorrow, the dress that I knew was mine as soon as I stepped into it. It's demure you know. I'm looking forward to wearing it though I feel a bit of a fraud in it. I suppose that is normal. I'm just bobben you know.
I've been feeling sick for four days now. I feel nautious when I drink (anything, tea), I feel dizzy when I sit and weak when I stand, my head has been aching on and off. I've been running a lot and I havn't for a few days, I don't want to risk getting ill before the wedding. I've not been eating enough vegetables; I haven't had much money for a while so we have been living off of fish cakes, potato latkes (kosher for passover) and ikea meatballs - all frozen. I'll buy some more vegetables this week, from the greengrocer that opened finally on high street. I note high street as the new cool place soon, the new west end, so you know. Some folk still wouldnt visit though and it's better for that. I really want to run. We will go tomorrow, 6 kilometers only; it will suffice.
Stuart just left the room. After Friday everything is different. It is just him and me. And the cats though. We are a family now and self sufficient. He just brought molly through to join in the study party, what a sweetie. Both of them. I feel like after friday everything changes. It's good though. Here we come to winter and a career and all that stuff we have been working for for five years. It all culminates on Friday.

I'm getting married on Friday 27th August 2010 at 3.30pm and I'm sure I've offended so many people doing this. Oh well.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Silent Companions

You can get a lot of interaction without ever interacting with the other person. I actually think what I'm describing does count as interaction but I am sure others won't; it doesn't fit the conventional description. I looked in the cambridge online dictionary and found this definition for interaction
PEOPLE the activity of talking and doing things with other people, or the way you do this

So I suppose this means that you have to actively take part in the other person's life. This definition seems contrary to a passive or tacit version of interaction. I should now explain myself properly. I feel like you can have meaningful relationships with people you don't even know. You don't know thier name, you have never spoken to them, you may have never encountered them before in your life, and you may never see them again; but you can interact positively.
The most recent and prominent example I have is at the gym. After being at university for five years I finally decided to go to the gym. I don't know why I never did before and I've been running on and off for a year now, and exercizing longer, but I had never been. I went to this gym for the first time in the last two weeks and I've been back a few times. It is so much easier running distance on the treadmill but I have to be careful not to get too used to it as the GSR is on road.
You may be at the gym alone, you may not know anyone else there, but when you are all the there, all doing the same thing, all (or mostly) trying to hit some sort of goal, there is a definiate community vibe. I don't mean like GO TEAM or anything, I mean just the most subtle of understandings. Within this community there are different relationships.
There is the healthy competition. The second time I went there there was one man running opposite me. He had been going before I started and I ran 6 kilometres, 5 at a pace and the 6th going slow to fast alternating minutes. When I first started to slow down on the 6th kilometre he was looking over, glancing at my treadmill, assuming I was stopping, then I ran again and he continued. The timer ran out on the treadmill and I wanted to walk to cool off so I was stopped momentarily before starting again. All through this he was looking over, preparing to stop. Then I started again and he kept going. Once he realised I was on cool down he then stopped too. He wanted to outlast me. I had a sort of respect for him, using me as a barometre for his own performance.
There is also unhealthy competition, most often between the same sexes. I haven't taken part in this interaction but I can see it happen. If a slim woman is in the gym, any other woman of similar body shape is a threat. It may be a few glances or just the tension that gives it away but when you are running it seems that you go into some sort of half awake beta mode and your human traits are lessened and you natural ones heightened. The same goes for two men. This isn't based on a visual so much as on performance. Weight becomes heavier, repititions quicker, pace increased. Last night one man was pounding so hard on the treadmill beside me I thought he would break the whole thing. He was running at 10.5km/hr and kept on jumping off the machine instead of slowing it down.
There are positive forms of interaction too like the silent companionship the title is about. Someone who is doing a similar pace to you or a similar style of running can become a disposable ally. This starts as an inkling that they are running for similar goals to you. As you keep going it becomes clear who isn't on the same wavelength as some people stop, some people walk and some people out perform you. Sometimes someone is so similar its like you are watching yourself. These people tend to be beside you, not opposite. Healthy competition breeds this.
I guess from this description the second definition in the dictionary of interaction is more applicable:
THINGS when two or more things combine and have an effect on each other

Though people, not things, the definition is accurate. You can see for yourself by going to the gym when no one else is there. Or try to drive your car on empty roads without the people who are driving in a similar way to you. The drivers you respect for actually indiciating or returning to the left become close friends for however many miles you are going to the same place. The drivers who try to race you, who cut you off, who are irratic are your enemies and even in that there is a relationship of enmity, borne out of your difference, that you cling to. When the friends take the exit before you off the motorway you wave goodbye inside. When the enemies do it you are scornful yet dissapointed you couldn't keep the fight up and battle to your home.
Such situations are relationships. They do form companions. These companions will not last, they are non-permanent and once one is gone a new relationship will form as another car merges to the motorway or a new passenger gets on the train. The communities you enter as you go to these places where all are strangers are like delicate ecosystems destined to be destroyed within a matter of hours, minutes or seconds, and such an environment shall never exist quite the same again. This is the fun of it though. And your companions will merge to one eventually.
You can be lonely sitting at home. You can be lonely without conversation and without touch. But I defy anyone who doesn't beleive there to be interaction in such places. Conversation, touch and to some extent body language don't exist, but in these unobtrusive entities lives real companionship - the kind that won't dissapoint.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

My friends aren't the same as your friends

I'm getting less and less concerned with who my friends are and how much effort I put into our relationships because, though I am loyal and I try to be a good friend - a great friend even - I am always let down by how much this isn’t reciprocated. I’m not going into gorey details but I’ve been let down and hurt a lot by ‘friends’ in my life. Nothing serious, just a lack of commitment. When I watch the television, or hear other people talking, saying things like “I love my friends, I don’t know what I would do without them” or “my friends are like my family” I don’t understand this. At first I thought, wow I need to find my group of friends who would do anything for each other and be there no matter what. Then I started to realise that this wasn’t going to happen, and I thought, wow I must be some kind of monster who no-one wants to know enough to care that much about. Now I am realising that it is all a lie. These people don’t exist, they are a phantom made up by cutesy script writers and people who want others to know how many people like them and just how much. Well no-one likes me. I think seriously now I have three people I would call friends and to be honest I don’t see it lasting. I’m not trying to sabotage relationships here I am just resigning myself to the fact that if I put in the effort I should to it, it wont be returned; and there is no way I’m giving more than I get anymore. Sorry to sound pompous but no-one like that is worth my kind thoughts.
I know exactly where this stems from. When I was in Primary 6 at school I had a best friend: Jenny. Jenny and I had been inseparable for years, we did everything together, we shared a lot, we played, it was the typical long time best friend scenario and the type of friend you are meant to keep forever. In Primary 6 a new girl, Kim, came to the school and became friends with us. Kim liked horseriding and so did I so we became friends too. For some reason or other one day Kim and I fell out. I know this will sound ridiculous but bear in mind the country bumpkin back drop to my childhood as you read. Kim said to me “you are a bitch, and you know it!” I was shocked and hurt. I expected Jenny to be shocked too, and to back me up; instead she sat on the fence. She didn’t jump to my side, she didn’t ignore Kim, she acted as a go between. Some may think that this is what they would have done, that she was trying to keep the peace and reconcile friends. To those who think this: that is a pile of crap. If someone attacks your friend, who you truly care about, you should have their back. You should support them and them alone. I don’t care about any other circumstance, that’s the way it should be. With my best friend, if anyone did anything to him, said anything to him or touched a hair on his head I would do anything and everything possible to make sure the person that did it knew just exactly what they had done and how wrong it was. It doesn’t matter that my best friend happens to be my fiancĂ© too, I would do that for anyone who put as much effort into being a friend as he did before we got together, and after that. I expect that, outside of family, there is no-one else in the world who would do this for me, and that’s ok. It really is ok. I’ve accepted this.
So from now on I’m not putting the effort in with trying to keep or make friends. With the friends I have left of course I won’t neglect them, I will continue to be a friend, but once bitten twice shy and now I’ve been bitten repeatedly and I really should have learned by now. I’m not going to be the one to always get in touch first. I’m not going to be the only one who texts back, I’m not going to be the person who puts effort into making great plans only to be let down at the last minute. From now on I am a passive friend and if I meet anyone else who really wants to know me it’s going to be their hard work that gets them in alone, save marrying into my family.

This blog has been so depressing recently and probably doesn’t make happy reading so I apologise for this now. I’ll try and make it lighter and less of a sob story next time.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Loss

This is going to sound so odd. I don't mean to offend any one who has had a lot of people-loss and I don't mean to make this in anyway parallel to it.

My sunglasses broke. It was my own fault. I killed my new headphones intended to be put in the ear pads of my pilot's hat. I did that too. I keep on destroying things that mean a lot to me.

I've always had a passion for things. When I was young I had a lot of toys, on my mum's side of the family Jamie and I were the only children, only grandchildren, only neices and nephews. I don't mean I had a lot of toys because I was a spoiled child, I mean I ended up having a lot of soft toys in particular. I liked dogs and subsequently horses as a girl and became obsessed in turn and as it goes all presents for birthdays and christmases revolve around this. My original favourite toy was Jerry Mouse (of tom and jerry) I had tom too but I liked Jerry best and I was too young and undemocratic to care for poor tom. After this I got Tracker, a soft toy dog. He was (and is) a golden labrador in sitting position. I remember picking him out for my birthday (I think) at Toys R Us when Mum allowed me to look at the vast racks of soft toys and choose one as a present. I picked Tracker and he was my best toy for a very long time. I remember the harrowing experience of taking him into a shoe shop and leaving him on the seats where you try them on (I must have been about 7 years old). When I realised I was only at the other end of the shop playing with Jamie but I ran back and he was gone. My Mum soon found him in the arms of another child who thought he was a toy provided by the shop.

As I grew up this became of objects not so much just toys. Of late Pingin has been key. Pingin is a bed warmer (with a pouch you heat in the microwave) penguin (Edward Monkton's penguin of death). Stuart bought him for me what will be three christmases ago come December (i think!). I didn't really like penguins particularly but for some reason (probably the fact pingin isn't based on a penguin but a crazy drawing of one) he was so endearing. He has become another entity and part of the house.

I think I have a problem. I can't stand it to lose things, especially favoured items but really anything I lose myself. Indeed I would be sad to have someone else damage or lose something I owned but I would accept it or replace it with no worries. If I lose it or damage it though, I can't forgive myself. I've been in an odd place for the last few days, stressed and run down, highly strung it seems. I bought the pilot hat online and I predict that it will be a new trend but for now it is my hat alone. A Biggles hat. It has these two round pads over the ears (see tumblr for a photo around this date) and a few people who have seen it commented on how great it would be to have headphones in these pads to listen to music through. In concurrence I bought a pair of fairly cheap head phones at Tesco and set to putting them in. I figured I would remove the band that goes over the head and then have two seperate ears to put in the hat with cables coming down. So I got the scissors and cut straight into the plastic of the head phones. It melted through and then snapped. Then I looked closer. The cable for the headphones went into one ear only, climbing under the head band to the other ear. I had ruined them. They were defunct. I killed them. It wasn't frustration at the waste of money, and it wasn't irritation at my lack of caution (though I should have been more careful) it was the fact that these were made as headphones. They were made by someone or something, packaged and sent. Travelled in a lorry, perhaps a ship or plane, to a storage facility then on to Tesco and in the stock room. The worker sees a gap in the stock and goes to fill up. Onto the stand go the headphones; ready to be bought and used. Then I ruin them. And that's the end. All over.

The sunglasses were even harder. I went ot B&Q with mum. we took a trolley and I clipped them onto the front of the trolley. They were from Topman and resembled Rayban Wayfarers. They had these wee ballbearings, two on either leg. As I walked later on with mum to costco i put my hand in my bag for them and it dawned on me sickeningly. We drove back. For sunglasses that only cost £12, and that i could replace easily. I found the trolley back inside and I saw them and my heart rose and I felt safe, they were ok, it wasn't the same as the head phones. I hugged them in close, going back to show mum when I felt it. one of the lenses was gone. glasses with one dark eye and one transparent. It was like holding a corpse. I checked the trolley, the floor, other trolleys. It was useless. What was worst was that someone was walking around B&Q with my poor lense in their trolley.

In the end I replaced the glasses. Still hurts though.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010