Bye bye baby, baby goodbye

It is a horribly familiar situation. Waiting for a response from the other person.

Desperate for them to say they are thinking the same thing and I am not wrong in clinging to that last piece of hope. I have lost all my pride. I don’t like to admit it, but I might have even begged.

In my heart of heart, I know that they don’t feel the same way, but just now all possibilities exist at once. Maybe it’s not all over. Maybe I get a second chance at this.

I physically ache. It’s the uncertainty and the fast-approaching inevitable. It’s coming at me like an express train – those little words that will usher in reality. Words that will force me to start dealing with the consequences of this unholy mess.

Losing you is hard, but it is more than that. It’s the loss of possibility, the places we could have gone, the things we could have seen together, the freedom that stormed into my life with your arrival.

It is also the knowledge that it is my fault. If I had been paying attention, if I had not been day dreaming, I would have seen the inevitable crash coming and could have done something to avoid it.

I am waiting. Always waiting.

And then all of a sudden the music stops and a disembodied voice delivers the inevitable:

“I am sorry Miss Sawyer but I am afraid that the car is simply not worth enough to consider repairing and we have to write it off.”

You are out of my life for good.

Posted in Life, Love | 8 Comments

October and us

This time of year reminds me of you.

It reminds me of what we had in another October.

You are the frosty mornings and high blue skies, the musty earthy smell of wet leaves and mushrooms. The warmth of eggs collected from the hens and steaming cups of tea with breakfast.

Together we were the heat of the bed and the icy air outside the duvet. Ours was an autumnal relationship, born out of a dying summer flirtation.

There were the raucous nights in the village pub. How you stole the show, my beautiful boy, had them hanging on your every word. But the nights that finished with us tumbling into bed and those that were spent by a smoky fire drinking Merlot couldn’t make this any more permanent.

You once told me if I wanted to understand you I should read the House of God by Samuel Shem. I read it twice, desperately searching for a meaning. In my heart of hearts, I knew there was none to be had.

So I will always remember us on beechnut-covered ground, clothes torn roughly aside while a lazy hunter’s moon hung low in the sky, and the frost crept up from the ground and down through the branches. The quiet depths of the wood disturbed by quickened pulses and cold air in our lungs.

We had some times didn’t we?

Posted in Everything else | 6 Comments

Tales from Gin Alley

“Can you drink gin all evening? I find it makes me really maudlin.”

Prophetic words from my drinking companion! Unfortunately he should have mentioned this before I started drinking gin rather than when I was six G&Ts into the evening.

“Oh yes easily” I replied taking a gulp of what I thought was the remnants of my previous drink, only to discover it was in fact pure gin.

“And you can drink it neat too?” he quipped.

Actually I don’t like to admit this, but I do quite like neat gin over a single cube of ice. It feels positively ruinous. I acquired the habit after a visit to the Tate’s Hogarth exhibition where I completely missed the point and favoured the chaos of Gin Alley over the ordered calm of Beer Street.

The logic behind my choice of drink was flawless. Don’t try and match your chosen drinking partner beer for beer, I told myself,  as it would no doubt end up with you making an utter fool of yourself… and then becoming silent and wanting to go to sleep.

Choose a drink you know you can take – vodka and soda is still dodgy after that agency Christmas party, so G&T it is. Besides G&Ts are nice summer drinks and it occasionally feels like summer.

And I was doing quite well, until he mentioned the M word. Then I suddenly realised that it wasn’t the drink of choice and that I wished I had chosen something else. Hogarth would have suggested beer.

Posted in Everything else, Life | 4 Comments

Rural isolation

I am sitting in an empty cottage listening to the silence that pools in the small rooms and hidden niches.

Outside the village is darkening quickly. Occasionally you can hear laughter from the pub, but for most of the time it feels like I am the only person in the world.

This is a small cottage and most of the time I am on my own. A few times a week the landlady, with whom I lodge, makes an appearance and then the cottage feels comfortably full. It is hard to believe that this little house for much of its life would have had a family of seven or eight people living in it.

I quite like being alone here. Lying in bed at night I can sense the rooms above and below me, I know their dimensions and contents. I can walk through the house without leaving the room.

Of course when I do that, I realise that I am not alone.

This is a house of spiders. I was verging on arachnophobia before I arrived here but after a couple of months it was just too much effort. Now I find them fascinating. Each room has at least one, regularly having to re-spin their web due to my dusting.

On the edges of the cottage and kept at bay by a complex sonic exclusion system are the mice. Before we introduced the grid, they let us know they were here by seeking out bars of soap and dragging them across floorboards.

The temporary residents are the beetles and moths who come in from the garden and have to be removed and asked politely not to return.

Last but not least, hidden in the eaves of the house are the sparrows. When the house was renovated, the builders made sure to leave an access point and the little birds didn’t need asking twice.

They live, love, squabble in the gutter, raise their young and wake me early in the morning. They fly straight at the window and then pull up at the last-minute and disappear from view. They chide me when I am searching for my keys outside the door and hop around the kitchen door hopefully in winter. If I listen carefully in spring, I can hear the chicks at feeding time.

Oh and then there are the human neighbours…

So am I never really alone in this house and that suits me fine.

Posted in Everything else | 4 Comments

A question of x and y

Never let it be said that I have left any situation under-analysed.

I would make a great theoretical physicist, if only my talent for science extended beyond leaving the top off the ether bottle and rendering my classmates insensible.

So good is my ability to dissect any situation a hundred ways that recently I have become a point of referral for other confused women. This week my chosen topic to fret over has mainly been analysis of one question: what does it mean when a man signs off electronic communication with a kiss?

Actually this is a question I have never really thought about before, but the landlady asked me what it meant if a colleague finished a work email with ‘Rx’.

My first reaction was that if it was not an accident, it was a bit weird and a little unprofessional. Although, heaven knows I have sent enough work emails with three kisses at the bottom because I was allowing my thoughts to wander over non-work things.

He is quite high up the organisation and they have known each other as friends for a very long time, but the landlady thinks she would like it to be more… actually I still don’t know how to interpret it. Clearly they are good friends and maybe he has designs on her. Well she is a good looking woman.

I didn’t think much more of it until last night when my latest virtual crush (a follower on my work account) signed off a DM with an x.

Having fallen in love with his writing style over the last few months, that tiny lower case x at the end of a beautifully constructed sentence had a profound impact.

It made my heart soar as he escalated himself to new heights of wonderfulness. I grinned and giggled. Suddenly the awful week, my poisoned arm and all the little niggles of life just faded away.

Silly the effect that a single character can have on you.

I was fully prepared to go into a long over-analysis of it. What exactly did he mean by it? Could this be the start of something nice? Then I dismissed it as quickly as I had snatched the thought up.

If I am honest it actually means nothing at all. It’s just a key stroke, a collection of zeroes and ones. Easily done and in all probability with very little thought behind it. Just added because you appreciate that someone has paid you a compliment. After all, he has no idea that I have this crush. He probably thinks that he just has an enthusiastic follower.

Hmm no over-analysis. I must be learning.

Posted in Everything else | 2 Comments

Roses, romance and cricket

In a reflective mood on the train home tonight, I spent some time dreaming of days bunked off school to go and watch cricket.

Fortunately I walked to school, straight past the train station and with direct trains to  Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells, I went to quite a few early season Kent games before the term ended.

Other times I skipped up to London to go to the Oval and Lord’s. I wasn’t totally feral – I took my books with me! Sadly I was less able to explain why my nose was sunburnt when it had been cloudy all day in my home town.

My dearest memory, however, came not from a day at a cricket ground, as glorious as they were, but in the sixth form common room at school. A day in the middle of our A Level exams, when a big box was delivered by a furious-looking school secretary.

Inside were a tangle of red and white roses, a ticket for a Yorkshire v Lancashire match later in the summer and a note instructing me where to meet the sender outside the ground.

Even the most popular girls at school were left awestruck by the romance of this. Quite simply put, while they were running around with teenage boys, I was being wooed by someone who clearly had style.

I blush to admit this but I did not go. The single most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me and I churlishly left the sender standing there.

On the impossible chance he is reading this, I am so sorry. All the romance since is but a pale imitation of that tumble of roses and a ticket.

Posted in Everything else, Love | 2 Comments

Excuse me, but are you..?

Last night on the train, I found myself facing a man who looked suspiciously like the actor, William Houston. A quite distinctive looking man. Despite having two books and a notepad for writing ideas with me, I spent 40 minutes trying to work out if it was him. I mainly used the medium of staring.

I still don’t know if it was him or not.

Still at least I recognised who he might have been, not so lucky the man I accosted on a street in Chelsea a few years back.

I spotted him walking towards me and instantly knew we had met somewhere. Not wanting to be rude, I bounced up to him with all the enthusiasm of a labrador and greeted him warmly.

“Hello, how are you? Gosh, haven’t seen you in a long time! What have you been up to?”

“Erm, fine thanks. How are you?” said the man clearly trying to place me as fervently as I was trying to place him.

“Oh you know. Work mainly. Oh I left the Beeb. Can’t remember if I last saw you before or after that.”

“Not sure. Are you still living in…” he desperately looked at me to fill in the blanks.

“Yes still in Shepherds Bush with Ian. You should come round.”

“Er yes, yes. I should… I think.”

“Well I should be getting back to work, but drop me an email. Drinks maybe?”

“OK. I should be getting on too. Prep for dinner service.”

And then it hit me. I knew exactly where I knew him and from that moment on I couldn’t say goodbye quick enough.

I hadn’t met him somewhere. I had seen him the previous week on BBC2’s ‘Great British Menu’ and the man was Marcus Wareing.

Posted in Life | 2 Comments