Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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It was just the one…

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS FABULOUSLY BAD LANGUAGE! BUCKLE UP BITCHES!!!

 

Had this totally awesome conversation this morning. We’ll get to that later…

Lawyered up, went and saw the guy I saw first the month after D-day, who advised me how to set up our ‘post-nup’ – which is a misnomer when there were never any nuptials! But he was kind then, and showed me what I needed to get in place legally regarding how our assets and businesses were set up. It empowered me then, and it set in place things that I had been querying for decades, ie, why was I excluded from most of the legal documents that were Relationship Property? I mean, I knew that after three years of cohabitation, I was ostensibly protected by law, but when there are Family Trusts in place, and you are neither a Trustee, nor a beneficiary, that can cause some chaos in splitting up, as the assets are no longer owned by ourselves, but a totally separate entity! Luckily for me, the Trust was formed after we had already been together ten years, and had two kids. This lawyer also gave sensible advice to my siblings and myself after we discovered that our stepfather had spent most of our inheritance from our mother’s estate. A real shock for me, as Executor of her Will. I trust him. I came away from yesterday’s meeting feeling a bit better about a few nasty things that have gone on here lately.

Anyway, this was a big week. The Masters thesis was submitted on Monday, and the weirdness of getting up in the morning without that cloud of doom hanging over me constant work that has been a 24/7 thing for the last twelve months, and letting that baby go, was … weird.

And a relief.

Anyway, back to the morning conversation. Roger has pulled so far away the past two months, and I understand, he needs to move on, and protect his heart. Basically, he is over the whole thing. Nice, eh? He said to me about three weeks ago, “I don’t feel guilty anymore.” Hmmm. That’s nice, isn’t it? I don’t even understand that. I mean, I don’t want him to go around like a beaten dog for the rest of his life, but to exonerate yourself? I can’t even imagine how that could happen? I would think you still feel bad, but you just build and improve who you are? Anyway, I just remained quiet. What’s the damn point in challenging that? There is none. Great, good for you, you feel fine now. Excellent.

I am so infrequently posting now, I can’t recall entirely if I have shared that Roger’s mother is terminally ill, and this has created an opportunity for the three siblings to repair the damaged bonds between them. His sisters are now speaking to him again, and there have been some healing conversations. But neither of them have reached out to me, so I have kept my distance. His eldest sister used to be a really good friend of mine, or so I thought. I used to work for her, and I supported her through a nasty divorce. It turns out, she used to pump me for information, and then use it against me. I ain’t got time for that shit! She is a reasonably heavy drinker. She married a guy who started as an affair, he had a wife and child, and she was fucking him. He was her boss. Surprise, surprise, he was also fucking around on her later on. Two kids together, and she kicked him out after seven years together. The kids were barely 3 and 1. She is known to sleep with married men. After being cheated on, she happily does it to other women. Yes, this is the sister of ‘my’ (disclaimer: he’s not mine) cheater. Who knew, right? Sigh.

Anyway, the word has got out around town that we are separated. And she rang him at 11.30pm the other night, to ‘chat’. As he says, “she was pissed.” (Kiwi for drunk.) Her concern for Roger, “are you okay? Can I help? What is going to happen?” Never one question about, is Paula okay? Are your children okay? (This woman has had nothing to do with our kids, her nieces and nephew, for eleven years. After our five kids all used to hang out together pretty much every day until the farm sale …) And then this, he refused to tell me at first, but I coaxed it out of him, “it will just upset you.” She said to him, “what’s her fucking problem, it was just the one!”

Because, apparently, her ex-husband’s 20 or so mostly one-night-stands (he was probably a sex addict, in retrospect) – when they had been together just a handful of years, was FAR worse than the love of my life, Roger’s, one deep, wanted-to-leave-me-for-her sexual affair of over 15 months, longer emotionally, in-my-homes-pretending-she-was-my-friend-going-on-holiday-with-me, his-telling-me-on-the-three-times-I-asked-and-I-totally-took-the-bait-that-no-there-was-definitely-nothing-going-on, giving-me-lifelong-diseases, fucking-with-my-already-teetering-mental-health-about-rape-sex-and-relationships, was just a silly, piffling thing. What a loser Paula is, right? Another one. Get. Over. It. Bitch.

And he never defended me. He doesn’t want to look any worse. If people knew the extent of the mindfuckery …

You know, when you look up the word ‘cunt’ in the dictionary, there is a picture of her, right?

And that, my friends, is why I will NEVER reconnect with his family. They are fucked in the head, and judgemental as FUCK!!!

 

 

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An ode to crap dads

I know, I know. I think I might actually be moving forward, nearly eight years after D-day. No posts for well over a month.

Jesus. Is that some kind of record? The eight year thing.

But anyhoo. I’m back. Just popped in to say hey, and spread my joy ;-).

Update: I have had a pretty intense month, I guess. Firstly, my blogging friend, and maybe yours, CrazyKat, came Down Under with her husband, BE. They’re still here actually, but cruising around our isles at the moment. I had the pleasure of their company for four whole days. How lucky am I? Just before they arrived, my sister-in-law (ex) was driving my nieces to school one morning, and tragically had a head-on with a truck, and sadly she did not survive, but was taken to the nearest large city and kept on life support for 36 hours, as she was an organ donor. My two little nieces are relatively unscathed, but their father, my brother (the one I don’t get on with) flew from the other side of the world, where he lives with his new wife, immediately. He has promised the girls’ grandparents that he will not take the girls out of the country. This means he has effectively ended his marriage, as his wife refuses to move here. (We’ll see. Her bottom line constantly shifts!) So, he is at my father’s house, on the job hunt at present.

The week after that sadness, another niece was getting married, in a neighbouring country. My eldest, S, and I flew over, and stayed at my lovely sister, E’s house. So did my Dad.

Now. About my Dad. He’s is a bit special. To say the least. He is depressing and depressed, revels in playing the pathetic old man lately (even though he is a perfectly healthy and capable 73 year old) and loves to speak without engaging his brain. Ugh. Mostly it was okay, but S and I escaped a few times without him, as sometimes I just wanna punch him!

I will illustrate with a couple of gems from the four days we had together – three of which we mostly escaped his special kind of … stupid.

We were at the wedding, and in Australia, gay marriage is still not legal. So, they went through the traditional vows, about the legal status of marriage as between a man and a woman, and then my niece and her new husband added that they couldn’t wait until marriage was a right for all. Love is love. So, at the reception, the table seating goes – sister, me, daughter, two friends of E’s, uncle (my mother’s brother), and his lovely wife, then Dad. My GAY Dad pipes up with, “I don’t agree with gay marriage anyway.” FML. I just stared at him, full in the eye, mine about rolling back in my damn head, and said, “well, don’t worry, no one anywhere in the world has made it compulsory, yet, Dad.” My aunt about pissed her pants, and said, “what about people who have been committed to each other for maybe 30 or 40 years, and their significant other is not allowed in a hospital room, to make health/funeral decisions/say goodbye, etc, and their parents, who may have not spoken to their son or daughter all those years can do that, and cut the most important person in that person’s life off? What about those cases, for a start?” Dad: “Oh, I hadn’t really thought about that.”

SHIIIIIIIIT!!! Special.

Then  another day, we are discussing whether the little girls who just lost their mother had gone back to school yet? It was two weeks since their Mum had died. Um, Dad: ” Oh, I has, but H, not yet, she has a large gash on her forehead which is quite deep and unsightly, and you know, she’s a girl.” SMH! S and I looked at each other, and I said, “um, what? WTF does that matter? The kid is 11 years old, and who cares if she’s girl, boy, trans, horned, or whatever-the-fuck-else?” He replied with, “oh you know, girls, they care what they look like.” I looked directly at him and said, “hmmm, so no one else does? And that is what being a girl means? Looks? Get in the real world, Dad. It only matters to the people who think that way, and those like you that perpetuate her value as being equated with her looks, FFS.” He looked mildly offended and I don’t think he got it. See, special!

Exhibit number three: Dad is discussing (inappropriately) the state of my brother’s marriage, when he casually mentions that my (newer) sister-in-law currently weighs over 100kgs. (She was a gorgeous, slightly curvaceous, but I would estimate no more than 60-65ish kg girl when I last saw her a couple of years ago.) I turned to him and said, “ah, what? How do you know that? And, more importantly, why are you mentioning it? That is not something that your son should be discussing with you, and it is certainly not something you should be sharing with me. Besides which, why are you sharing that? Why is it important to you both?” Fucking special. Especially since my sister’s younger daughter is anorexic, and has been dangerously ill for the past few years, was refused treatment from every centre in her state as she was “too thin” – it is a scary condition, really scary. (She is a slightly healthier weight, and I mean only slightly, at the moment, she has done a lot of work, knows she is very ill, but was still talking about how she needed to lose weight for the wedding, as she was a bridesmaid – you would lose her if she turned sideways. Seriously, and dangerously thin.) What. The. Actual. FUUUUUUUUUUCK?!

Just like the kind of crap that is normalised, like the lyrics to so many songs, I refuse to post the song itself, but how internalised are lyrics like these?  John Mayer’s Daughters:

I know a girl
She puts the colour inside of my world
But she’s just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I’ve done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I’m starting to see
Maybe it’s got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Oh, you see that skin?
It’s the same she’s been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she’s left
Cleaning up the mess he made

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Boys, you can break
You find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong
And boys soldier on
But boys would be gone without the warmth from
A woman’s good, good heart

On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the god and the weight of her world

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too [3x]

There were also discussions about racism, my brothers had recently pulled Dad up about some language he was using. So, the whole visit with my Aussie family (who were not involved in these exchanges) – with my bigoted gay Dad, lol –  was full of these clangers, I mostly bit my tongue, for the sake of calm, but I was bloody glad to be heading home. My take home message was this. I had a fucking fantastic Mum. I never saw how fucked up and gendered my upbringing was. I mostly felt I was treated on an equal basis to my two younger brothers, and I didn’t even know that Dad was quite such a fucktard really!

Good job, Mum xxx

It still leaves me completely gobsmacked that these attitudes are so prevalent, but yeah, what do we see, hear, experience? Lily said it well a few years back with these observations:

The Fear

I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I don’t care about clever I don’t care about funny
I want loads of clothes and fuckloads of diamonds
I heard people die while they are trying to find themAnd I’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless
‘Cause everyone knows that’s how you get famous.

[Pre-chorus:]
I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track, yeah I’m on to a winner.

[Chorus:]
I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
And I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
And when do you think it will all become clear?
‘Cause I’m being taken over by the fear

Life’s about film stars and less about mothers
It’s all about fast cars and cussing each other
But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic
And that’s what makes my life so fucking fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption
And it’s not my fault it’s how I’m programmed to function

[Pre-chorus]

[Chorus]

Forget about guns and forget ammunition
‘Cause I’m killing them all on my own little mission
Now I’m not a saint but I’m not a sinner
Now everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner

[Chorus]


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My daughter. My hero.

Today I found out that my youngest daughter, just 18, about to head off to uni in a couple of weeks has done something that I am immensely proud of. This all happened, very quietly (ie, no social media BS, no crying to Mummy, etc) in the past week.

It isn’t a hard thing. It isn’t a heroic thing. It is a human thing.

Or at least I think it is.

She has had this friend, since primary school, who has become more and more entitled, more and more selfish, as the years have slid by. She deliberately distanced herself from her a few years ago, did not ‘break up with her’ as a friend, just ensured she wasn’t in her closest circle. But this last year at school, she was back in the inner circle. And last weekend, my daughter, D, caught this manky ‘friend’ kissing (etc) another of their friend’s boyfriends. D told her in no uncertain terms that it was not on. The ‘friend’ expressed no remorse, and was a completely entitled, “oh well, if they were so happy, why did he do that with me,” frame of mind. D told her she was done. Then she rang the friend, and told her what her boyfriend did. She found it hard to do, nobody wants to be the messenger. But the friend, who was very upset, didn’t take too long to pull herself together and broke up with the cheating little shit. She said, “well, better I know now, and I am off to beauty school in a nearby city, so I have a clean slate to work with now. Thank you D for letting me know what was going on behind my back, you’re an fantastic friend. That must have been hard to tell me.”

tumblr_m7ixzuaqbb1rwbl7wo1_500_large

The thing is – is it really that fucking hard to be a decent human being? To not fuck your friends’ loves? To tell them the truth when you discover something bad going on in their lives? D says that this group of friends has now rallied around her, praising her for her actions, and loyalty to the ‘nice’ girl, but they all said they would have been too scared to call the cheating maggot out. (She can make life a bit unbearable if you disagree with her about anything, don’t get me started on why she was even a friend of my daughter’s!) Or that they would have told the betrayed girl. I was gobsmacked. WTF? What is friendship? I just never associated with these kinds of Mean Girls. I didn’t understand what made them so happy, so superior, so inse-fucking-cure.

This incident comes just a few weeks after D sat her friend group on their arses when she spoke up loudly when one of them – another very ‘nice’ girl, but very sheltered, very conservative family, etc – retorted to a comment that one of them made about someone they knew  having recently having something very painful and sad happen to them. The ‘nice girl’ said, “oh well, you never know, maybe she did some bad things, and this is what she got.” (Hey, this is high school here, they are kids trying to negotiate a pretty fucked up world right now, cough, Trump and all his fucking cronies!) D immediately replied to that, “WTF? So, something awful happens to a really nice person, and you immediately think to victim shame them? That is exactly like saying ‘that girl deserved to be raped, after all, that dress WAS very short.’ This is a sad and bad thing, and bad things happen to good people. Karma is not real. I wish it was, but life just deals some shit hands sometimes.” The girls all looked at D like she had just said something they had NEVER thought of! Then they discussed their views on this, that they were just repeating discourses that they heard over and over, to soothe their own worries about ‘bad stuff happening’ – if I behave, it won’t happen to me. I was already quietly thinking, “hey, I raised a critical thinker, a decent human, go me!”

She had told me that she was just trying to eek out the last few weeks of being in the same small town as the ENTITLED ONE, without rocking the boat, but that this was the final blow to their friendship – she can’t be around people who have a black hole where their character should sit.

So, just putting it out there, I think, despite being a little concerned at times about some of her choices, that my youngest is a good human. I can add a third to the collection of good humans I raised. Phew!


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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Isn’t it just?

I have been quietly sitting here for the last few weeks, in the knowledge that I will be all alone on Christmas Day. And that is mostly okay. Sorta. Kinda. Well, it just is what it is.

I haven’t been too pissed off about it, because the reason for this is that Roger and his next sister up in age have been burying the hatchet, learning to move on from the awful family rift that occurred on the sale of our farm almost ten years ago (4 January 2007 we moved here.) He wanted me to come too. Nope. I can’t do that. I am pleased he is mending fences, building bridges, offering olive branches, all that shit, but I am not a part of that family anymore, they made sure that I was made very aware that I probably never really was, they didn’t give two flying fucks about me when they tried to sue us, cut my kids off from their cousins (they were close) and later when he cheated on me, not one of them ever enquired after my wellbeing. I am not going to play nice with a bunch of people who don’t care about me, on a day that used to hold a lot of love and goodwill for me. The kids are driving south with their Dad. And I am okay about that, too. This is their family, and although the grandparents are clueless about emotional health and safety, they do love those kids of mine. And it will be nice for them to re-connect with two of their cousins, close in age to my two eldest, one of whom has a 15 month old son now.

liqour

Thing is, I was thinking how many Christmases it has been now? First up, I was thinking, shit, this will be the NINTH since he cheated – not that I knew for another eighteen months, after he ‘first’ cheated on me. The next – while he was balls deep in the affair – was spent at the lake, with me struggling to find a ‘new normal’ – having been cast aside from what I was used to, a large extended family Christmas, that I loved – and finding myself cooking up a storm, for about 60, in my tiny single oven and on the BBQ at the lake, when in reality it was us five, and my depressive Dad! I wondered why Roger was so disconnected, and put it down to losing his family. Nope, he was busy texting Leanne (her birthday is Christmas Eve) and letting her know what everyone was doing, yep, she was ‘my friend too.’ Then I realised, no, it’s not nine! He fucked a prostitute on a stag night when we had been living together about oh, a couple of years – at most! And lied about that for about 26 or so years – “I got a stupid, drunken hand job at the brothell when the other guys were there, so stupid, I’m so sorry.” Yeah, right.

I realised that all my memories of Christmas, where I was extra cheerful to make up for the fact that he hates Christmas, are bullshit. To a fair degree.

And that feels like a bit of a metaphor for my life at the moment. Bah humbug!


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“So, what is your thesis on?”

Well, hmmm.

Yes, this semester has seen me embark on my Masters thesis. I went to a workshop the other day to help prepare for a possible tilt at my uni’s heats of the Masters version of 3MT (3 Minute Thesis – a competition that has traditionally been run for PhD candidates.) I can’t compete, because I am taking D (youngest daughter) and Frenchie (exchange student living with us) to Wellington for a long weekend, and the heats are one of the days I am away. To say I am relieved is a bit of an understatement! I am not good at public speaking, and as you all know, I am also not good at keeping things brief! But, I thought I would go along to learn a bit more about it, and push my boundaries. I will need to hone these skills as I progress through my thesis, and beyond. First question as I sat beside a Masters candidate (in German) was, “so, what faculty and department are you from?” And second question was, “so, what is your thesis topic?” Hmmm. I don’t have a title. And I barely have a long synopsis. So, I stuttered through a brief outline, and the reply, “how is THAT Geography?”

PMSL.

It is a common reaction. I am a human geographer, and even fellow grad students, from the same faculty don’t get it. But I will try to outline it here.

pray the gay

I am interested in what happens when we label people. And people don’t fit in those boxes. Or do for a while, then outgrow them. Or someone tries to “re-pot” them in another box that is uncomfortable, and is a bad fit.

That kind of thing.

So, my original proposal was to do with what happens when plural, or fluid sexualities unfold in a previously imagined “hetero” monogamous long-term relationship? Kind of a bit autobiographical (my parents) as in, a look at betrayal, and hegemonic ideas about what marriage and monogamy look like in Western contexts. I wanted to see what happens when we look further down the line from some of the literature on “falling in love and committing to one person of the opposite sex.” And the spatial and material arrangements of that. As in, does it mean automatic separation, or can the space be (re)configured somehow? What about when there IS separation, and children are perhaps involved, and the experience of both them and either one or the other, or both parents confronting “matter out of place” in a sense – in that maybe some familiar objects are relocated, maybe in mum’s new house, and it feels disconcerting (or whatever?) This seemed like a way of unpacking what society says about romantic relationships, and challenging it in a bounded framework of sexuality. I then thought, geographically, about space and place, and thought, “yay, I can use some of my existing online networks, to drum up interest in participation.”

Go me!

But last Friday, I had a meeting – only my second, I am only in my third week of this – with my senior supervisor (I have two, and love them both!) She has pointed me in a slightly different direction. She now has me reading the literature and unpacking spaces of home, love, intimacy and kinship. And here’s the kicker. She wants me to ground it (as after all, it is a one year project, not a PhD) in a specific geographical context, eg, my local region.

At first, I was a little taken aback. Oh no! How will I recruit participants? This is a little personally exposing, a bit “close to home” – good ol’ geography! But, I am open to it, I get what she is suggesting, and I agree. Start at the beginning. Start at how we conceptualise love. Then watch it implode, lol.

So, in order to try to make sense of how to approach this, I am reading like a madwoman, and I thought a brief post here might help me start to play with the working title, and start to arrange some order of approach. At the moment, it is all swirling around in there in a big tornado of thought, with no sequence. I am not a particularly orderly person, so it’s like herding cats. And I know my working title is nowhere near what I want it to be, and it needs to be far snappier, but I will record it here to put a peg in the ground. A marker of the origins of this thesis. I do it very nervously, as it is so far from what I need it to be yet, and I am struggling with the idea of a “fixed” sexual identity versus a fluid one – and how to incorporate that properly in the title without contradicting myself with, “okay, so one of these people has a static sexual identity, but that is not the case for everyone….”

sigh

Queering long-term ‘heterosexual’ romantic relationships: querying the effects of a romantic partner’s fluid sexualities on constructions of monogamous love in (insert geographical region(s) here.)

Aaaargh, I HATE it!

(Press publish, ewwwwwwwwww)


33 Comments

100 Things I Like …

Hey all.

I was asked if I would participate in this, and to be honest, I haven’t been having the greatest of times this past month or so, and shied away from it.

The title is supposed to be 100 Things I Love. I first saw Totally Caroline’s post. It was MAGNIFICENT! And not to be a complete downer, but I seriously doubt that I feel love about anything anymore. At best, I get a, “meh, I don’t hate that” – great attitude, Paula, keep that shit up!

With that in mind, I am gonna try to find 100 Things I Like Enough to Write Them Down on a Blog Post to Try to Make Myself and My Friends Here Feel a Bit Happier; or Paula’s Mindfulness List:

  1. Living in a rural space
  2. Going to uni to re-organise my thinking
  3. That I finished my undergrad degree in just over two years
  4. My kids – they’re alright I guess 😉
  5. Wintery-days-in-front-of-the-fire-at-the-lake
  6. Sunny-days-on-the-farm-or-beach-or-lake
  7. Getting out of the sun
  8. Being pasty white and red haired
  9. Pineapple Lumps straight from the fridge (hey, if owlie can like culturally specific things like cwtches – hell, so can I!)
  10. Growing my own organic vegetables
  11. Creating simple meals out of No. 10
  12. Growing my own beef and lamb
  13. Ditto number 11 – about No. 12 …
  14. My stupid, notarealdog
  15. Spending time on the farm with the working dogs
  16. 80’s music
  17. 90’s music
  18. 00’s music
  19. Music
  20. Rare visits off the farm to galleries and the theatre – cultural capital in a totally rurally-starved reinterpretation of the concept!
  21. Me. Despite my severe fuckedupness, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else … see ya, see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya
  22. Roger. Despite everything, he is a hell of a fun guy, and he is so damn sorry and incredibly pissed off at himself, and mostly very understanding of how I ‘turned out’ (Meh.)
  23. Hogarth’s chocolate. Usually a small square of good quality, white chocolate was my only choc love, I don’t really like chocolate as a flavour, but discovered this little artisan chocolate roaster recently, their Madagascar is divine. Thin blocks of geographically specific beans, roasted and prepared to melt on your tongue…
  24. Fresh linen
  25. Images, still images, beautifully shot. Wish I had the patience. Too much of a point and shoot girl …
  26. The Internet. In that I would be a very lonely girl without it these days. My life changed into such a weird shape after infidelity, and the real life friends have fallen by the wayside. Thankfully I have a couple of lovelies here … And one or two that live overseas and don’t know about my situation, who are delicious!
  27. The incredibly supportive staff at my university department. Especially from my lead supervisor. I feel acceptance and understanding there that I don’t feel in many other spaces anymore
  28. My racehorse, Louis
  29. Sitting at my computer, tapping out ‘stuff’ – very seriously – and notarealdog all of a sudden going off at nothing outside – super guard dog, very scary! (And when a real person arrives, she runs in the opposite direction if she doesn’t know them! Fierce!)
  30. Highlighter powder. My eyes are too hooded to wear winged eyeliner anymore … dammit
  31. Lippy. In bright colours. Reds, fuschias, ORANGE, you get the picture
  32. Fresh hair colour
  33. World (brand.) Both their fashion, and their beauty lines – especially the hard-to-find fragrances they import.
  34. Booze. Champagne. Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Rogue Society Gin, Vodka, Good Rum. Yes, I think I might have a problem … what’s it to ya?
  35. SHOES! (How did shoes only get to be No. 35?)
  36. Potting flowers
  37. SEAFOOD! ALL OF IT. GIMMEE, GIMMEE, GIMMEE!!!
  38. My green eyes
  39. My kids’ gorgeous long, dark, thick, curly eyelashes
  40. My mother. All 16 years dead of her. But mostly the 32 years I had with her
  41. Movies, I like a good story
  42. Autumn colour, wish I lived in Central Otago like my little brother at that time of the year – however, see No. 25
  43. Mindfulness
  44. Great tits – on anyone – big, small, young, old – preferably natural
  45. A sexy arse, and great shoulders and chest
  46. Modesty, but with genuine self-confidence, and not fake, “oh, I’m not really,” modesty
  47. The Coromandel
  48. Clever Internet memes, not your standard stuff
  49. Sleep.  I remember sleep
  50. People who get off their arses and make a difference (note to self …)
  51. The smell of horse. Bury your face in that neck and just breathe in
  52. Speed, the kind where the wind blows through your hair, and just everywhere – not the kind where the world just flashes by, like in a closed vehicle – a (helmetless – shhh, don’t tell OSH) farm bike, a galloping horse …
  53. Glowworms
  54. Someone who does vintage or kitsch really, really well
  55. Swearing. Fuck yeah
  56. Passionfruit curd
  57. Goat curd
  58. Lemon curd
  59. Curd (WTF? I didn’t know this until now …)
  60. Taika Waititi
  61. Flight of the Conchords
  62. Faux animal heads – what’s up with that???
  63. Bruises. The colours, the beautiful colours
  64. Comedy. Just comedy, in most forms, ‘cept when it is at the expense of anyone who is oppressed. But then, that’s not comedy, just cruelty and more oppression.’Cos everyone needs to larf – and some of us need more prompting these days, so yeah, comedy is good
  65. My home work space – the view is of green, rolling hills and trees, year ’round
  66. My bright orange kitchen splashback – pressed tin, fake subway tile
  67. Live music with my kids
  68. Peeling off layers of clothing when you’ve been working on the farm all day in winter
  69. Today. The shortest day of the year
  70. The longest day
  71. BBQs. Just everything about the idea
  72. Baby animals. All of them. Gorgeousness
  73. The relief of submitting an assignment. Just one to go before my thesis
  74. Heterogeneity. The world is full of all kinds of people, places, things …
  75. NZ native bush. So cool, so lush, so green
  76. How a house is warmed in winter by the scent of a slow cooked meal
  77. Honesty. And that my kids have survived all my honesty! 🙂
  78. People who hug. I am not one. But I get it. I think I should have been. But life got in the way. I have a love-hate thing with huggers
  79. Awareness of privilege, all kinds of privilege, and tolerance (at the very least) for those who do not have any
  80. The Coen brothers (and Frances McDormand)
  81. How Fargo was so successfully made into a TV series – I was a doubter
  82. Bling. Silver bling, stars, glitter, you name it
  83. Junk jewellery, not the expensive stuff, the glittery, cheap stuff
  84. A really good cup of tea
  85. Organic milk (see No. 84)
  86. Cream, oh how I love thee!
  87. Cheese. Basically I should have just written, dairy, “I like it a lot” (said in a Jim Carrey/Lloyd Christmas voice)
  88. Stormy weather, thunder and lightning make me feel alive!
  89. Salted caramel
  90. Chipotle – scratch that – smoky flavours. Any smoky flavours
  91. Empaths. As long as they are not just wet saps!
  92. Getting absolutely drenched through in a rainstorm – as long as I can get warm and dry on the same day!
  93. Scented flowers, but also tulips. I like tulips
  94. Cows. A much maligned species!
  95. That we still have a largely unarmed police force in Aotearoa New Zealand
  96. Living in the South Pacific
  97. Warm toes
  98. That notarealdog continues to try to befriend thecatisabitch. Even though thecatisabitch has made her feelings on the matter crystal clear. Notarealdog is a chump?
  99. The smell of raw wool. The lanolin-rich, greasy, animalness of it
  100. That this was so damn hard! I know, do I like/love that? Probably not, but I knew it would be hard for me to produce a 100 Things I Love list these days, with so many of my “loves” gone from my life. Hot, sweaty sexathons, knowing I was truly loved, that “in love” feeling I had for a good couple of decades, that feeling you had for the first part of the relationship that I still felt with a sharpness often. Loving my curvy and baby-scarred body, real life friends, laugh-until-your-guts-ache belly laughs, etc. And when I read CrazyKat’s  gorgeous, flowing, easy, post on this, I realised that my No. 21 might not be so great after all. But I have known that for a long time. I am not one of those who has bounced back. And I am sad about that, but I also own it. This is who I am now. I have been changed by the betrayal in ways I really never fully predicted. It has been a surprise in many ways. But I accept it, nevertheless. And the most important part of all of it is to ensure you stay mindful, and that there are still many things in life that work xxx.

On that note, Namaste bitches!

 

 


22 Comments

Walking through fire

Hi-de-hi campers!

Just doing a brain dump, instead of writing up my research findings.

Of course.

I have just returned from a mostly lovely weekend at the top of the South Island. One of my oldest friends and his lovely wife and two kids live in Nelson. So, my old friend, J – whom I have written about on this blog before (but not much lately) – who just cannot understand my state of mind, or my worldview since infidelity hit my life – flew down on Saturday morning to participate in an organised hill run/walk on Sunday. Sounds fun, right?

(Hint … nooooooooooooo!)

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I am not at all fit at the moment. I have let my exercise regime fall down this semester, I just can’t seem to cram it in, and it is intermittent to say the least. Understandably, I have gained some weight. So, fatty me was signed up to do a 16km walk, entirely uphill, with two people who walk up mountains several times per week. I knew it was a big ask. But went anyway. Consequently, when my two companions, J and G were getting rolling drunk on Saturday night, with an 8am start in mind, I had two small beers over the course of the afternoon and evening. Great, no problem. Except I woke with a cracking hangover! WTF? I don’t drink a lot these days, and when I do, I know to avoid wine, as it makes me very ill, and I usually go for spirits. I thought two very small craft beers would be fine. G and J drank four bottles of wine and about 6 x 1.5L of beer between them.

And they woke up fine.

I, on the other hand, was wretched. Nauseous, with a pounding head, I forced a small amount of my breakfast down, starting on the paracetamol at 5am, and taking some ibuprofen prior to the race start. I went anyway. And got up that damn hill in a very slow time of about 2.5 hours. Every step pounded in my thumping head, and I dry retched several times. The other two bounced up there, J, at speed, taking pics, and chattering away to other competitors as she strode past them as they lay dying on the roadside.

I saw it as a bit of a metaphor. I had a good relationship, the longest of any of my friends, and I was a good partner, faithful, loving, caring and probably-too-giving. J has lived a pretty blessed life and parties hard, has a pile of kids and a very understanding husband. She hasn’t given up too much, and she just can’t understand why I am so hurt by Roger’s actions, “because you are meant to be together, he loves you so much,” life is lived on the surface for her. How many Facebook “likes” or Snapchat views can she achieve? (SERIOUSLY – we are 47 and 48.) She made all kinds of noises about walking with me, at my pace, when we said we were going to do this, and even at the start line, she was saying this. It lasted about 10 strides. And she was off like a rabbit, coming second overall, without racing. G, my local friend, on the other hand, knows, and he gets it. I think. He stayed with me the whole walk – despite me telling him I was fine, and would get there. Once I start something, I am committed! I don’t give up. I got my sick arse up that damn hill. Like I said I would. And my world imploded with infidelity anyway. Life was never meant to be fair, right? Too damn right!directory_listing_images_image1_0194.jpg-scale-170-125-1415852675

During the weekend, we had opportunities to spend time in smaller groups. I spent Monday morning working on my pre-thesis project, with G’s wife, K, who is now very successfully selling real estate, and was doing her accounts – and whom I love – and we had a really interesting chat about those who seem to have life all planned out, in exactly the way “society” wants us to. Uni. Check. Good job. Check. Married. Check. Kids. Check. Lovely home. Check. “Stuff” (cars, clothes, jewellery, whatever-the-fuck-else) Check.

Neither K or I are particularly conventional, but each in different ways. She is fairly conservative in appearance, but a deep thinker, with a dry sense of humour and a wickedly quick wit – and they have worked hard and brought up two lovely kids, on little money, but loads of love and their focus has been building a property portfolio, and travel. Their own house is small, and has no “mod cons.” Their kids have never had all the technology and designer crap that many others crave. But, they are awesome kids, just getting out into the world. J has five indulged, entitled kids who have EVERYTHING and social media profiles that have caused the local town we live in to label them facetiously as “The Kardashians.” J sprinkles happiness and love everywhere she goes, but has no grip on the hard side of life, or the fact that she may just be spoiling her kids into a very unhappy and materialistic future. When a sad background of a teen we knew came up, she was shocked, like, WTF? THIS HAPPENS IN THE WORLD? Yep, who knew, J? I am always amazed at her lack of knowledge of what happens outside of her happy, little party bubble.

But, of course, that is just bitter old me speaking.

I felt my mood swinging all weekend as all of this swirled about. I was conscious of my “judgement” of her lifestyle, and was careful to be tempering it, knowing who I am today. The changed person, with emotional damage. I am a little more cynical than ever.

She made comments all weekend that I internally just rolled my eyes at, and very often, G, and K openly rolled theirs at me, lol.

I guess, the thing is, my world is so changed, and J has been trying to force me to fit back in the little hole she had me in, and I don’t fit anymore (and not just because I have a particularly curvaceous arse grown with the help of a lack of exercise!)

And yesterday was seven years.

So, there’s that.