Monthly Archives: October 2013

Not me, not my life

This week I spent a bit of time en famille Oop North, hanging out with my brother, enduring my Dad’s ridiculous statements on society’s failings and trying to sidle out of my Mum’s anxieties. Fun! Additionally, an Aunt and Uncle i’d not seen in about ten years were there, so I got to catch up with the both of them and find out how things are going for my cousins.

This is the side of the family that hosted a guesstimated €30K wedding for their eldest (€3K dress, €400 Jimmy Choos that sliced her feet up, stately home venue). My Aunt spent most of the time telling me how brilliant/thin/rich her kids are, or how adorable/tall/smart her grandchild is and how wonderful her daughter is for taking her to Pilates/Baby Yoga etc.

UKIP shoved a campaign leaflet through my parents’ door, and I enjoyed reading all the bullshit they spouted in it, you know, facts seemingly being unimportant and all, whilst simultaneously being horrified by what I was reading. Every so often I would let out some indication of anguish/amusement and share the hilarity/horror I was reading; what was really interesting to me was that my Aunt and Uncle were not really up for discussing the political/society issues raised.

It was okay to talk endlessly of her grandchild or share her pride how her second daughter is a size 6 or discuss wedding dresses for her upcoming nuptials or babies, but not stuff that I think matters. Now, family is important, to varying degrees (I do not feel very close to mine but I know that will probably change as I age), but there is *SO* much more to life than weddings and fucking babies.

I don’t mean in that way. You know what I mean.

These subjects are things that I fail at on the femininity front, just like fake tans, wearing makeup daily, or heels to work. I remember spending time with my cousins when we were teens, and it was made very clear that what a woman should do is keep herself well-maintained, spending money on creams, treatments and designer clothing. I am not that, and never will be, and that’s a-okay. I found so much talk about stereotypically womanly things quite oppressive and difficult to feign interest in.

There is a tiny part of me that wonders if the lack of male interest in me would be sorted out if I wore foundation or more skirts, but then a microsecond later I know that thinking that way is utterly idiotic. As I tell my kids at work, if someone likes you they’ll like you whether you’re dressed up or down, whether you have scars or clear skin, rich or poor. They’ll like the person, not the shallow layers. They just will.

Off to get my hair cut nice and tight this afternoon :)
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Come Friday around 4.30pm I will officially be free from work for a short break. HURRAH. I’m planning to visit family, see friends and catch up on sleeeeep, as well as have a good think about what i’ve covered in the Wellbeing Project over the last six weeks.

Hopefully i’ll feel like i’ve caught my breath.
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The experiments I did last week in the pottery class I go to had come out well, so spending two hours yesterday evolving what i’d made and pondering what I could do to them with regards finishes was hugely enjoyable. I could make and alter and feel calm and in the zone as I chipped and moulded and squished and refined.

A colleague i’d not seen on Friday asked how things went with the interview; after I got her up to speed she asked me whether, as consolation, i’d booked my flights yet for Christmas and Petrichor. I brought the photography catalogue I was flicking through up to hide my face with an “Oh God i’m going to cry” and lo – tears a go go. My colleague hugged me and talked through with me what happened, commenting that it must feel like i’ve been kicked whilst i’m down. Yes, yes it does.

Anyway, no weeping today. I still feel sad and flat. When someone’s been in your thoughts in a positive way every day for two months, weaning myself off hope takes time. Sigh. Friday brings a break from school for a week which will be MUCH appreciated.
“Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.”

Wikipedia – Flow
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Autumn Sunset

Stayed in bed ’til gone 1pm today, mixing sleeping, absorbing of the internet and feeling sorry for myself.

Walked to the shops to buy cake.

Finished off another Bernie Gunther novel (the series by Philip Kerr is one of my favourites).

Watched the rain pour down on the leaves of the increasingly sunset-coloured trees outside my window.

Arranged dinner with McCy.


Felt very down in the morning, with more tears to match, but then calmer post-Bernie Gunther.

This past week has been a bit too much for me, what with Petrichor upset, being sleep-deprived, work woes and interview pressure. I’m very glad to have a weekend to do very little, to be able stand under the hot shower just that little bit longer.
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Turned out I was up against a Head of Faculty, a Head of Department, a Second in Department and an internal candidate. I was unable to see a clear path through what I was being asked to teach, so my lesson lacked pace. It was poor.

I feel I was unable to show the best of me because I struggled so much with the subject I was presenting, as it was so old-fashioned- nebulous yet very tight; during the feedback when I explained that I was nervous and so fumbled over things the Head told me that I hid my nerves too well :/

When I got home there was a parcel from Petrichor waiting for me, sent a couple of weeks back before everything fell apart. It was full of cute, thoughtful loveliness, so of course this evening I am multitasking on weeping post-interview, post-potential Good Thing.

I feel so fucking fed up.

So fucking tired.

Being repeatedly disappointed seems to be par for the course.
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I just want to sleeeep

Been awake for a couple of hours already, with an 8.30am – 8.30pm day at work in the offing. Then I have to prepare myself mentally for Friday and also get a good night’s sleep. Yays :(
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I always think this clip from Amélie sums up very succinctly the pain I feel when it comes to relationships. In it, Amélie imagines that the man she has fallen in love with is out buying her the yeast she has just run out of. But he is not there, and her hopes and desires are dashed.


So, instead of spending the evening preparing for my interview on Friday, I have spent most of my evening sobbing, producing an ever-increasing pile of sodden tissues.
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So the Head of Department position at my old nemesis is up for grabs as i’ve been invited for interview on Friday. I’ve never been for an HOD position before so have little idea as to what questions might be sprung upon me :s

The lesson theme i’ve been asked to teach is horrible – very old-fashioned, prescriptive and dull-as-dishwater; it’s been quite a challenge to come up with something suitable to fill my twenty-five minutes with. Anyway, i’ve still a lot to prepare – all the handouts, resources, cover for the day out of school etc. as well as reading up about the exam boards they do and having a flick through a document my old boss gave me about the principles behind being an HOD.

I also have mentoring to do at work, reviews to check, Wellbeing to attend, and an open evening to help prepare for and man the night before my interview. Afterwards, I have to race back for a parents afternoon.

All I want to do is crawl into bed, clutch at my hot water bottle (it’s so chilly now) and shut out the outside world. UG.
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So I had a very enjoyable weekend pottering about Havant and East Wittering; I’d not seen Caversham Princess or Bobby Convey in quite a while so it was good to drink red wine, eat mini-poppadoms and cassoulet and put the world bang to rights as always.

Spending time near the sea was wonderful, both on the Saturday when all was becalmed and warm and on the Sunday when the wind blew and the rain lashed.

In between geeking-out over particularly pleasing pebbles and getting excited about all the dogs on the beach, I thought about Petrichor. I thought of him whilst I slid down the shingle banks and watched the waves slip back and forth over the bubble-strewn, gritty sand… I pictured his gloriously haystack hair as I watched the hedgerows zip past the car window. And I felt sad.

The week of non-contact started off okay but as the days have passed my feelings have changed quite markedly.

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East Wittering Saturday

East Wittering

East Wittering

East Wittering

East Wittering

East Wittering

East Wittering

East Wittering

East Wittering

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East Wittering Sunday

East Wittering

East Wittering

East WitteringThis afternoon, East Wittering beach:

Rain, wind, blowing-the-cobwebs-out weather.

Thighs numbed-kinda day.


Strong cup of tea to warm up in a nearby pub (with a packet of salted peanuts for protein), Boston Terriers (!!!) and French Bulldogs wandering about the tables.

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Le Weekend

Hooray for Friday and a mini-break to the South coast with Caversham Princess and Bobby Covey. Looking forward to good food, lots of drink and good company, all rounded off with some spray and surf exposure time at the pebbly beach.

It’ll be great to get away, get some head space, ponder upon Petrichor quietly and just drink in “be”-ing.
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My day

Moping Moth
My photo of a moth I spotted on the ground during a walk up a bit too-much-of-a-challenge-for-the-end-of-the-day hill at Heligan. It looked like it was moping, so the image seemed appropriate.

Spent my day off work variously, catching up on lost sleep, weeping every now-and-then and thinking about Petrichor. Of course before I was able to do any of this I had to spend an hour before I should have been at work preparing the cover work for the classes I was missing. SIGH.

I emailed a couple of people i’d been meaning to email, and wrapped a present for my brother’s upcoming birthday. I took an extra-long hot shower and did some washing up. Listened to sad music. I got pissed off with work emails I read (boundaries my arse monky!) and thought about the Christmas I will now be spending feeling fed up at my parents house. As usual. I tried to make sense of Petrichor’s decision but could not (why not spend time with each other at Christmas and go from there?). I moped and felt glum.

I feel like going back to work is not as horrifying a prospect as it was this morning (this was a GOOD decision not to go in), but given that we’ve been in contact with each other nearly every day over the last couple of months, as the days pass without textually poking each other it’s going to be very weird.

At this point in the evening i’ve reached a sort of funk, not crying but just sad and down. I expect i’ll shed more tears, but at the moment I feel deflated.
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The smell of rain evaporating

Petrichor told me last night that he can’t do the time apart and distance.

So that’s that it would seem.


The questions I ask myself are:
– How likely is it that I will meet anyone with whom I will get on as well with/be as attracted to?
With two dates – yes, that’s *two days* – over *a year-and-a-half*, I think the likelihood is slim to zero. I can’t predict the future but given past experience I think it is not very likely. At all.

So, I thought, given how well we got on and the connection I thought we felt, Petrichor was worth waiting for. Worth the effort.

Good Things are increasingly rare it would seem, and so it’s not like he was the best of a bad bunch – he really is wonderful. I don’t settle for mediocrity, it’s not worth my time and i’d *much* rather be on my own that put up with such shit. I’m not going to see anyone else for sex or companionship- i’m after a connection that satisfies.
– But what were we working towards?
Petrichor is very much someone who lives in the now. This is admirable, as that sort of mindfulness is hard to attain.

In the spirit of problem-solving I would suggest ways that we could perhaps ease the time we were apart, but we didn’t put any of these suggestions into practice, which leaves me feeling like what could have been great has been cut down before its time.

With a complete lack of even short term goals (e.g. let’s cam at the weekend, watch the same film and chat about it, do something dirty on cam, arrange to meet up), I feel like we didn’t give things a proper go. Being a cheerleader for your relationship is so important, and with nothing to work towards it is extra hard.

Petrichor said that he was concerned with what was achievable, not what could be achieved. I don’t think we fully fulfilled what was achievable, let alone got anywhere on what could have been. I really hoped we’d be able to meet at Christmas, spend more time in each other’s company and work out what we wanted to do from that point onwards. It’s impossible to ignore potential.

I knew wherever we were heading it was not going to be easy. Our separateness was not something that would be quickly and easily resolved, but I thought he was brilliant, with a great future ahead of him that I wanted to be a part of. So, again, worth the trouble to get there.


Thanks to the Wellbeing project I womaned-up and called in sick to work – boundary setting ahoy; I had slept very, very poorly and would usually drag myself into school and spend the day failing on the “Not going to cry!”-thing or shouting at the kids when they overwhelm me.

What usually happens is that the kids notice I am very, very quiet (they are used to me being very outgoing and happy) and one of them will ask if i’m okay, which then leads to crying :(

So, i’ve asked to take a break from all contact with him for seven days and then I will reassess whether or not I think I am able to keep in touch with him without drawing out the agony. I don’t know the answer to that, and I don’t know whether i’ll know in seven days time.

I’m very sad today. And I miss him.
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Sobbing in the shower is the new black
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