Plenty Of Fish In The Sea

I am listening to what family and friends say about my future. I am making sure Goldfinch is involved also with any decisions.

Everyone who knows me knows I love to love. I look for opportunities with my family and friends to make their day, bring them a smile, a ray of sunshine. Everyone knows I hate being single and having to deal with unwelcome flirting and attention.

So they know that at some point I am going to yearn to be in a close relationship with a man who loves me and can provide the much needed hugs after a long tiring day and take long walks in the countryside holding my hand tight. They know I like to spoil a man with my cooking and baking and think of all sorts of little ways I can be a blessing and a bonus to that man. But it has to be a man I genuinely like and respect. It is completely natural for anyone of us to want that. I have extra reasons now to think about what kind of a man would be prepared to accept me in my current situation.

But as I am sure as many will testify is true, them there fish in that sea out there – there are some scary fish swimming around! And although I am referring to men, I imagine that it can be very scary for men as well. There are some monstrous women out there – I know!

I know you know what I am talking about! The scariest are the ones that seem to be decent at first, and you fall for them – hook, line and sinker – in your nieveity, and then they turn out to be monsters. Diving into the sea, with plenty of fish, it is a really scary thing to do.

Right now, I am receiving text messages from two different male friends who both seem intent on putting all sorts of ideas in my head of how they would like me to be spending the weekend. It’s frightening – the moment some men know you are single, they feel they can make any kind of suggestive suggestion to you. Scary!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is trwggtwg.pngI texted one back saying “only a month since I said goodbye to one of the loveliest men on the planet – sooooooo not ready for a piranha”. He seemed to think I was being good-humoured, (I suppose I could have made it much clearer) apparently he thought being called a piranha was some sort of compliment. Piranhas might look pretty enough from the outside, but their focus is on gratifying their own hunger. They are probably going to devour you!!!

Well, it’s alright for a man to express his interest. But I think I am a bit sensitive to the way that is done. I don’t want to resort to informing or reminding male friends that I have been a victim to a traumatic crime, that will naturally make me wary of anyone who is putting emphasis on their interest being physical.

I don’t know – of course it’s alright for a man to express their interest. But you kind of get a feel for someone by the way they communicate. If they are not capable of forming a text message that makes you feel nice, but in a respectful way, what are they going to be like on a date? I don’t think I want to risk putting myself in a position where I am likely to freak out and storm out on them.

Besides…as I have said many a time before – it is way way too soon. It still makes me feel sick to think of holding hands with any other man other than Goldfinch. I am not ready. But I might be ready to chat via texts or calls with a man capable of being lovely, with a view to slowly slowly building up a rapport. So long as he lets me talk about my feelings for Goldfinch. That way a bond would build up slowly slowly. I would feel drawn to such a wonderfully large-eared man. I am much more likely to find that at a later date when we go out for a coffee or walking in the park, that I might feel comfortable with him taking my hand into his.

I am just so very frightened at the thought of it. I am literally terrified nowadays that a man might become obsessive, or demanding, or try to push me or pressure me to agree. I don’t enjoy anyone who seems to be capable of degrading women, even talking about their encounters with other women in a way that humiliates them. It makes me feel sick. Anger and disgust brew inside of me. I am terrified of men who cannot take no for an answer. Who resort to expressing their hurt over being rejected by using social media to completely belittle someone. It is a scary world. People can seem so lovely, but when they are cross, they can lose control over their feelings and strike out at you using the internet. I have a huge fear of the way someone can use social media to strike out at someone.

I am like a shy little fish who is very wary. I don’t want to be eaten alive! I think I have good reasons to be nervous. I endured two years of seeing horrible horrible comments made about me on social media sites. People said things that were completely false and very unkind. Even if they had been true, they would have been a complete invasion of privacy. Then in my distraught state of mind, I forgot about my own personal safety and was in a park late at night on my own. I woke up in an ambulance the following morning. After enduring all that, I have every reason to be nervous and cautious.

There is one male friend, well…more a friend of a friend, who I can tell is kind of sweet on me, but he is holding back I think. He sends me one message a day though. His messages are normal, and nice. He has not said anything inappropriate. He did say he would like to go for a coffee with me some time. I said I would like to. He is going on holiday next week so I probably won’t hear from him. But we have set a date to go for coffee in February. He is a little bit – how can I put this? “cuddly” not overly, in fact it makes me feel more attractive – which is not a bad thing. Goldfinch was so gorgeous, I felt unworthy of him. But this guy seems nice, he seems genuine. He likes music (as do I), he loves animals (adorable) and he likes reading, he loves history. He is a down to earth hard working man. He seems wonderfully normal. There is something about him that makes me feel safe – which I have realized is more important to me than looks or pretty much anything else.

If a man can convince me I am physically and emotionally safe with him – I am a woman who absolutely loves to love. But I can’t explain the fear of all the possibilities that may jeopardise my ability to trust men. My heart was pretty bruised and battered after everything that happened with Jack. Goldfinch helped my heart glow warm and grow strong again. Goldfinch has built up that sense of trust and stemmed my fears. I think it might only take one bad experience with a man, for me to lock myself away from the possibility of any future romance.

I am just hoping that eventually one of them there fish in the sea turns out to be not so scary, but actually really nice. Sometimes that seems like an impossible task (sorry to all male readers – I am sure many of you are quite lovely, but you must know what I mean). One day, there will be a fish who will come swimming along and …

***

I loved reading through this post again – but who would have thought that I would end up with Jack!!! Life is full of spectacular surprises!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Mr. Sensitivity

One of the things that has made me feel utterly drawn to Goldfinch is that he has filled the hours I have spent with him with pleasure and fun and adventure…whilst at the same time always maintaining sensitivity towards the fact that I have a scar…an emotional scar that at times creeps up on me and knocks me over at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. Goldfinch has proved himself unimaginably lovely.

creepI met Goldfinch last October, and it was a very very quick decision I made that I was going to like him.  When a man who is a complete stranger is friendly with you, you have to decide as a woman (and vice versa) and make a snap decision whether to run to the nearest security guard or police officer…or whether to give him a chance to show himself as decent. My “creep detector” is extremely sensitive! (I don’t have to spell it out that this photo is not Goldfinch – do I?) In fact I don’t like strangers flirting with me at all now.  Looking back, it could have gone terribly wrong with Goldfinch. I am very glad that my snap decision was in his favour…it was not long until we were walking along hand in hand…and we are still walking along hand in hand months later.  Apologies for being overly mushy!

Yes, I was nervous…being the victim of a crime (if you have read some of my other posts referring to that event, you understand) just makes me even more wary of men who I batting eyelashesdon’t already know and trust…especially in the context of a man trying to be friendly enough to make me start batting my eye-lashes and lavishing my smiles upon him.

Goldfinch just bulldozed his way through all my alarm sensors.  He was appropriate, but at the same time he was firm and friendly.  He was not playing with me.  He was going to be polite and see how I responded.  I decided to receive his friendliness.  He always made sure I felt in control before he knew anything about me.

I enjoyed the time I spent with him the first weekend I met him. When he came to visit me the following weekend in London, my confidence in him grew.  My curiosity about him was ravenous.  I think that is normal isn’t it?  Partly to explore any remote possibility that he might turn out to be a psychopath. But also motivated by this awe that I am walking hand in hand with a man who I met a week ago and it feels so wonderful.  I kept looking at him and wondering, “who are you? – you gorgeous man!

Sometimes I am in a rush to extract too much information and define what is going to be man on the runallowed to develop at the start of a relationship. I have learnt after oh so many bad experiences that it does not go down well to start firing questions intensely. Even if it seems very important to find out if a man wants to have children or build a castle with you, how much debt he is tied to, how many ex-wives or romances he has accrued…it makes the steadiest man nervous to receive that kind of interrogation too early on.  Of course I want to know all this, but you have to be patient and subtle in broaching these subjects.  I have treated too many men in the same way as Lord Sugar grills his candidates on the BBC’s “The Apprentice“! One young man actually told me directly he thought I was super but my probing questions terrified him and made him want to run a mile.

Goldfinch was pretty open with me from the start.  He gave me the basic outline to his circumstances and he explained his stay in England was temporary.  I was grateful to feel I know where I stood with him.  He asked me some questions to get to know me too…and I found I kept on getting myself in a muddle until I finally came on to the subject of the crime I was victim of.

hand-in-hand.pngI was worried about how he would react.  He was fine.  It can’t be easy for a man who hears that a woman he is getting to know has been through a horrific experience with a man.  What I love about Goldfinch is that he has taken it in his stride.  He won’t let it hang like a cloud over our relationship.  He knows at times it might come back into my mind, and he is always sensitive to my feelings.  He has listened to me when I have needed to express myself and he has stroked my hand and held me close.  But he is also very constructive, he gives me great advice on moving forward and not letting the event dominate my life.

I am so glad that I met Goldfinch…he has brought me happiness and pleasure on a scale I was not expecting to appear so out-of-the-blue…from a complete stranger.  He is a good man.  I am amazed that he has been so loving and considerate and empathetic.  Totally deserving of the honorary title “Mr Sensitivity”.

I have already published quite a few posts about Goldfinch…and I thank everyone for being so kind and putting up with me while I am besotted.  That will all change of course in four months time.  But for now, forgive me for being utterly in love!  This is my favourite post about Goldfinch, just in case you missed it.

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/sensitivity/

Dazzled By The Man With The Golden Touch

When I first met Goldfinch over a year ago, there was a lot of teasing and flirting on my part. From the start I was excited about him, in a way I had not been for a long time. I think there always is some teasing at the start of a romance. I was trying to find out more about him, this can be quite a task with many men. This air of mystique some men seem reluctant to discard, can be rather irritating.

The world seemed to become golden when Goldfinch entered my life. He has made the last 13 months and a 13 days sparkle. Everything was fine before Goldfinch, but it has been even better since he arrived. But I have always wanted more of him. I have wished I knew everything about him. I don’t think I will ever be bored of learning about him.

It seems as if you are expected to just except the James Bond-ishness of a man in his forties. That’s why I started calling him Goldfinger. However, I have never seen a single James Bond movie in my life…so I mistakenly assumed James Bond was Goldfinger! Whereas, the actual Goldfinger was, well…

GoldfingerAs mentioned in another post, I even met him at Heathrow Arrivals with a sign that I had made which said Goldfinger. I later realized that my epitaph was not greatly flattering, so I dropped it!

I guess by the time a man has reached his forties, he has usually lived more than a little. He might not want to confess all to a woman who is interrogating him. Past experiences may have caused him to be wary of a new woman in his life. However, he was open about some things, things I never expected him to be open about necessarily. So, I did feel I could trust him. After all, he was more open with me than I think I would have been with him.

I was ravenous for more and more of him though. I wanted him to tell me about every day of his life since he was a tiny child. I was never going to have enough time with him to hear everything. My fascination and curiosity has never diminished. It’s one thing I am regretting, I truly wish I had spent more time with him to hear more and more about him and all the pages of his life.

I am convinced that Goldfinch is going to be an abysmal penpal! I think I have lost my chance to know him inside out. I still have a very golden view of him, and I doubt that shine on my memories will ever fade. Goldfinch is always going to be a golden boy to me – the man with the golden touch who came into my life, dazzled me, and then was gone.

_______________

And after six months of having Goldfinch as my pen-pal, I am happy. I thought I would hardly ever hear from him. He has been great!

 

 

What Am I To Make Of Silence?

exasperatedI think I am less patient than I was in my youth…when it comes to men that is. Forgive me, I should not generalize. But I have had an odd experience recently and I am still rather provoked. I am not seeking to make men in general feel awkward, just to relate a situation that has left me perplexed.

dateOne of the reasons I like Goldfinch so much is that he did not mess around. He knew what he wanted (me) and he went for it. Not in a scary way! I would have recoiled if he had in anyway been pushy. But he made it clear he had warmed to me and he also told me he was in England for just a short time.

But he did not mess me around, leaving me wondering. He is a decisive person (I think so anyway). He wants to do something, he does it. If it doesn’t work out, he won’t sulk, he will carry on living life with gusto.

I had an e-mail recently from a man I went on a couple of dates with this year – let’s call him Matthew. I had not heard from him for a while, but neither had I been in touch with him. I thought we had both just decided it was not going to work out and had naturally stopped communicating. His e-mail baffled me. He seemed to think we were still a “we” or an “us”. He sent me a lovely message explaining his thoughts and feelings over the past few weeks.

I was shocked. It was unexpected. All this time I thought he had lost interest in me (which I was pleased about) and it turns that is far from the case. I e-mailed him back to explain I did think he had lost interest and I was alright with that. I told him I enjoyed the time we spent together. But I explained that a lot has happened (he has no idea about my little apricot) and that I had been in touch with Goldfinch a lot, leading me to decide I wanted to go out to visit him.

He has not replied to my message where I told him that while I had not heard from him, I had been in touch with Goldfinch regularly and am going out to visit him. I don’t know what to make of it. Surely if you are thinking of someone, then the wrong way to go about it is to remain silent for more than seven weeks?

Serious retro couple sitting at restaurantI feel a bit bad. But not a lot bad. Goldfinch has always been so straightforward and clear. Goldfinch has not left me baffled and bewildered. Matthew is a nice guy really. Terrible on dates! Of course those two dates were not helped by me having morning sickness. I could tell he was just awkward. He made the mistake of making some rather lewd comments, which tells me he is not used to women (or at least normal women). But the seven week silence was something I thought indicated he was not thinking of me at all.

My personal view of the world is that if you like someone, you probably should tell them. And it is a risk, because they might not be pleased with that. The worst case scenario is that they are so displeased with you liking them that they behave badly by mocking you and shunning you. But only brutish cold-hearted people do things like that and you should count your blessings for an escape!

If you like someone, find a way to tell them without terrifying them, no stalking them, either physically or online, don’t become obsessed with them before you are even on friendly terms. And nowadays you have to be a bit careful with flirting, especially any physical contact (and this is very important of you know this person through work) because people can start thinking they are being harassed.

I know for some people it can be hard to find the words, and they are so unpolished they can make themselves sound creepy…but keep it simple…something along the lines of, you like their company, they always cheer you up, you like chatting to them, do they want to go for a drink. Don’t be too intense. Be prepared for a no. I have often said no, more because I was so tired, I couldn’t face the idea of making an effort with someone who I felt I hardly knew and had little connection with – it usually had nothing to do with who was asking me. But I was flattered and I didn’t forget, and I always made an extra effort to smile at whoever was asking me out when I saw them in the future.

So I shall see if the man I mentioned replies to my e-mail.

in love againWhy has he stayed silent all this time? While fostering fond feelings for me? I hope he is alright. But him staying silent gave me a carte blanche to think he had lost interest, and I was not to worry about the fact that I had not been able to cultivate any interest in him. His silence made me feel more and more certain that I wanted to save all my money so I could get myself to Australia and see Goldfinch.

And that is all I am thinking of! Being with Goldfinch, who does not mess me around, but is straightforward with me.

 

I Am Ready For Dancing, But Nothing Else

Should I go to a party on Saturday with a male friend who has been single for about a year?

dateHis girlfriend moved to Canada when she had an exciting job opportunity. As far as he says, they were happy together and will always be friends. But he says they do not have plans to continue their relationship in the future, she is dating other men over there. I think he volunteered all this when I was talking to him and some other friends when I went out for drinks last week.

He texted me a couple of times that night and basically said he thought that he and I have a lot in common (because my Goldfinch has moved to Australia). He said any time I want to talk I could call him.

It is unlikely I will know anyone else at the party, so I will be a bit tied to him perhaps. Although I am not at all shy, even with new people. The thing is, it really is too soon for me to go out on anything that would be regarded as a “date”. Way too soon!

How would he take it if I admit that I don’t want to develop a close friendship with another man yet? However, I would love, absolutely love to go to a party and have a dance! Will he be alright with that?

It would be nice to put on a frock, and go out for a dance. I don’t want to offload about missing Goldfinch to him (hey I have all of you for that!!!) and I don’t want to give him any impression that I am ready to think of someone else so very soon after losing my beloved.

I have told Goldfinch already by the way. I don’t want him to be left out of my decisions over when it is time to go out with another man. I miss Goldfinch so much. I keep imagining him wrapping his arms around me and holding me close while I sleep. He loved to sleep holding me tightly. At first I found it a tiny bit claustrophobic. But I came to love it. Sometimes I wake up in a panic – where is he?

But I would love to go out dancing!

The Righteous And The Unrighteous

shopping.jpg

I went shopping last night.  I didn’t need a lot, just some fresh greens and milk and bready stuff.  I think I did quite well:

    • salad (rocket, cos lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, basil, parsley)
    • cashew milk / soya milk
    • rice-cakes
    • quinoa bread
    • crisp bread
    • chickpeas and coriander (I intend to make some hummous with)
    • bottle of red wine

Yeah, I was able to hold my head up high as I approached the tills.  The gent in front of me on the other hand had a more notable selection:

    • 2x bottles of rum
    • 2x bottles of whisky
    • bottle of gin
    • 4 bags of filter coffee
    • a wedge of brie
    • a slab of manchego
    • ten packets of pepporami

I mean maybe the two of us were a bit of an extreme example.  Moi –  truly trying to eat sensibly, so because of the rest of my shopping basket being so virtuous I could hold my head up in good conscience with the bottle of red in the middle.  (Though I had stacked my salad on top of it.)  Man – looking as if he cares not about the shape of his body and his health.  There we were, side by side, the righteous and the unrighteous of shoppers!

There is a difference between man shopping and woman shopping isn’t there?  I must be careful what I say now.  I am sure there are many responsible men out there capable of a well-rounded shop.  I am going to relate to you one or two real-life experiences of shopping that mean I would not trust every man with my weekly food shopping.  I remember times when we were a bit gobsmacked when we trusted a man to go shopping on his own.

For example, when I was in Romania, we had an episode about cooking.  Eleven of us.  Seven girls in one apartment a Romanian friend had let us stay in, and four boys in another apartment.  Our Romanian friend had said we could use up any food that others had left on the apartment.  (He often let it out to tourists.)  The boys would come over to our apartment in the morning before we all set out together exploring.  Most meal-times took place in our apartment.  Four of us were vegetarian.  Now it strangely kept falling to the vegetarians to do all the cooking and there were complaints.  One of the girls seemed to suffer terribly without meat.  I went out and bought sausages and bacon and cooked up a full English for everyone and she seemed to revive.  But one night we were at the apartment catching up on desperately needed rest.  We had been skiing and we were all shattered.  The boys arrived and told us they had invited around some friends for dinner.  They were expecting twelve guests.  Eleven of us.  Twelves guests.  Hmmm.  We asked what was the plan for dinner?  The boys looked blank and expected us to have the answer.

Well there was a big sack of potatoes in the cupboard.  But half of them were inedible.  We sorted through them and washed peeled and sliced all the decent ones.  We also found lots of kidney beans and tinned tomatoes and spices.  So, we improvised a sort of chilli with all this.  We all scraped some money together and sent the boys out shopping for drinks and other food.  We were hoping they would bring back some useful food.  When they returned they had spent the entire amount on beer and crisps.  The twelve guests were scratching their heads about the strange chilli and mashed potatoe we served them.  But the boys in our group thought it was great.  The females of our party were red-faced.  But the lads had no idea why we were making a fuss.  To be fair – I think us girls were truly shattered after the skiing.  We were not overly happy to be told twelve guests were coming and we had to cook for 23 for no other reason than that we were female.

My friend told me that just after he and his wife married, she sent him shopping with a list thinking nothing could go wrong.  He was puzzled by her wanting 100 rolls though and wondered if she had decided they would have a BBQ and had not told him.  So, he came home with 100 bread rolls.  She was shocked.  She said, “loo rolls”.

One very sweet 90-year old lady I used to help as a carer would ask to be taken on a shopping trip to the large Waitrose a couple of miles from where she lived.  There was a little shop near her where she used to go to get her basic provisions.  But this very independent, mobile, sociable 90-year old used to have little parties where she would invite people to her flat and provide food and drinks.  Now our shopping trips were quite interesting.  We used the car and we would always put an empty suitcase into the back of the car.  We went down to the Waitrose supermarket and she always bought virtually the same thing.  We filled up the trolley with cans of Guinness, bottles of sherry and wine.  Then we would buy bags of nuts and crisps.

 

 

 

When we arrived at the tills I would be pushing the shopping trolley while she pushed her walker.  The cashier always looked at me with a stern look as the total came up more than £200/£300 and the very little 90-year old lady would pull out her purse and pay for the shopping.  I always wanted to say “This is not what it looks like.  I am not getting my sweet grandma to pay for my booze!”  But I realized that frankly it was none of the cashier’s business.  Although the cashiers seemed to cast a judgemental glance my way.

Then we would put everything in the suitcase.  She didn’t like her neighbours to see her shopping so when we arrived back she would walk along with her squeaky little walking frame and I would pull the suitcase slowly trying to make sure no bottles clashed.  It was hilarious really.

Anyway, I have to admit, I am sometimes nosier than I should be casting my eyes on what other shoppers are loading onto the conveyor belt to the till.  It does have a wholesome effect on me though.  It motivates to me to make sure whatever I put into my shopping basket will make me feel splendidly righteous when I am in front of the cashier.  If I am craving something naughty and find I am unable to resist something alluring on the supermarket shelves, I will always go through a self-scan till.

Pathetic hey!

He Is A Wanderer

I once had a lovely day with a rather wealthy male friend of mine.  He for some reason had chosen to make it his mission to try to flatter me and wine and dine me.

I was a little suspicious as I had heard (through the grapevine) he was not the type looking to settle down.  But all he did was ask me out for a drink.  I was determined that it would be only a drink.  And it was only ever a drink.

I don’t like to be unkind…but he kind of made me cringe.  I heard every clichéd chat-up line, every inept innuendo.  There were so many moments I wanted to bolt.  But I played dumb.  I completely ignored his suggestions and pretended I had not noticed he was embarrassing himself.  I had a great day because I was determined to be as innocent as a little lamb.

But I think I annoyed him you know!  Four years later I still receive texts and e-mails from him, suggesting we “pick up from where we left off”!  I have heard (through the grapevine) that he has been linked with other women, more than a few other women during the past four years. I rather suspect he texts numerous women in his contacts list hoping for a response.

I have told him I am with someone rather wonderful.  Even before I met Goldfinch, I made it clear that I didn’t think he and I were on the same page.  I don’t know if he thinks I am playing “hard to get” but I am not.  I just think he and I have very very different ideas about what life is all about and very different ideas when it comes to relationships.

For me…since I was able to notice I was no longer a little girl but had turned into a woman, I have been looking for someone to be my head for the rest of my life.  I am pretty certain my wealthy male friend enjoys being the bachelor and has no intention of giving up his wandering ways!

Oh well…we are all different.  I presume whatever is dictating his decisions in life is making him happy.  I am very happy as I am, and am convinced he could add no happiness at all to me, perhaps he would in fact rob me of happiness.

I think I will keep up my annoying habit of replying to his texts or e-mails a month or so after I receive them, with a remark like “thanks, all is well, hope you are ok too.”  Surely  he realizes that my lack of response is indicative of lack of interest.  I am just too kind to tell him to give me a rest!

Calling All Males – Help!!!

I need help…seriously.  I am throwing my plight upon all males out there and asking for genuine honest suggestions?  What do I buy as a gift for Goldfinch for a special event that is coming up soon?

I am totally stuck…my mind has drawn a blank.  I am looking through websites and none of them are helping.

He is in his forties.  He does not drink, or smoke, he likes art – but I have already bought him two art sets and given him my bakes and chocolates galore!  It can’t be an enormous or heavy gift as he is going back to Australia in three months.

I am not great with gifts anyway…but, at the moment I feel quite hopeless.  So tell me what would a man want as a gift???  Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated!!!

He…To Me…Is Superior To All Other Men

It is rare that I have the time to sit and unravel my thoughts fully.  There is always something to do in London.  Rush, rush.  But I still want to explain more about the situation with my ex-flatmate.

One person who read my posts which refer to him said he sounded like a total…well, I won’t repeat the expression he used.  But that made me feel terrible.  I have recorded what happened in isolated incidents in some of these posts.

But I don’t really want you to think that of him.  You see, I don’t think that of him.  I cannot talk about him with my family or close friends.  They seem to despise him.  I do not.  I am just bewildered by him.

There is more to come…it just takes a lot of emotional effort to sit down and write about him.  So I am having fun with other posts so I don’t become weighed down with thoughts of him.  But he is interwoven with the theme of this site – he crushed Caramel, he knocked all her ideas about the word love out of the ball park – she is trying to learn what real love is again.

love sickFor the past few years my family and friends (friends who have been loyal to me and were never fond of him anyway), have been telling me what they think of him…what they think I should think of him.  It is other people that labelled him a bully and forced me to take a sober look at what he was doing.  I can see what he has done was wrong.  I can see I was bullied – taunted by hundreds, cruel jokes and rumours spread by thousands, perhaps more.  Yes, I admit, he caused me trouble on a scale I have never had to deal with before.

However… nobody has been able to overturn my thoughts regarding him.  I have just had to keep them quiet, as I know everyone who cares for me would despise my feelings for him.  I can’t talk about him to anyone who loves me.  They just think badly of him, they won’t allow me to promote cordiality with him.

I need to allow my mind time and space to work things out more.  There are more posts to come which will paint a clearer picture of my ex-flatmate so nobody has any misconceptions of what it is that I think of him.  You see, what he has said and done to hurt me has not dampened what grew in me after the conversation we had together in our kitchen (explained in Would You Like A Cup Of Tea?).

But, before I find the words and emotional energy to convey what went wrong, let me make it clear that HE…TO ME…IS SUPERIOR TO ALL OTHER MEN I have ever known – except my Dadda, but that is different.

butter in toastThere we go, I am going to spread it out like butter on hot toast, right to every crust edge and into the corners and let it soak in: I LOVE HIM!

I love him more than any man I have come across in my existence.  I love him more than I loved my childhood sweetheart.  I love him more than I love Goldfinch.  I have endured so much and sacrificed so much for him that I will never be able to forget him.  HE IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE!

Yes, he behaved poorly with me, he was rude and unkind, he spread gossip and cruel lies about me.  I can now see he was bullying me.  I still don’t understand why he did that. Everyone who was close to us, came to the conclusion that he thought I had rejected him and was jealous of my friendships with other men I knew.  But he has never admitted that, and I don’t see why he would confess to that now.

I spent a lot of time with single men.  I went out a lot with men.  Played basket ball, went running, went out for drinks, and meals and even to concerts and shows.  Truth be told, I did not have any romantic connection with any man after the day I met him, because he somehow had my heart almost from the moment he sat opposite at breakfast.  The way he looked at me – it disturbed me deep down and I never saw that in any other man’s eyes.

love echoSince then, I have had a problem.  My heart has pretty much been beating for him ever since.  He is both the best thing and the very worst thing that ever happened to me.  The one I’ll never forget.

I was surrounded with single men who paid me lots of lovely attention, but I compared every man to him…and I still do.  After meeting him, the next man who touched me was the stranger who sat next to me on the bench in the park that night.  Strangely, that was something I have had more success at dealing with mentally and emotionally.  It was awful, but it doesn’t haunt me.  The lid is firmly on the box and it stays high up on a top shelf where I don’t choose to retrieve it.

Since then…well, you don’t need to know about my love-life…but now I am in love with Goldfinch.  I dearly love Goldfinch.  But I know that one of the reasons why it is going so well with Goldfinch, isplane that my heart knows he is leaving.  He is going home. Goldfinch is going to fly away home.  Yes, I will miss him profoundly, but I will forget Goldfinch, eventually.  I won’t ever forget my ex-flatmate.  Goldfinch is not trying to make me love him more than any other man.  Which is a good thing, because he would fail.

My ex-flatmate – I love him more than any other man despite everything.  I defy any other man to even dare to supplant him in my heart.  I have never given up my own self and all I value to this extent for anyone else.  I have never sacrificed so much of what I hold dear, I have never endured so much, carried so much pain around inside for anyone.

I am not saying he has not been an idiot.  My biggest disappointment is that from the moment I was found in the park and sent to hospital – he has not found a kind word to send to me.  Over three years!  A card, a text, an e-mail, he does not have to speak to me face-to-face, but something, a little something to show he regrets his hostility towards me and the rumours he spread which have caused so much damage.

sorryHow complicated can it be?…he just needs to convey something that appears like sorrow for what happened between he and I.  I would have been content with a little scrap note or a text message, saying “SORRY”. I  am not expecting an elaborate explanation and in no way do I hold him responsible for what happened to me in the park.  I think all possibilities of a romance have long ago been blown to smithereens.  It is completely beside the point that he is the only man I have ever thought I could be married to.

His silence is disturbing – it does tell me deep down there is something wrong with him. But some of my friends said that after I went missing he stopped eating and he looked lost.  He has recovered.  Some of our friends have told me, he knows that when he does next see me he needs to have something remarkable to say, but he is still baffled about what that something will be.  I can just about grasp that if his feelings for me swung, from regarding me highly, to becoming intensely jealous…what would he say to me once he learnt I had been found battered and bloody…and then fled from London because I could not face any more cruelty from the people I saw each day?

I put that out of my mind.  I love the man I was friends with, the man I lived with, the man I admire and respect and think the world of.  I would give up anything and everything to honour him.

People don’t understand why, I don’t talk about my feelings for him because they would not understand.  It makes the people who love me most angry.  It matters not.  Hearts are complicated.  It is all rather complicated in the case of he and me.  But…here is love, nothing matters to me.  What happened to me does not matter, all that matters is peace with him.  It is so easy to let go of everything that happened.  Yet, while I have no evidence to indicate that he is not just as hostile in his thinking towards me as he was back then, well, everything is fresh in my mind and heart.  Everyday, he taunts me in my mind.  I long for peace with him so I can have peace of mind.

Jealousy concept.

I don’t think he is capable of loving me the way I love him.  It is not even a case of unrequited love.  My friends tell me he thought I had rejected him, that he was jealous, which is why he became hostile and spread rumours about me.  I find it hard to believe he could be jealous.  Partly, because I am not special, I am not worth all that trouble and nonsense.  Also, he could have had his pick of women – why me?

He does not seem to have any idea of how much I love him, so it is not a matter of unrequited love.  If he has no idea that he to me is the only man on the planet who I could love with loyalty until my last breath.  He is my True North.  He is my Home.

A few months after I was the victim of the crime I have referred to, I heard of something my ex-flatmate had done that made my heart swell with pride for him.  For those few months my heart had been pretty numb to him.  But now pride and love were throbbing through it.  I wanted to tell him or show him.  But I did not know how to.  So I did something that was not particularly balanced.  But my emotions were understandably unsettled after what happened to me.  To go from numbness to money in envelopesurges of love and adoration was bound to produce a drastic effect.  I took half of my savings out of my bank account and stuffed it into an envelope.  I wrote a card and disguised my hand-writing, the message was not too emotional – it said something like “Well done – proud of you!” and I signed it G.L.H.  Which are not my initials – they those letters do stand for something but I did not think he would remember.  In fact, I was counting on it.  If he knew the money was from me, I don’t think he would have been able to accept it.  It was a stupid thing to do really.  He does not need my money, but I would give the other half of my savings gladly, and everything I owned to feel at peace with him.

himI know his faults, goodness, I lived with him and he was hard work!  I know he is a noisy, messy pup.  I know he seems to believe in the magic bin fairy.  But life has never been the same since I moved out of that flat.  To clean up after a man who is rude to you and to still love him…aaaah – I would give anything to be able to wash his dishes again!

When I say love – I don’t just mean sentiments, emotions, hormones.  I have made huge sacrifices for him.  I could have made a lot of trouble for him.  Instead, I pleaded with his superiors not to reproach him.  I claimed he was under great pressure and did not know how to handle a situation that had grown beyond his ability to control.  I looked his directors in the eye and begged them, tearfully explaining if anything hurt him it would be agony for me.

All I want in the whole world is peace with him.

They saw I loved him.  They said he is not worth it, they said I was sacrificing too much for a man who only cares about himself.  He is worth everything to me, every tear, every heart-ache.

I know I will never love like that again…not Goldfinch, or any other man.  Because when it comes to genuine self-sacrificing love…I have given up everything for my ex-flatmate.

I WILL FIND A WAY TO COMPLETE THESE POSTS AS MY HEART PERMITS ME…BUT I HOPE I AM STRAIGHTENING OUT A PERCEPTION OR MISCONCEPTION I MAY HAVE UNINTENTIONALLY LED YOU DOWN.  I LOVE HIM, I CAN’T IMAGINE NOT LOVING HIM. I DON’T BELIEVE I WILL EVER BE ABLE TO LOVE LIKE THAT AGAIN.

Two Men Parked Outside In A Big Black Van Staring At My Windows

Black Van

It’s OK.  The decorators are here!  They pulled up outside the house at 5.30am in a big black van and have been watching my windows, for any signs that I am up and ready to let them in.  At first I found it incredibly intimidating.  Now I comprehend why they do it.  If you are a tradesman or tradeswoman….or tradesperson…ugh…Let’s start again!  If you are a plumber, electrician, painter, decorator…chances are you find it easier to use a vehicle for work.

If you have a trade and you have to travel to various residences to complete tasks then you will likely have to take tools, dust sheets, paint or whatever else you might need to be able to carry out tasks.  It is helpful to have your own vehicle to carry with you all the equipment and materials you will need.

Now in most parts of the UK it makes sense to be a driver.   Roads move fairly freely, in many areas there are few restrictions or charges to park your vehicle on a residential street.  But think again in London!!!  Traffic congestion, restrictions on parking in most areas, and then when you do find a pay and display area, it can cost a lot.  On the road I live on you have to pay-and-display between the hours of 8.30am to 6.30pm.  It costs £2.90 per hour, however, you are only allowed to park for a maximum of two hours.  It must be a nightmare for a tradesman with a vehicle.

This is why the decorators are here so early.  Now I understand, I make the effort for them.  I have been up since 4.45am.  I am rather house-proud so I always do a tidy up and basic clean in any rooms they are likely to enter.  As soon as they arrive, I send them a text message to say I am up and about.  They love it!  I let them in at 5.35am.  Am I not one of the nicest customers/house-holders?  I can see they are not wasting any time.  If they can get the work done and then get home missing the rush hour traffic jams completely…well good for them.  I am happy to adjust as it makes sense…now that I actually understand why they are sitting outside in a big black van staring at my windows at 5.30am.

Although I am a driver, I have rarely used a car since I moved to London (only when I was asked to drive on behalf of the infirmary I worked for – but that was a fleet car).  But I have felt that I just don’t need to drive at all, not for myself.  The only thing I miss, is not having a car to do a big weekly shop.  Instead, I do two of three small shops each week and I am sure I end up spending much more money.

Now…I really want to talk for a little while about buses.  I have been preparing tomorrow’s post…and be warned it is a weepie!!!  I need to shrug it off and dismiss it from my mind for a while.  So to do that I would like to think about those gorgeous shiny red double-decker motors that tourists love to take photographs of.  If you are not remotely interested in London buses….this is a signal to stop reading now….

The public transport system here is amazing.  I can walk to the end of my road and every 4-8 minutes there is a bus that will take me on a 48 minute journey for £1.50.  The bus route runs 24 hours a day!

Elsewhere in the UK the story is not the same.  In the town where I grew up, we had to walk fifteen minutes to get to the nearest bus stop.  The buses were supposed to come every 30 minutes, but were often way off schedule.  They certainly are not 24-hour routes.  They normally start at around 6am and finish at around 10pm.  Our town had no train station.  There were some villages that had a bus just one day a week.  It would pass through at around 9am and then make the return journey at 4pm.  For many residents it was their only way to travel into town to do their weekly shop.

When I first moved to the south of England I lived in a fairly rural area (actually it was a little taste of paradise)…half-way in between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Princess Kate (I never hear anyone calling her that) neé Middleton’s family.  For three and a half months I worked in a nearby town.  It just happened that those months were November through to February.  My hours were 9am-1pm each weekday.  To drive in a car it took about 25 minutes.  However, I had no car back then.  So I had to catch the bus.  Well three buses…that is on the journey to work…and two buses on the way back.  I woke before 5am every weekday.  I had to walk 20 minutes to a bus stop where a bus would take me to a village.  There I had to wait in the cold, in the dark for another bus to appear.  At that time of the morning there was no direct bus service.  The wait for the next bus was schedule as 23 minutes, but it was sometimes much longer.  Some mornings I remember it was bitterly cold and I had tears streaming down my face because the cold was so painful.  I would arrive in the town center just after 8pm and then I had to wait for a third bus to take me to the business park where I worked.  I worked out I was traveling anywhere between five to six and half hours each day, but being paid for four hours per day.

Are you feeling sorry for me yet?  I hope so!!!  What did I face when I reached work?

My job involved dealing with customers, a few of whom behaved rather obnoxiously.  I am going to say something controversial…Customers are not always right…and if I owned the business there are some customers whom I would have asked to leave and not to come back again.  The numerous occasions when I have looked at a cashmere sweater which a customer wants to return, and wondered to myself, “have they tried to feed it through a shredding machine unsuccessfully and then decided just to lay it our on their road and drive over it several times?”

However, I am one of the most uber-polite people I have ever known and I even admire myself for the incredible ability I seem to have to remain completely calm when somebody is outrageously rude and unreasonable. I am able to explain a company policy clearly in a respectful way and hold my ground. Nobody was surprised though, when I gave my notice in.  They thought it was a miracle that I had never been late and never had a day off sick after standing around in the freezing cold each morning for all those months.

I have another story…it is too long for this post.  Look out for it in the future…I think I will call it “Teenager Tantrum Leads To Traumatic Travel Tale” or something like that…it is really the story of one of the most provoking teenagers I have ever had to deal with…but it will also demonstrate to you how unreliable the public transport system can be in some parts of the UK.

No, here in London, I truly do not miss having a car.  Public transport is wonderful. Yesterday there was a huge change to the train time-tables here.  Plenty of people are upset and full of angst about the changes…but for most travellers, they will get use to the changes within a few weeks.  For me…I cannot complain.  Compared to my public transport experiences elsewhere in the UK…London is a breeze!

Come on London Buses!!!  Woo-wooh to hopper fairs!!!

Buses