So Cordelia pointed out that I haven't posted for ages (which is perfectly true). We don't have internet access at our house, so I have to squeeze all of this stuff into the cracks of my work day (of which there are not a great many). Anyways: here are some things that have been going on
1) our house sale finally fell through just before christmas, and while we got another offer almost immediately, it was for less money (welcome to the recession right?) and neither Jenn nor I can face months more of uncertainty. This means a month or more of rennovating (our renters trashed it) and re-renting. Bleuch
2) we had christmas with our family, which was beautiful
3) we got given a car (my stepmum is having a mid life crisis and bought herself a sportscar. We got the little ole hatchback, which I love and enables us to go hiking with the dogs
4) we went to meet our new freind oscar, who is 2 months old.
Overall, things are good, despite the fact that both of us really miss living in a town where we have good friends....and I'm very sleepy, which is why this post is a bit sucky (Clay had a late night hysterical poo-need, and I couldn't get back to sleep).
Right now I'm very happy to have a bad head cold.
This is a direct consequence of the fact that for the last week I have been literally bed ridden with the flu. And MY GOD DID THAT SUCK. More than once, in the middle of the night, I lay awake crying because my headache was so blinding and nothing I took to damp down the pain even touched the side. One night the pressure in my sinuses was so bad my right ear *bled*! It was like something out of Alien. I've been totally unable to function, even at the level of a conversation. Then yesterday the waters broke,and I now just have a bad head cold. Here is a list of the wonderful things I did yesterday that I am profoundly grateful for and were impossible during the time of the flu:
1) tasted my food and my morning coffee (this worked all day providing I blew my nose a lot)
2) had rational, functional conversations that I could both follow and contribute to
3) had that kind of conversation with my cowboy
4) walked my dogs
5) watched a whole film that I could actually follow (Batman: the Dark Knight, and I liked his cushy balloony bike wheels, but not the silly voice)
6) had lovely, glorious, thank god it is all still there sex (including illness induced but pleasant semi-hallucinatory state)
I am *thankful* for my health. Thankful, thankful, thankful.
Every year, I realise that I am in fact a small furry creature that should be allowed to spend the entire winter in bed or on the sofa.
I am not built to get up when its dark, go to work at a desk, then leave work when its dark.
Despite being very advanced in years, I have failed to organise my life so that hibernation is an option.
On the upside, I've already done about half of my Christmas shopping which makes me very smug.
Yesterday I went to the second class in a seven week long beginners course in Ashtanga (basically the idea is that it teaches you the primary series so you can do a self practice).
Years ago (I think I pretty much stopped about 9 years ago) I used to do Ashtanga. Its been really interesting going back to the practice. Here are the two main things I've noticed.
1) Despite being nearly a decade older and a lot heavier than when I learned it last time (back then I used to run every day), I am not noticeably less flexible. I was pretty unflexible then, I'm pretty unflexible now. I'm also pretty unflexible in the same way.
2) When I used to do Ashtanga before (I did it for about a year and a half, and most days), I experienced a lot of releasing of emotions, particularly old emotions from my childhood. I might be in a deep forward bend and be overwhelmed by sadness, or even sometimes cry. It was during this period that I fell in love with a woman for the first time, and came out as a lez. I think in my heart I've always felt that the openings created by the yoga practice had some kind of connection with this.
Now, the emotion that comes out when I do a (crappy!) deep forward bend, is a profound sense of wellbeing. I might be pissy about my job and about my lack of permanent home, but underneath that superficial frustration is.... happiness. Isn't that great? I cycled straight home and told the cowboy about it. I said 'I'm happy. You make me happy'.
Apparently my tenants moved out and left so much crap in the front garden of the flat that the council has been round, taken pictures and is threatening to sue me if I don't move it. They also owe me rent (having never once paid on time in the whole year and a half they lived there). These people are a) very personable, b) practising Bhuddists (!) and c) work in the tv industry and music industry as producers. So no shortage of money to pay me and a religion which is centred on loving kindness practice and treading lightly on the earth yet still I have a pile of crap in the front garden, money owed and a threat of legal action.
All of which triggers crazy, eye melty panic in me. It involves money and trouble. My whole childhood money was trouble. Not just hard, but humiliating
Now, I have more money than I ever thought I would see in my life, but something like this happens and I literally start sweating with panic.
I actually found it easier when I took the year off and the Cowboy and I slowly ran out of money and into debt - isn't that weird? Not having money in a real life way felt ok (ish), but sudden issues about money when I have a ton (relatively speaking) make me freak. Like I can't believe money is a thing I can have or handle. It feels totally out of control, as though I am hemmoraging money, spiralling downwards at speed, crashing.
If you find yourself thinking 'boo hoo - so hard for you to have a secure income and feel funny about it' : we are in agreement. This is not a sensible person's problem. But it's mine. All these years of getting over shit from my childhood, all that fighting and talking through it, all the therapy, all the patience from friends, all the endless, boring, repetitive raking over of every crumb of misery, and whats the thing I can't crack? This.
Amazingly, the house sale/purchase is *still* dragging its carcass along the floor. It's starting to feel like a theoretical process, or one that happens in another dimension. Clearly it will continue to feel like this until the thing either goes through or falls through - either way I'm in for a lawyer's bill of more than a thousand pounds, which will feel very real indeed when it arrives.
In the meantime, the dogs are here, and as no-one will rent to people with dogs, my empoloyers, Willy Wonka's Money Tree are letting me rent one of thier properties. It has taken days and days of cleaning and decorating to get even three rooms livable, but livable they are, and the cowboy, myself and the dogs are all loving being together in our snuggly Wonka Hovel. Cedar and Clay did really well with the flight and transfers, but are still a bit jetlagged. The way you can tell this is that they are still waking me up several times a night being all excited and tippy-tappy-feet-waggy-tail about how we can stop 'napping' now. If they weren't so bloody cute (and heavy) I'd have thrown them out the window at three am today.
But its all good. I've got my girl, my dogs, a secure job and a safe place to live. I also have access to decent coffee, which is really helping with the jetlagged dogs element.
So, a month on, we are *still* waiting for Royal Bank of Scotland to book a lenders survey. Y'anno, cos booking something takes that long right?
We now also have found out that the loft conversion on the place we are trying to buy is illegal. We are basically having to tell the vendor - 'you sell it to us as a two bed, or you get retrospective consents for the conversion'. He is being pissy about it.
So - delays on the sale, problems with the purchase.
Only one week left until we have to leave the flat we are in.
Two weeks till our huge furry dogs arrive in the care of the Cowboy's two hugely Mormon brothers.
Jokes that co-workers made about their spare rooms are now looking like actual offers.
But other than that crazytime stuff things are great. We are going home for my sister Dora's 11th birthday party this weekend. She wants me to take her shopping for 'trendy clothes' as her gift. Her present from Dad and Linda is 2 rabbits and a guinea pig - she is going to literally pee herself over them - she's been begging for a pet her whole life!
Still no clearer about the housing thing. Actually, we have nowhere to live two weeks from today. On the upside, we've been on this rollercoaster so long now that it is all cloaked in an air of unreality. I'm chanelling the universal WHAtEvAH.
I've been thinking a lot about NOLA friends, particularly you Deuce and Puma - because I now live in a town that floods every year and all the time (we are luckier than a lot of towns in England that are flooding right now in that because its always been like this, things are better set up to deal with it). The river Ouse runs right through the centre of York, and has already flooded twice this year. They throw up mini levees all along the banks, using the walls of houses to link them together. One of our favourite places for a beer is a little Belgian cafe which is in the toll house of one of the bridges. It's hundreds of years old and stone built so when it floods right up to the celing of the ground floor, they just keep right on serving beer out of the top floor with sticks and branches floating on by the windows. The whole of Tower Park was flooded to about 4ft too, with sandbags stopping it flowing over the main road. The geese and swans own this fucking city I swear. Anyways, I wish I was near enough to mix you a nice cocktail(sss). You've been in my thoughts a lot.
Wonderfully, I have been dreaming of the Cowboy all week. I think I miss her so much when I'm at work that I extend our time together by dreaming about her at night. When she's sleeping and I'm awake, which happens often in our world, she smiles if I look at her. Who needs a fucking house when you've got that?
She's singing to herself in the kitchen right now, which is something she never does in front of anyone - just me when she can pretend I'm not listening...
So, in no particular order
1) we have a new buyer for the flat, so everything is possibly ok
2) i am unable to believe everything is possibly ok
3) i foolishly went past the little house we are trying to buy, which has just elevated my anxiety levels. because I want it...
Im going to try and turn the heel on a sock tonight to distract myself. I cooked a double ginger and lemon cake yesterday as part of the same effort. Jenn just sucked down a wedge of said cake that was big as her head (she is now one of the few woman brewers working in a real ale brewery in the UK - I am showing off about her endlessly, she is eating endlessly - apparently those cask are heeeavy)
Then again, I'm still naked at 4pm on a Sunday, which is my kind of day.
I think that I perhaps misunderstand the nature of blogging. I worry about blogging when I am miserable and boring so I don't. But this creates ominous lacunae and allows me to avoid the fact that I am often miserable and boring.
Yesterday my (evil) buyer withdrew from the deal to buy my flat. He has been fucking us around from the start *constantly* asking for price reductions, trying to talk direct to our lawyers (this is against the law) and lying through his teeth. My estate agents had got the the point where they wanted to stop speaking to him, and I had got to the point where I hadn't slept properly in weeks. Literally. It seems he is a) an evil crazy motherfucker and b) had lied about having enough money to purchase, so was relying on being able to bully me into dropping the price once I'd issued a notice to quit to my tenants.
Yesterday I said basically, this is the price, take it or leave it, and I am simply not prepared to discuss it ever again. He said a bunch of crazy macho posturing things that culminated in a kind of fuck you I don't want your house type of a statement. And then I said OK.
For the first night in a month I didn't touch a drink. I then went to sleep and slept for 14 hours. This morning I got up and felt 'thank fuck for that'.
I never seem to learn the lesson of not putting my life on hold for this kind of shit.
SO, we will keep the flat in London as an investment property and rent here. Not only is this actually cheaper, the flat in London is a sounder investment because of the 2012 Olympics. And I am taking a deep breath and letting go of the anxiety about being in a house I don't own again (as I have been for almost all of my life).
What EVER. I am now going to get on with yanno- hanging out with friends, climbing in lovely mountains and meeting new people.
In other news, I am knitting an honest to goodness sock, which requires FOUR needles to be used simultaneously and I basically impress the shit out of myself every time I knit a wobbly row. Knitters are sexy, cool and all powerful. I aspire to be a proper knitter and the Zen like visionary status that entails.