Ok clearly insomnia is the only hope for my online journal.
Its Saturday night (late), my cowboy's asleep and I'm awake fretting. Somehow knowing that it is 'normal' to be stressed about things like a selling / buying a house during the biggest house price crash since the early 80s is not helping with managing the actual ... y'anno... stress. Ditto starting a new job. Ditto moving to a new town.
I could be in the fucking woods with a bunch of crazy lesbians and nothing to stress about apart from how exactly how crazy the lesbians are, but instead I'm here, naked on a blankie in the front room of a rented flat, listening to the sound of the Friday night drunks and fretting.
On the upside, we almost have a house, we already have an allotment, I'm about to start trying to knit my first pair of socks and I still feel every day like I'm the luckiest fucker on earth when I look at my girl.
So there's some balance there. And the blankie is pretty snuggly too.
I woke up last night at about 2am, having a great big allergic reaction. Its now 7. I'm still having said reaction. Its a hayfever reaction, but it was nighttime and I'm indoors. I have a headache, my nose is literally streaming and I keep having bouts of violent sneezing. Usually this only happens if I skip in a deranged fashion through a big field of grass in seed without sunglasses and antihistamines. Just in case you are wondering, there are no fields of grass inside this apartment, nor was I skipping in my sleep.
All very strange. If I turn out to be allergic to anything good (like anything edible and/or my girlfriend, and/or sleeping) I will sulk a lot.
Oh. And I live in York now. It rules : )
Ok I re-read that and had visions of people Googling 'Willy Wonka's Money Tree' (which I will now have to do out of curiousity).
I work for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Joseph Rowntree was a Quaker and a hugely sucessful Victorian industrialist - founder of Rowntrees, which is a massive sweeties and chocolate factory/company. On his death, and with the full permission of his family, (I LOVE quakers! LOVE THEM!) he left the bulk of his vast fortune to the people of York and to a number of Charitable Trusts, of which mine is the largest. We were set up to explore the causes of poverty and disadvantage by funding high quality social research, and then use that to seek positive social change. I'm an Assistant Director of Research and Policy, which amongst other things means I manage a grants programme that gives away more than £5million ($10million) every year (this is not a fact I have yet been able to properly 'integrate into my self concept' as the therapists say).
Hence Willy Wonka's Money Tree. I sit in the tree, I throw down leaves to people who have great ideas about how to make the world better.
In answer to Auntie Knickers - yes, many people in Yorkshire do say 'what fettle?'. It means, as I'm sure you have figured out, 'how are you?/whassup?'. Despite England being a so-tiny-it-can-be-hidden-by-a-raisin-falling-on-the-world-map country, we have many very specific regional and social sub cultures. Clearly those of the North East are better. I'm just sayin', to borrow from one of my favourite Kentucky ladies.
I'm sitting on a train doing this, because I now work for Willy Wonka's Money Tree. I was given a brand new, impossibly small, comes in its own dove gray suedette (really) clutch bag type of laptop on my first day, along with a new phone (email and internet enabled) and a catalogue of chairs to pick from because apparently my chair wasn't 'managerial' enough. I have ordered a pink tweed chair, which I am pretty sure is not what they had in mind, but there you go - they will learn to accept my lack of 'managerial' class. Oh yes, now I have a company credit card too. Its silvery coloured and I can pay for hotel rooms with it...or something....!
Despite the slightly odd feeling caused by it being the WWMT (dontcha just love the synchronicity there?) I am enjoying the job so far - the people are friendly, the potential for positive change is huge and I am really clear why I am there viz: a)to manage a bunch of people who've been without manager for a while 2) to work with everyone in the organisation to get them thinking about how you bridge the gap between having a fabulous piece of social research to making somebody actually give a fuck and change something based on said piece of research.
This said, the commute is killing me. We are living with my family until we find somewhere to live in York, so I am commuting two and a bit hours each way. That's about 5 hours of my day *on a good day*. I sleep, eat, work, eat, feebly clasp my beloved Cowboy wittering on about how much I love her, and fall sleep again.
The Cowboy meanwhile is going great guns on this professional brewing course - her honey beer is currently being sold on tap in a few pubs in Sunderland - how much does that kick ass? Much! I hear you cry!
I miss you all, and as soon as we have a house in York to invite you to (and some space in the work/sleep pattern called 'now have a life') I will be putting the serious frighteners on you all to visit.
I'm sitting in my parents' front room. 7:18am, and I'm looking out at a dove grey sky over the North Sea, slick pink-tinged slate roofs and the gorgeous reds/oranges/whites/creams/blacks/blues younameittheygotit spatter of old bricks.
I'm home, back in the frozen North. Everything rests on my eyes without jarring. Everything smells right. Everyone looks like people.
Misery and poverty and hate and violence spat me out of a home and home town when I was little and I've been running like the fucking clappers ever since. But recently I've understood more and more that I am a Northerner, born and raised; shot through with the harshness and bullshit of Thatcher's Britain and inoculated by centuries of survival and deadpan humour. It is not a cosmically aligned fit - I do not 'fit' here. But I'm of here. It feels like a massive thing that I am getting ready to live here again after nearly half my lifetime away.
Upstairs the cowboy is sleeping - earlier she was smiling in her dreams like a little toasty muffin of perfect loveliness. She just left the only home she has ever known for a country she barely knows and a new home town she had never even seen until yesterday. Her courage and trust just amaze me.
I feel happy.
And I haven't eaten anything except for half a (bad) doughnut today. Its 7pm.
I think I need to hydrate/eat/nap and have a little cry all at the same time, so will have to try and prioritse.
So, I am finally admitting that despite all of our best efforts (the cowboy and me debt juggling, the office trying to help) we just can't make it to festival this year. We barely will have enough money to fly ourselves to England so I can start work (and we will have a chunk of debt). Its frustrating, because my job pays well, and if we had a couple of more months I could make it easily, but we don't have a couple of more months, and I can't.
- this would be my fifth year and Jenn's tenth.
I will miss all of my friends so much, and in particular I am fucked off that we won't be able to thank in person the women who made our long roadtrip so spectacular: Stephanie and Cheryl in Toronto, Caro (and her dad!) in Ottowa and Shediac, Tracy in Nova Scotia, Janice, Elizabeth and Naiomi in New York, Kubby, Rochelle, Kristin and Katie in Vermont and Mass. Leaf and Waters in Ashville, Sandy and Pyramid in Florida, Deuce, Puma, Kiki, Karen and Deborah in New Orleans.
In my heart I've relied on the idea that I would be able to tell all of you the stories of our travels in person: and say thank you - becuase you made them happen for us. Now I'm going to have to sit down and write to all of you one by one, and try and put into words something much better expressed in other ways.
So here's the invite - pretty soon Jenn and I will be settled in York, a beautiful city in the North of England - and you should all consider it your home too - we would love to have any or all of you to stay. You, any women you know, and any women from the festival. We have learned such a fabulous lesson about hospitality, and as soon as we have a house, it will be an open one.
As I'm typing the cowboy is getting clean - we are about to head out for a few days camping just south of Moab. Last year I fell in love with UT (pronounced OOOOT!) hiking through the alpine meadows in full bloom - this year - the desert flowers. I cannot wait.
Sometimes people stop blogging because of boredom, sometimes because of the fear that their life has become boring and other times, like me, they stop because it would simply take too long to answer the question 'what's happening in your life right now?' Take too long, make no sense and make me face the fact that I haven't really known what's happening...
I've spent my winter with the cowboy, learning to ski, learning to love the mountains and high desert of Utah more than I ever thought I could love a place full of so many wierdie gits (do you Americans realise that the Mormons bagged the good bit or what? Move in already! Change the demographics! Convert some of the poor souls to atheism, or at least a religion not characterised by intense self loathing and a stick up the arse!)
We've been living in the cowboy's house with her sister Kate, niece Ava, and crazy flatmate Natasha. Some parts of this have been wonderful, some dreadful, and almost all too crowded (although having a two and a half year old friend who calls 'oatmeal' 'email' is a priceless experience).
For the last few months I've been applying for jobs, which has been weird and terrifying. For the last two I've been in the final stages of two job interview processes, in two very different countries and very different places. Jenn talked me into the idea of applying for jobs in the UK, and I knew I didn't want to live in London for a while (its the nine year itch or something) so now I find myself with a new job in York, a gorgeous little city in my favourite part of England, only an hour away on the train from my family, two from my chosen family in London.
Now its back to Utah for a month to sort out the visa and hike my ass off then back here to start a new job on June 2nd.
And we eloped. To Vermont. I'm gaymarried. Does my typing look different now I'm a married woman?
I am 35 years old, and began my day with an 8:30a.m. job interview (it went well, but I won't know for a few weeks if I got it or not). Now I'm trying to get into the birthday spirit a little late and a little tired (one hour of sleep cos of the fretting)
kisses to you all!