Thursday, June 29, 2006

HNT 37 - 2 of 3

Well, here we are again... I do like these series, I must admit. Although it does make getting myself a drink a rather long drawn-out affair. I mean, it's been a week, and all I've managed to do is take my shirt off!

Anyway, I can smell the coffee (so to speak) now, and I'll leave you to work out what's in store for the last of the series next week. Although, of course, I'll be a lot more nekkid than I am today!

At Home With WDKY - 2 of 3

Happy HNT x


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Random thoughts

I had a bit of a panic yesterday. I'd gone to my blog to read some of the comments that had been left, and for some reason the page was just hanging, about halfway down. I spent an hour or so fiddling about with Haloscan (because the comment link wasn't working) and then thought I'd better have a look at the template. Anyway, it had been completely deleted from some point about half way down the code for the sidebar! Luckily, I'd saved a slightly older copy to Word, and with a bit of copying & pasting, and some updating of the sidebar links, it was back to normal. I think I aged about 10 years in the process.

On the upside, I made a discovery today when I went for a run. I usually play specific albums on my iPod when I'm running, but for some reason I put it on shuffle. What joy! If you haven't tried it, do so - I have about 1500 tracks recorded, and I had absolutely no idea what was coming next. In fact, one of my all time favourites popped up as number 2, and it's going to be my Musical Monday choice for next week. Trust me, it's gorgeous.

Right. before I go here's something to play with. Just put your cursor under his nose and wait for the fun to start. And I'll see you when I'm half nekkid.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Musical Monday

Well, the party was fantastic - S scored a few goals (naturally) but then he did have a magnificent athlete helping out in defence. The girls loved him, I loved the Mums, and afterwards it was back home to watch the footie on television. Considering the day started off with a lovely fast run in the sun, who could ask for more from a Sunday?

But now, it's Monday. Not just Monday but another Musical Monday, and today I'm going to leave the slightly ethereal stuff of recent weeks behind and go back to something more... hmmmmm, down to earth. And it's back for some more Tricky today - in fact, one of my favourite tracks of his and also a video that I featured on here for a week or so when I was into that kind of thing.

This is from the Album "Blowback" - not the easiest of listening but some really good tracks. Today's pick features Ed Kowalczik and Hawkman on vocals and it's bloody brilliant! I hope you enjoy it, and - if you're playing - thank you. We'll all be famous one day :-)

Want to play? Just stick this in your sidebar, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:
(a href="" target="_blank")(img src="" alt="Image hosting by Photobucket" border="0" /)(/a)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Happy Birthday

You know, sometimes I look at my children and the love that I feel for them is so strong that I can barely breathe. If I never do another useful thing with my life, raising them will be more than enough for me. I'll die a happy man for sure.

On Monday S will be celebrating his 9th birthday, and tomorrow he's having a party. It's a football party (I've done a fine job ensuring his allegiance to The Correct Team, and he's completely obsessed) and I think I'm looking forward to it as much as he is.

Even O is excited and insisted on me buying her a new England kit today. And after the party we're going to break out the coke and watch England thump Ecuador as they proceed to the quarter final stage of the World Cup. That's the plan, anyway.

In other news, I've just ordered two new pairs of Reef (one pair of sandals/one pair of flip flops) for our holiday. For the uninitiated, Reef is to flip flops what Levi is to jeans, and they should get here on Monday or Tuesday. And aside from the odd bikini (for O) and shorts (for me and S) we're just about set to go. And it's under a month now, which is the really great thing about booking late - we still can't quite believe we're going but I have a feeling we'll be packing in what will seem like the blink of an eye.

And this morning, after driving around in a tiny little courtesy car for two weeks, I got my Alfa back from the garage , and it's had a complete respray... it actually looks like a new car, although it's only done 30,000 miles anyway. (Excuse the photo - it's a boy thing.) So all in all, a great weekend so far with the birthday party still to come, and I hope yours is just as good. Although I hope you won't be working, because I certainly will.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

HNT 36 - 1 of 3

I was thinking - searching for a bit of inspiration, actually - about HNT this week, and I remembered that I rather enjoyed the Jeans Series a while back. With that in mind, I decided that I may as well try another. And perhaps give you just a small glimpse of the WDKY lifestyle into the bargain. (No, not THAT kind of lifestyle, you pervs.)

So, here's the first of them, and I can tell you that it's early, and I was really thinking that I could do with a coffee. And, as luck would have it, that's the kitchen behind me...

Needless to say, I suggest you stay tuned. It gets... better.

At Home With WDKY - 1 of 3

Happy HNT x


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Simplicity my arse

I’ve never really been a fatalist, if I’m honest. As a romantic (or, maybe, a Romantic) I’d almost like to think it was possible, that my life could actually be influenced by events that are somehow predetermined, and inevitable. But I think that fatalists run the risk of absolving themselves of responsibility for their own actions, so I have something of a dichotomy going on here at the moment. Maybe I should backtrack a day or two…

My thoughts about PTFE, which I’ve made so clear on here, lead me inexorably to telling her that I couldn’t see her again. When these things happen, I feel an almost tangible pain, for some reason… I know people who can just walk away without a second thought, but I’ll never be one of those people. And I don’t want to be, either – I’d rather feel the consequences of what I do, because without that feeling everything would become too easy. A life without conscience, and that must surely be a dangerous thing.

So, I explained exactly how I felt, and what I was thinking, and why we had to stop seeing each other. PTFE wants to talk more about it, but I'm not sure that it would be productive to do that... maybe it's a man/woman thing? Anyway, I did what I feel I needed to do, and life goes on. And now, a couple of days later, I receive a long, and touching, letter from Dina. And she’s really got me thinking.

Simplicity? Yeah right... I really should have known better, shouldn’t I?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Musical Monday

When I had an embryonic thought that it might be nice to post some of my favourite music every week for readers of my blog to share, I had no intention at the time of asking anyone else to participate themselves. I certainly didn’t imagine that it would be a source of inspiration for me, but that’s just what Musical Monday has become, and I can only thank everyone who plays along with me week after week. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely Ceeci posted the most beautiful track from an album called 1 Giant Leap. It was enough to get me surfing Amazon, and a few days later the package arrived in the post, to be eagerly unwrapped and inserted into the CD player’s drawer seconds later.

I can’t begin to articulate the sheer joy this music had brought me, this amazing collaboration of artists spanning all corners of the globe. I’m not often moved to tears by music, but I’m neither ashamed nor embarrassed to say that it can happen. Over the weekend, I just sat, listened and - at one point - cried, and I think the tears were the consequence of a sudden realisation of what could be achieved if we really did all love, and respect, and care about each other. No matter what culture or creed we are, and regardless of the colour of our skin.

The track that stands out above all others is the one that CeeCi has already featured, so I’m going to give you something else, a track called Ta Moko which features Whiri Mako Black. That said, it really is an impossible choice to make, and if you enjoy what you hear I can only implore you to buy the album. And listen to the narrative that precedes this track, and if necessary play it again and again. Because believe me, it's worth remembering.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


You know, the last week or so has been something of a struggle, blog-wise. I haven’t posted since HNT, and I haven’t got around my Blogroll for a similar period of time. Work, the sun, the World Cup and the children have all kept me busy. And I have SO much to tell you :-)

Today, Father’s Day, started with a blistering run early this morning, and then it was back to bed for an hour or so of carnal delight. But I have to tell you that, although I performed magnificently both last night and this morning, all is not well. PTFE arrived yesterday evening, and she was... well, tense. Her palms were sweaty, and she was tapping her foot as if there was no tomorrow. But – whilst she admitted that there was something on her mind – she wouldn’t tell me what it was that she was worrying about, or dwelling on, or mulling over. Then, this morning, she actually asked “Do you want me to be gone when you get back?” just as I headed off for my run. When I asked her why she chose to ask me that, in the way that she asked it, she told me that she was just “aware that it’s Father’s Day”. But that answer didn’t cut it, and I know it isn’t what she meant at all.

Over the last week or two, I’ve been very much aware that all kinds of complexities are creeping into our relationship. It should, and could, all be so simple, and I’ve said many times before that I want simplicity in my life. In fact, I insist on simplicity in my life. Having mulled things over, I’ve decided that it’s best if I stop seeing PTFE, and probably just keep myself to myself for a while. I don’t think, to be honest, a relationship is what I’m after right now. Or, if it is, I haven’t met the woman with whom I want one. I’ll deal with it over the next day or so, I guess, although I can’t say that I’m looking forward to it.

On a brighter note, I picked up a piece of work last week that will bring in enough revenue to cover the cost of taking the sproglets to Tenerife again this summer to see their friends. I spoke to the Scottish Sisters and we’re making a plan to meet up over there, probably during the late July/early August. It’s a bit risky as I don’t know how much work I’ll have later in the year, but I like risk. You may have noticed.

I’ll be visiting my Blogroll over the course of today... sorry I’ve neglected you.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

HNT 35

A couple of summers ago I took the sproglets on holiday as a single Dad for the first time. Two weeks in Tenerife, and the start of our friendship with the Scottish Sisters who – 12 months later – would be shaving my head in a drunken stupor.

Anyway, one day we walked to the local shopping centre to look at some Oakley sunglasses, and found the shop that had been recommended to us. The girl working there was a tiny, dark-skinned French girl, with liquid brown eyes and tumbling curls. I had no desire to buy anything else, but she picked up a pair of Diesel shorts and said “These would look nice. Try them on.” As if in a dream, I said “Okay” and wandered off to the changing room.

She called me out, and walked slowly towards me. Then, pulling the waistband of the shorts with one hand, and letting her fingers lightly rest on my pubic hair, she looked me in the eye and said “They’re lovely. Buy them.” All the while, O was looking on in astonishment, but I was on another planet. “Okay”, I said again, thinking that I would walk over hot coals if this delicious woman told me to.

“The blue ones are nice, but so are the red. Why not buy both colours”, she said, pulling my waistband a little harder. “Yes, both colours would be good”, I whispered. And that’s how – having gone out to buy sunglasses, I spent £200 on shorts I didn’t want. Although I really do like them both.

I just can’t figure which colour appeals to me the most. What do you think – red or blue?

(Oh, and I looked for her the following year, but she had been transferred temporarily to another branch. I was devastated, but no doubt substantially richer than I would otherwise have been.)

Happy HNT x


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Under my nose

I’m writing this before going out tonight. I’m going bowling actually, and whilst I don’t bowl often these days I used to be pretty useful (although I could never get real spin on the ball like I wanted to). Now, this is good for two reasons; firstly, because I’ll probably get asked if I need sorting out at some point during the evening, and secondly because it’ll take my mind off other things that have been occupying my thoughts for the last day or so.

The first reason I’ve been distracted is Dina. The more I think about it, in fact, the more pissed off I become. It’s not that I’m going to go back on the decision I made, more that I’m not enjoying the consequences of that decision. If I was going to give some advice to myself right now, it would be along the lines of "get over it". So I guess that’s what I’m going to have to do. Still...

The second reason I’m not quite myself is that I’ve been thinking about the woman who – referring back to a post that I can’t quite be arsed to find right now – I see now and then when the two of us are uninvolved (and I totally blame Jed for this state of affairs). The thing is, we really like each other, and we have brilliant sex. And yet I’ve been avoiding her since we last spent the night together (pre-PTFE) because she did something that she hadn’t done before. She mentioned... ahem... the "R" word.

So today, much as I haven’t wanted to, I’ve been mulling over things. "Wood" and "trees" figured strongly in this process. And I’ve been asking myself what, precisely, it is that I think I’m looking for. Because maybe it’s been right under my nose all along.

In more ways than one.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Musical Monday

There it goes, then... yet another weekend. Sometimes I wonder how two days can go quite so quickly, but at least there was sun, and football. Oh, and there was PTFE, of course.

We had dinner, although not a BBQ in the end – she was late, and it was hot – and then started drinking the best part of a bottle of Toffee Vodka. No, I’d never heard of it before either, but let me tell you that it’s bloody delicious. And then, slightly pissed and half undressed, she endeavoured to get me to express some kind of indication of my feelings for her. Anything would have done by then, I suspect, except what I actually did say. Which was “I just can’t tell you what you want to hear.” Naturally, a conversation of sorts followed, and I must admit that I lost track at some point. Around the time she exclaimed “Aha! Well that’s something, at least!”

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t, but to be honest it had all become a bit of a haze by then. I think, though, that this is all going slightly off track, and I have a feeling that some serious decisions will have to be made soon. She know's that she's acting like a nutcase too, because she acknowledges that she is, quite openly. What was that musical where someone sang "Why can't a woman be more like a man"? ROFL!

Anyway, much more important is the fact that it’s Musical Monday again, and this week I’m going for something very different to my usual offerings. I hope you like it.

Philip Glass is an American composer born in 1937. Throughout his career he’s been prolific; he’s written ensemble works, operas, symphonies, concertos, film scores and for the piano. He is also a Buddhist and a strong supporter of the Tibetan cause. This track, “Protest”, is from the album The Essential Philip Glass, and if you fancy tasting some classical music to see if you like the flavour, it’s a good place to start. Maybe with a large glass of Toffee Vodka as an accompaniment.

Want to play? Just stick this in your sidebar, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

(a href="" target="_blank")(img src="" alt="Image hosting by Photobucket" border="0" /)(/a)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Surely not...

It’s true. Summer has arrived in style here in the UK, and the last few days have been absolutely glorious. (With much more to come if the forecast is to be believed). And when the sun shines, life feels different, somehow... anything seems possible, doesn’t it?

And – despite the lousy way that it started – it’s been a great week, capped yesterday by the start of one of the world’s truly great events. Yes, the World Cup. Hours and hours of football over the next few weeks, culminating in England lifting the trophy for only the second time in it's history. Well, a man can dream...

On Thursday night, I relented to Red’s request that we meet for dinner. As a man who isn’t easily shocked, she actually managed to do it twice in rapid succession. Firstly, be telling me she’d been in love with me (yikes); and secondly, by saying that she just gave up on waiting for me to suggest that we... errr... ahem... get married (YIKES). Even though I was almost frozen with fear, I could still appreciate the quality of north London’s finest, cutest and most biteable arse, and what was meant to be a quick kiss goodnight could well have turned into something a whole lot more serious. She has asked that I simply "be there for her". Now, if she was a man I’d know what she meant, of course...

Earlier on Thursday, I had a meeting with one of my smaller clients and, as if in reward for all the time invested in relationship-building over the last few months, walked away with a larger piece of work that will help me to achieve my first goal... survival into year two. It now looks distinctly feasible and I’m beginning to sleep a little more easily. (And M, if you’re reading this, nice to see you too. And I’ll work on the slides, honestly I will. But AFTER the weekend!).

So, a good week. And this evening PTFE will be heading over for a BBQ and the usual carnal delights. And no, I haven’t quite decided what to do, or say, about where we’re heading, but to be honest I think I’ll just let things ride for a little while. Oh, and I should say a big hello from Zooz, who popped over for dinner during the week and was so impressed with the WDKY culinary offering that she even blogged about it!

Have a really great weekend, all of you. And, of course, I’ll be popping over later to say hello properly. And - as an aside - is this BBQ not a thing of beauty?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

HNT 34

Summer's finally arrived in the UK, and not before time. We've had a few glorious days, and because I work primarily from home I'm lucky that I can pop into the garden for an hour if I feel like it. So I have.

But with the heat, coupled with other problems (like dream girls snatched away from my grasp, and clients that don't want to pay) a man needs a shower. Although not necessarily with the door open - that was just for you.

Happy HNT x


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fuck karma

Do you believe in karma? I don’t think I do, but sometimes things... happen, and there seems to be too much design behind them for them to be accidental, or random. Anyway, let me tell you about yesterday, which was really a very, very bad day...

It started in a less than positive vein, when my bank confirmed that not a single client had settled the invoices I sent out in April. Now, April was the first month that I billed anyone, and my terms are thirty days... basically, then, it’s June and I’ve had no income this year. Great!

Next, my laptop picked up a Trojan Horse that took me about three hours to clear. It was a bad one, too... had to scan about three times, once in safe mode, and clean the hard drive using three different applications. And then edit the registry. And then scan again (getting the picture?). Yes, a productive use of my time, for sure.

But, I have to say, the piece de resistance came later in the day, and for this one I have to backtrack a little. To Sunday night, in fact, when Dina and I decided that we needed to get together to explore what had happened to us when we first met. And explore we did, not in a sexual sense (other than within the confines of our imaginations, anyway) but enough to know that this was something… real. In fact, we both left each other on Sunday night thinking that – if indeed we had been searching for something – then that search was over.

Yesterday afternoon, then, she sent me an email, an email that gave me a little more information about her. Information of a very personal nature. And the consequence of her sharing that with me is that I can never see her again, even though I know she was a woman who I would have loved. Life sucks sometimes, doesn’t it?

As an aside…

I thought I had problems with Audioblog yesterday, hence the (initial) use of Castpost. But it seems that it’s actually Blogger, in that it won’t let me edit any posts that contain a music file – I can only see them in “preview” mode. Is it just me?

But problems aside, yesterday’s Musical Monday was wonderful, and thanks to CeeCi and Mez I’ve got some new music on the way from Amazon that I know I’m going to love. Oh, and I also bought this and this. Sometimes, I just thank god for music.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Musical Monday

These days, I seem to be starting each Musical Monday post with phrases like "that was a bit of a weekend...". Well, I have to say that on this occasion it was. I have a feeling things are polarising slightly now, which is no bad thing. And I suspect I'll post more on the ridiculous life of mine tomorrow. Or maybe it's not so ridiculous after all... it just seems to be pulling my every which way at the moment.

I have a feeling it's time to slow things down a bit, and to assist in achieving that objective I thought I'd post something rather beautiful today. This is from a man who I only discovered about a year ago, and who died far, far too young. A talented songwriter and musician, he's remembered in the main for the majesty of his voice, such that one critic was moved to proclaim that it was "the voice of an angel". His one completed studio album is quite breathtaking, and I've chosen this particular track for two reasons, even though it happens to be a cover. Firstly, because it's an excuse to pay homage to the great Leonard Cohen; and secondly because the vocals are nothing short of exquisite.

So, here it is then... Jeff Buckley, and Hallelujah.

Want to play? Just stick this in your sidebar, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

(a href="" target="_blank")(img src="" alt="Image hosting by Photobucket" border="0" /)(/a)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I think I need a drink

I took my car in to the garage yesterday to have someone check out the brakes, which had been making some grinding noises lately and were beginning to worry me a bit. A few hours later, my bank account was lighter to the tune of £1000, courtesy of four new tyres and a complete set of discs and pads... not the way I wanted to finish the week, but I have to tell you that it’s been the strangest of weeks anyway. Sit down and make yourself comfortable...

In this life of mine, fate has a funny way of slapping me round the face and saying “Pay attention, damn it”... and it reminds me to be aware of just what it is that I may be thinking, or feeling, because usually it proves to be wise not to ignore these things. So in a way I wasn’t surprised when I received an email from Red completely unexpectedly. She always said that we should remain friends (in fact, she’s the only woman I've been out with during the course of my newishly acquired singledom who’s met my children - but then we did go out for about 9 months). Apparently, she’s just - finally - filed her divorce petition after god knows how many years, and the thought of crying on my shoulder is something of a temptation for her. I’ll have to make sure that I don’t wear one of my new t-shirts, but I’ve agreed to have a drink and a bite next week. I’m not saying I’m thinking anything untoward, but her comment along the lines of “If we don’t kiss I think we’ll be okay” made me smile.

More serious - at least according to the speed and strength of my beating heart - is the fact that someone entered my life unexpectedly last week and seems to have made much more of an impact than I could possibly have anticipated. I’ll call her Dina for reasons that I won’t go into, and I can only say to you that my knees go weak when I think of her. I didn’t plan it, I should add, and in many ways didn’t want it to happen, but happen it did. And now, rightly, it’s got me thinking, although at this stage I'm not sure whether I'll have cause to write about her again. I will say that she's tiny, and dark, and incredibly beautiful. I just thought that I'd share that with you, because it's just possible that Dina could be... well, let's just not get ahead of ourselves here. Hmmmm.

I’ve always said that PTFE was never going to be more than “Miss Right Now” but it seems to me that the problem (if there is one) realtes to an imbalance in terms of how we feel about each other. It worries me, as I’ve said more than once in the course of writing these posts, and for that reason I’m going to take a few days to process what’s going on in my life at the moment. And I’m going to do one of two things... I’m either going to push everything else to one side, and forget about it. Focus on PTFE, fully, and give things as much of a chance as I can give them. Or I’m going to have to accept that my heart isn’t in it, and bring things to an end before she becomes too entangled emotionally. I’m certainly not going to be unfaithful to her, but I also think that I’m entitled - no, I have a responsibility - to do what’s right for me.

I guess the next few days will tell. And whilst I have no idea what the immediate future will bring I do know that potentially important things are happening around me, and I’m not going to ignore that. And in the meantime, I’m going to try to enjoy the weekend. I hope you do too. And, right now, I'm off to cook some pancakes for the real loves of my life!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

HNT 33 - shopping at Fat Face

I must admit, I enjoy shopping... for clothes, stuff for the house, even for food. I think it has something to do with being in touch with my feminine side (which I'm proud to say that I am), or maybe I just have to accept that I'm a consumer.

Either way, anyone reading my blog this week will know that I went on a bit of a spree at Fat Face, and I had been asked a couple of times what I bought. To be honest, I'm embarrassed to say how many t-shirts (and the odd beaded necklace, which I seem to be addicted to) I ended up carrying off in my bag(s) but suffice it to say that i didn't have much change from... ahem... well, I didn't have much change. So here's a few of my purchases, which all in all should see me through the summer. Well, you have to bear in mind that I'm talking about a British summer...

Happy HNT x