Saturday, September 23, 2006

Adiós mis amigos

Es hora para mí de ir. Deséeme la buena suerte.

Hasta la vista.

PS I'll have no access to a computer whilst I'm away but I'll catch up with you all when I get back. And my beautiful friend celebrates her birthday tomorrow, so don't forget to stop by there to wish her a good one.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tears of a clown

I had the strangest experience last night, and it took me so unawares that I’m not entirely sure that I’ve got over it just yet. But it told me that when it comes to feelings it’s best to expect the unexpected.

I’d had a busy day, finishing off a piece of work that was already slightly late, getting some washing done for Sunday and touching up some of the paintwork in the hall. When the phone rang at about 8 o’clock I nearly let it go to answerphone, but I saw that it was PTFE and decided that I wanted to speak to her. So I took the call.

She was fine... we’ve been in sporadic contact since we split up anyway, and I knew she’d been busy working but was generally okay. Then she told me that she was seeing someone, that it was quite serious, and that he knew me. I could feel my stomach churn slightly as I asked who it was, and it turned out to be the guy that had tried to repair my laptop a while back when I had some problems that were the consequence of downloading a dodgy Windows Update. The funny thing is, he charged me £40 and couldn’t trace the problem – I ended up fixing it myself!

PTFE asked if he could pick up her make-up bag (remember the make-up bag?) and he duly arrived about an hour later. We chatted for a few minutes and then off he went, with his tight black t-shirt, new haircut and a twinkle in his eye. And you know what? I felt sick. I was no better hours later when I went to bed, and slept eventually having poured myself a large Scotch and popped a Melatonin or two.

So... what was that all about? I was adamant that I wanted to finish with her when she pleaded with me not to, and the only thing I can say in my own defence is that it wasn’t because I didn’t have feelings for her... they were just not quite as intense as the feelings she had for me. Yet now... well, I know what I’d say if it were someone else having this conversation with me. And although I might couch my advice in diplomatic terms, the message would be “live with it”.

Emotions – feelings – can be unpredictable sometimes, can’t they? But then I'm sure that a little pain is good for the soul... that’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

HNT 47

This week is just flying by... some hair-brained idea weeks ago, and suddenly it's nearly the weekend and time to pack. Yes, I may really be a lunatic, but at least my headstone won't be saying "He was bored". My life's a lot of things, but boring definitely isn't one of them.

Anyway, I'm now walking around the house enjoying the new floor downstairs and the rich colours of the bedroom upstairs. Amazing, isn't it, that after all the activity in my pink-ribboned-wallpaper-with-floral-border room, now it looks so nice it's just been me and, errmmm... well, Lola. And as she spends her time under the bed she doesn't even get to enjoy it.

So, Monday becomes Thursday yet again here at Chez WDKY and I think it's appropriate in the circumstances to leave you with the second installment of New Sheets. After all, life is just a series of installments, isn't it? Something of a black comedy in my case, but there you go...

New Sheets - 2 of 2

Happy HNT


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

That's much better...

I must admit, I kind of enjoyed allowing myself to offload a little bit in that last post. All the comments were much appreciated, and I apologise that I didn't get around to answering all of them directly... I've allowed myself to get a little bit sidetracked this week, and consequently I'm under pressure to complete some work before I go away. I was working late last night, and started early this morning, but I suspect it'll be a similar story for the rest of this week if I'm to avoid landing myself in the quagmire.

Anyway, I do feel a lot better about things now, and the truth is that we're no longer together for many good reasons over and above her particular penchant for infidelity. I remember her saying once "At least I'll be with someone who I can understand now..." which - in retrospect - was kind of funny. I'm bloody sure I'm not that hard to understand. Am I???

I can't remember if I mentioned that I went round to Red's the other evening for a, errrmmm... bite, and we exchanged presents from our recent holidays.

She then disappeared for a minute and came back holding something else behind her back, which transpired to be another present that she'd bought me back in February because she "couldn't think of anyone it suited more".

We split up the day after she bought it, but she'd kept it in the cupboard knowing that the opportunity would arise at some point or other. I think it's hysterical, and I'm drinking my coffee from it as I type this post.

As Sunday looms, and my (very) early morning flight from Stansted to Almeria gets ever closer, I'm beginning to feel like I'm making one of my now-famous mistakes. I mean, what am I thinking... a 28-year old Cuban? Am I a complete lunatic (that was a rhetorical question, incidentally)? Still, a week in Spain can only be a good thing, and the truth is that I may not be a spring chicken but I'm certainly not a fool... I'm just going to take things as they cum come. Ironically, someone I was really interested in for months has been asking me if we can go out, and it's taking all of my will-power at the moment to say no. But at least I said it, eh?

Thanks again for the "support". It felt rather nice to see a little vicarious loathing, although I noticed a tiny bit of empathy in there too. Obviously I ignored it, though :-)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Musical Monday

You know, I rarely post anything at all about my ex-wife, but at the moment I'm so full of anger that I could write a novel and publish it on here. In fact, the more interaction I have with her lately, the more convinced I am that she simply isn't a very nice person at all. Which doesn't say a great deal for me or my judgement, does it, considering we were married for nearly eleven years?

Anyway, she seems to have found out that I'm meeting Beatriz in Tenerife - no doubt one of the kids mentioned it, because it's not exactly a secret - and she sent me a text yesterday referring to "the illegal immigrant", which incidentally is nonsensical as (although Beatriz is Cuban) she has Spanish residency. She was also suggesting that I'll now want to "push the divorce through". I must admit I thought this was all pretty weird... but rather than get involved in an argument I replied, albeit slightly sarcastically, with "Well, you never know" thinking that would be the end of it. A minute later I got another message, and when I read it I realised that this was a woman with whom I'll never establish any kind of friendship again, let alone hold any respect for her. It simply said

"Well hurry along, you old fool."

What... fucking malice. I have no idea whether that little gem came from her or the piece of crap that she broke up our family for, but I do know that it makes me feel physically sick to think that we were ever married. And that I could have been with someone for so long that was so completely different to me in terms of her principles, and her values, and her treatment of other people. How does that happen... did I get it totally wrong, or has she just changed so much?

To be honest, it's put me in a really bad mood... I don't often feel like I have this anger bubbling away inside, but right now I can't deny that I do. Am I being stupid, and oversensitive? Maybe I am... but that's how it is, and sometimes you can't just rationalise things away - you just have to feel them. And even though I know this is a kind of negative energy, I'm just going to have to let it run its course, and hope that in the interim NO-ONE PISSES ME OFF!

Musical Monday

Well, when the going gets tough I always think it's time to play some music... it's a bit like chicken soup! And whilst I can't remember how I discovered Bonnie Raitt, I do know that this woman has the most gorgeous voice. She sings, plays guitar and writes her own songs and music, and has no less than nine Grammy's to her name... so I guess she must be doing something right, then.

This track is maybe a little mainstream compared to my usual taste, but it can tug at the heartstrings if you're in a susceptible mood (don't say you haven't been warned). And I suspect we've all felt what she's feeling at some time or another... I mean love isn't exactly risk-free, now, is it (unfortunately)?

Anyway, this is "I can't Make You Love Me", from the album Luck of the Draw. I was just amazed, incidentally, when I checked the release date, which was 15 years ago. God help me... maybe I am an old fool after all :-)

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

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Random thoughts

For one reason or another, yesterday I was looking at a few posts from the end of last year/beginning of this. Then I went back to the more recent ones, and I realised that things have become a little... fluffy around here. Posts about decorating (I mean, come on...) and the usual ruckus around Thursday every week – I’m not sure that I’m happy with the situation. So I’m going to have a rethink. And actually, I suspect that I’ll continue with HNT until I hit number 50 in a few weeks and then retire gracefully. We’ll see.

Anyway, I was wondering what was “different” about my life now to then, and I concluded that the main source of angst has been pretty much removed. By which I mean, the whole dating/women/relationship thing that was the fuel for a lot of the emotional trauma I wrote about has taken something of a back seat since I got back from Tenerife, and it seems to me that once you take “relationships” out of the equation life becomes... well, easier. Smoother. I think that’s quite interesting, though, and just goes to prove certain things (I’ve got no idea what they are, mind you, but I'm sure it proves them anyway. Yes?).

So... my sister came round last night, ostensibly because things in her life have settled down a bit and she’s no longer trying to stay invisible to the world at large. Or that’s what she thought until we started talking, because she had her head buried so far in the sand that I’m surprised it hadn’t come out in China. She and her husband have got some thinking to do – the most serious thinking they’ve ever done, actually. They’ve got themselves knee-deep in shit, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a way out at the moment. Not from where I’m sitting, anyway. As we talked I also realised how self-absorbed she’s become. You know when people are listening to you, but only so that the nanosecond you’ve finished talking they can jump back in with what they want to say – about themselves – because they think that everything's about them? And nothing else can be as important... we were really close once, when we were younger. It was a nice evening, but that closeness isn't there any more.

Well, so be it. But I think I have to acknowledge that I have a family that hasn’t quite got the hang of taking care of itself, and I can’t spend the rest of my life taking care of them. Sooner or later, everyone has to grow up and take some responsibility... because that’s what changes when we become “adults”, isn’t it? We have to do that, whether we want to or not.

Right... time to get the sproglets their breakfast. I’m sorry that I’ve been a very sporadic visitor of late, but the decorating saga has finally come to an end (no – no more photos!) and life has settled down again for now. So get the kettle on, I’ll be over soon.

And last, but by no mean least... Happy Birthday, Anu x

Thursday, September 14, 2006

HNT 46

***Apologies for not visiting... I'm painting. Again!***

I don't know about you, but I don't think there's anything to compare to getting into a bed with crisp new sheets. And there's something about those deep shades of red that's really... sexy. That being the case I decided to do a bit of a mini-series based in the new sheets theme. This, then, is

New Sheets - 1 of 2

Happy HNT


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I've had enough!

My god... first the bedroom, and then straight into the new flooring. It's been a tiring, messy, irritating week, but I'm nearly there now. In fact I should be there already but things went a bit... well, wrong, actually.

The floor went down beautifully, first in the lounge...

and then in the office...

but when it came to the small hall (well, a little square at the bottom of the stairs, actually) and the porch it all became a bit more complicated! I decided to remove what was the original front door, assuming that the frame would just "come out" and I could fill the rebate. But I didn't count on all the plaster coming off the wall, so I ended up needing some help from the flooring contractors. Quite a lot of help actually, and this is how it looks at the moment...

Anyway, I guess I have a bit more painting to do, and I want to finish it off for Friday because my sister is coming over to stay and she's been too "busy" to have visited for the best part of a year. You may remember that she had some problems of her own and spent a few weeks making herself invisible to various parties who fancied chatting to her. Well, all has now been resolved, and she's going to be living about ten minutes drive from me, taking up her old job (she's a hairdresser) as of next week.

It's been something of a family drama actually, but in my family we're used to drama. Well, I try to steer clear, personally, but I've always been a little different to my brother and sister. Which is fine by me, because different has always appealed to me, for some reason.

Now... can I muster up some energy for HNT??? I'm not sure to be honest, but right now I'm going to go for a run and listen to some music en route. And I think I've just decided on next week's Musical Monday, so I guess that's what'll be on my iPod. Its... ;-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Musical Monday

Before I start...

I remember very clearly where I was, and what I was doing, when the disaster that we we now call "9/11" took place. And although I'm a long way away, the connections I have with, and in, NYC meant that I felt it in a more direct sense than I might otherwise have done. If that's possible, because I've never seen anything like it in my life, and hope to God I don't again. (And believe me when I say that we understand the meaning of terrorism on this small island.)

Be that as it may, all I want to say on the subject is that my heart goes out to everybody directly affected by the loss of life that day, and also to those who weren't impacted by personal tragedy but who were still affected by the trauma that was the inevitable consequence.

I was going to carry on waffling about the day to day crap that I normally post about, but actually I won't - other than to say I didn't get that job I went for... they said that they "feel it's the wrong thing for my business". Nice of them to determine my strategy for me, don't you think? Anyway, thank god there's always music... and today I'm giving you Damien Rice, and "The Blower's Daughter". A very, very beautiful song, and something slightly more... human to think about, considering what day it is. Enjoy.

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

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

Friday, September 08, 2006

The bedroom project

So... I did say that I'd post a couple of photos of the bedroom when it was finished, and I like to keep my word. I've just got a couple of small jobs left to do on the woodwork, and I'm changing the handles in the silly little built-in cupboards, but essentially it's done. Thank god!

Okay, first, a quick reminder, just to make myself feel like I've accomplished something...

Anyway, the first photo is of the bed and picture that you've seen before, and although it's not a very good angle (lots of distortion, and the wall behind the bed has come out lighter than it actually is) you can see that I've got some new bedding. The carpet in the bedroom is actually a deep red - exactly the same colour as one of the shades on the bedding, in fact) so it all looks quite nice together.

The second one is of the wall with the fireplace and wardrobe. There are actually two interesting things about this photo, though... firstly, if you like contemporary art you may recognise the picture on the wall - it's a framed sketch of Lichtenstein's "Girl With Hair Ribbon" and the only thing hung on the walls that isn't oil or acrylic on canvas. I love it. Secondly, look very carefully at the bottom of the left hand wardrobe door... yes, there's a number (9,000) in black felt tip pen. My son, bless him, decided to do it one day, and when I asked him what on earth had induced him to deface my favourite wardrobe - and he still had felt tip on his hands at the time - he came up with that classic answer that all parents are familiar with. "It wasn't me, Daddy". But he looked at me with that beautiful face of his, and I couldn't bring myself to get too cross. Not for long, anyway...

Oh, and I nearly forgot - this is the other side of the room. You may have seen that shower cubicle before, because it featured in one of my more popular HNT's!

So, that's another job done, and the new wooden floor goes down this weekend, all being well. After that, it's a party at my place, and you're all invited. Just bring a bottle and a sleeping bag, unless you fancy getting cosy in those new red sheets :-)

Have a good one!

A "sticky" message

Sorry if I haven't appeared in your comments for a while - blame it on beta, rather than any laziness on my part! If you're on the old platform and don't allow anonymous comments, I'm afraid that I'm screwed!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

HNT 45

You know, I've been thinking over the last couple of days... painting, and thinking. And the conclusion I've come to is simple, really.

Nothing in life is black and white.

Happy HNT!


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A bit of an update

Well, I thought I'd post a bit of an update, hence the title. So, lets see...

The pitch yesterday seemed to go reasonably well, but I must admit I'm not even sure if I want to win the job. The money would be fantastic, and its only for 6 months... but I'd hardly see the kids compared to the amount I see them now, and that was one of the primary reasons for going self-employed in the first place. I'd also have little time to do anything else with regard to the business, and I'm not sure that's a good thing either. All in all, if I'm not successful I can certainly live with it.

The Bedroom Project is coming along nicely... stage 2, which is getting the walls covered and ready for painting, will be finished today and with a bit of luck the painting will be finished tomorrow. Then, on Saturday, the new floor goes down on the porch/hall, the lounge and the office. I'm so excited - and here's a couple of pictures pending my anticipated Finished Bedroom HNT later this week :-)

Now, if you haven't checked out Musical Monday keep on scrolling down... but in the meantime I have to say that I'm totally indebted to the blogosphere's most beautiful mouse, because she tought me how to do... this!

Thank you, Susan x

A "sticky" message

Sorry if I haven't appeared in your comments for a while - blame it on beta, rather than any laziness on my part! If you're on the old platform and don't allow anonymous comments, I'm afraid that I'm screwed!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Musical Monday

I'm going for something a little different for Musical Monday this week, but before that will you please take a moment to cross your fingers and wish me luck? I'm pitching for a six-month project this morning that - if I get it - will pay me just about a year's income or thereabouts. I reckon I have a one-in-three chance, and I'm very nervous indeed. I'm even going to wear a tie, which for me is almost unheard of, so I must be taking it seriously ;-)

Anyway, to Musical Monday... and I've opted for a video style presentation today, featuring the great Johnny Cash with a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song (and their version is also amazing)... "Hurt". You may know the song from the latest Nike ad if you're from the UK, but somehow watching JC sing it too adds a kind of... gravitas. And it's a fitting obituary to a great man. Incidentally, Trent Reznor was so blown away by this cover that, after hearing it and seeing the video for the first time, he subesequently referred - and still refers - to Hurt as "the song that isn't mine anymore". The video itself was a multi-award winner, and was the last hit that Cash recorded before he died.

See what you think, but I've also chosen to post the lyrics too this week. And actually, on my more melancholy days I can almost feel them.

I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
the only thing that's real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but I remember everything

what have I become
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar's chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

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

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

A "sticky" message

Sorry if I haven't appeared in your comments for a while - blame it on beta, rather than any laziness on my part! If you're on the old platform and don't allow anonymous comments, I'm afraid that I'm screwed!


Saturday, September 02, 2006

A quiet weekend

Well, thanks for all the good wishes for my first anniversary in blogdom. One year... and I have to confess it hadn’t really occurred to me quite what a year it’s been, until I read Kimmy’s comment – emotional melodramas, a burglary - while I was in my fucking bed - and the start-up of a new business... it really was a year to remember. And I should have mentioned that I’ve met (yes, in three dimensions) some really fantastic people from the blogosphere, all of whom proved that their personalities that we see in the written word are an accurate reflection of who they really are, as human beings. It’s refreshing to see that there’s some reality in this environment! As well as some entertainment.

Anyway, I had a bit of a template day today, having decided that my sidebar was becoming much too unwieldy. Consequently I spent far too long playing with drop-down menus, but hopefully they’re an improvement on what was there before (do me a favour – if you don’t think so just pretend). They seem to work when they pull the attributes for the content straight from the template code as you can for archives and recent posts, but not so well when I want to use a more traditional list, say of URL’s for HNT or Musical Monday. I could get the design of the drop-down how I wanted it but I couldn’t get the lists to work, so if anyone knows the answer to this little problem I’d love to know too. Call me.

Other than that, it’s been a quiet weekend, and I guess that’s to be expected because I’m in a kind of limbo for the next two or three weeks. Bea and I chat on IM, or speak on the telephone, for two or three hours every day (yes, we even bought webcams – how sweet is that?) but it’s obviously not the same as being with each other... still, it’s proving to be an interesting experience, that’s for sure! And although there’s a sense of unreality about it at the moment, that’s going to change very soon. And then, I guess, we’ll have more of an idea as to how sustainable it might be.

Right... I’m going to have a coffee and a cigarette, clear up the kitchen and watch some football. Hope you guys are all having good weekends (especially across the water, where it’s a long one, I think) and thanks again for all the kind words. One year... who’d have thought ;-)

By the way...

In their infinite wisdom, Blogger seem to have decided that anyone using the beta platform can no longer comment on the old-style blogs (because they've merged the old and new accounts onto Google - the pillocks). This really is a pain, but I don't want you to think I'm ignoring you. In fact, I'm immensely pissed off about it. So go on... switch to beta... you know you want to!

(Update on comment problems... Mez came up with a good solution to the beta/non-beta issue, but it only works on blogs that allow anonymous comments. The others seem to require a Blogger sign in, which unfortunately I can't do. So, again, apologies if I don't comment until Blogger/Google get their act together... then again, if you miss me that much you can always enable anonymous comments, eh?)

Friday, September 01, 2006

It's my Blogiversary

You know, I've missed a couple of landmarks lately... 50,000 hits and my 250th post amongst them. But this particular occasion is kind of auspicious, so I thought I'd celebrate with a post in it's honour.

Because today is my very first Blogiversary... and I can't quite believe it myself, actually! I was looking back over some earlier entries, and realised again that I lost all my comments prior to mid-February, when I switched from Blogger comments to Halsoscan. That's a real shame, but there are one or two entries that I thought I might link to today.

Hopefully you'll forgive me this (relatively) small indulgence, and I really do hope that I'm still posting, and you're still reading, this time next year. And - of course - thank you.

My first post
My first post about SEX!
My first HNT
A bad day
A bit of a rant
The burglary
A word from Carey
A glimpse of New York
Stoned at the Tate
Staying authentic
The very first Musical Monday
The end of CFG
My beautiful girl
Bad karma
I'm a...errrmmm...
A dose of reality

Well, there you are then... some highlights from the last, and my first, blogging year. And - maybe - see you next time. My place :-)

P.S. That was, of course, what I meant when I referred to this being a "momentous" week, but I get the impression there's a bit of suspicion out there that things on the personal front are very quiet of late. And the truth is, I do have something of a secret... well, it's about my trip to Spain, actually. Because the thing is, I'm meeting Bea, my Cuban girl there. Never a dull moment, eh?