Monday, December 31, 2007

Musical Monday

I’ve been thinking over the last few days. It occurred to me that this business with Livvy has thrown me more than I realised, and because of that I’ve forgotten some fundamental principles that I try to bear in mind as I meander through this ridiculous life of mine. In any event, why would I be so stupid as to assume that nothing was ever going to change? That my relationship with my children would just go on as it was, without the need for continuous emotional and physical investment on my part and without ever being threatened? Whoever said that it was going to be easy?

Somehow, I’ve believed my own hype… I’ve believed that I’m being the best father I can be when the truth is that I’ve been coasting. Somewhere along the way my relationship with my daughter has suffered, and now I need to put that right. It’ll need effort from Livvy too, but maybe the Big Talk that I saw coming needs to be more of a continuous… I don’t know. A “re-connection”. I think that’s a far better idea than risking driving a wedge between us, and although I don’t do New Year resolutions, this is going to be mine for 2008.

Musical Monday

What with Christmas, New Year, angst regarding Livvy and a bad back, I hadn’t really given much thought to a Musical Monday selection today. But I sat here thinking (well, smoking and thinking) this morning, and realised that some things just take time to resolve. And frustrating though it might be, there are times when we all need... well, a little Patience.

Have a wonderful New Year, and an even more wonderful 2008!

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post and get some music up there!

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Goodbye to '07

So… that was Christmas, then. Due to plans that had to be changed at the last minute as a consequence of various coughs, colds and other maladies, I ended up cooking two Christmas dinners, one on the day and the other on Boxing Day, and fed a total of 16 members of family. I’ve had a bad cold myself for a week and a really painful back (I’m finally going for an x-ray after the new year), so I feel like it was something of an accomplishment. Now I just want to sleep…

Anyway, I know you guys over in the US have a habit of summarising your year in the form of a Christmas greeting. Us Brits actually find it all a bit weird - well, we're a pretty conventional lot - but nevertheless I’m going to give it a shot. Call me a hypocrite (I’ve been called a lot worse, believe me)…


What can I say about the events of this year? First of all, after three or four years of playing the eternal bachelor (and, to quote the gorgeous NML, seeing more arse than a toilet seat), I find myself living with a woman 18 years my junior and rather enjoying the experience. Many people have wondered how two people as different as me and Bea have made it work – age, culture, background, even language all seem to dictate otherwise – and the truth is we’re not entirely sure ourselves. All I can say is that she’s the most loving and affectionate woman I’ve ever met, and when you add to that her simmering Latino sexiness… well, give me a break. I’m a lot of things, but I’m not stupid. I'm not one for looking too far ahead because the one thing I know about plans is that they invariably get fucked up, but we're certainly enjoying the here and now. I don’t see any obvious reason for that to change.

This year also saw something of a milestone (how ironic that I almost typed "millstone") so far as my ex-wife is concerned, as now she really is my ex-wife - our divorce became absolute in December after about 5 years of formal separation. The truth is that I was momentarily overjoyed, after which I didn’t think about it again. That said, I find it hard to believe that we were ever together because I really don't like her at all, and her behaviour is becoming more and more unpleasant. She’s now completely unable to communicate other than by being blatantly rude (best case scenario) or screaming down the telephone (normal behaviour). She’s due to give birth to twins some time in January (7 in one house???) and all I can say is… yikes!


In October 2005 I did something rather strange... something that was the consequence of an increasing sense of frustration and dissatisfaction that I knew only I could change. During the course of a routine monthly review meeting with my then-MD Tricky Dicky, I asked if he would be kind enough to make me redundant because "lets face it, we just don't like each other", and even though I had my heart in my mouth it was worth it just to see the look in his face. Priceless!

Last year I was just getting myself up and running, so in reality this has been my first full year of trading. I set myself what looked like a pretty tough target and – having just checked my figures as the year-end approaches – I’ve beaten it by 100%. At times its been soul destroying, and at other times I’ve hated the sense of responsibility – for everything, because there's no-one else to delegate to. I’ve also learnt some tough lessons about business and friendship – sometimes they can go together but often they can’t, and in a sense that has been the toughest lesson of all.

But most of the time I’ve loved it, and I can’t imagine what I'd be feeling now if I hadn't taken the chance to do this when I did . I have a couple of great clients that I've been working with for almost 18 months, I've seen (glimpses, at least, of) countries that I wouldn't otherwise have visited, and I've proven to myself that having the courage of your convictions can make all sorts of things possible. It just takes balls. Now, can I bill you?

The Sprogs

Wow – what changes so far as the kids are concerned. Sam has become so grown-up, and now represents not only the school but one of the local under-11 sides at football (that’s soccer to you lot across the pond). Our relationship is closer than ever, and I’m proud of the kind and sensitive child he’s become (in fact, that he’s always been). Next year he starts secondary school, and I can hardly believe it, but he still curls up with me on the sofa just as he did when he was a toddler. Mind you, he doesn't go upstairs to change into speedos just to watch WWE these days! Bless...

Livvy has begun her tortuous journey through adolescence, and the truth is that it’s not been easy on either of us. She’s often withdrawn, moody, rude or just uncommunicative… aside from when she wants something – usually money – in which case she talks to me as if I’m a human being and even smiles at me sometimes. I’ve come to realise with a reasonable degree of certainty that she’s manipulating her mother, her mother’s manipulating her, or they’re both manipulating each other – whichever it is the result’s the same, it's to my detriment, and it’s reached the stage where its becoming damaging to our relationship. The whispered conversations on mobile phones are increasingly irritating and Bea agrees with me that something needs to be done, so I guess we have a Big Talk coming. I’m not exactly confident that things can be resolved that easily, but I miss the girl she was (and that I know she is), so I have to keep on trying.

There you have it, then… in anyone’s language that was quite a year, but it was also a year that I could never have predicted. And if there's a moral in this story, the moral is this - sometimes we get stuck in what seems like an eternal rut, and it looks like nothing will ever change. But we can make it happen. Of course I know that other factors play a part, but ultimately we're all in charge of our own destiny, and just having the courage to face change in a positive way can transform change itself.

And now, all that’s left is to wish everyone reading this nonsense a happy and healthy 2008. To quote a rather clever guy with even bigger ears than me, may you live long and prosper.

Beam me up, Scotty…

Monday, December 24, 2007

Musical Monday

Well, here we are then... a Christmas Eve Musical Monday. And can you imagine how hard it's been to ignore Wizard, Cliff Richard et al and come up with something relatively normal today? In fact, "relatively normal" is something of an understatement because today I'm paying homage to Van the Man. And, that said, what track could I possibly choose other than Moondance?

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, whether or not it has any religious significance for you. Even for me, the Jewish atheist, I kind of like exchanging gifts, seeing family and friends and generally being decadent for a few days.

Unfortunately, for the second year running I've neglected helping out with Crisis Open Christmas as I've just had too much to do at home, but I shall endeavour to do my bit over the coming year to make up for it... and my thoughts are with anyone for whom Christmas is anything but a time of joy. It can be a difficult few days (as I know from experience all too well), but if nothing else I can give you music!

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post and get some music up there!

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Musical Monday

It's a while since I've posted for Musical Monday. Much has happened in the intervening period, and I'm sure my dwindling band of loyal readers are beside themselves with curiosity. So...
  1. 10 er reef (err... thanks, Susie) - we went for 5 days, staying in Bea's apartment with her parents. We drunk a lot, did bad things with substances that shall not be named, slept too little and came back thoroughly exhausted. In other words, we had a good time.

  2. Istanbul - I was there on business for a couple of days, and stayed in a shit-hot hotel. It's a mad but brilliant city, and I'm due back there in early January (and again in February). Unfortunately, I failed to hook up with Keda on her patch as one of the Lets had hurt herself and the timing was difficult. Maybe next time, though...

  3. My face - is now sporting a goatee. It's a while since I've had one and its quite short and (this time around) rather grey, but apparently its very sexy. And it tickles...

  4. Vista - I HATE IT. In fact, I hate it so much that I had it removed from my laptop, and I won't touch it again until well after SP1 has been released (and maybe not even then). A pox on all connected with its development. Or lack of development.

    Musical Monday

    So, here we are then... and in my usual fashion I shall now proceed to fuse past with present, classic with avante guarde...

    Well, anyway, you should all know by now that one of my favourite tracks ever is Massive Attack's "Teardrop", and of course it's been featured before as my MM choice of the week. I also featured a cover recently by none other than Jose Gonzalez, and I thought that version was pretty good too. This week, it's another cover of this wonderful track - this one's even better and it's by Newton Faulkner. The album (Handbuilt By Robots) is excellent, so stick it on your Amazon Wishlist for Christmas if you haven't already got it.

    If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post and get some music up there!

    <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" height="160" width="120" /></a>

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Just to say...

I've barely been around for a week or three, although in that time I've been to Tenerife and Istanbul and worked my proverbial balls off before, during and after. It'll be no different for a while yet, and although my Reader is currently well over the 400 mark I simply have no time at all to visit everyone, let alone to leave comments.

To be honest, in other circumstances I wouldn't have posted now but would have waited until things had quietened down a bit. In fact, my reason for doing so is something of a sad one... believe it or not, tomorrow mark's the first anniversary of Anu's death and I just felt that I couldn't let it pass without a word or two.

So, Anu... I want to say that I miss you. I miss the way you made me feel, and I miss posting sometimes, realising that you'd be smiling your beautiful smile as you read it before leaving one of your wonderful comments. You made me believe that I was special, like you made everyone who knew you believe that they were special.

I know you'd rather I didn't cry when I thought of you, but I can't help it... I've never been short on emotion, have I? And, anyway, you're aware of what you meant to me. What you mean to me.

Did I say that I miss you?

Love always,

T x