Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Number 36 - In Which Nanna Reads Soft Porn

That's a nice tie.
My last living Nanna is a trouper. She is 82, has terminal cancer and has decided that these last few months are going to be lived her way and the rest of us can "fuck off." Her words. She has discovered several new words lately. Fuck is her favourite.

She found the Fifty Shades trilogy in her local Oxfam for £1. Yep, a single, solitary pound for all three. Having heard about the books, or rather the furore surrounding them, she thought the covers looked interesting, thought it was a set of books about a fashion designer, and promptly bought them.

She rang me today, which is always funny because she has become so irreverent lately, she tells it exactly how it is. 

"These books, these about the grey outfits and whatnot."

"Erm, yes?" (About the WHAT?!!)

"Well, I'm not sure if you have read them but I don't think they are about a fashion designer. "

"Oh, right?" (I'm trying not to laugh at this point.)

"Aye, they're about this two-bit silly bint and her chap. She needs a damn good slap, all that carrying on. There's a lot of what I think is sex in them, but it's nowt like how me and your Grandad used to carry on. Is this what you youths are doing these days? No wonder you have a bad back, with all this monkey business. I'm surprised you can walk!"

I had no words. Not even Fuck seemed appropriate.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Number 35 - In Which History Is Stoned.

Such a pretty leaf...
When I was 17, I fell in love properly for the first time. He was the older brother of one of my friends and I can still remember the full-on chest palpitations and butterflies kicking the crap out of my tummy.

He was 4 years older than me: broody, intelligent and utterly fucked up. Of course I was going to fall for him.

In the summer before I turned 17, we had a water fight - me, my friend Emma, her brother Nick and a few other girls. It was hot, we were bored and it seemed like fun. 

Nick and I ended up in the bathroom: inside the bath, fully clothed, me in his lap, kissing, under a hot shower. Oh my. 

Emma blew a gasket and refused to speak to us for the rest of the evening. The morning after was awkward. By the time the summer ended and my birthday arrived in October, we were dating, or "going out" with each other. The first time we had sex was in front of the telly, with the gas fire on, in his front room, just after the first ever National Lottery had been drawn (we didn't win.) I remember the sex being fairly good. Later, it got great - he was the first boy to go down on me and the first to give me an orgasm. Which was nice. 

I fell into an all-consuming, couldn't-breathe-without-him kind of love. I worshipped the ground he walked on, watched the post for his letters (he was in his last year of Uni in Wales) and would cry if there wasn't a letter, and be hysterically happy if there was. 

He was also the first boy to shag around behind my back (whilst he was in his final year at Uni), give me a raging STD (can't remember which but it itched and burned) and break my heart. 

Do you remember your first "real" love? I can think about him now and still get a funny feeling in my tummy. Some of it is a teeny-tiny bit of "how dare you cheat on me and give me a disease!' rage, but most of it is remembering how wonderful first love felt. 

I remember driving from Bangor Uni to his family's home in the Dales in his beat-up car after he graduated. We sang songs from cassettes all the way over, and stopped near a waterfall to have outdoor sex. 
We held hands as we walked down to the river, dodging puddles and talking nonsense. 
We shared a single bed in his tiny room, in his parents' little stone retirement cottage in a tiny picturesque village in Wensleydale. 
We curled up by the open fire in the snug, and he introduced me to whisky and ginger.

What wasn't so good, but what I readily accepted at the time, was how large and expensive his cannabis habit was. Looking back, I can see it was a major issue. If I hadn't found out about the cheating, the reckless frittering of money on weed would've been a red flag. I tried it a couple of times and it was okay, but honestly nothing to write home about. (Which I didn't incidentally, when I caught the train to Wales to stay with him in his last week at Uni.)

But, when he forgot my 18th birthday and hurriedly bought me a crappy stuffed teddy and a jar of humbugs from the local shop in the village where he lived with his parents, that kind of gave me a hint as to where his money was going. And it wasn't on me.

I was quite jaded for a while after we split up. I was not in a good place for a while afterwards and went on a bit of a one-night-stand shagfest, declaring that I wasn't going to allow myself to get close to anyone ever again. My first year in University was a lesson in how to get branded a massive slag.  My Dad had cheated, my first real boyfriend had cheated. Was this how life was? Did all men cheat? 

No, as it turned out. Not all of them. But I had a long way to go before I could recognise true love from childish infatuation. I'm still not entirely sure I'm quite there yet.

Interestingly, my sister came across Nick on Facebook a while ago and mentioned him. I did a little Facebook stalking, as you do. I was sad to see that he is still single. I'd hoped that he would be happy and settled, maybe with a family, but he isn't. He's single, unemployed, and also suffering from a deep and chronic depression. He always laughed in the face of cannabis addiction and its dangers. 

It was harmless, he said. 
He could quit at any time, he said. 
It had no long term problems, he said. 

But, based on my quick perusal of his page, I'd say that it hasn't done him any favours either. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Number 34 - In Which I Blatantly Ignore My Resolutions.

Happy... blah blah blah.
I'm late with this post. I have spent the last month eating chocolate, drinking Prosecco and reading trashy novels. Oh, I've done the work thing too, often while doing the eating of chocolate, drinking of Prosecco and reading trashy novels. I've always been brilliant at multi-tasking and as I am my own boss, I can't get fired. I don't think.

How was your Christmas and New Year? Any hangovers? Any ill-advised mistletoe or 2014 countdown snogging? Any resolutions? 

Husband had the face on on New Year's Eve and refused to go to any of the parties we were invited to, so Daughter and I decided to sod the miserable git, got dolled up and went to a friend's for civilised drinks and dinner. It wasn't the lively knees-up I had hoped for, as when we got there, we were the only ones invited for dinner and only two other couples turned up later, one of whom were tee-total vegans who were not happy about the table full of cheese, meat and alcohol. But, despite considerable hurdles, we had a fairly good New Year's Eve. I had several Kir Royales, Daughter had some low-alcohol perry and we twirled home. Husband went to bed at 12:30am in a sulk.

I was going to make a resolutions list but to be honest, it's the same every year. 

Stop eating chocolate. 
Go to the Gym.
Meet George Clooney.

It gets a bit repetitive and I'm setting myself up for a fail right there. I mean come on... stop eating chocolate? Never gonna happen...

I did decide on one thing on New Year's Day as Husband banged around the house like a bear with a literal sore head (I found an empty bottle of whisky in the bin and he smelled like the inside of a whisky barrel). 

I'm not going to put up with his shit this year. 

It's now three weeks later and I am still putting up with his considerable shit. He quit smoking today as well, and bought one of those eCig things. Already today he's made me and Daughter cry, and the dog is hiding in his bed with his tail firmly between his legs.

But this year I have work to focus on, a book to maybe finish, a dog to walk more and a daughter to help through GCSEs. I am still working out what to do with my marriage, but in the mean time I'm going to be busy.