Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Little Late...

...But I thought people might be interested in these two pics anyway :)

They were taken just before Christmas (really! I have taken my Christmas tree down now!! :) ), and show my living room how I set it up when I first moved in:

I'm not sure why my angel acquired an aura around her there, but I thought I'd use that pic anyway :)

And then, I like to imagine a conversation something like this:
Me: "House,"
House: [Beep beep]
Me: "Reconfigure for... Company mode!"
House: [Beep beep beep!]

And my living room is still pretty much looking like that at the moment. Except with slightly fewer snacks laid out, and it's a little untidier at the moment ;)

Oh, and without the Christmas decorations! ;)

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I began thinking about this post a little while ago. I then realised a couple of other details that tied in with it, and thought that now would be great timing :)

1. As of today, my blog is one year old! So, happy birthday "Don't Blame The Stars" ! :)
2. This is also my 200th post! What great timing! :) Ok, you may all be going "Hey Monkfish! Wha'cha talking about? That says 5 posts in 2007 and 189 in 2006! You think we can't count? That's not 200, that's only 194! You SUCK!" Well, that's because I have six posts in draft status that I'll probably now either never finish writing, or never publish :) Some were rambles to myself just to get some thoughts down, some were things I started but did not finish, some may be accidental copies of "live" posts... Honestly, listen to me talking about "some", you'd think there were sixty, not six ;)

When I thought about what to write here, I realised I wanted to write about The Journey. For that reason, I decided to title it in honour of Roses' blog.

The Journey. Where has it taken me? Well, just imagine. One year ago today, I was sitting alone at my computer, writing a blog post. Today, I find myself sitting alone at my computer, writing a blog post. Oh, how things have changed! ;)

But, despite that, it has been quite a journey, hasn't it?

I guess that I began thinking about starting a blog, or posting to some forum, or joining some random community site in around November 2005. Look at that, only took me two months to make progress on that, some people can't even get around to buying a bed in that time! ;)

But you know what? I am absolutely genuinely pleased that I started this blog.

It's been great... I've got to know new people, read about things I wouldn't normally have read about, made some truely wonderful friends, shared some of my most embarassing personal information, I've ranted and raved, I've enthused, I've gossiped, and occasionally, just occasionally, I've rambled.

And you know what? I am glad I did it. I've enjoyed it.

And every single person reading this, every reader past, present and future... I thank you. Really. All I do is talk about stuff I think, and stuff that happens to me. And you lot, you bunch of weirdoes, you're actually INTERESTED in that! ;) What's up with that!? ;) But even more than that... I know that some people have actually learnt something from it. From me simply talking about what's happened to me, where I've been, where I'm going and how I think. How cool is that? :)

And I think over the course of this year, I, who I am, has changed.

I have learnt too. I've learnt from the experiences I've been through, the simple act of writing, and I've learnt from the people who read here.

I can't put a finger on how I've changed exactly, but I feel that I have. For one thing, I'm less embarassed to talk about a lot of these things. Ok, I'm still not so keen to do that in real life to people I actually know ;) but even there, I think I have made progress.
But you know what? Some of the posts I was making here months ago... They were really difficult to write. I was scared, ashamed, embarrassed. Not so much anymore. If I felt the need to, I could probably bang up a decent number of embarassing or private pieces of information, without too much 'fear'.

When I started this blog, I almost wanted someone to tell me that I was wrong. I was being stupid. That I should stop pissing about and get on with getting married, and get on with being content with what I had.

I have learnt that yeah, I did try, reasonably hard. It's not my "fault" (That doesn't necessarily place the blame on Mrs M, I'm just saying that I don't blame myself [or the stars ;)] for having arrived here).

I've learnt a lot about myself too. Who I am, how I see things. That's a little odd in some ways, because it's a slightly funny thing to come to terms with and acknowledge who you are ;)

Going forwards, I want to continue being honest and open. And rambly ;) I'm thinking I might start trying to act more on instinct and impulse too, but I'm not really sure about that yet ;)

Thank you all so very much.

Your support, friendship, cheerleading skills, insight, humour, stories, thoughts, listening ears, and sometimes quick mouths have been a true pleasure to have and know :)
I have no idea where I would be today were it not for this blog. Perhaps I would still be at home with my wife. Perhaps at home, with my wife, and lonely.

Thank you. Thank you all :)
Additional, 19/01
I was awful tired and mind wasn't thinking entirely straight by the time I finished that last night, but I really wanted to get it up for yesterday :) I don't think I conveyed quite everything I wanted to, but that's my own fault for leaving it too late :)
I think this time last year I was afraid because I didn't know where I would be a year from then.

Now? I am positive and hopeful, because I do not know where I will be a year from now :)

Friday, January 12, 2007


I spent a while searching Google and YouTube for this comedy sketch I can remember, but I couldn't find it. All shall become clear at the end :)

Now, some brief background before this post really gets going. I hadn't really thought to "put a label on it" before last year, but I'd probably call myself agnostic. I decided last year, directly as a result of my blog and the people I have met through it (most notably Hanni and Annie), I decided to at least think about God and stuff. I can see what He does for people to a large degree, and whilst I was more than sceptical, I figured I'd at least learn about it and think about it. Now, let's be honest here, I think everyone can admit there are some Christians who are at least just a little 'nutty' ;)

Well, interestingly, it turns out they're not all as bad as you might think ;) Why, some of them seem almost normal ;) (Hey, who would want to be completely normal anyway? That's just dull :) )
I joined the Christian forum that Hanni had endorsed, and whilst it got a little duller after she left, I kept hanging around. I have even got to know several people I would call friends there :)

Now, I *think* that's enough background for this to have some meaning. Here is a copy of a post I made there on Tuesday.

This is the post I almost did not make. This is the post I had been thinking about making for weeks, but until today, it did not have meaning.

This is the post that was almost a goodbye.

I registered on F&FF back in July. I am not a Christian, and I did not come here to seek God. I would call my registration, and decision to continue to hang around, a combination of coincidence, luck, noseyness, and friendship. Others may call it something else.

In my months here, I have remained active (albeit 'actively lurking' in the main forum) - I read some threads, I occasionally comment, and I think about things. Most of all, I can be found in chat, where I would say I have made several friends. It is my friendships with Christians that have helped to keep me here, and to continue thinking about it.

Today, those same friendships almost drove me away.

I had been thinking about it recently. For all that I have learnt in my time here, all that I now understand that I did not before, it is all in my head. It is the heart that is most important in these matters, and for all the good I can see with my head, my heart has not yet chosen to follow. I think this is because for all the understanding I have in my head, it still picks up on the details.

Sometimes, someone will say something, and, not having a Bible, I would go and look something up on For every question this answers for me, two more are raised. And this is my fear. That if I were to buy & read the Bible, I would find that it would push me away, not pull me in.

Earlier today, I happened across this thread: "Unequally Yoked".

To read this, as an unsaved non-believer, call me what you will... It hurt.

I continued to think about it for the next hour or two. I had little choice in the matter. During my lunch hour (I ended up not having any, but fortunately my colleague was out having his), the full force of some things hit me. I cried.

I believe in my heart that I am a good person. I believe this, because I try to be. I am not perfect, but I try to be all that I can be. From the start since I started thinking about it, it has always bothered me that, no matter how much of a good person I try to be, Christianity says that I will go to Hell. You may find it odd that this bothers me if I don't believe in it, but I don't think anyone would want to see themselves as going to Hell in the eyes of another.
But I hadn't thought too much about that bit in a while. Thinking about this thread though... I realised that (IMO) it's worse than that. In many ways, I am 'worse' now I understand more, than I was when I first came here. For every day that I continue to deny God, Christians should see me as evil. But I'm not evil! But to a Christian, if I am looking the facts in the face, and continuing to deny them, that should make me evil.

I thought of my friends here. I wondered what they thought of me. I could think of only three possibilities:
1. They think I'm evil
2. They believe that God is calling to me, and that one day I will listen (technically, that may put this in category 1 or 3 still, but I think I'll ignore that little quibble)
3. They do not think I'm evil

Now, ok, "evil" may have a different meaning to some people than I am thinking, but, whatever it is, if I look the facts in the face and deny them, I know that that should put me way down the list of how people should feel about me.

Now, I'll assume that with regards to my friends, 1 is not true.

For the most part, if not completely, I think most of my friends would go for option 2.

But, I wondered, for how long is this going to happen for? How long am I going to continue learning and finding more questions and denying that which I should see? When does 2 turn into 3? And if they begin to think 3, does that mean I have corrupted them? I understand what my friends believe, and I would want nothing but for them to grow in faith, not to lose it. But, as I have thought every time I have tried to help my friends here with any problem in the past, you know what they say about "good intentions". When might more harm come than good?

I felt that, until I felt different in my heart, I should leave F&FF, or I would risk damage to the faith of my friends and those I care about. I do not want that. I cried some more.

I told my boss I had a headache and went home from work - I very rarely miss any work. I went through the same thoughts, I arrived at the same conclusions. I cried some more.

I recently saw someone wonder why a nonbeliever would pray. If you can figure out the bit of logic behind this, I'd appreciate someone letting me know... As I lay on my bed and cried, I heard myself say, "I'm sorry I don't believe in You". And that's true - I am, and I don't. Just don't ask me who I was talking to :)

I began writing, and rewriting, a combination of "Goodbye" posts, and "Do you think I should leave?" PMs to people I felt may be unbiased (e.g. those who hardly know me).

At some point, as I wrote, I thought about my concern that if I were to get a Bible, it would do me more harm than good in these matters.

And then I thought... I don't know that yet though - I haven't given it that chance. I should do that before I make this decision.

And so I found myself, at 4:45pm, when I assume the shops close at 5pm, getting in to my car, to go and buy a Bible - if the shops are still open. "Let's get this over and done with, so I can know one way or the other," I thought.

Seventeen minutes later, I was in the car again. In that time I had arrived at town, parked, bought a parking ticket, ran down three flights of stairs from the car park, walked to the book shop, chosen a Bible, paid for it, walked back, ran back up three flights of stairs, and sat back in my car. There must be some sort of record there ;)

So I arrived back home with my Bible. I had glanced at a webpage about translations very quickly beforehand. The gist of it seemed to be that some are easier to read, whilst others are more accurate. In the end, I had chosen by a combination of picking a translation that I had heard of, and what I thought looked most like what I was expecting in a reasonable format. So, I have.. err.. let me look... a New International Version, with "Discover the Bible Section". Oh, and British text ;)

And I sat down in my chair, I put my Bible down beside me, and I began to.. Well, eat a packet of crisps actually (that's "potato chips" to the Americans) :) Hey, it was gone 5 by now, and I hadn't eaten all day :)

As I munched, I contemplated what I was about to do, and I thought about what I knew I was supposed to do at this point. So I did it. I put my crisps down, and I prayed. On the occasions that I do pray, it's always a little rambly and informal, but I try to say what I think. I did so here. I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was long these lines:
"Look God, I'm sorry I don't believe in you" (lol, yes, I have said that a few times, I still don't get the logic there), "I'm sorry I don't believe in you, and I'm sorry I find it difficult to not question the Bible. But, I'll try to be open as I read this. ... Well, I guess nobody does it on their own, that's the point. ... I'll try to be open, if You will try to help me be open too. Read with me, and help me to be open. Amen."

And I finished my packet of crisps. I went to pick up my Bible. I put it back down. I looked at the seat next to me. I picked up my jumper, the half-eaten bag of cheese straws, a couple of sweet wrappers waiting to go to the bin, and I cleared the seat. I looked up.
"Come, sit with me while I read."
I had decided a symbolic gesture may help.

And so we come to the point where I picked up my Bible and opened it. And, let's face it, I needed a miracle to have a sudden change of heart. As I would expect, that miracle did not occur...

This is what I read:
(Ecclesiastes 9)
2 All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, [a]the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
As it is with the good man,
so with the sinner;
as it is with those who take oaths,
so with those who are afraid to take them.

3 This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. 4 Anyone who is among the living has hope [b] —even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

And I realised... I may not have had a sudden revelation today. I may not have one tomorrow, or this year, or this decade. But as long as I am alive, there is always hope.

I flicked back and forth around that page a bit to get some context, but nothing else leaped out at me. So I decided to come back here, and not to write a Goodbye post.

Well, there you go, that's all I can tell you of where I am. Ironically enough, I genuinely have developed a headache by now. Oh, and in case you wondered, no, I'm really not normally this emotional, but I'm going through a bunch of other stuff at the moment that tends to amplify everything else, so between that and thinking I should walk away from my friends... Well, you know :)
I still have the same concerns about really reading it, but until then, I'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Phew! What a day.

Buying that Bible was, I must admit, almost a bit embaressing.

I remembered seeing a comedy sketch years ago (I couldn't find it on YouTube - I think it was from Not The Nine O'Clock News [YouTube here, or here], or Smith & Jones, or Fry & Laurie, or something like that) where someone walked into a chemist and was happy for the whole shop to hear he wanted to buy condoms, but was dreadfully embarassed to be buying some paracetamol (or something), and I had amusing visions of doing this:
"Certainly Sir, what translation?"
"Any, the extra large one with the full-colour photographs."

[purile snickering]

But it's strange, isn't it? Of everything I've written above (it was a very long and emotionally intense day), it's the religion that's kind of the embarassing bit. But, that's partly exactly why I wanted to blog it here too :)

I know I can be good at understanding stuff, and I know I can be good at explaining stuff. I can, sometimes ;), make something complicated make sense. I've never "disbelieved" in God, and I think I'm likely to come at the end of all this with a greater belief in something. I'm still not sure it will resemble much of Christianity (I struggle with the Jesus part, which is kind of important ;) but I'm trying not to think about that right now), but that meant I worry about being able to potentially change what someone else believes without even intending to. I'm not so worried about causing someone to lose faith as enough people have pointed out that that wouldn't be my fault (not that I'd want to be a 'trigger') that I can understand it. But...

I just don't really want to change what (or how?) people believe in what they believe, in a way that they (and what they believe) would not be happy with.

So I thought perhaps I should walk away from some of my friends there then. Take that danger away from them.

I think I couldn't really deal with the thought of walking away from more people that I know care about me. Not at the moment. And so, that thought became an ugly trigger. Ugly, if you must know, with all my nose-blowing and tears streaming uncontrollably down my face.

Funny the way these things can come out.

And, after a terrible night last night, I really meant to go to bed earlier today. Not 2am again. Gah. You know, ignoring even the experience, simply the time spent writing these two posts (the 'embedded' one, and this surrounding one), I think I must have spent at least four-five hours writing. Blimey.

Well, on that note, there's probably more I feel I would/should/could say, but I think it's time for bed.

Comments, opinions, beliefs, disbelief, money, sausages, or anything you feel like, welcome in response to this post. If you've had some thoughts while reading this, go ahead, post them. The input will be interesting :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

It Snowed In 2005

Exactly one year before our wedding, boy, did it snow!

It was quite strange. The day before was just 'average' weather, the day after was 'average' weather and the snow was melting. But that day with exactly one year to go, it came out of nowhere and was inches thick!

It did make us wonder what the weather would be like on that same day one year later. As it happens, on that same day in 2006, it didn't snow. It was more than a little nippy, but there was a gloriously blue sky. We were lucky, it was a lovely day :)

I thought I'd make use of the time I had yesterday, particularly given the reasons I had ended up having it, so had decided to watch our wedding video to see if it 'forced' anything out.

Mostly, I watched it with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. Not too far removed in some ways from how many would watch a wedding (Externally, I think that's how it would have appeared).

I even watched my speech. It was poor. Very poor.

I do not really like to be reminded of it. There are more silent gaps than there are words, and there are more "erms" than there are words. This is 'disappointing' and embarrassing in itself for me, however I think the real difficulty for me is considering the cause for this.

Because I think the reason is, the closer our wedding drew, the less I liked to think about it. The first time I did any genuine preparation for my speech was to make a few notes... Very late at night, on the final night before the wedding. People to thank, and some things to mention. Nothing structured, just notes.

I decided I'd get back to it a little more the next day. Believe it or not, things have a habit of being quite busy on your wedding day, and I never found that opportunity ;)

I figured I'd at least have a chance to review my notes during the meal or something... Until just before then I found out just before we sat down for it, that Mrs M's Dad wanted to do them before we ate. Ah.
Listening to... my Father-In-Law's speech, I decided to not even say half of what I had thought about the night before. His speech was quite short, and to the point, and I felt that I didn't want to ramble on. On the other hand, all the more reason to do so ;) Especially as my Best Man had managed to completely wangle his way out of making one ;)
So, I didn't get my notes out, and I tried to just say the thank yous.

It's embarrassing, it really is.

So, anyway, a bit of a mixed reaction as I watched the whole thing back - as you'd expect - but nothing strong.

Nothing to come close to what I went through the day before (i.e. Tuesday just gone), and that was so very random :)
I've already written the events of that day down, but I need to add some introductory ramble for the sake of my blog, and I may go back over what I wrote and do an 'analysis' of my thoughts too. Anyway, I'll try to do that later today, as that's what I'd wanted to get blogged up yesterday :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Date with My Wife

I had a date with my wife on Saturday. I didn't think of it as that, but other people called it that, and then I figured "Well, I suppose that's what it is" :)
I'd have blogged about it sooner, but I, err, didn't ;) Some people have already come nosing up to me to get any gossip that was to be had, so blame them ;)

Right now, it becomes an issue because I think, "Oh, I wanted to blog about that", and I have something else I want to blog, but I don't feel I should blog that until I've blogged this. Phew. Got that? ;)

We'd picked a place to go (nowhere all that special, but somewhere). When we got there, it turned out it had closed :) I hadn't thought up a specific "Plan B", beyond "Oh well, if it's closed we'll just go somewhere else". That sort of thing doesn't really bother me, but my wife's not a fan. It's like getting lost to a degree. I mean ok, so even if you do get lost and have no idea where you are, it's not like you're going to suddenly spend the rest of your life there. You can always find your way back home sooner or later.
Feel free to either take that at face value, or to extend it to a deep and meaningful philosophical level ;)

Under the circumstances, it went reasonably well. I had been a little apprehensive before hand other whether it would feel too pressured or stressful, but it seemed ok. Even talking about how we had both been doing went reasonably well.

Before Christmas, I knew she'd not been doing terribly well. Certainly, I may have said, she had asked me in general not to ask how she was doing - under the circumstances, it can (quite reasonably) provoke a "How do you think I'm doing!?" sort of response. Anyway, she said back then she was quite often having takeout food, and on the occasions that she hadn't done, she was tending to just plain not eat.

It sounds like she handled Christmas and New Year reasonably well (under the circumstances), although she said she almost cried when it took me several hours to respond to a txt she sent on Christmas Day. I hadn't been awake when she sent it, and when I did see it, I didn't remember to reply as I was running around getting ready... and then eating... and then opening pressies... so it was a little while before I remembered ;)

She said she something inside her had 'clicked' a bit recently, and that she had got on top of things. She'd got bored of ready meals (hence the takeout), but she has started to try to cook a little now. Although she did say she'd "only" had takeout twice since she got back, and I thought given she had only been back four nights that sounded quite a lot ;) (But didn't say that - she seemed happy).

She said it was my buying the earrings that had helped her to 'click'. She had always felt that with my wanting to buy proper furniture and stuff here, it felt like I'd already made up my mind. The earrings (which she was wearing) (w-earring? - sorry, sorry) were a thoughtful present, and she thought it didn't seem like something you'd get someone if you thought you wanted to get away from them. I reminded her that I have not made a decision in either direction.

In terms of how I'm doing, I was honest about that too. Reasonably well. At this time, I don't feel I have missed her much.

So, potentially a bit of a kick in the teeth there, but overall, the evening still went fairly well.

What I think about her when she's not here is one thing. I do need to continue to see her sometimes, in ways like this, and think about how I feel when I *am* with her too, though.
At this time, I'm not really sure what that feeling is. It didn't feel as 'bad' as before, or only just after, we were seeing each other a bit before I moved out. It didn't feel wrong, but it also didn't feel right.
That's the best I can tell you at this time.

Speaking of which... I'm off sick from work today. I'm not actually sick, but I'll explain how I arrived at this point later. Right now? I think I'm going to go watch our wedding video. lol, I have *no* idea what *that* is going to bring out ;)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

If 2007 Remains This Busy...

...It'll be a bloody busy year ;)

First of all, Happy New Year to you all. I realise technically that's a little late, but I think I've already said it to most in one way or another, so my apologies if this is the first time you've heard it from me :)

I did nothing of any real interest on New Year's Eve, which is good, because that's pretty much what I wanted to do :) I just wanted a fairly quiet one really. Now, despite having said it was of no real interest, I'll give a quick summary anyway. Prepare for off-the-scale excitement, then ;)
I felt a little down early/mid evening, after I remembered that it marked pretty much eight years to the day that Mrs M and I had effectively first expressed an interest in exploring what was between us, and just thought about all sorts of stuff in general really. But, enough of that, I had a shower, went for a short walk (in about my first week here, I found a slightly raised bit nearby, with a bit of a view over the town - nice spot for random contemplative thinking), and came back feeling far more positive :)
As midnight ticked over, I sat alone, nobody around in real life, no conversation in progress online, and nobody on the phone. Which was great, because that was exactly what I wanted :) I'd pondered it in the days leading up to NYE, and decided I didn't want to make that 'commitment' to anyone.
I read Ing's post about uncertainty with interest, having already decided that I was effectively seeking that uncertainty. Let's take this year one step-at-a-time, and see where I end up.

I spoke for a short while on the phone with both my family and then with Mrs M a little after midnight.

Yesterday marked two years since I proposed to Mrs M. It seems strange to think it's not even a year since we got married, and here I am now. Strange, or silly perhaps, but not something I regret. Better here for the moment, than elsewhere but unhappy. On a day-to-day basis at the moment, I would say I am content. Satisfied with my current lot in life, perhaps, until I know where I'm headed from here.

Today is Mrs M's birthday.

And, just to throw in a few more things for her to think about (just in case she doesn't already have enough), it's not just her birthday. That's right, it's her 30th birthday. Just what she needs right now, I'm sure ;)

She just got back from her parents yesterday (she went up there before I finished work, and came back after I started - pff, it's alright for some! ;) ), and she's popping over to mine this evening. We did discuss going out for a meal, but then she remembered she has a therapist appointment this evening, so may reschedule for the weekend.

I have bought her a book and some earrings. I think for 'significantly number' birthdays, you want something 'lasting'. Of course, I'm sure all she would really want is her husband back. I need to be very careful with contact and presents and stuff - not to give her the wrong idea, or that I am leaning back in her direction or anything. It's a fine line I'm trying to balance on.

It's difficult though. It's still early yet, but based on my general feeling of contentedness, I would be inclined to suspect that I could lean the other direction at the end of this. But, at the same time... She's My Mrs M, and I care about her, and I want to do stuff that makes her happy. And that to an extent will always be true. But if I'm not leaning in her direction, all I'll do is hurt and confuse her.
Anyway, as I said, you can see why it's a careful balancing act.

Still, I'm doing ok in general as I said, I just thought I'd keep you all updated :) Right, now, I have to stop pissing about and get on with some work ;)

Busy busy...