Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Old Donny Norfolk

Nope, I'm still not dead ;) I've been musing the last post. It's one of those things where I've been thinking I'd like to say something to explain what happened since then (Summary: :) ), but I haven't really worked out what.

Anyway, it's not likely to be within the next few days - early tomorrow (Wednesday) morning I'm off up to Doncaster with my boss to demo our progress with an application we started writing this month to a new client.
Wednesday evening, rather than heading back home, it's off to a hotel in Norwich so that I'm ready for a Speed Awareness Course that begins at 9:30 in the morning (taking it elsewhere, it seems, was not an option) Incidentally, I did 36mph - I think that the option of doing a course instead of getting points is a great idea, and shows an effort to genuinely improve safety - unlike someone in my office who seems to think that all of the police are out to get you. This has sparked more than a few debates ;)
Myself and another colleague both looked at him slightly gob-smacked as he told the story of one of his mates who "didn't do anything wrong, except speed a bit, doing 100+, but perfectly safe! I mean he was dodging the police stingers and everything, it was only them chasing him that caused a problem! Only stopped because he ran out of petrol."

Aaaaanyway :)

Back in a few days. :)

Monday, January 14, 2008



Irony is thinking back to Saturday, to the big row with your girlfriend. Irony is mentally going back over the events of the day, trying to analyse your behaviour and what she told you. Irony is trying to isolate what behaviour it is that leads to these bouts. Irony is trying to stop thinking of things that you could ask her to do differently, and trying to establish what you can do differently.

Irony is remembering back, plucking out the constructive from the unconstructive, seeking for the lessons she may have imparted upon you.

Irony is recalling the one point made more than any other.

Irony is hearing that phrase over and over again, repeated as 'though stuck in a loop.

And above all? Above all, irony is remembering that "you just don't listen!"

That's the bit that made me chuckle. I used to find writing to be somewhat therapeutic, and it could help me to work things through in my head. So, I write this as much for me, as I do for you. This is the bit which, I hope, may help me to process this information in a useful manner.

This, I believe, seems to be Quna's single biggest consistent complaint against me.

And, and I'm letting you in on a secret here... I don't understand why.

You see, this is (what I perceive as) a common weakness in many men. I know people like this. They don't listen to their other halves because they don't care about what they're saying. This is something I decided, many many years ago, to try to do differently (along with always putting the toilet seat & lid down).

I do care. And because I do care, I try very hard to listen.

So I am actually quite upset to keep being told this (and have told Quna this many times). But it leaves me not actually understanding what this problem is, nor what to do about it.

I wonder if it's actually a small wodge of things together that get lumped under this generic heading of "not listening":
- Genuinely not remembering something (E.g. I talked before about The Christmas Run-Around for a bottle of champagne - Christmas Eve morning I went to Quna with a pen and paper and asked her for the name of the champagne. "You see! This is what I mean when I say you don't listen!" - I can tell you why she wanted champagne, I can tell you why it's special to her on Christmas and how this tradition started. I had never bought champagne before in my life and simply couldn't remember the name from the day before)
- Mis-understanding something. After all, we all make mistakes sometimes.
- Having listened and understood what she has said, the ultimate crime - disagreeing. This goes along with other top problems I have - "you always have to have your own way" and "you always disregard my opinions". Again, I find I struggle somewhat with this one, as I do try to be open, to discuss things, and to find a compromise. Of course, the fact that I try to discuss these things comes back to "having my own way", as Quna would sometimes prefer not to discuss what-ever it is at all, thank you very much, and my desire to discuss it is an example of my disregarding her opinions.


New relationships are just a minefield of fun, eh? ;)

My way of attempting to deal with an angry Quna who is shouting at me for some reason is still evolving. In the beginning when she began to question some of the qualities I hold dearest to myself it was just plain distressing and could sometimes reduce me to tears ("stop being whiney!"). As I try to establish how best to respond to defuse these situations, I find I am fast running out of options. I have tried to remain calm, to talk gently ("that just makes me feel more stressed!"). At the moment, I seem to be in a phase of responding to her in a fairly similar manner (it's been a lot of years since I've really shouted at someone), and try making the random digs to her as she does to me ("stop trying to score points!") (although I have tried to avoid the name-calling and the impressions).

I fear that at some point, the ultimate solution to these problems, the ultimate cure to arguments, and the ultimate irony, may finally, unwittingly, unknowingly arrive.

To simply stop listening.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Merry & Happy

I find myself having had a merry Christmas, and I am looking forward to a happy new year.

There are, of course, always less fortunate individuals. This year I seem to have had reminders from many around me as to just how unfortunate these things can be.

Allow me please to start with the slightly 'mixed' news brought to us by Northern Monkey, whose sister left her husband (a John Simm look-alike, apparently) of five years (and partner of ten) earlier this year for a married father of two.
As the new twist in the tale became known to Ms. Monkey on Boxing Day, I hope she managed to get enough sleep. Or vodka.

I remember AnnieSeed and of wishing her hope in 2007, let alone 2008.

My boss, meanwhile, has discovered that he has exertional angina. Of the four arteries to his heart, two are apparently 90% blocked, and the other two 70% blocked. Apparently the doctor is amazed that he can even stand up - we assume this must be due to his general good health - he still plays (well, until recently) Friday Night Football, and still loves to go for a good hard run during the more pleasant months.
He is booked in now for a quadruple bypass.

Today, January 2nd 2008, marks three years since I proposed to my wife. Tomorrow her birthday. This week, I plan to read back over a letter from my solicitor to try to make a decision as to whether to pursue divorce or annullment.

I logged in today to a forum of which I am a member. A thread caught my eye - a tribute to a member. "Is this silly?" I wondered, "Or serious?"
Serious, it would appear. A separate thread marked a note from the member's husband that she had died that day.

December 31st. The end of the year. And the end of employment for my redundant colleague, with whom I have worked for five years. He leaves us with no new job prospects as yet, and a partner at home who cannot stand nor sit for more than 30 minutes without needing to lay down afterwards. Despite more time at the hospital than I have had holiday, and more of their own time spent researching it than I have played Oblivion, still nobody knows what is wrong with her.
Still, despite m'colleague being almost twice my age, I suggested that we all went to the pub for lunch. I bought both his lunch and his pint, but more proud was I of the fact that I overcame my inhibitions before he left that day to initiate a quick, manly hug.

Meanwhile, a friend of a friend prepares for a disciplinary meeting at work over trivialities, in spite of what seems to me to be the whole department singing their praises.

My other boss had family over for Christmas day. His brother-in-law felt ill, and went back to bed even before the turkey. Eventually, the paramedics were over. "Man flu," I am told they diagnosed.

He died an hour later.

To all who must suffer pain at this time (or any other), I hope that the words "merry" and "happy" do twist, do not sour, do not leave twinges of hurt and regret.

Sometimes, perhaps, the darkness can seem so blinding that the light cannot be seen.

I would like to say something inspiring. Something stirring, something to make the bad things seem better, something to turn this post around, to produce smiles over sorrow.

Sadly, no such words seem to appear before me.

No matter how small or large our problems, may we all find things to bring us comfort, may we find the things that we love, and the people that love us right there, whenever we need them, no matter the reason.

We all have our load to bear, but no matter how you may feel your load compares to that of another, it does not matter. Comparing problems may make them feel smaller, less important, but that does not mean they weigh less to ourselves.
I hope simply that you have the things and the people around you to help you bear their weight.

All who read this, my readers, my friends, my family, no matter how it may seem to start or end, I wish you all again a very happy new year.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Hope you all had a good Christmas and begin the new year well.

May 2008 bring us all a step closer to whatever our dreams may be.

That's not the month of May, you understand. Well, it could be. I'm not saying it's NOT the month of May that will bring us... erm... Happy New Year ;)