Saturday, 18 September 2010

Thank You

I haven't posted for a little while and I think that this is set to become a longer while. I'm running low on blogging material, plus real life is moving towards a busy and complicated point. I think I'll still find some time to read and comment on the blogs which I've been following, so I'll still be around. Often I think that I'm more suited to commenting than to posting anyway! Thank you all for reading and commenting - I apologise for the abrupt halt.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Secret Santa of Blogging

The enterprising and thoughtful Life Begins at 30ty came up with the inspired idea of a Secret Santa of Blogging - putting names in a hat and suggesting blog topics for our assignee. One of the suggested assignments which I received was "Write about an experience that made you wiser" and the following memory quickly sprang to mind.

*Warning: this story may cause wincing or cringing!*

I've always liked to think of myself as an agile, athletic person. As a kid I enjoyed climbing trees - even falling out of one once didn't put me off for long. As a young man I no longer climbed so many trees but tried to make up for it in other ways. One of my favourite feats involved any kind of wall or railing up to around three feet high - I could run at it and jump and balance on the top before jumping off the other side, all without using my hands.

One day I was walking towards a road with three-feet-high railings along the side to dissuade people from crossing too close to the traffic signals. The light was soon to change but I knew I could make it across the road if I jumped the railings. My over-confidence had reached the point where I didn't even bother taking my hands out of my pockets as I ran up and jumped.

Somehow on this occasion I misjudged. Instead of landing cleanly on top of the railing, my foot hit the top edge. My momentum swung me over and down. With gravity contributing too, the ground reached me incredibly quickly. The first part of me to make contact with the road was my mouth.

I'd always dreaded the idea of breaking a tooth - I even used to have dreams about my teeth falling out in clumps of two or three. Never mind the blood pouring from my face or the fact that I was in the middle of a road - my first thought was to feel my teeth. Confirmed: front left tooth broken clean in half. I had just managed to make one of my nightmares come true. At that moment it felt like nothing would ever be the same again.

As the lights changed I climbed back over the railings (using my hands this time) and then just stood on the pavement watching the blood drip into my hands. I really didn't know what to do. Some kind people came over to me and sat me down and insisted on calling an ambulance, even though I kept saying there was no need - most of me was fine, and they wouldn't be able to fix my teeth! But the ambulance came anyway. The medic agreed with my self-diagnosis that only a dentist could save me now (he might not have used those same words) and dropped me off near my house. I went in and looked in a mirror. Wow, what a mess. My other front tooth had been smashed further back into my mouth, and my nose and lips were a dark red mess.

It took six or seven dental appointments to reconstruct something roughly resembling what I'd had before. Each time I had to have temporary caps fitted. After one visit something went wrong with the caps and they kept slipping half-off. I actually went to a job interview during this time and probably kept feeling my teeth with my tongue to see if they were still there. Somehow despite this I still got the job!

It took time and patience, but gradually normality returned. My nose and lips healed and my final replacement teeth have been going for nearly eight years now (although I still won't bite some foods just in case.) I look back on this experience as having made me wiser in two ways. First the obvious: be a bit more careful when leaping around! But second: some nightmares can be survived through. Some damage can be healed.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Blog Award

International Woman of Mystery at An International Affair has very kindly passed on a blogging award to me:

In order to accept the award I have to:
•Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.
•Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five (5) words.
•Pass it on to 10 other blogs which you feel have real substance.

Well, thank you very much, International Woman of Mystery! Your blog is fun and interesting and exciting and I'm happy to be following the journey. I hadn't actually thought very much about what I wanted my blog to be - I'd started reading other people's blogs and wanted to comment but didn't want to be an anonymous enigma. The experience of sharing thoughts in this way has been Fascinating, Uplifting, Thought-provoking, Informative and kind of Addictive!

I'd been thinking of writing a post to thank all of the bloggers I've encountered for being so welcoming and friendly. This is an ideal occasion to give special mention to the ten blogs and bloggers who have been most instrumental in my experience so far:

Lifebeginsat30ty at Life Begins at 30ty - she not only has a great blog of her own split between two countries; she also organised a Secret Santa blogging experiment for her fellow bloggers, and I was very lucky to have her supportive comments on my blog right from the start. I really appreciate it!

Little Miss Angry at Love Me Knot - I arrived at her blog at a time of Jake Gyllenhaal lookalikes and farting discussions! But other posts have given us a glimpse of deeper stories and complicated situations still unfolding...

Larissa at thoughts simply arise - Larissa thinks a lot and writes beautifully about the results. Her blog is thought-provoking and inspiring on every topic it touches on.

"Just Sayin...." at "Just Sayin...." - she's not afraid to tell it like it is come rain or shine, which really lets us readers into her world - to the extent where her Followers list is labelled "My Stalkers"!

Snafugirl at snafu - of the ten most amazingly crazy exploits I've read, Snafugirl must account for at least nine of them. Luckily for us all, the woman behind the legend has the skill to bring her stories to life for us grateful vicarious livers.

Something She Dated at Something She Dated - she has a great quirky sense of humour and a truly unique writing style which is infiltrating my own vocabulary! Her blog is total Awesome Sauce.

Catherine at Simply Solo: Single girl starting over - almost as new to blogging as me, but ten times more talented - she tackles the topics of dating with consummate ease and engages her readers wonderfully.

KayDee at nailing Jell-O to the wall! - currently blogging without her partner in crime, but she hasn't let that stop her from posting some very well-written and thoughtful explorations of issues both in dating and in life.

CrystalSpins at Everybody Wants Some - a great mix of dating stories and advice to those who need it, including the kind of self-pitying nice guy which I once might have been.

Lucky Girl at how very lucky to be a girl - last but not least: the one which started my whole blogging journey. An ostensibly unrelated Google search landed me in a fascinating world of dating tales and I've been hooked ever since.

I'd like to say a massive thank you to all of you and to everyone else with whom I've crossed paths in our patch of the blog world - I'm glad to have arrived here!


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Mutually Exclusive (Part 2 of 2)

My first three dates with Mutually Exclusive had been fun-filled and gradually more kiss-filled, but I'd felt hampered by an unfortunate lack of sleep and this had prompted me to shorten dates two and three. I'd then caught up on sleep and was very much looking forward to date four and got the vibe that she was too. There was one fly in the ointment: she had mentioned that she would be busy for one week following our upcoming Thursday date. But I had high hopes for our date being good enough to carry us through that week.

After work on Thursday I headed to her place. We kissed and chatted as we made dinner together. After dinner, more chatting and kissing in front of the television. But then came a change of pace: she said that she didn't want anything other than kissing to happen that night. She still wanted me to stay the night but just to hold each other and kiss and nothing further.

It did feel kind of like she was abruptly putting the brakes on after having urged quicker progress on the previous date - I'd got the feeling that she'd wanted to go further just two nights before. Was this a test? Or was that a test? I was confused. But I reasoned that I would rather come across as too cautious than too pushy, so I took the opportunity to be the perfect gentleman - I gracefully accepted her request and held her and kissed her as we went to sleep with underwear still firmly in place.

The next morning, before we went our separate ways, she was at great pains to reiterate that she would be busy for the whole of the next week. And by busy, she meant no time for any contact at all. She said that her family were coming to stay. I didn't really understand why that would leave her unable to even send an occasional text, especially as we were now dating exclusively (and she'd been the one pushing for that status just a week earlier.) But I was still in gentleman mode and accepted the situation without pushing her for further explanation. She kissed me goodbye and was gone.

For the next seven days I respected her instruction not to try to contact her in any way and, sure enough, heard nothing back either. Seven days became eight days, nine days. On day ten I sent her a lighthearted text. No response. On day eleven I sent her a less lighthearted text indicating that I really wanted to talk. Several hours later she finally called me. She said that she had continued to be busy after her family had left and she just hadn't had time to contact me. She apologized but also said that she had more busy times coming up and wasn't sure when she could fit me in. This from the woman who'd said "What's wrong with tomorrow?" when I asked for our fourth date to be two days after our third!

I let her know that I wasn't happy to be seeing somebody so rarely after agreeing exclusivity. I said that I wanted to see her more often if things were going to work out. She said that she'd try to sort something out and she'd be in touch soon.

And she was in touch the next day - sending me the following email:


Hope you are well and happy. Been thinking about us dating some more and i can't really see it going any where. It seems we aren't as compatible as i thought we would be in the beginning. I don't know what your veiws are on this but we could try and be friends although it maybe too late for that."

Hmm, OK... I guess it wasn't really out of the blue, but her choice of words threw me a bit - did she come to the conclusion that we weren't compatible during the ten days of zero contact? Oh well - I might have ended up ending things anyway if her busy times had continued.

After reading the email I saw that she was on online chat and had a brief chat with her. I said that I respected her decision and that I was up for trying being friends too, but she seemed to have changed her mind on that front - she started saying (writing) strange things about worrying that I'd be really angry at her and try to get revenge on her or something. What?? I had no idea at all where this was coming from but I readily agreed that we didn't need to stay in touch. I tried to explain that I bore her no ill will and wished her all the best. End of chat. I never heard from her again.