Sunday, July 30, 2006

Oh, fudge.

I have no concentration. No focus, no brain function -- I can barely put together a coherent sentence. He has reduced my mental capacity to unadulterated mush. I must be in love.

The Pirate came over for dinner friday (lasange, greek salad, homemade garlic bread, and strawberry shortcake if you must know). We talked, we laughed, we picked each other's brains.
Our minds fit together as beautifully as our bodies.

On saturday he had to go to a wedding. I was sorry I couldn't go with him. It was his best mate's. He was the best man. I want to meet his friends, and I wanted to see him dressed up (my god but he's handsome), and I know that he's great fun to dance with. But alas, it was not possible. Instead, I went to the fireworks display over the harbor, part of the Bristol Harbour Festival. Great fireworks. I stood in front of Lloyd's, face to the sky, laughing and gleeful at the sight of the twinkling explosions, dripping with Brizzle drizzle and my own tears, which flowed freely when they used Unchained Melody for the final number of the show. At that moment I missed him so much it hurt, and I'd only said goodbye to him that morning, and i knew i would see him again the following day.

But on saturday I had a revelation. Without revealing too many specifics (as the anonymity of the Pirate's identity is of paramount importance), i shall tell you briefly the situation that was on my mind: We are both very ambitious people. We both have strong careers ahead of us, and our chosen careers are important to our senses of self-worth and indeed our very identities. Sadly, our careers are also totally and utterly incompatible. There is no way for him to do what he does and for me to do what I do (or will do when I graduate) and for us to have a life together.

I've been asking myself if there is any point in investing myself heavily in a relationship that as far as i can tell must needs be a dead end.

Or if i would actually be willing to completely abandon my career as an academic for a man that i love.

Because lets face it, it would be me to sacrifice the career. Why is it always the woman!?!? But it would be. I do want to stay home for a few years to raise babies, so what would be the point of him quitting his job and then have me quit mine anyway for kids? But more importantly, he loves his job. I can see it in his face whenever he talks about it; he lights up like a christmas tree. I don't want him to quit. I don't want to take that from him. I would never ask a man to be less than he is for my sake. To do so would be to kill a small part of him, to deminish him in ways I can't imagine, to ruin him, if only a little bit. Like removing a pane of stained glass from a church window. No, I won't ask him to sacrifice his career.

But the same would be true of me. To give up my career I would be surrendering a small piece of myself forever. And part of that piece would be my self-respect. I would resent that i caved, that i did what i always (as the daughter of feminists) swore i would never do: give up my career for man.

But what's worse: to live without a job you love, or to live without the man you love?

Well that's obvious, isn't it?

And that's what I've been wondering: Is there any way that I can have him and keep myself, too?

That was the one thought that was preventing me from handing over my heart to him lock, stock, and barrel; the one thing that was holding me back, making me doubt the wisdom of the whole relationship.

And then on saturday I had a revelation. I saw a way out. My god, there just might be a way to pull this off. I can't tell you the details, because there would just be too many clues that might lead you back to the Pirate's identity, but I thought of a way that we can both keep our careers and build a life together. It's a long shot, and it might not work, but it's possible. More importantly, though, it's convinced me that there might be still other potential solutions that i havn't yet considered, that the situation isn't hopeless! And that's the key: now i know the situation isn't utterly irreconcilable. Nothing is impossible.

And now that i know that, the last barrier between my heart and his has crumbled to dust at my feet. Knowing that, I resolved yesterday afternoon that if (ahem, *when*) he should ask, I can answer without hesitation, doubt, or resentment.

So there I was at the fireworks, knowing for the fist time with absolute certainty my answer to The Great Unasked Question, missing him like hell. I've lost all patience.

Billy Crystal said it best in When Harry Met Sally: When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to begin as soon as possible.

Couldn't have put it any better.

He came over this morning. Got here about 10. He got on the lift and handed me a small parcel wrapped in a napkin. "I missed you last night," he said. "I brought you this." It was a piece of the wedding cake.

We came up to my room. He closed the door behind him. "Oh, and I've got something else for you."

He pulled a small box out of his pocket. It was about 2x2x2 inches, wrapped in white paper and tied with a pale blue ribbon. My heart stopped dead. This is it, I thought. I knew it. My eyes began to well up. I untied the ribbon, lifted the top of the box, fully expecting to find a small velvet box inside.

I peered in. It was a piece of fudge.

FUDGE I tell you.

"It was my favor from the wedding last night. There was one on every guest's plate. I know hoe much you love chocolate, so I saved it for you." He beamed at his own thoughtfullness.

For fuck's sake.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Slow news day

Not much to report at the mo. Not a lot terribly interesting going on.

I got to speak (too briefly) with Hendrix-Cat for the first time over the weekend, which was a treat.

The l'il pooper was having a problem with constipation, which had Vi in hysterics for 2 days, but a little KY in the bum did the trick and everything's moving along nicely now at that end. (This is the last time I will ever post anything about a baby's BMs, I promise.)

I finally took the restrictors off my windows so I can get some cool air in at night and sleep. (It was so hot in my flat I actually got heat rash on my ass.) Did the same in the kitchen. Holy air ciruculation, Batman!

Had a bit of a nasty email exchange with the Hairy Man. When I broke up with him I told him I'd pay for the French holiday we'd booked. This week he emailed me the invoice for the cancellation fee and asked me to reimburse him. I put the checque in the mail that evening; he received it the next day, and propmtly sent me an email saying he knows i'm short of cash and will therefore not cash the cheque. !!! Exasperating. He aslo said some very nasty, condescending, insulting, and hypocritical things. Not like him at all. No idea what to make of it, but it's making me feel like shit all over again, just when I was starting to get it together. Hm. Maybe that was his plan all along, who knows.

Things are wonderful with the Pirate. He phones me or texts me every night to say goodnight and send a kiss. My day isn't over until I've head his voice and know he's OK. He's coming for dinner tomorrow night. I think I'll bake a lasagne.

's about it, really. I hope your lives are more exciting, but given the disticnt paucity of fresh posts among my imaginary friends this week, i suspect we're all equally apathetic at the mo.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I'M AN AUNTIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my god I'm an auntie! I have just learned that my wonderful amazing most bestest friend of all time gave birth to her first ever baby. Meet Wally, just 1 day old!!! 8lbs, 10oz, 21" long. A big, pink, study little lad.

He's got toes!!! 10 of them! How cool is that! Aren't they adorable! (You'll note that's not acually a question. I'm not asking for your opinion on the adorability of Wally's toes, I'm giving it to you.)

Mother and son are doing fine.

Look at that hair! Have you ever seen a baby with so much hair in your life? This is a newborn! (Well, just look at mom, there. He comes by it honestly, that's fo sho.)

Wally (Big Wally, the father) and Vi have been waiting for this for a long time. Well, ok, only the usual 9 months, but it took rather a lot of effort to get to that point. They're going to make great parents. If I ever have kids, they will so be the godparents.

Sadly for me, Wally and Vi (and now L'il Wally!) live back in the states. I'm gutted that I missed the birth. Since receiving the news I've been alternating between weeping with joy for my friends and bawling with sorrow that I'm missing celebrating this with them. I'm going home in a month to visit, but I want to be there now now now! It kills me to think that I'll miss seeing him grow up. I get to be the crazy eccentric aunt, but how often? Will he even know me? I want to be a part of this kid's life. I don't just want to be some goofy half-relative that pops in for a day or two a year and gives him books that he'll never read.

This weekend I'm putting together a mix CD to send to Wally and Vi, aka mom and dad (!!!). I want to pick songs that evoke the feelings they have for their new son. It's not easy. Here's the list so far:

1. For Unto Us A Child Is Born, The Roches

2. Baby I Love You, The Ronettes

3. (Everything I Do) I Do For You, Bryan Adams

4. You're a Wonderful One, Art Garfunkel

5. Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Belinda Carslile

6. Lean On Me, Bill Withers

7. Baby Baby, Amy Grant

8. The Air That I Breathe, The Hollies

9. Have I Told You Lately, Rod Stewart

10. Good Morning Starshine, Oliver

11. From Me to You, The Beatles

12. Sunshine On My Shoulders, John Denver

13. Reach Out, The Four Tops

14. Rhythm of Life, Diana Ross

15. Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel (I don't think I've ever created a mix playlist that didn't include Simon and Garfunkel somewhere.)

16. Rock Me Gently, Ron Dante

17. Be My Baby, The Ronettes

18. I'll Be There, Jackson 5

19. Benediction, Toni Nation

20. Day Is Done, Peter Paul & Mary

Any suggestions? Love songs are good, but I don't want any that are specifically directed at a female, or are blatantly about sexual relationships. A lot of stuff that hints at sex can be intepreted in numerous ways, so as long as there's a reasonable platonic/parental reading, that's cool.

*Yeah, that's a bit over the top, but it will make Vi laugh her pants off.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The View from the Top

When you're standing on the summit of Everest, looking out across the expanse of the globe, so high you can see the curvature of the Earth and your heart is leaping and laughing within your chest, you don't need to climb every other mountain in the world to know that this is as high as it gets; you just know it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Yet another hot blogger

Too tired to work. Can barely keep my eyes open. Not getting any sleep because it's so fucking hot. I live on the 7th floor in a room with west-facing windows that only open THREE INCHES. Fucking restrictors. I know they're there to keep the depressed postgrads from comitting suicide by leaping out the windows, but the only reason anyone in my building is contemplating suicide is because it's too fucking hot because the fucking windows don't open! Argh.

Last night I laid on my bed, not moving, completely naked, fan blowing on me full force, and I was still sweating like a fat man on a Texas whore in July.

Is it October yet?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Shaving Hairy

At Frobisher's request I'm putting up one final photo of me and His Hairyness. This was taken at St. David's cathedral in Wales on our first camping trip. (You can't see them, but we're both wearing bum bags - proper tourists!) That was such a great trip. We talked about the holiday in France, about him coming to spend Christmas with my family in the States, about future camping trips we were planning. I can't believe how much has changed since then. It was only 3 weeks ago, but it seems ages and ages already. *sigh*

This is the last post I'm going to write about the Hairy Man. In a pathetic and blatantly infantile attepmt to find some closure so I can stop feeling like a piece of decomposing cockroach crap for dumping him out of the blue, I am now going to write all the things that bugged me about our relationship. These are all tiny, insignificant, niggly things that never bothered me individually, but taken in conjunction are useful for convincing myself that the relationship was doomed, would never go anywhere, and was bound to end sooner or later, therefore better was sooner. (Which is just a verbose way of saying what you all have been saying in the comments for days now anyway.) So here goes:

1. To the best of my knowledge, he never told his parents about me. Granted his parents are shits and he has little contact with them. Well, he has no contact with his father, but he does phone his mother now and again, and he mails her a postcard whenever he goes someplace, even if it's just camping for a weekend. I was sitting in the living room with him once while he was on the phone with his mum, and he was describing his plans for the day and never once mentioned that I exist or was part of those plans. When he would send a postcard from our camping excursions he would tell me to read them before he put them in the post, and there was never any mention of me. Now, if you were on holiday with a woman that you'd been seeing regularly for over 3 months, wouldn't you at least mention her name in a postcard? That's what I thought, too. Call me crazy but I get a bit paranoid when people won't admit to knowing me.

2. He wouldn't talk about his feeleings. Ever. Even on the rare occasion when I would ask. He never once told me how he felt about me, or named a single personal quality of mine that he liked or valued. (Well, not quite true. He did once say that I had "a very slappable ass." But I like having my ass slapped, so this was not insulting.) I can count the compliments he paid me on one hand. I didn't pay much attention to this either because all his actions toward me were very kind and generous, so I just dismissed it as him not being one of those verbal people. But I'm a verbal person, so it annoyed me.

3. He wouldn't come over to my place for dinner. Only once, our third date, which concluded with our first shag. After that he wouldn't eat dinner here. I could never figure out if it was my cooking or my flat that he disliked (he wouldn't say), but I love cooking for people and it really hurt my feelings that he always preferred to go out.

4. He wore really really stoopid shoes. Sketchers, with big poofy tongues, that he wore with the laces really loose and the tongues sticking out, like some 17 year old skate rat. Grow up. Buy some real man shoes. I dismissed this as unimportant because in the grand scheme of things, shoes are unimportant. (Though I suspect Hendrix-Cat will strenuously disagree with this stance. :-)

5. He was the biggest pain in the ass while shopping ever. Even for things that he genuinely wanted AND needed. We would go downtown or to the mall, try a few stores, compare a few items, he would find exactly what he wanted, and then... NOT BUY IT. For no reason. Just didn't feel like it. !?!?!? I never did figure this behavior out. He blamed it on being a Libra. Apparently that justifies his chronic indecisiveness. (You can tell I'm really groping for things to complain about, can't you?)

6. He didn't like to kiss me. He said I slobbered too much. I countered that just meant that I needed more practice, but he remained unconvinced. In just two dates I spent more time kissing the Pirate than I have kissing every other man I ever kissed - combined. He's yet to find ought to complain about. So there.

7. He didn't like the way Bluto smelled. I think Bluto smells exaclty the way a hamster should. But then, His Hairyness did genuinely have a very sensitive nose, and I know that I have a relatively insensitive nose, so it's very possible he actually was smelling things there that I was unable to detect. But still, it's bad form to insult someone's pet. Am I wrong? (We're really scraping the bottom of the barrel now!)

8. He didn't like my underwear. Well I'm sorry but considering that before I met Hairy it had been 8 years since a male viewed my underwear, my knickers drawer was stocked with comfortable cotton bikini pants, not scary hot pink glossy plastic g-string thingys that cost a fortune and are uncomfortable for more than 30 seconds at a stretch. I did purchase some lace French knickers in a variety of colors as well as a couple pairs of some really skimpy things that ride up my ass (and frankly i don't think look very sexy, but they are from the Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Panties collection and i figured they know more about these things than I do), but he wanted me to wear them all the time. He always teased me if I ever wore my comfy old cotton ones, and said that undressing a woman should be like opening a christmas present. Well, i told him you can't have christmas every day or it just wouldn't be special anymore, but I'm pretty sure he didn't believe me.

9. He complained if I didn't shave my legs or armpits. Personally, I'm of the mind that if God/nature/the universe saw fit to put hair under my arms who am i to argue? I am an advocate of looking one's personal best and keeping up good hygeine and all that, but the shaving thing has nothing to do with hygeine and little to do with looks. It's purely an artifical cultural contrivance created by the men who controlled the fashion industry in the 1940s and 50s to infantilize women. It's creepy. The onset of body hair happens at puberty. Remove the body hair and you are effectivley re-creating a pre-pubescent body, which put in a sexual context smacks of paedophilia. Until I started seeing Hairy I hadn't shaved in about 6 years, and I was very happy this way. But he said he liked smooth legs etc, and I figured it was a small thing that I could do to please him, and not an outrageous request given the current popular opinions on such matters, and so I went along with it. But I drew the line at the short and curlys. Those puppies are staying put, and I flat out refused to cave on that one no matter how much he hinted.

Jesus, was I a complete doormat and totally unaware of it? This really makes it sound like a rubbish relationship, doesn't it? How very therapeutic! I'm beginning to wonder what i ever saw in him. Keep in mind that if all this stuff annoyed me, and yet I still really liked him and had a lot of fun with him and found him to be a very generous and kind person overall that the list of things I liked about him would be a lot longer than 8 items and it would be about much more important stuff. But if I write that list I'll start crying again and the whole point of this excercise was to make me feel better. Which it has. Job done.

The Decision

Well it's the moment you've all been waiting for. Or rather, for which you've all been waiting. (I can't abide ending sentences in prepositions.)

One of the hardest things about breaking up with someone is that when you're really upset the one person you want most to comfort you is the one person you can't go to for comfort. It's horrible.

I spent most of monday morning and afternoon in tears. I feel like I've kicked a puppy.

Perhaps I should back up a bit.

I went camping with the Hairy Man and a few of his mates this weekend. Down to Croyde, which is crowded and touristy and a great place to be if you're a 19-year-old surfer. I go camping to get away from it all, not to party, hang out in a pub, and stumble home drunk. Shit, I can do that here. But whatever. I was glad that Hairy and I weren't alone; I like his friends and it was good to have other people around to act as a bit of a buffer. All weekend whenever I found myself alone for a few minutes my thoughts would wander to the Pirate and how eager I was to see him on Monday evening. And then I would rejoin the group, and His Hairyness would put his arms around me and ask "Ok, Petal?" I felt like such a monster.

I waited until after we got home on Sunday evening to have a talk with him. (I've heard of the perils of breaking up with someone while on a camping trip. I really really really didn't want to get left in Croyde. Ugh.) We went down to the local for pint, and the conversation basically went:

"I've only ever been with one person (you), and I'm not ready to limit myself yet in that way. I need be free to see other people."

*deflates slightly*

(continues) "I really like you and I really care about you, and I'd like to continue to see you; I'm just not at a point in my life where I want to be in an exclusive relationship."

*looking into bottom of glass* "Well, I don't really do the sharing thing."

So that was that. There was a bit more to it, but that's the gist. And just like that it was over. 4 months together, every single weekend, and in the space of half a pint, it was over. He didn't walk out; he waited for me to finish my Guinness and we walked home together (his home), but rapidly and in silence. He asked me if there was anything I'd left in his flat that I wanted back. I told him no, that anything I'd left he was welcome to keep.

I was in full waterworks by this point. "I hate to think I'll never see you again."

He just shrugged, as if to say "Well, that's the choice you're making, isn't it?" And then he turned and went inside. He never said a word. I think it came as quite a shock to him. Hell, it came as a shock to me and i'd been bracing myself for it all weekend.

But there was really no other way. I couldn't stay with him when I had such strong feelings for someone else. And I did need to be free to explore those feelings and see if that relationship leads anyhere. It wasn't just the Pirate, though, it was the principle. I'd been wondering for some time, well before last week, what would happen if I stayed with Hairy for 6 months, a year. I knew that eventually I would start to wonder what I'd missed, what else was out there. I'm 27 years old, but my relationship with Hairy was my first actual foray into dating as an adult. If for only that reason, it never really had any serious long-term potential. I'd been wondering this for some time, but continued to see Hairy because it was easy and familiar and comfortable. I never was in love with him, though I did love him. I just wish I'd met him at a point in my life when I was ready for the kind of relationship he wanted. The incident with the Pirate was just a kick in the ass, the incentive I needed to face reality and make the hard decision.

When I got home there was an email waiting: "Hope you're not feeling too bad with yourself. You have to live the life you wanna live and I guess some things aren't meant to be. I really enjoyed spending time with you and loved your company which brightened up my recent weekends. I hope you have fun and find what your looking for. H"

He really is a good man. I hope he meets someone wonderful who falls ass over teakettle for him in the space of minutes.

Like I've fallen for the Pirate.

(Now we're getting to the juicy bits.)

I had him 'round last night for dinner; wanted to do something nice to thank him for taking me to the ball.* And we had an absolutely lovely evening. I can now say without a shred of doubt that the feelings I had last week were not a function of the atmosphere. We hit it off incredibly well the first time we met, we had an amazing first date, and it just keeps getting better.

We were sitting on my floor playing with His Roundness the Schmuggleware. I took the opportunity to say some things I felt needed saying. I was really concerned about the impression I left, what he must think of my (obvious lack of) character/integrity. After all, he knew I was seeing someone else, and then I cheerfully hopped right into the sack with him. I told him that including last week I'd only ever been with 2 men in my life, and that i wouldn't have done what I did if I hadn't felt there was something really special taking place. And he said he felt the same way.

We continued to talk for some time, and I found him very easy to open up to. He was receptive to what I had to say, and didn't put me on the defensive at all. (A refreshing change, I must admit.) And I told him that I had ended my other relationship, a very brief synopsis of why (for personal internal reasons, not to be with him, the Pirate), and that I was free.

He brushed a piece of hair out of my face. "I'm glad."

And then he did something really remarkable: he expressed his own feelings. In words! Him, a man, communicating his feelings! HOLY SHIT! He said, "It's rare to meet such an extraordinary person" (all the while caressing my cheek). "You are the most clear-thinking woman I have ever met."


And now for the hypicrisy: After all my talk about needing to explore other options, to not limit myself too soon, to test drive other models, to shop around, etc., there's small voice in the back of my brain telling me that I may be done looking.

*The menu:
hors d'uvers: brie, crackers, fresh grapes
entree: Grilled, maple-glazed salmon steaks with spring onions
sides: Homemade cornbread, steamed asparagus, orange and avocado salad with zesty white wine dressing
bevy: cranberry juice
pud: Homemade blueberry pie a la mode
I know, I rock.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I've obviously been thinking about this whole situation a lot lately. It's kind of been at the front of my mind about 23 1/2 hours a day. And now that the initial emotional rush has quieted a bit (partly due to typing all this stuff out. it really is incredibly cathartic) I've got a somewhat better sense of my own feelings. Hearts do speak, but usually only in whispers. There must be quiet in order to hear them.

His Hairyness and I are going camping again this weekend. This time we're going with his flatmate, his flatmate's gf, and another chick, so it'll be a right party. When we get back on Sunday i'll sit him down (read: tie him to a piece of furniture so he can't run away) and have a proper conversation.

The Pirate is coming over for dinner on Monday, at which point I'll be able to clear the air a bit. I've got questions I need to ask him, things I need to tell him, etc. (I'll try to keep it from being too heavy. I don't want to scare the boy off, but after last saturday I get the impression he's not too easily scared. :-)

So by next tuesday I'll be able to give you a full report on all the goings on. I strongly suspect the majority of issues will be sorted out by then. I'm still not sure exactly what I want, but I've got a pretty good idea of what I don't want. Progress of a sort, i s'pose. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Part III: Between a sponge and a soft place

"It's Manchestering* again," I commented as I settled myself into the Pirate's car.

(Manchester, v. to drizzle pitifully, as it does every single fucking day of the year in Manchester.)

We approached a T-junction on a country back-road. The windshield wipers were squeaking.
"Clear to port?" asked the Pirate, looking out his window to the right.
I looked out my window to the left. "Clear to port, aye Sir," I responded without hesitation.
The Pirate turned at looked at me with bewilderment.
"If you didn't expect me to respond in nautical terms," I said, "Why did you ask the question in nautical terms?"
"Habit. I've just never met a woman who knew what I was talking about without me having to explain it first."
I smiled. He pulled the car out and rounded the corner to the right, still shaking his head.

When we got back to his place there were a few awkward moments of How do we keep this night going? We were both afraid of that dreaded declaration, "I'm off to bed now, goodnight." He showed me the guest room. I sat down on the desk and started chatting. Anything to postpone saying "goodnight." I asked him if he'd ever been to America.

"To New York. Would you like to see the photos I took?"
"They're on my computer." (Of course they are.)

Which was, naturally, in his bedroom. Are you guys aware that one of the best ways to cozy up to a girl under reasonably innocent pretentions is to get her to squeeze onto your desk chair so that you can both see the screen? Do they teach you this in High School? They should. It's brilliant. We were jammed together, each with one butt cheek haning precariously off the side of the chair. The Pirate put his arm around me to hold us up/together/on the chair.

We looked at the pictures. I commented that he had a good eye for composition. And then it happened. That moment. You know that moment when your eyes meet, and you know that you're going to kiss, and you know he knows it too? That moment of perfect understanding, inevitability, when you think 'This is it. Here we go." He leaned toward me slowly, agonizingly slowly. It must have been 10 minutes from the moment our eyes me to the moment our lips followed suit.

Kissing the Pirate was unlike anyone I've kissed before. (Grand total of, um, 5.) None of your random, willy-nilly, hither and thither tonge flailing. Every movment of his lips and tongue was, not so much calucated, but deliberate. It was like the difference between listening to a child bang enthusiastically on a piano keyboard because he delights in the noise, and listening to a composer at work as he trys new things, new combinations, but always with the confidence that precise knowledge of exactly how each key sounds will bring. In that way he played me. For hours and hours he played on my mouth. He composed sonatas on my neck, symphonies on my breasts.

And here I must end the continuous narrative. By now you know where this is going, how it ends, but to continue on this line, to reveal every delicate detail of the night would be to profane the memory of the experience. I won't give the minute by minute breakdown, but I will share with you these highlights:

He was wearing smaller underpants than I was. I don't know what that signifies. Probably that I need new underpants.

Mount Olympus is going to ring any minute and demand their body back, because the Pirate is blantantly walking around in what can only be the stolen body of a Greek god. You think I'm exaggering: I'm not.

More than just physically marvelous (which it was), the Pirate was completely in tune with my emotional state. He said several things to me over the course of the evening that showed he was aware of and appreciated the many sides of my personality, and liked them all. One thing in particular (I wish I could share it with you, but some things are just too intimate) I keep playing in my mind over and over. In one sentence he demonstrated that he had me completely sussed, that he saw me as I saw myself, that he saw all of me, and not just the facade. I've got friends who have known me for years who never got that far down into my psyche, and he did it in a couple hours. Almost scary.

It was full light when we finally went to sleep.

So where does that leave me now? With one hell of a dilemma. You guys know how nuts I am for His Hairyness. He's generous with his time, his affection, and his resources. He's extremely hard-working, but very chilled out; never stressed or high-strung. He's a contientious lover, great friend, and a good man -- better than I deserve.

But I'm not in love with him. We never had that chemistry, that spark. I've been with him for 4 months, waiting to see if it grows. I had intended to wait longer, at least a couple more months. We've booked a holiday together in France this September, rented a cottage for a week in Bordeaux, just the 2 of us. Uber romantic. I've really been looking forward to it.

On the other hand, the Pirate and I clearly have amazing chemistry. Or do we? That ball was one hell of a Cinderella night. Was it him? Or was it all glitter and lights, music and magic, ambiance and alcohol? Am I willing to abandon a wonderful man who cares about me for a young swashbuckler after one night of tumbling in the dinghy?

Hairy has been more kind, more giving toward me than any man in my life. I'm not willing to cast that aside lightly. But then, it's a rare thing in this world to feel the kind of deep, instant connection I felt with the Pirate this weekend; a very rare thing indeed. I'm not willing to dismiss that lightly, either.

Why did I go home with the Pirate if I care about Hairy so much? Fair question, fair reader (as Babs would say). I've been asking myself that a lot the past couple days. There were a lot of reasons of varying degrees, but the over-riding one was this: I wanted to test drive another model.

I've been with His Hairyness about 4 months now, and he's the only man I've ever been with. You lot all know that. I've been wondering about the implications of that in the long run. I knew that if we carried on much longer, eventually I would start to wonder what else was out there. Fundamentally, dating is shopping. At least is is for me. (I know different people have different views on this, but for me, it's shopping.) You wouldn't automatically go and buy the first car you drove, would you? Of course not! You might come back to it in the end and decide you liked that first one best, but to know that it was the right choice you would have to take a few others out for a spin. And that's just a goddamn car, not a life long committment!

I know what I did was underhanded and deceitful. I should have been upfront, just said that i didn't want to have an exclusive relationship, that I wasn't ready for that kind of committment. (We've never explicitly agreed to exclusivity, but after so long I think it kind of becomes understood. Maybe I'm wrong about that.) But I didn't. Partly because I'm a coward, and partly because I didn't realize how strongly I felt about the matter until I was toes to toes with another man under a disco ball. My curiosity got the better of me.

My mom was surprisingly sympathetic. I didn't get the bollocking I expected. (Not that I told her, mind. She wheedled it out me, the telepathic bitch.) "Babe," she said, "I don't blame you one bit. I was young and hormonal once too, you know. And frankly, this is not the worst problem you could have. You waited a long time for this kind of attention, and now you've got two wonderful men who are both attracted to you. Face it, kid, a year ago you'd have dug your own eye out to be in this fix. So take your time, think carefully, follow your heart, and in the meantime, go ahead and enjoy it, just a teeny bit." (Reason number 4,113 why I love my mom.)

So there you go. That's my love life for the time being: caught between an angel and a calm, shallow sea.

Go comments? Oh, yes you do!


I wrote up the ending to the story last night, but when i tried to post it blogger was being pissy. so i copied and pasted it into a wordpad doc. this morning when i went to open it, the story wasn't there. somehow i managed to duplicate episode II, which you've already read, and part III is nowhere to be found. I will re-write it tonight, but i'm afraid you'll have to wait another day for the ending. sorry. i'm no happier about this than you are. fucking blogger.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Episode II: There's a line back there somewhere. Can you see it? I'm sure we crossed a line back there.

When we left off, our heroine (dressed in a floor-length, burgundy ball gown with chiffon top -layer, beaded empire waist, and spaghetti straps) was walking out the door of a man's house, on the arm of said man, who was dressed in a tuxedo. The man was not the horoine's boyfriend.

Our heroine's boyfriend was at home, repairing the brakes on his bicycle, which had been inoperable for some months, so that he and his overly-athletic girlfriend could go cycling together. He was doing this not because he was especially keen on cycling, but because a) his flatmate had been bugging him for months to either fix the fucking bike or throw it out because it was an eye-sore, and b) he knew it would please his girlfriend. He thought of her, somewhere he knew not, at a formal ball with another bloke. He hoped she was having a good time.

So there I was, dressed to the nines, getting in the Pirate's car. I was already wondering how I could make a move without him losing whatever respect he might have had for me and declaring me a slut. I knew that if anything happened there was no way for Hairy to find out, providing I didn't tell him. You know those party games where there's a deck of cards with obnoxious theoretical questions like "If you met the most perfect man you could possibly imagine, and you knew your husband (whom you dearly love) could never ever possibly find out, would you sleep with him?" Everyone always says stupid shit like "No, because if he did find out, it would hurt his feelings and ruin our marraige," which completely evades the point of the question, that discolusure is impossible. And I always assumed such answers basically indicated that people were more concerened with being caught than with actually being guilty. And I thought such people were beneath contempt. *sigh*

The thing is, I feel slightly guilty, but I don't regret anything that happened, and if I had it to do over again, I would, without hesitation. But i'm getting ahead of myself.

We arrived, the Pirate got me a glass of rum punch and an OJ for himself. (Turns out that our Pirate does not consume alcohol. No crazy religious or ethical reasons or anything wack like that. Just doesn't like the stuff. Odd.) The Pirate didn't know many people there (and I knew none), so we hung around with our drinks and mocked the extremely cheezy theme of "Island Romance." The tents (it was outdoors) were decorated with inflatable palm trees and toucans, there were Pirates of the Caribbean posters around the dance floor, the waitstaff were dressed as pirates, and dinner was a whole roast pig and a bunch of seafood. Mostly it was pretty corny but the pig roast was good, and there was a rather attractive ice sculputre in the shape of an open clam that was the serving dish for the tropical fruit salad. There was a steel drum band playing during the cocktail hour (open bar, serving rum punch, pina coladas, sex on the beach, and a couple other fruity boozey things), and when the DJ came on there was a healthy dose of reggae in the mix. The organizers were thorough, you gotta give them that.

We found our table and introduced ourselves to the 3 other couples there, none of whom the Pirate knew. We kept having to respond to questions like "You two are such a cute couple. How long have you been married?" Nope, not awkward at all. Nice dinner though. I tried to tone down the flirting from the last time we had dined together, but I was on my 4th rum punch, and self-control was never my strong suit anyway.

After we'd finished eating there was no one on the dance floor yet, and not feeling like trailblazers, we decided to walk outside and see if the dodgems were operating yet. They were. (Other ents for the eve included several casino tables for which were were each given a stack of complimentary chips upon arrival, a video arcade of linked games so people could play against each other, and a photographer taking photos in front of a fake beach backdrop.) We hopped into the bumper cars and began attacking each other mercilessly. Jesus we had a good time. After 20 minutes of that shit I could barely catch my breath for laughing.

We decided to re-fuel at the desert buffet, which was by then open. Most opulent dessert buffet I have ever seen. We loaded our plates, and made a second trip later that night. To the Pirate's credit, he encouraged me to eat loads and loads of chocolate, emphasizing it's essential nutritive value.

By the time we finished stuffing our gobs with cream covered strawberries and every kind of chocolate cake nature ever conceived, the dance floor was looking a tad less desserted, so off we went.

Now, I'm not a half-bad dancer, but I don't usually like dancing in front of people I know. I prefer this to be a more anonymous activity because I am fully aware that the key to not looking like a twat is dance like you don't give a shit if you look like a twat. I find this mental state easier to achieve amonst strangers, call me crazy.

The Pirate was obviously of the same mind on this. He didn't have any "moves" per se, but he was fearless and fun and put me straight at ease. The music was mostly 70s and 80 cheeze, which was fine by me, and the Pirate surprised me by singing or mouthing (the music was too loud to tell which) the lyrics to all the songs. This was clearly his music, too. And we carried on like that for hours, taking occasional breaks to play on the dogdgems or the video games when he got overheated. We smiled while we danced (keeping a safe distance apart and never touching), and often met each others' eyes. When one of us would try out a different move, the other would pick it up and at times we actually looked like we knew what we were doing. Several of the older couples smiled at us in that Isn't it nice to see young people having fun way. By half one my face was hurting from grinning for so long.

The DJ put on a medley of tunes from Grease. We sang the duet parts to one another (I know I know, pure cheese), and then he put on a set from Dirty Dancing. Which of course ended with a slow song. We sort of shuffled about a bit like middle-schoolers and looked at our toes. I knew he fancied me, I knew I wanted him, I took the opportunity. "Do you want to keep dancing?"

"I don't know how to slow-dance."


After I got over my initial shock (fuck, slow dancing is easy. most people i know will only dance slow songs for the very reason that it's easier. good grief) I said I would be happy to show him. I took his left hand in my right and raised it up, put my left hand on his right shoulder...

You know those moments you get, maybe once or twice in your life, that feels like an electric shock in your stomach? I felt it once before, when I was 12. And I felt it Saturday night. When he put his hand on my back, it was like being hit with static electricity. When he drew me in to his body and our stomachs touched, I actually trembled.

oh god.

This was not supposed to happen.

We danced and danced and danced. I've never been held like that before. I don't know how to keep writing this without using a plethora of tired, romance novel cliche's. It's going to sound corny, overly dramatic and fake. But I don't have any frames of reference to describe what happened, and the metaphors of bad romance novels are the accepted industry terms for articulating emotions to the unwashed masses (that's you lot), so that's just how it's going to be.

When the music stopped there was this hugely awkward moment, where we sort of stood there shuffling our feet and avoiding each others' gazes. I knew then that the "purely friendly" date was officially a myth for both of us. Acutally, I knew that before the music even stopped. I knew by the way he held me that he wanted me as badly as I wanted him. We made mumbling noises about "calling it a night" and being "worn out." He put his arm around my shoulders and we began to head for the door.

Bon Jovi called us back.

How can you not get up and dance when you hear Livin' On A Prayer?!? We looked at each other, grinned, and ran back to the dance floor, holding hands. And then we rocked. There was a string of good old 80s rock anthems, including Summer of '69, Sweet Child of Mine, Don't Stop Me Now, all that good shit. By the time the DJ finally told us that he was going home and going to bed and if we (the 6 people still in the room, and last survivors of the evening, even the survivors' breakfast had been cleared away) wanted to keep dancing we were going to have go out to the parking lot and turn up someone's car radio, we where exhausted, out of breath, and dripping with sweat. (That's foreshadowing, that is. Did you get that foreshadowing?)

Finally we were headed for the door. The Pirate paused to nick me a souvenier coconut from a decorative fruit display. ("Aaawww!") Out in the parking lot he opened the car door for me. "Your charriot, m'laday."

To be continued...

Soap Opera

Have I got smut for you. In the last 48 hours my life went from marginally interesting to full-blown (don't read into that) soap opera of Coronation Street proportions. Blue ribbon to First Nations for being the first to clue in to the (i thought fairly obvious) metahpor of the last post. Perhaps i've given you all an exaggerated impression of the depth of my virtue, thus you assumed i couldn't possibly mean what I meant.

Yep, i meant it.

Aw, hells. I go for 9 years without a date and now i'm torn between two absolutely amazing men. God. Fucking. Damnit.

I suppose you want the skinny, don't you, you vuyeristic little cretins?

Oh, all right then. Fine.

It started about a month ago. My flatmate dragged me out to a birthday party of a mutual acquaintence of ours, henceforth known as Curly. I didn't especially want to go, not being very good at parties, but i thought oh, what the hell, I could use a night out. The shin-dig was at an Indian restaurant, and all 26 guests were seated along one big, long table, jammed in like sardines. The only 2 people I knew at the party were Flatmate, who was seated directly across from me, and Curly, who was way the hell out of conversation range, being seated at the throne at the head of the table. The chap who was sat immediately on my left was very friendly. He was flirty, witty, and generally loads of fun. He's a professional pirate who's into cricket and archery. And he's fit. Really fit. Really really really really really really fit. (Not that these things are important or anything.) We really hit it off. I'm a natural flirt, and I figured I'd probably never seen any of these people again anyway, so let it all hang out and flirted up a storm. That was my first fatal error.

When Flatmate and I left he tactfully pointed out that the Pirate and I seemed to be getting along really well. I responded that I had fun and if I weren't with the Hairy Man, he was exactly the type of guy at whom I would throw myself. But I was (am) with Hairy, so I declared it a fun evening and left it at that.

Until the Pirate rang up Curly to get my number. Curly didn't have it, but rang up Flatmate. Flatmate is a sensible kind of fellow and asked me if I wanted him to pass my number along before he gave it. I debated. I hemmed and hawed. This was almost a month ago, keep in mind, and though I was nuts about the Hairy Man our relationship was rather casual and I really didn't know what kind of feelings he may or may not have had for me. I knew he was still logging in to the dating site (where we met) on an almost daily basis. I figured that if he was still trolling for women, then fuckit I could do the same. I told Flatmate to tell Curly to give the Pirate my number. And then I waited.

I didn't have long to wait. He rang me the following day. He had a ticket to a formal, black-tie ball, and would I like to go with him? I told him that I was seeing someone else, but that I had really enjoyed meeting him (the Pirate), and I would be delighted to go, but strictly as friends; no funny business. I even gave him the chance to retract the invitation witout offense or hard feelings if he preferred to take a partner with more romantic potential. He replied that he would be delighted if I would accompany him, purely for a friendly evening. I accepted. Fatal error number two.

That brings us up to Saturday evening, the night of the ball. I had told Hairy about the whole thing. He knew that I was going to a black-tie do, with a friend, out of town, and that I would be spending the night at the friend's house as the ball didn't let out until 4 am at which hour there are no trains. (The Pirate did offer to drive me home after if I wasn't comforatble staying at his, but he had a spare room and I wasn't keen on him driving me all the way home at 4 am for reasons of alcohol and exhaustion, so I decided it was better to stay.)

I knew I wouldn't be able to identify the Pirate by sight, having only met him once almost a month ago. I had a plan to ring him on the platform and look around to see whose mobile went off. The Pirate, being a clever kind of lad, saw me looking around and came straight up to me. I was, after all, the only woman on the platform carrying a ball gown in dry-cleaner's bag. Duh. The train was late so we booked it back to his house (yes, his house. Emphasis on his house. No family, no flatmates. Apparently piracy pays pretty well these days.) to get dressed. I smiled to myself while I got dressed: in the next room the Pirate was whisteling along with the radio.

We stepped into the hallway at the same time, looked at one another, and promptly sucked all the air from the room as we caught our breath in awe. He was stunning. I know tuxes make men hot, but this was not the tux; this was the man. He said to me, "Wow, you look amazing." We stood there and mutually gawked a good few minutes. Then he stepped forward, offered me his hand and said, "Shall we?" As I took it I knew right then it had officially ceased to be a "friendly" date.

To be continued...

(I'm a real bitch, aren't I?)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Test drive

It's like the difference between an older model Ford and a new, turbo-charged BMW. The Ford may not be flashy or look like much, but it's familiar and comfortable and it does get you there in the end.

But oh my god what a Beamer. One word: performance. High-power, super-charged machine. What a ride! I'm talking G-forces here, honeychild.

(And it case you havn't glommed on yet, this has nothing whatsoever to do with cars.)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Vaudville of the Carribean: Dead Man's Review

1. It's too long. There are points when you will find yourself looking at your watch, thinking "Fine, sea monster, I get it. Let's move on, shall we?"

2. They over-plotted it. I know I know. It's a bit like the emperor of Austria telling Wolfgang, "too many notes." But let's face, Jonny Depp, adept as he is, is no Mozart. I appreciate that the writers wanted to avoid the cliched (and usually justified) criticism that the sequel had no plot, that it was just a marketing gimmick (I give you Home Alone parts II thru 47). But in this case, they over-corrected. The plot was overworked and tedious. In an effort to avoid creating a movie of mind-numbing simplicity they created a movie of mind-numbing bewilderment. It wasn't beyond following, it just required more effort than I was willing to give to a high-budget, heavily marketed summer blockbuster.

3. There is a distinct paucity of bare, male flesh.

Good. That's out of the way. Now on to the fun bits:

My god that flick was hilarious. Think 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea meets Mel Brooks, Jackie Chan, Indiana Jones, the Keystone Cops, Star Wars, Lucile Ball, and the Bible.

Like Jackie Chan, PoftC doffs its cap to the old classics, especially westerns. The saloon brawl had every single obligatory element (guy swining from chandelier, guy being thrown out the front door, guy ducking while bottle breaks on object behind his head, two friends almost punching one another, an escape scene up a staircase, etc.), but with a wacky, almost spoofy Mel Brooks camp to it. Never once does this movie take itself seriously. You could almost call it a spoof of the first one, but the first one was almost a spoof of itself, so there you go.

And that's the theme throughout the whole movie: classic comedic archetypes drawn from decades of popular culture, executed with expert timing (if Jonny Depp does one thing right, it's his flawless timing). But don't think this is just a 2 1/2 hour string of re-hashed, old jokes. They're nearly all recognizable, but they're also done with a fresh and original twist. (Example: you know the famous Indiana Jones outrunning the giant, spherical stone boulder thing, a version of which now appears in every major action film? It's in this one too, but this time the hero is inside the boulder. Comedy.)

The director also took one of my favorite elements of the last film and magnified its presence a bit in this one: namely, the commentary on the film by the characters while the film is in progress. JD does this in the first flick when he's in the prison cell and is explaining to Will Turner exactly how a priate movie is supposed to play out. This time we not only have JD making meta-jokes ("Why is the rum always empty?"), but an embittered character from the last flick turns up and becomes the voice of the audience, interjecting real-world pragmatism into fantasy scenarios, refusing to suspend disbelief even while he's in the storyline. It's fabulous.

There's an old wisdom among writers: you can't say anything truly new; it's all been said. All you can do is tell an old story in a new way. PoftC acknowleges this and does reverance to the decades of archetypes, comedic icons, and punchlines from which it draws its gags by giving them an original spin and bringing them to life for a new generation of movie-goers. I give it 3 1/2 smelly sneakers (out of 5).

Hair of the Elephant

This one goes out to The Great She Elephant: genius, badass, and woman extraordinaire. This post is also for all the men out there who think that short hair makes a woman look masculine. News flash, folks: it just ain't true. There are scads of women out there with short hair; sexy women, feminine women, women you want to bring home to meet mom, women you wish were your mom, and yes, even women Every Man Wants To Fuck. I give you exhibit A: Mariska Hargitay
She's hot. She's uber-feminine. And she's NOT ALONE.

Brace yourselves, boys, this is going to be one giant photo shoot of gorgeous, short-haired women. Women who are not sexy despite the serious drawback of their dikey locks, but rather, women for whom short, choppy dos have always been a trademark.

No one would EVER accuse Julie Andrews of being a dyke, and here she is, in all her short-haired, girly glory; an icon of innocence and girly girl-next-doorness. And in her 50 year career in theatre her hair never went below her ears. (And they tell all actresses nowadays to grow their hair because no one will cast them with short hair. Fuckers.)

Sexy short-haired women come in all forms:

older women

She's smart, sixty, and very sexy. (I would.)

Black women

I don't think there's a man on earth who would deny the sex appeal of Halle Berry. (And I've seen photos of her with long hair and she looks crap.)

Crazy, badass, hardcore, rock women

I love Melissa Etheridge. Yeah, it was great when she headbanged on stage while she was playing and her long blonde hair went flying everywhere, but seriously, how cute is that cut!?!? She looks so much MORE fem now. I love it. And I love you, Melissa.

Then you've got your hordes of cute, blond chickiedoos.

Melanie Griffith

(and she landed Antonio Banderas, yo! I find it reassuring that the Sexiest Man on Earth is baning a chick with short hair. I also find it tragic that that chick isn't me.)


And the ever-cute (lets face, when she's 50 she'll still look like a 10-year-old), perpetually popular, Drew "Dimples" Barrymore.

Think that's it? Oh, I'M JUST GETTING STARTED!

How about the woman whose legs are insured by Lloyds of Llondon for 20 million dollars? Yep, it's Hollywood's Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis, who's as hot as they come.

Still not convinced? Try the woman who was cast to be the face of She Whom No Man Could Turn Down, Tinseltown's most famous femme-fatale, Sharon Stone. She's sexy even when you can't see up her skirt!

Prefer brunettes? They say gentleman prefer blondes. I guess that means that assholes and jerks prefer brunettes. (That would explain me, anyway.)

I got your brunettes right here:

Let your eyes feast on Catherine Bell, of JAG fame, and Neve Campbell, who needs no introduction.

That should be more than enough to convince you that short hair can be just as sexy, beautiful, and feminine as long, flowing trusses. It can be sleek and elegant, choppy and funky, or just plain simple and practical. (Yeah, I'm still drooling over that pic of Neve.)

But just in case you require more evidence, Im laying my trump card:

Winona Ryder.

'Nuff said.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Weird dream

I don't normally blog about dreams, since everyone has them and i'm pretty sure we all have our fair share of wierd ones. but this one i gotta share. it's a doozy.

I dreamt i had a baby. But not just any baby, a baby koala. That could talk. It was the size of a human baby, maybe 7 pounds, but i didn't have to put much effort into holding it because it just stuck itself to me like velcro. (Very convenient and saved me the trouble of purchasing a stroller.) When it was about 2 days old it began speaking to me in near-complete sentences. I was hugely impressed by this phenomenon, as it takes most babies about 3 years to speak in whole sentences. My friends, however, were unimpressed, and this annoyed me greatly. I wanted everyone to recognized that my koala/baby was the smartest ever. Also, it never cried or pooped. It was 3 days before I even got around to buying spare diapers (nappys). How cool is that? In the dream my dad and I went to one of those big baby stores* to buy supplies, like a crib and clothes and all that jazz. Some reality must have leaked into the dram because i was worried about how i was going to pay for all of it, not having any money. I was much relieved when "grampa" picked up the tab. And just to make it a litte rediculous, while i was picking out baby furniture and clothing, dad was picking out giant sets of green Coka-cola glasses. At the baby store. Oh yeah, and I named the baby 'Simon.'

*one of those store where everything is designed to fit giant, 75-lb tabloid freak babies.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Camping, Hairy-style; UPDATED

Hi, kids! Do you want to know all about my camping trip? Do you? Of course you do!*

Well, aside from the larengytis and food poisoning, it was grr-eat! (Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?)

Friday at work I had a bit of a throat tickle, but I wasn't about to let that bother me, so I didn't say anything.**

I make it sound like I didn't have a good time. Actually, it was wonderful. We left on Friday afternoon after I got out of work, car loaded up boot, backseat, and roofrack. (You would not believe the amount of crap 2 people need to survive for 2 nights in the middle of civilisation.) We headed west, drove right off the end of the M4, and kept going 'til we could go no further without falling into the ocean. We stopped in St. David's, Wales, and got a campsite right on the ocean, on top of a cliff, where we fell asleep listening to the waves crash on the rocks.

This is the view from our tent on Friday evening, after we had dinner. We sat outside dinking tea and watched the mist roll in from the sea. I felt inspired to recite much poetry by E.A. Poe. These things happen.

Friday night I went to bed (by bed I mean air mattress, double size, that I had to inflate by hand, and by 'hand' I mean by 'mouth.' Yeah, that inspired a few wise cracks from the other half) with a scatchy throat. Saturday I woke up unable to utter a syllable. I had completely lost my voice.

After establishing that there was nothing seriously wrong with me, ie my i didn't have a fever, wasn't coughing, my head wasn't congested, i wasn't achy or run-down, and I felt completely fine save my inability to communicate vocally, Hairy proceeded to make all the obligatory cracks about the girlfriend not being able to nag, finally some peace and quiet, etc. It was rather comical. So I beat him soundly. Goddamnit my mom used to make those same cracks when i was a kid. Grrr.

But I felt fine, so we drove into town (St. David's, famous for being the only town in Wales that does not have a "y" in its name, and consists of a hitching post, rain barrel, general store, cathedral, and 3 chartered boat companies) to see what there is to see. We visited the cathedral, booked a boat cruise for the following morning and did a bit of wandering in St. David's and other tiny hamlets in the area. After we ate lunch in a pretty little outdoor cafe' by a river somewhere in a town called Llanyyclydybryyyy-y-bont (the thing is, I'm trying to take the piss, but that still looks entirely probable as a Welsh name, good lord), we went for a hike along the costal path, which is a couple hundred miles through National Park. It's gorgeous.

Sunshine, coastal breezes, birds (yep, i'm a birdwatcher. The binocs never left my neck, and though I know it annoyed the Hairy Man when I would stop and spend 10 minutes flipping though my book in an attempt to figure out what the hell had just flown past me, he never said a word, bless), and lovely company. We stopped for a break on top of a high, rocky, isolated promontory, off the main path. It was pleasant and secluded, there was a large patch of soft grass, no one but the crashing waves and the gulls...

And do you know what happened next? You think you do. NOTHING. NADA. ZIP. See, we aren't the viagarad bunny nymphos you take us for. Ha!

That evening Hairy wanted to do a bit of kayak-surfing, so we drove to a nearby beach that is famous for its good surf. I took my pod and planned to do a bit of Chariots-of-Fire style jogging on the beach while the Man took to the waves. But alas, there was no surf at all. The water was completely flat.
So we held hands and walked along the beach in the evening light. Can you believe it? We walked on the beach at sunset, holding hands! Oh the CHEESE! The SMALTZ! Can we say "Hallmark moment?" Gag me with a game show first date formula. You know I loved it. He doesn't think he's romantic at all, but that makes it even cuter.

Are you ready to hurl yet? Good.

But wait, there's more!

For dinner we (that's the Royal "we," meaning Hairy) cooked curry. With home made popadums. While camping. You should have seen the looks on the other campers' faces. That's the only reason he does it. We'd both be perfectly happy with sausages and beans, but it's just too much fun to show off. Mango chutney and everything. The works. Hehehe.

Sunday morning it was up early, stuff some tea and welsh cakes in the gob, and be off for...

a whale-watching cruise! We figured if we were in Wales, we should fucking see some whales, right? Right.
We didn't see any whales, but we did hook up with a pod of Atlantic dolphins, about 30-strong. They were very playful and sociable. We saw a couple porpoises, too, but they didn't give a shit. Didn't even stop to say "hello." Very rude, porpoises. Dolphins, on the other hand, are the picture of charismatic megafauna. They see a big inflatable raft with a dozen goofy mamals in oragnge vests and binoculars and go (in, Ellen Degeneres's voice) "Hey! Tourists! Hey, everyone - look! There's tourists over here!" And over they all come, flipping and splashing and smiling as only dolphins can.
They really do. They're just that cool.

We also saw a ton of sea birds. I thought this was great. We visited a nesting colony of gannets. That's the gannets, there. That's not snow on that island, that's birds. And bird crap. The entire island is white from bird crap. It really was like walking into the pages of a National Geographic magazine. Besides gannets we saw Manx shearwaters, Green cormorants (also known as Shags), Great black-backed gulls (agressive predators, G b-b gulls have been known to fly off with Yorkshire terriers, no shit), Razorbills and Guillemots, both members of the Auk family, and... (are you ready for this?)... POOFINS! Well, Puffins, technically, but I call them Poofins. They're very stoopid. They look cute enough bobbing around on the water and you think "aww, how cute." But then they try to fly, and all you can do is laugh. I'm serious.
It's like wathing the lovechild of a penguin and a hummingbird. They have these fat little bodies and small wings which they therefore have to beat really really really really really really fast in order to stay aloft. It's not possible to watch one without sniggering. They're just inherently funny. Like pengins and platapi, they have no dignity whatsover. Actually, they look rather a lot like this:
Clearly my boy Wiley knows his puffins. Poofins. Whatev.

And then it was time to pack up camp and come home. (By this time I had regained some of my voice, and sounded like a two-pack-a-dayer. Or like one of Marge's sisters. You know the sound.) So we came home, got into Brizzle, unpacked the car, went to fix dinner, and pulled an Old Mother Hubbard. Yep, the cupboard was bare. So we went to the pub. And that was where I got the food poisoning. (You'd forgotten about that, hadn't you?) I think it was the fried mushrooms. That's my punishment for not being healthy. I never should have succombed to the temptation of beer-battered, deep-fried happiness. Those puppies lubed up my G.I. tract and shot right out the other side. Oh, yeah. Mind, it took a few hours for the works to get under way, during which time we had totally amazing sex, so that was ok. 2 minutes after he fell asleep I ran for the loo and went 12 rounds with the porcelian god. I lost. The man was very, very sweet about the whole thing. He manages to be tender and comforting without condescending, something I have difficulty with myself. So full points for looking after me.

And then I woke up (not really, i didn't get much sleep) and then it was monday. Land the rocket, climb down to earth, back to reality, Houston we have a job to do and all that jazz. So that's it. There you go.

OMG I can't believe I forgot to post the uber-cute picture of the two of us at the cathedral!!! Aahhh! Here it is: (click for full size)
Are we cute, or what?

*egomaniac: n. someone who believes that everyone around them actually gives a shit.

**genius: n. someone who can see the locomotive coming, but likes the view from the tracks so well that she refuses to move. see also "deer in headlights," "osterich with head in ass," and "La la la la la la I can't heeeeear yooooou!"