The Other Christmas

6th of January – traditionally the very end of the christmas season; but for W & I this year (as several times in the past) it has been our day of festivities.
We had breakfast in bed, opened presents and had a big dinner before topping the day off with Alan Turing Monopoly with B.

Its not a grand affair, we didn’t even have decorations up, but its important. Its important that we get to spend a holiday together.. to be a family apart from our parents. Not every family has the opportunity that we have to contemplate and act on the need we have to be with each other and actively spend time appreciating what we can share. I feel strongly that its important that we choose our family holidays and that we spend a bit of time relaxing and enjoying ourselves – I am glad that the way we do our ‘christmas’ is about fun and not about the right things to do and I am glad I get to spend time and make memories with all my family, especially as I think of all the many people I know who work over festive periods or can’t be with the people they love for all sorts of reasons such as health and money. We are lucky not to be tied to a day so much as tied to each other.

On Spending Christmas Alone

I have two beautiful partners and a wonderful family but this year I am spending Christmas at home with my dog and some beer.

I have spent all but 2 Christmases in my memory with my parents [one with the in-laws and one with my wife in our new house]. With the exception of the year my sister was in hospital, these have been stereotypical and near idyllic – think plenty of food and booze, stockings, everybody pitching in with the cooking, lazy evenings, open fires and board games… Its amazing and almost what I would want regardless.
That said, I have fantasised about the kind of christmas my chosen family and I could have if we had the option and the peace. The delight of just having our family together; of making our own time special. One day I will work my backside off to make their holiday dreams come true (together, separately or both) but I don’t know yet when that will be.
This year, however, I will pretend to be a bachelor. For the first and maybe the only time in my life I am spending christmas without expectations or traditional trappings. I have plans… insofar as I have food and alcohol to consume and a dog to walk. On the other hand, there will be very few of the things typically associated with the christmas festival (with the notable exception of the required phone calls) and no need to socialise or pay attention to the world. Despite both job and relationship configuration I am by nature a shy introverted individual and I need to recharge. After a year of trying to get my thesis finished and juggling my obligations the idea of being completely alone and commitment free if both exhilarating and terrifying.
I am looking forward to both sleeping and crying .. ridiculous though it sounds the release is needed and I think this will work.

On the other hand I can’t wait to have my loves back safe home and serve up a pile of pigs in blankets!

Anniversaries, Sharing and feeling like a fraud

In case I haven’t mentioned.. this summer I went on holiday with both W & B (and very nice it was too). This is a bit of a change from the last couple of years where I have had the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks with B while W visits the smother; going away for our anniversary and separately going away with W for ours.
I find myself torn – I adore exploring places and spending time away from daily life with my loves, I would spend more time with both of them together if I could; but on the other hand each of them deserve time on their own, time especially for them. I know that W particularly needs the sense of things that are unique to us as a couple and I know that B especially values nights he & I spend together since they are rare.
So how do I make each of our anniveraries special, make everyone feel appreciated, and still get to enjoy time together?

On the subject of anniversaries…- anyone ever feel like they are gilding the lily? I celebrate a minimum of 3/year. W & I celebrate our 1st handfasting (Oct 31st – will be 10yrs this one coming) And our legal commitment (May 1st3yrs just gone). And of course I try to celebrate a date with B too; we chose Aug 21st as an arbitrary we-started-our-relationship-on-this-day date (though it would be fair to say any time in the fortnight before or after that might be a plausible suggestion) and this year makes 4. I also tease him that our ‘wedding’ date is my birthday the following year on the basis it was the date his former fiancee wanted to get married and I rescued him from that foolishness…
Thats a lot of special days for each other and time for hols. But how can you ask your friends to shell out for cards on that many dates or even remember?

So if anniversaries feel like an unnecessary encumberance for one’s mono/straight friends how about the fact that I can’t help feeling like a fraud for not being available. [Incidentally, I do understand that these ideas are not related for most people]. Point being: How is it possible for me to whinge about lack of ‘poly’ awareness when I don’t fall into general categories of being open to more relationships? I know that poly doesn’t have to mean sleeping around – but most blogs and websites are dedicated to those looking for more partners. I have to say that though I knew (and admitted) I couldn’t commit to exclusivity¬† I never looked for anyone. I never meant to fall in love with either one of my partners (in fact in both cases I was avoiding commitment for various reasons) and I can’t imagine having time or energy for anyone else. In that sense I don’t feel ‘poly’: I’m not about openness any more than anything else and I am not defined sexually by the fact I happen to love 2 people (or that they are 2 different genders) – I don’t have a lovestyle, I just love these people. I’m not bisexual or polyamorous – I am in love with W & B, I am w/b-sexual.

Its not true of course there is enough of me to have a political rant, to say we should be allowed to make a family and stand up for just being us. But that dont feel internet.
So Happy Anniversary B my love and good luck to all of us and I hope being an example is enough.

Could I have a straw please?

In a sophisticated cocktail bar in the UK, style dictates a minimalist classic image for a drink and bright-colours or umbrellas indicate a kind of 70s/80s over-blown tackiness reserved for Club 18-30 cruises..
I am a martini and old fash kinda gal with emphases falling on long, deep flavours and showcasing of base spirits, light on sugar and light on ice.

But yesterday I was delighted to receive a large glass (I forget the name of the shape – but think Belgian Trappists)of Gin & Campari topped up with sparkling bitter orange with 3 straws one sporting a flamingo topper and a stirrer featuring a naked woman. Why? Because I am on holiday and ridiculous decadence suggests a fabulous lack of care.
Hoorah

Being Busy

After New Year I have spent the week tidying and working and organising and negelcting writing – and I am about to not write some more whilst I go on holiday with my wife.
The plan is that after spending Christmas with my parents and New Year with B, I will spend a week enjoying the company of W away from out commitments and fears.

Tomorrow, she and I will head off Рshe will be aiming to get all the coursework marked and to spend time with me pottering, relaxing and looking at the sites. My plan is to dedicate a little time to PhD, spend a little time to trying to get an exercise routine going  and relax.
At the moment I fel like I can’t plan routines for 2012 or really diet etc until this hol is over.. I want to do lots this year and I am struggling already. gah

Also please will someone tell my joints to pack it in. This is really very uncomfortable!

Introspection on a Decade

Apparently I started University 10 years ago.
Oct. 2001 was an odd time to move away from the country to a large town – the world was changing and I was 18 and that peculiar mixture of cynical and idealistic best manifested by being a teenager free to live their life how they chose.

2 years ago I wrote:
[Tuesday, 14 July 2009 at 15:59]

Having an introspective moment.

What were you doing 10 years ago? What did it feel like? Do you remember? How much have you changed as a person since then?

10 years ago: 1999- the edge of the silly number change and some parties, a pre-twin towers world.

In ’99, I sat my GCSE’s and turned 16, spent my last summer as a semi-pro showjumper, started clubbing and going to pubs on my own, turned loneliness into self-destruction, fell in love, helped make a film, came out to my friends and bought the only CD single I own – though not in that order.

So what was it like? My memory of myself at that time is that I was an arrogant fuckwit, I refused to admit there was anything I couldn’t do on my own & yet I also remember that I didn’t believe I was capable of what I was doing. I remember the sense of optimism about the possibilities of the world and the things I wanted to try – a new sense of financial and personal freedom and the beginning of clearer self-definition. But I remember the absolute certainty that my friends thought I was stupid, lazy and superfluous, crying myself to sleep every night running up to my exams and thinking it was normal and pushing myself to exhaustion to be good enough. Its odd but I don’t remember feeling miserable, just useless, and also restless and determined to get on and get experience.

How have I changed?

….

I never got around to really answering my own question, but as I muse on my decade in this town I can begin to look at the things I have done and achieved and the people who have passed through my life in that time.

So:

Got a degree and a masters, and am working towards a PhD
Got a job that I haven’t been able to quit for 8years
Walked up Kilimanjaro, wandered across much of Scotland and learnt to climb (then knackered my shoulder so I can’t)
Moved 5 times and bought a house

9 Weddings: A Handfasting and civil-partnership of my own, witness for Dad & My Step-Mother, Best Man for D&J, Readings for L&A and Kitten & Mr.C and a guest at 3 more (cousins various). Also witnessed a decree absolute for a divorce.
3 Funerals: Shirley, my Aunt Maddie and Fenton, plus an extra 2 where I only went to the wake[Good to know I am still in the phase of my life where I have been to more weddings than funerals]
Tried 4 different medications and seen 3 different counsellors; helped 3 of my closest friends make the decision to get professional support and taken one person to a psych ward
Taken over 2.5 thousand pain pills!
Sat at my sister’s hospital bed as she struggled through a coma and watched her learn to speak again and finish her degree.

Mostly I have fallen in love and started to build a life…