Thursday, 17 July 2014

Of floracide and other things

In the long slow tarting up of our flat, we have cleared our small balcony and I have re-planted the planters.  Sounds simple but I have the opposite of a green finger - probably a black one.  All plants in my care die.  It's been less than a week and the violas are looking sickly, the lavender shows signs of queasiness and only the cosmos looks okay.  And even then, some of the leaves are dying.  P helpfully suggested plastic flowers.  No.  Obv.  I think I have to have temporary flowers and keep replanting and slaughtering fresh victims.

What I really need to do is sort out my clothes.  I have a LOT of clothes - and yet I reckon only about 2% actually fit me.  I have some nice things, surprisingly.  Surprising because I pretty much buy everything from ebay.  It seems pointless spending money on clothes - firstly because I am ever hopeful that I will lose weight (HA!) and secondly because, well, lipstick on a pig.  If I ever get back in my 16s, I will have a whole wardrobe.

This weekend we have guests coming.  Conservative eating guests.  We're doing Italian as I know they like that (they don't like Thai!  Who doesn't like Thai?!).  Antipasti including homemade caponata, meatball lasagne with tricolore salad and tiramisu (because P loves it and I hardly ever make it).  Almost embarrassingly easy.  I had a stern injunction not to put too much pressure on myself and because time will be tight, I have heeded it.  But I still feel almost furtive about the lack of finesse and effort (look away Seren!  This is not the calibre of food of chez Seren)

And now, on to an update.  Firstly, thank you all for your comments - I appreciated every one and it made me feel less alone to an extent I can't properly exress.  I think the main things that I will take away from them is 1) Amy and I should clearly swop husbands (although 2 clingy people in one marriage might be a recipe for disaster), 2) Yes to the flouncing - but the circumstances have to be right.  We talked about his behaviour and he took responsibility for being horrible.  I didn't talk about my feeling that he doesn't love me; I am pretty sure he thinks he does and it would be pretty patronising to insist otherwise.  In fact, he said he did and he said he couldn't understand why I needed to be kept being told I was a 'worthwhile' person when I so clearly was.  This is quite effusive for him.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

An explanation

I just read Gabby's comment (thanks Gabby) and I feel awful.  Maybe I have not been fair in the way I portray P.

If you were to meet him, you'd like him.  Everyone likes him - he has charisma and seems very laid back and genial.  He's a great reconteur.  He is funny, quirky and clever and he has real creativity.  The other day he noticed it was Independence Day and we were home - he suggested having an American themed evening and we had US food and wine and watched an American film.  Above all, he is fun!

He isn't particularly laid back fundamentally, but I guess most people are different privately.  He has a low tolerance level for idiocy - and I do irritate him.  He's extremely self-contained - unless I make the move after an argument he would be quite capable of withdrawing and withdrawing until we became strangers.  I am sure that if I left, he would not try to stop me or even look back.

I don't think he values me - and most of this is about how awful I look.  And I have to be fair - I loathe the way I look, why would I expect him to feel otherwise?  I can't meet my own eye in the mirror, how can I expect him to meet my eye?  How can I expect someone to see a value in me that I do not think is there myself?

He can't remember today what he said last night - and I can't forget.

Love - whatever that is

I write for many reasons - this is catharsis.  Maybe it's self-indulgent, but unless I draw the poison I sometimes think I'll go mad.  No-one needs to read this sort of thing.

My name - my real name - means beloved.  But I never have been.  The only person I knew truly loved me was my late grandmother.  My father couldn't stand me - from an early age, I knew this.  It's okay, he's not a nice man and I can do without him.  My mother sees everything through the prism of herself - she's not capable of standing outside that.

My husband doesn't love me.

He would say he does - and I'm not going to illuminate him - but I know he doesn't.  I watch, you see, how men treat the women they love.  He barely meets my eye, he is very rarely affectionate and the main emotion I evoke in him is irritatation.

Don't get me wrong - when things are bad in other areas of my life, he's a rock.  He gets irritated by the way I handle things but he'll help me battle through things.  But I can no longer pretend that things are okay when I feel this unhappy.

Tonight is a great example - not dramatic but typical.  He was out last night and didn't arrive back until late; this disturbs my sleep, and whilst I do not resent this at all, I was tired today.  Actually I look forward to it because if he is going to be affectionate, it's when he's had a bit to drink - and I like that.  We were both having our hair cut but rather than going home, he went to meet a friend in the pub and said to come and join them.  I would rather have gone home but I was pleased to be asked.  All was well until the end of the evening.  They wanted to go to the pub after dinner, we went in and P's friend bumped into someone he knew.  P and I waited at the end of the bar for him.  I tried to steal a moment for the two of us and attempted to meet his eye and snuggle in to him.  This was rebuffed - because, I was told, he did not like the beer.  He later said this was "needy".  We left; I tried to take his hand and was told no, he needed the loo.  We found a loo and I fumbled for some change - this was described as controlling.  He came out of the loo and flicked water at me - and took my arm and wiped his wet hand on it.  I said "don't do that" and he walked off without a backwards glance.  He often does walk on and doesn't look back but this was pointed in the extreme.  When I caught him up I was told I had caused him to miss the train (a delay of 3 mins) and told to apologise for hurting his feelings when he went to take my arm.  I got a series of comments all the way home about not doing "what a normal person would do", how I am inept at relationships, how I do not know how to be part of a team, I have to have everything explained to me like a child and so on.  I did apologise and tried to explain how I felt from his actions but this was dismissed.  I tried to ask whether it was worth it to cause such an upset.  I was told I'd spoilt a pleasant evening.

As I say, this is not unusual.  I work pretty hard not to cause any kind of upset but inevitably these things happen - I reckon every 2-3 weeks.  He always says it's my fault, I always get the "not normal", that I am controlling and a doormat and that I think the world revolves about me.  Of these, I would say only the doormat accusation is valid.

I do not handle confrontation well.  It feels as though my stomach is beating hard in my heart, my mouth goes dry and I think I might be sick.  I kind of hope I am sick as it would maybe purge the overwhelming feelings of desperation and unhappiness.  In reality I know he'll be fine tomorrow - it will have passed for him.  He's aleep now but my heart is still beating too fast and I feel very unhappy.  I cannot sleep and I do not know what to do with myself except this.

I don't think this is love.  I'm not going to tell him he doesn't love me because a) it sounds arrogant and b) I don't really want him to realise this and leave.  I know he doesn't find me attractive - and in this, I cannot blame him.  I cannot blame him, but he's put on a lot of weight and to me, he's still him.  But I think, no I pretty much know, that if I were more attractive, things would be better between us.  I think he would look at me, meet my gaze, be less dismissive and contemptuous. I know I have integrity and I'm kind but I also know that this is not enough - not for him, perhaps not for anyone.  Fundamentally I fear I am unloveable but I would like to somehow get him to fall in love with me;  I just don't know how.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Aye, an' there's the rub

As I have documente before - with more candour than sense maybe - I am occasionally afflicted with 'chub rub'.  Oh yes, I have all the glamour.

So I bought a pair of anti-chub rub things - a little like cycling shorts (and yes, I'm aware of the irony) crossed with some sort of surgical bandaging -  that you wear under skirts.  They are grim things indeed; souless, joyless and aggressively ugly.  Now, I don't need to be told of my singular lack of physical charms.  Indeed, I would rather not be reminded on a daily basis (other than in reflective surfaces which I shun like a vampire afraid of betrayal).  So I decided to try something called bandelettes.  They look a bit like the top of hold ups, without actually holding anything up - lacy bands.  They're reasonably attractive - possibly not so much that I'd wear them sticking out of a pair of short shorts, like in their advertising.  But then, if I could wear short shorts, we wouldn't be here in the first place.  You measure your thigh and order from a company called Mish - who, I must say were super-quick with delivery.  They come in black, white and nude and I ordered nude - although anyone who has met me will know that nude on me is almost certainly white.

Today was the inaugral wearing.  I tried them on yesterday and they felt pretty good - snug without being like a tourniquet or that weird thing the guy wears round his thigh in Angels and Demons.  Airy too - which after surgical bandage/cycle shorts, was rather nice even if I did keep nervously checking my skirt was still in situ.  They do roll down a bit at the back on one side - presumably like everyone has one breast slightly larger than the other, there is also a larger buttock.  Or that may just be me.  I was a bit anxious about walking/walking upstairs but a commute and a short trip out at lunchtime and they were still in place.  All was well until in the middle of Victoria station the left one started to descend.  The more I tried to surreptiously tug at it, the more it tried to roll up.  I shuffled into W H Smiths and hid in a corner, trying adjust them.  At which point, it rolled decisively up into a band, shot down my leg and pinged off across the shop floor.  I fielded it with a speed that any professional baseball player would envy and shot out of the shop.  Now, of course, I had lace on one side and naked, unconfined flesh on the other - a recipe for rubbing if ever I heard one.

I put them back on for a trip to Homebase (on the basis that no-one would turn a hair if they pinged off in synchronicity) and they stayed on so it's possible that I had not adjusted them properly.  Tomorrow I will try again.  It's equally possible that they will choose the most inopportune time to go free-range then.  It's anyone's guess.  But faint heart never won fair, unblemished thigh.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Spinning around

Well, it's been a crazy couple of weeks.  I cannot recommend ending a job, starting a new one and sitting an exam all in the space of a week.  But that, dear Reader, is what I did.

I am not sorry to say goodbye to the old job.  I loved the subject matter but the department I worked in was - as I said in my exit interview - a blame culture that de-skilled, demotivated and disempowered anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves there.  I did not make the traditional tearful speech saying how much I'd miss the place.  I'll miss the subject matter and some of my colleagues but in all truthfulness, I felt utter glee at having escaped.

The people seem very nice in the new job.  It's a bit quiet for me but I'm dying to get my teeth stuck in to some of the bigger projects and that should happen soon.  In the meantime I'm trying not to boss my less experienced colleague about but to inject a bit of dynamism and proactivity.  AND they have clean loos, windows and bins - an enormous improvement on the old place.

The exam was ridiculously tough.  I worked really hard but I don't think it was enough.  Time will tell.  I learnt a lot - much more than the level down - so I need to keep that in my goldfish brain.  Especially as I may have to re-sit.

I'm now trying to get a grip on my diet again.  Too many carbs were creeping in - it's exhausting constantly avoiding them and they are everywhere and so, so easy.  I bought a spiralizer to make courgette spaghetti as a weapon in my arsenal - and am delighted with it!  It came with "instructions" so cryptic that you'd have to be of Bletchley Park standard to work out, but a pleasant annoyingly glowy and thin American lady on youtube set me straight in a jiffy.  If that is what spiralizing does to you, it was worth every penny.  Tonight will be courgette spaghetti with pesto, sundried tomato and cheese - delicious!  And making the ribbons is an absurd amount of fun.

I also bought a keyboard for my ipad and that, dear Reader, means I can start posting regularly again. I am hoping these two purchases will make a big difference and help me shed some lardage pdq.  I still feel pretty wretched about myself and I look dreadful - clothes just don't work.  Although far better than the alternative for those who don't want the therapy that that would involve. And though I still have to clear out my wardrobe, even doing a little of this reveals how many actually quite nice clothes I have - and how very few of them actually fit me.  I have clothes for the next three dress sizes down - I just need to move in that direction.

On which note: I sit next to a slim sugar fiend.  Not only is this sickeningly annoying but also a challenge.  I have to keep thinking of those clothes and how I feel now and resist the percy pigs (do they actually put crack in those things??!), fruit pastilles etc etc etc

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The Great Escape

I am an arrant coward.  After a loss last time, I can’t bear to stand on SoD again.  I steeled myself to do it this morning – because I knew I needed to post.  And I forgot.  I really did but even I can see that that looks distinctly subconsciously deliberate.  I’m not sure when I can screw my courage up again.  Maybe next week (yes, that will be a fortnight.  Or possibly even 3 weeks).
 
On the plus side, I have found a new job.  It is only maternity cover (Amy: this is to cover whilst the incumbent goes off and has her baby – she can take up to a year) and I’m not sure what will happen after that.  Worst case scenario is that I have to find another job in a year’s time.  It was supposed to be a secondment but of course, my lovely employers wouldn’t release me.  So I quit.
 
Work has been beyond hideous (as you know, dear Reader) so it’s good to know I’m going to escape.  It’s just a festering poisonous place of unpleasantness.  I’m amazed to hear that people outside our section can see this but I’ve had a few comments to that effect.  I suppose the fact that our staff turnover is so horrendous is a clue.  Not a clue recognised by our own senior managers but still.
 
I’m dreading my last day – there’s usually a bit of a speech made and I don’t think my boss is going to want to say nice things about me.  He acknowledges I’m good at my job but apparently this is not enough.  Funnily enough, he is not good at his job but IS very good at the corporate brown-nosing.  He’ll doubtless go far.
 
I think I’m not being as strict with carbs as I should be – everything has been so crazy I simply haven’t had the energy and time to think about each food choice.  I am aware that sounds like an excuse but it’s actually true.  I need to get back on top of this – and maybe then I wouldn’t fear the SoD so much.  Oh who am I kidding….!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Dog days

I should never, NEVER, say things are going to get better soon.

Work is....well, it's hit a new low.  By the end of the day I am exhausted by maintaining a bright, professional 'game face' and metaphorically blooded from a thousand cuts.  I can see us ending up in a tribunal because I WILL NOT allow them to bully me.  We'll see - there is one or maybe two stages before that.  By the time I get home I'm exhausted as all the adrenaline leaves me and I just want to slump and cry.  It's not good.  The other night I couldn't be bothered to eat - dinner was two glasses of (indifferent) wine.  P has been a ROCK.  He meets me for a swift coffee most lunchtimes, just so I can see a friendly face.  My colleagues are fine btw - it's t'management - so it's not as if I'm sat there in a sea of hostility, that would be unbearable.

Still, the bank holiday weekend will be a blessed relief.  But I really need to find a new job - and I'm trying.  I've even applied for a maternity cover and would give up my (toxic) full-time job with no certainty of the cover extending beyond 9 months.  And that's if I were to get it. 

In other news: we are dog-sitting.  We have a chocolate lab for 3 weeks whilst my mum is in Singapore visiting my brother and the chav-in-law.  Lily (the lab) is having an intense love affair with P.  As I type, she's lying outside the bathroom, waiting for him to come out of the shower.  She follows him around and sits by him, gazing up at him.  This is v cute; her waking us at 5am or 5.30am is not.

It's not helping that I'm not sleeping.  I lie in bed and it feels like misery literally pulses through my body.  It's mainly about the way I look but work is now crowding in too.  I do get to sleep but I'm getting 4-6 hours and I'm an 8+ hours girl.  It makes things harder.  But I usually sleep well in Suffolk - the clean, sea air I think - so am hoping, if Lily lets me, of doing some catching up this weekend. 

The silver linig of the week is the best WI I've had in - well this year I think - I'm now Repulsive.5 3/4lbs so that's about 2 1/2lbs off I think.  It doesn't make me feel any better about how I look - I think it's going to take a couple of stone before that - but it doesn't make me feel worse.  And frankly that's an absolute blessing.  If I could be sure that I'd move steadily in that direction I would feel less dreadful about it but past experience suggests I really would be very foolish indeed to hope.