The Name Remains the Same

This week’s already a bit odd, thanks to the addition of a second Blaze class (more on that post tomorrow) and a change in the editing plans. There’s still #Blogmas to knock off, but that will have to happen much later today due to PT being the latest I’ve ever had it. Body right now is on the shift again, and if the temptation to snack continually can be addressed as the week goes on, the tiny reduction in weight from last week might start increasing. I have to re-plan a lot of stuff too.

This would be a lot easier were there not a constant level of uncertainty around stuff I have no control over.

If politics becomes too much of a distraction it’ll be on with Spotify and off with Social media, but for now we’re doing okay.

The Girl from Ipanema

Christmas decorations are UP. Their delayed arrival had a lot to do with circumstance, with today being the first we had to get everything out of storage and up in place.Now it is done, I just gotta pull out the battered USB Xmas tree and plug it in, so the festive season is finally underway. I don’t think the poor thing will last much longer, but it’s as much of a tradition as anything else, so…

Normal service, such as it is, continues tomorrow.

Run for Home

I wasn’t going to write today, except I dreamt something REALLY important last night, and it needs sharing.

IN Dreams

I was in Dijon, city first visited this Summer, with the England Cricket Team (no idea, but they were playing) and someone who, for quite some time, meant a very great deal to me. Their actions and their attitude in the time we were together was nothing like how I had previously believed our relationship to have played out: it was almost as if they had never really cared to begin with, and I had imagined all of the apparent interest and respect that existed.

Moments that mattered to me were simply this person being themselves, with no idea that I was reacting to it. My mental shortcomings had, over the period we’d spoken at length, completely warped any notion of normal. I woke up at the point where it became abundantly apparent that life was continuing without any indicator the relationship had taken place, and brain had imagined a completely different life from the same set of intractable variables.


Why am I here on a day off to recount this? Mostly, because it’s true.

I’ve been looking at a number of key relationships all wrong. The people who TRULY need thanking are those who genuinely encourage and support. I see them every day, and they’re being acknowledged, one by one this month via Twitter. They were last year too, and the best friends will slowly be gifted their own tailored thanks. However, there are some people who just don’t give back at all.

This is my reminder that friendship goes both ways. There are those for whom you care, but their inability or unwillingness to do so in return is real, and should not be simply accepted as part of the relationship. What matters most right now is those who show their support and understanding, who are there when needed. No agendas and no questions, just support, understanding and respect. That’s the key. Respect what I am.

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I have worked hard, and the rewards are beginning to come. If you really are the friend you say you are, step up and be happy and proud for me. Don’t wait for me to chase after you. Arrive early. Be supportive. Prove that the friendship actually matters.

I am no longer running after you.

Reasons to be Cheerful, Part Three.

I’m out tomorrow. Normally I’d be trying to find excuses not to go but this time… well, I’m not gonna spoil the surprise, because there could be a bazillion decent pictures in this and my phone camera’s been screaming for a proper outing plus a robust workout. So, instead of stressing over meal or outfit, I’ll pick smart casual from the wardrobe and go as a photographer.

Sometimes, you have to find enjoyment in a manner that’s not immediately apparent.

I’ll not get a chance to blog tomorrow. Everything will have been scheduled. I’ll see you on Sunday.

Sing Sing Sing

Sometime, the whole of your existence opens up, spring flower reaching upwards towards sunlight and promise of a new day.

Other times, everything is shit and you just want to die.

Welcome to the one where someone else’s enthusiasm finally kicked down a door in my brain before storming inside.


Julia and I have known each other for a few years now. She and I met thanks to a mutual love of that video game,Β which is a fairly good barometer of whether or not I’ll get on with you regardless. We had lunch a few weeks back, and sitting there it was genuinely satisfying to see her enthuse over my daily Short Story. You know the one, that gets told in 280 character bursts every day.

Short Stories are TOUGH. Doing them well is an art form even more shrouded in mystery and difficulty than poetry. However, I’m cracking that and therefore, by extension, short stories look like the next logical step forward. I’ve been bouncing an idea around in my head for the last week that, if this were a perfect Universe, I’d pitch as a Dr Who script. However, as this is as likely to happen as me being confirmed as the next Doctor, it is time to accept that maybe, that narrative could be used in another way.

Perhaps it is time to work towards a Short Story collection and mean it.

Hexa is Greek for six, obviously. I have a bunch of stories in various stages of Development Hell [TM] and thanks to this morning’s burst of light into a previously dark place, that’s four stories that are just asking to be finished. Having spent the last few days looking at the editing project I’ve scheduled for this month and, all things being equal, that should be finished by the end of next week.Β If that can happen, then I can write this.

It is an interesting challenge to see if I can complete. Six short stories.

I mean, really, how hard could it be?

Running on Ice

Okay then, time to be honest.

We are reaching a crossroads in the training regime. I used to kid myself I’d go and ‘run’ at the Gym, but actually it was all HIIT work, no more than 500 meters at a time. Then Blaze came along and suddenly I was forced to run for 3 minutes at a time without a break. That forced a rethink. So now, I try and run a KM at a time, with a break. This is proving quite hard.

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The red line there is my heart-rate, which sat steadfastly in the amber zone when flat out and does not appear to be capable of hitting red which is absolutely fine because honestly, I would have hurled.Β That, today was 1km on, 1km off, and me getting to 800 meters before my lungs pretty much told me to fuck off. I’m not sure how this gets broken, to be honest, other than exhaustion, recovery and then the same again. Building stamina is hateful. Yet, undoubtedly, something has begun to change.

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I’ve booked a second Blaze class.Β Not gonna lie, it is because the teacher made me feel really comfortable, and there’s a definite positive to having someone else teach me other than my PT. My membership supports this so frankly, it’s time to get my money’s worth. If it all works out next week, I’ll reorganise January’s exercise around the change. What needs to happen is more pushing, and less slacking, though considering the number of hours I now do, maybe a bit of slacking can go on over Christmas without getting too stressed.

We’ll have an overview at the end of December, i think.

Lonely This Christmas

I get incredibly lonely, quite a lot. I feel very lonely in unfamiliar spaces, yet seldom get the feeling exercising solo in the Gym. In fact, people and me plus exercise is often an equation for discomfort and irritation. It all boils down to the level of comfort, plus the addition (or not) of unfamiliar people who may trigger anxiety. So, why would I willingly sit on an adult ‘Buddy Bench’ and be the friend to ‘play’ with?

A lot of it has to do with understanding what loneliness and anxiety can do to myself, and knowing this… why wouldn’t I want to be the person who helps you as another lonely playground user feel better?Β It would be a pleasure, and the enjoyment gained just by having a chat, or maybe a quick round or two of Tag while we’re at it would tire us both out quite nicely.

The truth however is that, as adults, it isn’t just being buddies that matters.

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Too often, I’ve started that process via Social media and the results… okay, let’s be brutally honest. I’ve now lost count (that is, it is more than ten) of the men who have attempted to initiate intimate relationships via online conversation using Twitter. Just Twitter, this doesn’t count email or Discord or proprietary gaming message apps. Then there are the stalkers, and the nutters who got upset when I stopped talking to them and so spent months (in at least one case) creating sock accounts to abuse me.

All I am interested in is friendship. Honestly.Β I’ve been happily married for over thirty years. I don’t want to have an online fling, or engage in soft-core role play. There is no interest in ANYTHING except friendship but even that has pitfalls. ‘Oh, I thought we were mates and then you unfollowed me’ is becoming a broken record as I remove those from my feed who have been selfish or racist, sexist or simply fucking dumb yet don’t even realise it has happened. This is the disadvantage, of course, on already sitting on a large number of other people’s Buddy Benches.Β 

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Conversations are copied into my timeline if other people I follow are on joint friends’ lists, and what often happens is that the reality of other people’s shortcomings becomes apparent almost by accident. A lot of time and effort is then expended on working out whether it is worth pursuing these conversations in public. In most cases, effort isn’t worth grief that results. Also, it can get quite perilous if you’re talking about someone else and someone you’d not considered might get upset sees themselves in the analogy you’ve posted, and immediately starts up their own, unrelated drama.

Nope, it’s not worth it.

What happens now is I pick and choose other people on benches to approach. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. If I feel comfortable enough, maybe one day it will okay to sit alone, but I suspect the chances of finding someone as a long-term friend will be quite small.

Maybe I might get lucky.