Size of a Cow

This is the story of how I FINALLY lost 10 pounds and moved my exercise journey forwards.

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This week, the scales shifted down for the first time in quite some weeks. Fitbit has only recently started registering and tracking weight loss, it never existed when I first signed up. However now, I can see how much has vanished since the new software kicked in. There’s a sad truth behind this 10 pounds that made me stop in my tracks. I didn’t grasp just how many times it has taken to get this far. The problem with apps is that they rarely lie, and that means that, at least for me, five pounds has been a millstone for quite a while.

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I was shocked at this statistic, and went to look at my weight measurements for confirmation. I’ve been trying to lose the same five pounds for close to a year.

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This belittles the work I’ve done to get this far as well, because it doesn’t show the level of effort or that muscle and fat have been swapped with a quite definite regularity. If all you see are the numbers and not physical change, the potential to go backwards is, I know, a fair deal stronger than it would be if all I had was weight loss as my objective. This journey’s become therefore a lot more about self-education: yes, I can read all the gumph in the world about eating to lose weight and what exercises work the best, but none of that is necessarily going to work for me. That’s the problem with the Internet: everybody is out there trying to sell you the best way to do things like they’re a) the only person doing so and b) their way is the optimal path for you, and that’s a bunch of wobbly dumdums. What is best for ME is when I understand WHY things are happening, and I can grasp the relationship between what I eat, how I exercise and how that affects my progress.

This is the new world I now find myself in, and it is amazing.

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I can tell you the key changes that have been made to improve my ability to lose weight: they include stopping with the Special Fried Rice on takeaway night, removing myself from temptation when hungry and not lying to my PT when she asks me if I did all my exercise promised from the week before. However, I hate to break it to you guys, but the #1 overriding reason why I’ve succeeded in losing weight is that I’ve worked myself into the fucking ground. That meant that yesterday, on the back of five hours sleep, I dragged myself out the door, walked to the Gym, ran for nearly an hour and did 30 minutes of weights, before walking home and promptly falling asleep. Yes, exercise is meant to give you energy and vitality, but in a menopausal 50-summat it was enough to destroy me yesterday almost completely.

That’s normally when you want to give up.

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When I look back at myself in pictures, from when I started the serious part of this journey, there’s now an inescapable difference between then and now. Once upon a time I couldn’t see it, and had I allowed myself to be swayed by the fact that nothing (apparently) was changing in my mind at the time, I’d be no further forward. All those years of trying and failing to lose weight had nothing whatsoever to do with how I did it or with whom. The biggest single issue, ultimately, was myself. That’s easier to write now than it has been at any other point in the past too, that there’s come the final grasping of a truth that underpins everything else that I do. When jokingly I’ll mention that ‘people are stupid’ to someone in conversation, I’m talking about myself. This inability to want to grasp the failings and shortcomings that have hindered progress for decades makes the current revelations all the more bittersweet.

This could easily have happened a long time ago, but never did, because until fear was addressed and faced, everything was impossible. Shame and embarrassment are potent shackles in a mind that believes that what matters more than being free and happy is conforming to norms that were never placed on you to begin with, but end up being applied by everybody else. Once there’s the ability to look beyond the constraints of what the rest of humanity tells you is possible or acceptable? The only thing stopping progress, ultimately, is death. I write this sentence for a friend of mine who, right now, is going through the most difficult of circumstances as a reminder: every day is special, each moment to be appreciated and treasured as if it were the last, because that might well be the case. A life not lived well is not really a life at all.

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Now I’ve lost 10 pounds, the next goal is 15. These are hardly real world issues for you or anyone else but for me, this is a journey I am determined to complete. It has become a metaphor for an ability to do what is needed, to allow honestly to underpin everything, and to not be a lie. It is in effect, not clean living but honest living. I don’t need funky foods and stupid fads to be better, just myself and common sense. This then becomes a measure of how the two combine with current circumstances.

I believe I am capable of anything I now want to do.

The Sound of Silence

Occasionally, I’ll end up in a situation with the kids where I’m forced to make a difficult decision. Inevitably, this will boil down to their word against mine in any given scenario: you were asked to do X, why are we at Y? Once upon a time I’d attempt to assert a measure of authority to remind them that at some point, they will need to deal with contention, and how you react to that is often more important than the argument to begin with. However, you reach a point with a young person where it becomes obvious that forcing a point will only make a situation worse. In fact, you could end up causing more damage in the long term than would ever occur even if the issue is dealt with incorrectly. So, as a parent, you learn to step back. You keep thoughts to yourself. Then, with the benefit of distance, you can grasp what will be the best course of action moving forward.

Watching The Orange Twat settle into the White House has been at times terrifying and laughable, especially as it has become apparent he’s actively responding to Social media’s comments on his actions. Yesterday it became apparent that the full force of that ‘scrutiny’ is beginning to exert some influence:

It’s the equivalent of the entitled teen who can’t understand why, when he’s the best he can possibly be, that he’s not getting either the credit or the changes he demands because, honestly, that’s all that matters here, right? The self is all, because as President (obviously) you are the centre of your Universe. That works, right up to the point where it becomes apparent that maybe, just maybe, you’ve not been elected for your own reward. You do this not to become the leader of millions of people, or just to feel good about yourself and be cool at places and show off how great you are. It doesn’t work unless you start giving shit back, but more importantly nothing changes if you can’t become a useful part of the place you live in. Assuming the world revolves around you is beyond dangerous. Suddenly, everybody becomes a critic overnight. The more you shut down bad press, the more anonymous sources spring up to discredit… and then you realise the only way to shut people up for good… and nobody wants to even think about where that train of thought might end.

Sometimes, the best thing you’ll ever do is walk away and not have the fight.

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As you do, you hear the person whisper under their breath that you’re a fucking idiot, and have no idea what’s being discussed. How can you understand what’s wrong when you refuse to accept that your point of view is flawed? Isn’t it simply easier to pretend the argument never happened to begin with? Well, yes and no, because when you’re fairly confident that you do have a point and perhaps there is more going on in the World than just this one flashpoint… this is a really tough ask, most days. As a parent you know what growing up was like. You can’t get a child to grasp your view of it because, in most cases, it’s a world away from their own perception of reality. So, do you push it or do you walk away? Sometimes, your inability or reticence to engage can be enough to make your child think that perhaps there is something up. It’s not a given, though. However, after I’d seen Executive orders signed in the Oval Office with a posse of grim male bystanders and watched countless women on Social media hate the decisions made over their own reproductive rights by a bunch of guys… lo and behold, women started showing up in the background of shots. This doesn’t make pillaging native lands or shutting down environmental projects any less galling but HEY we got the memo about needing diversity in the room, so come on, cut us a fucking break already.

There’s a piece of video I can’t bring myself to post here from the Inauguration. It’s when The Orange Twat turns away from his beautiful, elegant First Lady wife and the smile she’s saved just for him vanishes in a heartbeat, like a lightbulb being switched off. It is the moment I realise that even being close to someone is no guarantee they will ever listen to sense or reason. It is the reinforcement of the understanding that in the patriarchy that is now running the USA, women don’t stand a fucking chance. This man’s Campaign manager might be female, but she’s never going to be given anything but a notion of control. There is no equality here. There is simply a desire to roll back any good that the previous Administration did, and stamp agendas to the country that further prove how wonderful the President is, and how much money he will make from being in office. This will not be the most successful Presidency in anything except financial gain. I cannot believe, having watched the last year play out, this man cares about anyone or anything except himself.

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I interact every day with people exactly like this. The world will never revolve around anyone except them. It is depressing beyond belief but inevitably it boils down to someone at some stage in their childhood not pointing out that life isn’t just about what you want. Yes, this matters and it is important, but never at the expense of understanding you are part of a whole, a planet full of people who often don’t have a voice, or are suppressed from even expressing an opinion. The bigger picture matters more, ultimately, than anything you might want or need when all is said and done. It is only a game, nobody makes you play it. You don’t need to be either rich or famous to be happy. Popularity is a game you would be best never to play to begin with. On the flip side of course, people I disagree with see me in exactly the same way. I’m the selfish one. I’m the person who doesn’t care about them.

It’s really easy to blame someone else for your failings, far harder to accept you’re less than perfect. I know my flaws, and I’m never going to be a perfect person. I have to work every day, long and hard, sometimes to even keep my head above water. This isn’t about winning, or who’s the best, and most certainly has nothing to do with belittling anyone else. The problem here is self-awareness. I know what’s wrong with me.

Can you say the same about yourself?

The Big Sky

It was ‘Back to Work’ Day for me at the Gym this morning, and I walked both to and from the site despite slippery pavements and just above freezing temperatures. Once upon a time I could use a footbridge across the main road I need to cross but the Council in their wisdom have taken it away and now it’s dodge the traffic time, which makes me decidedly nervous. However, it is what it is, and so I will get used to the change. An hour’s worth of pretty brutal PT later? MANY things have changed for the better.

  • Running is no longer a chore. Spending two weeks making myself do the work has taken most of the fear away.
  • Recovery times are very much up and I can speak a lot sooner after being pushed.
  • I’m lifting more weight, and doing it consistently better.

However, there is a limit now to what my lung capacity can provide which means burst exercise (for want of a better phrase) is still really tough. The trick now is to measure my effort, and to try and not go full out at the start of sets and instead take a more long term approach to what needs to be done. However, I can row 250 metres in a minute flat out. Don’t ask me to do much after that, mind, but there’s another benchmark to add to the rapidly increasing pile. I’m leg pressing 50KG and feel confident enough to go up to 60, and generally speaking this is a pretty perfect place to start the year in.

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The next piece in the puzzle therefore is food. I’ve used My Fitness Pal to log my intake for a while, but it’s never really been taken that seriously. That changes today, and I will ensure that, for as long as possible, everything that’s eaten is recorded. It is often a thankless task, and if I snack this just makes things worse. This will be the hardest task of all in the next four weeks, without a shadow of a doubt, because I know only too well the temptation to go ‘oh I won’t log that, it’s only x calories.’ The only way this works is if I play by the rules, however annoying and frustrating they may become.

After that, it is a very simple equation: if I want to lose weight, the amount I eat in calories must, every day, be less than the number of calories I burn doing exercise. That means, I’ll be off to the shops on foot shortly to add to my daily step total. I’ll be in the Gym every day this week, either running or exercising generally. My PT is going to help me create a new exercise plan to start working more than just my core muscle groups. After that, I just have to hope the changes to diet and lifestyle finally have the required effect.

In the end, that is all I can ever do.

Faith

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This is my last major Objective for 2016. I’m not talking about the second definition: sorry, those out there hoping for a quick Convert, it’s been tried before, and they failed. It’s not that I don’t possess belief, or confidence, because if I didn’t the health thing would be simply a possibility and not a truth. What I lack now more than anything else is a consistent faith in everything and not just the highlights I choose to share, and that needs to be addressed as a matter of priority.

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Social media makes you act differently, there’s no denying that when I get a compliment from a random stranger it becomes somehow more worthwhile because it was unprompted. What I crave most however is compliments from the people I care most about and to get those is going to take a phenomenal amount of hard work. This is where I lack most, and some might argue that it is other people’s jobs to change too and not simply mine. That’s only true to a point. You can be unique and special, but if you refuse to work in the World’s version of Reality (whatever that happens to be at the time) you’re screwed. I’ve never reacted well to change. I’ve always been slow and awkward and nervous. These are the true issues that need addressing in 2017, the ones I never share with you because I’m too afraid to find the right words.

These are the biggest hurdles I am yet to surmount.

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When all is said and done, I don’t want to be the person with their life laid out in public for everybody to see. This isn’t about standing up and unloading all the emotional baggage in one hit. A lot of what needs to be achieved is in how I react to things, managing when stuff doesn’t go to plan, what takes place when challenged with something that amends or alters my world view. This is where the biggest growth needs to take place, and in the last couple of weeks I feel I’ve made some genuine progress on this front. However, I’m not the one who judges that progress, it is the rest of the World, and they have very short memories. People won’t remember how great you were, only the bad stuff. You are only as good as the last review, after all. You have to try and make each one better than the previous, and that’s a tough ask.

It’s funny watching people decide how awful 2016 was for loss, when I know how much I personally gained in the last year. If I can maintain a fraction of that momentum I’ll be beyond happy. Three words will be written and inscribed on a Post It Note, and we’ll come back here (fates willing) in a year and see how I did. That should be the biggest take-away all of us who remain on this earth have from the last 365 days. We’re still here. Never stop fighting, learning and growing. Make every day worthwhile.

#BeBetter with every step you take.

Did It Again

#50Kin50Days, Day One: 1k. Didn’t break any records, but wasn’t trying, but by the end of the six and a bit kilometres I completed I was running at my ‘normal’ PB time, and my body was not screaming at me to stop PLEASE I CANNAE TAKE IT. In fact, both glutes and calves are impressively sanguine at the amount asked of them this morning. For the first time since records began I’ve gone down in weight on successive Fridays too, which may yet trigger a national holiday.

There was a bloke in the car park of the Gym wearing a ‘SPECTRE’ Stunt team hoodie, and part of me really wants to believe that he was genuinely a stuntman and briefly I was within touching distance of someone who was in touching distance of La Craig. That meant that it had to be Bond tunes for the workout, and actually these worked surprisingly well as backdrop. YES SOMETIMES I pretend to be a secret agent too. I make no bones about this.

This morning was all about just starting the way I mean to go on, which I did. If the next 49 days are like this, I’m golden. Piece of piss.

MARKS OUT OF 10: Nine for gym outfit co-ordination (black and purple represent) and a solid Eight for starting the way I mean to go on. I am proud of myself today. I did gud.

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In Other News, I have a lot of planning and organisation to do going forwards, not simply for the New Year but beyond. After my 12 hour GIF-a-Thon tomorrow, I’m hoping to spend Sunday re-arranging my workspace in preparation for 2017’s ‘Attack of the Werds’ when I actually make this place fit for purpose. I want a list of Things to Do that won’t break me, that’s realistic and attainable, and that includes exercise front and centre. Then there are other things I’d like to try and expand on, if I can find space in the schedule to accommodate them.

For now, an awful lot of stuff needs to be sorted, and I really need to get my arse in gear.

Into the Gap

The second half of my week was, without doubt, an unmitigated disaster.

Today, I woke up and left husband to lie in while I came downstairs to an empty house. Kids have been at their grandparents for the weekend, and in the silence I was able to accept that I never want another few days like those that have just passed. There’s nobody else to blame for the set of circumstances that transpired but myself. Often you can say to yourself ‘but hang on’ or maybe ‘if they hadn’t done that…’ but No. This was all my own fault, 100% blame in my own lap. There was a point very early on Friday morning when some points of disparate realisation finally connected and I was able to grasp that, when all is said and done, evolution only works if you’re willing. All this stuff about improving mind and body is great, but on the days when everything goes to shit, that’s when actions and consequences matter the most. In times past, Friday would have been a fucking disaster area. In reality, things went pretty well. It was certainly an improvement.

However, my ability to help still needs work.

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I am truly terrible at doing stuff when I have no desire to even be involved in the process. There has to be less procrastination and more actual effort to clear the stuff on my To Do list that isn’t fun or life enriching. However, most importantly of all, I am terrible when asking for help. Having done so, all the thrashing beforehand was largely pointless, but it has meant that today, at least personally’s been one of the most relaxing Sundays for quite some time. A lot has been done, both at home and online, and I now feel as if I’m ready to do the next week and not make a horrendous hash of anything. I might even get to a situation where I can make headway on the long-term projects that mean so much but seem to always end up being left to one side.

Which reminds me, someone remind me to go set the Sky Box for Westworld on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday night.

Help

This is a True Story. I’m not sure of the exact day when the event transpired, but it wouldn’t be hard to pinpoint, as it clashed with a series of real life events that are well documented. It was before the Summer Holidays, that I can be certain of, so happened at least in recent memory. No names will be used either, except mine.

The reason why I’m mentioning it now will become apparent in due course.

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I’m about to go to bed one night, and see someone on my Twitter feed post a quote from a Movie I really like, so (as often happens) I send a suitable response. This prompts me to go and take a look at their profile website, and discover they’ve moved quite a distance to start a new life. I remember being younger and wishing I had the balls to do this, but never did. I lied about the possibility to impress someone though, pretended an elaborate falsehood, and this exchange highlighted that moment. Then it prompted the desire to ensure I’m never that person again.

A couple of days later, whilst I’m prepping at breakfast to make a longer than usual car trip, the same person posts, clearly either drunk or in genuine distress. I’ve seen a lot of Twitter ‘attention’ posts in my time, and you get a sense after a while whether the person trying to attract sympathy or understanding is in genuine trouble, or angling to get someone to just talk. In this case, the alarm bells wouldn’t stop ringing, and so I pushed for more. This person was obviously unhappy, compromised and (it appeared) trapped by their own volition. I suggested that this could easily corrected, but this person wouldn’t budge.

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Enter another Twitter ‘friend’ who is, it has to be said, a total heroine. She is kind, caring and understands the mindset of this individual, because it transpires they have already spoken. It then becomes apparent that the truth behind the wider narrative is not something they want to share (with very good reason) but their distress is genuine and now, at least for me several thousand miles away, increasingly alarming. Once it becomes apparent that there could be a firearm involved, I realise I am totally out of my depth.

I can still taste the fear and confusion from the car trip I made that morning, phone by my side as I followed this situation playing out, thousands of miles away, with nothing more that I could do except hope my reassurance had been enough to help the individual find a way forward. Then, I get a message: the person is safe, with someone else who has, simply out of the kindness of their heart, offered to help and offer shelter. Shortly afterwards, a single Tweet told the story, and a few days afterwards another appeared as a quiet and unassuming postscript. After that, there was nothing. I’d check, and wonder, and assume that if I heard nothing, that was enough.

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Fast forward to this morning: for the first time in months I see a message from this person. I want to ask them how they are, if they struggled after what happened, but part of me knows I don’t want to post that Tweet.

Sometimes, that’s not how life works.


When you ‘live’ with people in large virtual communities, often it isn’t just about the good stuff. I’ve watched some genuinely frightening abuse in the time I’ve used Twitter, and in some cases that has escalated to real life over spill which isn’t just mortifying, but frankly unbelievable. That old adage that ‘it always happens to someone else’ is true right up to the point when you’re the one in the spotlight: then, it becomes a case of putting money where mouth is and being the decent person, not just pretending you are. With the exception of two close friends and the other person involved in this? Nobody else knew about that morning until now. Having seen this person moving on with their life, I just want to wish them well, but if I contact them again what could easily happen is that I’ll just drag up all the hurt and bad feelings from that point, and that just wouldn’t be fair.

If it were me, I’d just pretend that nothing ever happened and move on.

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So, here I am, feeling the need to remind the World that you can be strong enough. Life does go on, you do cope, and things will get better. Often the way that happens is through the random kindness of strangers, who it doesn’t matter that you’ll never know. That’s what makes Life worth living, and why if you’re ever in a position to help someone stuck in a corner, you should absolutely and totally do everything you can to do just that.

One day, that person might be you.

Reality

Last night, I had a dream about the nature of linear time. It involved two travellers, man and woman, and I suspect it had a lot to do with Tanith Lee’s The Silver Sky being a seminal influence in my childhood. They key difference in this fiction was that my travellers were slowly evolving themselves, that the further backwards and forwards they moved in time, the less reliant they were on bodies until the moment when they dispensed with them altogether and simply became energy. However, the most significant part of the dream came when I awoke and was, for quite a while, convinced I’d evolved myself. Removing the pint of blood from my system had triggered a regenerative process I’d never experienced before, and suddenly there was no pain, or niggles from long-term injury. I was calmer than I’d ever been, and my body being forced to remake blood had somehow moved me forward to something not quite human.

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It was such a vivid set of circumstances I can still feel the calm even now. I was somehow different, better than I had experienced before, and I suppose that’s not far off the actual truth. The last few months has seen an awful lot of personal change, and it makes logical sense that my brain will react to that. What this did spur me to do was push today, despite only managing six hours sleep. I am feeling it now, that much is unmistakable, but as I pulled my wobbly legs home after rescheduled PT, it was with a sense of clam and satisfaction that I don’t want to lose, and have hung onto all day, even as my ability to function’s been eroded by the fatigue.

I am evolving; becoming better than I was. It’s an amazing feeling, and I love it.

The Closest Thing to Crazy

Today has not started well.

I get that I’m the problem in many situations. It is clear to me that the way I have acted or felt, the means by which I have communicated or responded, has generated drama. This happens both in reality and in the purely fantastical World of the Internet. In both cases, I am well aware of what I could do to prevent issues to begin with, and that is to just say nothing and move on. Except as I get older, and the number of days I have left on this Planet undoubtedly diminish, there is the understanding that sometimes, maybe, silence isn’t the answer. There’s multiple variants on the ‘if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything’ adage that I can roll out ad infinitum. However, there are just days when listening to the same complaints and being fed recycled lame excuses is just… well, enough.

If I am the source of drama people will often bend over backwards to point and accuse. When they are the lazy, selfish and thoughtless ones? Not so much. Making people aware of their own failings is a difficult and dangerous game to play, and I know full well how this has hampered my progress in the Real World in the past. My problem back then was I wouldn’t call people out. I’d just let them pile the shit on me and let it pass, or I’d take advantage of people’s shortcomings and use that to avoid my own pain. That’s the old me, and not this version. If I get hurt because I want to point out what I consider is an issue? I’ll take the hit, if I am confident judgement is sound. This morning, in the cold and dangerous Real World, I did just that. I’m prepared to be hurt to make a point.

It makes me wonder what lies other people tell themselves to avoid the reality of pain.

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One of the most beneficial positives from my journey into exercise and fitness has been the understanding that pain comes in many forms, and often what you think is bad is nothing of the sort. I have a well-documented physical issue with both inner ear and neck that makes rollercoasters anything but enjoyable. Now, I can pretend that doesn’t exist and ride, but the physical discomfort remains considerable. Once upon a time I had a problem with running and breathing, but that’s been overcome because the pain involved from both wasn’t ultimately as significant as my brain had me believe. One of these is a true impediment, the other is in my imagination. Trying to distinguish these two states is, I know, difficult for many. Pain ultimately means fear, and that makes it just simpler to succumb to the latter and not deal with the former.

That’s why I have an immense amount of respect for people who live with long term illness with dispositions and outlooks that ultimately put everybody else to shame. The perceived frailties of human beings is well documented. Your ‘First World Problems’ really are just that when you put them against those who survive through 24/7 pain, and yet do so with an outlook some people may spend their entire lives attempting to even briefly grasp. Also, and this is crucial, your individual tolerance to these things is a really significant barometer on how you will cope long term. I realise I’ve been complaining a lot about being tired, at least some of which can be levelled at a life change I can do absolutely nothing about. This morning I decided to just get up and do the day. Now I’m wishing I’d stayed in bed.

However, I refuse to give up.

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I do therefore what I have always done in these situations to cope: I write. I use words to try and explain why things have happened. I used them to describe what I’ve seen and how I think that needs to change. When someone else sees the darkness in a situation and all I can perceive is light? Sometimes, I think, it is not a bad thing to point out that disparity. I can do this without being rude, or disparaging, because I’ve learnt to do so. What the World needs to remember is that if you start conversations, there is always the chance someone will respond and not give the answer you either wanted or were prepared for. When that happens, you have a choice. You’re either honest, or you’re not. This is probably the biggest fear of all, in the end. What happens when you say something to someone and they don’t agree with you? How do you cope with the possibility of being wrong?

The reality of course is that, unless you’re dealing with maths questions, universal constants or gamers, there are no right answers. There are only ways of dealing with issues that ultimately involve a lot of effort, hard work and often commitment. Yup, you gotta want this stuff to get better and not just turn up and hope someone else does the work. Committing yourself to a relationship means taking the rough and the smooth, and finding ways to make everything work well. That doesn’t just mean the other people either. You’re part of the equation, like it or not. If you came here to get an easy ride and just hope everyone has sympathy for you? Not gonna work like that. Sometimes it is hard, and you gotta put in the hours.

Every day really should be a school day.

Your Game

I like to spend time on treadmills and walking, imagining ideas for novels not yet written. One of them this week involved a celebrity couple becoming an item, and wanting to not tell the Press. It wouldn’t be because they were doing anything wrong or bad, simply that they wanted to have a relationship away from the glare of publicity. How long, I wondered, could you go in the modern world without anyone becoming aware you were together?

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So, the guy and the girl decide they want privacy. They don’t move in with each other and continue living separate lives. Friends aren’t let in on the secret, and most importantly their agents are none the wiser. Neither go out in public together and if they do, leaving and arriving at places alone becomes de rigeur. After six months of this the couple decide they want to go on holiday: not to a hotel, but a privately booked apartment. The vendor only deals with the guy, and several hours after he arrives his partner (who was in the country, somewhere else) arrives and they spend the next two weeks in bed. Then, the night before the apartment’s due to be re-let? The girl quietly leaves. So, it goes on, and after three years of this someone sees them together and finally joins the dots. The press then decide they’re an item, and then the couple laugh and admit they got married six months previously.

The press, perhaps understandably, go ballistic. It is up to celebrities to play the game. You ‘tip off’ the press, they help promote stuff. They sell this life, and in turn stories shift many, MANY units and create thousands of shares and retweets. That’s how this branch of ‘journalism’ works. Except, it only ever matters if anybody cares to begin with, and that begins with a long and tortuous process of hawking yourself to the highest bidder, prostituting everything you ever do and becoming a soulless, empty husk. After years and years of this it becomes habit, a drug, fix you cannot ignore and that fills every waking thought.

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Please don’t feel sorry for people when they have lived their lives in front of a camera. If you’re prepared to sell your wedding pictures to a magazine? Frankly, everything is fair game. If you go out of your way to avoid being in the public eye and people drag you into it? Then, I think, you probably earn more respect, but that’s no excuse for stupidity. If you stick your dick in someone else’s wife and expect an easy ride? It should be no different than the woman who cuckolded their husband. Sometimes, actions have consequences. The fact remains, millions of people feed on other people’s broken and battered personal lives. It’s been this way for HUNDREDS OF YEARS. The only difference now is that more people get to know faster. Salacious gossip was around for Jane Austin, and well before.

If you don’t want to be ‘news’, don’t make it.

If you don’t want people commenting on your personal life, stop fucking publishing it in public.