A Severe Case of the Hurts

I broke up with my boyfriend last night.

For this to happen I had to have a boyfriend to start with, he was my first one.  That makes last night my first breakup.

I’m not quite sure what to do now.  It wasn’t a big messy breakup; no fighting, no yelling, no secret affairs.  Instead it was a conversation, communicating what we both had been thinking, that we loved giving our time to each other but maybe we were just not right for each other, not meant to be.

We had talked of  before about how we are quite different from each other but at those moments we decided that it didn’t matter.  I’m not sure what made last night the night when it did matter.

There is no hatred or anger just sadness that this romantic part of our relationship has come to an end.  I think it was more about releasing each other to allow us both to see if there is that someone out there who is ‘the one’, than about wanting to end it and not be in each others lives anymore.

We have said we will remain friends, I truly with all my heart hope we do.  He has been such a great presence in my life for the last 8 months, bringing me joy and knowledge and comfort within myself that it would be too much to lose him entirely from my life.  I hope he feels that I added something to his life too, I think he did based on our shared tears and sad faces.

We have been messaging since we said goodbye last night to make sure each other is ok.  He feels that it was his fault, it wasn’t at all, not in any way.  It was a beautiful, thoughtful decision that hurts and neither of us is sure is right but was the result of us sharing what we were thinking and feeling and accepting those emotions.

Now there is a slight emptiness, I keep thinking about him, not quite sure what I’m meant to be doing right now.  I tend to be quite a detached person and I didn’t know I could care for someone so much or feel such pain in a decision that is probably best for both of us.

For the entirety of this relationship we have both been happy in the moment and in each others presence but I don’t know that either of us felt that we were supposed to grow old in each others arms.  I do however want to watch him grow old, see him be happy and achieve the great things his beautiful mind is overly capable of achieving.  So for now we need a little space to think and hurt and process but it’s not the end of our story just yet, there is a friendship and companionship there we now need to find a new way to embrace.

The Confusion of Dips A.K.A. Making a Lasting Impression

There are five people living in my flat and every so often one of them moves out.  When this happens the great flat mate search beings where we hunt London for the person to make our flat whole again.

This involves a bizarre speed dating night where around 12 people come by our specially cleaned flat and sit with us for 15 minutes as we terrify them.  These people are selected from a large group of applicants based largely on whether I know what their job is or not and the movie they say they would show for a flat movie night.  If they say a Vince Vaughn movie they are automatically ruled out.  If they say Mrs Doubtfire, a weird art-house movie or Game of Thrones (even though it’s not a movie) they are automatically in.

Things start our nice and  calm and normal as we introduce ourselves and ask questions about them.  By about person 6 we have lost our minds and are generally just talking amongst ourselves and swapping jobs when they ask.  It’s a fun wild night that leaves you exhausted and normally results in a new person who thinks we are crazy in all the right ways moving into our little world.

Normally.

This time we are about to do our third night of viewings, it usually only takes one.  Night one ended with us hating everyone.  Night two ended with us wanting to live with two people who didn’t want to live with us and another couple that were a maybe.  Maybe isn’t really good enough when you are inviting them into your home based on a hurried 15 minute conversation full of polite conversation and delirious in jokes.

So for the first time int he history of the house we are about to do night three. I normally get quite excited for these nights, im not so much for this time round.  The blame for the need of three nights can be placed on a girl I’m going to refer to as Sami.  She came into our lives like a loud whirlpool of energy and broke us.

Because we are trying to be good hosts we provided a few snacks for the guests.  Some crisps, dips and a few mini eggs, it is nearly easter after all.

This selection confused Sami.

Upon seeing the dips she asked what they were.  We told her they were dips for dipping things in.  She picks up a chocolate egg and looking concerned goes to dip it in the dip.  We go to say no, don’t do it.  She said ok, but I kinda want to.  We say go for it.

She does it.

It tastes terrible.

We loose our minds.

Whoever came after that was just a blur really, we spend the rest of Sami’s 15 minutes barely holding it together as she instantly became the ‘Egg Dip Girl’ who also couldn’t remember how many Tinder dates she goes on.  She will forever be in our hearts and minds completely unforgettable, but in no way someone you wanted to live with.

Everyone from the first night couldn’t complete with her impact, the people on night two just seemed dull by comparison.  Sami wanted the room and a small part of us wanted to say yes just to see what would happen.  It would be disastrous, hilarious, but disasterous.  We would hate her, she would keep us awake, we would regret our decision, but we will forever be curious as to how quickly she would burn the flat to the ground.

I feel this is the same thinking that got Trump elected.  Fortunately we were wiser in this instance, but just think of what could have been.

Belated Generic Response to 2016

2016 was the year that made me question my belief in the goodness of people.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware people can be the worst.  As individuals and as groups we can do some truly horrific things.  But I’ve always believed that as a whole in the grand balance of things humanity has the intentions of being good.

For me this belief stems from the innate desire of creation that people possess.  This creativity is our greatest strength, whether it be to see a problem and need to come up with a way to fix it; to want to create art or song or stories that serve no other purpose than to entertain; or to just build the tallest tower of Lego bricks you possibly can.  That stems from something deep inside us, creativity isn’t taught, it can be embraced and nurtured or suppressed and ignored, but it is always there.  And for me I equate this need to make with goodness,the desire to improve ones situation and the curiosity to just see what will happen.

Also I’m incredibly naive and idealistic and glass half-full.  Too much so.

But 2016 was the year that made me question that because when presented with two decisions people came together as a mass and got it wrong.  It least according to me and my hopeful liberal little world.

There was no way the UK would vote to leave the EU, why would you, no one I knew was voting that way.  Coming from New Zealand where there is no one else around to build a community like this, why would you vote to leave it.  The critical mass of it gave you power and the ability to move freely through all those centres of amazing cultures is one of the worlds great privileges.  But the populous embraced the dark side, voted out of fear of the other, rejected the experts they didn’t have time for, said no to the people from other cultures they work and live next to everyday.

As baffling and outside the world I live in this decision was, I can understand how if you were downtrodden, unemployed, barely surviving it would be easy to be sucked into the rhetoric.  To blame the big bad EU for all your woes and see hope that things would be better if you got out.  Trump however is a different story.

That was the news I woke up to that physically made me hurt.  Yes I could understand how certain parts of society would be sucked into the promises he spun, just like they were in the UK.  But enough people to get him elected?  This was inconceivable.

To me there was a choice between someone who had spent their entire life in public service, who has experience and dignity, not perfect but clearly the better option against someone who had never held public office, whose pitch relied on fear and racism and sexism and crudeness.  It was fascinating to watch this man and the circus around him, but there was no way he would win, people were good, they would reject the values he was presenting.

When he wasn’t laughed off the stage when he was embraced by a huge part of the land of the free, it crushed me.  To wake up to a notification on your phone saying President-elect Trump was numbing.  I couldn’t help but think how if you were the parent of little girls and spent their entire life telling them you could do anything and to go into that night thinking this would be the night for them to witness that it was not just words but the real world that had been build for them.  It was your chance to show them that if you work hard and not buckle under setbacks and if you are the best person for the job, it will be yours.  To sit there on that night and see that story of hope and of equality crushed not by a man who was more qualified but by Trump, someone who represents the world that has held people back for so long, be deemed the best person in the eyes of the masses, that would break me  It makes you question whether the world you thought you lived ever really existed, or was just the hopes of a dreamer.

But we are two months on from that night, a few weeks away from its results coming into formal power.  I’ve recovered slightly, still horrified at the result, but my optimism has returned.  I have the morbid curiosity to see what will happen but also the belief that people wont let the world descend into madness, we will go through hard times but we will keep on.  People will continue to create, to do the amazing in the face of fear as we work to making a better tomorrow.

*This blog entry is terrible, its says nothing that people more eloquent than I haven’t already said and is all hopes and dreams.  Urgh.  But oh well.*

Bewildered (more so than ever) Observer

Rogue Seal vs Death

I don’t have alot of friends, I’ve never been that good at keeping hold of them, as I move through each stage of my life I struggle to bring relationships with me.  I’m too comfertalbe being on my own and being on the sides, not good a putting myself out there, happy to be forgotten, to be good at maintaining friendships.

When I moved to London I knew noone and it forced me to get over that comfertable independence.  No one was going to take me under their wing and guide me through this mass of people, I had to figure out how to be semi normal and quickly.  Part of that was entering the world of online dating, not only to find a boyfriend, but to meet people full stop.  It was way beyond me to meet friends in a bar, or however you’re supposed to do it, so dates was a way to get me out of the flat and start living.  And as a result the only friends I’ve made not through work or the flat are poeple I’ve met via online dates, as strange as that may be.

One of those friends messaged me this week that his mum was very close to death and only had a few days to live.  This is not a situation I’m socially equipped for.

I’ve met him a total of three times.  The first time on a date where I kissed him at the end of the night.  The second time on a date where he told me he didn’t want to date me but wanted to be friends.  The third time we went to an art gallery and had lunch.  So not a long history, but I still count him as a friend even as I remained perplexed as to what makes an adult who has lived in London his whole life decide he wants to be friends with the guy he had a date with and then actually follow through on it.  The act of bringing on adult friends is rare, it takes alot of energy to bring somone new into your life, if you have a circle of friends its big to meet somone and welcome them into your life.  I’ve never asked him what led him to this decsion, I think about it all the time, and appreciate it every time I do.

But now his mum is dieing.  This makes me unbarably sad.  I’m terrible in sad situations.  I feel that half the time I’m in a serious conversation I have a wierd smile on my face.  I’m obviously not happy but its just an instinctual response, my body just panics and decides the best course of action is to grin, and somtimes emit a laughing noise.  Its one of the many things that make me socially awkward.

The majority of my friendship with him has been farcicle joke based.  The main reason we met up was because when we were chatting online I got wierd, as i always do, and he decended to my level of weirdness without hesitation.  The conversations we have a sarcastic and ridiculous, dead pan and hilarious.  Most of the messages I send him are New Zealand news story related, serious issues like loose seals, a girl riding a cow like a horse, or Canadian cat smuglers.  You know normal everyday New Zealand news which is 90% animal based.

But now those messages are inapproriate.  I don’t know how to say comferting words, either in person or via messages.  I end up talking in gerneal platatudes, the same things that everyone says, thinking of you, call if you need anything etc.  This is because I know there is actually nothing I can do.  This sucks, its one of the worst moments in someones life and there is nothing at all i can do or say to stop it, to minimise it, to help it.  I, like everyone else in his life am powerless against the forces of time and nature, the words i’ve said to him will have been said by everyone else, people who know him so much better than i do.  My animal stories are powerful, but nowhere near powerful enough to defeat death.

I know that when it happens for me there isn’t anything I could be told to help and the reality is that this momment is quickly coming all the more closer as an event of trauma for me to survive.  The ineveitablity of the death of my own parents is the though that I can’t remove from my mind when I talk to him.

The fact that I live on the other side of the world makes it all the more painful.  If somthing happens I can’t get there quickly,  I cant rush accross town to be there in a moment, I have to fly.

For 24 hours.

One day I will get a phone call that one of them is gone, or that one of them has been given a terrible diagnosis.  And i will have to drop everything and go there and spend that entire flight regretting the fact that I wasn’t there for them more in their final years.

Its the one and only thing I dislike about living in london.  I know I have to be here because its better for me.  I’m happier, I’m more comferatable, I like the person London makes me and I don’t like myself in New Zealand.  But knowing I’m not there for the people who made me and who raised me, that made me the person that was able to come to London and be taken into its arms hurts.  Hurts a hell of a lot.

I don’t like that when I think of my friends pain I turn it into thinking about my own future pain, that I turn his current real hurt, into my imagained, but i can’t help it. I can’t begin to know the darkness he’s going through, and the only way I can process it is by thinking about the hurt that I know is coming.

So now I wait, he needs time, there is nothing I can do in these moments that others he know far better cannot.  But while I wait I check the New Zealand Herald for news.  Ridciuous news about sheep and whales and goats and just the general wierd and wonderful people that make New Zealand.  Becasue while the rest of the world is involved in grown up issues New Zealand is just there doing it own thing giving me links and articles to stockpile ready to dispatch at a moments notice when the time comes when he is in need of some nonsense.

Bewildered Observer

Dateing Ghosts

I’ve never had a proper boyfriend.  I’ve been on plenty of dates with great guys but never reached the stage of introducing them to other people, never joint skyping mum to introduce ‘Hans, my ballet dancing male lover’.  Things have never lasted long enough to warrant that.

There have been guys I’ve though could become that, guys you go on quite a few dates with, a month maybe more worth of dinners and drinks and making out.  But then they end.

The thing about all of those ‘could be something there’ dates is that none of them have ended with arguments, or farewells or anything like that.  Instead they just stop, one day your messaging and organising meet ups then they just end.  They become ghosts.

Ghosting happens to me all the time.  I don’t know if this is the same for everyone, or if I’m just exceptionally ghostable.  It’s probably just that no one likes to do the dumping, it’s so much easier to just never reply and hope they get the hint.  I’ve done it, I’ve had it done to me, sometimes i think we are both ghosting each other at the same time

But I’m going to try to stop ghosting people, i need to man up and just break their hearts.  This is because my most recent ghost kinda hurt.

In my first blog post I wrote:

“I’m currently trading messages with a guy that involve me buying Wales and setting up a dictatorship with a sheep based defense force.  Obviously.  I find it highly entertaining, he is much slower at responding and I’m pretty sure will ghost me soon.”

I met him twice, had a great time, he was funny and cute in a normal person way.  We talked and talked about complete an utter nonsense and kissed a little at the end of each date.

Then he went away for a month.

I decided to wait it out, he’s on holiday, he’s not going to be messaging everyday, that’s fine, I think he is worth waiting for.  We were even messaging a bit, he somehow lost a tooth, a showed him my amazing paperclip.  Then he never replied.

The message he never replied to wasn’t a question or anything, just a continuation of the banter we were trading.  The last thing he said was:

“It’s beautiful…you  you went to the serpentine gallery without me?!?”

He was talking about the paper clip obviously.  I responded, he never did.  Maybe I had broken his serpentine gallery loving heart by going, but it’s not as if we had made a plan to go together, i don’t even remember what we said about it.  And he was away for a month.

A week went by and I messaged again, just to make sure

“Holler.  What part of the great sojourn from London are we currently on? I feel it’s Barcelona.  the c is pronounced th FYI.”

No response.  For a while I really, really wanted to message once more, maybe he never got the message, maybe he didn’t press send properly, or maybe i could at least find out why.  But as I keep seeing on people’s Grindr profiles. “no reply is a reply”.  if he was interested he would have messaged, he would be checking to see if i had replied.  He obviously wasn’t.  He was also definitely back in london as my stalking of his Instagram could attest.

I was a little heart-broken, i actually really like him and I’m still not quite sure what went wrong.  But that is online dating, you move on, update your picture and try to find the next one.

So swell and nifty Grindr guy, who wasn’t even from Grindr, but a completely different dating site farewell.  May you rest in peace and find future happiness in the world of dating.  You have gifted me with the lesson of why I shouldn’t ghost, lets see if i have the balls to live by it.  I probably don’t.

BTW your shoes were ugly.

Bewildered Observer

 

The Pilfered Paperclip 

I am now in possession of the worlds most beautiful paper clip. How it came into my possession is a tale of theft, misinformation and architectural wonders. A tale to be told for generations, but first the paper clip itself. Just look at it:

Here it is again:

And once more for good luck:

It’s just an elegant piece of design. Its copper colouring, its subtle little bends, its longer than normal length, the way it clips paper. Just looking at it makes me happy. Good design makes me happy, there is something just joyful about discovering finding an object that does its job functionally while also being pleasurable to look at.
This paperclip doesn’t fasten paper together better than any other paperclip but the mere fact that it looks better give the things it hold more importance, more weight. Like this is a paperclip of note, the things that it secures should reflect that.

I actually do not own anything worthy of this paperclip. This makes ownership of it slightly stressful. It needs to be used or else it’s not doing its job, fulfilling its destiny. It needs to be seen or else the world will not know its beauty. But I have no documents of world interest which need to be collated. Its currently holding the papers it came with in an envelope on the floor. This is sacrilegious. Thoughts of it consume my mind, nagging me to help it reach its full potential.

How did I come to become the guardian of this entity I hear you ask? Well let me detail the caper.

Twas a radiant summers day in London, the city was alive in the magical way it does on those rare long hot days. It was a Monday afternoon, my weekday day off, not a day that a crime is expected to take place. The city is supposed to be mine to do with as I please, but it isn’t. the parks are full with people inhaling the sun on one of the 14 days it shows its face. They should be working. I don’t know why they are not. I ignore them. They are not why I’m here.

Its summer so the Serpentine pavilion is up, I love this. It’s like the paperclip, beautiful. Thought has gone into it, it’s a focal point, it brings people there just to exist in a space. It captures the eye and is fleeting, gone by autumn. The paper clip is more functional though. This pavilion encloses space but doesn’t protect from the weather.

As I meander through the pavilion I crave more information about who made it, what influenced them, what it symbolises. As I sit tolerating a terrible M & S sandwich I spy a stand with A4 sized envelopes. I see people picking them up. I assume this is an information pack full of glossy images and inspirational quotes.

I finish the sandwich and move over to stand, not entirely sure I’m supposed to take one so trying to avoid the looks of the attendants. I inspect the stand, there is no sign saying what they are or inviting me to take one. They are larger than I would expect for a free brochure.

I take one.

As I pick it up I see the words on the top of the unit. They are faint and hard to see. As the envelope comes closer to me I realise I’m supposed to be giving a suggested $1 (this should be a pound sign, but my keyboard doesn’t have one) donation. It’s too late to put it back but I don’t want to donate and I see no box to do so in. I take it and move away, knowing I have effectively just stolen from a non-profit arts organisation. I’m a criminal.

I move back to the seats to inspect my prize as though I’ve made a contribution like a conscientious citizen and am enjoying the results. It’s not information about the pavilion. It’s a “Architecture Family Pack: Loose Parts Kit”. Kids are supposed to use all the perforated paper parts to create stuff, and bond as a family unit in the process. Learning through creating. I don’t want this, I’m not going to create something with it, I have no children, it will just sit there cluttering my small room.

But then I see it holding everything together. My prize. I didn’t know it was there but it had been calling me all along.

The paperclip.

I stash the envelope in my bag to keep it all secure and to properly admire once I get home where I head immediately. Its glorious and mine. One day this will be seen as the start of my career as a well-designed objects thief, the point where it all started to go downhill.

I still just sit and admire it, it’s my precious. It needs a name, but no name is worthy of it.

How long this paperclip will be in my possession is up to the clip. I feel it moves about as it pleases, working its way to its destiny of fastening a document of world changing importance. One day it will no longer be mine, I may give it to a great love as a symbol of my feelings or it may be taken from me by a great enemy, or it may be pried from my cold dead hands. However it leaves me and wherever it goes it will be where it needs to be. This is a paperclip that is going places.

930 words about a paperclip complete.

Bewildered Observer

BREAKING NEWS: Ice-Cream of the Summer 2016

BREAKING NEWS.

I have found the ice-cream of the summer 2016.  This is the ice-cream that I will be going out of my way to be in the vicinity of as much as possible over the summer and beyond.

And the winner of the 2016 best ice-cream of the summer is ……..

 

Peach and Prosecco from Udderlicious in Covent Garden.

 

It is beautifully fresh and smooth and light, and all you could want from an ice-cream on an hot summers day.  Congratulations.  Please note this award can be revoked at any time without prior notice should I stumble upon another even more amazing ice-cream before September.

It should be noted that I really really really like ice-cream.  Like my two favourite foods are sandwiches and ice-cream.  Ironically though the ice-cream sandwich, not a huge fan.

The two things I miss most from New Zealand are the fresh fish we used to get from my uncle and the quality of the ice-cream.  As Rachel Hunter so wisely said “you just can’t beat a trumpet”, and its true the cornetto continues to disappoint me constantly simply by not being a trumpet.  It looks like a trumpet, but its ice-cream is of an inferior quality and a lack of thought has gone into the mixing in of the flavours.  Trumpet for the win.

Rachel also said “it won’t happen overnight but it will happen”, truly a fountain of wisdom she is.  We should all try and live our lives like Rachel.

Now as a professional ice-cream connoisseur there are two things that bug me.

Firstly, when you get an ice-cream in a cone and the stick a spoon in there.  I’m obviously getting it in a cone so I can lick it in the way you are supposed to eat an ice-cream.  What am I going to do with the spoon, it’s just creating waste and hinders the licking process.

Secondly when you ask for two scoops and the put the scoop you said second in the cone first.  Clearly if I ask for two scoops one peach and prosecco and one chocolate and coconut it’s because I think I’m going to like the peach and prosecco more so want to eat that one last.  I was right on that one and was unfortunately left with the still delicious but not as amazing chocolate and coconut in the cone.  I feel like as an ice-cream scooping professional they should be able to follow the order in which ice-creams are given, I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but just do better next time.

And those are my concerns with the ice-cream industry, those and the fact that I need an ice-cream parlour much closer to my flat, like halfway between my flat and the tube station would be perfect, is that too much to ask.  I would make it worth your money, I’ve had three ice-creams in three days, and am not looking at slowing down anytime soon.  Now to find an excuse to head back to Covent Garden.

 

*********

On a semi related side note I also discovered the sweater of the summer 2016 today as well.  Truly a productive day it’s been.

And the sweater of the sumer is ………

 

A mesh top made of wool.

 

That’s right it a full sleeve mesh top like you would wear if you were someone who is definitely not me, only instead of light thread it’s made of wool.  Fantastic.  For when a black sweater is the look you always want but it just that little bit too hot and your nipples need to breathe.

Please note, and I cannot stress this enough, I didn’t not actually wear the sweater of the summer, just saw someone wearing it, and high on the success of finding the ice-cream of the summer just decided it needed an award cause its special and you all need a little love every now and then.

Also through the entirety of this post I wrote ice-cream icecream and just went and changed them all cause my page was full of red squiggly lines and that just can’t happen.

 

Bewildered Observer