Monday, 29 October 2012

Circus Boy 5 - Light My Fire

About 6.30 Thursday morning I decided that as I wasn't going to get much sleep anyway, I might as well get up, and I was soon followed downstairs by Son, who was badgering me to wake up Circus Boy cos he wanted to talk to him. So about 8.30 I did, with tea and toast cos I am nice like that. This was when the bed broke (really), and Circus Boy was very apologetic despite it not having been him who had broken it - except that he probably was quite a lot to do with it, and it was quite old. Oh, and something I really like about him is that every time he's stayed at mine, without fail he has made the bed, even putting the cushions all back on it. I know this sounds mad, but I'm not used to it. And he swills out his tea cup and leaves it to drain. Even though I have a dishwasher.

There was about half an hour before I had to leave, and Circus Boy was being really kind to Son, playing with him, drawing eyes on his hands (as you do), showing him some tricks and both of them were trying to persuade me not to go to work - but I was not to be persuaded cos I love my work and I am actually very conscientious. But I was very tempted. Then he asked me if I could go to open mic night with him that evening at a local pub. Initially I said no, cos I didn't have a babysitter and Son didn't want to go to his Dad's cos he was going on holiday with him on Friday morning (so it would have made sense for him to go there, but hey, that's kids...). Then Son suggested Heather - but it was such short notice. So I said I would phone her and I would come if she could babysit. Eventually Circus Boy cycled off, and I set off to drop Son at holiday club. As we turned the corner, I had a little smile to myself cos all the bus queue were watching Circus Boy unicycling down the road. The novelty of it never wore off for me.

Got to work, and first thing to do was phone Heather (priorities, see). The little star said of course she would babysit, and so once that was sorted I got down to the hard work of having a cup of tea made by the residence staff. (I should point out that I do actually work quite hard, but the holidays are a somewhat slower pace as lots of the residents go to stay with their parents - which is lucky or I may well have died of exhaustion that Thursday and never made it to open mic night).

That evening, after a bit of a rush visit to take my Mum to see my Dad in hospital, and after repairing the bed with gaffa tape, I was getting ready when Heather arrived. Then Circus Boy phoned to check everything was ok, and I said yea, and, 'ooh, by the way, what number house are you, cos I might not recognise it?'

'41. The one with the Aston Martin parked outside'

Now I know it's his parents' house, and I know that's not his own car, but even so. A James Bond car!

When I arrived at the house, he wasn't dressed (this will develop into a bit of a theme), but opened the door wearing a towel, because he was on his way to have a shower, having been busy SLEEPING all day! But he gave me  a glass of wine while I waited, and then we got his fire stuff and set off to the pub.

When we walked in, I was a little taken aback when one of the people he knew there said, 'oh, you've got ANOTHER one, Circus Boy!' Then to me he said, 'he's always got a pretty girl on his arm, this one.'

Has he indeed? But I didn't let it bother me, and we had a really good night. He did his fire thing, the first time I'd seen him perform, and I have to say that watching a half-naked bloke juggling fire is THE BEST foreplay. Then he did some guitar, and then we went back to his to drop off the fire stuff, before stumbling off home, because he'd somehow managed to ply me with a substantial amount of wine whilst we were out, and again, having a bloke pay for me is a pretty new experience, and one I could get used to quite easily.

Got back and drunkenly re-introduced him to Heather, and she was off quite quickly because the evening had gone so fast that it was gone midnight and I hadn't realised.

Of course, this didn't mean bedtime for Circus Boy, so I sat and drank some more wine, while he sat and smoked and took ketamine. Yup, you read that right. And maybe this should have rung alarm bells, but it really didn't, because although I can't explain it, whatever he felt like doing always seemed perfectly fine to me. He could probably have got out works and cranked in front of me and I wouldn't have batted an eyelid. Except that Circus Boy has a very strange view on drugs, and would never do heroin because 'you just can't source the pure stuff any more' and 'you have to be careful about what you put in your body'. So horse tranquilliser it is then!

Before we went to bed, he inspected my repair, and said it was pretty good, but probably wouldn't stand up to proper testing, but he had some electrical tape which would probably do the job a bit better, and he said he'd bring some around. But when we tested the repair, it was surprisingly robust, and the bed stayed intact right through to the next morning, so gaffa tape must be stronger than wood.

Now I have to admit that by this time I was quite keen on Circus Boy. Not just the sex, but the chat, the daft things he would sometimes come out with, his funny outlook on the world, the way he smelled even. Not aftershave - him. And paraffin. And the way we would stay snuggled up together all night. Until Steve, I'd never done this with anyone, because it was claustrophobic. I'd thought I'd never want to be held all night by anyone except him, but Circus Boy proved that this wasn't true. Circus Boy was cuddly. Well, in a bony sort of way. And even though he was so hairy it was practically fur, all of a sudden that was very attractive too.

Next morning I got up and saw Son off with his dad and step-family, then went back to bed. Although I had to get up to go to lunch with Heather and Sue, which was a shame, cos I felt like I was always hurrying Circus Boy out.

And then he did the most amazing thing. He brought me a cup of tea in the bath. After all the Steve crap, this was like... I don't know... I'd forgotten what it is like to be with someone considerate - or maybe just NORMAL. At that moment I was so surprised, and irrationally felt so cared for, that I almost burst into tears.

Then as I was putting on my make-up, he was clowning around in the garden, walking on his hands and doing cartwheels and stuff. That morning in the sunshine, it was like all the rubbish with my parents just didn't even exist. I felt the happiest I had since Dad had been taken into hospital; no, the happiest I had felt in AGES.

He left just before me, and it was really sweet cos he was stood on the doorstep chatting and cuddling and kissing for ages, and he said he wanted us to go out that evening to the club Dean had been going on about. I still wasn't very keen, and said I probably wouldn't be going, as I didn't think Heather and Sue would want to go. So he said he'd phone and see what I was up to later.

I went off to lunch and I must have been just full of it, cos although I still knew nothing could come of this, and although nothing had really changed, I was feeling a little bit infatuated, and a lot in lust.

I didn't go out that evening, cos apart from anything else, I needed some sleep and also, as I said to Circus Boy, 'we've seen eachother every day since Wednesday, I don't want you to get bored with me.'

'Oh no, I don't think that would ever happen,' said Circus Boy.

Or would it?

To be continued......

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Circus Boy 4 - Hatman Returns

So I waved my son off on a weekend away with his Dad, and wandered back into the house to hear my phone ringing. As you've probably guessed it was Circus Boy. After deliberating for all of, ooooh, a microsecond, I answered. I was a little cagey with him at first, turns out he was phoning from a service station while his 'friend' got petrol. But the thing is, he is just so bloody CHARMING! Although the other thing is that he NEVER gives you a straight answer to a question. So when I asked him, 'so what happened to you?' he didn't actually say - just talked about how busy he had been and his anti-Olympics demonstration that was apparently in the paper. Presumably his fingers had dropped off too, cos texting takes about a minute, phoning even less time. I didn't say this though, cos of the aforementioned charm completely winning me over and having me sitting in my garden smiling like a really smiley thing.

So then he says, 'why don't you come and meet me? If you can get to the festi tomorrow, I can probably get you in.'

'Oh yes, Sunny Jim, I'm gonna go travelling to the back of beyond on the off chance that you, unreliable as you are, are going to be there to meet me. Hmmm. And by the way, WHY HAVEN'T YOU CONTACTED ME ALL WEEK!'

In my dreams. Of course, I didn't say that at all. Instead I said, 'you know what Circus Boy? Thing is, when I hadn't heard from you by Thursday, I just assumed that you weren't interested, so now I'm busy all weekend, which is a shame, cos I really would have liked to have gone, but I'm a busy person, I have lots of friends, I'm not able to keep weekends free just on the off chance.'

Did I have anything planned? Did I heck as like, I spent the whole weekend cleaning and watching DVDs. But hey, you have to set your boundaries. You can't let people think you are an option whenever they have nothing and no-one better to do, or that you can be left on a back-burner because you'll drop everything when they call.

So yes, I had my quiet little weekend, mostly because I thought this really wasn't going to work out, that he was bound to cop off with some nubile hippie-fairy girl and that would be that.

Then Sunday evening he phoned! YAY!!! We chatted for ages, he was telling me all about his festival adventures, the workshops he'd been to, the people he'd met, and then his phone died, but I didn't mind, cos he must have been thinking about me. I texted him to say have a good rest of Festival, and maybe I'd see him when he was back.

Then about 1am he phoned again! He'd re-charged the phone and so we chatted for about another hour, about all sorts of stuff this time, although he was repeating himself quite a lot - but hey, that's festivals for you I suppose. When we said goodbye, he kept on repeating he'd call me when he was back from the festival tomorrow.

Did I hear from him the next day? Well, what do you think? Of course not, not a dickie-bird. Did I hear from him Tuesday? I think you can guess the answer to that one too, can't you?

So Wednesday morning Son and I were just about to leave to take Mum shopping and to the hospital when there was a knock at the door. No, it wasn't Circus Boy.

It was Dean, a friend of Steve's, asking if I knew where Steve was. I told him we weren't together, but that the last time I'd heard from him was when Aberystwyth Police phoned me asking about various old Sim card phone numbers that he used to use. I have no idea why, but the person contacting me was the custody sergeant, so when Steve completely stopped stalking me from then on, I made the educated guess that he was banged up again, cos he was out at license at that point anyway.

Dean was a bit surprised that we weren't together, because last he'd heard form Steve was about how much he loved me and how we were going to give it another go and how he was going to get clean and not blow it this time. I told him about how when Steve got out of prison he immediately got so drunk and off his head that he was paralytic when he got around here - and my ex-husband was about to arrive to pick up Son, so I just shoved him into my bedroom to sleep it off. He then got up in the middle of the night to throw up out of my bedroom window, yet thought I was being unreasonable when I said I had no desire to live like that and he could sling his hook. Luckily for Steve, his best mate let him go and live with him. Steve repaid him by sleeping with his girlfriend. That's how nice he is (that is also a whole other story that may be coming to this blog at some later date). So Dean was going on about what an idiot, how I was the best thing that had happened to him ever etc etc (that was true at least!), and then he headed off. As I closed the door, I said to Son, 'something tells me that's not the last I've seen of him.....' This was not a prospect I relished particularly, because although Dean is ok, he's a friend of Steve's and to me that tells you all you need to know about a person, cos Steve is poison.

Anyway, I'd forgotten all about this by the evening, then just after Son had gone to bed, the phone rang. This WAS Circus Boy. He was in the Co-op wondering if he could come round and see me, and what wine could he bring? See, this is what happens. I end up agreeing to things he wants because although he doesn't exactly persuade me, he somehow makes it impossible to say no. So he turned up and he was possibly even more cute and even more excitingly charming than I remembered, and we were getting on like a house on fire when there was a knock on the door. Now by this time it was about 11, and we were, umm, 'getting ready to go to bed', but then the door knocked again, and I thought I'd better get it cos it could be the Police. Or Steve, but by now I knew that Circus Boy could easily see off Steve, cos he was about twice his height and just as scrappy.

It was Dean. I should have guessed really. He was asking if I wanted to go out with him and some mates on Friday, and so I said that I might if my friends wanted to go too, and was taking his number when Circus Boy came to see what was going on - and it turns out they knew eachother :-O So I ended up inviting Dean in, and we sat and chatted for about another two hours. I say chatted, it was more a meeting of the Karen Fan Club, as the two of them kept going on and on about how lovely and wonderful I was, trying to outdo eachother on just how bloody nice they thought I was. It was torture :-DD

Oh, but they were both quite excited about this Friday night out thing, and apparently Circus Boy had something about it on his Facebook, and he suggested I log on and show Dean. OOPS! So I had to admit that I had unfriended him the previous week, because 'I thought you weren't interested, and no-one wants random shags on their Facebook, do they?' He said he supposed not, and I foolishly carried on filling in the silence by continuing, 'and I wouldn't want you to think that I'm at all stalkerish'.

'Ok....' says Circus Boy, uncertainly, 'we'll cross that off the list of possibilities then....'

The night wore on and THEN Dean said something about 'all that shit with S_' (one of Steve's exes that he basically used to try to make me jealous) as if I knew all about it. Initially I thought he meant her mental illness and how she used to attack Steve, so I said something about how he probably deserved it. But the look on his face told me that it wasn't that. So then it all came tumbling out about how Dean had a threesome with S_ and Steve. Now this actually made me feel a bit sick. I'm not a prude, but at my age I don't think it is unusual to find that sort of thing a bit distasteful. But what really upset me was that S_ was very vulnerable - she was supposedly schizophrenic, she was definitely seriously unhinged, and I certainly don't think she was in a fit state to make a choice to have sex with two men at any point in her relationship with Steve. Honestly, the girl was mega-disturbed. Of course, taking advantage of a fragile girl was exactly the sort of thing Steve would do. And video. Sicko.

I ended up saying all this because Circus Boy had initially opined that it wasn't unusual for him and his friends to share girls. He got one of those, 'don't you ever try that with me, Matey-Boy,' looks off me, and I filed this away for future reference under the growing category of 'reasons why Circus Boy is not a good idea'.

It then became impossible to get rid of Dean. I don't mean that he wouldn't take the hint - I mean that even though I had several times said, 'it's time to go Dean, I'm chucking you out' he just carried on sitting there. In the end he said to Circus Boy, 'shall we go now?' and Circus Boy said, 'erm, I'm staying here with Karen, mate'. Well, that wasn't at all awkward. Especially as Dean then insisted on apologising for about another half an hour.

'Good God, ' said Circus Boy when he'd gone, 'I thought we were never going to get rid of him. Now where were we....'

We were just beginning a night of unbridled lust and passion is where we were, and I am proud to announce that we actually broke my bed. Though I should also announce that it actually broke when I sat on it the next morning as I brought him tea and toast. But this could only have been due to it being terminally weakened in the hours before. And I mean hours. God, I love that about young men.

But anyway, even though I haven't quite finished the story of this appearance of Circus Boy,  I shall do that next time as I have to go and do motherly things now. Like get in the bath and drink wine, probably.

To be continued......

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Circus Boy 3 - The Incredible Disappearing Man

The week started so well, that without the title of this blog post, you'd never guess where it was headed. Monday night Circus Boy texted, and we texted a couple of times before he rang and asked if I'd like to go to a festival that weekend. I ummed and aahed a bit, cos apart from one day at V a few years ago, I've not been to a festival in ages, and V was WAAAAY bigger than I remember festivals, and most of all I HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO WEAR.

Circus Boy appeared to think this hesitancy was because I was worrying about bringing Son, although there couldn't have been a thought further from my mind, but like the good mother I masquerade as, I listened all through him detailing the child-friendliness of the festival, all the while actually mentally catalogueing my wardrobe and  deciding that I may yet be able to do this thing. So I said yes, and he said I'd have to send a Facebook friend request cos he'd got a link to the festival on his page and I could read all about it, so I said yes to that too.

Off the phone and immediately onto FB - not to send a friend request (good grief, I'm not desperate, after all), but to send an urgent message to Heather and Sue about what the hell to wear, should I even go etc etc. They convinced me and went through various outfit options, then finally nagged me into sending the friend request, which he almost immediately accepted.

And here we really need some Twighlight Zone music. For whilst I was viewing his page (cos obvs I wasn't going to ignore a prime snooping opportunity) a strange thing happened. My normal laid-back and sunny disposition was transformed into the persona of a complete and stark-raving loony neurotic stalker. As I looked through his photos, I couldn't help but notice all the beautiful young girls around him. His age. His type. Not some ageing almost-ex-goth with a 'given-birth' body. What the hell did he want with me, when he could be with them? What in Jarvis' name did I think I was doing even CONSIDERING going to a festival with him, to meet all these lovelies, when in comparison I would inevitably end up looking like the greasy-haired and bare-faced twin of Zelda off of Terrahawks? And surely it was only my Lift and Luminate foundation that was hiding my wrinkles. And stretch marks. And fat. And hairy toes. Yes, I know, it can't possibly be that, but I am telling you, I was seriously deranged by now, and only a severe writing-to from Heather and Sue stopped me from phoning him to cancel and blocking him on FB right there and then.

So off I went to bed and to sleep in an attempt to end the madness. At about 1am I heard my phone's quiet beep, and I had a text from Circus Boy - 'Goodnight and sweet dreams Beautiful xxx'. I didn't answer cos I was sleepy, but I felt back to normal again, and shut my eyes all happy.

Next morning I was at the clinic, which is pretty hectic all day, so although I knew he'd be asleep still, I texted him 'Good morning Sexy Boy, hope you have a good day xx' and went off to work to review the madness of the night before and to discuss it at far too much length with Ben, one of the other physios, who has the advantage of being the same sex as Circus Boy, and roughly the same age. He basically gave me a 'man-up' lecture, and actually gave me some good advice, which was 'you have to get back into the mindset of using him for sex.' Which was the best thing he could have said, because that's what it was always meant to be. I had completely forgotten this was only ever meant to be a one-nighter - so what if it had morphed into a fling? I obviously wasn't going to marry him or have a serious relationship with him, so what on earth was I fretting for?

So by the time I went home I was back to normal.

And then he didn't text. I didn't fret, cos there could be any explanation - I mean, he is a sociable person, he's an entertainer, he's either out or working I thought.

Next day (Wednesday) I was off on a short break with Son to Wales, and it was fab sunny weather, so I didn't really have time to contemplate the lack of contact from Circus Boy until Wednesday evening. The phone reception was a bit crap, but hey, the B and B had Wi-Fi, so he was BOUND to have got in touch on FB, surely? After all, we were going to a festival in two days' time. Weren't we?

Nothing. Not a dickie bird on my FB, or on my phone - after I'd leaned out of the window and held it at arm's length for about five minutes ('feel the burn') in case only having one bar of reception meant that very important texts took ages to work their way into the phone.

So I was a little bit disappointed. I didn't exactly give up hope completely, but I had that sinking feeling in my stomach, and if my life were a film, I'm pretty sure the background music at this point would have been 'Another One Bites The Dust'.

Luckily there was sea, sun, sand and - nothing else actually, that's all - to distract me the next day, and I didn't spend too long doing the Women Who Stare At Phones thing. But you know that thing where you try not to think about something, and to forget it, and put it to the back of your mind? And you know how that means that it is ALL you bloody think of? That.

Got into the B and B that night and went straight onto Facebook and onto his page, and what the bleeding hell do I find, but CIRCUS BOY ASKING IF ANYONE CAN GIVE HIM A LIFT TO THE FESTIVAL TOMORROW!!!

Well, there we go. I can no longer try to convince myself that he's trying to not disturb me on holiday, or to arrange things before he gets in touch. The bugger is going without me. Even so, I gave him one more night to get in touch (for I am the type who likes to give people a chance pathetic). Then Friday morning I removed him from Facebook and mentally scraped him into the bin, vowing that if I saw him hitching as we drove home from our break, I would run him over. Splat!

End of. But it wasn't.....

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Circus Boy 2 - The Sequel

After my little snooze, I had to do all the usual Saturday crap with a raging hangover, completely knackered and looking like shit. Luckily I didn't go near anyone because I really didn't smell too healthy either. But I hadn't wanted to shower because I do like catching the odd whiff of boy after a naughty night.

Finally, about 7pm, I collapsed on the sofa, looking forward to a night of doing bugger all except maybe opening an eyelid occasionally to watch part of a Babylon 5 box set. And then my phone rang.

I didn't know the number, so my heart started beating a little bit, but partly because whenever I get unknown number calls I wonder if it is Steve, and especially now I really didn't want it to be. So I was SOOO relieved when it was Circus Boy. And really happy, and my ego left me with no room on my sofa, because he asked me to go out with him that night :-D

Now my natural instinct is to say yes to anything and everything and worry about the consequences later. So it was only when I got off the phone and stood up that I realised that even if I had the energy to get ready in time to catch the train in an hour and a half, I wouldn't have had energy to dance, or indeed move. In fact, just standing up left me distinctly woozy, and after struggling to shower, I almost passed out drying my hair, and I suspected that hungover middle-aged woman was not going to be a winning combo for him after all.

So I phoned Circus Boy back, and apologised, but said I'd been out all day and now my hangover was catching up with me and I didn't want to cramp his style, so I'd pass on that night, but please ask me again another time because I would like to meet him again. He was fine about it, and he had been sleeping all day anyway, so I didn't feel like I was a total lightweight. He even texted later on to tell me where he'd be if I wanted to join him, but wishing me a good night anyway and hoping I slept well.

On Sunday I didn't hear from him before I went to bed, but I wasn't really bothered, kind of assumed he'd copped off with someone else really. Then after I'd written my diary (how very inconvenient, because then subsequent events were written on the WRONG PAGE), he texted me. Now when I say I'd gone to bed, I've got into the habit of going to bed at about 8.30 on a Sunday, so this actually wasn't very late. We got text chatting, and then he suggested coming around to see me. Well, I wasn't about to turn him down twice, so up I got and luckily had just about enough time to touch up the make-up while he cycled over here.

What he didn't tell me was that it was a *unicycle*. One of so many things about him that make me smile is that he unicycles around everywhere. He'd brought over the rest of the Bailey's from the previous night, and when we finished that we moved onto some wine I had left over. Then he sat smoking out of the back door while we carried on chatting. Now when I say smoking, I am not talking cigarettes, and this was just the first inkling of quite how large a part drugs play in his life. Not anything like the part they play in Steve's life, but... well, you'll see.

There was a lot of ground covered that evening, things about family, past etc - and now I come to think of it, he probably knew a whole lot less about me by the end of the night than I did about him, but I had so many things to ask. He said he'd stayed over at a friend's on Saturday night, and then gone to Shelton (a mental health hospital) to meet another friend, so we chatted about that for a while, cos I used to work in mental health. Then we got onto his thoughts about the (reptilian-run) world, and how he'd like to change it. I may have felt a little differently if I'd have realised that in Circus Boy Language 'staying at a friend's' was very likely to mean 'shagging someone'. Then again, maybe I wouldn't, because I was enchanted by his tales of foreign travel and commune living. Fished in big time. And he still had that way of looking at me - no, not at me, into me, that kind of made my heart almost stop beating for a second.

When we eventually went to bed, it was gone 4am, and I had to get up at 7am, which pretty much meant another night with no sleep. THANK GOODNESS it was the holidays, so I was just going around residences, which isn't very intellectually demanding, and thankfully due to Steve's stalking, I am used to surviving on no sleep anyway.

Me and Son got up as usual, but I let Circus Boy sleep in until almost the time when we had to leave. This gave me time to convince Son that it hadn't been Steve who had stayed the night - because when had Steve learned to ride a unicycle? Son was quite interested in the uncycle thing, so when Circus Boy had drunk his cup of tea he showed Son his expertise on it, unicycling off up the driveway. Then unicycling back for a kiss, and off again.

The last bit bit of my diary entry for Monday (cos I had to write it on the WRONG DAY and I am still irked about that, even if this bit actually did occur on Monday) was, 'how the hell did I not notice on Saturday that he is HUNG LIKE A HORSE. I may well be the cat that got the cream, but what would really be useful now is a tube of Canestan.'

Still, I was about to have an awful lot of time to recover.....

Monday, 22 October 2012

Circus Boy Part One

I am going to eventually blog about what happened when Steve got back, but to get some of why those things happened, I need to write about Circus Boy - so named because you know circus ringmasters and their twirly moustaches and little beards? That's him, that is.

Now this is going right back to July, and a friend's hen night. I was really looking forward to this because all my friends were going and it was the first time that Sue was going to be going out for ages - she always used to come out with me and Heather, but then she met a nice bloke, settled down, had a baby, got a new house etc etc and so her life had got in the way of her socialising big time. I was looking forward to it so much, in fact, that I thought a hair cut was in order. Now for most people this would involve booking an appointment and sitting back while a professional does the business. But that's not how I operate, oh no, not me. For some completely unknown reason I decided I was capable of cutting my own hair - including layers. What makes this decision even more inexplicable is that every time I cut my own fringe, I look like a refugee from Prisoner Cell Block H. Oh, and did I mention that last year I cut my own hair and ended up looking like a gonk? No? Well I did. And just before the hen night, I DID IT AGAIN! Gonk hair. Best party noght of the year, and I have gonk hair.

Well, there was only one thing for it. During the last gonk hair incident I bought some hair extensions, but never used them because they made me look like a transvestite. However, this gonking was even more extreme, and transvestite was a good look in comparison. So transvestite it was. Especially as the theme of the evening was 'sexist clothing' - a typo, obviously. My sexiest clothing is goth corset top thingy and skirt. And lots of make up. I SO looked like a man.

But nothing was going to dampen my mood, we all met up, everyone pretended my extensions looked nice, and off we went for a Chinese. At some point we all ended up wearing pink necklaces with shot glasses on,  not sure this was an enhancement to the look, but it did draw the eye away from the face, and for me this was a definite GOOD THING.

Now in the Chinese, things were getting a bit rowdy cos they were quite slow bringing the food, and we were quite fast downing the wine. Somehow me and Heather (the veggies) got a weird extra-garlicky dish which no-one wanted to eat, so I wolfed it down, reasoning aloud that, 'I'm not going to be snogging anyone tonight , so it doesn't matter what I smell like'.

We may have gone to another bar or two after this, the night is a little woolly around about this point, and then at the arse-end of the evening we ended up at the local dive bar come disco. One massive boogie session and a bottle of wine later we were standing chatting and in walks this chap with the most amazing facial hair, and I couldn't help but comment on how very fetching it was. So we started chatting. And chatting. And still more chatting.

Friends began to yawn and disappear. I was so engrossed I forgot to finish my wine bottle. It was a damn good conversation, wish I could remember more of it. I met all his friends, I recall strangely agreeing that the world was run by alien lizards (?????), and vividly recall asking Circus Boy (for this was him) if he was chatting me up because he thought I was a man in drag (THE SHAME, THE SHAME!)

Finally Sue and Heather were off, but I still wanted to stay, and Circus Boy wanted me to stay, so they said I could, but only on condition that Sue spoke to him first. She then, very embarrassingly, told him he had to take care of me, and to hammer the point home, told him the whole past history of how badly I have been treated in the past :-O . Honestly, it was like something your mother would do, and I stood there like a moody teen going, 'don't say that!...Don't tell him that!.... PLEASE! STOP!'

Eventually (after many minutes and many pulls away by me) they left. So me and Circus Boy chatted for even longer. Until the dive-disco closed, in fact. He then invited me back to his, and I said no, because following the Carnival Boy incident (might blog about that some time) about two years ago, I decided that I was a born-again virgin. No more tramping around for me, I was going to be a good girl until I met A One.

But Circus Boy wasn't about to give up. And to be fair I didn't take a lot of persuading. So off we went to his house, and we carried on drinking while he tried to get me drunk enough to shag him, even though that was going to take a hell of a long time on Baileys, which was all he had in the house.

In the interests of complete honesty, I should mention here that he is approximately half my age. And because I like a bit of tidiness (at least that is the only reason I can think of for why I did it), when he said he was 24, I said I was 48. So this mean, he thinks I am a full year older than I am. But maybe he liked the whole mathematical symmetry of it too, because he seemed pretty keen, and in the end I thought, 'oh what the hell.' Obviously the fact that he was skinny and muscly, had gorgeous eyes and the cutest smile, and this way of looking at me that made me feel just a little bit jellyish had nothing to do with my decision, it was purely his persistance that payed off.

But I didn't think it was fair for this to go ahead whilst he thought I had normal hair. So I insisted on taking out the extensions. I was prepared for anything including him running screaming from the room, but he actually seemed to think I had been making a bit of a fuss over nothing. How very unlike me ;-)

So next morning I wake up as light is dawning and start getting dressed, as per good one-nighter etiquette.

'Where are you going?' he asked.


'Oh. Why don't you stay, and then when it's breakfast time I can make you breakfast? We can have scrambled eggs.'

I don't eat breakfast. It makes me feel ill unless I eat it about mid-day. 'Erm, I dunno, I don't want to put you out.'

'You won't be. I want you to stay.'

So I did. And since it was AGES to breakfast time we sort of filled in the time. Which was very nice. Then finally we did get up and I said I was heading off without breakfast cos I felt a bit rubbish and hungover. So instead he showed my his juggling stuff and his fire stuff - because not only does he look like a ring-master, he is a fire-juggler. Amongst other things. As I left, he gave me a big hus and asked if I wanted his number.

'Nah, it's ok, I wouldn't ring it anyway.' Cos I thought he was doing that polite thing that men do, and cos I NEVER phone first. But he actually looked a bit upset, so I said, 'but you can take mine if you want, but don't feel like you have to call.'

So he took my number. And hugged me again. And then stood in the doorway and waved when I got to the bottom of the drive. So there I am, walking down the road feeling like the cat that got the cream, cos I just spent the night with the most MASSIVE ego-boost ever, and I looked around all smiley just to see the bedroom I'd so recently vacated - and he was only still standing there watching me walk off! So I smiled even more til I looked like that Alice in Wonderland cat.

Oh, but the smile soon faltered as I reached High Street. I had forgotten, it was FARMERS' MARKET weekend. Everyone in the world (well, Shropshire) was there. And I'm walking home, in last night's clothes, with last night's make-up on, CARRYING MY EXTENSIONS (and smelling of boy). And it was 1pmish. Oh dear.

But even that couldn't erase my smile. Did I mention he JUGGLES FIRE??

So I got home and got straight into my dressing gown and had a bit of a happy sleep, because I really hadn't slept much the night before. It didn't really cross my mind that he would call. But he did.

But that's for another blog.....

Thursday, 18 October 2012


Dad's funeral was last Friday. To say I'd been stressed about it really doesn't do justice to how bad it was. For starters, my Mum was convinced I was ripping her off and that funerals really don't cost thousands of pounds, and so she wouldn't sign the cheque to pay for it. Problem solved when Mandy (Naughty Little Sister) got here from Germany - Mum always does what Mandy tells her. Problem reared its head again when the Funeral Director phoned to ask where payment was as it was in the terms and conditions that the deposit (two-thirds the cost) be paid three days before the funeral. This was three days before, and Mandy's car had broken down, plus Mum was being recalcitrant because she'd been out of the house once that day already :-(

So the only option was to pay on my credit card and hope Mum would pay me back. then there was all the worry of how the service would go, as I'd organised everything from the date and place to the order of service, the flowers and the music - there was no other way as my sisters live too far away. I discussed most of it with Mandy, but I still felt responsible - and worst of all I was worried no-one would turn up. You see, the telephone book my Mum had next to the phone had none of Dad's friends' phone numbers in it. Or any of his relatives - and we haven't seen Dad's side of the family for ages really. I knew lots of Dad's friends were dead (he used to joke that 'I spend so much of my time on Bushbury Crematorium, there'll be no bugger left to see me off'), but there was definitely Big Cyril to contact and he was nowhere to be found.

Once again, Mandy saved the day, putting notices in the local paper and somehow finding Big Cyril's phone number. Then, would you believe it, when she phoned up, Cyril had only ALREADY PHONED MY MOTHER to apologise for not being able to attend the funeral due to ill health!!?? And she'd seen me looking around the house like a headless chicken a million times looking for his number! She may be senile, but she doesn't half play on it when she feels like it!

Then there are the things you aren't prepared for. For me the big shock was choosing the clothes for Dad to wear in the coffin. We'd decided on 'comfies', but picking them out and seeing his things, smelling his smell, it was heartbreaking. And the photos for the party afterwards - all those pictures of him from a child up to a grandfather - all that life, and experience and emotions; all the specialness of the person that he was, all come to nothing, all now just a shell in a coffin.

So after this, strangely, the day wasn't too bad at all. My sister and I both spoke, and it was a ceremony full of laughter as well as tears - at the things we said and the exit music - 'Theme from The Great Escape' (it was the last bit of music I listened to with him). Some of his old work colleagues came, his niece came, and we had a really good party afterwards too.

This is what I said - not sure how I got through it, cos I cried uncontrollably every practice when I got to the last few paragraphs -but I did, and I'm really glad I did.

Five Things My Dad Taught Me

1. Take good care of yourself and your things
Dad was a great believer in doing things properly so that they would last. He’s one of the few people I know who actually reads instructions and follows them He was never much of a reader, but he had manuals for his car, for DIY, and for healthcare, and if anything went wrong, he’d look up how to fix it in one of his books.

When we were little, Mandy and me used to think it was really funny when Aunty Mary would come and visit at Christmas, and without fail she would ask Dad, ‘have you still got all your own teeth, Harry?’ We didn’t realise how unusual it was at the time for someone his age to have kept them and Dad kept all his right into his late 70s. He went to the dentist every six months, and always made sure we did too, and I can confirm that partly thanks to Dad’s good example, both Mandy and I still have all our own teeth. I’m not sure about Susan tho....

Mandy’s talked about how Dad was a great one for DIY and repairing things, but what was odd was that for a man so meticulous about doing things properly, he had a blind spot, and that blind spot was his belief that anything could be repaired with gaffa tape. It didn’t really matter that by 1979 our Christmas tree was more gaffa tape than tinsel, or that the mat in the kitchen still doesn’t move because even though the gaffa tape is long gone, the sticky remains. What really kept us on our toes were Dad’s gaffa taped electrical appliances. There was the electric razor that delivered little shocks as you shaved your legs. Then there was the death-trap light-fitting that shocked you if you tried to change the bulb. And of course the incredible exploding iron that made doing the laundry that little bit more exciting. It’s lucky Bill and Matt were good with electrics, otherwise Dad may not have lived to the ripe old age he did.

2. If you don’t know the answer, ask the internet
In later years Dad discovered the internet. That’s not to say he was into technology, because he couldn’t even turn on a computer, but he knew that whatever he wanted to know, the internet could tell him, and he could contact it via his daughters. So Dad was always phoning us up saying things like, ‘my insurance is due, can you ask the internet what’s the cheapest buildings and contents? Or ‘can you ask the internet is Val Doonican dead?’ Sometimes he did expect a bit much, and questions like, ‘can you ask the internet what’s wrong with my mouth?’ or 'can the internet do anything about tax?' did make me wonder if he thought we were communing with some sort of oracle.

3. Children should be seen and not heard
Dad used to say this a lot, but it must have been more of an aspiration, because he really wasn’t that strict with us and we could be quite boisterous. He especially didn’t like our game of ‘give us a cuddle Dad’, where both of us would climb all over him while he tried to fend us off. In the end, if it all got too much he’d have to resort to asking Mum to ‘tell ‘em, Beryl’. 

We did drive him to distraction sometimes, and one time at a particularly noisy Sunday lunch he shouted out, ‘less eating, more talking!’ Which was obviously the opposite of what he wanted to say, but it’s been a regular saying at the dinner table ever since.

4. Nothing is too embarrassing
Nothing ever fazed Dad and things that would be embarrassing to other people were the source of a good story for him. Quite soon after Mandy married her first husband, she fell downstairs and thought she might have broken her ankle, so she phoned Dad to take her to the hospital. He dropped her at the entrance and went to park the car. By the time he got back to A and E, Mandy had disappeared, so Dad went to reception and said he was looking for his daughter. 

‘Name?’ asked the receptionist. ‘Mandy... Amanda, ‘said Dad.


Well, she was only just married. ‘Hmmm, I don’t know,’ said Dad.

‘No problem, date of birth?’

‘No, don’t know that one either.’ By this time Dad had noticed he was getting a funny look from her. ‘Well I’ve got four of them, I can’t be expected to remember all their birthdays!’

The receptionist wasn't very hopeful by now. ‘Address?’

‘Hmm, now... I don’t know the name of the road, but it’s near the corner, just opposite where the butcher’s used to be....’

Well somehow she tracked Mandy down, and called Dad back to the desk.

‘Follow that green line around to the left.... No. (sympathising voice) You just wait here love and I’ll get someone to take you.’

And my ex-husband will never forget being left alone with Dad for the first time. He came running into the kitchen in shock and said, ‘your Dad has just taken his trousers down and shown me his hernia scar!’. Back in the living room Dad was a bit puzzled. ‘So, this Anil? He’s not a doctor then?’

5. Your dad is the one person you can always rely on
As well as always rising to the special occasion and being the life and soul of the party, Dad was also the person you would turn to in a crisis. If you needed rescuing, Dad would be there. If you were in trouble, if you needed someone to talk to the Police, or take you to hospital, Dad would be the person to call.

But it wasn’t just the dramatic things. All our lives Dad drove us around wherever we wanted to go – music practices, nightclubs, lifts home whether you lived in Birmingham or Cardiff, he’d take you there. He’d do little things that we didn’t really think about at the time too – if you had paint on your hands he’d clean it off with his special rag and thinners. And if you trod in dog poo, you’d leave your shoes outside the back door and next day they would be clean, like magic.

It’s only since he hasn’t been around at home that the amount of work he used to do has become really obvious. It was Dad who kept the house in order and the garden tidy, and for someone of his age it must have been a full time job.

Most of all, Dad was the person who always knew what to do. We didn't need to ask the internet because if you had car trouble, he could give you a rough idea of what was wrong. He could tell you all the steps to wallpapering properly. If you wanted to know how to unblock a toilet or apply for a passport, Dad would tell you. He wasn’t someone for talking about emotions, but if you were worried or upset he’d say, ‘it’ll turn out right in the end.’ And you would know that if it went wrong he would be there to help, so it was reassuring. My first thought when I realised Dad was dying was that without him I had no idea what to do – and I no longer had anyone to ask.

Dad would have loved to have been a professional footballer, and if the situation had been different, he might well have been - he played for his school team and for Wolverhampton boys, and was proud that he was often mentioned in the Express and Star. He always said you could tell a really good player by watching what he does off the ball. Well Dad lived his life like he played his football – he wasn’t just a star when all eyes were on him, he always worked hard, even off the ball.

We are all going to miss him very much.

Night night,  Dad.