Monthly Archives: February 2011

Ten Questions


A meme from Susanne.

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this? If you aren’t anonymous, do you wish you started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?

I started out basically anonymous (I mean, my name is so common I could be anyone) and there is a certain freedom in that. At some point I linked my blogs up to Facebook so they are potentially read by people that know me now, and I’m slowly figuring out where the boundaries are, what I will feel comfortable saying and what I will regret later! On balance it was probably worth doing as it’s opened up interesting conversations and connections with people. You just never know who will turn out to be interested in the things that interest you, until you put stuff out there. If I’ve mortally offended anyone, they haven’t let me know.

2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side?

I don’t let things go until they make sense to me. I don’t stop asking “why”. Maybe that is a form of stubbornness.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

Well I just looked, and what I saw was chocolate on my nose! πŸ˜†

4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?

Agreeing with Susanne that you can’t go wrong with water.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

All kinds of things, depends what I feel like. I do a lot of thinking… too much probably.

6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life?

Not really… I don’t look at life that way. Just managing to be reasonably happy for the time I have to be here and not do too much harm to anyone is about as ambitious as I get. I find it hard to see the point in anything more.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?

A bit of all these, at different times, and sometimes simultaneously. I was quiet but I was known for laughing too much in class. I did well but I didn’t much care.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?

Sitting in the Unitarian church hearing, from beneath its floorboards, the rumble of the 11:30 train to London that was taking my Muslim husband away. I still miss him.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog, or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people and events?

It’s too easy for me! I have to limit it. I don’t write much about people any more either as I get too paranoid that someone will think it’s about them.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why ?

Read a book, because like Susanne, I hate the phone. I find Skype with video slightly easier although still much more awkward than talking in person.


The need to feel sufficient


The other day a friend posted this article on Facebook: “Generic Love”. It’s quite an entertaining read. πŸ™‚ It probably isn’t meant to be taken too seriously, but I think for me it does touch on quite a profound point and has really got me thinking.

Everyone has particular ways of expressing love, which tend not to change for different recipients. The relationships that stick for more than a few months are not marked out by a different amount or quality of love, but simply work because the individuals’ generic ways of expressing love happen to match. This seems to be the main point.

Another way of putting it might be that we thrive best with people that make us (and our mashed potatoes πŸ™‚ ) feel sufficient. If you feel lacking in some way, if being with the person makes you feel needy or inadequate or unappreciated or drained, then obviously that is going to kill off the enthusiasm. Or slowly turn you into a nervous wreck or whatever. πŸ˜€

And what interests me is that the same could be true of other situations, like jobs for example. It’s a bit of a revelation to me. What if my generic ways of working do not match 90% of a job, leaving me feeling woefully insufficient? Should my considerable success in the 10% obligate me to exist in this miserable state of affairs? Don’t I deserve a job in which I can thrive on a personal level and not just in terms of output? The lovely thing about the relationship anecdotes in the article is that they paint the whole business of breaking up and moving onto someone else in a very matter-of-fact, dispassionate way. People probably do that all the time. No agonising, no over-analysing, no desperately swimming against the current trying to make it work out… just a shrug and an “oh well… next please!”

I am just left wondering why I swim against the current so hard in so many ways.

Little trips


The silver lining of being let down by the postal service was deciding to deliver my brothers’ Christmas presents to them personally in January when the parcels eventually got delivered to me (although I am STILL waiting on one item!). I went south to visit one brother and north to visit the other. I find it quite strangely amazing that a mere hour and a half on a train can transport you to a place where the streets look completely different and the accents are almost incomprehensible. πŸ™‚

Red brick terrace - so English

Newcastle town centre


Aberdeen harbour