Archive for Sing

Down came the tears

I’ve never been much of a crier. Apparently it goes with the late pregnancy/early motherhood territory though.

It’s 7am and I’m sitting at the dining table sobbing and sobbing, little rivulets running down my neck and through the valley of cleavage to form reservoirs where they meet the big belly.

The reason? I can’t see how I can be financially independent AND be as good a parent as I want to be, and I can’t see how Jonty could pay my way and not resent it. (Especially when he said as much last night, albeit while he was drunk and angry at his nicotine cravings.)

It feels horribly tangled from a feminist point of view. I’m pondering the female version of emasculation (I found ‘exogynate’ on two sites online and quite like it) and whether such a word would even be applicable. I want to be independently able to fulfill a ‘typical’ female role, where I can dedicate myself to small children and running a home, but there doesn’t seem to be any way that adds up.

Edited to add:

(Especially when he said as much last night, albeit while he was drunk and angry at his nicotine cravings.)

This isn’t fair. We’ve since talked and we both imagined the other was saying “That’s my decision, not yours,” when in fact neither of us was thinking that. Sometimes it is good to go to bed angry, cos then you have time to re-approach conversations more rationally.


Singapore sex

Two thoughts.

The first is that I’ve realised I pull my punches in Singapore. In London if I got to a point in a conversation that referenced my relationship I just said it. Open. Poly. Any questions? I didn’t always expect people to understand, but I always gave them a chance.

Here I back away from those moments, leave things unsaid. I guess I’ve done that since I arrived, but lately it’s bothering me. For a start, it isn’t fair to assume I know how somebody else will react – if it’s something I would normally talk about I ought to give people the opportunity to decide for themselves how they feel about it.

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The twitter tag writ large…

10 years ago to the minute, I was at a house party in St Peteres Loge, as the council insisted our student digs were called.

A rag-tag collection of us returned to uni during the Christmas break, to herald the new millennium from our wonderful, infested, enormous, used-to-be-a-church-but-was-built-for-parties place in Bath.

A few of my school friends were there, a few uni friends, but mostly a large collection of Boys From Sutton. I’d arrived the previous day, my little Mini stuffed with cheap fizzy wine from Aldi. Preparations involved moving the scummy mattress from the floor on the landing to the floor in the hallway, and buying a £60 bottle of Bolly I definitely couldn’t afford.

I wore a black strapless dress and red strappy shoes and tried to do my hair in ringlets but they looked terrible so I washed them out. There was vodka (I drank nearly a 70cl bottle by myself) and tequila snorting and a first stolen moment with a boy I saw last New Year as well.

At midnight everyone hugged and cheered and sprayed Aldi fizz on the ceiling (thank goodness it was cheap). The Y2K bug didn’t stop anything working, and how could it because we were young and fucking invincible and about to take the 21st century by storm.

Given the surreality of university, the ten years that followed included all my adult life. I no longer feel like I can walk on water – my life got less magical, more real. This sounds sad, but isn’t. I’m still not bound by oceans, but instead of expecting them to part, I’ve been learning to build boats.

In terms of shit happening, 2009 has been the hardest year of the decade. The sacking was only phase two of the work horror; phase one was much worse – to the extent that I couldn’t face writing about it. And the second half of this year has been home/people-sickness. It’s usually low level but sometimes it sneaks up and punches me in the solar plexus, leaving me breathless and prickling tears.

But in terms of my happiness and sanity, 2009 was far from the worst of the past 10 years. This discord means this year’s been invaluable, simply because it’s confirmed that it’s up to me to create that difference between how things are and how I react to them.

2009 saw the first anniversary of my marriage – something I was so unsure of that now feels intrinsic 🙂 And why were only recent months plagued by homesickness? Because for the first six spent here J and I had the luxury of focussing on nothing but each other. I couldn’t have weathered any of this year without him – if our fate together wasn’t sealed in Spain, it certainly was when we stepped on that Singapore Airlines flight together.

But cool people aren’t the preserve of the UK. They are found everywhere, including S’pore, and a big ‘keeping me sane’ shout goes out to one such person. In some ways our backgrounds are worlds apart, but we see ourselves in each other (especially the strange bits) – that’s rare whenever it happens and amazing when the homogeneity of the country you live in struggles to include you.

So not a bad year, and an amazing fucking decade. An entire, sparkling, magical (ignore what I said before) journey through London skimmed over in this post. A friendship forged with my sister. A relationship that’s gone from break-ups and accusations to sharing brunch with the people we fucked the night before. A culinary adventure from fried egg sandwiches to eight course dinner parties (palate cleansing sorbet ftmfw).

Life was already damned good back in Bath when we were partying like it was 1999, and it seems to have been getting better ever since. I’m excited about turning 30, maybe becoming a mum, learning more about life outside London, and that’s just 2010. The short long forecast: the next ten years are going to be fucking awesome.

Some speak the sounds, but speak in silent voices

I feel odd this morning. I felt odd last Monday too. Life not balanced. Mondays mean a knot of work somethings (adrenaline), and life has been too many people in too many spaces that should be just mine (misanthrope). My parents and their friend have been staying, which means three extra bodies chain smoking and talking when I want to write. Today, today is silence. It is beautiful. The city is still half asleep and the sounds are just me and the a/c and my beautiful clicky keyboard. It means more space inside my head to feel sad, but sometimes I need that. The boom/bust/polarization of people staying means bad feelings about guests get parceled up with a ribbon of guilt. All is tempered by the fact that each goodbye feels so fucking final.


My brave fetus-fighting IUD is gone. Eep.

J and I had a big family planning conversation a while back, but the day I started writing about it was the day I got sacked. Needless to say our plans got suspended – I wanted to make sure I had a job before I committed to the most financially crippling decision I’m ever likely to make.

I’ve been working on a ‘kids by 30’ plan for a while, and said last Christmas that I’d get the coil taken out by next Christmas. J has been more cautious, wanting to know that we’d be financially secure and so on.

Then in June he got promoted and suggested we go for it. And I freaked.

We talked a lot about everything I was scared of, and I think they were sensible things – taking responsibility for another person’s life, changing my own life when it’s so much fun, being so far away from friends and family, being truthful vs being inappropriate as a parent (parenting with integrity?).

But I think it’s a situation where you have to leap without looking. And reasonable fears might apply some selection pressure in favour of becoming reasonable parents, if they are considered fairly.

So. This is it. Dr Judy fished the coil out this morning (slight twinge, nothing like having it fitted) and the next time I have sex – for the first time ever in half a lifetime of fucking – it will be without any kind of contraceptive.

That thought gives me a strange, excited sensation in the pit of my stomach. Visions of blastomeres already fill my head.

Super-quick work update

Last week the guy who sacked me casually confirmed me as a permanent employee.

I casually thanked him and went back to my desk.

I’m not sure this reflects particularly well on either of us, but I’m happy.

Enough already

If self-help books are chicken soup for the soul, working your notice in a job you’ve been told you can’t do is like drinking barium.

I am a mess. I have no confidence in anything I write. I go into paroxysms of fear and worry every time I make a mistake. I am sulky and withdrawn whenever I talk to the boss.

Really, really need to get out.