Just the inner musings and terrible poetry of a man surviving himself. If that's not frightened you away already and you have a query, please feel free to ask.
Nnnggghhh… Oh sweet and sultry cancerous treat, how I miss thee.
Feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning, I decided to take one last swing about my laboratory to create something while I waited for the time to come to hit the road. The resulting concoction was a product I’ve affectionately named: Bear Bars.
The whole thing is made from a honey glycerine melt and pour base with honey and sea salt mixed into the bottom layer. The top layer has only honey added as I was afraid the sea salt would sink to the bottom and create a problem bonding it to the layer below. (I did, however, mix a dollop of honey glycerine base with some coconut milk and drizzle it over top in order to scatter some coarse sea salt along the top layer for effect.) The bears were made from the same honey glycerine base mixed with coconut milk and cocoa powder.
While the bear admittedly brings to mind the pet name my former missus used to call me, the cookie cutter was only 69P and I was in need of a new shape for experimenting with. I was quite pleased with the overall look and the fact that it’s gentle enough to use on sprog’s sensitive skin because it is unscented.
On that note, dear audience, I must bid you adieu for the siren call of the road beckons and I must follow. Until we meet again, be kind to yourselves and have a safe and happy weekend.
Yes. Be a dreamer. Do good. #purautz #connectingworlds #endlesscolors #dreamers #wanderlust #give #dogood #buddha #sustainablefashion
"The friend zone does not exist," she informed him. "If she was meant to love you, she will, and that love cannot be extinguished by the simple notion of ‘remaining friends’."
He rolled his eyes and opened his mouth to tell her that she did not understand.
"No," she stopped him, "no, what you are talking about is unrequited love. And that, on the other hand, is very real; very real and quite simply, awful.""
While he hasn’t yet gone through the therapy dog program, the dog in my life is better than any self help book or audio file I could ever invest in.
Four years ago I was finishing my second year of therapy with as many psychologists and though I found talk and CBT quite helpful for a variety of reasons, there is nothing quite like hearing the scrabbling of nails on hardwood in response to the clicking of a lead in the front porch. My dog feels like… an extension of me. He’s a different animal from my first, but he knows when I’m having an off day. He detects my stress levels and forces me to calm down because if I reach a critical point, so does he. (He’s a greyhound and anyone who knows greys knows these lads take their stress out on their digestive systems. You can imagine how my mate feels if I’ve been having a particularly bad day.)
This dog would do anything for me and he knows I’d do the same for him. He walked into my life at a point where I just needed someone to sit and be with me; someone who would listen and not judge, someone who understood the importance of a lean or a hug - someone who didn’t require £150 of my money for a 50 minute hour of their time starting… now. (That feels a bit like legalized prostitution in a way - “Here, take this money and spend time listening to me have a moan about all me problems.” Then again, I suppose all businesses where services are rendered are, in a sense, people promoting themselves and selling their time to make a living. I digress.)
He’s quirky, my dog. Most greys exhibit some form of obsessive behaviour, and while some would count that as a negative, it just makes me love him even more. For example, he won’t jump into my car straight away unless he’s come right up to the door and backed up a few feet four or five times while I say: “We going to work? Come on, lad, let’s go to work!” ( I do several meet and greets a year regarding greyhounds/dog adoption/pet care at schools and playgroups around my area. He dearly loves to greet his public when going to ‘work’.)
In the same vein, he is like all dogs in that he can’t lie down without turning around seven or eight times before finally settling his big brindle behind on the bed of choice - though his particular method usually ends in half his body lying on the hardwood in an epic failure of spacial recognition.
I’m conscious of his diet and what I allow him to have as the occasional t-r-e-a-t from my own table, but if I’ve got a packet of crisps, he is usually permitted one or two from the bag. However, anyone considering making him an offer of their own should know that he only likes a certain brand of crisps, and if it’s not come from a packet of Walker’s Ruffles, you’ll be lucky if he gives it a sniff. (Sorry, Pringles fans - he just won’t be doing business with you.)
He makes me laugh when I’m up to my second knuckle in his ear with a damp cloth and he leans into me with a groan of utter contentment. As a human, that is something I can personally relate to. It is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world to wiggle a cotton bud about in my ears after a bath or shower. (I know it says on the packet you’re not supposed to do it but if I’m outside and the wind blows when I’ve not gotten the excess water out of my ears, it feels like I’ve been violated in some way. I think I’ll take my chances.)
I love it when he hears me singing and feels absolutely compelled to howl along with these long, drawn out roo's as if he's lamenting the loss of his favourite toy. He's not much of a barker (unless I really get him wound up about going somewhere, then he'll give one or two woofs of excitement), so I don't mind letting him express his artistic spirit in a duet with yours truly every now and again.
In terms of habits he has that are… less than savoury, I can only think of two: his penchant for licking the couch when he feels I’ve been away for too long (or if he thinks he can get away with it) and stealing any and all articles of clothing made of wool. (This includes skeins of un-knitted wool, as my former MIL discovered.) While I’m sure he thinks his love with the chesterfield is something raw and real, sitting on a sopping wet cushion is quite unpleasant, so I’ve politely asked him to keep his furniture fetish to himself unless he plans to pay for a new love seat and chesterfield. He and said piece of seating have agreed to take a break for a while to let things… dry out.
When I’m gone for a couple of hours, I tend to put him in the living room, as there are french doors that can be closed to give him a sense of security while still leaving him plenty of room to roam about. He was a bounce back that came from a family who did not want to work with his mild separation anxiety - or give him preventative flea/heartworm medication, but that’s a story for another day - and I quickly learned that if I’m not at home to oversee things, he may feel overwhelmed if given the run of the entire house. He doesn’t chew or tear things up, but he will have the occasional small wee. His most predictable targets are the electric heater under the dining room window or upstairs over my toilet in the master bath. (Although, the last time he had an accident, he wee’d on the heater while it was on and the smoke from his wee set off the fire alarm. It scared him half to death, poor lad, so I don’t think he’ll be lifting his leg in the dining room again.)
I know the time spent in the car isn’t my four legged companion’s favourite part of it all, but he will tolerate the back seat to be with me. In true dog fashion, as long as we stop at one of our favourite restaurants along the way for a wee and something to eat, the two and a half hour ride is all but forgiven. (For anyone who may be wondering, I lock the doors and leave the air conditioning on full blast while I make the order and then I bring our food back out to the car to enjoy with my friend. He always gets a small piece of fish with some gravy for his lunch and a little cup of plain vanilla ice cream as dessert.)
I will miss my sprog terribly while he stays with his nana over the next three days, but I absolutely cannot wait to get cracking on the road tomorrow morning; I need this just as much as my little one needs time with his nana to let her spoil him rotten (as nanas are wont to do). This weekend is for me to heal, to breathe and to practice gratitude for all that I have. To kick things off, I can say I’m grateful to have my four legged best mate along for the ride.
There’s something about the thoughts of a woman with a blade at my throat that I’ve always found quite intimate.
I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to talk about the concept of a ‘culture of kindness’ and how one simple act can change a person’s outlook on life. I had a personal experience about six years ago that solidified this belief for me, and though I’ve changed professions twice since then, at that point my job was both highly stressful and time consuming. Needless to say it was bad for my already-medicated blood pressure.
I had just come from a meeting that went particularly badly and I honestly felt like my life was falling apart. I knew I needed to leave this job, but I had no other prospects lined up. The thought of staying was slowly killing me inside, but the concept of change with no predictable source of income was… unsettling. I packed up my belongings and headed to a café to unwind and sift through some paperwork. I took a seat outside and looked around at all the people milling about.
Did they hate their jobs?
Did they have nightmares about people they were forced to work with each day?
Did they wake up wishing they were anyone and anywhere else?
There was no way to tell and I was wasting time, so I leaned my chin on my hand and concentrated on re-caffeinating for what would likely be a long night ahead of me once I got up the energy to get off my arse and head home. I lit a cigarette and prayed for some sign that this wasn’t what my life was destined to be for the rest of eternity.
Lost in my own thoughts, I didn’t notice the pair of oversized yellow rubber shoes standing in front of me until the person wearing them spoke and brought me back to earth with a start. It was a woman dressed in a full on clown outfit - complete with a big curly wig, greasepaint makeup and a red nose. She introduced herself as a member of a group of clowns headed to visit a nearby hospital and said she couldn’t help but notice that I looked as if I were having a bad day. I smiled tiredly and explained that today had possibly been one of the worst days of my adult life to date.
What she did next would move me to tears.
She said she thought I could use a hug and asked if she could give me one. Surprised and left nigh on speechless by her request, I was unsure of how to respond, so I simply nodded and said… yes. I stood from my seat and allowed her to embrace me, my spine cracking pleasantly beneath my suit jacket from the strength of her hug. She told me things would look up and gave me a big, orange round sticker that said: “I hugged a clown today.” I thanked her, and she went on about her way.
I was so touched by her genuine interest in the welfare of a complete stranger that I realized tears were spilling down my face in the shocked silence following her departure. I thought:
People do care. There are people out there like her - life is worth it, and by Christ, I’m not going to waste another minute of it.
I still have that orange sticker today. I keep it because it serves as a reminder of the exact moment I decided that I would not become just one more man who’d given up on life and humanity, that I would continue to show love and kindness to others in the same way this clown had shown me. It reminds me to keep going because there are others out there who, like I was, are feeling alone in this world and may be considering doing something to themselves that will land them in A&E at best, or in the ground at worst. I keep it because it reminds me that a simple act of compassion can - and did - change a man’s life forever.
So, the next time you are out, smile at the woman in the supermarket. Hold the door for the man coming behind you. Take a minute to talk to the person waiting next to you for the train. The light you shine upon the world doesn’t have to be a display of fireworks worthy of royalty; even the smallest flame can illuminate the darkness.