So.... I realise my first post since I got back from Toronto was somewhat "unchirpy." Unfortunately, that's occasionally necessary and I now feel as though I've made my point. So that's done :)
As for the trip itself - wow :D I really had an amazing few days, both professionally and personally. On the professional front I made some amazing contacts that will prove incredibly beneficial as I go forward in business here in the UK. There were some wonderful talks and seminar style events and, most interestingly perhaps, Maile Ohye, Senior Developer Programs Engineer at Google. She talked about the recent Google algorithm change (dubbed 'MayDay,' and briefly about the Caffeine indexing update which was massively informative.
On the personal front, my friend's girlfriend joined us on the Thursday evening(earliest flight she could get) so while my evenings on the Wednesday and Thursday were limited to dinner then bed generally (early starts) the weekend was a social affair.
I managed to catch the England vs USA footie game (I LOVE THE WORLD CUP, despite a disappointing result) and did plenty of sightseeing too. But perhaps the best part of it for me was the fact that I was able to spend some quality time with Chloe. That girl is just incredible and absolutely gives me the best feeling I have felt in years. She's such vibrant company, a really dynamic personality. She is always up for a good laugh and a joke. It's just so, so much fun. But what I think is proving the most spectacular part of it for me is the fact that it runs way deeper than just fun, without taking the fun element away. We can just sit cuddled up on a couch talking... and I can literally talk to her about anything. I've never been completely open with anyone before this about some things that bother me. I tend to be a much better written communicator than face-to-face chatter when it comes to 'deeper' stuff. But it's not the case. She asks questions about my Mother, about my son's Mother and about my Father. Whereas, in previous relationships, I've been closed off to answering questions about that even months and months in, right now, just weeks into our relationship, I feel completely comfortable telling her absolutely anything.
And... my head doesn't turn. That's not to say I don't appreciate a good looking girl but I'm just not interested. I admit to having spent a couple of years opting for casual flings over relationships, very much deliberately. That's largely because I have had a misconstrued idea about what relationships mean. I have always associated them (and it has always proved the case that I was right with the women I had relationships with) with control. I always found it suffocating to have a girlfriend who would be upset if I was busy or if I had too much on to see her more than a couple of times a week. I also have found that I tended to go for girls who I thought were straightforward and ended up not being. I'm shit at reading people... If I ask a girl if she's ok, I can normally tell if she doesn't mean it. But in a couple of relationships I have been with girls who are so, so convincing when they say "fine," but who later throw stuff back in your face when they previously assured you they were fine. I have never been able to cope with grudge bearers and I'm terrible at dealing with jealousy and ultimatums. Perhaps just because of the women I have had relationships with, I have come to associate these things as being part and parcel of relationships.
I'm not getting that with Chloe and I absolutely do not feel remotely stifled, controlled or suffocated. It's just so refreshing to be in a position where I can't get enough of someone. It's wonderful and I have had the most amazing few days getting even closer to the girl. I'm seriously a lucky, lucky guy.
So really, when I consider everything going right for me, a little bit of drama matters nothing. Life is good.... really good :D