Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kids, Weight and Attitudes to Food

Today I dropped my little boy off at a party. It was the birthday of one of his classmates. When I went to pick him up I was talking to one of the Mothers of one of the other boys there. Now, they did heath checks a couple of weeks ago in school. It’s a routine thing. Then they sent letters summing up their findings. My boy got a clear bill of health – within the perfect weight range, no illnesses, normal stats and all good. However, the Mother of one of the boys there was telling me they sent her a letter telling her that her son was “overweight.” Now if you look at the kid, you would never, ever, ever think he was overweight. Not a chance. But they based this on BMI. Now, BMI does not allow for anything about the child’s build. The lad’s Dad is muscular. He has, for a child of his age, a muscular physique. And he does not look remotely overweight. But now he is panicking about his own weight and asking, “Should I have cake?” at birthday parties.

Give me a break!!!

Let’s scrap this stupid BMI thing and stop making kids paranoid!!! 

Now I’m all for healthy eating. We’re big on that in my household. My son, though, has a healthy relationship with food. He knows, for example, that he likes how a McDonald’s tastes. But we’ve talked about the good and bad things in food and we talked about how great tasting food that maybe has more bad in it than good is something we definitely ARE allowed, but only as a special treat. He eats his fruit and vegetables, gets more than his 5 a day every single day and understands where food comes from. But if his school said to him that something would “make him fat,” I would go ballistic. I really believe in moderation. And I believe the phrase “that will make you fat,” is a sure fire way to make children paranoid.

Let’s exercise some sensibility. If my son had McDonald’s at lunch time on one Saturday, he doesn’t then get pizza at dinner time. If he’s had fast food once in a day then definitely, definitely not a second time. He has a healthy balanced dinner. And we cook fresh food and involve him in the cooking of it. Both Chloe and I cook, depending who is home first and he is always welcome to join in.

He loves making his own smoothies (under supervision of course) – actually prefers them to milkshakes now. He likes deciding what different types of fruit to put in there and experimenting. He enjoys helping to make fresh soups. He loves to cook with us. And we’re not health freaks, by any stretch of the imagination. I love a bit of steak – but I will have it with fresh potatoes and vegetables as opposed to greasy potato wedges. I don’t believe in calorie or carb counting. I think a lot of it, for most people, comes down to common sense. And it irritates me that schools cannot seem to instil the same attitude in kids. 

Everything in moderation.

Chloe is (and I write this with her consent) concerned about her weight. Technically, she is classed as being 5 pounds above her ‘healthy’ weight zone. But she is a swimmer and is very toned. We all know muscle weighs more than fat and so her weight against height measurement is just irrelevant given the amount of exercise she does. She, myself and my son go swimming twice a week. And she goes another two times alone. And we all run several times a week too and cycle. So she has a lot of muscle. 

I’ve always had the opposite issue. Myself and my sister are cursed with ludicrously over active metabolisms and while everyone tends to respond to that with “you’re so lucky,” once you have lived with it, you might disagree. I struggled up to being about 23, to look anything short of “weedy.” A good balance of exercise and a healthy diet has fixed that, eventually... but I think we’re a society absolutely consumed with concern about our weight.

Obesity is unhealthy. It’s that simple. So too is being underweight. But there’s a way to get a healthy approach to food into our children without making them think anything indulgent will “make them fat!!”
I don’t like the way that people talk of being “fat,” like it’s sub-human either. Being overweight isn’t  like a bloody character flaw the way some people talk about it as being. And I know from speaking to a couple of friends here in the UK who carry some extra weight, that it’s not as simple as “just don’t eat crap.” There are emotional connections some people carry to food and there are lifetime habits to break.

But I’m going off on a tangent. In my experience, if you want kids to have a healthy diet, honesty works!! Saying, “this is bad and this is good,” does not. My son’s attitude to food improved tenfold when he started being involved in the kitchen. He loves it and he absolutely loves good, fresh food. That’s not to say he can’t ever have a pizza. We order pizza every now and then. But when he’s had pizza one day, he doesn’t eat anymore crap that day. Simple as. I’ll say it again: everything in moderation

Saturday, October 30, 2010

You See Me

I ask you what you want from me
You tell me vulnerability,
That I will show you all of me
The bad and good,
You want to see
The inner, hidden parts of me.

You ask me what I want from you,
I say just do the things you do
And be the way you always are
And promise
That you won't go far.
I want you just the way you are.

I show you all you want to see,
The inner, silent parts of me
And you don't run away from me.
You hold my hand,
You let me speak.
You let me open up to you
The way I always wanted to.

You see parts of me
I've never shown to anyone.
You hear words I've
Always been afraid to say out loud.
You see tears I didn't know
Were still uncried
And you just wipe them
And listen
And love me.
Flaws and all.

Shamless Love :)

Chloe, Chloe, Chloe... even your nameis joy to me :)

 I'm not ashamed of love
Or loving.
Even the unrequited,
The flawed, the blighted
They're all beautiful.

And I will not hide behind
Love is immense.

And all of mine is yours.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Dad I Want a Piano"

"Dad, Dad, Chloe, CHloe!"

That was the sound that woke me up at 5:30 this morning.

Thinking there was a serious problem that had sent him running into my room at that time, I jolted immediately upright.

"What's the matter?" I asked.

"I've had an idea!"

"What, son?"

"I could ask Santa for a Piano or a keyboard for Christmas then I can make my own songs like Justin Bieber and Greyson Chance."

"That's a good idea, son." I told him. "Do you want to get in bed and get back to sleep before morning?"

"Yep!" he said and jumped in - shortly followed by the dogs!

He's feeling a bit inspired at the moment. He's been a Bieber fan for ages now and then a month or so back my sister (who is very musically gifted and a great pianist) told him that Justin plays the piano. Add to that the video he saw on Youtube of young Greyson Chance (who was 12 or so at the time of the video I think) covering Lady Gaga's Paparazzi, and he's been feelin' the piano for a while. Then Greyson's debut single premiered on Ellen the other night and he watched that on Youtube before bed last night. And now he wants to be Greyson Chance AND Justin Bieber and if that means learning the piano then that is what he will do lol.

So I think we know what he'd like Santa to bring this year - much to my sister's absolute delight.

Wow I can't believe we're thinking Christmas already!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Forever

For Chloe, my best friend and soul mate

I cannot read the future
So I don't know what it brings,
But I do know with real certainty
The most important thing.

That I love you right here, right now,
And cannot see a time
In which I will not love you,
Nor want you to be mine.

I know I've never felt this way
I know that this is new.
I know I want to share this life
This whole life, just with you.

So tell me that you feel the same,
We're meant to be together.
Say you want this as I do,
And I'll give you my forever.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thank You

An Open Thank You

I'm feeling all... thankful... and stuff today. And so this is my open thank you to all of the people who have helped deliver me to the happy place I am today.

To Anje

The mother of my son, a beautiful woman and incredible heart. How I miss your friendship in my life. While your absence has been unbearable, what you gave to me - a beautiful son - was the most wonderful gift I ever received. I'm truly sorry that I never told you I forgive you for not telling me about him at first. But I do. It doesn't matter. What matters is that I have him now and I thank you so, so much that you gave up so much to bring him to me. I can't possibly thank you enough in words and I cannot possibly convey using just 26 different letters, how painful it is for him and me to no longer have you.

To My Baby Sister

For putting up with my mood swings, my reluctance to deal with past issues and for giving me a good kick up the ass when needed. You were right about so much of what I disagreed with you for. Thank you for perseveering and giving me the wake up calls I have needed on so many occasions. Most notably recently:

"What on Earth are you doing? You have a choice between a gorgeous, intelligent woman who you are completely infatuated with or this stupid bloody fling you keep hanging on to. Wake up, come bnack to reality and follow your bloody heart instead of your sense of guilt. You're not going to be IMPOSSIBLE to get over, so get over yourself, forget the stupid fling and do what makes YOU happy."

Thank you for your patience and continued support. From the days of the "family unit," to the darker days where it felt like it was just you and me, through to today, when we have an albeit different "family" than the previous back, you've been my constant.

My Son

My son, who will not read this post for many years.... has been the light of my life, the reason I have gotten out of bed so many mornings and the reason I sought the happiness I am so grateful for now.

Until the day I die, you will be my life.

My Chloe

You taught me the meaning of "ecstatic," and have really brought into my life everything I never even knew I was missing so badly. This is forever.... start practicing the signature, sweetheart ;-)

Every single morning I look over at you and smile. I'm literally bursting at the seams with love for you. Never, ever, ever have I known love like this.

Craigy Boy

My best mate. I've cursed you for some of the things you have said in the past year but you have been spot on. Thank you for always providing a sensible and completely honest, blunt opinion on absolutely everything. You're alright, lad. But I run the risk of totally losing cool here if I say anything more than "thanks!" ;-)

Online Friends and Confidantes

You know who you are.... for the sound advice about helping my son through his grief from a wonderful, wise and understanding woman to the friends who just let me vent - those of you who understand the down days and are always able to get me laughing. You are all amazing.

The past 12 months brought out the worst of my character and it's been pretty tricky. So for my snapping my pushing back and general moodiness, I'm sorry.

But every bad thing comes to an end. And this is it :)

Here's to a bright future and happiness for us all.

/end over emotional rant and insert chest beating and manly roar.

Blue Skied Birthday

I am 29 years old today and the sun is shining (despite the brrrr cold weather). As I mentioned in previous posts, I am not usually a “birthday” type of guy. I don’t like to celebrate birthdays.

This year is different. I am genuinely excited about a weekend of planned celebrations with my son, girlfriend, sister, nephew and friends. But more to the point is the fact I’m taking a much more optimistic outlook in life.

I have one year left of my 20s. I received an email today from an old university friend wishing me well on my birthday and advising me: “Make the most of the last year of your 20s, mate. Clubbing, girls and fun! Next year you grow up!”

A couple of years ago that’s the precise ethic I would have lived by. But now I’m a Dad, a devoted boyfriend, a loving brother and proud Uncle and these are the things that matter to me. I’m not interested in “clubbing, girls and booze.” Everything I need I have and I want to keep hold of.

So rather than focus on this being the final year of anything, I have to just look at this as the year I have to achieve everything I would have wanted to achieve by the time I’m 30. I set myself a target when I turned 18 of having achieved the following before I turn 30:-

- Get a Degree.

- Speak 5 languages near fluently

- Have my own business providing a comfortable income.

- Own my own house.

I’ve achieved all but one. The languages. Inclusive of my Mother tongue languages, I speak 4 with fluency. I speak the basics of a couple of others but have decided to pursue one of those very seriously this year – a more obscure one.

Swahili. 3 year ago I was supposed to go to Kenya. In preparation I started learning the basic, but just prior to my planned trip, there was a lot of violence breaking out in the country and the real threat of civil war, so the UK travel agencies suspended all travel there. As such, I went to Cuba instead and stopped learning the Swahili.

I plan to go to Kenya in Summer 2011 though and between now and then will learn as much of the language as I can. It’s a great language for English speakers to learn as it’s pronounced exactly as it is written down (since it was first written down by English colonialists). My target is to be able to speak it with a good level of fluency and to assist, I have enrolled in a course.

My Mother thought my targets above were really wonderful to have, when I shared them with her around my 18th birthday. But she was disappointed that my targets did not include being married and being a Father. I am now a Father of course. And well, there’s a whole year before I turn 30, so who knows – I might have fulfilled everything she would have wanted too 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Step Mothers...

I have been thinking  a lot over the weekend about how wonderful the women who put themselves in a "step mother" position really are... hence this audio post/rambling...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kept Boxes

Inspired by the wise words of wonderful people who've been there and supported me through the past year...

I wept memories into a kept box
And closed it.
Hid it, locked it away
Because I never want to lay
My eyes on it again.
But I'm not quite ready to let it go.

But the inner lining of kept boxes
Is by no means water tight,
And they were right
When they said
That kept boxes don't hold tears in.

How Much Schooling is too Much?

Manchester Literature Festival got underway yesterday and there are a few events I will be attending with my girlfriend and my son over the weekend. I love it when this comes around :) So that's certainly how some of my time will be spent this weekend.

My son is excited to listen to some poets perform. He's taken a real shine to writing - not just poetry, but stories and letters and pretty much anything. He's 6 and he would rather be writing his own stories than acting them out with Action Men. I was worried about this for a while... wondered whether it was usual that a child so young would spend so much time with a pen in his hand. But then my Mother's friend who I still see from time to time reminded me that I was exactly the same and, I quote, "It did you no harm. The boy will do with his play time whatever he wants to do with it." So I let him be.

He'll ask me to spell the words he can't spell yet and ask me to exlpain how to say somthing in a "good way," sometimes, as you woudl expect for a child of his age. But his general literacy is much, much higher than the average of children in his age group. He does well at school.

One issue we are having with him at the moment, though is the fact that he is reluctant to continue to learn Russian. His Mother was Russian and prior to him moving to the UK a couple of years ago, it was his first language. Being so young though he has now mastered English to the same standard. His written English actually far exceeds the standard of his written Russian.

His Mother and I both wanted him to continue to learn Russian as a priority. I studied languages myself and so I know how beneficial it can be to have them. My Mother was Argentine and I wa born and raised in the UK. So I am fortunate enough to have Spanish and English as first languages. But I also studied French and German and studying when you start beyond the age of 11 is so much harder than learning as a young child is. So we kept his studies in Russian up. His Mother only ever spoke to him in Russian (unless they were in a group with non-Russian speakers) and despite the fact that he started responding to her Russian in English, she maintained it. It worked. He still speaks Russian as well as you would expect.

After his Mother died, he started taking Russian lessons on top of his schooling. It means long huors for him on the day of his lesson though and it's a lot for a boy of his age. So on days when he was said, "I really don't want to go, Dad," I've tried to understand and have let him off a couple. But now he says he does't want to go at all. Full stop.

"Dad," he told me, "I don't want to do that anymore. DO I have to?"

I decided to take some time to consider this. One the one hand, I know he is six and too much schooling is bad for him to be honest. He has to have time to do the things he likes - writing his stories, watching (limited amounts of) TV and playing sports. But I don't want him to forget his heritage or the language that came with it.

I think I am going to look into the fun ways in which I could potentially have him learn from home and see if that's an option.

But honestly, he's such a good child and a joy to have.

My life is so full because of him :)


I still imagine sometimes
That my Friday nights
Are to be spent with you.
Glued to a screen and,
At least so it seemed,
Conducting a relationship
Across wires and networks,
Across oceans and cities.

It's hard to break those habits.

But we both woke up
And took a look at the sky
And took stock of the time
We'd invested in this
Against the poor return.
I won't lie, it burned
To walk away from those days.

But we're both the happier for it.

And now to the future,
To happier times,
To love and affection
Without network lines.
You deserve happy,
And I do as well,
But our happy will cost us
A forever farewell.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rewriting History

I had a really interesting discussion with a counsellor over lunch. Not my counsellor, but a friend of my girlfriend's Mother's who also just happens to be a counsellor. She's been counselling for over 30 years and has pretty much seen it all!

She was talking about "moving on," in light of the fact the my girlfriend's ex has told their mutual friends a lot of rather nasty lies about their relationship. She's admitted they were lies when pushed, sent an apology and the two of them are still friends and they're doing ok... but Chloe was trying to figure out why someone she has continued to be friends would do that.

Apparently we rewrite history when we are trying to get over a relationship. We erase the good stuff and turn it into bad stuff in our own minds in order that we convince ourselves that we don't want that anymore anyway. And apparently, we all do it.... some just more obviously than others.

I actually realised that I rewrite history on my head too. For example, whenever I think back to relationship I was in a few years ago with a girl I actually lived with for a while, I automatically think, "What a freakin' awful relationship." Granted, it ended in her sleeping with my best friend which isn't great. But it's only when I really started analysing my overview of that relationship that I realised I never, ever, ever pick out the positives anymore. And there were some. We had a lot of fun the first year. We got on incredibly well, were always laughing and had a very passionate and affectionate relationship. There were so many happy times. But even though I am long since over that particular relationship, I still have the "bad" version of it in my head.

Apparently, when we do this in the aftermath of a breakup, we can actually affect how we consider that relationship for the rest of our lives - long after we are over it.

The human mind is fascinating. How we deal with incredibly complex emotions - just by simply overwriting history and overwriting the countless postitives in a relationship with the few negatives.

There are not many I look back on as completely negative. But I was told today only the "nastiest" breakups tend to leave that sort of flavour and the nastiest breakups are apparently born of "reluctance," to really end something. It makes sense. With the girl I lived with, she and I were both reluctant to let it go at the time - I just felt like I could never trust the girl again after she cheated.

Anyway.... made for an interesting conversation.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Was Wrong About Marriage

I’ve long stated that I don’t see the point in marriage for people who are not religious. I’m personally not and, as such, I have insisted that it won’t ever happen for me. In fact, any time I have previously been involved in a long term relationship, it’s something I have been very open about. After all, if someone you’re with wants and desires something as big as marriage and you don’t, you simply have to be honest.

But I’ve been rethinking that stance a lot of late and the more I think about it, the more I appreciate actually what a beautiful institution it can be – when it’s properly thought out and for all the right reasons of course.

In fact... here’s something you won’t hear me say every single day.

I was wrong about marriage.

Yep, I was wrong.

I’ve referred to it time and time again as “unnecessary,” or as a “contract on a relationship.” But the more I consider this institution, the more I actually think that it is the ultimate declaration of love and devotion that two people can give to one another. I still maintain that it should never be about making a statement to anyone else. But for those two people it is, without doubt, the most beautiful way to say,

“I want us to walk the same path forever.”

And that right there is exquisite.


What I am trying to say

When I smile that way
And I sound quite absurd
As I stumble on words
Is that I'm no longer scared
Of enjoying today
For the fear that tomorrow
Might take this away.

Because I know that won't happen.
I know this is real.
I know how I feel.
And for the first time ever
I look at forever
And I don't run away.
I'm here to stay,
If you'll stay here too.

My lover, my soul mate,
My life is with you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where Did the Weekend Go?

What a great weekend that was - a shame it went so quickly! I was productive and got time to relax too. I have taken to writing for a number of RL publications about SL poetry, something I am enjoying. I record video performances of the poets, which is making poetry in SL more accessibly and understandable to non Second Life users.

It's not like the more creative machinima that I do.... it really is just a still poet's performance because non SL users want to see what a performance in world actually looks like. And the poets I am recording are talented enough that the videos don't need dressing up, so it works well. The non Second Lifers get chance to see what a real poetry performance in SL looks/sounds likes and the poets are getting a chance to have their work on some great RL poetry sites.

So this is exciting for me. It's part of my new "MAKE TIME" strategy. In short, my new "make time" approach is pretty much exactly that. No matter how busy I am in a week, I am going to make time for the people and the things I am passionate about:-

- Blogging. I am going to make a couple of hours each weekt o update my own blogs and post on the other sites I am contributing to.

- Exercise. About a year ago I got back into going to the gym regularly... having stopped for a while. I make an hour 3 times a week to go and my son and I go running 3 times a week and cycling at the weekend too. So I'm definitely making time for that.

- Family time. No matter what, I have set aside a period each weekday night for dinner at the table and some family time after. Just me, my son and my girlfriend. Those moments are the most cherished to me.

- Making time to do NOTHING. A full day is great. From 6 in the morning till 6 in the evening,it's all go for me.

But if I go to bed straight after rushing around I can't sleep. And a while ago I got into a bad habit of working

late into the night. As I work for myself, there's always something I could be doing. And I got into a routine of getting back to doing some work when my boy was in bed. I would work till 11 or later some nights and then I couldn't switch off when I went to bed. Sometimes just doing nothing, even if it's only for a little bit of time before bed, really helps me switch off. So I am *trying* to get myself 15 minutes or so a night to do literally nothing before bed!

And I just realised this post was a random rambling about very little really.... oh well!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to Penny, Paula, Kelly and anyone else I've missed. And Happy Colombus Day to any US based readers :)

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I won't leave you here
Shivering in the blistering cold
Of an emotional exile.
I won't watch as you cower
And shield yourself
From the rejection,
Of others around you.

I'll stand and shield you
From the bitter winds of resentment

I won't let them hurt you.

Forgiveness - It Feels Good!

This morning I took an hour out of the office to meet an old friend for coffee. He's in Manchester for a couple of days.

He was a really good friend at university - a housemate, friend and all round great person to know. We lived together along with a few other guys in our student house. We socialised together. We did some similar modules on our course and so even worked together on occasion.

When we graduated from University, he got a job in Manchester. It was a toss up between a great job in Manchester or a great job in London for him. He took Manchester, partly, he told me later, because he wanted me and him to still be able to hang out at weekends...rather than living miles and miles apart after University and catching up solely on obligatory annual reunion type events.

Not long after I graduated, however, my girlfriend of the time moved in with me. She was not someone I had met from university... she was someone I had known a number of years who lived close by to my Mother's house. We'd got to know each other better thuogh during the summer holidays at the end of my third year at Uni. When I went back to uni for my fourth year, we essentially started something of a distance thing... she came up or I went home most weekends. When I graduated and took a job back in my home city of Manchester, it was not long until we moved in together.

To cut a long story short, my friend was a little disappointed that I wasn't "out on the town," the same anymore. There was a bit of tension. And then a few months later I found out he had been seeing my girlfriend behind my back for quite some time. Needless to say, I finished with her, asked her to move out of my apartment and I stopped speaking to him.

That was half a decade ago. And when you look at it in that context and I consider how much as happened since then, it seems like a different life.

I had a conversation with Chloe recently about regrets or people that leave your life in general.... at that point I questioned, basically, how would I feel if I found out that I would never have the opportunity to say another thing to anyone I had ever know.... would I be happy with the final conversation I had with them? Would I be happy with how things had been left?

There are a few instances where I would be gutted if things were left for an eternity as they were last left off and with this guy, that's one of those situations. So I called him a while back and we said we would catch up when we could. He called me last night and mentioned that he would be in Manchester today and would I like to meet.

So I did.

Life has moved on for him too. He's engaged now and he and his fiancee have a beautiful little girl of two. They are getting married next year. He's got a good job and a happy life. We laughed about old times and agreed to put everything behind us. Chloe, my son and I will be going visiting him in Hertfordshire in a couple of weekend's time and meeting his Fiancee and his daughter.

We've all "grown up" and moved on and today I felt this huge weight shift. We all make mistakes... he made one and he knows that. I've made a ton in the past and I know it too. But it's human nature.

Forgiveness. It feels good.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Does She Hear?

The poem below is inspired by something my son told me on the way to school this morning...

"I saw my Mum last night. She came to see me."

He said no more about it. He wasn't frightened or upset... just that one sentence and he moved on. I have my own beliefs (or lack thereof) about Heaven and Hell... and God in general I suppose. I'm a cynic to say the least about an "afterlife" concept, though a number of things in recent years have made me question that... this being another.

My son doesn't lie... not even silly childish lies and I could tell my his face that he definitely believes his Mother visited him last night.

Whatever happened.... I hope he's right.

Does she clap from the sky
When I get something right?
Curse from above
On the days I fuck up?

Does she watch us on days,
That he's breaking the rules
And applaud when he does something
Awesome at school?

Does she laugh as he's asking
About husband and wife?
The origin of babies
The meaning of life?

Does she cry as he tries
To find someone to blame,
Does she hear him on nights
He lays crying her name?

Despite my beliefs
I still hope that she hears
And silently, nightly,
Sits wiping his tears.

In Any Other World....

I love this song. I really do. Beautiful lyrics.


Mika - Any Other World (Lyrics)
(Evidently not the property of me in any way)!!

In any other world you could tell the difference
And let it all unfurl into broken remnants
Smile like you mean it and let yourself let go

'Cause it's all in the hands of a bitter, bitter man
Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in
Take a bow, play the part of a lonely, lonely heart
Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in
To the world you thought you lived in

I tried to live alone but lonely is so lonely, alone
So human as I am, I had to give up my defenses
So I smiled and tried to mean it to let myself let go

'Cause it's all in the hands of a bitter, bitter man
Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in
Take a bow, play the part of a lonely, lonely heart
Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in
To the world you thought you lived in

'Cause it's all in the hands of a bitter, bitter man
Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in
Take a bow, play the part of a lonely, lonely heart
Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in
To the world you thought you lived in

Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in
Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in
Say goodbye

In any other world you could tell the difference

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Want...

I want to be taste lingering on your lips
The hands resting on your hips
The chest you rest your head on
And the arms into which you fall after a bad day.
Or a good day, for that matter.
At any time of the day
For no reason,
Or any reason,
Or just because you can
And I want you to.

I want to be thought that distracts you at work
The inspiration that makes you
Kick ass at work
And the reason your workmates tease you
About your icessant smile.
All day,
Every day.
Let me.

I want to be face you see
When you fast forward in your mind
To days of grey hair
And retirement homes on the coast.
I want to be the man in the image
Of the rest of your life
And I want to help you
To actualise that.

Because everything I do,
I do loving you.

For Chloe


We all have them. Heroes. When I was a kid, mine was Superman. When I was teenager it became, and remains to this day, my Mother.
But she is, of course, one of many people I consider a “hero,” of mine. And in tribute to those we admire and respect enough to call “hero,” here’s my own rundown.

My Mother

A beautiful soul, a pure heart and a lifetime dedicated to myself and my sister. I miss her terribly but still carry so much of her with me. I need say no more J

Pablo Neruda

I discovered Pablo Neruda when I was a teenager and instantly fell in love with his work. As part of my University studies I went on to look more in depth at Latin American poetry and he became a hero to me at that point. Beautiful words! His poems are perhaps the only ones I have come across that can astound a reader just as much after translation. I personally prefer them in Spanish, of course, but even in English they’re still absolutely beautiful.
I’ve shared Neruda with people I have dated and even those for whom poetry isn’t a life’s love, Neruda speaks volumes. What an amazing, amazing poet, wordsmith and man.

Che Guevara

Again, somebody I began reading about as a teenager. No, I don’t think we should have global communism and I am absolutely against repression of the people in any way whatsoever. However, I do have some socialist leanings. My admiration for Che Guevara, however, comes less from his politics and more from the fact that he had an incredible commitment to his beliefs.
I know people will come back and counter this by talking about people he killed. However, I answer that noe way: Winston Churchill is a hero for so many, but he was Prime Minister during a war in which British troops were killing people frequently. War comes with death. It’s a really terrible, terrible thing, but I honestly do not believe you can judge a character by his actions in war. War is designed to bring ruthlessness out in everyone.
I will eternally admire anyone who was prepared to sacrifice everything for his beliefs. Even if you do not agree with all those beliefs, I think you simply have to admire commitment like that.

Nelson Mandela

This man stands for equality. I need say no more.

What about you? Who are your heroes?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Christmas Already?!

Planning for Christmas is something I have traditionally despised. I don't hate the day, but I think it's "pointless." Or I used to... before my son.

And ths year is extra special for me and for my family. Last year, my boy was upset over the very recent death of his Mother and it was all a little too soon after for him to truly enjoy it. But this year he is already excited! Very much so. And today I will actually be ordering the first of his toys. Officially the earliest I have started Christmas shopping in... wow... ever?

We've had to make our Christmas Day plans already to answer questions from Chloe's parents and my sister about where we will be. I spoke to my son yesterday and asked if he would rather have a Christmas for just me and him or whether he wanted to do something else (can never be 100% sure so I always like to check). He wants everyone together - me, Chloe, my sister and her guy and my nephew. So that is the plan. In the morning we're going to go to Chloe's parents for breakfast and then it will be the daytime at my sister's place for a rather festive one. My newphew is 18 months old now and incredibly funny... so this will be the first Christmas he has really had a clue what's going on too.

I'm feeling festive already and it's only October! What's going on?? lol


Today was... beautiful.

The sky was blue and although it was cold the memorial garden looks simply stunning with leaves litering the paths on a sunny day.

And my boy... he shed his tears, left his letter and managed a smile when thinking back to some of the funny moments we talked about, that he and his Mother had shared.

And I silently told her that I'm sorry for not making more time for our friendship and thanked her for the beautiful gift that is my son.

For too long I focussed on the fact that I missed 4 years of his life and I was so caught up in being mad at her for that, that I never really had a real opportunity to tell her how grateful I am for him.

It was "thank you," "goodbye," and "I'm sorry" in one silent tear.

And now the healing must continue.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We Miss You

Today, I have given my little boy the day off school and he and I are spending the day alone, visiting his Mother's memorial tree and quietly remembering, at his request. 

Today is not for sorries,
For painful worries,
For “what ifs,” “whys,”
And obvious cries of “unfair.”
Today’s for saying out loud
“I miss you, girl.”

Today is not just for sadness,
Though sadness is a
Certain side effect.
It’s for memories, for moments
And for him to say
“I miss you, Mum.”

Because even after
365 sleepless nights
The light at the end of the tunnel
Still seems so distant at times.
He’s relearning to smile,
Relearning to laugh,
Relearning to live 
And learning that living
Doesn’t mean giving up
His memories of you.

But today isn’t about
How tough it’s been
How rough it’s been
For that little boy.

It’s simply for saying
“We miss you.”