‘A thousand tiny cuts’ Bill Tench, Mindhunter


Yes street vets! That quote above is just reiterating why I sometimes buy tins of dog food for the homeless.

Another love

Love, loyalty and enthusiasm.

When I was trying to label my feelings towards TFH in the early days I sought the exact definition of devotion. The first is above and it fit like a glove (and Ace Ventura’s precise parking).

I’m now feeling increasingly devoted to the dogs in my life and the dog/ animals of our future. But I’ve realised that devotion is basically what dogs give to us…and their walks, food, toys: love, loyalty, enthusiasm.

Cats however, they’re something for the secondary meaning of devotion… they’re something for us humans to religiously worship.

Be not too hard

Be not too hard for life is short

And nothing is given to man

Be not too hard when he is sold or bought

For he must manage as best he can

Be not too hard when he blindly dies

Fighting for things he does not own

Be not too hard when he tells lies

Or if his heart is sometimes like a stone

Be not too hard for soon he’ll die

Often no wiser than he began

Be not too hard for life is short

And nothing is given to man

Navel Gazing

I don’t know if it’s because I want it or if it was always going to be this way, but the intrinsic comfort I feel in this little corner of the Cotswolds, has come sooner than I expected.

Whether knowing my favourite human is away but back soon, around the corner, or his legs are here entwined with mine, I think it feels good for it to be a place that’s only ours. I think a lot of that has come from work Tom has done to make this a positive space and the surroundings being somewhere we can explore and discover together.

As much as one can value authenticity it’s difficult sometimes to know what’s real or what we create to fulfil our prophecies or to confirm our decisions and keep a positive outlook. Is a feeling less authentic if it’s something we’re trying and aiming for?

This comfort feels real but there’s still a segment or two missing from the circle.

Since September for various reasons, I’ve thought a lot about Tom and how things must be from his perspective. The pressures on him now and the way he’s used to dealing with it. I’ve thought more about Ed being so far away when things got bad and the way human beings, although often closely surrounded by others, essentially go through so much entirely alone because it’s simply a weight that can’t be shared. I’ve also thought about how much is shared between the family unit. The people you live with. Parents and kids. Brothers and sisters and how, ultimately, it’s up to them who knows what and who doesn’t.

I’ve not felt like I’ve had much time to comprehensively think recently, or I’ve chosen not to. I’ve been ruminating on part-formed arguments (Weinstein and the general existence of sexual harassment in professional settings, the usefulness or not of a viral hashtag, UK government, Syria’s starving, Rohingya, abortion, the injustice of nature and ill health) or I’ve just felt too tired of all the awful truths that, by the time I might come to write some of my views on important issues down, I’ve had enough of it. Which is probably why this post has such an inward direction. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Dog walks, a run or a cycle is my primary time to take stock but I’ve not been doing much of this and I feel like I’ve been a bit non existent in the other half of my life. Work has been good and getting closer to my team has it’s obvious pros and cons, bearing in mind my ideal future trajectory. But I also feel a little unaffiliated, disconnected from either part of my life. I’m either sleeping forever or hardly at all and mentally I just want to be here, finding that comfort, reading books.

Having this time in our space with very little pressure makes me a lot more chilled out about making plans in other places and helps me to not feel like I’m just ‘fitting things in’ around work and my desire to be curled up here or out stomping through the Cotswolds. Remembering, as always, it’s about making decisions that make me happy. Sometimes that’s being able to make other people happy, but others, it’s knowing that balance is everything.

For a little while I started writing blog posts about how I wanted to simply say ‘Thank You’ and how that seemed really hard to get right. I’d open my mouth and nothing would come out. I’d try to write it down and think it sounded empty and childish for the scale of the opportunity I felt Tom had shared with me in this house. The significance never seemed to find itself in words.

But I think it also comes from the fact I want to say thank you for all the little things too. If ‘Thank You’ is the right phrase for being grateful for the hinged rule chosen for me, or spending an evening sharing work stories, or lending me his watch, or caring about my safety to the extent that he doesn’t want me wading through rivers looking for evidence or bodies, then can it be right for this scale too?

One thing I thought hard about recently but never got round to writing eloquently about was my dads birthday. It’s been a tumultuous year for this quiet man. It was a fairly small gathering of family at a pub and he said he had a lovely time but was sad that my brother wasn’t there.

But it was brief due to unexpected circumstances and I worried that this milestone might have been an anticlimax for him or even worse, disappointing. But the next day he said he just wanted to go back to his life where nothing ever happened. For him work is exciting and his personal life works on the basis that he can walk the dog, ride his bike and cuddle his wife. As much as the day could have gone on a bit longer and everyone who loves him could have said their piece, (I wrote mine in a card and it didn’t fall on deaf ears… maybe slightly deaf), he was happy with catching up with familiar faces.

Something that made me think had come up between Tom and I recently. That we have seen at least 8 different grandparents between us and we’d much rather be those old people who are busied by animals, children, grandchildren, friends and who can’t get 5 minutes peace, than those who are eagerly awaiting any visitor at all.

I saw slightly into the future i think and it would have given me a little concerned brow. I worried about Dad not having the same support that Mum would. Worried about him getting to an age where he might wish there were more people around. But then I realised he’s already 60, he’s had time to work out what it is that makes him happy and as he’s told me, it’s that he can see us now and again, that we’re happy and that he can walk his dog, ride his bike and hug his wife, (and maybe contribute a little to this wayward society).

Although I might be floating around in the ether a bit at the moment, I’m not sad. I’m forming more goals to replace those achieved and trying to be a ballast to those humans I look up to.

I’ll try to call. No ties. No roots. I’m fine.