What's all this then?

I tweet too much. So I needed somewhere else to start storing all the words. This is it. Think of it as the external hard drive for my thoughts.

I don't have an obesssion, a dream, a fixation or a hook, so don't be expecting a focus here. It's like great big lumps of my twitterings. You may see teaching stuff, rants, maternal anxiety and occasional sojourns away from reality.

Anyway, I like a nice chat so we should talk. By we, I of course mean me...

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Can I get away with a slushy one yet?

I don’t believe in Soulmates. Or love at first sight. Or fate guiding you towards The One.

Imagine my annoyance then to find my time with MrBird, my husband of 9 1/2 years, falling into all those categories. I am not into romantic destinies and frankly I find the circumstances around our meeting highly irritating.

We met in a dingy nightclub that neither of us had ever been to before. Both of us were miles from home, and neither of us particularly in the mood for finding anyone. But I went from “I’m never trusting a man as long as I live” to “Here’s my number” in the space of a couple of g&t’s. We met for lunch the next day, even though he was supposed to be driving all his mates to a Wedding. That was pretty much it, done and dusted. In the battle of logic v nonsense, score one point to Cupid.

I fought it, mind. I took myself off to Scotland straight afterwards and didn’t come back for ages. I told myself this couldn’t possibly be right… after all he was a Suit. And he lived in Surrey. With his Mum. Then I saw the photos from his Metal Band days (I’m a sucker for long haired muso boys) and learned that he’d just moved home temporarily after the death of his Dad. Yeah, whatever, Cupid.

It turned out there were lots of times when we could have met. He studied physics at the same Uni at the same time as my friend, he was there when I visited the physics geeks, I mean dudes. When I was at Uni, his best friend managed the Pub that I often frequented. And so on. I’m not a fan of co-incidence but you can give Fate a point if you like.

He is not my soulmate though. I won’t have that. We share very few interests. He has never read Douglas Adams, and I have no clue about Linux. However a long, long time ago a friend pointed out, in a rare moment of clarity, that a shared love of Monty Python really isn’t enough to base a lifetime on. She was right. Thank goodness I realised that before Mr Bird happened into my life.

During my Wedding Speech (of course I made a speech, would I miss that chance to talk at people?) I said he was everything I never knew I wanted. Nine years have taught me just how true that is. It comes down to the bedrock of love. He is the one person I wanted to see when I came round from an anaesthetic. When his much loved uncle died, I had to be the one he heard it from. He was the only person I could tolerate during labour. If I am strong it’s only because when I can’t be any more, I know he’ll pick up where I left off.

We’re not perfect. He makes me grit my teeth. I make him sigh.  But I’ll take the fact that he winds the kids up before bedtime, because if they ever can’t run to me I want them to run to him. When I look at myself and see disastrous, from somewhere he finds desirable. We complement each other even when we forget to compliment each other. We’re totally different except where it counts.

My flamingo photo on this blog and on twitter is his. He took it on our honeymoon.

He is the pictures to my words. But not my bloody soulmate.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Solstices and Henges

I love Midwinter’s Day. I loved it even as a kid when I didn’t know what the significance was and schools then didn’t bother with earth sciences, not when there were yoghurt pot telephones to be made.  I didn’t know the word solstice either, but that didn’t matter as Midwinter is far more poetic anyway.

I just loved the eeriness of the shady light, the onset of dark that begins around lunchtime and the hours and hours of night in which to imagine all sorts of Creatures of the Shadows.

When I was about 10, I read Susan Cooper’s perfect depiction of Midwinter in “The Dark is Rising” and the tingles it sent down my spine firmly cemented  the Winter Solstice in my mind as a time of myth and chilly spookiness.

Even now the pale sun that never quite rises, the white skies and the night-in-day feel are able to nudge aside my jadedness and rap me over the head with a spoon labelled “magic”.   Midwinter still has a hold over me.

Last year I indulged my love of solsticeness with a trip to Stonehenge in midwinter. Not on the actual day, but as the Ancients were not concerned with quartz precision I decided that didn’t matter.

For the International Year of Astronomy, an astro-archaeology event was held there over three days. A small group of us were given a guided tour of the Stones at night by a group of archaeologists and astronomers. They were firmly of the belief that Stonehenge was designed for Midwinter Festivals, and that Midsummer’s Day was of very little significance to the monument.

To say I geeked out is an understatement. I won’t bore you with the details, if I started I’d still be writing hours later (into the dark of Midwinter’s night…). I have to say though, that standing in the centre of the inner circle of stones under a clear starry sky in the freezing night air is an experience that will stay with me forever. In the dark, the perspective of the circle changes. The stones seem to be leaning in over your head, like being in a goldfish bowl, with added Boding.

Today I can’t match that experience but I have been tramping in the snow. The stillness of the air, the echoing of crunchy footsteps has just about provided me with my quota of eery.

Anyway, I finish with pics of Stonehenge in Midwinter. I’m off to get some mistletoe…

Happy Solstice.