Friday, 20 January 2012

To Argue or Not to Argue, that is the question!

So BF and I had a big argument last night. Nothing particularly new there, but it got me thinking about arguing, and how some people claim that they NEVER argue with their partners. Is this a good thing or not?

Firstly though the argument last night got me thinking about howto argue. I mean, BF and I don't argue effectively at all, in fact a general argument would go something like this:

ME: *simmering about something which is irritating me but being afraid to mention it in a calm way for fear of starting a spiral argument of frustration and shouting*

BF: *continuing to do thing which is irritating me without seeming to realise*

ME: *finally snapping and making an irrational comment*

BF: *rising to irrational comment by snapping back nastily, making me feel defensive*

followed by....

me trying to put my point across, BF talking over me and not letting me finish (assuming he already knows what I'm going to say so not thinking he needs to listen), me getting shoutier and swearier the more he does it, me stomping off and not speaking to him for, perhaps hours (I am VERY good at sulking and holding a grudge), BF then talking to me as if nothing has happened, whole argument starting again before we finally realise that neither one of us is ever wrong.


My point; BF makes me feel as though my feelings are not valid so if he doesn't agree with me about something then I have no right to get upset. His point; it's not his intention to make me feel that way so it's my fault for getting upset over a 'perceived' slight.


It gets us nowhere fast. It gets me incredibly pissed off and frustrated, and it makes us shout at each other :-(

So, would I prefer it if we never argued at all? Well I just found this little excerpt from a blog:

When couples tell me they have emotional intimacy I often ask them about their fighting style. If they tell me they don’t ever fight I am quite assured that they don’t have true intimacy. When two separate people join together for common life goals, clashes are inevitable.

I'm not saying that my relationship is better than my friends' but this quote hit the nail on the head for me; it's about intimacy isn't it? Or at least having a bit of spark? Friend hasn't told me in so many words but I also get the impression that their sex life is (I think by choice) not that 'abundant' shall we say, and if you haven't got arguing or sex, what have you got? A nice safe and companionable but, dare I say it, dull life?

I think I'll work on my arguing and communication style and opt to keep the spark going

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I've calmed down a bit now....

Yep, I was feeling really quite crap after Christmas and New Year :-(

But I've calmed down a bit now. Lost some weight, been away for a girly weekend, and BF and I have been drinking MUCH less. What's more he is making noises about giving up smoking, which is something which lurks in the back of my mind constantly (not to mention the smell lurking around the house in a very real and not virtual manner....)

I'm gradually shedding the responsibilities of a post from which I recently stepped down, which has also made a MASSIVE difference (see here!):

At some point I will post about the friend who I think doesn't like me anymore, and how I am actually starting not to care.

After months (probably years) of feeling low and thinking that I am unlovable, I returned home to a (relatively) tidy house which BF had kept up while looking after 2 sons and a dog. Eldest son flung himself at me for rare cuddles and youngest son stared in wonder at my face for a while during the first cuddle. So I'm not so worried about point number 4 now either :-)

Friday, 6 January 2012

Early Menopause?

So on to my next panic/worry....

I've got two children - my lovely 8 year old from my disastrous marriage, and my lovely nearly 2 year old with current BF. We want another, and our family will be complete :-)

Youngest son was conceived after a year of trying, followed by drugs :-)

I have just come off the pill, waiting until an upcoming skiing holiday was out of the way (just in case!)

The night before last I was literally drenched in sweat all night - coming off the booze perhaps? I haven't had a drink for 4 days (not much I know, but an achievement nonetheless) so of course I googled it......

One of the most common causes of night sweats in women over 40 is the hormonal changes related to menopause and perimenopause. This is a very common occurrence during the menopause transition years and while annoying, it is not necessarily dangerous or a sign of underlying disease. Some women experience night sweats during pregnancy due to hormonal changes.

Of course this isn't the only solution but it caught my eye - when I was being tested to see if I was ovulating last time (I wasn't) they checked to see if I had started the menopause (I hadn't). What if I have now? What if I can't have my 3rd baby?

It's selfish I know, some people yearn for years for the chance just to have one, and I would be able to be content with my beautiful boys but still........

I'm ringing the doctor today to start the ball rolling................

It's been a while....

....but I'm back. With a headache brought on by a drastic Dukan diet necessitated by the huge excesses of the holidays and a number of panics:

1. That my relationship is going down the pan because of our excessive drinking.
2. That I'm going through the early menopause and therefore won't be able to have our longed for 3rd child
3. That one of my friends doesn't like me any more.
4. That I am really not a very good mother at all.

Which isn't good. I'll take them one at a time, starting with number one.....

I drink too much, and so does my partner. It's not a surprise and we are both well aware of it, but events over Christmas and New Year brought everything into a very sharp and frankly painful perspective. It culminated on Christmas night, after a looooooong day on about 4 hours sleep for both of us the previous night.

At the end of the day BF was so drunk he could barely stand up. I was drunk and very very tired. He looked to me to have the potential (in my drunken mind which exaggerated everything and over-reacted - I'm not going to lie) to be violent; me screaming at him to 'get out of my fucking house' repeatedly, followed by sobbing into his brother's shoulder in view of his mum and dad was not my proudest moment. It makes me feel sick with embarrassment to think of it now; more so that people (our own family? Friends?) will not want to spend time with us and frankly, who can blame them?

I'm miserable with it, I'm fed up. Just before New Year I informed BF that I would be leaving him in the New Year - he slept in the car that night (again, we were staying with friends who all rallied round, will they want to go away with us ever again? Possibly not?).

It has to stop, and the only ones who can do anything about it are us. We are going to supper tonight with friends - if we can have a civilized meal including a couple of glasses of wine, then I know we will have made a start......................

Thursday, 3 November 2011


People who are veterans of the recent spate (I'm talking the last 9 years or so) of Saturday Night Entertainment will recognise the following sayings....

'The song was too big for you!'
'You totally owned the stage!!'
'You were out of your comfort zone!'
'You were born to be a singer/performer!'
'You deserve to be on that stage!'

Please note - the excess exclamation marks are very much intentional. Each of these statements MUST BE SAID IN A STATE OF EXTREME EXCITMENT AS THOUGH THIS IS THE MOST EXCITING THING TO HAVE HAPPENED SINCE THE BERLIN WALL CAME DOWN!!!!. Although I'm not crediting the judges with enough brains to know anything about the Berlin wall, miaoooowwww.

Ok, so I'm obviously talking about the X Factor and other such crappy 'reality' shows but, more to the point, I'm annoyed with MYSELF for actually watching. hmmmm.

I hate everything about it. So much so that I'm going to list those things for you...

The hideous and frankly abusive way in which contestants, some of whom I would venture to say are mentally unwell, are 'auditioned' and ridiculed for being, let's face it, embarrassing in their complete inability to sing.

The lonnnnnnnnng drawn out process whereby we all find out about the saaaaaad family secrets and stereotypical types. Staple examples; single parents, no money, dead siblings, bullying at school, too fat, too thin, interesting to look at (ugly) jack the lad, racist, thick as two short planks, posh boy trying to be rough etc etc etc..

Over produced numbers to cover up the lack of vocal talent

The predictablity, or worse, the fake pretence at unpredictability. Shock horror! So & So has been booted out!! National outcry in the Daily Mail!!

I could go on. You should read this book if you want to know what I mean:

I like to think (well I KNOW) that I am intelligent enough to see through all the crap and know full well that the whole thing is one big 'fix' (I don't go as far as saying the votes are fixed, but pretty much everything else is). I also think that I am intelligent enough to therefore, hmmm, I don't know, NOT WATCH??? but no, no, no, no, no. I watch it, and I hate it, but I can't not. Am I addicted?!!! Can I give it up?! Is it like alcohol? I love it because it makes me feel good momentarily but ultimately it makes me dislike myself on a very basic and base level. hmm, sounds familiar.

This is how my Sunday evenings go at the moment:

Sit down to catch up with recorded stuff from over the weekend; Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor, to be specific.

Start with Strictly - watch the whole episode (approx 2 hours worth) in about 30 minutes - fast forwarding through all the crap and irrelevance and literally just watching each dance and the following judge comments.

Watch the Strictly results show - over an hour's programme in about 5 minutes - just the actual result please!!

Followed by the X Factor, which in it's crapness is FAR FAR in advance of Strictly. Hours worth of telly reduced to; singing, judge comments, ff and move on to the next. None of the abovementioned things which I HATE hate hate hate hate hate hate hate....

Then, finally, I'll watch the X Factor results. All over in about 5 minutes in my world. Not interested in the guests, the flashbacks, the interviews, the tears, the 'tension'.

So why do I do it? My epiphany happened tonight. I realised that I am actually making myself miserable by watching these programmes. I annoy myself. I get frustrated. It doesn't make me a better person, it makes me a worse person. Just like white wine, I suppose.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Why the stress with the Wine??

And actually, for once, I don't mean drinking too much of it!!

I think it's safe to say that I am a bit of a worrier. However I'm a bit of a paradox (I think that's the best description) because if you were to ask my mum, best friend or boyfriend they would say that 'Stress' and 'Anxiety' both figure quite highly in my life. Another friend who I have known for a very long time but who probably doesn't know me quite so well said of me the other day 'you never let anything bother you, you're the most laid back person I know!'

Now this made me laugh - in some ways she is absolutely correct, and in some ways she couldn't be further from the truth. Two of the things you are most likely to hear me say are:

"I've got sooooo much to do!!! Arrrrrrrrghh!! Not enough time!"


"It'll all be fine - we'll play it by ear.........."

So I confuse myself sometimes, as you can imagine.

Anyway, I'm digressing a bit, but the point is that I've been making my own wine recently; some of my favourites so far:

Strawberry & Apple
Rose Petal

and some on the go at the moment; natty little vintages of:

Plum and Damson
Greengage and Plum

This is where the anomalies come in. I find it incredibly satisfying to see the end result of something which I have made quite literally from start to finish. I picked the elderberries, I nurtured the fermenting process, I carefully racked and finished and bottled everything. (And then it sits looking pretty on the shelf because, in reality, it doesn't taste all that great but hey, that's beside the point....)

But this time, it's different. Why? Because I'm making wine from grapes, which have been nurtured by a friend who has entrusted me to make lovely wine from them. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!! Suddenly all this pressure!!

So this is how it goes - you basically put fruit in water with sugar and yeast. It ferments (bubbles) in a tub for a week or so. Then you strain out all of the stalks/peel etc (my kitchen looked like I had massacred a few people in it after I did the elderberries) filter the liquid into a demijohn (big glass bottle) with an airlock. Now the most satisfying part of the process is when over the next few weeks the wine continues to ferment, causing a relaxing rythmic'bloop bloop' as the air is pushed through the airlock. Lovely.

So what caused the panic this week? Well after the bubbling tub was transferred to the demi johns and it bubbled fiercely for a few hours.... nothing. Bubbles stopped! Nothing! Flat unfermented wine!

Now ordinarily I would think - what the hey - it's only a bit of fruit I've picked from the hedgerows along with some water and sugar. If it doesn't work, what have I lost? Nothing! This time with the newly introduced element of the 'friend' or 'client' sitting on my shoulder (in my mind) shouting 'MAKE THE WINE FERMENT!!! COME ON!!! DO SOMETHING!! DON'T SLEEP AT NIGHT! OH NO, WAKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND WORRY THAT THE WINE ISN'T BUBBLING!! GO ON!!'

hmmmmm. In reality what I did was take some bubbling wine just about to go into a demi john, introduced it to the flat stuff, which is now bubbling away nicely. What I don't understand is the TOTALLY DISPROPORTIONATE panic I felt, the sinking feeling, the wringing hands when I first checked and saw a distinct lack of bubbles.

It's all bubbling away nicely now, you'll no doubt be glad to hear. But I still sneak up into the bedroom every so often and check it out..............

Sunday, 25 September 2011

To my 'other half'?

I had my hair coloured today - you were actually there in the building so you can't possibly claim that you didn't know. A 'your hair looks good' would have been nice. If you genuinely didn't notice or care then; well I'm not sure if that's better or worse. How difficult could it be to say it?

I am paranoid/sensitive/hard work I know. But honestly? If you find me as unattractive/tedious/worthless as I think you do, then really just let me know and get it over with quickly. Don't let it drag on for a while and then put me through some hideous break up which I could REALLY do without. Or perhaps if you do really love me and want to be with me then perhaps you could sometimes, oh, I don't know, SAY SO???!!!

I've got lots of friends who I would describe as 'high maintenance'. By which I mean they are, by my standards, unreasonably demanding of their boyfriends/husbands. I always prided myself on being the antithesis of this; easygoing, non demanding. Perhaps I am so low in self esteem that I thought that no-one would want me if I dared to actually 'demand' or 'require' something.

Well, I've finally decided that I'm not going to feel like this any more. So my question today is honestly, really, am I just being a cow? If you've been in a long term relationship with someone for 4 years during which you've bought a house and had a child with them, would it REALLY be too much to ask to be told that you are lovely once in a while? And if you aren't told that, would it be unreasonable to presume that you aren't, and that your 'other half' is taking you for granted?

Answers on a postcard.............