No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Thursday, 21 October 2010


My house is freezing cold.  It's been freezing cold for about 2 weeks now, the house is affirmedly in winter mode.

We have sash windows.  I hate sash windows, they are largely single glazed, and have no form of proper seal on them due their design and are completely insecure, so basically, the only advantage over just having one giant hole in your wall, is that you stuff doesn't get wet when it rains.  The wind and the cold however, that comes right in.  You can try to mitigate the heat loss from sash windows by using massive thick heavy curtains, but then you have to have massive thick heavy curtains everywhere, and as this is a rental house, the permission to put the relevant things in the wall.  The bedroom has blinds, the living room has light cotton drapes for privacy, the hallway and the kitchen have nothing.

How about central heating, invented a good 2000 odd years ago and installed in most properties these days, certainly any property I'm going to be paying money for at least, it is designed to circulate heat throughout your house, and thereby raise the ambient temperature to something comfortable, especially in the winter months, thereby eliminating the need for open fires in every room, or the wearing of furs.  Good idea yes?  Well apparently not allowed.  Every time I turn the heating on, my flatmate turns it off as soon as he notices.  Everytime I put the heating on timer, it mysteriously doesn't come on at the right times, because someone has turned it back to the off positions.  What's ironically funny is that my old flatmates from the last 2 years used to do this, because they were worried about bills and money, and my current flatmate was hapily bitching to me about this approach of theirs all the time.

I am currently wearing 4 layers, my entire body is shivering and cold.  My hands and feet are worse.  I have that cold numb ache throughout the entire length of my limbs.  If I try to warm myself up, my body is so cold, as it warms, it develops that stabbing pain you get from cold burns.  I get this even if I try to drink a cup of tea, and my internal temperature is seemingly so low, that even green tea, which I serve properly so about 20 degrees C cooler than 'normal' tea, gives me that horrible burning pain sensation from having something that's too hot as it travels all the way down my oesophagus.

I pay my rent, I pay £50 a month in bills, that's £150 a month for the three of us, £3300 per year.  Allowing about £800 for water rates, that gives us almost £200 a month to spend on electricity and gas, obviously the usage of both goes down dramatically in the summer months, so lets say £150 allowance for summer months, £250 in the winter.  And yet we are seemingly not allowed to have the heating on when it's cold.  I went through this for the last 2 years.  I got a space heater, and had it running almost constantly our house was that cold.  The second you turned it off everything froze again. My last house was in fact so bad, the pipes had to unfreeze every day when the hot water did come on, and we had water leaks in the floors and walls constantly.  So therefore I used the much more expensive electricity, rather than the sensible gas as I wasn't allowed to use the central heating, but my flatmates could hardly say no we're not going to use electricity either.  And I seem to be in the same position in my new place.

I don't understand people.  Chris, is a generally warm person, and he feels okay most of the time, but he admits he's a warm person, and he still shivers for a good while whenever he gets into bed each night.  My flatmate complains how cold it is in the house.  As I said, I've already put a jumper on, and a thermal layer, and a vest, and a t shirt, and jeans, and joggers over that.  I'm doing my energy bit, I'm not being lazy.  But we're not allowed to use the central heating?  What's weirdest is that my flatmate isn't even here most of the time!  And yet somehow he still magically manages to turn the heating off constantly.  Either that, or Chris is lying to me, in which case he's in major major major trouble.

I admit, it's 3 in the morning, it's going to be cold anyway, and I'm ill at the moment, so I'm probably worse than I could be, but I get home at 11pm, at which point, if the heating had been on timer, it should have been on solidly since 5pm so the house should be pleasant, and good until at least 1am or so, as we're all up late all the time in this house.  But no its freezing 24/7/.  And if I'm ill, surely I should be allowed to put the heating on to facilitate not being ill for longer?  Because an ill asthmatic who develops hypothermia every day is obviously a better situation than using the heating.

And it's mid October.  This means it's nowhere near as bad as it's gonna get.  And we have a good 4 5 months of this to go through.  I'm struggling not to completely break as it is anyway; at the moment, this is the thing that is actually going to push me off the edge and I will actually pull a jack.  seriously, I've already done all the planning for it, it's literal a case of whether i choose to do it or not at this point.

I don't even have any refuge at work, for some reason the a/c is left on despite the fact we're ALL sitting there shivering and no-one takes their jackets off when they get in.

Like I say, I don't understand people.  And at the moment, I have nowhere to go, work as enjoyable as it is, simply doesn't pay me enough and I can barely afford to stay till the end of my contract in march, let alone go beyond that, however much I might want to.  And being at home is often unpleasant depending on how my head feels like relating to Chris on any given day.  Add the fact that I'm just as cold, if not actually more so at home all the time, and the best i can do is come home, go straight to bed to try and keep warm, and get up as late as possible before heading to work, and I'm going to resent being in either place before long.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Names changed to protect identities.

I have 2 friends on facebook.  Or rather, I have one friend, and his ex.  But their recent status updates amuse me.  For the sake of discretion, we shall call them person A and person B.

Statuses in the last 24 hours have gone as follows, proceeding chronologically as you progress down the screen, obviously:

[B]: is fighting for love and things are looking up.

[B]: dinner and a movie with [A] :-)

[B]: had a great night with [A]:

[A] (posted 5 minutes after that last one): There's a reason you can block your exs on Facebook.  Now can I block them out the rest of my life.

Ah.... isn't it great when two people have completely different perspectives on how a night went, and you can get a sick perverted pleasure out of watching the one you don't like squirm because of it?

Yeah yeah, we all know I'm a bitch, that's old news people.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Friends are the family you choose... so why do I see them less?

I've noticed over time, that I tend to me the more proactive one when it comes to maintaining friendships.  I still let a lot of things slide, and I still neglect friendships that I shouldn't, and with certain people, we are quite comfortable not talking to each other for months and then randomly picking up where we left off, but generally, I'm the one who tends to start facebook or msn conversations just to say 'hi', I tend to be the one bugging people to come over, or invite me over, or go out, or whatever.  Normally, this doesn't bother me, I can deal just fine with that kind of thing being more reliant on me; maybe I feel the need to maintain contact more, and I'm sure my friend's shoulder more than an equal share of the burden in other aspects of our relationships.

But it does get to me, when I seem to go through extended periods where I don't see anyone and no-one even bothers to say hi to me in three months.  I say three months because I got back from the US almost exactly 3 months ago.  With the obvious exceptions of Chris, my family, and work related peoples, I worked out I've seen 7 people out of my friends in those months, and out of those, one was in fact from the US visiting, and 3 I've only seen by virtue of the fact they live with the fourth.

My friends in the US, and some of these people I only met for 4 days on a crazy 4th July weekend this year, will talk to me on a weekly, if not daily basis, despite the fact that they are 4000 miles and 5 hours time difference away from me and the only deep bonding experience between some of us is both trying to avoid errant fireworks and walking naked for a mile and a half through knee deep coastal waters.  And yet the multitude of people who live in the same city as me, can't even make the cursory 'we should meet up sometime' comment that we both know will never actually happen.

For the last 3 weekends I've posted on facebook and twitter saying is anybody around to do something, and the only person I've had ANY response from is the same person I see all the time anyway.  Don't get me wrong, I love him, I will gladly spend 80% of my social time with him, but I do need to feel he's not the only person in my life aside from the boyfriend.  This is just depressing.  It means currently, my life consists of work, trying not to fight with the boyfriend, and when I get so sick of those two I can't stand it anymore, Joel.

Sure, shit happens, people get busy, people (like me) are flat broke, they have their own problems and depressions to deal with, etc etc, but in 3 months my social life amounts to a lot of time with Joel, and 3 one off meet ups with some other people, which I'm grateful for, and I enjoyed seeing those people, but that's it.  Oh and one drunken phone call about 2 weeks ago.

I'm kinda sick of it, I don't want to have to work this hard to maintain one good solid friend in the entire city.  Even counting the friends I don't talk to much and am fine with that (my best friend being the major example of that), that brings the total count to maybe 4.  In the entire fucking country.  How to win friends and influence people my ass.

The modern day catharsis for this dilemma has become to have a facebook friend cull, unfortunately I think if I actually did that at the moment, I would struggle to even retain a full handful of UK-based, non work or family related friends.  So not surprisingly, that's not going to make me feel a whole lot better.  I haven't yet decided whether it'll be more depressing to get a slew of panicked 'hey hows it going are you ok read your blog post' messaged from people who have shown no interest for a while tomorrow, or to get nothing at all.  Whatever happens, I think at the moment there's a very firm extra point in the 'reasons to move to the US and pull a Jack'* column

Mood:  Depressed - work work chris work joel work work chris work work work chris work work joel work etc......
Music:  Jack's Mannequin - Entire Spotify Discography

* 'A Jack' is a manoeuvre by with you start a brand new life; you cut all ties from your previous one, abandoning all friends, workers, landlords, family members, acquaintances, creditors, et al. suddenly with no prior warning or indication.   This goes so far as to uping sticks, with only so many possessions to your name as will fit in a suitcase, moving to an entirely new part of the country, changing your phone number, email, deleting facebook, and all records of your previous life insofar as is possible without the exorbitant cost of counterfeit passports, but sofar as changing your name, thus giving those you left behind virtually no method of tracking you down within the 5 minute attention span of the average 2010ite, and making it a reasonable hassle for those who insist on pursuing it past that limit.  The move is so named because my friend Jack pulled it off, and aside from pissing off a lot of people who he didn't care about, has arguably been a rather successful stratagem.

Monday, 4 October 2010

De Amicitia

So I was drunkenly ordered to keep this blog going.  A friend of mine, who I see a lot less often than I should, but isn't that always the way as you grow up, told me it was her only link to me for the past year, and it's what gives her a sense of what's going on in my life, however trivial, becuase its the trivial things that friends want to know about, that make you friends, because they are the people who will give you sympathy when you've had a bad day at work, or will laugh at you with affection when you do something stupid.  So the blog shall seemingly continue, as I know she's not the only friend I don't do enough to keep up with that reads it.  And because when I'm having a really tough time, and the random people in my life who I don't expect to take enough notice spend all day making sure I'm okay, it sort of restores my faith in humanity a little bit, so everybody gets something out of it.

A non-descript friend said it was worrying that they relied on me, of all people, to go to when they're feeling messed up.  Because let's face it, I'm hardly the most stable, rational, or traditional of people.  If you're looking for someone to reassure you about the state of the world, you generally want to choose someone who at least sees the world, rather than dreams it up in their head.  And I'm nothing near not the standard type of friend, but my response was completely simple.

Why worrying, a best friend is supposed to be someone who gets you, where no-one else does.  Who you don't need to explain everything to.  Who you relate to differently than you might to other people and who knows different things about you.  They don't need to be the standard person in your life; they're there to be just as different as you are on the inside, so you know you're not completely crazy; that someone else out there is just as bad or worse than you, and will be especially worse for you when you need to feel good about yourself.

The candidates for my 'best friend', however I choose to score that one up, are all people who I can sit in a room with when I'm seething.  And anyone who's seen a proper temper rise in me knows I will throw and hit whatever is within range at that time, and there is no placating me, you just have to let me run out of energy - though, being an aries, that's usually in about 10 minutes: quick tempers, but not long lived ones. My best friends I can rant and rage at if I wanted to, but for some reason when I'm around them, I don't so much.  I can count the 'alone time' that I need to myself fairly regularly, even if I'm with them, because for some reason it works.  I can sit for 4 hours and not say a single word to them, not because we're watching a movie, but just because there's nothing that needs to be said, and be completely comfortable with that.  Best friends are the extraordinary people in your life, and 2 of the 3 people on my best friend list, I hardly ever get to see or even talk to.  But we don't need to, and even if I don't see them for 2 years, I can meet up with them and pick up our friendship as if there was no break between whatever word our last conversation with each other ended on.

That said, the way I respond to people when they want reassurance seems to be quite popular.  I don't really reassure people, or at least I won't say something because it's what you want to hear.  I'm generally qutie matter-of-fact in my consoling, but for a lot of people that seems to work.  Or they at least have the sense to come to me for that type of consoling only, and seek out other friends when they want someone who will lie to them.  Not that I'm putting the latter method down, we all need someone to tell us what we want to here rather than what we should here from time to time.  I just refuse to be that person.  But because of the method I go about sympathizing with people, it means people tend to listen to me.  Because when I say things like I did above, they know I mean it, they know that's how I truly view the world, and they know it's probably what they know on some level as well.  And when they just want someone who won't try to cheer them up, they know I will be the person standing there with the gin, saying "yes, the world is full of really really sucky crap, and i hate it and there's at least one day a week where all i want to do is scream too."  Sometimes, honesty works. Obviously sometimes this method backfires, on me or the friend I'm not sure which more, but there are other people to go to when you need to hear that it'll all be okay, and that there's a bright new beautiful tomorrow.   Sometimes, tomorrow should be spent in bed with the covers over your head.