juin 29, 2004

heart history

Last night (as we listened to the slick new stereo), I showed Jax my email archive.

Because I am an email hoarder, I have almost all the early emails she sent me. It was *so* cute tracing through the early portion of our dating as our relationship quickly grew. We were so tentative at first, our heads and hearts trying to cope with the sudden feelings and changes. The hope and fear is so apparent. They were lovely memories to evoke though.

And as we traced the dates of the emails, it became apparent that as we sat reading them, it was exactly a year to the day since the first day we met.

It almost seems like it was fated and I feel so blessed and lucky to have her in my life.

She has my heart. And I'm not afraid any more.

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juin 28, 2004

the ruins of industry (he's a steel town diciple)

this weekend was.... bizarre.

ye gods, sometimes I think this place is scarier than tennessee. well, in a different way. but, man....

it was one of the gang's birthday on saturday. he comes from halifax and they hired a bus to take us all to halifax for a 'night on the town'...

of course, before we even made it out of the car park, jackie had already flashed her golden globes at a group of guys in the carpark. that's my girl there ;>

but... uh... I swear, the first pub we went into...? dude, like something out of deliverance.

halifax is a real northern industrial town and it was showing. in all it's slapper-come-old-harridan-miniskirted glory. The first pub had a dj, playing music that was so ancient Noah probably boogied to it in the ark. The aforementioned slappers who were probably fifty if they were a day and were frighteningly ugly (makeup applied with a trowel can't hide that level of fugly) were all hanging around the dj's booth fluttering their eyelashes at the hideous dj.

the old dude in the corner who was probably close to eighty thought it would be a grand idea to grab several of our girls and grind up against them. Uhhh, no, old dude, not a good idea.

the pub (thankfully) ran out of budweiser, so we moved on. the rest of the night was admittedly better. aside from people worrying about me because the colour of my complexion was something akin to the colour of a battleship.

I even managed to dance. the fact that I made it through might owe something to a little chemical enhancement, but at least I made it. and didn't like, cry or anything. which, yes, I seriously wanted to at one point.

the true extent of the cultural wilderness that is halifax was revealed when, at 12:30, the pub we were in wound down. and there was nowhere else to go that wouldn't entail a £10 cover charge for entry. for another hour in halifax? I think not.

the problem was, our bus wasn't due to arrive till 2am. which meant like, an hour hanging around the streets of halifax. or, y'know, kfc. we ate kfc at 1:30 in the morning because it was the only thing to do in halifax.

by the time we made it back to leeds in the bus, most everyone was asleep or passed out.

but by 11am? we were getting texts for round two at the pub. I swear, I will die of acohol poisoning before anything else can get me. My intention was fully *not* to go to the pub, of course. Instead, Jackie and I went shopping in town and I snagged myself a lovely little amp. mmm, music... always a needful thing.

so then we headed home, but the mistake made was when we went to pick up Jackie's car from the pub. she talked me into stopping in for a quick one. with the gang. (remember cheers with norm getting cheered everytime he walked in the pub? yeah, that's us). and the quick one turned into two, or was it three? And then we headed home.... except no, we decided when we got to the car that we'd go and have dinner at the italian restaurant next door but one. where we met up with another friend and her daughter.

which was really nice but then another friend happened along and next thing we're agreeing to go back to the pub. Which hey, by this point, I've pretty much given up any hope of getting anything at all done at home, so why not?

So we went back to the pub and got another beer and sat back down with the gang. except one of the more, uh, rowdy girls (read the *other* lesbian who also got her boobs out, but who's boobs are about four times the size of mine), had her sister there. And her sister was something else again. while I'm amused at some vulgarity, as long as it's all in good humour, this girlwomanoldslapper was so far over the line, she'd have needed a telescope to look back to find it.

if the lesbian's boobs were four times the size of mine, her sister was positively balloon-like. I mean, scary. The dropped jaws around the table pretty much backed up that assessment. actually, do believe she would have gone down quite well in halifax, she was that scary.

not only was it the massive boobs with the tank top and no bra, and the make-up trowelled on about two inches thick, but she kept pulling up her skirt and flashing her thong. which was like dude, *noooooo*....

so, then several of the gang were heading off and the others decided to go onto another pub. the nag's head. I think that probably says it all. it's kinda rough and I'm not keen on it and will avoid it if at all possible. luckily we don't end up there very often. I think the main reason they go there is because it's cheap. which also probably says a lot.

so anyway, jackie decided to go and I told her I'd pick her up in half an hour. I headed home and it seemed like I was barely there before it was time to go back and pick up the girl.

she was waiting on the wall outside when they got there. apparently the slappersister had gotten her boobs out again, bringing the entire pub to silence. the landlord had told her to behave herself and it had escalated until the sisters had been unceremoniously evicted from the pub. since I'd managed to leave my cell phone at work on Friday, and jackie didn't have my home number on her, she'd had to wait until I turned up. poor love.

I was simply glad I'd gone home. and hadn't been there for the denoument of the weekend. there are moments you definitively know you're middle class and this weekend was filled with them!

but it got better. we headed home and set up the amp and it's *lovely*. so hopefully my speakers will arrive tomorrow. and then we had a bath and cuddled and snuggled and... well, let's just say it was a lovely end to an.... interesting.... weekend.

but it's not a weekend I'd be eager to repeat!

Posted by rachie at 03:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

open mouth....

my neck is feeling better, but my head is not. sometimes I wish I would think before I open my proverbial mouth.

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juin 25, 2004

a few points of order

1. my neck is insanely sore. my muscles have gone into spasm. this is not making me a happy camper.

2. the football sucked. nuff said.

3. it's cold. it should be friggen summer and it's been close to freezing at night. this is clearly insanity and should be made to stop.

4. I have speakers arriving tomorrow. assuming they didn't attempt to deliver them today. otherwise i may have to go and collect them tomorrow. now i just have to get an amp to go with them.

5. my Buffy dvd collection is now only one season from complete. or at least it will be as soon as my newest box-set is delivered.

6. my girl has watched some buffy with me. and she enjoyed it. this makes me happy. because I'm sad like that.

7. please god let vanessa be evicted from the big brother house tonight

8. I had my hair done yesterday, which was interesting from the 'my neck is spasming and pinching on my nerve and I'm in fucking agony' point of view. now it is *very* blonde and kind of spiky. I'm not sure if I like it.

9. it's poppy season and I saw a lone corn poppy on the corner of the lawn at work before. the petals look like crushed silk. they are so sweet. makes me miss poppy cottage.

10. the ibuprofen is making me fucking thirsty. or maybe it's the three gallons of beer I drank last night.

11. I'm listening to the da vinci code on CD. it's quite interesting and might compell me to do a little more research on the subject. As a thriller it's kind of crappy, but I do think the theory is interesting.

12. one of the girl's best friends has invited her to a birthday barbeque and invited me too. which is nice because this friend isn't very thrilled about the whole thing, but at least she's making an effort.

13. t.f.g.i.f.

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juin 24, 2004

sometimes I do go on...


I just came across some emails from last year. Which were kind of interesting.

It's really quite hard to judge the effect one's own words may have, but judging by these, I think I might be kinda scary when I'm pissed off. Party because, fucking hell, I'm articulate when I'm angry.

Which is interesting because I spent the first 27 years of my life not getting angry.

warning: This is one of my ultra-long self-indulgent posts that is apropos of nothing other than sometimes I like to think about what makes me who I am... if you don't like that kind of shit, don't click.

Dysfunctional families make for fucked-up children, and mine was as dysfunctional as the next. When anger leads to a child getting hurt, not necessarily physically, but definitely emotionally, the sensible thing from the child's point of view is to stop getting angry.

So I'd get upset but to angry. And when I did get upset, I'd hide myself away in my room to protect myself. Being accused of being childish and attention-seeking when not in complete control of my emotions was something I tried to avoid. Unhappily, I failed much of the time.

I would get unreasonably outraged and furious with my brother over the stupidest things. I think because it was the only legitimate anger I was 'allowed' to feel.

Aside from that, I wasn't 'angry'. Mostly I think I subsumed my anger and labelled it 'stress'. People would take advantage of me and I'd feel 'stress'. I'd be unable to articulate anything about how I was feeling because I couldn't even begin to connect with those feelings. Instead, my life became all about making other people happy and trying not to fuck things up.

Invariably I fucked things up. And I was so hypersensitive, that every failing was magnified to the nth degree in my head. It wasn't that other people were bad/made mistakes/ hurt me. It was that I was a failure. I think I got to the point where everytime somebody else got angry, I was convinced that it was my fault. I wandered around in a maelstrom of self-loathing and unacknowledged anger.

And it almost did me in.

Physically and emotionally, I crumbled. The coping mechanisms which I had employed since childhood were no longer protecting me. In fact, they were crippling me, causing me untold misery and holding me back from having a productive life. They were making me ill and it forced me to stop and look at taking a different path.

I've since found out/realized that this is not an uncommon process. We all do it to some degree, but the more dysfunctional our coping mechanisms, the more damage they cause long-term.

I don't think I'll ever forget how it felt when I started allowing myself to be angry. For a while, I wasn't sure I'd ever *stop* being angry. Firstly it was directed at my mother, for all the years I'd blamed myself for her short-comings there was a lot of anger stored up. Then it pretty much radiated outwards. But even then, even when I started *feeling* the anger, I had no idea how to express it. I had no idea how to articulate negative feelings, no idea how to engage with another person in a constructive manager if I was angry with them.

I was terrified of others anger and terrified of my own anger. And once it started coming out at times I had no idea how to control it. The learning of being okay with my anger and the learning how to manage and express it was a long, long process.

And when I say *long*, I'm talking years. Probably five years in the making, this coming to some sort of comfortable place with being angry. Still, I had twenty-seven years of subtle learning to un-learn. So five years maybe wasn't that bad after all.

But then, there was the wreckage that was my life which basically, after my mini-breakdown and during my subsequent therapy was much like a train crash. And whatever got better, something would invariably get worse. My health got better but relationships dissolved into great neon flashing lumps of crisis-ridden nightmares. And as I started to heal emotionally, the reality of just how fucked-up many of my relationships were started to kick in.

And I started to get angry with people. And I started to tell them. And they didn't like it. Not that surprising in hindsight. I'll bet I changed a lot to a lot of people around that time. And since. I'll bet I appeared harder, less sympathetic and definitely less malleable. It was a hard transition. My anger sparked anger in them and I had to learn to stand my ground. And I did. I learnt not to qualify my anger. I learnt not to apologize for it. I learnt that I had a right to that particular emotion, like I had a right to every other.

And most of all, I learnt not to compromise my integrity. I stopped trying to make peace with people who wanted everything their own way and I started walking away from those relationships that were poisoning me. The nightmares were usually a good indication I needed to do that…

But it was *fucking* hard. I lost some people who had been important to me. And I missed them, but I didn't regret it. Life was a lot easier without the constant battles.

In short, I stopped (mostly) being co-dependent, stopped trying to make peace at my own expense and started to put myself first. And I started connecting with my feelings and discovering who I was. Because really, up until that point, I hadn't really had any idea who I was. My entire self-perception was garnered by looking at other people's reactions to me. The people around me were basically a mirror by which I judged myself. And it was only when I stopped seeking their approval that I started to investigate the fact that how they perceived me might only be a fraction of who I actually was.

They were terrifying times. Truly. Sometimes I felt so weak and worthless that I wondered if there was even a point. But bit by bit, I delved inside until I felt like I was on the verge of something really big. Something that I would discover about myself that would bring some huge revelation.

It took a while to hit me though. It took realizing I was in love with my best friend to force me to confront the truth.

If you've been reading me for any length of time, you know what happened from there on out. I think, besides being in love with her, the idea of heading for America and getting away from New Zealand all the reminders of what had been wrong with my life was fairly seductive. I'd wanted to leave New Zealand for a while and America seemed like the place to go. And then it all seemed to come together. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea, but she was in love with me, she said and she wanted us to give it a go. In the end, so did I. It was a risk, but I felt it was a risk worth taking.

Hell, despite what happened, I still think it was worth it. I might have lost my best friend and that might suck more than most things suck, but I also gained so much from it. I learnt to embrace my sexuality, I got to find a place where I finally fit and I learnt how strong I am.

It was the most painful process of my life. Far from escaping the miseries of my life, the time with the ex simply added an extra layer of misery. A prime case of be careful what you wish for, I guess…

Towards the end of our time together and then after I had left, there were times I seriously doubted I'd make it through in one piece. There were times when I just didn't want to go on. And the anger. God, the anger…. Not just at her, although there was a lot of that. There was all sorts of anger going on. At my father. At the turns of my life that had brought me to this place. At myself for handling things so badly. Even though I handled them the best I could at the time, I still beat myself up over not handling them better.

I dealt with the death of family members, the death of my parents marriage, the death of my relationships, both love and friendship. I moved to England and found a job and a place to live. I tried to resurrect my life. I tried to create *something*, anything, out of the ashes of what was left.

And I don't think there was a lot left at that point. And the irony is it was my mother that got me through, kept me going, kept me sane. While simultaneously typically driving me nuts.

All this brings me back to those emails. Emails I sent to the ex almost a year ago. There are several of them and they become increasingly angry. And reading them brings back the memory of those feelings. The words are so precise and looking at them in the cold light of day, I see they actually do articulate everything I was feeling and wanted to say.

I'm sure they were things that were hard to read, but they were the truth. I still believe they were the truth. By that point I was well over my hysteria and while I wanted to be friends with her, there was the cold hard anger left, lingering under the surface.

And oddly, it's so freeing to read that anger. To see how skilled I have become in saying exactly what I want to say. And also in realizing I have left so much of that anger behind. Not all of it. It'd be disingenuous to pretend that I am totally okay with the way things turned out. I think there will always be some residual pain and anger.

After all, after those emails we stopped talking for a while and then we started talking again, early this year. This time it was much different. Easy and pleasant, without the anger. Not like how it used to be, because it will never ever be like it used to be. And I know neither of us want it to be. We're so beyond that, even without the ex-relationship stuff, neither of us want to be dependent on anyone again.

But then her replies tapered off without explanation. Not that I needed a blow by blow, I knew she was busy. But then, there was just nothing. Silence. Even when she wasn't busy. And I just knew I was tired of doing the running. I'd made the first step enough times and I hadn't ended it this time. There was no end, just a silence. And that silence hurt. Not huge amounts, but it hurt, nonetheless.

There are only so many times you can apologize and mean it. And there are only so many times you can make the first step without feeling like you're compromising your integrity.

But the odd thing is, for all that I am in touch with my emotions and I know what I want and I go for it, I'm completely conflicted about this. Because a little part of me is still angry. Because she didn't respect me enough to say she didn't want to talk to me. For whatever reason. Because I feel like there's still this unfinished chapter of my life and I still have no idea what needs to happen for it to close. And because I suspect that closure would partly be a function of coming full-circle and being able to talk to her again. Of course, I can't be sure of that, I've learnt it’s a good idea not to be completely sure of anything.

And I don't have any control over that. One of the primary things I've learnt is that I can't and don't need to control everything that happens or doesn't happen in my life. In fact, 'control' as an issue is pretty much absent from my life these days, aside from where it needs to happen, like work.

So I just think about this every so often and then put it away. And then on odd occasions, I come across old emails and it makes me think how much I have changed. And that's always a great thing to know and it's great to have solid proof of the fact that my feelings have and are constantly changing but also that I was able, even at that point to finally say what I felt and thought without fear, at long last.

Even if I think I might be kinda scary when I'm in full flight.

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juin 22, 2004


Every time I look at you the world just melts away
All my troubles all my fears dissolve in your affections
You've seen me at my weakest but you take me as I am
And when I fall you offer me a softer place to land

You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You're the one true thing I know I can believe in
You're all the things that I desire, you save me, you complete me
You're the one true thing I know I can believe

I get mad so easy but you give me room to breathe
No matter what I say or do 'cause you're to good to fight about it
Even when I have to push just to see how far you'll go
You wont stoop down to battle but you never turn to go

You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You're the one true thing I know I can believe in
You're all the things that I desire, you save me, you complete me
You're the one true thing I know I can believe

Your love is just the antidote when nothing else will cure me
There are times I cant decide when I cant tell up from down
You make me feel less crazy when otherwise I'd drown
But you pick me up and brush me off and tell me I'm OK
Sometimes thats just what we need to get us through the day

You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You're the one true thing I know I can believe in
You're all the things that I desire, you save me, you complete me
You're the one true thing I know I can believe

~ push - sarah mclachlan

Posted by rachie at 03:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

juin 21, 2004

into the quarters

said to the girl tonight: aren't you proud of me? a year ago I knew nothing about football at all and now look at me.

dude, I even call it football and not soccer!

a couple of bottles of beer, a bottle of red wine and a football game later?

wooooo-hoooo! GOOOOOO ENGLAND!

Posted by rachie at 11:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I just made a wasted trip to the bank. Well, I guess, not so much of the wasted because I am a tiny step closer to getting my dire financial situation sorted. for the short term. of course, long term the only thing that will sort it are a large injection of cash or a shotgun.

but it would be nice not to worry every night whether I'm going to be able to pay for food next week. that would be nice.

the stupid thing is, it's not even like I'm poor - I make a decent wage - it's just that living in this country is so damned expensive. when petrol for the month costs you over half of your rent, and your rent isn't cheap, you know something isn't right.

it would also be nice though, to get those few final things to finish off the flat. a mirror for the bathroom would be nice. some paint to have a go at painting my blanket chest. a stereo so I can play my ridiculous number of cd's....

so, back to the bank tomorrow to extend myself further into the quagmire of debt I am already in and hopefully gain a bit of breathing space until I get my pay rise.

god only forbid if it does not eventuate.

Posted by rachie at 02:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

juin 18, 2004

some news is good news

the good news is that it looks like it's pretty certain my contract will be renewed. it's pretty much confirmed all bar the rubber stamping.

the even better news is that it's likely my raise will be approved too. haven't had word on this yet but the boss is pretty confident. and it's a reasonably substantia rise - from grade three to five which will boost my salary by over a quarter of what it is now.

that will make a huge difference if and when it goes through. while I won't be able to throw money around still, it does mean I'll have a lot more breathing space than I do now. and I'll be able to stay in a job I really enjoy with all the flexibility and benefits I could wish for. I mean, five weeks of leave a year is not something to be sneezed at!

cross your fingers for me!

Posted by rachie at 03:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

juin 17, 2004


I've been feeling kinda down the past couple of days and I'm not really sure why.

I think maybe it's the not knowing what's happening with my job and my money situation that's getting to me.

Posted by rachie at 04:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

juin 14, 2004

time and tide (someone took my net, and buried me alive)


in six weeks the girl and I will be in London. we will have been together a whole year. we'll be getting ready to go see melissa in concert.

sometimes I have a hard time getting my head around the way my life has changed in the past few years. the way I have changed.

I have gone from a scared little girl who always seemed the wrong shape for the hole I was trying to force myself into, to a confident, strong woman who does not suffer fools and who is capable and sure of who she is.

I told Jackie yesterday that I never had any intention of living in England. When I was younger I thought I might do my big "OE" for a year or so, but that soon passed me by and I focussed on America. I think basically I was trying to trade one safety net for another - I had friends there who would look after me and catch me if I fell on my ass. I don't think I ever trusted myself *not* to fall on my ass.

So, the irony then, when I finally got to America, although in a way I had never anticipated and then fell on my ass in such a truly spectacular and dramatic fashion. In fact, I fell so far past my ass, it wasn't quite seemly.

Thank God for family. And thank God for God.

Somehow, I'd ended up planning to come to England for three weeks at just the time when my life fell apart. And so I came. And never left.

And in this place I found the place I belong. The right shaped hole for me. It's a gay-shaped hole and maybe if I'd found a gay-shaped hole in New Zealand I would have been okay there. Although I'm not entirely convinced I would have been. There's something about England, about the greenness and the oldness, the starkness of winter and the way the wind ripples across fields of corn. There's something that speaks to my soul, that beguiles and soothes and tethers me. It's nothing and everything. I think maybe it's just this is the land I come from, even though I was not born here.

I have this kind of theory that I was telling the girl yesterday. That maybe our mothers pass collective psychic feelings and memories to us when they carry us within them. that from them and their mother before them, we absorb some kind of knoweldge about our place in the world. I don't know, it probably sounds really wacky, but it makes sense to me.

So I'm here and I'm me. A self-contained, happy, confident me. A me that I think I thought would never exist several years ago. And I think about certain people from my present and my past that are either physically or emotionally removed and I wonder, if they could see me now, what would they think. Not that it really worries me, because *I* like me, and if other people don't, that's simply too bad.

And then, to complete the equation, there's my girl. a year down the track and we're happy and content. And sometimes that scares me. Because I'm starting to feel secure and I'm starting to not look for the other shoe to drop. And I kinda feel like the moment I start becoming complacent, that's when I'll be blindsided. But I really don't think she would do that to me. But then I've thought that before, and I find it kind of hard to reconcile sometimes those two feelings.

But, for probably the first time in my life, I spend almost all my spare time with one person and I don't get bored. And it's so easy. Which also seems odd because in the last relationship I found out for the first time how hard and how much work relationships are. And so I keep wondering why this one isn't hard work and am I doing something wrong? Or is it just that this is how it should be when you're in love? Just warmth and ease and sweetness and room to breathe. It's not all roses, by any means, but that's life, isn't it? Ups and downs. Waves and troughs Can't expect much else.

But God, I finally feel like I'm not searching any more. I feel happy and content and I feel like I could spend the rest of my life like this and not feel like I'm missing anything.

Life is truly a strange and wonderous thing.

Posted by rachie at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

weekend update

It's beautiful here at the moment. mid to high twenties, a little breeze and hazy sunshine. in fact, it's been beautiful all weekend.

Jackie and I walked around Eccup reservoir yesterday morning. it must have taken us about 90 mintues or so, which isn't too bad for four miles. I have a tasty blister on my foot today though. still, between the yoga, the diet and the walks, I appear to have lost some weight. which is nice. Now I just have to carry it on - the healthy eating and the exercising I mean. The weight will take care of itself if I do that.

last night we went to chrissie's and watched the football. I have absoultely no investement in football, I don't understand the rules and all the flags on the cars of late reminds me far too much of american football season in tennessee. still, at least this is a national team, I guess.

england did new zealand's usual trick and managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in injury time. maybe I should just stop watching sport all together - my teams always seem to do better when I don't watch the damn games.

Other than that? I am rapidly becoming addicted to Big Brother 5 and I could really do with a holiday.

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juin 11, 2004

it's sunny and I'm smiling

Dude. I get the best feedback at work. it's very good for the self-esteem.

the school of education administrators just about had a caniption fit this morning after my training session with the lecturers. They'd asked me if I was staying here permanently and I told them about the contract ending in July/waiting to hear about renewal.

they think I am the bees knees apparently.

amazing what difference a smile and a can-do attitude make.

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juin 09, 2004

a sliver of my insanity

::sobs quietly::

too tired. too stressed. too broke. too hot. too hungry. too busy too.

if I could have one magic power I am starting to think I'd like it to be the ability to stretch time to fit everything in.

The girl and I are on a detox diet. well, a lose weight/detox diet. since I got to England eighteen months ago, I've put on close to two stone. now, I needed to put on one, but two? not so much. so it became time to take matters in hand and now we are two days into a seven day hell of hunger. the lack of lager is possibly the worst aspect of it though.

in other news? people I care about are ill and I don't like it. one little bit.

on the good side though, my boss told me today that he'd talked to his boss and put the 'hard word' on about my contract/pay rise. he tells me she is aware of how valuable I am. so good. we still have to wait for the business case decision though.

It was thirty degrees yesterday. In England. In June. That's just wrong.

There's much, much more but no time or ability to put it into words.

I just wish I had more time. and coherence might be nice too.

Posted by rachie at 11:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

juin 08, 2004


The Artist, or OZ
You are Oz! Or, Type Four of the Enneagram's
personality structure: THE ARTIST. You are
creative, intuitive, introverted and

Which Buffy & Enneagram's 9 Personalities Are You?
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juin 06, 2004

D-Day +60

I've never actually *seen* the D-Day commemortations live before.

To be fair, I have lived in New Zealand for most of my life and when they have the ceremonies, it's generally the middle of the night.

This morning, on the 60th Anniversary, the girl and I sat in bed and watched the service in Normandy, watched the Queen speak. Recited the lords prayer, watched the veterans remembering their fallen friends.

There were stories of the children that waded off those ships and into the carnage of war. There were the children of those children who came to honour their parents and grandparents.

There were tears.

Some of them were mine.

Anyone who knows me at all well will tell you I get emotional at the drop of a hat. Jackie laughs at me constantly because I'll cry at the stupidest things. She also tells me it's one of the things she adores about me.

But this morning. Wow.

You see, my grandfather was in the Royal Marines. He fought, not on the beaches of Normandy, but in battles in the South Pacific. He fought in the Battle of the River Plate. He was there when they liberated Changi. I am so, *so* proud of my grandfather that it brings a lump to my throat and tears in my eyes.

He was only fourteen when he joined the marines. It wasn't wartime then, but he did what he had to do when war broke out. Some of it he has shared with his family. Some of it, like Changi, is too painful to talk about.

However, because of the war, he met my Grandmother in a hospital in Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Because of the war, I am here to sit in front of a computer and write this. And because of the war, I could so easily have not been.

What chance, that my Grandfather should survive. That his brother should not have. Like everything in life, it was simply chance. I am so lucky, both to be here, and to have him as a grandfather. I adore him more than I could possibly say. And I am grateful that he was not at Normandy that day. But if he had been, I know he would have done us all proud.

And still I sat there and I watched and I cried for the boys that died before they even lived. And I wondered to Jackie how frighteningly different this world of ours would have been if they had not landed on the beaches that day. If they had failed and the Third Reich had spread across the globe.

And I looked at my girlfriend lying in the bed next to me and I looked at the television screen and I said…. 'It's because of those men there that we can lie here in bed together this morning.'

And that's a sobering and humbling thought. Those rows of white granite bought our freedom with their blood and their loved one's tears.

And I don't ever want to forget that. I don't ever want to forget how grateful I need to be to those wonderful, brave, frightened boymen.

One day, maybe in five or ten years time, I want to be in Normandy on the anniversary of D-Day. I want to walk among the stones and I want to pay my respects in person.

Posted by rachie at 11:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

juin 04, 2004

a first time for everything

I just had a pretty kick-ass conversation with my boss. It went something like this.

me: so, talking about what's going to be happening with this project... what's happening with my contract? (it expires at the end of july)

him: well, it is.... I've made the case and the registrar has brought it up at the board meeting. it's just that the business case has to be approved. but let's put it this way. there's no way I'm letting you go, so don't you dare think about leaving. I think I'd resign before I see them let you go. don't worry about it, you'll be staying.

me: oh well, that's good then. what are the chances of me getting a good pay rise?

him: well, the problem is that the budget for the college is miniscule next year, but I have made the case for that too. we'll just have to wait and see what they say.

me: okay. the problem is with the move to leeds and the rise in petrol, things are pretty stretched. I really don't want to leave this job but the reality is, if I don't get a pay rise...

him: you might not have any choice?

me: mmmmm.

him: don't worry, I'll chase it up.

me: hey, no pressure.

dude, I rock. and he is possibly the best. boss. evah. he knows I am worth a lot more than they are paying me now. he also knows it's not an empty threat. and it's not one I want to make because I really do love this job. but I can't survive on what they're paying me now. if I don't get a pay rise I will have to find something closer to home. and he knows that and I know he will go to bat for me.

so we shall see what happens from here on in....

Posted by rachie at 10:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

juin 03, 2004

i'm back!

whew! 700 miles in the last 3 days.

I went down south to visit with my great aunts. It was so beautiful down there with summer approaching all the late spring blooms are fading and the roses are proliferating. the thatched cottages surrounded by roses and wisteria are so beautiful.

I was gone three days but I'm back now and completely knackered. I missed my girl with a vengeance and it was lovely to cuddle up with her last night. It still amazes me how our relationship seems to go from strength to strength. In my last relationship I was shocked to realize what hard work relationships are. now I'm shocked to learn that they don't have to be. if you're with the right person.

I even managed some writing while I was away, and it felt great. just stream of consciousness writing that could possibly turn into something. we shall see.

I'm tired. but so happy.

life is great.

Posted by rachie at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack