décembre 29, 2004

late night babbling

It's some insane hour of the morning, but I've been writing. And I have this week off work, so I can do that without feeling guilty. Which is nice.

Christmas was great. We ended up going to midnight mass in the church down the road, which, incidentally, is the church my girl was christened in. It all sort of happened by chance, but felt so very right. Even the godawful choir was sweet.

On Christmas morning it offered up a sprinking of snow for my first white Christmas and I put out some bacon fat for the birds. Then I cooked and I cooked until I was all cooked out. And it was wonderful and everyone loved the food. Especially the Best Christmas Pudding Evah!

I drank copious amounts of mulled wine but didn't get drunk and we watched so much Little Britain that I lost count somwewhere around episode six.

I didn't get many presents, but the ones I did get were heartfelt and greatly appreciated. Money woes are felt most keenly at this time of the year and much of our money went into making Christmas Day memorable in the ways we felt were really important. That is, togetherness with those that you care for. And lots of good food and wine. ;>

I'm feeling the inevitable post-Christmas letdown now though.

In the past couple of days I think I've watched hours of coverage of the Asian tsunami crisis. I feel so dreadful for the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost loved ones and/or lost their homes. But so insanely glad that it didn't happen in the Pacific. Tsunami's have always been one of my secret nightmare fears - especially as a child my overactive imagination used to send huge tsunami's to swamp the Hutt Valley. This has brought those childish fears back to me.

And this time next week I shall be back at work which does not exactly fill me with glad tidings of great joy. I fear it might be time for a job change sooner rather than later.

Still, I've got some things accomplished in the past couple of days and the writing is back on track, so it's still pretty good. And there's a party tomorrow night and another on Friday night so... probably you can expect to hear from me again around Monday...

Happy New Year to you all if I don't manage to show my face in the meantime!

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décembre 24, 2004

A last entry before Christmas

The Christmas pudding is made, the brandy butter and the citrus butter for the turkey. Stuffing is cooked (and oh, what a stuffing - arpicot and walnut - yum!). The post, orange and cranberry sauce is made and chilling. All the vegetables prepped. I have mistletoe, a holly wreath and all the presents are wrapped.

The Carols at Christ's College, are on. The bath is running. I have a glass of sherry in my hand. We are preparing for snow, it will either come tonight or tomorrow.

I simply adore Christmas. I couldn't be any happier. Well, only if my family were here. You don't get moments much more wonderful than this, but that would make it near perfect.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!

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Season's Greetings!

In between cooking stuffing and cranberry sauce, listening to music and wrapping presents, just taking a quick moment to say Merry Christmas to all those that I love and to the rest of you as well.

Have a wonderful Christmas day, stay safe and I hope you have the luck to share it with people you love.

Love, Rachael xxx

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décembre 20, 2004

Christmas wishes!

Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.
        ~ William Shakespeare, "The Tempest", Act 2 scene 2

Merry Christmas to the little band of you who just can't seem to stay away. Particularly to DeAnn and Andrea. It's so flattering that my humble thoughts inspire such devotion. And for so long now! ;>

My Christmas wish for you is that you find something a little more constructive to do with your time in the New Year. I don't expect after all these years that you will, but a girl can always hope, right?

I wish you nothing but the best for 2005.

Love, me x

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décembre 17, 2004

last work day before christmas!

Just had Christmas lunch on work. All that turkey and champagne is making me a very sleepy girl. Think they'll notice if I go to sleep at my desk? ;>

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décembre 16, 2004

When you're through with life and all hope is lost...

Hold out your hands cos friends will be friends right till the
end

I've been thinking about friendship lately. About what it is, what constitutes it. What makes us open to it and what our expectations are of it.

For a long time, I've been burned out on friendship.

That's not to say, I didn't love and appreciate the friends that I did have. Indeed, they are some of the most important things in my life. There are certain friends I trust with my life and I treasure them deeply. There are some people who have always been there for me and I for them. We may not talk on a regular basis, but when we do, it's a moment in time to be cherished greatly.

And sometimes we do talk on a regular basis and it's easy and genuine and very little work required. Friendships where we don't have to explain ourselves, where we just instinctively understand one another.

All these friendships make life interesting and fun.

But then there were the other friendships. The friendships that hurt. Even while we were friends. The friendships that were so intense and for a while made me feel so good. Those people who were witty and funny and who just seemed to get me. But then who turned on me when things weren't going so well. Well, that's probably a bit overly dramatic. More things just degenerated into bitch fights where everyone behaved badly. Me as much as anyone else.

To be honest, I certainly had my moments, I bear my share of responsibility, I've never shirked that. But those friendships, they were painful. After a while they tore me apart and I ended up feeling like I'd had the stuffing knocked out of me. They were unhealthy, they were emotionally dependent and at times, emotionally abusive. I was in a bad place at that time, I see that looking back. It's odd that the most intense of friendships forged during that time were the ones that exploded in melodrama and nastiness. There was the bitching behind backs, the anger, the *rage* at each other, the feeding of the insanity that it all caused….

In the end, I had to walk away from several friendships just to stay sane. Just to stop the cycle of blame and anger, at least on my end. Who knows if it stopped on the other end? And I still feel conflicted about all those friendships. I still, to some small degree care about those people, wonder what is going on in their lives, wonder if they are happy. Quietly wish them a Merry Christmas and a fine New Year.

Of course, the hardest friendship to walk away from was the one with my best friend. Or the girl who, for eight years had been my best friend. In hindsight, it was also the best, and only thing I could have done. I spent a long time not letting go, trying to hang onto the friendship, trying to understand where it had all gone so wrong. Probably sleeping with her was the first point in a long line of mistakes. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I don't think I can ever be friends with someone I have loved. I feel too deeply, love too strongly. When I love, it's a forever kind of love. A part of me will always love her, as a part of me will always love Jackie. (Hopefully the rest of me will too, but who knows what the future holds in store?)

Part of me will always love the friends I loved. But those friendships, all of them, the ones I had to walk away from were too intense. There was fierce dependence, need for validation and agreement. Friendship, if not allowed to breathe, can end up suffocating itself. In the end, that's what happened to me.

Ever feel like you take two steps forward and one step back? That's how I felt. I'd be doing okay and then I'd realize that no, I wasn't quite as healthy as I should be, I'd indulged in some drama and behaved generally like a sixteen year old and then I would pull myself together and start acting a bit more like an adult. A healthy adult.

The worst was probably after the split with her. No excuses, I was just nursing a very broken heart. And saying and doing things I should never have said and done. Like I said before about the hindsight…

I think it was at this point that I really started to pull back from a lot of my friendships. I needed the space to take a clear and unbiased look at what my life was and work out how the hell to fix it.

The first friendship I forged here in England ended disastrously when her policeman husband took it upon himself to feel me up. When I told her, she wasn't impressed to say the least. Friendship exit stage left. As emotionally fragile as I was at that point, that was the last straw. Without really realizing it, I completed the process that had begun some months previously. I completely drew in on myself and concentrated on just taking care of myself.

For years I had concentrated on taking care of everyone else, being the best, kindest supportive friend I could possibly be. Now I just needed to be kind and supportive to myself. And I needed my friends to understand that. Maybe it was unfair of me to expect that they understand that. After all, I couldn't even articulate that to myself, much less to anyone else.

I met Jackie while I was still trying to get over my heartbreak. Poor darling had months of putting up with my uncertainty, my inability to just get on with it. But she hung in there, thank God. It took a while. A long time really. I have no problem admitting I should have gotten over it a hell of a lot quicker than I did. But, I didn't, for any number of reasons.

But eventually I did and she slipped into my heart and took up residence. I fell in love without even really knowing it, which is usually how it happens, I think. And yet, even through all this, I still held back from friendships.

Not just my internet friendships or my friendships at home. But new friendships too. I'd just get to know someone and I'd see something in them which I would recognize. It would set off alarm bells and set my burnt fingers to twitching. Badly. And I would step back and keep my heart to myself.

But a month or two ago I realized that things were changing. The friends that I had met through Jackie were becoming good friends. We went to Blackpool with the girls and I talked a lot to a couple of the girls we know. I started to get closer to the boys and in particular Steven, Neil and Stuart.

I started to make making friends through the NaNoWriMo experience, friends who live nearby. I started redeveloping friendships on the internet, catching up with old friends and making new ones. Talking to friends on the phone. Laughing with friends, letting them in, letting them know who I am and what is important to me. I started once again finding out what makes these people I am growing to care so much about, tick.

And it feels great. Affirming and confidence-building. While I have a lot of self-confidence these days it can still be a challenge when I meet new people and embark on that journey of possible friendship. Because these days I am honest about who I am, they are faced with the real me immediately. Rejection might hurt all the more, because of that. But maybe also less, because I am so comfortable with who I am.

It's a slow process, I need to work out how the hell to be good at this whole friend thing again without becoming embroiled in any intenseness and drama. I guess picking the right friends is the answer to that.

So, to all my new friends and my dear old friends alike, I cherish and am thankful for you on a daily basis. I love you all and am eternally grateful for your love and your patience.

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to you all.

Love, me. xx


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décembre 14, 2004

busting the block

Beating writers block in to pulpy insignificance must be one of the best feelings there is. Well, okay, so maybe typing up the muse and ravishing her is better, but either way when you've been staring at a page for three weeks and finally the words come and you move forward significantly?

Utterly priceless.

Posted by rachie at 11:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

décembre 12, 2004

This has the potential for big Trouble




This has the potential for big Trouble
Originally uploaded by silentresonance.



Baby.

She's what, sixteen months old? And you know what curiosity killed, right?

Posted by rachie at 11:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

carols. or songs about a baby in cold hay somewhere.

Heh.

Carols in the park. With the gay boys. So cute.

You have to wonder wether the baptist evangelicals would be so inclusive if they knew about the herd of homosexuals in their midst.

Especially when Stuart kept on yelling out about the homosexuals near the sound tent.

I love my Stuart. Which is quite astonishing considering the fact that I couldn't stand him until recently. Remember to remind me to tell you that story sometime.

Then we went back to the pub and drank mulled wine.

And ale.

I should note it took me about 30 minutes to make this post.

Meerry Christmas to all. And to all a goood nicxhtg=!!!!

xxxx

Posted by rachie at 11:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

décembre 10, 2004

The view South from Kirkby Overblow




The view South from Kirkby Overblow


Originally uploaded by silentresonance.



Don't you just love English village names? ;) This was taken in my week off in late October from the village of Kirkby Overblow. Yorkshire is so pretty.

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décembre 09, 2004

Sunset in Autumn




Sunset in Autumn 3


Originally uploaded by silentresonance.



I took this a while ago but I've been focussing on the writing so much that the picture posting really took a back seat. This was taken coming out of York after work one day before the clocks changed.

There are incredible sunsets and sunrises here in autumn and winter and most of the time I simply don't get a chance to stop and pull out the camera.

This day I did.

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décembre 07, 2004

freaky

I've been writing christmas cards. yep, that's right, you heard me correctly. Me, Ms Procrastinator Supreme, has actually written twelve christmas cards to wing their way across half a world. I'd have written more if I had certain people's addresses. [Chelly? Stacy?]

Never mind the fact that the Royal Mail deadline to New Zealand came and went yesterday. We'll just ignore that little fact, shall we? Also the fact that I cannot find my mother's mailing address anywhere.

Ahem.

On the bright side, the cards going to the States might actually get there on time.

But during this twelve card marathon (I don't send cards to every man and his dog. If you get one, you'd better know that this is one of the most single stunning acheivements made this year. A card. From me. To you. Treasure it, because it may not occur again any time soon.

You think I jest?) Um, where was I?

Oh yes.

While writing the card to the father and the stepmonster, it suddenly occurred to me.

I, stricly speaking, now have three step-brothers. How fucking weird is that? It hadn't even registered until this moment. I've had three step-brothers since September and I only just realizd it.

And what's worse? I have no idea what their names are.

Or, let's face it, really any desire to know.

It's fun being me.

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catharsis

I don't think it's a coincidence that since I've been writing more, I have much less to blog. I'm not sure whether it's simply less time, or less inspiration. Or less of a need.

Writing is a kind of catharsis for me, in the same way this blog has been. For a solid year, this blog was my way of screaming into the silence. I bled words onto the page, stark and uncompromising and I learned to do it without fear.

Not all of it was nice, not all of it was healthy. Not all of it portrayed me in a flattering light, but that was part of the challenge. I'm a complex person, I have a lot of shadows. Many shades of grey and very little black or white. It was a journey, this honesty, this shouting into the void. I touched the depths, touched the hardest, blackest parts of me, turned them out to the sunlight. And still, I survived. Became a better person for it, I think. I hope, at least.

Someone, in the midst of an argument, said to me that my anger was here, between the lines in my blog. That I shouldn't deny it. I told that person it wasn't between the lines. It was there, in every stroke of the key I made. I didn't need the blank space to make my intentions clear any more. I didn't need to slide subtle barbs and double entendres into my writing. I said what I meant. And boy, did I mean it.

I still do. It's just that my need to say it has changed. At least, my investigations have changed. I know myself now, I'm utterly comfortable with who I am and with my life. I'm happy and contented, which probably doesn't make for a scintillating blog, but what can you do? I have good friends and a woman that makes my life fuller and more fun that I could ever have imagined.

And so, I think now, I'm finding different avenues of expression. I think that moving back to the writing is part of that search. I'm more interested in humanity as a condition now than I am in my own humanity. I've moved back to investigating other people, their emotions and reactions, their darkness and their light. People are fascinating, they are complex, painful, joyous creatures. And I love to watch and listen and learn from them. And I love to write about them.

Which, I guess, is why I'm a writer. And why now, on a daily basis, instead of blogging, I'm trying to fit in an hour or so in front of a word document creating worlds from what I've learnt. It's exhilerating and it's also frightening. I've still got all those shades of grey and they are all still pouring forth. Now it's just into fictional work, which can be even more disturbing than my blogging.

I think that means I'm still on the journey.

Posted by rachie at 11:37 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

décembre 03, 2004

who knew inkblots could be cool?

From the tickle site - tickle's inkblot test:

Rachael, your subconscious mind is driven most by Imagination

You have a deep desire to use ideas to change the world around you. This drive influences you far more than you may realize on a conscious level.

You love to brainstorm and imagine new possibilities. The world is a fuller, richer place because you can contribute new ideas to any experience. Your natural curiosity inspires those around you and encourages them to come up with ideas they wouldn't have discovered without your help.

Your psyche is very rich; the more you learn about it, the more you will understand who you really are.

;>

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fandom sometimes rules

You may not know, unless you've clicked on the side links at the top there at some point that I have a secret addiction. It's a dirty addiction. A filthy habit, something morally akin to smoking crack.

And here it is.

I used to watch Days of Our Lives. I wrotewrite Days fanfic, have a Days work in progress fanfic still waiting to be finished. I actually had a great writing spurt prior to NaNoWrimo and pumped out the final climazy chapters. I just have two or three wrap-up chapters to write and then it's done. Which is quite the acheivement for me, considering I started it in about 2000 and then all but gave it up for almost two years. I'm not good at finishing projects that I start, so to see this finished would feel like an accomplisment.

But one of the nice things about writing this is that I occasionally get unsolicited feedback that really makes me feel great. I mean, it is a soap opera and the plot of the fic was dredged from the really dire storyline screening at the time. That I somehow managed to create something that was more than palatable from the dross that was onscreen is also, I think, something worth being proud of.

Anyway, I wanted to share the email I got the other day because it reminded me so of my old fandom days and it made me smile. And let's face it, sometimes it's good to toot ones own horn. ;)

So, without further ado, my fan-mail of the day:

Oh my God!!! I absolutely LOVE your fan-fic!!!! It is a J&M fan's wet dream!!!! Why oh why oh why can't you have Jim Reilly's job? Then Corday could ditch NBC and daytime for good and DAYS could become pay-per-view and I would pay to watch as faithfully as I pay my mortgage and electric bills! You have an amazing grasp of J&M's chemistry and what the fans want to see, and are an awesome storyteller! I'd bet you could even bring Jack and Jenn and Bo and Hope fans screaming to their knees! Bravo, Bravo, Bravo!!! I LOVE the last installment, thanks soooooo much!!!

Heh ;> I love it ;>

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travelling

Obviously I haven't blogged much lately. Much of anything at all. First there was the writing and then there was the partying.... now I'm just tired. It seems to be all I can do lately to just collapse in front of the tv when I get home.

I find the travelling really tiring, I'm driving at least two hours every day between Leeds and York and it's wearing me down. No matter how much I enjoy this job, I think there might have to be a change in a few months. Monetary-wise it would be advantageous to work in Leeds, justifying between £140 and £180 a month on petrol alone is becoming increasingly hard. And those two hours can be put to far better use, I think.

I can't make the move now, but maybe April or so I will start looking for something new. Something that pays well. And is interesting and the hours and employers are felxible. I don't really want much, do I?

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décembre 01, 2004

birthdays

Long, long weekend. Birthday celebrations were great. For the first time in about six years, my birthday went by uneventfully, was celebrated wonderfully and I am happy and grateful. My girl's birthday was fantastic.

I love my girl and I love our friends. They are the best.

As are my friends in the US and back home. I love and miss all of you.

Also, a slightly belated Happy Birthday to my WooHoo. Love you babe, hope it was a wonderful day. I thought of you, just couldn't make it to the computer as I was out eating and drinking and being merry ;>

Much of the love and happiness to all.

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