Q is for Queen

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atozqWith the addition of Reb Brown to the household, a hierarchy has formed within the cats. While Reb is older, heavier and stronger all round, Merry has very much established herself as the Queen of the cats. They are mostly getting along the three of them. Reb and Pogo get along great, they play a lot, sleep together and Reb licks Pogo all the time. It’s really quite sweet. Reb and Merry have a tentative relationship. There is sniffing and sleeping, but no playing. Merry does not play with Reb. She’s not a particularly brave cat, and while playing with Pogo is fine – he’s the same size as her – Reb is three times her weight at least. She’s a very dainty cat and very aware of Reb’s chunk. Pogo is the daredevil and doesn’t care.

She’s also quite awkward, so most things have to be on her terms. She won’t eat too close to the other two, she will only eat certain cat food (but anything else), she won’t necessarily fight for anything either.

Merry remains the Queen of our cats though.

Don't bother your Queen

Don’t bother your Queen

She smacks the hell out of both Reb and Pogo when she feels necessary. Especially at meal times (there’s not ours). She will be fed and damn no smelly boy cats are going to get in her way. Pogo just takes it, she smacks him so much you almost feel sorry for the little guy but I’m not entirely sure that there’s anything inside that skull of his. Biscuits I think, that’s where he keeps his store. Like a hamster. Reb has took mostly, and been really really confused about it. Recently he’s been trying to smack back but not connecting and not really sure if he should.

During the day she tends to form thrones in different places in the house. The blanket on the table, the drawers in my bedroom. For the longest time she would sleep up on the top of the wardrobe and look down on us commoners.

While she is not the most regal of queen cats – my friend has a ragdoll cat that is the queen of queens – she is definitely the queen of this house.

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P is for Parenting

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atozpThere are a few things I don’t really blog about, one of the big things being my relationship with my wife. Yes I mention her all the time and tell you how much I love her often (I really do love her), but I tend not to really say any more than that. Our relationship is between us. Not the world. One thing I will tell you is that we talk about having children all the time, and eventually we will have kids. We’re still in that talking phase as opposed to seriously planning how the hell we’re going to actually have a child. We’ve come to the agreement that my wife would be the one to carry the child, and that my sister is going to babysit come hell or high water, but other than that it’s still a thing for a few years down the line so most discussion are only half serious conversations about having kids that usually end up in chaotic madness until we’re laughing or lamenting our own parents ideas of parenting. Or both.

Usually both.

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Mum and Jay

I love my parents, in my own way, it’s a difficult subject, talking about my dad. My mum was a great mum, not perfect, growing up I could’ve done with a little less ‘It’s not that bad‘, when I was upset about something, but when it comes down to it, if that’s the only bad thing I can think of then I’m doing pretty well. She encouraging, and loving and worked her ass off for us when we were kids and I can think of a million great stories about her. She’s also nuts, I mean she was always nuts, and then at seventeen she had a hysterectomy and well, the HRT made her even a little nuttier. And then, well, they found a shadow on her brain (they’re still looking into it) and well, I can think of another nuttier descriptive word. She’s very laid back about most things, including the shadow that is on her brain! You don’t want to cross her though, or a family member of hers. You don’t mess with my mum.

When we moved to Wales, we moved in with Jay, who had no children and little experience with kids (just dogs and horses). It’s always difficult to make a new family and it had been just me, mum and my sister for about three years and Jay didn’t really no what to do with us and we didn’t always know what to do with Jay. It was awkward, that first year or so, but it got easier and Jay is wonderful. A hell of a worrier though. Drives my mum crazy worrying about me and my sister. I love that Jay loves us enough to drive my mother insane by worrying.

My dad and sister.

My dad and sister.

My dad was very much from the ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’ school of parenting. He insisted that we would never smoke but smoked like a chimney for example. We couldn’t swear but listened to him swear a lot. Sometimes I think the time I spent up the pub with him as a kid was like a lesson in how not to be a grown up. I learnt a lot about that. He still signs off with the saying – “Be good. If you can’t be good be careful. If you can’t be careful don’t give your right name and address.”  – which I think says a lot about how my dad lived his life and still sees life even as his Parkinson’s progresses. I spent a lot of my teenage years convincing him not to do things (smoke, stay in the pub, fight) instead of the other way around. It’s not quite supposed to be like that and it took a long time for me to figure that out, even with my mother being a normal (if bonkers) mum.

I would like to be a better parent than my own. I’m sure we would all. I practice on my niece and nephew, my nephew is a great kid, but has some problems and suffers from anxiety. He struggles to fit in. He basically me, which breaks my heart because well, I don’t always want to be me, why would I want a kid I love most in the world to be me. But he is and my wife continually reminds me that at least he has us to help him and understand him. We didn’t have that when we were growing up. He has so much help that I’m sure he’ll be fine, he’s a good kid, a budding computer geek and gamer and feminist (though he doesn’t know what it means yet).

Having kids won’t be easy, not just because we’re a gay couple, but because we’re both a little nuts. I’m still suffering from what I consider medium anxiety problems (it’s certainly been worse), and minor depression with passing medium depression now and then. I want to be healthier, mentally (and probably a little less lazy) by time we have a kid. But I’m sure I will be, every year I improve and am more constructive and a little less lazy (just a little). I also find more will power every year – this years lent has been easier than last year (and I really like chocolate biscuits).

Of course, naming our child Pelagia probably won’t help him as he grows up.

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O is for Open

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atozoI’m pretty open about several things. Not just on the blog – it’s been always been pretty obvious how open I am here – but I try to be an open person in life. Open minded and open about certain aspects of my life and my personality. I figure I am willing and able to be be open then I should be. Not everyone can talk to easily or at about self harm, or their mental health problems, or their sexuality. It’s not easy, though it does get easier, and sometimes it’s just not possible. I am in a position that those who I love and care about, accept me easily and completely and anyone who doesn’t obviously doesn’t love me and can go swivel.

So I try and answer any questions I am asked about my scars, my mental health, my bisexuality. My tattoos, my education, my failures in life, my family and my marriage if need be.

It’s not always easy, no, it can be hard. some days more than others, with some people more than others. Children easily accept my relationship without a thought, but I find it harder to explain my scars to them. I struggle on some says to have any sort of interaction with people, so explain personal things is even harder than normal, and while I try I’m not too sure I do the subjects justice on those days. But I do try.

I try to be open minded too. I’ve met a lot of different people with a lot of different personalities and different interests and different problems. I try not to judge anyone, but of course that’s not always possible, no one is infallible and there are some things in this world I do not like, things I don’t agree with – even if they are legal. But mostly, as long as people are happy and good to one another, then I am happy too. I have my own life to live, my own problems, my own family.

I often wonder if people who take up causes to such an extent are neglecting their own families. Their own loved ones while trying to save those loved ones from their own perceived demons in the world. Yes, some problems need to be fought, people need to come together to make a difference, but if you’re neglecting your home life, your family, yourself, to do this, then it’s a case of two steps forward and two steps back. You need to look after yourself and the world or nothing if going to get better. Nothing is going to change.

Anyway. Be open, be honest, be accepting. This is your public service announcement from weird and important for today.

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N is for Notebooks

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atoznI love stationary. Pens, paper and in particular, notebooks. All sorts of notebooks. Plain paper, ruled, hardback, spiral spines. I love them all. Even boring ones and cheap ones. I have uses for them all. the cheaper ones, I tend to use for fanfiction, or just notes or scribbling in. I do that because after a while I’m drowning in a forest worth of notebooks and half finished fics that aren’t ever going to really get finished either and day dreams that I wrote just to make myself feel better and I don’t need any more or can’t really keep due to space restrictions. They pile up and even when I box them up, it can get a little silly. Once a year or every other year, I have a clear our. Rip out pages I want to keep. Pieces of poetry or ideas for stories or fics and then send the rest to recycling.

The nice notebooks, I use for other things. Purely for poetry or writing (things that aren’t fanfiction) stories, novels. I like to write in notebooks then type what I’ve written up onto my netbook. Just find the sensation nicer than straight typing, and I find it easier, though I am getting better at it, and used to it. Note that I love notebooks any less because of this.

Recycled-Tyre-NotepadsI love the design of notebooks. I love the feeling of the paper, recycled paper or new paper. I love all the different kinds you can get, the fun things hidden in the notebooks sometimes like monsters from the cover on the corners of the pages. I love it all. I love the sensation of writing, the easy run of ink over paper, the smooth, cool feeling of the paper on my skin as I move my hand.

I have a lot of full notebooks as it’s been a while since I had a serious sort out and some empty notebooks in boxes under my bed waiting to be used. Some that are very precious. My friend Melanie often buys me notebooks when she goes away. I have a notebook from Japan that’s made with rice paper. I have a notebook made of elephant dung. I have one with a cover made of a recycled tyre. All given to me by Melanie. I have a lot that I got from Paperchase, a great stationary store. But we don’t have one in Aberystwyth which is a shame, but they sell all their stuff online, so problem solved.

I’m trying to be a little less particular about my notebooks, if I don’t I’ll never use them all at this rate because I keep buying more.

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M is for Muse

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atozmI have a problem.

I don’t have a muse.

Actually, I guess that problem is not that I have a muse, but that a lot of other writer’s have a muse. And a good proportion of those writer’s have anthropomorphised their muses and those muses have taken on entire personalities, lives of their own and in some cases what seems like control.

I don’t always have control, but then I don’t have complete control of my mind or my brain. Perhaps this is how other writer’s deal with that fact, that they don’t have complete control of their minds. I guess it can be quite distressing if you’re not very aware of your own mental health problems or don’t have some other serious problems with your brain to go with it. I don’t have always had a problem with my brain not behaving as it should, and that was really distressing before I just got used to it (and had a bunch of therapy). Any muse I may have really is just some broken circuits in the brain. I can live with that.

Because that means my ideas, from the bad to the brilliant are my ideas. Any accomplishments that may come from that are mine and my own. Not some anthropomorphised or imaginary muse.

The ‘tenth’ muse Sappho.

I’m not saying people should stop giving their muses names – please continue to write and think and live however you want. That’s actually the most important thing to me – that you are happy and you are writing. It does bug me from time to time, when people have given so much time to their muse and making it a whole personality instead of using that time to work with their muses or just to work on their writing. But that doesn’t matter. I know I don’t write as nearly as much as I should, but that’s the way I work and the way I live my life and your opinion on that isn’t going to change it really, nor am I likely to care too much about it. And neither should you and your anthrpomorphic muse care about what I think.

I guess I just needed to get it off my chest.

I will finish to say, that if I have a muse – it would be Sappho obviously. Perhaps I should adopt her as my muse for a while and see how it goes.

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(Apologise is this post comes across a little rambly, I’m really tired from a long day yesterday and struggling to keep my eyes open even though it’s only 1pm!!)