Dealing With Loss

Dealing with loss is the oddest feeling.

It can leave you aching and destroy you from the inside out.

There are many different types of loss.

A friend of mine contacted me late last night, her mum isn’t too well.

No absolute diagnosis yet, but fearing the worst. Having been there and written about it on here, I feel for her.

My advice, appreciate your loved ones while they are here.

Hug your parents, spend time with them, listen to what they tell you and tell them you love them.

The love we feel for our children is the love they feel for us.

They will protect us from knowing their fears and worries.

So of course they aren’t going to want to share all the details with you, but they will still be afraid.

It must be terrifying to know that your time is defintely limited, that mortality is getting closer.

Your love and hugs aren’t going to change anything, it won’t make the inevitable that we all face go away.

But it will make it easier for them it will make them feel wanted and appreciated and that their life had meaning.

I remember once upon a time, it seems like yesterday anda lifetime ago. When summers seemed to last forever and the sun often shone even while it was raining.

An hour never seemed to pass and the summer holidays seemed endless.

But now we are the adults, time is accelerating, it will be our turn to face that mortality soon enough.

Until then, cherish every day, live your life and hug your children, protect them from fear and let them flourish.

If you are very lucky, you have the security of a loved one in your life. Make sure they know that you love them.

The loss of a partner is a different game, knowing somehow that they are out there somewhere .. just not with you.

My advice, let them go, if they truly love you then they will come back.

But don’t wait around forever!! 🙂

Tonight – Rod Stewart opens the new Glasgow Hydro with a 4 night sellout concert series.

I had tickets for tonight, but gave them to my friend Paul who did the joinery work on my recent house changes.

Him and his wife Angel will have a fab night, she’s been peeing her pants for tickets, so I’m happy to help.

My favourite Rod song below.

Ballad Of The Bastard?

i crushed your heart in my bloody fists
when i did the honest thing and told you of my trysts:
you demanded truth, that’s exactly what you got,

you should’ve killed me there right where i stood
when i casually confessed that i’d been up to no good;
you should’ve just stepped back and taken your best shot,

but i assured you then that i could change my ways,
and i think that might’ve lasted for a couple of days
and once again the self-styled lady killer’s caught,

the sensible solution is to walk away,
but I’ll cunningly convince you that you’ve got to stay,
i’ll poison your resolve and twist your every thought,

i don’t love you, who knows if i ever did?
who the fuck did i think i was trying to kid?
you’re just the latest sucker that i’ve sought,

everyone is scared of being on their own,
i thought i was the master but my cover’s blown,
consider me a lesson deftly taught

Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat

How brilliantly depressing is that song?

Its just far too clever. wish I’d written it and thinking of weaving it into one of my wee stories.

The protaganist reminds me of Cameron in the film This Years Love played by Dougray Scott. A slimey lazy sleazeball and like all good rom-coms he get his come uppence in the end.

Although, my favourite is still the checkout scene .. love it!

The Platform Lovers – 13 – Casual!

Part 13 – Casual!

Graeme, closed the briefcase and locked it inside his desk.

It was almost lunchtime and he was feeling nervous with excitement. A feeling he hadn’t had for over 25 years.

This was the first time that he hadn’t worn his suit to work in as long as he could remember. It was part uniform, part comfort blanket and he’d worn one suit or another to the bank every day for the past 30 years since he had started as a young teller.

His suits had changed over the years, beginning with those cheap suits from Littlewoods that his parents had bought him, then when he qualified in 1990 and earning a reasonable age, he could afford a fashionably double breasted suit from Next.

Those became passé in the early naughties and he moved to a three-button and now a more classically cut two-button fit, made to measure from that little independent tailors on Howard Street.

Now that he is the regional retail director at the hank, he could afford to pay a little extra for his uniform to put some distance between himself and the young upstarts and it helped that the company gave him a generous clothing allowance.

Today he had woke up with a smile on his face, the first time that he had done so in a very long time. But there was no time for dreaming, time was of the essence and his routine was tight, he had to get the kids up and take them to school and then run for the train. The 8:45 at Cambuslang usually got him into the office at 9:05, enough time to expect everyone else to be there and to notice any absentees on his arrival.

Somehow today, he didn’t feel so rushed, somehow today lateness and absentees didn’t really matter. His mind was on other things and he these petty things seemed below him.

The train was packed as usual, all the same people, heading to work, normally he didn’t even look at them and was too busy thinking about his meetings of the day and getting home early to be certain that he collected the Emily and James from the after-school service on time.

Normally he would stand at the door, making sure he would be first to leave the train and make his way up the stairs before they became crowded from the masses of 8 carriages trying to simultaneously make it up that one small stairway.

But he decided that there was no rush, the sun was shining and he felt warm inside, he took a seat opposite the man typing into the iPhone. He had seen this man in the jeans and tan boots many times over the years and he always seems to be typing into that iPhone.

He wondered what the man does? He sat down opposite him and for a moment he looked up and smiled then carried on typing. Ten minutes later they had arrived at Glasgow Central without saying a word and went their separate ways.

Graeme sauntered up Buchanan Street, looking in the windows of Frasers and Timberland, then stopping in front of Hugo Boss to look at their display of casual clothes, normally he would have gave the suits a quick glance but today was different.

He was aware that his appearance in the office would catch people’s attention and there would be questions from the people close enough to him to ask and whispers from those others who don’t really know him but wanted to know.

He walked through the main doors of the lobby, showing his pass to the security officers, aware of the raised eyebrows on the faces of these normally unflinching passive faces.

As the lift reached the fourth floor, he took a deep breathe knowing that the moment he walked through the door the gossip would start.

“Good morning Eileen!” He called to the receptionist as he stepped from the lift.

“Good morning sir!” She replied, like some old-fashioned secretary or a primary school-child still showing respect to their teacher before all discipline is lost.

“For heavens sake Eileen, don’t call me sir!” He had told her so many times and even asked Fraser to mention it in her quarterly appraisals. Tell her that it was unnecessary and actually quite unacceptable in the modern office and to come into the 21st century.

“Yes si .. Graeme” she corrected her self and blushed as she turned back to her PC.

He exchanged a few “Good mornings” as he walked through the open plan area to his office at the back, even a “Looking good” from someone behind him who’s voice he didn’t quite recognise.

Fiona, his PA, smiled at him as he approached, then started to finish of her personal phone call, telling whoever it was that she would call back at lunchtime.

He felt a slight relief and more relaxed as he made his private office and took off the causal jacket and slid into his chair.

Fiona arrived within moments, she’d been his PA for over ten years now, she knew most of his ups and downs both business and personal and he trusted her implicitly.

She quickly went through his meeting for the day, all internal meetings with the team or conference calls and no business meetings, nothing where he had to wear his uniform.

But he knew what she really wanted to know.

“So …. How did last night go then? Do you want to talk about it?”

“Hmmmm .. fantastic .. I think I’m in love!”

“Really? Did it go that well?” Fiona seemed somehow surprised.

“Yes, she is absolutely gorgeous and we had a great time.”

“I’m delighted for you, you deserve to have some happiness after the past few years. So when are you seeing her again?”

“We’re meeting for lunch”

“Aaah, that explains the jeans and the causal clothes”

“No big deal Fiona, it’s just time to make some changes and life has to move on. I know it sounds stupid, but I can’t wait to see her again”

“Good for you, I’m really pleased and hope that it goes really well”

“Thanks Fiona” he said as she vacated the office, noticing the faces looking at her face for an acknowlegement and heading for the kitchen where she’d pass on the word.

Graeme opened the briefcase, took out his laptop and started it up. Then he Maria a text, “Really looking forward to seeing you at 1 x”

Her response came quickly, “Can’t wait to see you too and thanks for being such a genteman last night, I had a really lovely time. X”

He smiled and picked up the phone to start the first conference call of the day, even although he knew that it would be hard to focus when his mind keeps wandering to thoughts of her blonde hair, long legs and tender kisses.

The Platform Lovers – 12 – Hurricane!

The moment I first set my eyes on her, I knew that I wanted her.

She appeared from the low level platform like an angel, her long blonde hair billowing in the breeze from the trains below.

Wow – I thought.

Fucking Wow!

Then I kicked myself – no chance – she’s way too attractive to be interested in me!

She came through the ticket barriers smiling and we kissed a friendly kiss on the cheek.

I didn’t want to push my luck, there was no point scaring the girl off too soon.

I knew that she was tall. She had mentioned it on a number of occasions on our phone calls which had lasted for hours most nights over the past few weeks.

Of course, I’d already known that from her profile, I could see she was tall in her pics, but you can never really tell.

Now as she takes a few steps towards me her legs look fantastic, firm, tanned and elongated by the 4 inch heels that she’s wearing. They were also very soft to touch, but I only found out about that later!

So lets not get too hung up on her legs. Not yet!

She’s gorgeous .. full stop.

Top to toe gorgeous.

We’d spoken on our emails about what we were looking for in a potential partner. I’d told her about wanting a beautiful equal, then realised I was being too serious so added a ps that I just wanted big tits and a sexy ass!

I hoped she would see that I was trying to lighten the mood and wondered how she would reply. Well we were being serious, so most of it was factual, but her ps confirmed that she had the attributes I was looking for and a sense of humour to match.

That’s the girl, serious nice stuff, then lighten the mood with what we really want!

But now, standing in front of her I can see those attributes for myself!

But its more than that .. isn’t it?

I drank her in within seconds, she really is good looking, eyes that seem to change between blue and green and a beaming smile that dimples on her cheeks when she laughs.

Her dress is sleeveless and classy, not too short and very tasteful for this summers evening.

A few minutes later and we are walking arm in arm to the restaurant, she really is stunning and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be walking down the street with this gorgeous creature on my arms.

She said – This feels surreal to be meeting you at last.

I had to agree, it did feel surreal.

We’d spoken for weeks now since we’d both came back from holiday, hours at a time of laughter and sharing our thoughts on life and personal histories.

We both have our kids to look after most of the time and this was the first opportunity that we’d had to meet as we had both been busy with one thing and the other.

If the truth be told, part of me was enjoying speaking with her so much that I didn’t want our bubble to burst by actually meeting, so there was fear of rejection and disappointment.

But we had to meet, it had to happen and I had all my fingers and toes crossed.

We arrive at the bar and I ask her what she’d like to drink, a medium white wine and for a moment I’m thinking that she’s being polite and getting ready to bail by not having a large. But then she asks for the wine to be medium dry but can you make it a large.

Now we’re sitting on bar-stools at a high table, the chat and laughter is full on and it’s much better than I had hoped for and much better than those late night phone conversations.

I can’t help myself stealing glances of her shapely figure and how toned her legs look.

30 minutes later we are showing each other phone pics of our kids, that’s when she came round and leaned against me, totally unexpectedly, she came round to let me look at her phone and leaned back on my knee.

I already had a smile on my face but how hard was it to stop my mind from wandering?

She’s clearly within my personal space and doesn’t seem to care.

My arm is around her waist, keeping her from sliding off and I can feel the firmness of her buttocks against my thigh.

My hand seems to fall naturally to her knee and I tell her how soft her skin feels.

She tells me that she moisturises twice per day and kisses me on the cheek.

Heaven.

The next few hours where full of chat and laughter, we were both surprised how we were meeting like old friends and both of us mentioned on a number of occasions about it being surreal to have met at last.

Never mind met, the fact that we were getting on so well was blowing me away.

That was before our first proper kiss, after dinner, walking holding hands, laughing as if there was no-one else in the world.

We pause for a second, I still can’t believe that this smart, funny, beauty finds me interesting and my cheeks are hurting from smiling so much.

She’s looking at me, smiling and wondering what I’m thinking and it seemed the most natural thing in the world to pull her towards me and kiss her tenderly like a hurricane.

In Another Room ..

It’s been a funny couple of days.

Tuesday was the 3 year anniversary of my mum passing away.

Mum or Patsy as my dad called her had a long battle with Diverticulitis, a disease affecting the large intestine and complicated because of her Angina which prevented them from operating as her heart was too weak.

As a result she wasn’t ingesting food properly, part of her intestine basically died and she faded away over the 5 years, spending the last 6 months in the Glasgow Southern General Hospital and passing away at 9am with my dad, her sisters my brothers and myself arround her.

That was undoubtedly the longest night of my life as her breathing became shallower and shallower until she finally stopped.

There was a lot of love in the room, but mixed emotions from the relief that she was no longer in pain and the guilt for feeling the relief.

Mum had chosen a Humanist service and the celebration of her life took place in a packed out crematorium, where my 4 brothers, my son and myself carried her in. It was standing room only as she had been very popular at work and in the community at large and a member of various Bowling clubs etc.

As I stood at the podium and gave the tribute from the family, I looked around the room then over towards my dad who was smiling proudly.

A day never to be forgotten.

Can I tell you something .. and forgive me for this .. but if you know me at all, then you’ll know I’m very practical and pragmatic and don’t really do religioon or any type of mumbo-jumbo .. what most people thing is spooky is generally conincidence etc and I have a healthy cynicism to all that crap.

But …

I still chat to muy mum now and again,

I’m the eldest of my brothers and I was very close to her.

She once came to me in a dream, it was about 6 weeks after she had passed, and although I was sleeping it felt as if I was wide awake.

In the dream, I was speaking with her, but I couldn’t see her, she told me that she was in another room and that she would always be able to hear me, but she couldn’t always answer.

I like that, it was very calming and I fell asleep peacefully with no sadness.

The strange thing is when I told my Aunt Maureen, my mums sister and closest friend about it, she told me that she’d had the exact same dream.

And I swear on my children that this is true.

Yesterday, dad was in for a minor procedure, he’s getting old, he’s still as sharp as he ever was, but he seems to be getting smaller.

His time will come eventually, as it will for us all, so its important to live it while you are here.

I’m sitting at my desk at work writing this, a few tears in my eyes. but not feeling morose or morbid in the slightest.

Anyhooo ….

I had woke up this morning with a song in my head .. and the following lyrics on repeat.

How Long to Sing this song
How Long to Sing this song

I thought, where did that come from, I know that, but I couldn’t place it.

Do you ever get that?

I was singing it to myself on the train and at work and have only just realised what it is.

Its “40” from the U2 album Under A Blood Red Sky., an amazing album and set the band on the path to global fame.

Would you believe that it came out in 1983 .. where did that 30 years go?

The song is like a Hymm, have read at the lyrcs .. its quite uplifting.

The video with the crowd singing is like a religous experience.

Not that I’m particularly religous, I belong to the church of life and humanity.

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/u2/40.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_a_Blood_Red_Sky

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diverticulitis

The Pursuit Of Beauty?

My blog the other day about The Dilemma Of Beauty has got me a few emails including the following from a friend of mine.

If you are out there looking to meet Miss or Mister Right then you’ll know that It’s hard work and full of trap-doors and disappointments.

My experience is that it’s important to use your time and energy where your efforts will be appreciated.

Not waste this most valuable of commodities on people you aren’t interested in or who aren’t interested in you.

She said ..

Your blog the other day really irked me.

Everything these days is about appearance.

People very rarely get a second chance. first impressions are everything in this throw away society.

I dated a stunning man for a while a pilot. tall dark handsome loaded also self centred arrogant snd moody. he always expected me to drop everything for him. it ended when i realised that although I would cross an ocean for him he couldn’t jump a puddle for me.
you can be fooled by looks. a good person will never fool you. x

I Replied ..

I totally disagree with you .. everything is not about appearance.

Absolutely and definitely that is not the case.

It’s not even about first impressions.

What my blog was about is whether you find someone attractive or not .. and that might be someone beautiful or someone who is kind of plain, but you like them .. what matters is that you or I as individuals like them .. its personal choice.

For me, there has to be some sort of physical attraction .. a pretty face .. a shapely figure.

But there has to be much more than that .. humour, personality and common interests.

Re your pilot man .. just because he was good looking and arrogant doesn’t mean everyone is.

People get rejected because they don’t meet expectations or have projected a lie.

I once met a woman. We’d spoke for a while, she is undoubtedly a nice person, so I met her for a coffee.

As I got closer and could see her waiting outside the cafe, I thought .. oh no!

She had lied to me .. she had pics online that were 10 years younger and 4 stones lighter.

I didn’t fancy her .. I knew it was going nowhere the moment I saw her.

So we had coffee and a chat,, but ultimately it was going nowhere so we said cheerio.

Does that make me wrong because I didn’t fancy her?

Does it feck.

She was fat, older than she said and she had lied.

It didn’t matter that she was a “nice” person .. that attitude is for losers.

Oh but “beauty is only skin deep” … another stance promoted by lifes unfortunates.

Have you ever heard anyone even reasonably attractive come away with that nonsense?

Yes some conventionally “beautiful people” are arrogant .. but thats not what I’m looking for.

I’m not blessed with stunning good-looks, I’m just an ordinary guy, so I’ve learned to manage my expectations..

I don’t waste my time chasng “beautiful people” who wouldn’t be interested in me.

I’m looking for someone who I find beautiful, internally and externally and that includes both physical attraction and personality.

Bottom line .. the woman above didn’t meet the expectations i have for the person that I’m looking for.

She had projected something that she wasn’t, she had tried to deceive

What are you meant to say?

Oh that’s okay because you’re nice to talk to?

Why waste each others time?

On the other hand .. I’ve also met women who undoubtedly find me intelligent and entertaining but don’t find me attractive

Thats how the cookie crumbles.

Life does that, we all need to learn to deal with it.

But we need to be honest with ourselves and each other.

It seems to me, that you’re pilot friend is like the girl Karen in the dilemma I wrote the other day .. you pursued what you percieved as beauty, knowing the guy was arrogant and didn’t make the effort .. He might be a total prick but you made a rod for your own back.

My advice to you is don’t go chasing dreams that inside you know are doomed to fail .. don’t waste time with people who will drop you like a ton of bricks when something better comes along.

Find someone who likes you for who you are .. that wants to spend time with you .. and be happy.

The Platform Lovers – 9 – Blonde

I don’t usually see her on the way home.

Possibly because I don’t always go home at the same time, often staying later, adding an extra hour to my flexi-time so that I can finish early on a Friday.
But more likely because she leaves university well before I finish work.

Today, it’s Friday and I’m early, the train is full of students when it arrives at Glasgow Central low-level, probably half way through it’s journey from Milngavie or Helensburgh, passing through the West End and picking up students from Glasgow University along the way.

Most of the students switch here to carry on their journeys to other parts of the city, but she’s the only person sitting at the small 4 seat booth.

She is very pretty. She looks almost Scandinavian, delicate features, high cheek-bones, bright blue eyes and shoulder length blonde hair. A slightly older version of my own daughter or a younger Debra Unger.

Her face is slim and usually pale, but is slightly tanned with the summer sun that has blessed Glasgow over the past few weeks.

As I sit, she looks up from her mobile, briefly smiles, then turns her head to look out the window, not that there is anything to see with the wall of the tunnel right outside, but conformity demands that eye contact is avoided.

I smile and check my phone, not that there is any signal in this underground station, but just in case I missed a message on the way. Nothing!

I close over the cover and look down the carriage, noticing Rock-Couple a few rows ahead, it would be hard to miss those straggly grey and metallic burgundy pony-tails even from behind, She is leaning against his shoulder and as far as I can tell they aren’t saying much but they look happy.

Certainly much happier than the last time I saw them!

At Argyll Street, a couple of older ladies board, arms full of shopping and full of chat. They are obviously very good friends, very warm with each other but don’t look like sisters. A couple of grand-dames, comfortable with life and enjoying a day out together, good for them.

I briefly think of my mum and my auntie Maureen on their shopping trips in Glasgow and hope that they had just as much fun. I have no doubts they did.

The ladies are looking for the closest place to sit and there are 2 seats free in the 4-seat booth. I move over directly facing young Debra, allowing the ladies to sit down with their bags without breaking their conversation except for the slightest of nods.

A few minutes later we are at Bridgeton, back in the sunshine and my mobile pings, its my daughter “Dad, what are we having for dinner tonight, x”

“Anything you fancy baby, I’m meeting Stephen for a curry later, so I can either make you dinner or I can take you for a Chinese take-away on the way to your mums? Dad x”

“Macdonalds please? X”

It pains me that my daughter enjoys that crap, but what’s a dad to do?

“No problem honey, anything you want, see you soon, Dad x”

I’m slightly annoyed with myself that I pander to this, I know its small stuff in the big scheme of things and it doesn’t happen very often, but with the hostility I usually get from my ex because Claire chooses to live with me, I like keeping my girl on side.

Young Debra’s phone pings too, she still has it in her hand opens the message.

Then the strangest thing happens, her eyes seem to glaze over and she shifts uncomfortably in her seat. It’s as if she wants to get up and run.

A tear runs down her face, a big large round tear, streaming down her cheek, quickly followed by another, she pushes them back with a finger and tries to sniff them away as she turns her head to face the window.

I’ve no idea what the text contains, but it must have been serious. I can’t imagine that it was anything serious like a death in the family, who would send that by text?

I imagine that this beautiful young woman has been dumped by text, dumped by some heartless unfeeling inconsiderate prick that didn’t deserve her in the first place.

My paternal instincts make me want to wrap an arm around her and tell her that he’s not worth it and that there are plenty more fish in the sea, but I can’t, I sit there and try not to make eye contact.

Fortunately as I look to the side, I notice that both of the ladies have spotted her crying to. The lady beside me reaches into her handbag and passes Debra a few tissues, which she accepts and turns to face the window sobbing quietly.

A few minutes later the train arrives at Cambuslang the Rock-Couple are already standing and the ladies and I join them at the exit. I know this is Debra’s stop, but she waits, obviously taking some time to compose herself.

As we walk up the ramp, the lady beside me says “Such a beautiful girl, I hope it was nothing serious”

I nod in acknowledgement saying “I don’t imagine it’s too serious via text”.

“Probably been dumped by her boyfriend, the poor wee thing” she replies.

As we reach the top of the ramp, the Rock-Couple stop dead in their tracks, almost blocking the passageway and forcing people to push around them.

The blonde woman standing at the entrance to the station looks absolutely livid.