Monday, 27 April 2009

Farewell Pit of Gloom. You won't be missed.

Having spent what seems like an eternity wallowing in the Pit of Gloom, steadfastly ignoring the conveniently placed ladder, I have finally come to the conclusion that it is time to haul myself out of my self imposed Hades and rejoin humanity. Thank God for inevitability. When one spends an inordinately large amount of time procrastinating in solitary confinement (self-employed), unendingly interspersed with an overexcited/exhausted 5 year old, reality becomes slightly skewed. Add some finely chopped self-doubt, a generous slug of post divorce angst, a handful of winter blues and ... Voilà! The perfect recipe for the Pit of Gloom. It will now be permanently consigned to the 'been there done that, no need to ever repeat'* list of experiences, along with an emergency Caesarean, marrying an alcoholic (obviously I didn't realise this at the time, I'm not completely stupid...) and accidentally running over a pedestrian (he was drunk and recovered). 

*The list is actually considerably longer, but in the interests of remaining in a positive frame of mind I have decided a précis will have to suffice.

I generally take a pragmatic view of life, most problems can be solved with some lateral thinking and a large dose of personal discipline. I always considered myself to be a 'half-full' type of person. The Pit of Gloom however, robbed me of my optimism, direction and creativity. I appreciate now that this is not an unusual state of affairs when one leaves a marriage, but it surprised me. There is also the realisation that the Pit of Gloom was not a place that I fell into after leaving, I had already been residing there for some time, it was just decorated differently.

So what has finally brought about this volte-face? Well, some may call it Serendipity or Synchronicity or even Divine Providence, I would like to think that my survival instinct finally kicked in and I realised that I was boring even myself, but I suspect it was a combination. The bottom line is that in spite of all the cr*p that has been flying around recently (and believe me there has been a lot), a few positive things have made their way through the quagmire that is my current reality. 

Small one and I went on holiday. Hence my lack of recent posts. Three lovely weeks visiting my parents in Singapore. There is nothing quite like a change of environment and a constant 28℃ to lift the spirits, particularly after a long, dark, cold British winter (admittedly it required a court order to be able to go because the Ex is a bitter, resentful s**t, but I shall not dwell on that).   

I have been offered a job. A proper, salary paying, creatively inspiring design job that actually utilises my skills. I wasn't really looking for one, I have been self-employed for an eternity and never really anticipated I would ever be formally employed again. I have, by necessity, become used to extreme juggling. The difference the glorious prospect of a simple structured existence doing something fulfilling without the financial panic at the end of the month makes, cannot be underestimated.

Then there is this tiny corner of cyberspace that I now call home. I never really understood the point of blogging until I started. Having achieved nothing of note for a considerable period of time, I couldn't envisage what on earth I would write about, or frankly why anyone would feel the need to actually read my ramblings. All I can say is thank you. The complete and utter joy I feel when a kind soul leaves a comment is quite frankly unparalleled in my experience. I suspect it has in fact been the clincher to end the Pit of Gloom saga.

So what next? Who knows? From here, finally, the only way is up. 

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Reasons to be Cheerful

On my recent trip into the distant past, I reacquainted myself with Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3 *. It resurrected fond teenage memories of dubious eye make-up, cheap strong cider, puffing on the sly and being grateful to have survived the Mosh pit on a Saturday night with only minimal bruising. Obviously an altogether different proposition from that which I am currently experiencing. For those who have no idea what I am talking about or whose minds are permanently addled by excessive application of the above, here is a little reminder...

*Song considered explicit (not sure by whom), but probably only actually offensive if Cockney Rhyming Slang or similar happens to be your first language. Original Lyrics.

My recent personal circumstances have led to being regularly told to 'Count my Blessings' by an assortment of random individuals who generally have no idea.... about anything apparently (I must add that I have had any number of very supportive comments in which the phrase 'Buck up' did not figure). I have finally succumbed to their suggestion, if only to be able to proffer something whilst swiftly telling them to sod off. As 'Counting one's Blessings' seems to be a serious business, I am endeavouring to find 'Reasons to be Cheerful', a more frivolous and sunnier proposition altogether. If I factor in my almost pathological aversion to lists I kill two birds with one stone rather effectively. Result! This is my personal post-traumatic version of a classic, the creation of which has merely underlined the current level of vacuousness between my ears. Apologies in advance for some questionable rhymes. I only hope Ian Dury is not turning in his grave.

Why don't you get back into bed. (x 8)
Reasons to be Cheerful part 3,
1 2 3

A new day dawning, birdsong in the morning,
No more bloody snoring and cats,
Focussing on Karma, Barack Obama,
A bit of how's your father, bobble hats,

Django and Graffelli, Maclaine, Monroe, Minelli,
Picking up a penny, a well cut sleeve,
Messing on the water, my beautiful daughter,
Not doing what I oughta, Christmas Eve.

Wasting time on Twitter, no longer feeling bitter,
Slowly getting fitter, no more shrinks.
Larry, Moe and Curley, hanging with my girlies,
Always being early, forty winks.

Pobble minus digits, Philip always fidgets,
Working out web widgets, the Quangle Wangle Quee
Ramones, the Kinks and Strummer, a long hot summer,
At last I've found a plumber, a cup of tea.

Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3. (x 3)
Reasons to be Cheerful, 1 2 3

Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3

Cream cheese and salmon, wit instead of Mammon
Bifidus ActiRegularis

Form follows function, playing 'Up the junction',
Using a Conjunction.
Delaunay and Kandinsky, Maclary and Malinki,
Wearing something slinky.

Breakfast at Tiffany's, a personal epiphany,
Côte d'Azur not Brittany.
Tiddley poms and Heffalumps, Louboutins not ballet pumps,
Happy dreams, not things that bump.

Springtime and daffodils, at last an end to winter chills,
Remembering to pay the bills.
Imacs and internet, an entertaining soubriquet,
Living life without regret.

Coffee coffee coffee, coffee coffee coffee,
Coffee coffee coffee.

Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3 (x 3)
Reasons to be Cheerful, 1 2 3

Yes yes, dear dear, perhaps next year,
Or maybe even never.
In which case....

Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3 (x 3)
Reasons to be Cheerful, 1 2 3.

Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3 (x 3)
Reasons to be Cheerful, 1 2 3.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

The morning after the life before...

I overindulged. I know I should have stopped sooner but I couldn't. I went with the flow until I passed out cold in a pool of loveless misery, finally waking to a monumental marriage hangover. I have been lying here shivering for some time, quietly waiting for a kind soul to arrive proffering the reassuring plink, plink, fizz that heralds the road to recovery. I could be waiting for some time... even I am having difficulty locating myself.

Where on earth did I disappear to and how did I let it happen? It is a truly sobering thought.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in the days before marriage and child bearing, I distinctly remember that I had a personality and even interests. I was fearless. I travelled the world, alone; jumped out of aeroplanes; abseiled down buildings at 3 am; had inappropriate liaisons and frankly far too many other things that raise the hairs on the back of my neck at the mere thought of my daughter repeating (well, she is only five). In the intervening years I seem to have become fearful without even realising. My current level of spontaneity is to take myself out for an unexpected cup of coffee. Ye Gods. On balance it would appear that a total redesign is indeed the necessary, if not exactly preferred, option. Whist I determine exactly how that might be achieved, I think I might just drag myself from floor to bed. Tiny steps... tiny steps...


Thursday, 12 March 2009


The euphoria of escape is over, reality dawning. Can I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again,* or should I continue wallowing around bemoaning the hand that I have dealt myself? I've never really been a fan of self pity… too indulgent… but a total redesign seems a tad overwhelming from where I am sitting. I know, ever the optimist, that in time all this will pass, transforming into the amuse-gueule of the rest of my life. All it requires is patience.... and a sharp kick the up the derrière.

Enough. Previous paragraph alone sufficient motivation to MOVE ON. Mrs Trefusis, most wise and glamorous friend, you were right. I feel better already. Bring on the apéritif!

*As espoused in the Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields Standard