Hello

Apologies for the lack of updates over the last couple of months. It’s been a crazy busy time around here but I’m mostly still treading water. We’re all a little stressed – and that’s a trigger for worsening poor Lucy’s schizophrenia

The basics are
Samantha has been offered a new job at the other end of the country. After much discussion, she’s accepted it and we’re moving next month down to Cardiff.

Unfortunately, and making packing and moving much harder than anticipated, Samantha has broken her leg. One of the most terrifying phonecalls a man can recieve is one from the hospital saying his wife’s been in an accident. She tripped and fell down the stairs at work, gave herself mild concussion, a couple of cracked ribs and a displaced fracture of her right leg. She’s been struggling post-operation on her leg, groggy with painkillers and looking for something to do other than watch TV and read – she’s a very active woman and being mostly immobile isn’t working for her.  I’ve been spending a lot of time with her, keeping her company

I’m hoping to get caught up reading your posts over the next couple of days or so. Things are getting easier now we’re finding our current rhythm around the house.

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Dirty Old Man

The internet, blogging spaces especially, make me feel like a dirty old man. We’re going to completely ignore the fact that I am a dirty old man and focus on how young everyone else online seems to be.

I come across random blogs, start reading only to realise that the writer is in their 20s or 30s. I’ve joined interest groups on Dreamwidth and all the posts seem to be from younger ladies. I feel hesitant to start a conversation, to request to add them because I don’t know how they’d feel about a… (and I use the term loosely) more mature man reading their posts.

I try to imagine how I would feel if the situation was reversed; if I were that age and found out that someone old enough to be my father were wanting to read my blog. I think I’d feel quite awkward. I doubt I’d be interested in reading what they had to say.

Do I necessarily feel comfortable reading posts by someone young enough to be my son – if not younger than him. Am I opening myself up for completely inaccurate accusations of inappropriateness?

I did an interest search for over 60s but it was unsuccessful. I did a google search for ‘over 60s blogs’ and learned a hell of a lot about how to dress as a woman over 60 which I’m sure would be really useful were I of the female persuasion. I offered to send the links to an amused Samantha* and she shot me a look that would make a lesser person drop down dead.

Then again, does age really matter? Isn’t this whole thing about getting to meet people that I wouldn’t normally meet. Doesn’t science-fiction etc transcend barriers of age, gender, race, sexuality etc.

Or is my son right and I am ‘too old’ for this?

* Samantha is still many years from 60

Clothes Shopping

The only problem with losing a substantial amount of weight is that things like my clothes no longer fit. Walking around with ones jeans sliding down is generally seen as A Bad Thing, so Samantha and Lucy decied this afternoon to take me clothes shopping.

Can I just say that this is my idea of HELL.
I would rather spend an afternoon locked in a room with my ex-wife.
I’d rather jump behind enemy lines in an active warzone.

Getting dragged from shop to shop to shop. Try this on, try that on, give us a twirl. The girls treatng me like a toy or a piece of meat. Lather, rinse repeat. Yes, I got some nice new clothes out of it. New jeans, new trousers, new shirts and t-shirts. A new suit for a faculty function that Samantha & I are attending next month. But really whats wrong with going to one shop, why do we have to do it over and over, try everything on. And then go back through to all the same shops to buy the things they’ve decided on?
Maybe it’s a woman thing.

I’m ashamed to admit I got very frustrated with the process, starting acting a little bit like an over-tired toddler, lost my temper and snapped at the girls. To say Samantha was disappointed would be an understatement of earth-shattering proportions. When we got home, there was a full on lecture on appreciating what she was doing for me and how to act in public. There was also a very painful caning, a ‘time out’ spent standing in the corner and, as if that wasn’t enough, no sex for the rest of the month – no masturbation, no orgasm. Nothing.

My own fault, admittedly, and I don’t think I’m going to be sitting down for a while either!

March In Music

I’ve seen a few people make this type of post, talking about what music they’ve been listenening to over the course of a week. I don’t listen to enough music to do it weekly so I thought a monthly post would work for me.

According to my last.fm stats, my top played artists in March 2017 were:
Giacomo Puccini
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Sir Edward Elgar
Camille Saint-Saëns
César Franck
Gabriel Fauré
Georg Friedrich Händel
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Robert Schumann
I’m surprised Puccini was higher than Rachmaninoff – he does tend to be my favourite. I’m surprised Beethoven & Williams were so low in the list but it’s interesting to see what I’ve been listening to laid out like that

There were no albums or tracks I listened to more than any others, nor any that stood as being a particular favourite but I’m going to try and make an effort to note down favourites in April

Currently I am lstening to Hoedown from Rodeo by Aaron Copland

Apologising For Being A Man

I’ve come to realise as I’m reading blogs that I seem to spend a lot of time feeling the need to apologise for my fellow man, for the way so many men treat women, for the way so many women have been treated by men. It sickens me that there are men who think it’s ok to continue making advances on a woman when shes made it clear she’s not interested, and more than that.

Am I trying to say that I’m perfect, that I’ve never undressed a woman with my eyes, that I’ve never catcalled, that I’ve never thought of certain more manual labour as a ‘mans job’?
No, of course I’m not. I do, however, know where the line is and not to cross it. I was raised by a strong woman and taught to respect women. To respect everyone, lets face it. To be a decent human being.

My son has been raised the same way and if I was to ever find out that he was treating women in a disrepectful manner, if I ever found out he’d broken a woman’s consent… well let’s just say he may be 30 but he’d still find his hide tanned for it!
(I tried to put a joking ‘other than his mother, he can treat her however he pleases’ but actually, no, despite my thinking shes an insufferable bitch, if I found out Charlie was treating his mother wrong it would still be the same case!)

I was always aware of the difficulties a woman can face. My wife struggles with gender bias a lot in her chosen fields. There is a colleague of hers who refers to her, even in earshot, as ‘the cute blonde’ – ok, I’m not going to argue with his assessment because she <b>i</b> but damnit they’re supposed to be professionals, they’re peers, she has just as many (if not more) qualifications as he does, she’s published more, I’d like to say she’s better respected.

Samantha says it’s professonal jealousy combined with a masculine pride and not wanting to believe a woman could do better than her. I say it’s a good job I don’t have to see the arrogant fool more than once or twice a year. I’m personally not sure how she hasn’t broken his nose yet!

I also understnd that would cause more trouble than it’s worth and he’d just label her another emotional woman who can’t control or handle herself.

I cannot understand men like him. I cannot understand the behaviour of so many men.

How are we in 2017 and still struggling with the same issues of gender equality?

A Little Less Jack

Apparently I’ve lost a stone and a half of weight since I’ve retired. OK there’s no apparently, because I stood on the scales and they’re the ones that told me I’d lost the weight since the last time I stood on them. I guess I should say that I’ve accidentally done it, unintentionally.

Regardless, I’ve lost 21lb. Or 9.5kg depending on which form of measurement you ascribe to.

I’m not saying I couldn’t have done with losing the weight. Samantha has in fact been nagging me to lose weight for months and now that I’ve lost some I do feel better. If more continues to drop then great.

How have you unintentionally lost 21lb in 10 weeks, Jack? I hear you asking.
(You are asking, right?)

I’m not exactly sure. I’m drinking less coffee, I’m eating less cake and biscuits, I’m snacking less in general – and when I am snacking it’s on the healthy things in the house; fruit & veg mostly.
This is all directly related to not being in the office. Also connected is getting more exercise – longer walks with the dog in the morning, not sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, helping Lucy with the housework, more sex.

Shocking, I know. Eating healthy and more exercise = weight loss. I’m just not used to losing weight without making an intentional effort to do so.

A dubious award

According to a small child in town today, I am the coolest old person they had ever seen. Possibly even the coolest old person, ever. Old people, you see, don’t wear Batman t-shirts. This is what I’ve learned today.

While I’m pleased as punch to be classed as cool, I’m not sure how I feel at being seen as an ‘old person’. Yes, I am old and yes I call myself old. But having someone else call me old is very different to knowing I’m old.
I’m not sure how much sense that makes.

Can I just take the ‘cool’ and run with it?
No-one’s ever actually called me cool and meant it before

Samantha and Lucy, who I was having lunch with at the time, thought it was utterly hilarious. They say that I’m just old and not cool though. One day they’ll both turn old, have people think they’re old and then we’ll see how they feel!