Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Barricades

A resolution, of sorts, has been reached. Given my black mood and advancing gloom it wouldn't take much.

Also, I have acquired The Battle of Orgreave on DVD. I am rather pleased, I've been looking for it since catching it by accident on Channel 4 way back late one evening where I used to live (I was half asleep on the sofa as it was on). It could be really good for lessons, but mostly I just want to see it again. In the wake of the stuff I've been watching on Hillsborough it will no doubt resonate in a different way.

I am also on my second ale of the day.

We have booked a holiday. I thought two hanging days of term were training days, and that they had been rescheduled to take place as after school sessions. So we'd booked a holiday starting with those two days after a mad weekend. I was wrong. I assumed incorrectly. Tilly and the children will have to go on holiday on trains and I shall have to join them later.

This sort of thing never used to happen. I never used to be this bad at organisation. And it is getting worse. No stressful work situation to blame here, no year plus deprivation of sex either nor car blowing up. Just me. My inability to organise myself and make sense of my world. This was all discovered on Friday night. This morning Tilly and I had a brief chat about it. We came quickly to the conclusion that I couldn't cope with organising other people - that is, it never used to happen because I was rigidly bound to routine. Indeed, the only other examples of such egregious stupidity and lack of organisation were the failure to attend the wedding of a good and dear couple of friends (when, interestingly, I was in a relationship with Toby) and the not putting the clocks back (or forward, I forget which) - also whilst I was in a relationship with Toby. In short - when I cannot rigidly control my own routine I fail to actually organise myself and it is cumulative in the effect, leading to stupid issues like the financial discrepancy when we moved and, now, this holiday fiasco. What is remarkable is that there are not more issues given that background.

As a consequence of Tilly's insight about the context being the reason I suggested that I would not cope with a third child. This, in itself, no change from when it was first mooted however long ago. Tilly says she will get angry about this at some point but, right now, she has too much work on and is taking the Girlie to London to see Hampton Court this weekend. They're off overnight, so there's packing to be done.

Much of the day, for me, has been the usual looking after the Boy and being in a bit of a black mood. This evening Tilly continues to work, she's about to have a bath, and then she will read in the spare room until she retires to bed. I intend to be in bed before then, I'm too tired. I suspect I am now deliberately turning away.

There is no win condition in the third child debate.

If we have one, I shall be miserable and unable to fully cope, there will be no resumption of our relationship in any meaningful sense for at least two years if not longer surrounding the birth. As the time for birth draws closer I shall be primary care-giver for both children and will likely be working full time (I realise I still get it easier) and, immediately after birth, that situation will continue. Eldest will be insufferable in this time and unsteady, this will infect the now middle child. I shall probably cope badly, which will cycle round into there being even less of a relationship on and on like it did the first two times.

And, if we continue as we are: Tilly will get increasingly angry and bitter, will blame me (not unreasonably) and there will be a further breakdown of our relationship. We will likely continue to drift along beside one another, there won't be much point in Tilly trying to make our relationship more physical, for a number of years with little movement to resolve the underlying causes of discontent. I will get annoyed about Tilly being unapproachable and unwilling to take any role in our relationship and thus will fuel her own separation from these issues by providing her with legitimate reasons to not seek me out or share time with me.

The only difference I see between the two conditions, the only difference, is that Tilly may actually be happy in the first one. But neither outcome will offer anything in terms of satisfaction in our relationship and both will be painful. In the first outcome there is a stronger possibility of my depression leading to darker places than at present. That's about it.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Irascible

In which I shall answer "no" to Parralox if I substitute myself as the 'me' in the lyrics.


I need to cultivate my image of being an unapproachable irascible heartless bastard more.

Harry, my colleague, was today cryptically telling me how hard they were finding the year - decoding, I think the timetable is a stress point. It did for flaky-colleague. Harry now is adamant that it is all too hard and, well, I am the one who creates the timetable.

My depression grows. Harry claimed they were drowning. I suspect I may be also. Harry is drowning because I am drowning and I can't do what is needed to support my colleagues. Carla is also struggling, pregnant and with a wriggly foetus that prevents sleep. Alice is struggling, but quietly, getting used to the demands of having a small child who ruins sleep and yet is cute. As an aside, Alice has had more dates with their marriage partner in the last four months (since the birth of their child) than I've had since I married Tilly. Just sayin'. Harry, who has ended one relationship before Christmas and divorced a year before that, has had more date partners than I've had dates.

The 1980s loom large in my thinking. My lessons are suffering. A student has used me as a sounding board and support as their life falls apart. Hour-long conversations from this student are not uncommon, then I spend about half an hour writing them up and making sure copies go to all the relevant people in the school - after all, this sort of thing is fraught with danger for me as a professional. The student needs the sounding board, in fairness, there's nothing to actually be done, they just need someone to blather at. For some bizarre reason I'm that person. Yay?

Girlie is ill and sleeping in with us. She gets just over a third of the bed-space. Tilly gets half. I get the rest. I haven't slept comfortably as a result. But I am struggling to get out of bed. Really struggling.

This morning, Tilly was actually awake before I left for work. She had work to do on Twitter (long story, don't ask) and I wished her good luck with it brightly and in a sunshine-y way. I was informed, curtly, that she was going to miss most of the day due to the party our children were invited to in the afternoon. I apologised and wished her a good day. I was curtly informed that it probably wouldn't be. She tried to explain that she was being sarcastic to herself, not me, and reminded me that I didn't see her in the mornings so I wouldn't have picked up on her moods and outward appearances. No, you stupid bitch, I don't fucking see you in the fucking morning because you sleep in until I've fucked off. Apparently I'm still angry about that. I ended up apologising via text at work because of the cold feeling as I left the house. That seemed to do the trick.

This evening I was regaled with tales of the day and the need for Tilly to off-load the stresses and strains of events. These were legitimate stresses and strains. She asked about my day, but as we moved into the kitchen to talk she changed the subject mid-sentence (mine) and launched back into her day. This lasted the twenty minutes we had, she thanked me for letting her rant, then retired to work once more. I'm about to go and get the chinchilla out. You know, that duty that was supposed to have been taken back by Tilly for a fucking pet I never wanted. It's fine, it's not like I've actually been using my time to work or anything.


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Politics

I feel like it's the 1980s. I recognise what is happening through much the same lens.


It was 1989. Tumultuous. The Miners' Strike, played out when I was too young to realise what was going on, was over in defeat for the miners. Conservative Party politicians exulted in their victory and, along with them, the people that identified with them. Secret Tories were a thing because public anger was so strong but selfishness was the only way to survive. Even I knew that by 1989. Poll Tax riots were coming, violent clashes with police were rife and Hillsborough.


I knew then, in 1989, that something terrible had happened. My family weren't really into the whole football scene, but my father was. He hated Liverpool and their fans, hated them. But he sang along to You'll Never Walk Alone that year. We listened to it in silence on the radio one evening I think, but I could be making that up. I knew then that something wasn't right. Newspapers and reports didn't match the pictures I had seen on Match of the Day. Survivors and victims. But animals and drunkards, according to the great and the good. Those who exulted.


I did not appreciate the depths sunk to, did not realise the full horror. Not until much later. And, lamentably, I ignored it all. And the recent verdict, long in coming but painfully obvious and almost banal in the odious behaviour uncovered by those in positions of power, has brought it all back.

Because there are strikes again. We have an unfettered Conservative Party government again. Engaging in the same political tricks that even I recognised by 1990.

But the times have changed. I am in a position of responsibility. I see what is happening to some of the best things about my home - the deliberate destruction, ideologically rather than evidentially motivated, of government regulation, control and organisation. An orgy of privatisation for the enrichment of spivs and chancers at the expense of, well, anyone else. Honest or dishonest, deserving or undeserving - all victims of theft so breath-taking... And I've seen this brewing. And I have stood by and let it happen.

There is no violence now. No tension. No dissatisfaction. People in the streets are starved of the oxygen of publicity so no one feels able to make a difference. Greedy people will sell you out, others won't stand with you, alone you will be crushed. What's the point? People ask, what's the point? Nothing will change. This is the way it has always been. Exultant.

Except that I have watched it change. Autistic enough to make a pattern, stupid enough to voice it, angry enough to be shocked. Depressed enough to do nothing. And they continue to exult, in Parliament on the government benches, in the media controlled by a few billionaires, even on social media masquerading as 'balance' and 'sobriety' and 'seriousness' and 'patriotism'. It is comforting to blame others, to claim the victims and the survivors, of Hillsborough, Syria, Ecuador, Haiti, Ukraine, to claim they are animals. To claim that they are the ones to blame for their own misfortune.

I'm back in the 1980s, but the anger has been turned on the victims through the victims by those in power who gain so much from this. They have a new, more lasting, victory, and they are exulting in it. And I, who am not them, am letting them.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Heed the Call

Credit where it's due: the excellent caption site run by
Friedoline!
Firstly: huge thanks to Stana again, she's hosting a series of posts about people's first time cross-dressing and, because I am me, I have shared mine (here). This has not created the kind of conversation that surrounded the favourite pictures and I wonder why. Could it be that virtually all cross-dressers, whatever their status, have memories of their own first times and, unlike pictures, there is nothing that really draws us into sharing the experiences of others in the same way? With visuals we can discuss what is shown, we can compliment and analyse, we can joke and make light where possible, maybe even debate. With experiences, emotions, there's not a lot to be said, I suppose, as everyone is unique and different. We all like to remember our times rather than have a look at other peoples'.

And again. But, let's face it, who wouldn't want to be
busy and dressed like this?

Okay, the handcuffs would sort of get in the way, I'll grant you
but who said anything about this had to be realistic?
Busy as always here. Still falling behind on marking but surviving on the lessons and the planning, which is an achievement of sorts given the fact that I am so far behind I'm not even managing to prepare new powerpoints. This is most unusual for me. It seems not so long ago that I was creating three or four lessons a day and now I'm barely managing one a month. This is either creative burn-out or laziness, and I think you all know which way I'm going to be jumping on that one! It's not helped by the fact that I'm finding it hard to get up in the morning again.

Went to my local on the Friday though, which was nice. Tilly was out at a curry night last night and so encouraged me to go out the night before. I had a lovely time, to be sure, but I do worry that I sort of wasted the night. There's a reason, after all, why I'm not creating new lessons and finding it hard to keep up with work - constant stuff like this is part of it. Mind you, I had my reasons. Tilly's back has been playing up again recently, requiring the use of hot water bottles to ease the pain again. It's been getting steadily worse for the last fortnight. On Friday I tried to make clear that this was why I wasn't asking for conjugal relations and also to check that I should be standing back.

I was not prepared.

I think, maybe, she was aiming for this?
Tilly launched into how my mental state since Christmas made any kind of physical relationship impossible. How wearing it was, how hard it made being anywhere near me, and how much she was forced to fend for herself. The reason we hadn't had anything approaching physicality was, she said, my mental state. I may be dealing with the outward bits better, she said, by not snapping at the children and being grumpy but that did not mean that she didn't know what was going on. She sympathised with how shitty it must feel in my head but I must understand that this shittiness was something she wanted to avoid, to run away from, and that  wasn't doing anything about it. Fine, I feel bad, but why wasn't I doing something? I explained my reluctance to use medication, my distrust of therapy after being burned twice already (and essentially being shit) and the fact that I was reading around things.

Yes, she said, but I was still finding it hard to get up in a morning. I was still struggling with work, with getting out of the bath (we still have no shower) and even though she has been doing a great deal to shield me from doing stuff around the house I'm not getting things done. So, she's fallen back into her own coping strategies of working and bathing and going to bed of an evening. It was hard for her to see any time when we could engage with one another with all the work she has going on. Even if there were time to engage as a couple then I needed to push her. Yes, that may mean getting short shrift most of the time (if not all the time) but she would reflect and maybe make a move a week or two later after the idea had time to settle. This wasn't, by the way, an ambush. Or, if it was, it was the same as what I do when I talk to her about how I feel about things.

Yeah, that's about it.
She wants me to be able to talk to her about how I feel and share my thoughts. But she is aware that this doesn't happen. Oh, no, not now because she's working and busy, but when we have time together and if I've let her know in advance that I'd like to talk. But I have to be prepared for the aftermath in letting her know things - the aftermath being that she reverts to self-sufficiency and avoids contact, physical or otherwise, because my depression and my feelings are toxic and bring her down.

Of course I went out and got drunk and stayed out later than planned.


So probably down to the drink the night
before.

Honestly, three halves and a 9% ABV
Belgian beer and I'm anybody's.
As usual we didn't see each other much on Saturday. I went shopping, came home, took the Boy shopping and had lunch, came home and watched Star Wars Ep VII with the Boy and then looked after both kids whilst Tilly cooked. Read to the Girlie whilst the Boy read to Tilly and then Tilly went off to her curry night. I could have dressed. I should have dressed. I did not. Tilly came home just as I was falling asleep and I failed to get awake again.

Today I marshalled the children downstairs from early o'clock and did the morning chores (pots and the chinchilla). I had a bath. We went to IKEA. Tilly and I did manage holding hands whilst the children were in Smaland, and Tilly did do the leading and pulling me along, I confess to liking that. But she was distracted and we didn't really talk much, she didn't want to. She even went and bought lunch, something that, in fairness, she has never done before at IKEA. Then she looked after the children on the playpark whilst I went and bought the shelves we went for. At home the Boy and I erected the shelves and tidied, ish, the DVDs that were to go on them. The Girlie listened to her new CDs (I burned them this morning) and Tilly did work. Then Girlie and Boy watched a DVD whilst I continued to try and tidy the DVD explosion the new shelves caused and Tilly worked. Girlie and Boy went to bed, I finished the tidying, Tilly worked. Then I went and charged the car, came home and wrote this.

Wow, what an interesting entry.


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Tripping


I found the post about my last work outing, trip if you will, that went well. It was refreshing to read something I'd written that was positive, upbeat and generally happy. It was at a time last year when all things appeared to be on the up, even pre-trip nerves and all-round worry about work hadn't been enough to tip the balance and make me all shades of anxious and depressed. It was interesting how this sort of folded on itself and became stronger over the next series of posts too. I mean, okay, there were other factors at play too - Tilly was noticing me again, we were actually having meaningful physical contact and, well, all things were looking really quite positive. The feedback from that experience was also good, it seemed that my better attitude was having a positive effect.

Yeah, that's about it.

Mind you, if I had that hair, top and glasses those jaggedy
edges may be a little smoother, y'know?
Now I'm about to repeat that trip. However, it is later in the year, badly planned (well, just incredibly short notice) and things are much less rosy. This is still aftermath for ousting needy colleague. It's a shame, they were a good enough teacher but they were also like me at my worst and pretty much all the time and without the frenetic activity to get things done when they needed to be done. The increased toll on the department I run is not hard to see either. We're all doing too much of the pressured stuff, examination classes, and we're all close to burn-out as a result. We haven't managed to get another person in permanently yet but we are ably supported by awesome part-time colleague (who may as well be full-time). It's a shame this awesome person is unable to take examination classes - they aren't a subject specialist enough. Damn. This has come to a head when my uber-flunky is constantly veering wildly toward quitting or going elsewhere whilst not being able to pull their full weight in supporting my uber-newb, who is now feeling understandably bitter as a new parent whose workload seems to be larger than it ought to be - the uber-flunky was supposed to be creating a course with 50/50 split on resourcing, but so far uber-newb has done all of it. Gah, too many pseudo-names. Uber-flunky is hereby called Harry and Uber-newb is called Alice.

Bloody Hell yes, that sums up my mental state I guess.

Not nearly as bad as a few years ago, I know, but I really am up
against it at the moment. And I can't lean too heavily on my
subordinates because I am not my former bosses who were total
arseholes when it came to delegation of the shitty stuff.
Harry and Alice have been much too busy, both being relatively new teachers, with coping with seven examination classes each, each with two new courses to plan, to help with trips and stuff. Awesome part-time person (let's call them Carla) has kept on top of the rest of the classes left over from flaky-colleague's departure but couldn't be called upon to mark the mountains of stuff left in their wake and live. So, it falls to me, with eight examination classes and one extra class taken on in the stead of PPA time, to mark about 120 assessments at the beginning of January. And run a new AS level. And a new Sociology course. And shore up an older Sociology course from last year for two sets. And then set up new assessments to match the new GCSE in February. And the markschemes. And support Harry because I don't want them to leave. And support Alice because they do need occasional praise and support too. And liaise with my boss, who is also under incredible pressure, whilst supplying Carla with resources (which she totally works with and makes her own) on stuff she's never taught before. And helping my boss with assessments he has to do for a class in my department. Whilst organising the new specs for GCSE coming in and the new A2s... Oh, and then organise this trip.


Which is, of course, why I ended up dressing on that Friday
in the holidays rather than working.

Oh, and not working. I was on GetDare. Because that is
just how I roll, yo.
I got it passed on the last day of term before the Easter holidays. No one else was in over Easter (like normal people, admin don't get paid for it!) so I've had to organise the whole thing in the last week. Talk about short notice. Now, luckily, my organisation for last year was fucking awesome, so most of it just needed to be updated. But staffing wasn't, and students weren't. Agh. On Friday we had a training day to moderate coursework. Harry hadn't marked their class (something I knew about) so I ended up marking them. Alice had agreed to moderate because that's what we do for one another and that meant Harry moderated far less than were otherwise open to do. It all meant that I didn't get much of my own work done on Friday.

Speaking of Friday, Tilly went out to see a band including some famous person that followed her first on the Twitters because Tilly is now legit Twitterati and semi-famous herself. She had to go at 6pm, meaning I had to be home by 5pm to wrangle children. Meaning once my training day was officially over I had to high-tail it home rather than printing off registers and timetables for the trip tomorrow. And was unable to work. I should have dressed, but I am glad that I didn't because Girlie was sneaking around at 9.30pm and scared the shit out of me at one point appearing at the living room door. Dread to think what would have happened had I been dressed.

I am not kidding when I say she looked a little like this
framed in the dark doorway. I may have shouted a few swear
words like "SHIT!" and "FUCK!" and "You scared the shit
out of me!"

Because she fucking did!

My fault for watching this youtube video a few weeks ago
I suppose.
Now, okay, you could argue I should come out to my children. However, over the last week it has come to light that Girlie's rather erratic behaviour and mood-swings, which were puzzling us as they reminded us of before we'd got her off sugar, were down to her sneaking her brother's chocolate eggs from storage (he eats them slowly, really slowly, and infrequently. By 'all' I mean about six small ones bigger than creme eggs but smaller than small Easter eggs) and glutting herself on them. This was discovered on Thursday (another early night home resulted, so no work done then either, and the evening was riven with trying to placate sugared-up guilty-feeling teary-daughter and angry betrayed guilty wife until late, like 10pm late). Basically, Girlie would have been of a mood to use this to ultimate advantage and I rather suspect that a guilty-feeling wife would be in no mood to hear any defence from me. So, yeah, glad I didn't try.

The more I see and think about this film, the more convinced
I am that it is actually a really good film.

Very underrated, from what I can gather, and with some
excellent turns by the cast.

The soundtrack is to die for!
I can't complain, I got out to the pub on Saturday and Tilly and I watched a film directed by another of her Twitter friends which was... eh, it was alright. It wasn't the comedy it promised to me, Tilly thought it was, but it was better than Tron. Now, don't get me wrong, I'd got Tron in after the Boy had seen and fallen in love with Tron Legacy - which is an ace film. I remembered the original from a vague memory of seeing it back when I was about eight on a poor quality V2000 or VHS at a friend's house. The Boy loves it, much more than the superior (in my view) Tron Legacy, and we'd watched it during the afternoon because he was so excited about it (he'd seen it in the kitchen when it arrived on Tuesday, unbeknownst to us, and when I told him we'd watch it he practically exploded with delight). In the meantime both children have been watching Pokemon and have fallen in love with it. I was awoken by an excited Boy asking me which Pokemon was best, and did it compare with the shows I watched, in an excited high-pitched whisper at about 6.30am on the Saturday. Long and the short of it? Going to the pub (for an hour) was the only time on Saturday when I had a moment to myself.


Hmm, 12% of Statesians are in the same boat as me,
apparently.

Good to know?
Tilly and I briefly held hands in bed after the film before she fell asleep. Remarkably quickly. She arrived home on Friday after I had gone to sleep (I did let her know). Tilly has maintained her work pattern since her mother stopped over Monday-Wednesday this last week. That is: work from 6.45pm to around 11.45pm and thence to bed. It's been like this since the end of our jaunt down south to maintain her articles, blog, Twitter-thing and the book research. I get it, I totally do, but it does mean I've barely seen her. Even an hour together in IKEA, that started very positively between us, didn't do much. We had arms round one another as we walked (the children were in Smaland) for about ten minutes. Then it stopped - her bag was in the way and switching sides was constantly frustrated by Tilly moving to stay where she was in relation to me, unconsciously to be sure, but constantly. After lunch Tilly took the Girlie for some new clothes whilst I charged the car and looked after the Boy. Once home, Tilly went gardening whilst I wrangled the Boy and the Girlie. I joined her gardening whilst the children played on the computer and then she went inside to sort things whilst I weeded, or went out to garden if I came inside to work indoors. Not deliberately, but there you have it.

Then Tilly went to look after the chinchilla, which was fine, whilst I looked after the children and got them prepared to get ready for bed. By the time I'd finished reading Harry Potter to the Girlie, Tilly had commenced work. It's a night when she works with her narcissist writing buddy (let's call her Pippa) so that'll go on until close to midnight, by which time I hope to be in bed because I'm stressing out about a trip tomorrow.

Oh, and I read an article that resonated, you may be interested if you read this blog:
https://starlingsongs.tumblr.com/post/113142170762/starlingsongs-alright-so-a-trans-exclusionary
And that's that.


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Look at Me

I'm just so-/Look at me/I'm just so groovy!




Yes, it's like the Pet Shop Boys. Quelle surprise methinks.
The Pet Shop Boys have released a new album and I forgot that I'd pre-ordered it ages ago when it was first announced until I happened to notice the launch on Twitter - because my beer blog is on Twitter now. Actually, I'm reasonably proud of that account - it's known well enough by people that know me but I have successfully kept it gender neutral. Which is how I like it. I've started adopting Mx as a title in places where I'm able to write one myself. I like it. Anyway, yes, within a day of the launch the CD was in my grubby mitts and I think I rather like it. My favourite track on it has to be The Dictator Decides because it seems to carry on the story begun in Building A Wall and Integral reaching a bittersweet conclusion. And I rather like me some bittersweet conclusions.


It's this book. I ordered it on a whim and
because the style is close to the sort of
stuff I wish I could write.

Only about things and times and places that
don't actually exist because research is hard
and I am a lazy lazy bastard.
I also started reading a book. I know, pretty big stuff for me these days! It's A Time-Traveller's Guide to Medieval England which is pretty engrossing. Annoying because of generalisations, strangely moralising tone of the writer and the random examples (some of which I know better examples for, and that's saying something because I know feck all about this period) but good for all the stuff I don't know. It's a bit like Horrible Histories - so I'll stomach it and take it as what it is. Diverting and interesting but no more. Maybe I learn some new stuff and maybe I don't. Whatever, it does stop me sitting uncomfortably and looking at a computer screen (I say, sitting uncomfortably and looking at a computer screen to type about reading a book to stop the neck-ache).

Interestingly, I tried to discuss the third child with Tilly and was rebuffed with the line "I'm more worried about your mental health" - which is at once nice and a tad sinister. Mind you, I suppose that my revelations on here about my internal critic and the taunting of traffic probably have something to do with that concern. Not enough to change anything, she's rarely not working these days or, alternatively, we're taking a child each. The joy of the holidays, I guess. I dressed on Friday of last week though when I should have been working at work but I didn't and instead I came home and dressed. I wore my blue skirt (it's called a broomstick skirt, apparently, and that explains why I found it so hard to find images way back in 2013) and my red top and tights (because it was bloody cold) and my boots. I even found a poncho that Tilly was going to throw out and wore that to keep my arms warm. It felt lovely, I felt very much at home and at peace. For a couple of hours. I got no work done because, as I have already said elsewhere in this very post, I am a lazy lazy bastard.

This is close enough to the article.

I'm not a fan of rings and jewellery - which is odd given how
easily I embrace most of the trappings of adornment such as
flowers - but this was never about me or what I thought.

And that's just fine.
Right now Tilly is out with her narcissistic writing buddy in our town discussing the plot of the joint novel they have going on. Tilly has almost outgrown the need for the relationship but I find it interesting that she maintains it, with far more inconvenience than she would tolerate from me, with such ardour and passion as she does. Don't get me wrong, she is wearing her wedding and engagement rings again today for the first time since 2008 and a new ring she bought herself from our local witchy shop because she wanted a ring. This was the first I'd heard of it, and it was bought in a trip with the Girlie whilst I was out with the Boy apparently on a whim. Buying nesting tables for the best part of half a grand too on the proceeds of her writing work. I guess it is her money and so she should get to spend it as she likes. I wish I could do the same with my marking money rather than using it to plug the gaps left by my income and the mortgage and the car and the food budget each month. But, then, that's the role I have chosen for myself and my desire to see her able to use what she earns for herself rather than the children does rather preclude me from demanding some contributions. That's been the case since she moved in back in 2007 when I asked that first she pay off her debts with her income rather than put towards the mortgage or the weekly food budget.

And that's where I leave this update, I guess.