Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Season of Goodwill

Season of Goodwill???
Not on your Nellie!
Normally, I’m an easy-going sort of bloke but recently, some people have really got up my nose!
I have been reminiscing lately about a few people and my presents list will have dropped a little this year as one or two former recipients are no longer in the running They range from the adorable to the dislikeable; from the beautiful to the passable.
One of the more attractive ones is, unfortunately, unable to divulge her a/d for security reasons. The only thing I can do is to send her a card on Incredimail! Seems a pity but I must respect her privacy.
Another is a close relative of the first one. She has problems of her own but always goes out of her way to show some genuine friendship and understanding. This lady is most certainly on my list!
There is one whom I have known for quite a long time and is a self-confessed super-bitch. I have started to appreciate that she really is one hell of a bitch so whether or not she will still qualify, remains to be seen. Then again, we’ve known each other for a long time, I reckon I’ll be getting her something as usual.
Some of my friends live much further afield. One of them is a little selfish. She is not really appreciative of anything and at present, is in a love-hate situation with me. Very rarely has she reciprocated with even the tiniest sign of enthusiasm. In fact, these days, it takes all her time to speak to me! I’m afraid she can whistle!
Another transatlantic friend of long standing hasn’t been around much lately. She’s a great Southern Gal and I always remember her.
There is someone, however, whom I shall most definitely remember. This person has had it a little rough lately but recently, she appears to be much happier. She is rather special and I try to see that she is not forgotten. She is a delightful friend and I really shall take great pleasure in selecting her gift this Yuletide!
There is a newcomer to the ranks; a very pleasant and attractive friend. She, too, has had her share of misfortune but I’m making sure she gets some enjoyment this coming holiday.
I have a 15 year-old granddaughter, going on 25, who has already put feelers out and dropped broad hints that she would like some gold earrings. “Long dangly ones,” she insisted. At least, this is a start, so that’s one problem solved!
As for the others, I’m open to ideas. I suppose, as usual, Yuletide will cost me an arm and a leg. I have already considered earrings, bracelets, pendants, liqueur chocolates and perfume.
Anybody out there got any alternative suggestions?

WIMMIN!!! YOU CAN’T DO WITH ‘EM AND YOU CAN’T DO WITHOUT ‘EM!

Ps… There is, of course, another whom I shall be remembering. She is someone I’ve loved for over thirty years. Someone so very special that words cannot fully describe her. I consider myself so very fortunate in having known her and won her love.
Years ago, I gave her my heart; she still has it!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Christmas is coming...

It was the last week in October and I had occasion to go into town to pick a few things up. I was amazed to find most large stores had already set up Christmas decorations. At one time, it was usually the first week in December before they started doing this but every year it seems to get earlier and earlier. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if stores opening after the holidays were displaying Easter eggs!
I’m not against Christmas; I have always enjoyed it, and as quite a lot of readers will know, I invariably make a point of giving special presents to close friends at Yuletide.
I try to vary the presents from year to year, apart from those friends who always like the same sort of thing. For those, I get them that which I know they would like. Usually it’s a bottle of very rare malt whisky.
Last year, the accent was on earrings. I bought several pairs including some for my two daughters.
I bought Blue John earrings for them. (Blue John is a very rare quartz crystal only found in one area of Derbyshire and highly collectable.) I also bought earrings in garnet, amethyst, topaz and jet. I bought a pair of very expensive gold earrings for a special friend but, funnily enough, I didn’t buy any for my wife. She has gone through life without ever having had her ears pierced! Instead, I bought her a jade pendant, set in gold.
This year, I have yet to decide on what the theme will be. Ideally, it will be jewellery, as I can get this from one or two shops in the city centre that I know quite well. I can make all or most of my purchases in one fell swoop, so to speak. They are relatively close together so it would save a lot of chasing about from place to place in the pre-Christmas rush! It isn’t that I treat shopping for presents as a chore; it’s just that I don’t like shopping anyway!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Resumption of verses

Last year, I wrote a poem for a friend describing the summer days we had shared. (blog March 06 2006) It wasn’t a romantic poem in the sense of those I had written for Iris but even so, I felt a little guilty about writing it and regretted doing so. It was almost as though I’d betrayed her memory.
This year, I have started writing poetry again. I have written eight so far, starting with the one I wrote for our anniversary. (blog Feb.14th 2006) What motivated my writing again, I don’t really know. All I wanted was to show that my love for Iris hadn’t waned. I found the best way to do it was to write the verses for her even though she would never read them.
I think that after I had started writing a blog earlier this year on the advice of a dear friend, I felt closer to Iris than I had done for a long time. It was as if she were there with me as I wrote about her. I have never regretted for one minute starting this blog and I have found that there are quite a few people who understand how I feel. Indeed, several friends often leave messages, for which I’m always very grateful.
I am frequently urged by a few close friends to publish some of my poetry. However, I’m undecided about this as, although I would like some recognition for my poetic writings, I feel I would be opening up our private world to everyone and not just to a limited readership as I have here.
Twenty-six years is a long time to grieve over somebody but I make no apology for admitting that I’m still in love with Iris; I always will be.

Can any reader, anyone, tell me I am being stupid and irrational for behaving like this? Am I clinging on to a part of my life best forgotten?
Then again, how could I possibly exist without her memory?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Some notes on the poetry

I first started writing poetry to Iris early in 1973. I wasn’t in the habit of verse-writing and indeed, I hadn’t done so since my early teens in schoolboy ‘crushes’.
I found that I could write verse better if I were either very sad or very happy. The two early poems were written in a sad mood when I was unsure of Iris’s feelings towards me. The first poem I wrote can be seen on my blog page, Jan.20th 2006. The second was published in my blog Feb.6th.
The sonnet, (blog Jan.31st 2006) written in February 1973, was composed on St. Valentine’s Day. It was only a few hours after we had made love for the very first time on the evening before. It is a verse written in sonnet form; i.e. a fourteen line poem with the last two lines as a couplet. The sonnet was very popular in the sixteenth century with Shakespeare, Donne, Marvell, etc. I only wrote that one sonnet as I always regarded it as something very special.
My all-time favourite was Iris of the laughing eyes. (blog March 20th 2006) I thought it captured her very being; it was so descriptive of her. It was written on a train when I was coming back from a meeting in London.
I wrote the poem of our first anniversary one night when I was working late. This has not been published yet. I took great delight in giving it to her a couple of days later. We always made St. Valentine’s Day our anniversary, not because that was the first time we had met but because it was the first time we had shown commitment to each other. I wrote a special poem every anniversary and on all her birthdays. Sadly, very few remain.
Iris’s favourite has been saved, however. (blog Sept.6th 2006) It was the poem written in July 1974 on our return from Scotland and the Gretna Green ceremony. We had quite a few pics taken of the ‘wedding’ but alas, none has survived.
I wrote between forty and fifty poems over the years and Iris enjoyed them all. The original two that she never saw were written shortly after her death. One of them was the one published recently. (blog Oct.8th 2006) The other, written two weeks after her death, has yet to be published. It was the very last romantic poem that I ever thought I would write.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Doldrums again

Writing about the dull and dreary days in the run-up to Yuletide made me descend into a very melancholy frame of mind. The weather was cold and wet and there wasn’t much going on to cheer me up. I drifted into a reverie. I found myself thinking about Iris and how I was missing her so very much. Before I realised it, I had penned another poem. This was the ninth I had written this year!
However, although the poem was a little sad, it helped me out of the slough of despondency in which I had been wallowing.

I can but dream…

My dearest love, how can I hope to say
How much I’ve missed you since you went away,
And in these lonely six and twenty years,
The very thought of you brings forth my tears

And in my dreams, I walk with you once more,
Together now, as we were times before.
And as I turn the pages of my mind,
The images of yesteryear I find.

And every night, I think such thoughts as this,
Those velvet lips I long ago did kiss,
Those hands, those laughing eyes, your silken hair,
And dreaming, do I see you everywhere.

I greet the dawn and face reality,
Another day that you will never see.
How long, my love, how long do I despair
Of knowing that you never will be there?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

In the doldrums

There are two periods of the year that are, to me, most depressing. One of them is just after the New Year and the other is the run-up towards Yuletide.
I am in the middle of such a depression right now. Hardly anything is happening, nothing much appears to interest me and I find there is very little to write about that is worth mentioning.
This is not a new experience; I’ve always found this time of year very boring, although during the Iris era, I didn’t notice it as much.
November and December in 1973 were given over to run-of-the-mill activities. I had my club bookings and we would hurry back home out of the cold instead of staying out for a late meal as we often did earlier in the year.
I remember we once made the mistake of accepting an invitation from Iris’ sister and her husband around this time to join them at their favourite pub one Sunday evening. It was a dreary place in a small village just outside the city. The d├ęcor hadn’t been changed for the last twenty-odd years and by the taste of it, the beer hadn’t either! I said it was their favourite pub; in fact it was the only pub they ever visited and that was only on Sunday evenings. The highlight of the night was a half-hour Bingo session with a prize of five pounds! Even in the early 70s, a fiver was laughable!
One evening, I suggested that we took them out for a meal for a change. We picked them up from home and drove out to a decent little place that Iris and I knew quite well. It was a pub in Derbyshire highly praised for its cuisine. Iris and I plumped for escargots for starters. Her sister and hubby chose prawn cocktail! I cringed when giving the order to the waiter! However, I managed to persuade them to try the venison medallions which they enjoyed, not having had venison before.
Yes, these weeks leading up to Christmas will, I know drag on and on until suddenly I’ll be caught up in the pre-holiday mad scramble. I reckon that bears and squirrels have got it made; they can get their heads down and hibernate until springtime!

Trivia note... Doldrums
The doldrums are areas of very still air near the equator that stalled sailing ships. The doldrums are located between 5 degrees north and 5 degrees south of the equator. They are also known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Despicable!

Recently, two people have been libelling me on various websites. The matter became so serious that I instructed my solicitors to issue a warning. They have been given the choice of either removing the offending posts or face a court hearing.
Since then, they have descended into the unspeakable level of making defamatory remarks about Iris. They claim that she was of loose morals; was only 14 when I first met her; had affairs while being with me; likened her cremation to an ashtray and that she was decidedly ugly!
The sheer lies that have been published are really beyond belief. Not only are they completely untrue but neither of these animals ever knew Iris! They didn’t know her at all! As these cretins are under forty years of age, they were little more than children when Iris was alive. One of them is a confirmed alcoholic living in Brighton and the other is a neer-do-well living in Sheffield with a history of drug abuse.
I will challenge each one of these evil morons here and now to prove a single word of their disgusting publications.
I’m sure that regular readers will be interested in the outcome of this.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Am I different?

Looking back over the Iris years, I knew that I was just as much in love with her in 1980 as I was in 1973. I would look at her and be instantly aroused. Her slightest touch would awaken my hormones and a smile would make my heart leap!
No other woman before or since has had that effect on me. No other woman could ever take her place. Was this normal behaviour for a couple who spent so much time together? I know that some other couples become a little stale and take each other for granted. My wife and I have been married for many years, yet while we love each other, we do not live in each other’s pockets and we have other interests that do not necessitate doing them together.
I go out with friends some evenings and my wife will go out with her friends, each of us enjoying ourselves. We don’t have to be together all the time to get along. Not so with Iris. We were absolutely inseparable; we could go out with friends, we could sit at home in front of the television, we could do anything and nothing and find pleasure in doing it together. Our love life was perfect; no other woman excited me as much as Iris. Were we so very different from others? Were we so selfishly entwined?
I would have never dreamed of going off without her on my own, nor would I have ever participated in a hobby or pastime in which she wasn’t interested.
I always observe the basic courtesies when I’m in female company, as anyone who knows me will confirm. I will stand when a woman either enters or leaves. I always open a door for them. I always allow a woman to choose where she wants to go when dining out. (Although I insist on selecting the wine!) Am I so different or am I still living in an age where these things were done as a matter of course? Sometimes I feel as though I’m a dinosaur in another era.
Do manners matter any more? Do women appreciate being treated as ladies these days? Or is a man who observes social niceties considered to be some kind of freak? Comments from readers of the fair sex would be most welcome.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Convalescence

Although I wouldn’t admit it, the influenza had really weakened me and I realised I wouldn’t be going back to work in the immediate future. It was a week since I’d been ill and I was just able to potter around the house. I had lost my taste for cigarettes and beer and I was sick and tired of watching TV and doing endless crossword puzzles!
Andrea came round again with Iris and was I glad to see them? There were only fleeting moments when I could embrace Iris, which made it all the more frustrating but at least she was there. My wife suggested laying on a dinner for the pair of them but I knew I’d never be able to disguise my feelings. I made the excuse that my appetite had gone and to take trouble over a special meal would have been a waste.
The second week began with my going out well wrapped up for a short stroll and gradually I progressed to being able to get in my car and drive round a bit. The ‘flu had left me with aching limbs and a general malaise all over. I needed to see Iris on her home ground; to have her hug me and to feel her near. One evening, I made the excuse that I was going to see an old mate who was appearing at a local club. Off I went and I found myself once more with Iris. It was wonderful to lie next to her again but unfortunately the ‘flu had left me weaker that I expected. Iris didn’t mind; she was just pleased I was getting better! I made a mental note to send Andrea the biggest bunch of flowers I could find.
The good news came at the end of the second week when my doctor announced that I could go back to work the following Monday. The cold hadn’t entirely gone; the beer still tasted awful and the cigarettes foul! However, I was getting back to normal and back to Iris!
It was over two weeks since I had last stayed with Iris at her house; OUR house! I realised just how much she meant to me. I had seen the tears in her eyes when she came to see me with Andrea. I felt so very helpless not being able to hold her. I never wanted to go through such a long separation ever again.