Monthly Archives: January 2019

Ring My Bell

I had intended to make my first post of the year to be an account of the Christmas period, but on reflection, it was pretty much the same as the year before, except for the choice of film and the amount of alcohol consumed. Instead, I thought I’d regale you with an uplifting and heartwarming tale of how my life took an upturn.

I won’t rehash my recent return to the world of online dating, but just after Christmas I received a message via a dating site from a woman saying she was finally in town, and would I like to meet for dinner? To be honest, I’d forgotten about her as I’d sent her a message a couple of months prior to this to be told that she was on the east coast, but in the process of moving west, and would be in touch when she arrived. Of course I took this as a kiss off and thought no more about it. Hence my surprise when she contacted me.

She lives nearby and suggested she drive over so we could meet at one of her favourite restaurants, conveniently located just ten minute’s walk from my house. She was already seated when I arrived, so there wasn’t even the opportunity for a greeting hug, still, we chatted as we waited for our orders to arrive and quickly found common ground. It soon became apparent that we were on the same page politically and shared a wide range of opinions, perspectives and experiences. We had a great time, even though we were both on our best behaviour, as is normal on a first date. I mean, you don’t want to ruin the evening by saying or doing something stupid and ruining the chance of a second date.At the end of the evening we parted ways, agreeing that it would be nice to meet again.

To my surprise, she agreed to another date just five days later, and so I dashed home after work, changed and drove to meet her for dinner. After a very pleasant meal, the night still being young, she asked me if I had any plans, so I suggested a drink at a nearby bar. So far, so good, I thought. She hadn’t fled at the first opportunity, and the chance for a quiet drink and casual chat certainly appealed. I still wasn’t able to judge how she felt about me, and although I really wanted to kiss her at the end of the evening, I decided that discretion was the better part of valour, so again, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

During our chat she mentioned that she had just bought a video doorbell, but not being much of a handywoman, it was still in the box. A couple of days later I texted her and asked if she’d found anyone to install it for  her. Receiving an answer in the negative I offered to install it for her, if she so wished, seeing it as my chance for a third date. She accepted, and so two weeks after our first meeting, I gathered up my rather pathetic collection of tools and set off for her home. The installation was a doddle, the hardest thing being downloading the app onto her phone. We shared a bottle of wine afterwards and spent quite some time getting acquainted on the sofa during the evening.

Before you ask, I went home that night, as she told me that she’d had bad experiences in the past by moving forward too fast. I certainly wasn’t going to push my luck, so I accepted the situation, actually very much in agreement, as I really didn’t want to spoil what was turning out to be a wonderful relationship. We agreed that I would come back in a week, and I offered to cook dinner, an offer she accepted with much grace. Purely due to good fortune, I went back a few days later after work, and it was at that point that she decided that I should stay over on Sunday night. She had been unsure up to that point, but apparently I had make a good enough impression to warrant us moving on to the next step.

I arrived mid morning, and we sat chatting, drinking wine and watching a film until it was time to cook. After dinner we resumed talking and enjoying a very nice bottle of Garnacha. Of course, I’m not going to go into detail, but even before we went upstairs I was pretty damn sure that she was the woman for me. I’d already removed my profile from the site, a revelation that both surprised and encouraged her.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never felt about anyone the way I feel about her. Seriously. In just three weeks we have achieved a level of comfort and understanding I’ve never experienced with anyone else. I know it sounds corny, but even just sitting on the sofa and holding each other makes me happier than I have ever been, or truly deserve.  What’s even more, she feels the same.

As she had to pick up a friend from the ferry yesterday, we left together and she followed me home and spent a few minutes in the house, untidy as it was, as she wanted to see my place. We texted a couple of times during the day, and I set off to deliver oranges to a friend, after which we went for a beer, not  having seen each other since New Year’s Eve. His wife and our other partner in crime duly arrived when I received a text from my new love informing me she had just dropped her friend off at the boat. On impulse, I invited her to join us, which she did. Thankfully, she liked my friends, and they approve of her. The fact that her dog got to meet some other dogs helped, but the time came for her to head home, so we kissed  and said our goodbyes. I stayed for one more beer, sending  her texts as I sat at the bar, only for her to invite me over for the night.

We had been texting about how much both of us didn’t want to have to sleep alone, so it was a no brainer for me to head past my own home on my way to hers. I honestly don’t know how we’ve grown so close and so attached to each other in barely three weeks. The phrase “Whirlwind romance” sounds trite, but I think that for the first time in my life I’m genuinely falling in love. This isn’t just some physical drive, I am drawn to her intelligence, wit and charm, and even though I only came home about four  hours ago, all I can think about is seeing her again on Thursday evening. I’m smitten, I’m in love. Truly, madly, deeply.






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Worm In My Brain

I think we’re all familiar with the concept of the “Ear Worm”, a song that gets stuck in your head and refuses to leave no matter what you do. Usually it’s one that you hate and would probably be willing to cut off your ears to avoid hearing ever again. With me, that song is “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, or as I always knew them, Men Without Talent. I won’t add a link to the video, as I don’t want to alienate any of my readers, precious few as they are. However, this post is NOT about that kind of ear worm.

October and November were particularly rough months for me, both at home and at work (Five Years, I Know It’s Over, Oops I Did It Again) and I will admit to not being in the best of moods. As I’ve said elsewhere, the music played at work is dreadful, ( On Repeat) and if I never hear Cyndi Lauper caterwauling “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” ever again, it will be about 50 billion years too soon.

In order to compensate for all this, especially as the Christmas music started the day after Thanksgiving, a song popped into my head, sat down, put it’s feet up and reached for the beer. Only a couple of weeks before this, I had completed reading “Publikation” by David Buckley, a well researched and equally well written history of Kraftwerk. As a result, Der Fab Vier featured prominently on my iPod as I walked to work. I know their music is seen as repetitive, and to some extent it is, but it brings back many happy memories.

I think it must be related to my Aspergers, but the song that drilled itself into my brain was “Pocket Calculator” from the album “Computer World”. You see, that particular track is very sparse, the lyrics are spoken and the themes simply repeat over and over again.

Pocket Calculator

Computer WorldI find it a very comforting track, almost an aural hug, if you like. It’s  stripped down nature has a calming effect on me, and having it play in my head for hours at a time allowed me to reach a state of detachment meant that I could do my job without perseverating on my situation. One other thing that makes this track special for me is that back in 1981 I saw Kraftwerk perform at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool on their Computer World tour. This is the tour that was famously delayed as the band had to work out how to bring the entire Kling Klang studio with them. I don’t know if you can imagine the sight of a couple of thousand Kraftwerk mad Scousers dancing like berserkers while four men stand on stage behind what look like post modern ironing boards not moving an inch. It was a fantastic night, and I remember being one of the crowd after the show pressing their faces to the bars over the green room window shouting our thanks to the band. BTW, Liverpool loves, and I mean, really loves Kraftwerk.

Another thing about this track is that it represents the actual birth of Electronic Dance Music. If you’ve ever been to a rave, attended a Skrillex concert, bought a track by Daft Punk, Deadmau5 or Swedish House Mafia, you owe it all to four guys from Dusseldorf. I know this may sound like hyperbole, but listen to the riff at 2:50 and tell me otherwise. I have to say that it seems a bit weird to have been present at the creation of an entire music genre, but I was, as was everyone else who attended a gig on that tour or bought the L.P.

So now you see why I made no attempt to work the song out of my consciousness. I just couldn’t. It was like a self generated security blanket, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. As things have calmed down and my life has assumed a state of what for the sake of argument I’m going to call normality, the track has popped up less and less often, and pretty much not at all for the last couple of weeks. I don’t know if it was purely a stress reaction, or if the book sparked something, but whatever the reason for it popping back into my head and taking up residency, it did me the world of good. I’ll be fine from now on, as long as no one tells me “You can dance if you want to”.


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Filed under entertainment, mental health, Music