Thursday, 26 March 2015

ENGAGED

I have to put this in big excited capital letters because I am so happy about it:

I AM ENGAGED!!!

A wonderful spiral of every increasing feelings and emotions bought me to that point last Saturday. I shared a truly magical week with my partner in crime and in love. We nurtured each other back into our hearts. Little did I know that at the end of that rainbow there would be a ring. One circle to find them, one ring to bind them!

A beautiful romantic moment. Yet one that I did not expect to be asked about so much. I forgot. You get engaged and people ask you:
a) Can I see the ring?
b) Have you set a date?
c) Did they get down on one knee?

A – Yes. B – No. C – eerrrrr.....

So it’s a bit of a long story because it’s more about the story of that week, than the scenario of the proposal.

It all started at my besties lovely country cottage.

She was away in Spain, we took advantage of the peaceful countryside location. The long lost novelty of a log burning stove. We took nothing but a wide variety of different types of logs for experimentation with heat, fire and flames, books and food.

It was just the tonic I needed to reset on the Thursday night and just what we needed as a couple to start our staycation holiday with some sense of peace. The simplicity of a fire and lounging one single couch together, with our legs entwined, listening to nothing but the crackle of the fire and the countryside noises from outside.

We had some amazing talks, took naps, laughed together. Just hung out. Just together. No booze. No drugs. No excess. Nothing but each other and love.

It made us both realise how much we miss living in the country and I have to confess, I could feel a difference in myself based on the lack of hustle and bustle around me. I could sit at the table all day, watching the trees, the bees and the birds amble by. I slowed down. My mind stilled. I wrote loads. I read loads. And I didn’t feel lazy or inactive or like I should have been ‘achieving something’. It was just what we needed to set the pace for the rest of our week off.

And that it did. We came home Monday morning, much refreshed and ready to enjoy our week off. Driven but not hectic. Productive but not manic.

My newly found slower pace immediately challenged as I walked into the house, our home, and breathed in a sense of urgency and awaiting list of ‘things to do’. Recognising the overwhelming sensation though I was able to swiftly review my mental health, undertook the making of an actual list not a mental list, took the most imminent priority and focused on just that one thing. My loving partner supporting me and being there for all the internal conversation and personal analysis it took to help me to crawl out of the quagmire my mind had so quickly become and remind myself of the calmness of the log burning stove and the rustling trees and place myself back in a relaxing pace. I felt idiotic allowing myself to be immediately overwhelmed but I passed the first test. And with support always there on the sidelines I found love in what I was doing, in myself, and right beside me, smiling me on.

Tuesday I went to Glasgow for my interview to study a Therapeutic Diploma. And aced it! I aced it so well, I got offered a place there and then on the spot. I came out of the centre absolutely flying high, rang home and had a wonderful conversation that made me discreetly cry with joy in the middle of Glasgow city centre. A really really good day.

I had to go to University that night and it was a good but long ole night. My lover waited up for me that night and we spent over an hour or so wrapped in each other in the snug talking about therapy, our future, the  positives in our life, the effort we both make, to self improve. It was a break through moment of clarity for us both. We seemed to be on a very calm and controlled journey of expression of our self discovery as well as openness of our development as a couple. The ying and the yang. Moving together, independent and unique but together we become one whole.

On Wednesday it was so roasty toasty outside we found ourselves sitting in the garden, then pottering in the garden, then totally uplifting the garden, getting new plants, painting the wall, got it totally sorted for spring and summer use. A lovely day laughing, talking and pottering together. Spring was sprung and we planted for the future.

Thursday we did some more work to the house, I worked on my Uni assignment and we ended up in the office together with the sun streaming in the open velux, the crystals spinning rainbows all over our funky office walls. We decided that seeing as there was an eclipse in the morning, the ISS going over at scream early o’clock and technically for everyone else it was a school night, there were a good few reasons to call it a Party and get right on it together. And that we did. We had a most enjoyable night from Dusk til Dawn, playing on our computers, constantly facebooking, being silly, talking ALOT. We stayed up all night, taking it in turns to sit in the comfy Pong chair and spill out our hopes and fears. We watched the ISS fly over the sky at 5:45am and then the eclipse at 9:30am. We laughed so much that night, morning and day. We were so open with each other. We felt like we had found each other again. It was all so perfect.

We decided to organise our scrap book, I spoke to my London bestie on the phone for 2.5 hours. And before we knew it, it was 3pm. We called it a day in the office and curled up in the snug together after showers and comfies were deployed. We fell asleep in each other’s arms and literally carried each other to bed about 9pm on a Friday night.

We both slept really well and woke at 8am on Saturday. We lay wrapped up in each other and talked even more about how great things are between us. What an amazing week we had experienced.  How deeply we loved each other and all the reasons why. I was overwhelmed with the nice things that were said about me. I gushed with pride, with being seen, known and loved. I remember thinking, I wish I had a ring to ask him to marry me. Right here. Right now. We made passionate love. We spoke sweet nothings and forever promises to each other in our afterglow.

Then as I  lay with my head on his chest and his arm tucked under and around me, he pulled me tight and said to me…

 “I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time. And I can’t think of any other time that I have ever loved you more, so Lou, will you marry me?”

… And as I looked up, there was an open ring box in my face!

I burst with happiness. My eyes burst with tears of joy and I said Yes. Yes of course. We kissed. We glowed. We looked into each other’s eyes, forehead to forehead for ages and just smiled, and laughed. It was so moving it was ridiculous!!!

Strangely, we both had plans that day. So after laying about together for a couple more hours I had to go to meet artists at the studio and he had to go fix the car. So we didn’t see each other until I got in at 1:30am!! But obviously we text loads that day.

The day I got engaged:

  • I started my first ever canvas’s (3), one obviously had a gushing love theme...
  • I started a wooden piece inspired by the eclipse and our engagement
  • I climbed about in a skip


Life is never what you expect!

Sunday we announced it to the world and went out for dinner and dressed up nice and took photos and held hands alot, and  felt elated and giggled and decided to not put any pressure on about setting a date etc. We are going to set up a saving account and not do anything other than that. We are going to enjoy being engaged for a year and then we will think about planning a wedding. Maybe. I just want to bask in this wonderful place we have found.

I feel very settled as a result of both securing my uni position and my engagement. In two years time when I qualify to practice, my life will be very different… I will be out of the NHS and I may even be married or planning a wedding!! I have someone who wants me to be theirs and who I am proud to call mine. And I love that we are far from normal. Our life far from traditional. Or conventional. But no matter how different, odd, weird and freaky we get love always always prevails.

Our engagement was so symbolic of the commitment of the new strength in our love that we found last week.
And that is what we put a ring on.

Whatever happens from now on, I feel secure in the knowledge that we are special, I am deeply loved, I have my independence, a beautiful partner, wonderful friends and a great great life. It’s been worth every effort of what we have put in.

Happiness doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel.

Love the Life I live.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

My 40th Birthday approaches!



My 40th year on earth is coming to an end. As I approach the 40th birthday marker point my usual inclination towards event coordination, daring to be daring, humouring my ability to lavish extravagant efforts on others in the name of bloody good fun returns and I thought I had decided do have the party of a lifetime.

After all... one does not imagine having the party of a lifetime beyond 40. Or maybe some people do? Maybe I should? Anyway...

Since I turned 39 numerous people have asked me what the plans are for my 40th celebration.  And so my planning and creating began. A3 pages filled with dreams. Sketches and scenes. It’s all so big, so vast. All in the name of everyone together having a rather dramatic hardcore blast.

My 30th was pretty epic. A true collaboration and gift back to my tribe at a time in my life when I deserved some grandeur, to feel special and to have some bloody good fun. Lady Blue Lou’s Masquerade Ball was truly something. Not least because of the commissioned art, the handmade, hand aged, wax stamped scroll invites, the lady’s limo experience, the incredible costumes, the sweet transvestite shadow dancer or the outstanding band. But for the effort of the 8 women that made it all come together and some more on top.

I was surprised to make 30 years old. My upbringing tough. My teens rebellious and my twenties full of dangerous decisions and devilish behaviour. By the time I got to 30 I felt lucky to be alive, in the mess I found myself in but lucky, with a group of friends who made everything less messy.

My life is completely different now, my self-awareness truly formed and my sense of worth grounded. I am more humbled and honoured to have made it to 40 years old, with no health defects, no criminal record and no harm done.

I never felt my 40th had to be bigger or better. Just something that demonstrates the here and now.

But as I reflected more on what I actually wanted out of the party and how it would engage my time in a year when  I already have some incredible opportunities ahead and responsibilities to uphold, I realised a big party was just going to be too much. I decided to cancel.

Surprisingly the very few number of people I shared this information with deeply objected. And this made me consider the point of it all even more. 

I decided that underneath all my love for costumes, event planning and themed partying was the desire to generate memorable moments. I want to remember my 40th as something special. 

And remember it I will. Special it will be. For the whole year. Because I am going to do something I have never done before. In fact I am going to do a whole load of somethings I have never done before.

I am going to do 40 new things over the course of reaching my 41st birthday. 
It’s not quite one a week, but hey! Some new things need more than a week to get to grips with. This isn’t just a taster session, although I am sure some of it will involve food previously un-devoured by my lips. 
This is experiential learning, moments of madness, memories in the making. A year of fun.

What is a birth after all? It is the beginning of something. So for my 40th, I will be starting on a journey of 40 birth days of something new.

I don't want to spend a fortune, this isnt about jetting around the world to new places, that would be easy, although expensive! This is, what can I find on my doorstep? What should I do seeing as I have lived in Scotland for 19 years, I am an honorary Jock! What simple things in life, as well as some adrenalin pumping adventures can I find in one year?

So the list begins...

No1  - learn how to throw a small party. Not a house party – done, easy, tick! Not a huge year to plan, week to pull together, two day venue dressing event - done, not so easy but incredible, tick! A small venue related, power to the people, non obsessive, simple party. Learn to stand back and let it happen. I can feel my brain twitching nervously at the impossibility of turning off my control freak and questioning me with “What is this? Just let it roll? But but but...”

So that’s mission number one. Throw a party, not an event! Less is more. 

Then in no particular order at this time:
1. As above
2. Publish a book
3. Fly in a Glider
4. Volunteer at the South of Scotland Wildlife Hospital
5. Go into an airport and just fly somewhere for weekend
6. Get into a car and drive somewhere new
7. Go to Wales
8. Eat a deep fried mars bar
9. Bungee jump
10. Climb Criffel
11. Learn Aerial Skills
12. Master two new Hula hoop moves: off body move & slow mo turning
13. Make a mermaids lapghan - www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mermaid-lapghan 
14. Go on a falconry day
15. Climb an actual outside rock face
16. Eat snails in France
17. Go ‘man suited’ to work including moustache
18. Go fishing at sea
19. Walk bare foot in the rain
20. Bake my neighbours a cake each
21. Read Pride and Prejudice
22. See Madonna in concert
23. Watch The Apartment
24. Travel alone
25. Wear a kilt on Burns Night
26. – 40 still to be found

Suggestions from friends I will not be undertaking:
Take this stick, and jam it up your peehole!
Jump out of a plane – done!
Watch Apocalypse Now – favourite film...so done.
Break a bone. Seriously? But done!
Scuba dive – done.
Learn a Robert Burns poem – Done, (Willy Wastle when I worked in Primary schools)
Go to West End show – done, Chicago, loved it!

I will be keeping both lists updated as the year moves on. Publication of the final committed list will be on the day of my 40th Birthday. October 8th 2015.

So for now, this is an open invite to you the public. All ideas and suggestions welcome...