Wednesday, 24 April 2002

Old News - Newsletter April 2002

I am loving being car-mobile again after 3 years! It's old, red, rusty, rattley, can get to 70mph (120kph) if I REALLY have to overtake a lorry, otherwise rumbles along quite happily at 60mph.

But it cost practically nothing, and even after adding on insurance and breakdown cover comes to less than £1000. So, very cheap! Starts every time, and handles London traffic without overheating - what more can I ask for! I'm getting 9 miles to the litre... not sure if that's good or not.

My new office is going OK. We are doing lots of documentation, which is why I am writing a letter instead! I really need the car though, as we are miles from anything, in a business park type area. I'll be joining a nearby gym next month, which I am looking forward to! All this driving instead of walking is starting to show!

Mountain Man and I went to Holland on Saturday for a daytrip to see the tulips. It was something we'd booked ages ago, so decided to go through with in spite of being broken up. Personally I found it a bit of a strain!

We got up at 3am and drove to Gatwick, landed in Amsterdam at 8:00, and spent until 10am trying to get info about where to go. Then we caught a train to the tulip fields and looked into hiring bicycles. Mountain Man had a brainwave that we would train it into the heart of tulipland and then get bikes, meaning we wouldn't need to cycle as much. So we did, only to find ourselves in the thick of an annual flower float parade! It was fantastic, and we were so lucky to see it!

After that we discovered that they don't hire bikes there, and so set off on foot to tour the tulip fields. This proved to be exhausting, and I got really ratty after a couple of hours! We finally found a spectacular field to picnic beside, and a friendly householder to let me use his loo, and then I felt much better! Then hiked back to town and did a scenic train ride, then headed back to the airport and landed at 9pm. Drove home and collapsed - what a day!

Mountain Man went to friends for a braai on Sunday, and I begged off as I really needed time away from him for a bit! We don't fight, but I find being with him a lot stressful. He keeps talking about heading to SA for 6 weeks to save pounds while unemployed if he doesn't find a job soon, and I wish he would push off for a bit to let me start getting over him!

Having said that, I talked him into coming to a pub quiz near T's on Monday night as I wanted him to navigate! We drove right through the West End, around Picadilly, up Shaftsbury and past Chinatown... quite exciting. I would not have managed without him, and the way back was even worse! I shall need a lot more town driving to get the hang of the streets!

Mountain Man and I are still getting on OK anyway. He is enjoying being able to smoke, drink to excess, go clubbing, and stay out all night with mates without being whinged at. He is planning boys trips to Amsterdam and Ibiza... gah. Glad he's not my boyfriend! I am slowly starting to put feelers out into new groups of people, although at the moment all I want to do is stay in quietly and let the baggage fade away. A little hard to do with the Baggage itself sitting in front of the TV! It's going to be a very long 6 months.

Thursday, 11 April 2002

Old News - Newsletter April 2002

Well, it has now been over a week of 'being single'! I was very sad, now I'm kind of numb. Still not angry which is great! It was definitely the right decision.

Mountain Man is having a ball being a bloke - doing mad hikes (60km in one day last weekend!), golfing, clubbing, and all the things I don't like. And turning his room into a disaster zone - I have to stop myself going in to tidy!

I've been a bit busy to do much, but I have been spending time with my Mom, who is loving it! I promise to catch up with everyone soon, once my office move is over - that is dominating things at the moment. I have begun researching cookery weekends, painting weekends and rambling weekends - which I have always fancied doing!

We're not actually masochists - Mountain Man and I are not really expecting living together to work once we start dating - we just don't have many options right now! We can't give notice for 6 months, Mountain Man has nowhere to go, and I can't afford the place on my own. So we are staying together by default really... seems to be working. No fights, just a strange feeling when we wish each other goodnight and go to our separate rooms.

So anyway, let me tell you of the last couple of weeks. As you know we moved to Putney 3 weeks ago - sorry there has been no housewarming, but things have been a bit wierd! The move went well, and we are loving our new flat - it is about 15 mins from Putney rail, and a little further from East Putney tube (although 4 busses come very close). It's really big and airy, and has a garage too. And 2 bedrooms - thank goodness!

For Easter we went to Barcelona. We got there late Thursday night, slept and got up the next morning to find it pouring with rain! We scuttled in and out of museums, had a walk along the seafront in horizontal rain (glad I have short hair), found a place for a lovely seafood lunch, and got back to our hotel around 4. Then a siesta, and out for dinner at 8 - we drank many litres of beer and wine with dinner, and made friends with a couple of ladies from Newcastle who were a hoot.

Then we found a tiny funky bar for a nightcap. Around this point Mountain Man bumped the table and knocked a beer across me, so I tipped one over him (thinking it was funny). We had a little spat about it, went back to the hotel, sorted things out, and broke up. No, I don't remember why, and neither does he. But it has been coming a long time, and was perfectly mutual. We'd each been waiting for the right time to bring it up, and apparently the first day of a 4 day holiday in Barcelona was it!

We chatted until 4 in the morning, then passed out. The next morning (Saturday) we agreed that we still felt the same in the cold light of day, and dragged our hangovers out into the city. We followed a walking tour for most of the morning, had a lie down, and then walked down to the harbour. We took an awesome cable car ride from a huge tower in the harbour to a hill and back - superb views! Then back to the hotel for a bath and change.

I started feeling really ill, but figured I was just still hungover, and at 9 we went restaurant hunting. We got into a very super one at 9:45, and ordered. I was feeling horrid, but nibbled a little bread hoping my stomach would settle. When my main course came I took one sniff and bolted for the door! Poor Mountain Man finished his meal in solitary splendour, paid and left with staff sniggering at him, and got back to the hotel to find me still crouched over the Big White Telephone.

This continued violently from both ends (yes, too much detail I know) until about 3am, when I merely felt dreadful. Mountain Man woke at 8 feeling grim, and began Driving the Great White Bus by midday. We reckon I caught a tummy bug, and gave it to him. So a joint miserable 36 hours proceeded... we didn't leave the hotel at all on Sunday!

On Monday morning we shot out to do some frantic sightseeing - and crammed in as much Gaudi as possible, before turning weak as day-old lambs at midday and grabbing a taxi to the airport. And so home, where we moved Mountain Man's things into the spare room, and began this strange living arrangement.

Last weekend Mountain Man went off with C to do an organised 37 mile hike, involving navigation and so on. There was a 13 hour cutoff, and they made it in 12! Then drove back to London! Madness...

I went to my Mom's on Friday night, and stayed until Sunday night. We had a lovely time - A is away so we hardly drew breath for chatting for 2 days! I got back Sunday night, and Mountain Man's feet were still very swollen from his hike, and he could hardly walk!

My office moves over this coming weekend, and things are a bit fraught. Every project except my baby have been migrated over just fine - mine fails. It has taken the IT team 6 days to get things working, and we still don't understand the problem. Luckily they let me go at 8:30pm Friday night, as everyone else hung on all weekend trying different configurations. I really hate computers sometimes.

I will be at work on Saturday making sure things go alright. *sigh*

My Mom is picking me up from work on Saturday, and I'll stay there until Monday, when I am going to Drive to work. Yes - I have a CAR! Mom found it at a farm auction for £350! The insurance for it costs £465! I haven't driven in two years, and so I am a bit nervous... and getting home is going to be very interesting! Think of me on Monday evening!

Tuesday, 2 April 2002

Old News - Newsletter April 2002

Dear Friends

This is to let you all know that Mountain Man and I have broken up.

We have realised that we have grown apart over the last few years, and that our goals and interests are now very different. We were only staying together at the last because it was comfortable, and now we have decided that is not enough.

Our break up was amicable, and we didn't fight about it, just agreed that our relationship was over. So we want to assure all our mutual friends that we don't intend avoiding each other.

On the contrary, we are going to try and live as digsmates and see how it goes. Yes, I know, wierd. But we are still very good friends and hope to keep it that way.

We are both a bit sad, and also relieved, but not angry. We had a good 5 and a half years, and don't regret any of it.