Offended… any need?

In this world of politically correct rules and regulations I find myself walking on egg shells with this dark old sense of humour I have… I often observe people being offended and to be honest about 95% of the time I’m not sure they should be. I often think that being offended is a mindset that people have already decided they’re going to have before even a single word is uttered and it can often reflect more about the person who is offended than the person who is being offensive.

What good does being offended do? And do we ever have the right to actually be offended? I often find that expressing offence makes people look a bit like they’re being a dick. When I say the word Fuck or even the dreaded C word so many people look in horror at what the bad lady just did. But these are just words. Perhaps it should be considered that the intent behind the words need to be thought about before offence is taken. So when people banter, should we be offended? No, banter is just that, I get regularly told that my feet are small so I can stand closer to the sink. Yes I’m a working woman, does this offend me? No it makes me laugh and results in a hilarious retaliation. With the right people banter can always be upped and that’s what makes it fun.

Perhaps I’m just way too chilled. Today I witnessed some stupid behaviour, road rage is one of the silliest. Like what is the point? A guy was sat behind beeping his horn at my brother who couldn’t move any further forward. My brother gets irate because he can’t move forward, the guy continues to beep because he was blocking the road down to his own stupidity and so there was a stale mate going on. Everyone being offended by everyone else. What the hell was the point? The answer, none, I just don’t see why people get so stressed out. If there’s nothing you can do then save all your gum bumping until you can. It’s that modern day throwback to the “I challenge you to a duel!” When one person dies at dawn and actually it’s all about ego… is there really any point?

There are times when yes being offended is justified. If someone’s rights to be equal are oppressed then yes being offended if you are that person is totally fine and expected. People should be standing up for the oppressed, by pointing it out and asking for change. What gets to me is when someone isn’t offended at all and yet someone, a by stander to the one not offended whips out their HR manual quoting rule 7.2.8.b word for word and causes a stir. Is there really any point? Would it not have been better to just check first if the situation was actually causing offence?

I lived with someone once who found Gavin and Stacey offensive, because it showed Welsh people in a negative light, when actually it was portraying people that really exist and was written collaboratively by Welsh people and the portrayal of English people was just as negative if we are to see it that way.

My favourite anecdote about being offended was a night at a comedy club arranged by a team of girls who love to be offended. There was nothing really offensive going on, the comedians were taking the piss out of life situations and making a mockery of things as they are. Yet this entire little clique managed to find it offensive and the look on their angry faces was almost funnier than the comedy itself. The irony being that they had booked the damned thing in the first place!

So my thought for the day… chill the fuck out! Step back… are you actually offended? Or is your ego in someway just hurting or are you seeing this as some sort of way to grab five minutes of attention?

Yes we all know there are things we should not say, we all know there is a history of human kind where the behaviour and mind sets were offensive and wrong. But this is the past, it’s done, we need to move on. I don’t need to burn my bra on the street to prove I’m an equal, I’ll just carry on being equal and say a firm “fuck you” to anyone who disagrees. I’m not offended by the immigrant who comes here to work their arse off at a job most people born on this soil wouldn’t dream of doing. For me the most offensive thing a person can be is ignorant. But I generally prefer to laugh at it, what is the point in getting upset when someone is so ignorant they can’t see the truth of the world in front of them? Just take a step back and laugh at their stupid, because you don’t need to worry, and they have no idea they should…

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No more boring

Today I’m back to disappointment, we’ll sort of. Perhaps it’s not disappointment, it’s not gone that far. The guy I met last Saturday came over last night but to be honest it just didn’t feel very good, or right and I was bored within minutes of him getting here. We’re just not compatible I think he could feel my boredom.

I was back to how I felt a few weeks back when I was trying to forget the one, this time though realising that I wasn’t really trying to replace someone, just more trying to find the right person to spend my time with, and this guy just isn’t him. When you have a high sex drive and your guy doesn’t, well it’s a problem. Or when you want things someone is too nervous to give it’s also a problem. Cruel perhaps but I’m done wasting my time, I’m looking for someone better and I’m not here to provide therapy for almost divorcees who clearly have one foot stuck in the past, he still lives there for god’s sake. I’m used to guys who get excited by decent underwear and at least make an effort when they turn up, but this guy did none. Just back from work, forgiven a little, but still clearly in work mode but not willing to get that shit off his chest he bored the hell out of me instead by saying nothing.

His reaction to my effort, opposite to his words was a cold limp nothing. Frustrating. Especially when there are other guys that could have been there instead.

I think I’ve got to the realisation that I just don’t want a relationship, okay I got there a while back, but someone to do what I need is important, the rest I just don’t care. I’ve got absolutely no interest in the whole dating and talking, I just don’t care. Why is it so wrong that a woman can want this, men do this all the time but when a woman does this back she’s some kind of slut.

No strings fun is so much easier than getting invested in someone who wants you to commit but will never do that back. I almost contacted Mr Married because, with him I always knew where I stood and I was happier being the dirty little secret (or not so secret) than trying to make it work with someone who wanted more than I could give or wouldn’t give anything back in spite of getting it all. However I’ve deleted his number, probably a good thing really.

Perhaps some people are just not meant to be in relationships, perhaps that’s me. I’m happier having sex and then going about my life separately. When I think about the expectations a relationship brings to be honest it scares the shit out of me, I’d so rather live in my own place doing my own thing, I just don’t want to share everything, and for me romance is dead, it just doesn’t impress me. I’m too cynical, I’ve been hurt too many times to ever believe in that stuff again. Is being played being gullible? Probably. So how do you spot when they’re not? You can’t.

Perhaps this is why I don’t believe in marriage, I’ve never really seen a truly happy one. So is this a low? I don’t think so, I’m actually pretty happy today, my daughter turned 15 today, she’s hanging out with friends. I’m alone with my dogs, doing not very much, feeling no pressure and thinking about the new job I just accepted.

Yesterday was the past, it’s forgotten, the guy last night is the past too, I won’t see him again. All the others are also the past. I’m strong enough now to not need to cling to memories or feelings that should be done and dusted. I had to block yet another stalky guy, because he didn’t get the message and wouldn’t leave me alone, he has no right to know what I’m doing, especially as he’s never met me before. Mr clingy 2 has been told outright to leave me alone, that I have no time for him and don’t want to date him. Telling someone no is perfectly okay.

We’re back to the usual, same old crap of the ones you actually like are just not ready, and the ones you don’t never getting the message until they push you as far as having to say something hurtful because they just don’t listen.

So I’m looking for a guy that matches me, a guy who doesn’t get offended over stupid shit, or expect me to spend half my time eating food that makes me fat because eating is just not that important to me. I’m bored of gastro pubs, bored of shit music, bored of sex that has no passion. If I wanted that I would have got married. I see nothing wrong with doing whatever the hell I like with whoever I like and enjoying whatever it is for the moment. Perhaps it’s time to meet naughty snapchat guy 2, he works away in the week so he might just be what I need, time alone most of the week but fun when I want him… provided he can actually back up his words…

You can’t complete what’s already whole

The duality of the extroverted introvert. That’s the issue that burns bright today. With no wish to perform today I’m emotionally exhausted and feel the weight of the daily tasks that even smiling is painful. Is it a change in the weather? Perhaps the emotional turmoil that has got me to this point, I’m not really sure. But the last few months have got me to a point where I need a time out.

I was really angry this morning to find I was being followed on social media by one of the guys that I’d respectfully but firmly told I did not want a second date. So of course I blocked him. This guy had seemed charming initially but upon meeting him had become more and more needy and was demonstrating to me that I had found someone I definitely didn’t want. I had told him straight off that he wasn’t what I wanted and initially he’d seemed okay about it. But no, the sneaky guy had instead set him up as a follower on my Facebook account. A clear sign that he’s dishonest and someone to be wary of.

It’s easy these days to find someone and know everything about them without even meeting them. And quite frankly a little bit scary. I’m doing pretty well now at being able to tell a guy I’m not interested, and it’s really saving me time and my conscience.

I appear to have gained another Snapchat extrovert who keeps me entertained which is pretty funny, I seem to have two competing for my read receipt. The world is becoming a funny old place!

My Saturday guy has asked for another date, he seemed really nervous, it was pretty sweet. It’s nice to have someone who doesn’t just assume regardless of a night of passion. I’m not so easy as all that, it’s gonna take more than a couple of dates to keep my attention… something the previous guys never seemed to quite get and something I don’t think I realised before I had the luxury of.

I’m enjoying taking back my space today, even if it’s my own space up there in my head. The app removed from my phone for when I’ve got time, otherwise needy messages from Mr “Pick me!” Or Mr “I want to send you my Snaps” get a little bit distracting. I’m happier just as I am, not committed just yet.

I’m about to drop one of the super clingy ones, I’ve left him stew a couple of days after his bombardment of texts and demands that I must not date anyone else. Again, I do what I want, I think I’m making it clear but it will be super clear tomorrow.

The field of work I’m in allows me the luxury of being fairly wise to how social media data is collected and stored so I can catch a person who looks at my profile pretty easily. Interestingly, mr Ghosty McGhostface as we now call him, checks it out several times a day, so I post something public just to show I’m doing just fine. Sometimes it all disappears for him when I make it private, it’s a little bit fun to mess with the head of the guy who watches from afar but doesn’t have the guts to actually do anything about it… lol! Passive aggressive? Yes, but also a little bit fun.

So introvert me kept her headphones in today and did quiet work. Introvert me just wasn’t in the mood to discuss office politics or gossip or anything really apart from to reminding a work colleague about his crashing and burning when he was supposed to be my wing man!

The trouble with a male wing man, as I’ve discovered, is that everyone gets scared off and they assume you’re in a relationship, because it’s just not conventional still for a woman to have the majority male friends. But I am that girl, I always have been and always will be. It’ll take a guy with a good bit of self esteem to accept that I think. It’s scared off a few. I’m like the girl with a large family of big brothers. That’s pretty intimidating for any new guy. I’m the girl with her own bike, no need to ride pillion. Her pets are scarier than yours and she’s not afraid of spiders either.

I’m not particularly masculine in how I look, I don’t think I’m particularly anything, but I’m strong of mind and know who I am. Taking the time to be alone has helped me realise this. When the dickhead in tinfoil keeps turning up they don’t find a damsel in distress because introvert isn’t an issue, and when it’s extrovert time she’s got plenty of friends. It’s difficult to complete someone who’s already complete, actually it impossible you can only enhance, and that fragile male ego can’t cope with that realisation. And that is why I no longer chase, because there’s just no need. The universe brings what’s meant for me, when I focus on what’s most important and forget about the petty things, great stuff happens. The Autumn equinox has bought about something new. Someone whole, I’ve learnt my lessons. They were difficult a while back but they gave me the strength to carry on, to get stronger, to smile anyway, to rise above it all and realise that I just wasn’t as broken as I thought. Because once you take away the broken label, you’re no longer broken, it was merely a perception of my own self esteem. Once I decided I wasn’t, the broken parts no longer existed.

Pragmatism

So today brings some pragmatism around life for me. It’s been a bit of a crazy couple of years with lots of changes, positives and some disappointments. The changes that happened some through choice, many with no control from me whatsoever and I reflect on the impacts these have had on my life.

Interestingly the first change, the catalyst for all other changes, the breakup of a 15 year long relationship was perhaps not the most traumatic on reflection, but the ability to actually let go and lay it to rest took a few months. Perhaps because we’d both checked out years ago, but the security blanket of each other that had become dogged, showing its wear needed to be taken away. Letting go was the hard part, realising I can do this alone was liberating, as initially I searched for my self worth in the hands of others only to find that it could be broken just as badly as it was before.

Self worth today comes from within. It certainly gets challenged from time to time but because the float of my self worth is now an internal aid and not external, like arm bands in the swimming pool or stabilisers on a bike, it keeps me afloat to survive the changeable oceans of life with their calms and their storms as I travel this journey.

This morning’s thoughts upon waking, like a dawning of realisation as ‘the one’ and every other crossed my mind were “perhaps I never really loved him after all?”. It felt good, the realisation that all this time I’ve been growing and leaving them all behind. I’ve been playing with boys all this time and actually I think it’s really time to fly solo before considering a date again.

I’ve been chatting to a few matches online but I’m not in any mood to meet any of them just yet. I’m biding my time until I’m 100% ready this time. Someone is going to have to really impress me this time before I even consider meeting them. I’ve just cancelled a date with a friend of a friend that I was meant to have. I’m just not in the right place to consider letting anyone else in. Time to cleanse this mind of mine.

There are better things I can be focussing on. My daughter can have even more attention. What I’ve noticed is that if I don’t prioritise these guys I match with, the ones who are worth my time will actually wait for my response, the ones who aren’t will pester me, get nasty and then unmatch me. These are the ones who would have been controlling. They can’t handle the fact I have a life of my own and anyone who is honoured enough to be let in will have a place but not all of it. I’m just not willing to compromise anymore. I don’t need someone to share everything with, if I want to share experiences I have a fantastic daughter and some amazing friends.

I don’t need the complications of trying to bolster some guy’s fragile ego because he can’t compete, I’m not competing anyway, I’m being myself. My home life is happy, it’s chilled out, there’s no desperate searching for the girl I once knew because she’s sat right here, she’s back to full strength. I didn’t need anyone to complete me, I did it all by myself. The next person I let in will be whole too. I’m done with broken, I’m not here to fix people because the only person who can fix you and make you happy is yourself. I don’t need anyone to make me want to be a better person either, I can just be better anyway. So as I swipe left on all the ex’s, the broken ones who nearly broke me too, I’m smiling, I’m not broken anymore. Seeing my daughter’s dad earlier in the week I just felt nothing, no hurt, no anger, no sadness just happy. I’m happy that I have a wonderful child who grows into an adult, a clever responsible one too. I’m happy for the hard work that went into getting to today. I’m happy for the closure, happy for the happiness that is just there now without having to try. Everything makes me smile, even small annoyances, I just choose to not be offended by the stupidity of people who can’t open their minds to the world right in front of them. It’s a rainy cold day but it’s good the sun shone through and that’s what you have to do when you think about life. It’s not ever going to be perfect, you can have everything and feel nothing, the happiness comes from being grateful for life, for the small things, but for also the glow inside that true happiness is, I don’t need handbags, a new car, big diamonds or anything material, I just need my thoughts and my freedom to think them. That is where true happiness lives. The pragmatism of stepping back and assessing it for what it really was and what it really is now. There’s no need for games to win, at love, at life, at anything. The happiness comes from the wholeness of living with a purpose, my purpose I think is to be myself, to share what’s here in the depths of my thoughts and to show my daughter there’s a better way to living than worrying about being loved, instead send your love out to the universe and it will come back times three…

Lone female in the board room alert!

Uh Oh! Do we have a female in our midst?!? She must be a witch? Burn her! Hmmm yeah… or perhaps listen to her singular sentences, she may just be talking common sense…

What is it with insecure men? Yes at home you clearly don’t wear the trousers, we get it but here just because you are doesn’t give you license to overrule a good idea. Isn’t it funny how sometimes a female in the office is treated with such suspicion when she dares to interject with an idea, or perhaps question the rationale of a strategy? Our gender roles are still very much what defines us to an extent, even when the laws of equality in the workplace tell us otherwise. Women are for… well what are we for? Okay, well my approach is different, I nurture rather than destroy. I grow ideas, plant them allow someone to run with them. That is what I do.

Dare I challenge he of the sword wielding variety? Well today is definitely the day. The Viking warrior revealed to be a woman gives me hope. We can call be warriors in our own remit if we dare to be. And thus comes the duality of being a woman and where my gender role and my professional roles are different. Who’s to say the Viking warrior wasn’t also a mother? However getting that across is sometimes difficult. This isn’t meant as a sweeping statement because a lot of men are perfectly happy to work with female colleagues and take expertise on face value. But you do come across the odd “man’s man” and this is where you need to work in a different way to gain the respect you should have been given in the first place.

We all saw the article about the guy who replied to an email using his female colleague’s account and was horrified at the difference in response. This isn’t uncommon, in fact I would suspect that this happens everywhere to some degree. I’ve met plenty of sales reps in my field of work who see me as the forty and not the expert… honey… I’m the one justifying the reason for your purchase order to be signed… so take note!

But how does this happen? Some of it is a hangover from days gone by where women were secretaries and made the tea until they got married at which point they stopped working to look after the children. I was horrified as a teenager when my grandmother told me she went to grammar school and they were all coached how to be a good secretary whilst the boys got trained for whatever role in middle management they desired. Remember in those times, CEO’s came from different backgrounds, social mobility was only beginning. I was going to grammar school to reach for whichever damned star I desired! However; perhaps it’s worth considering this was still the done thing, even as late as the 80’s so the change has been rapid to get to where we are now. We have to consider social background and attitudes too, this isn’t a working class thing, this is an all class thing, the outlier in difference here being the class formerly known as the Middle class background. But of course in today’s apparent classless society where we can apparently be what we want to be without boundaries, we have to play nice together regardless of background if we’re to be successful. The old boys club is still present but it’s strength is severely diminished and we have to work to keep it that way.

I sometimes wonder if it’s more my difference in approach. I’m direct in my approach and some people don’t like this, being challenged professionally by a woman who can play the boys game as good as the boys is sometimes seen as intimidating. Some men just don’t expect it and are pushed off centre by it. I think essentially this is an insecurity on the man’s part, I see it in relationships all the time. I guess if I own the table, the chairs, the keys to the door and the rest of the whole shebang then what the hell is he gonna bring to the table? That’s why insecure men run from strong women. But, in the board room? There’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. The usual reaction is defensiveness, or at worst, undermining and outdoing. At this point it’s time to change my approach, do the opposite, plant the seed and let them come up with the answers. It’s the long game we have to play, but it works.

Pragmatism is an art, to be a success you have to learn how to do it. Gun ho is great if you wanna be lonely in your work, but… sometimes you’ve gotta take the back seat and let them drive till they’re confident enough to accept you’re actually pretty good at giving directions. Takes longer for sure! But when it’s the difference between it getting done or having a war, the long game has to be played…

Walking off the path

Today’s conversation in the lobby whilst getting my coffee and catching up on the world (it’s the only place where the wifi works) was an enlightening one I guess, into the ways you’re perceived when you’re out of context to your every day real life.

I was approached by a Yorkshire man with a very broad accent who’d spied me in my secret garden yesterday and asked if I wasn’t a bit afraid of all the creepy crawlies to which I’d replied not really, there’s hardly any here anyway, just a couple of ants. He’s noticed my daughter injecting her insulin and had asked about how often she has to do it, so I’d explained her regime and that it’s sometimes tough but she copes really well for her young age.

The guy was well meaning but perhaps not school clever, probably practical clever perhaps. So he started asking about work, what do I do? He’d asked if I was some sort of beauty therapist. This set me laughing in my head because it was so far from the truth it was unreal! So I gave him my actual job title, he looked very puzzled, a data architect? What is that buildings? And so I explained not, it’s IT design around Data, gave him a brief blurb about the kind of stuff I do, keeping to laymans terms. All he really understood was that I make the internet. Not quite but easier to let him believe that than argue. He suggested the internet was taking the need for paper rounds for his boy away and perhaps it wasn’t such a good thing. I humoured him a little and suggested his boy might learn code. He said it all sounded a little bit too clever for his boy, his boy would be joining him in manual labour when he hit 16, if it hadn’t been for the closure of the steelworks he’d be joining him there. I kind of understood his anguish, it was similar to that of the Minors’ perhaps in the 80’s still hanging on decades later, the small knit communities where progress meant poverty because the way of life they had, was all they knew, would disappear. I believe that actually we have a need for all sorts of roles to make our society flourish, and actually a job for everyone should exist. We forget that not everyone is ‘school clever’ and that there is absolutely no shame in that.

If we were all the same level of intelligence we’d have no thinkers, no writers, no builders, no designers, no makers, we would all be fighting over the jobs we want and avoiding those we don’t. Actually that’s sort of started. The job that isn’t for you is the next guy’s dream and so on. Perhaps the biggest challenge we face is adapatability of our society to go along with the rapid progress we make so that nobody is left behind because it’s when the few are left behind that the resentment towards the progress begins.

The conservative’s love to preach that we’re all in it together except, it’s evident that we’re not. We’re all working our butts off for the few at the top to scrape of the proceeds and keep it for their own means. Clever perhaps but immoral, interestingly a direct mirror of the behaviour of the Roman Catholic Church. Keep the masses distracted so that we can have all the fun.

This is partly why I don’t get angry at BNP voters, Brexiters, and the like because they’re just disolutioned people looking for direction who have been sold a new false tale of hope and are running with it. They deserve pity perhaps because when the blinkers come off or worse still they get what they asked for they’ll realise exactly what pile of shit they’ve landed society in.

So back to the guy who thought I was a beauty therapist, okay so I look after my appearance, I can see where he might get that impression. Perhaps it’s more a reflection of Mrs May’s rhetoric around boy’s jobs and girl’s jobs. It for me presented more of a notion of class or perhaps education divide. You see working class values are still here and something to be proud of to some extent, you grow up, you get a job, you work your arse off and you’re honest. But there’s the blinkered view of you will not pass outside those boundaries, you will not leave the heirachy we have worked so hard to build that keeps you in your rightful place. Your future is decided and therefore hoping and dreaming is not for you my child. To some extent you gender role is also very rigidly defined, men are men and women are women and anything that blurs the lines of definition is to be frowned upon and potentially feared.

I was sad for this guy a little, he would not perhaps get to see the beauty of others points of views and life experiences, he would work until retirement with that millstone round his neck with the average wage, the average holidays, cars, people, fun, family all predetermined and defined by the rules of his background. But perhaps I was sadder for his son, there was the next generation of predetermined destiny, with a path well trodden laid out before him. Read the sun, vote for UKIP, get married have 2 children, teach them school is pointless, that girls and boys have certain roles, that the town you live is the centre of the universe and leaving would be a disservice to your family. I can see how this happens. I can even understand why, it’s not stupidity as such because I don’t believe IQ has anything to do with it. It’s the fear of the unknown, that straying from the path leads to dangers more so than rewards. But it is a dangerous attitude that breeds hate regardless of your perspective on those who are different. The Goth girl “Sophitia Lancaster”, the small child killed on his estate for being a Muslim, the girl in India who reports her rape and is stoned to death for standing up against authority. And it is these attitudes of tradition that we have to work to break. So that that kid can study computer science if he so wishes, that girl in the beauty parlour who reads secretly can go be a forensic psychologist, the bullingdon club initiates become less special, less revered, less in control of keeping the rest of the country at heel when they grow older and assume their destined roles as did father and grandfather before him.

When we realise there really isn’t a destined path at all, that they lied to keep us under control is when we are free to find our destiny…

Introvert

Today was perhaps the most chilled out I’ve felt in some time. Being on holiday with nothing to worry about at this present point in time and nothing I can do about it if I was going to worry I managed to find the mind space to totally empty my brain and relax. Sat by the pool there was an element of people watching too but being hooked on the book I just started reading it was easier to zone out entirely and ignore everything going on around me.

My daughter happily wandering back and forth between the sun beds and the lobby where she could access the wifi (very important when you’re 14) I was pretty much left to my own devices for the day. This for me is probably the best thing about being on holiday with just my daughter. She’s not the needy type and likes to be left to get on with it for at least some of the time, with no one else to worry about I could just read, people watch and swim.

Here is what I’m learning about people. Lots of them hang around in groups, and those groups latch on to other groups and a successful day is when they have latched on all day and made common ground. With the aim of swapping numbers and promising to visit at other end of the country when they get home… blah blah… I don’t really seem to find any common ground with any of these people. In fact I kind of struggle. I’m happier not being in that group and observing from the outside unless it’s a group talking about something I’m actually interested in and I’m in the mood to talk to people. But on days like today I’m actually all talked out, they could come to me and want to talk about my favourite stuff and I still just wouldn’t care.

Small talk is the thing I think I hate most on days like today, it’s exhausting, It makes me uncomfortable, I feel like it’s a bit of a waste of time, I struggle to see the benefit. This isn’t all the time, when I’ve got my extrovert hat on I can small talk like the best of them but when I’m all extroverted out it’s time to go into stealth mode and blend in with the scenery in the hope I don’t get talked at.

I will happily go a whole day without talking to anyone, it really doesn’t bother my when I’m in this frame of mind.

So the day’s events, breakfast, turn on phone to catch up with the world, text off Mr Clingy 5 (dammit and a real text not Imessage) so I get charged to read that he’s giving up unless I message him back… problem solved… money well spent.

Text off the one who makes me forget telling me he’s glad I haven’t picked up more pets and promising not to spoil GoT but will watch the final episode with me when I get back because he knows I’m going to love it. That guy scores points with every interaction to be fair. He may just be a keeper.

Text off bestie hoping I’m haveing the best time. And then Facebook feed check the usual likes and banter etc.

Phone off, apart from stuff with my daughter that is all the human interaction I need today. Specs on, sunbed at the ready with shade and factor 50 to maintain my usual shade of vampire white I set about ignoring everyone. In fact I ace it until the afternoon when I decide to grab a coffee. I’m sat watching some finches raiding an abandoned plate of food and really enjoying studying their behaviour, quite happily lost in my thoughts when dammit ‘animation rep’ has to invite himself to sit with me! There must be a cultural thing here. I can shoot my ‘please leave me the fuck alone’ look very successfully in the UK and people will run. I actually successfully did this to the one once at the gym and he told me I was scary so didn’t say hi that day. This made me laugh. Here in another country my look of death isn’t working at all. I do not wish to discuss why I don’t have a husband here with me or in fact that I never have had a husband and am not sure if I ever want one. The finer points of that appear to be lost here. So after some small talk about dogs and snakes, I suggest I’d like to be left alone now, he still doesn’t get it, but his boss calls him over so I’m saved! As he walks away he shouts “see you down in the main bar for the entertainment show later!” To which I smile, nod and think ‘When hell freezes over!’

I go back to my sun bed and carry on in my own self inflicted solitary confinement for the rest of the day. This is good, there are days when I’m really good at being a human and days when I don’t really feel like it. It’s perfectly okay to just be alone without any guilt that because you’re not having a conversation every second of that day you are somehow a bad person. Perhaps if we all spent less time talking and more time listening and perhaps even thinking we might just all get on better!