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Maxine's Journal

Adventures of the Polka-Dotted One

Entries by tag: my crazy life

[sticky post]Welcome to my world
I'm posting this entry for the edification of new readers, as a flag to my important posts (at least the ones important to me), and a map of my world.

My name's Maxine Green. I'm an artist and illustrator by trade, polyamorous (and many other things) by nature, a scientist at heart, and an activist by accident.

My introductory post is here: Butterfly

A continuing series of scribblings about the things that are important to me:
Defining My Terms: 1. Bisexuality
Defining my Terms 2: Polyamory
Defining my Terms 3: Kink
Defining My Terms 4: Radical Agnostic
(because not everything is about sex)
Some More Definitions
Recipe for the Good Life
Defining My Terms: On Gender.

Original Essays/Articles:

SAMOTURE - or This is What an Activist Looks Like (2009-10-01)
Bisexuality & Statistics: Twice as many dates? (2010-07-16)
Secret Loves (why they suck) (2010-06-10)
The Emanixine Creed (2010-10-03)
The big, beautiful shiny rainbow of kink (A.K.A. there's no One True Way) (2011-04-25)
On hierarchies, relationships and cat ownership. (March 9th, 2013)
On how touching someone without asking is assault. EVEN IF THEY LIKED IT. (October 17th, 2012)
I Am Not Here For Your Entertainment. (The Story) (October 25th, 2011)
Self-Evident Epiphanies - Human Beings. (January 30th, 2011)
Hi, I'm poly and I don't exist. (August 1st, 2010)
Polyamory and Statistics, or “Why haven't we found 'our third' yet?” (September 8th, 2014)
Polyamory: Not just many lovers, but many KINDS of love. (March 4th, 2015)
More on Poly and the Media: Diversity Vs. Representation (October 25th, 2015)
From the Archives --- Activism: The Incurable Bug (Originally published on Polytical.org) (December 29th, 2015)
. (.)


Bicon Follow-Up - Poly 201 responses. (2010-09-05)
Bicon Follow-Up 2 - Recipe for Aloe-based Lube (2010-09-05)
Bicon Follow-Up 3 - SM/Breathplay, with link to Jay Wiseman's Essays (2010-09-05)
How to Be Trans-friendly and Subvert Crummy Gender Roles at the Same Time, in Five Easy Steps! (2010-04-07)
Legal Prostitutes Have HALF the Infection Rate of 'Straight' Population (2010-07-12)
'The Bastards! - A sympathetic technique for relationship harmony.' (September 27th, 2013)
More Bad Science - Contraception and Statistics. (a.k.a. Implanon Implants: They're Fine.) (January 9th, 2011)
Pharmacologist cookery, or 'what I cook when I have a cold'. :) (July 12th, 2015)
So You Want To Interview Polyamorous People? (October 1st, 2015)
. (.)

Some more "Me Manual" stuff:

Let's Only Date Grown-ups. (June 8th, 2012)
Form Letter (Response to idiots sending me form letters on dating sites and social networks) (October 23rd, 2013)
On Pain, Punishment and Perverse Incentives (February 3rd, 2012)
One from the Archives: Why I Love Techies. (November 21st, 2014 (Original, 2007))
The Penis Size Rant (September 18th, 2014)
Why My House is a Christmas Free Zone. (December 15th, 2014)
Height is Power (November 3rd, 2015)
. (.)

No doubt I'll edit this further as new things occur to me, and as my essay series grows.

In the meantime, enjoy!



My Grandad's Butter Knife
When I arrived to stay with my Grandad, after he got sick, he was chopping vegetables with a butter knife.

I almost asked him why, but after a moment's consideration I realised I already knew.

An engineer all his life, my Grandad was famous – at least within our family – for making new things out of other things. Need a new wardrobe? We'll whip one up out of this old door we had lying around. A new shelf for the coffee table? I'll just bang one together out of this old fruit box! I suspect there were at least a few other folks outside of our family who appreciated his talents, as he volunteered for decades at the Anson museum in Poynton, making steam engines work, building enclosures and supports and new pieces wherever they happened to be needed, to really get the best out of the machinery that was brought in, but he was always quietly proud of these things. Never one to blow his own trumpet or to brag, he would just quietly get on and make things work.

Some of the best and most memorable gifts I remember from when I was a child were things that had been made out of other things. The sled made from an iron bedstead, which was used once and then forever confiscated for fear of us beheading some other small child, ill-equipped to move out of the way of our heavy and brakeless vehicle barrelling down the hillside towards them at unstoppable speeds. The pop-gun made from an old bicycle pump and loaded with wine bottle corks, which was quietly hidden from my younger cousins after causing havoc around the entire neighbourhood. The indestructible set of hand cut and coloured wooden building blocks, which were handed down from sister to brother to cousin, and are probably still somewhere in the family, being used to build small walls and occasionally beat competitive siblings around the head. He had a talent for coming up with the noisiest, messiest, most dangerous, but above all most exciting toys, all of which were things made from junk that just happened to be laying around in his shed or in the house.
As a grown woman now, I look back and see that some of what lay behind this was that, with a large family and little money, making the best of what he had was always an important part of life, but I also suspect that the reason he had such a way with all of us was because he was firmly in touch with the part of him that had never grown up.

He never treated any of us grandchildren differently because we were girls or boys. It is only in hindsight I realise how unusual that was. If you showed any interest in his workshop he would take you out and show you how things worked. It was Grandad who gave me my first hammer, showed me how to use a screwdriver, all of those basic sorts of DIY and carpentry things, and showed me the sorts of things that you could achieve with just a few simple tools. He also showed me that a lot of the time, if you don't have something, you can make it just as easily as going out to buy it. This is a philosophy that has stuck with me through the years and, in times when I too was short on cash, has made the difference between having what I needed or going without. 'Make Do and Mend', a slogan from his teenage years during the war, was firmly centred within my own childhood philosophy and still informs at least some of my thinking today.

Towards the end of his life, it became clear that Grandad was becoming increasingly unwell with the cancer that would finally kill him, but he remained fiercely independent. Determined to Make Do and Mend his way through to the last. When I came to stay, with the express purpose of helping him out around the home, he initially insisted on cooking dinner for both of us. After all, I was a guest!

That first night, while he was still up and walking around, before the pain and sickness got too much, I watched him chop carrots with a butter knife, and I felt a sense of rightness in the world. We might not have the perfect tools to do the job, but we had a knife sharpener dammit and we could make do.

I was not a perfect nurse. Care giving is something that has never come particularly naturally to me. He was not a perfect patient either. Fiercely independent, he struggled to receive help in any form. Over the coming weeks, though, we fell into a comfortable pattern of companionship. I would work on my laptop, in my Gran's old armchair, while he would watch the TV. Later, over dinner, which he would allow me to cook more often as time went on, we would talk about his teenage years, or about engineering, or about the many crazy jobs he had done in his working years. Having known him all through my childhood, I treasured this time getting to know my Grandad again as an adult, even while it was hard watching him shrink away and slowly lose what remained of his sense of humour, as constant pain and physical weakness started to get the better of him. He was still him, though. Still the man I had adored as a tiny child, climbing on the back of his armchair to comb his hair into ridiculous shapes using the steel comb he always kept in his pocket, laughing along with my delight at the crazy shapes I created, like horns or a mohawk. Still the man who had told me he would drive his invalid cart off a cliff rather than be looked after. We made do.

Later, when it was all over, I gathered with my family to clear out the house. There was one object, and only one that I was determined to have as a keepsake. One that nobody else cared about.

I made a bee line for the kitchen and picked up my Grandad's butter knife. It was razor sharp.

It lives now in my own kitchen drawer, because what is the point of owning a tool if you're not going to use it? (I can almost hear my Grandad saying this even now) – I keep it sharp, as no butter knife ever was, and sometimes I chop vegetables with it. It reminds me that even imperfect tools can make life better, and that a lot of the time in life, you already have what you need... it just happens to look like something else.

Tales of Accidental House Ownership: Emanix and the Sexist Carpet Salesman
So this just happened.

Background: I'm in the process of redecorating my accidental house in Manchester, including the yard, and having spotted a roll of astroturf outside one of my local carpet shops, marked with a sign saying 'roll end sale', I measured up the space concerned and then wandered in to the carpet shop to make enquiries about size and cost.

I just happen to have my henchman with me. He's hanging back behind me as I wander in, because it's not his house and the purchase has nothing to do with him. Nothing about his body language is saying 'pay attention to me'. Apparently this doesn't matter.

We step through the door and the manager has clearly stepped out for a minute. There are two ladies there, and one asks me if I mind waiting for the boss to get back. I'm fine with that, and about ten seconds later 'the boss' walks back in. A smart-looking middle aged indian man in a suit. The lady I spoke to indicates that there is someone here to see him, pointing at me, so I step forward, expecting the salesman to say hello.

"Hello Sir!" he says peering over my shoulder, to Henchman No.1, who is standing several steps behind me, goggling.

I take a quick glance down at myself to check I haven't suddenly become invisible (nope, there I am, in full stripey-and-spotty chaosbunnific glory). I take another step towards the salesman. Perhaps he's short sighted or something.

"Hi!" I say, rather pointedly, as though he'd spoken to me in the first place.

At this point he literally steps AROUND me to ask Henchman No.1 what he's looking for.
Henchman No.1 is silently shaking his head and pointing at me, and right now I'm getting kinda pissed off, so I march back in front of the salesman and tell him "ME. You speak to ME, please."

Mr. Sexist Salesman did rather grudgingly then proceed to talk to me, but clearly wasn't actually paying any attention to what I said, because while I was asking him about the astroturf I had seen outside, marked as 'roll end sale', he then starts pointing me at carpets inside the store. Carpets that are clearly not roll ends, either.

Wow, sexist carpet salesman, this is the 21st century. Do you seriously mean to tell me that you've never had to treat a woman as a potential client before?

Eventually it turned out that the astroturf was NOT in fact in the sale, so I got the price and sizing availability from him and we left. Unless it turns out that his price is the cheapest source of astroturf in the entire country, I don't believe I will be going back, except possibly to let Sexist Carpet Saleman know how much money I spent with a competing store, and why.

If anyone else feels like calling Carpets World to explain why you also will be giving your money to other carpet stores, they can be contacted here:

Carpets World
787 Stockport Rd Manchester M19 3DL (Levenshulme)
0161 248 0420

Some Musings on Nomadic Life
This afternoon I came in to a conversation on facebook inspired by this article: 6 fascinating people who own almost nothing. The conversation wandered into how a lot of the folks who claim to be embracing minimalism and the 'no possessions' lifestyle (and who often seem quite smug and self-satisfied about it) do, in fact, rather carelessly rely on the use of other people's housing and possessions to support their lifestyle... something that works in small numbers, of course, but isn't sustainable over a whole population, clearly. There was also plenty of discussion about the lessons these minimalist folk have to teach us. So naturally this conversation got me thinking back over how I have been living my life over the last few months.

I try to be very conscious of when I am and am not relying on other people's kindness. I have been very lucky since I started being nomadic and living out of my backpack, back in March. A lot of people have very kindly offered me their hospitality and even keys to their houses, so despite working out my initial numbers based on staying in hostels and short lets and things, I've been able to save a lot through the generosity of my friends and lovers - and spend it on taking them out for nice dinners instead, or in one particular case, supporting their indiegogo campaign! When I am staying with people I try to give back in practical ways too, such as washing dishes or making meals, making sure the fridge is stocked, doing minor repairs, offering to baby-sit, helping with the bills if bills need paying, that sort of thing. If at some point I forget that there's a give and take there, though, and start getting entitled about it or assuming anyone other than (possibly) the government owes me a place to stay, or pretending I've done it all by myself, do please shoot me!

On the other hand, I think there are ways in which the nomadic lifestyle could be much more sustainable for a lot of people, which perhaps would emerge naturally if enough folks were doing it: there are already plenty of hostels offering dorm spaces and similar for backpackers (even while I was relatively settled in zone 3, I did occasionally ponder moving nearer in to the centre of the city and only paying rent as and when I needed to, given that the daily rate for a hostel in central London was about equivalent to my rent+bills and also included breakfast- but of course there were at the time other intangibles such as stability, and choice over one's housemates to consider, plus storage for the 'stuff' that I was lugging around from house to house with me). I do wonder how the current offering would flourish, change and compete if that market was to grow significantly. Extending it even further, what would the world be like if we were all guaranteed stable housing as and when we needed it, for as long as we needed it, ('at-will accommodation', if you like) and nobody owned property at all?

Speaking of property, one thing that backpacking really does for you as an individual is that it will make you think very hard about every single thing you buy or choose to carry around with you. When every new item you acquire means than something else has to be thrown or given away, buying 'stuff' begins to take on a different light. As an inveterate 'pack-rat', that's been a real eye opener for me, and particularly for folks who tend to horde 'stuff', I'd recommend trying it, even just for a short while.

I hadn't really intended to be nomadic for quite as long as I now have been. My initial intention was to put most of my stuff in storage just for a little while, go travelling to see friends and family for maybe two or three months and then settle down again, but as all of the work I do is non-location-dependent and I am under no particular pressure to stay in one place, the charms of the 'footloose and fancy free' lifestyle have rather drawn me in. When I do pass through London I have found myself rather naturally reducing my possessions in storage by roughly one crate each time I visit, when I look at things and realise I haven't missed them even for a moment. And the less stuff I have in storage, the less inclined I am to settle down and be weighed down by it. It has been a fascinating process.

I do find that I am shocked more than ever, when I walk by shops selling ornaments and suchlike, by the sheer uselessness of so much of what's out there. Tea, however, turns out to be really important to me (nobody who's met me should be surprised by this, yet somehow I was!) and I now make sure I have a small supply in my backpack to be certain that I have it wherever I happen to be, and usually a travel mug tucked in my belt, as well. Books are important to me too, but I have finally given in and gone the kindle route, because there is only so much paper one person can carry.

There is definitely a sense of freedom in knowing that everything you need for your every day life will fit into a backpack or a suitcase. Knowing that one has the option to take off at any moment means one is never at the mercy of a bad landlord or bad relationship, you can do crazy things like leave the country on a moment's notice, because you know you have everything you need with you, or fly south for the winter, which certainly has a tinge of luxury (though living abroad is mostly cheaper than the UK, in fact). In my case, at this particular time, it has also meant that I could up sticks and move to Manchester to spend time looking after my terminally ill grandfather as his health has been deteriorating over the last few months, and stay for as long as I'm needed. It's hard to put a price on that sort of freedom.

It's not for everybody, though: I know that if I was even slightly less physically able than I am right now, I wouldn't be able to handle carrying both my backpack and the 'mobile studio' I built to take around with me in a suitcase. I am dreading the next time my knee gives out and I have to use crutches, as public transport will be a whole different experience. I could be faced with the stark choice of settling down in one place or giving up my art (or being dependent on other people to move my case for me, which... well, let's say it's a last resort!). There are all sorts of reasons one might need to be static, or have more equipment than a person can reasonably carry. And of course if the work I did was location-dependent, there might not be any point to my minimalism. I'm not trying to pretend that the life I live now is easy to arrange, or even possible for everybody.

There have been hard times too. Finding time and space to myself has not been entirely easy. There have been times when my choice has been between offending my hosts or sharing space, and occasionally even beds with people (and pets) I would not normally choose to. Getting ill and needing several days of hardcore rest whilst visiting in a house without a dedicated guest room was... tricky. And if one has kindly been invited in as a guest, turning down that invitation, or backing out of a stay that one had already committed to, and saying to someone "Actually, I'd prefer to go and stay in a B&B or a hotel for a bit so I can get some space to myself", can seem impolitic, and difficult (or expensive) to arrange at the last minute when something hasn't gone to plan.
Not knowing what city one is going to be in next month can get a little exhausting, too, where long range planning is concerned, but the hardest thing I have had to deal with yet has been accessing medical care whilst on the move; something I have found incredibly difficult even as a relatively well off British citizen in stable employment. The NHS as a whole is not at all set up for patients who migrate, even between just two addresses, let alone many. Walk-in and access centres are not well advertised, and often websites are out of date (we turned up at one that was advertised online to find it had closed more than a year ago), and the ones that still exist are often poorly signposted and in obscure places. I find myself struggling to use the exact same sort of facilities I would have to visit if I was sleeping rough on the street, and wondering how (or if) anyone who is homeless through circumstances not of their own choosing actually manages to see a doctor, other than through visits to A&E. As I am dependent on a regular supply of thyroxine tablets to actually keep me alive, and also having had a chest infection for most of the last month on top of this, that's been pretty stressful.

But still, I do feel incredibly privileged and lucky to be able to live and work the way that I currently do. I hope I come across as neither smug nor self satisfied, but I do think there are some very valid lessons to take away from all this stuff... or from the lack of stuff. :)

Some More Definitions

Emanix (noun, fem.): 1. one who emanates. An originator and creator of things. 2. One who puts out.
(The latter not 100% accurate, at least, not to just anybody, but I couldn't resist the pun!)

Polyamorist (n): one whose life is characterised by a set of complex overlapping calendars and scheduling conflicts and, to a lesser extent, multiple loving relationships. (from bminstrel link)

The latter seems particularly apt for me (apart from a general feeling that the word 'polyamorist' makes something that I feel is an innate part of my identity sound like a career choice - I prefer 'polyamorous person'). Back from a week in Thailand which I left for straight after helping out with Polyday, now recovering from jetlag and looking in despair at a to-do list that stretches on into infinity. Posts will happen though. When I can fit them in between my other scheduling conflicts, that is!

In the meantime, how would you define the meaning of your name or username, if it was up to you?

Drama Quotient: Too High
Warning, contains whining.Collapse )

Gallivanting, Sacred Sex for Skeptics, Superheroes and Boobquake (Today)!
Wow it's been a busy month! A lot of new friendships, a may-be new relationship, a lot of new ideas, and a lot of running around.

Idea 1. I love Frolicon!

The first of April saw me at Frolicon - utterly fabulous. Great to see a lot of the people I connected with last year again. And also a certain person that I only briefly bumped into last year, we hit it off *very* well, and I got to hang out with a lovely portion of the polyfamily, too. That was lovely! Now engaged in one of several 'Sooper Sekrit Projects' which involve a great deal of awesome... and tentacles! Frolicon makes me very happy, and it is worth a lot to me to keep going back there. Where else could I find such people? Perhaps not quite so appealing to werenerd - he and jetlag are not good friends, but I think we'll be back - it was also our anniversary party, after all!

Idea 2. Skeptical Tantra.

Barely had time to breathe in London, catch up on work and spend a little time with my other primary before werenerd and I were off to a Tantra weekend where I yelled at the instructor for spouting sexist drivel, but also was inspired by the challenge of taking what is good and valuable from these practices (and there certainly *are* parts that are good and valuable) and separating it from the pseudoscience and religious babble.
I realise I'm pretty well-placed to do this. I've been studying sex in a casually academic sense for some 20 years*, I have useful knowledge of the real science behind the pseudoscience, and I have worked for and with a tantra school, one of the teachers for which is conveniently a housemate. It's a hell of an undertaking, but the groundwork is there already that would make it possible, and I feel it would be useful to the world. I'm giving this some serious thought.

Idea 3. Rethinking my views on long-distance relationships.

Once upon a time I swore I woudn't ever have another long-distance relationship, mostly based on the fact that every time I have done it's caused me immense stress thanks to partners being not okay with polyamory (often after previously having been fine with it). These days I might flirt with an openly poly person who lived a bit further away, but had been keeping them somewhat casual out of wariness. My experience of poly thus far is that it works better when partners are local. Perhaps, though, if the person(s) concerned are poly activists, it might in fact be worth taking that chance? It's not as if I don't have plenty of long-distance friendships. I still can't see myself taking on a new relationship with a person that isn't already poly, though. I just don't have that kind of energy these days. One policy change at a time, I think!

Idea 4. Being a 'Superhero'.

Having watched 'Kick-Ass', (which was awesome and you all want to see it!) I went home thinking about 'if I was a superhero, what would I call myself?' I came up with the name 'Polly Amorous' and was amazed to discover that this was in fact available as a web domain, so I impulse-bought it and am now considering what to put there. Suggestions welcomed!

Two vaguely serious thoughts followed - one related to my post on being SAMOTURE: that actually, we *are* all responsible for the state of the world we live in, and taking the cop-out option to be bystanders in our own lives... well, it just plain sucks.
From the film: "with no power comes no responsibility... except that's not true."
How does one encourage heroism anyway?

Secondly, that poly people often seem to be considered 'other' by the media in the same way that superheroes are. Every article I read lately seems to include some phrase equivalent to 'this is not for the average Joe', whereas I would protest that we are very much normal people, just normal people with one slightly different belief. I really feel the need to challenge that perception.
So... there will no doubt be related rants, cartoons, essays and other stuff on www.PollyAmorous.com - watch this space!

Idea 5. Boobquake! Today!

Encountered on twitter, details are here: http://www.blaghag.com/2010/04/in-name-of-science-i-offer-my-boobs.html
In the name of science I shall be also be trotting around town this evening wearing the most immodest dress I can, and my lovely housemate getoffmoiland will be joining me. Pics later!

Join the #boobquake on Twitter! For Science!

Next month looks to be equally busy, so I intend to spend much of next week being a 'hermit', attempting to get some artwork done, and getting a little rest in if I can, as well. I shall be remaining in South London, and not allowing people to entice me into town during the evenings, which are always (annoyingly) the most productive part of my day.

Love to everybody!

*For the hyperobservant of you, yes really. I said academic, not in a physical manner. That came a little later.

Good News, Bad News
My life is a game.
(Subtitle: Why I Haven't Posted Regularly for the Last Few Months)

Good news: Polyday happened.

Bad news: I get sick immediately afterwards

Good news: If it was swine flu, it didn't kill me!

Bad news: I immediately get something else.

Good news: A holiday makes me feel better.

Bad news: Travelling sets me back to square one.

Good news: I finally get around to registering at a doctors surgery.

Bad news: It takes weeks to get a referral.

Good news:Having mastitis (and sleeping 12+ hours a day - twice my normal amount) for two months finally flags up that I have an underlying problem, so I can get it treated.

Bad news: Autoimmune thyroid disease means I'll be on medication for the rest of my natural life.

Good news: The treatment works (and I'm on the way to feeling better).

Bad news: When I finally get referred for an ultrasound exam (for the mastitis), I'm out of the country, so have to wait two weeks extra.

Good news: While I'm away, the mastitis finally clears up on its own.

Bad news: The day I get back I find a lump in my armpit.

Good news: I haven't cancelled the ultrasound appointment.

I guess I'm due some bad news next... Anyone fancy taking a guess?

(If I'm really lucky, the bad news is just that I have to get up early on Monday morning to get to the appointment. Cross fingers for me? )

Hoping my next good news is worth celebrating!

- Maxine.

Going out, running around, coming out, and (finally) staying in.
So I've been overdoing it a bit lately with the socialising. Having barely caught my breath from Polyday and aftermath I was a bit silly over the weekend of werenerd's party, and did far too much despite having the lurgy. Then I took the chance on travelling to Italy with my love plus close poly family as we'd planned for an extra birthday treat, in the hope that sitting in 'hot ponds' (volcanic spa pools) on the island of Ischia would help me recuperate. It did, but travelling back again set me back by about the same amount, so in health terms I guess it wasn't worth it. Ischia is beautiful, though, and the volcanic spa thing is wonderful, so I'm glad I went.

The party itself was wonderful - weegoddess wrote a lovely account on her journal, including the couple of miracles that got her there. Masses of fun, affection and cuddles were had by everyone, especially the birthday boy, and several of us as a result decided to start a 'cult'. Check out the Order of the Wand - a virtual temple dedicated to the pleasures of the Hitachi Magic Wand. Join us!

Apparently today is 'Coming out day'. Like a lot of people on my friends list, I had many comings out - the first one to my friends, and brother, about being bi when I was roughly 14, the most recent actually to my parents a couple of weeks ago, having decided I was only going to tell them about being bi, poly, kinky etc. when it was 'relevant' - and up til I was running Polyday none of it really was, though I think they had a fair idea about most of it already on an unofficial basis. I'd never gone out of my way to hide it, it just hadn't been an active enough part of my life to be worth telling them about (sadly).
To their credit, my parents took it really well, especially considering my dad's previous history of crass/homophobic comments, and have now met all of my partners (including my 'half girlfriend' which I hadn't planned on, but she happened along at the right moment). Not that I needed it, but apparently they actually approve.

I officially came out as a geek in 2007, though I don't think anyone was surprised.

Also today I found my first couple of grey hairs. Since the hair on my head is dyed pink, of course the first place they show up is my pubes. I'm 27, do I now need to come out as an old fogey already?

I'm taking it easy at home for a few days now, with the hope of finally beating the bugs (and if I'm up to it, catching up on work), so won't be out socialising much. Next big party, Halloween - I damn well hope I'm on top form by then!


Flying, Fluing, Flown
Amazing party at the weekend - thanks to everyone who came to help us celebrate werenerd being a year older. Also apologies to anyone I gave my lurgy to - I think I warned you all before leaping into the cuddle puddle, but still, it's not being too fun at the moment lugging my tissues around everywhere!

Now flying to Italy at stupid o clock in the morning (see time stamp) to continue very small celebrations with close poly family. Sadly this means missing getting spanked by the lovely Midori, but it does mean recuperating in a volcanic spa. Win some, lose some, eh?

Back next week!

Love to you all!