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Third

I’ve known Louise for over 10 years, and we’ve just celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. She is my friend, my lover, and my wife. She will be the mother of my children (soon darling…soon), and carer of numerous puppies/kittens and maybe even a parrot(?). We have been through a lot together, and survived it all. We now have a relationship that will support us.

We can be friends when we want, lovers when we desire, and if it wasn’t for that funny choking thing she does when she brushes her teeth in the morning, the relationship would be perfect (I don’t have any faults…)

To outsiders, we may not seem close. We are not a ‘coupley couple’, we don’t go in for large public displays of our love, and we both respect each others space and boundaries. Admittedly I’m not as demonstrative as I could be, but I’m a lot better than I was. We understand each other, almost to a psychic level – Keith can confirm two occasions – and are comfortable in each others silence.

Our long history helps us, experience and hindsight guides us, and neither of us can imagine not being with the other. I was once asked, how I knew I loved Louise. I struggled to put it into words, how do you qualify love? The best answer I could give was:
I can see us growing old together.

Doesn’t really capture the magic does it? But it is the stability, the reliability, of our relationship that we both thrive from. Day-to-day our love flows smoothly, always present, burbling in the background, every now and then swirling noisily, splashing, gurgling, but always flowing, carrying us onto our future.

Three years, so far so good (well for the most part), here’s to the next three, and the three after that…but let’s not plan ahead too much, who knows where our river will flow?




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Depression

It feels odd to discuss it after almost a year. It was a strange period of my life.

My overall memory was of a feeling of numbness, that nothing was really happening, that I was stuck in a weird dream. I could hear myself talking, saying horrible, horrible things but it didn’t seem like me. I was detached to the point of self-delusion. It felt like there was a glass wall between me and the rest of the world.

Of course, from my point of view I was fine. Yes, I’d made a few major decisions, one which I will regret for the rest of my life, but Louise came back. Trouble was I couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about. I felt nothing, thought little (to begin with) and let my life unravel.

I do remember that my concentration was completely shot, my mind would veer off constantly, I couldn’t take any thought through to its conclusion, and whilst day-to-day activities weren’t a problem, as soon as I had any free time I would end up sitting, thinking about a million and one things, and not registering any of them. That was when I started writing. It was a way to capture my thoughts, to help me retain a sense of sanity. I would return to the writings, and start over, but each time it would descend to nothing more than a ramble. Slowly the ramble started making sense.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step. I started worrying about my state of mind, and looking back I had started to come out of the numb state I was in. All of a sudden I realised I was alone and I wasn’t coping. So I decided to get some help, that buzz word of the late 90′s – counselling.

A few counselling sessions later – voilá – I was cured. No it wasn’t that easy, but I was helped by the fact that I could analyse my own thoughts, in the end all I was getting out of the sessions was agreement.

As is the same the world over I have several traits and personality quirks that I can trace back to my parents, and further back to theirs. My main problem was that I hadn’t ever realised who I was, I had the impression that I was living a life that was expected of me, and yet I was constantly telling myself (and others) that my parents brought me up to be free thinking, and let me build my life the way I wanted it. The path I took was to try and create the son I thought they wanted. Of course all they wanted was me, however I turned out. I came out of the counselling sessions searching for myself, and slowly I’m beginning to find the real me.

I was pessimistic, always looking for negatives, I have failed many times, and hurt many people, friends and family alike. Now I no longer dwell on matters I can’t control, and I’m constantly looking for positives, although I do still keep a wary eye on the negatives, it’s now a sideways glance every now and again.

The main positive: Louise and I are now stronger than we ever were, or ever thought we could be, and that is one of the oddest things – that so much good should come out of my depression. Add to that a much stronger relationship with my parents, and all in all the last year has been the best I can remember.




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Plans

Planning for the future is an eternal habit, ‘I will lose weight’ ‘I will sort out our finances’ ‘I will exercise more’ ‘I will get myself better organised’.

Never works though, does it? I’ve had plenty of ‘fresh starts‘, ample opportunity to take control of my life properly, instead of ambling along with the same old (bad) habits. Never seems to work.

Well I’m about to make another fresh start and I’m determined that, this time, it will work. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m determined! No longer will I have to suck in my gut when walking on the beach, I won’t have to search the racks for the ‘next size’ trousers. I will start eating healthily, nurture my body and mind, and develop my integrity. We will go on holiday, start a family soon, and I will get a 1966 Mercedes SL convertible (white of course).

No seriously…I will (stop laughing at the back!)

Of course starting all of this is easy, keeping it going is the difficult bit.

Around 10 months ago I made several promises to myself and to Louise. I’ve not been to bad at keeping them (though I’ve had to be reminded of a few) and our relationship is stronger than it’s ever been. We talk when we have problems, laugh when we don’t and I buy her flowers every now and again for no reason at all. She is my confidante, my friend, my lover, and soul mate. Even if it did take me a while to realise it. Anyway, I digress…she always makes me do that.

Naturally, Louise and I have plans, and they are simple. Get a house, start a family, live happily ever after. That’s it. Yes, wonderful holidays, new cars are all hoped for, but they are not, and never will be, the main aim. We plan to be together.

And have a white 1966 Mercedes SL convertible…(but a ’84 would do!)




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