The first thing that you should know, is that it is an ungodly hour here in the UK. My eyes are tired, and yet, today has been one of those days.
This week, my blog has suffered. This week, my blog has suffered from.. what was it? A lack of motivation? Writer’s block? No, neither of those.
Time, that was it, time. The very thing most of us never seem to have enough of these days.
Thursdays Thing That Bring Me Joy post didn’t happen, and I felt damned about that. Caught between housework, my blog, working out, the dog and generally looking after myself, things were suffering, once again.
“It feels like I’m running at a wall and bounce back off of it, no matter how hard I try to climb over it”. that was the way I explained it to Wolfie. Enough, I had to allow myself not to be perfect. I had to allow myself not to be everything to everyone, I can only be enough to enough people. That’s okay.
Recently, I’ve been hanging out on the anonymous chat app, Whisper. The ironic thing has been that, in a few short days, at least five once-anonymous readers have visited my blog, rendering them not so anonymous after all (if I felt like some IP address tracking. I don’t, that would be creepy and sad). Indeed, a meant-to-be-humorous post, which was inspired by a Whisper conversation, became an instant hit with another one of my followers. All of those things simply weren’t supposed to happen.
But there has been one word that has come up time and time again to describe me:
What does that even mean? ‘Interesting’ is neither a compliment or a criticism, it’s just.. in the middle, along with unusual, different, and so on. They wreak of ambivalence and they’re real bugbears of mine. If you hate me, let’s wrap up here. If you like me, let’s keep chatting, but for the love of all that is holy, please don’t just keep me hanging.
But my problems didn’t end there.
Not done with four people finding me simply interesting, today I caught up with my family again. I opted for a floral top and jeans over my usual jeans and t-shirt, heck, it’s nice to make an effort once in a while.
“Too heavy” I muttered to myself, holding up a pair of silver leaf-shaped earrings. I opted for simple cubic zirconia studs in the end. Sometimes, less really is more. I checked my overall look in the mirror and smiled. Feminine, soft, somewhat elegant? Definitely a better day.
Picking out a fragrance was perhaps the hardest task of all. A lot of my fragrances are more complicated evening scents, and for a daytime family visit, I wanted something that reflected the occasion; light, sweet and floral, but not so sweet that it smelled like a flower shop or a fruit basket. In the end, I settled for perhaps one of my most expensive options of all, Armani Mania pour femme.
“Ooh, you smell posh!” Mum joked.
“Armani, so yes, I suppose so” I smiled.
“Armani?! Bloody hell girl”, I let out a throaty chuckle.
When I arrived at Mum’s house, I was quickly greeted by the news that I might not have my brother’s company for the visit. That’s always a bit disappointing because I don’t see them often and when I do, I like to see all of the family, not just some of them. My brother is my brother, and then there is my Mum’s lodger and my brother’s friend, Ronan.
I like Ronan, he is multi-faceted and complex to understand. Each time you think you know Ronan, he comes out with something new, the kind of conversation that keeps you on your toes. Ronan talks about food and he talks about TV shows, he talks about movies and gardening, raves and video games. We talked about smart homes and technology, and my decision to buy my Mum a robot vacuum for her birthday. Ronan is a quieter soul, but once you get him talking, he is incredibly interesting to talk to.
He also has an incredibly dark sense of humour, so he and my family get along well, but so do he and Wolfie.
“Hey Helen, do you remember how we used to destress?” Mum asked, shooting me at moderately close range in the arm with a sponge-bullet gun.
“Ouch! What the.. ooh you.. Okay, so it’s a war you want? Where’s the other one?” I laughed, chasing her behind the sofa.
“I dunno, do you want this one?” Mum asked, offering me the gun. I sighted my target on the other side of the room.
“Okay, let’s give this a go” I smiled and aimed for Wolfie’s phone in his hand. The bullet whistled past by a good four inches and ricocheted off of the TV. Missed.
As Wolfie put down his phone and bent to pick up the bullet, I fired another at his ass. Ooh, this was fun.
“Get down on your knees and tell me you love me, baby” I taunted. I cocked the gun with both hands and cocked it at the top of Matt’s cranium. If I was going to take this shot then I wasn’t going to miss.
“Don’t you d- .. you fire that and..” Wolfie warned, holding up his hands in defence. He was used to his brat, now he was dealing with an armed one. Words wouldn’t work here.
“Ooh!” Mum laughed. I cocked an eyebrow at his defiance and, as Wolfie bent to pick up the next bullet, fired one at the top of his head. Once again, it bounced off and fell to the floor.
“Ouch! Right, give me the gun” Wolfie commanded. I laughed.
“Okay, let me just…” I said, pulling the two remaining bullets from the gun. The damage was done, I disarmed the gun and him simultaneously with a got-you-now stare as I handed the bullets back to my mother. I win that round.
Before dinner. Ronan invited me to try out one of his homemade pestos. Give the guy credit where it’s due, he’s an exceptional cook and the fresh basil and oregano really shone through. We sat and chatted about dishes and curries while we waited for Mum.
Today, Mum decided upon pork chops with caramelised apples in a cider sauce, with herby potatoes and tri-coloured carrots. Mum is a good cook, but because of her blood pressure, she eats a salt-reduced diet and so she never, ever seasons her vegetables. When your husband seasons everything, you definitely notice the difference.
Around the table, a lot of questionable behaviour went on. Ronan opted for putting his plate on the floor for the dog to lick clean and Mum upended the plate to gulp the gravy down. Preferring to stick to civilities, I put my cutlery to the side and sat back.
“How’s your blog going?” Ronan asked.
“Yeah, it’s going okay, thankyou” I smiled,
“Where is it?”
“What platform? Youtube?”
At that moment, I thought Ronan was only curious about the software used, so I was fairly safe, for now. Ronan knew I blogged, but I’ve changed my domain since then, and Hear It From Helen is no more.
“What’s your name on there?”
“Mrs Wolfie” I replied hesitantly.
Ronan I … we should talk first…
I have no objections to people knowing what I do, and I have no objections to people reading my blog, either. It’s public domain and it’s here to help you. I try to mix things up and keep a balance of vanilla and spice, it’s just that on the weekend, I knew my last post was on a topic that not everyone knows I write about and it’s a sequence that I put into place so that those who aren’t interested in that stuff get a break, too. In person, most people see me as innocent and lovely, and I prefer to keep that facade up where we haven’t yet had ‘that’ discussion.
No such luck on this occasion.
“I need to excuse myself, I’ll be back” I said, making a quick break for the downstairs loo. I didn’t really need it, but the cool air that swept under the back door and the dark of the smallest room was a welcome reprieve from the intense pressure that I’d just found myself under.
Holy shit, now what am I going to say? Think, Helen, think.
In the end, I opted for the diversion. My absence for two or three minutes would surely have been enough of a distraction? Maybe he’d given up and moved on?
“Is this you? Big, Bold and Bright?” Ronan asked as I returned to the lounge.
“Yes” I said with a sigh. Now, now all I could do was await the aftermath.
No more was said and I excused myself again. Anything, anything to be away from that kind of pressure.
“I’ll be off” I said with a wave. I tried to keep things as pleasant as I possibly could around Ronan. No going back now. Now he knew, now he was judging me, and after last time, the judgement of others is something that I’m still somewhat healing from.
“Ronan knows,” Matt said grimly as we got back into our flat.
“How did he find me? I was hoping some vagueness might throw him off the scent.”
“I forgot, I kind of told him the address…”
I was shocked at first, then laughed.
“Well, that was one hell of a way for him to find out! What did he say?”
“He just said ‘oh, the first post here is about Domination?'”. I laughed harder.
“He asked that in front of my mother?!” I was amazed, that was brazen of him. Was the cat finally out of the bag?
Fortunately, my mother already knows what I’m into and so as such, it won’t have come as a surprise to her. But that, my lovelies, is a whole other story for another time.