OK Groomer

As I’ve written in a previous post “The Danger Of Saying Love Is Love”, LGBT people have worked long and hard to show society that we are not paedophiles. We are normal people with an element in our lives that is same sex attraction or gender dysphoria.

I also said that P for “paedophile” has been trying to make its way into LGBTQIA++idon’tknowwhatthisisanymore alphabet soup. The Q stands for “queer”. Queer is not a sexual orientation, but a political orientation. Some queer people are LGBT and have far left politics. Other people who call themselves queer are heterosexuals, but want to have oppression points so that they are not batted down for being a privileged white heterosexual every time they want to talk about foreign policy or health reforms.

Many LGB people say we should never have allowed the Q in.

Much of today’s far left identity politics is rooted in Foucalt (who had odd ideas and some research claims he probably raped young boys) and the Frankfurt School. Professor James Lindsay has a wonderful series on Youtube called Groomer Schools on his New Discourses channel. In this series, Lindsay goes through the papers on queer theory and links it to today’s schools in the USA – which are a few steps “ahead” of schools in the UK – with the promotion of queer theory. Some of the grooming is sexual, and some of it is political.

Recently, there have been a number of high profile LGBT or queer people who have been accused of or arrested for sexual offences, or attempted sexual offences, often against children or teenagers, such as Kevin Spacey and Ezra Miller. Ezra Miller has spoken about being groomed and abused himself in school and in Hollywood.

In recent weeks, many of us have seen disgusting scenes under the banner of Gay Pride or progressiveness or love. Men whipping men, dog fetishists and drag queens dancing like strippers – all in front of young children. This is grooming behaviour plain and simple. It breaks down the barriers in children’s minds about what is normal and what is not, what is for adults and what is for children.

Most gay people are not into whipping or dog fetishes or stripper behaviour. This does not represent LGBT people, and whatever it is, it is not for children.

No child is heterosexual or homosexual or bisexual or trans. Children are pre sexual.

This is why we have age of consent laws. Children do not have the mental or emotional capacity to have a romantic or sexual relationship. Their bodies are not formed to have the capacity to have a sexual relationship – specifically the genitals are not fully formed, are not big enough, for a sexual relationship. Nature, God, the universe has designed children to be children. Bodies mature in the late teens. Brains mature around the age of 25. We have age of consent laws for a reason.

It is mainly white heterosexual parents who are taking their children to Pride marches or drag queen strip shows or drag queen story hour. Drag queens do not represent LGBT people. They are perverse and are not for children, so stop taking your children to these events.

I have been at LGBT events where there has been a drag act or a strip act, and a room was provided for myself and all the other religious LGBT people and anyone else who does not want to see those acts to go to. There are non religious LGBT people who hate drag and sexualised content. It does not represent us. We are normal people who want to live normal lives.

Parents can explain to their children why their classmates have two dads or two mums. That is easy and takes less than two minutes. It costs nothing.

Many of us have seen the leaked Disney zoom meetings where a new person in management is talking about how she is going to put “queer” content in as many Disney films as possible, including same sex kisses. She is determined to make Disney “queer”.

Why is she not determined to make good stories? I’m a writer, and I do write novels for adults with LGBT characters, but their gayness or transness is not the story. The story is ex police officers fighting knife crime, people trafficking and the UK grooming gangs. I am determined to tell good stories, and tell the stories that are not told by the mainstream media – the stories of working class people in the north of England. However, I aim to tell them in a palatable way.

What is wrong with showing a same sex kiss instead of an opposite sex kiss? All children are pre sexual. As a child, I never expected to see a same sex kiss. Why? Because I was pre sexual and so I was not obsessed with kisses.

Who is obsessed with kisses? Adults with problems. As an adult, I am not obsessed with kisses because I am a normal, balanced human being. Being bisexual does not make me someone who is obsessed with kisses.

No one is born LGBT. All the studies show we become LGBT as a result of our environment and elements of our natural personality interacting. Most LGBT people see the world through a more sensitive lens. Autism is higher amongst LGBT people. A background of emotional, physical and sexual abuse is almost twice as high among LGBT people as heterosexual people, and other background issues include bullying in school, a lack of connection with the same sex parent or having a parent with a serious mental illness.

Research into bisexuality – all collated in the book Dual Attraction – shows that most bisexual people are firstly attracted to the opposite sex and between 12-18 months later become attracted to the same sex. They stated the same sex attraction is “an add on”. I hated reading that at first, and then I sat back and thought, and I could see that that was the exact case for me. I fell in love with Andrew when I was 10 and I fell in love with Emma when I was 12.

So we are not born LGBT. Many of us know adults who change sexual orientation after an emotional upheaval such as being cheated on by a partner or spouse, after domestic violence or with severe empty nest syndrome. We all know people who change sexual orientation in adulthood.

So we know that adults change sexual orientation. Could it be that by seeing a same sex kiss in a Disney film that a child who would have been heterosexual becomes a person who is LGBT? I don’t know. We know that children are heavily influenced by what they see on TV.

All the kids I teach from a number of countries want to be Elsa or Iron Man. I wanted to be a Thundercat or a Telebug. We used to play games at school where we imagined ourselves in a Telebug or Thundercat story. We still – still! – wave wrapping paper rolls around while we make light sabre noises. We have a whole advertising industry because adults and children are heavily influenced by what we see.

In a number of languages including Gaelic and Hebrew, the word for “vision” of what the eye sees and what the person conceives of for their entire life, for their future and what they want their life to be are the exact same word. What we see over and over and what we focus on is what our brains focus on, and so that is what our life becomes.

We have seen Youtubes or Twitter accounts of detransitioners, including detransitioners who say that one person convinced them to change gender. One woman says that she was an adult in her early 20s when her girlfriend convinced her that she was a man, and she asks what chance do children have when she as an adult was convinced by one person that she was in the wrong body.

It was clear that the Disney exec who wants same sex kisses in Disney films wants to influence children. Does she want children to be tolerant of LGBT people, or does she want them to be LGBT?

I don’t know, but she spoke very clearly about her gay agenda. I used to think the gay agenda was planning going to work, what you plan to have for your meals and what TV shows you’re going to watch. Apparently, according to this Disney executive, the gay agenda is putting as much LGBT content into children’s programmes as possible. It’s not the way I would do things.

There are many ways to teach children about LGBT people, such as teaching them about the Roman emperors, or Michael Stipe and Angelina Jolie, or Oscar Wilde or Virginia Woolfe, or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Michaelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello – who were all gay or bisexual.
Why is there a push for kids to be included in adult venues, situations and themes, whether the venues and events are heterosexual or LGBT?

1) paedophilia. Obvs. Paedophiles will go wherever children are, such as schools or families. Inviting children into venues or situations for adults is blurring boundaries at best, and criminal and hugely damaging for the children at worst.

2) LGBT adults have bailed on the “LGBT Community” so more tin soldiers are needed.

Many LGBT people do not want to be associated with the current LGBT movement and organisations such as Stonewall in the UK who now no longer fight for LGB rights, and have become a radical trans far leftist ideology machine instead. Many LGB – and T – people in the UK feel completely alienated from the LGBT movement and community. You will find many comments on social media from LGB people particularly saying they have nothing to do with the LGBT movement, especially the Q. With a lack of popularity among LGBT people over the age of 25, the LGBT movement, especially the Q, is looking for new recruits, and the only people left are children.

I am not sure what to think about the – mainly – heterosexual parents who take their children to events with drag queens. It is plain that these parents are trying to look like people with all the right ideas, ie not being homophobic, but they are doing it in the wrong way. They are virtue signalling to their middle class, white friendship groups, as they do when they put a black square on their social media which does precisely zero to help Black people access better services or jobs.

However, the parents who take their children to drag queen story hour or drag strip shows or Pride parades where men are whipping men are putting their children at risk. They are putting their children at risk of not knowing right from wrong, not knowing safe from unsafe, not knowing abuse from normal interactions.

When I think of some of the issues we face today, I look at parents and wonder, “What will your children thank you for in twenty years’ time?” I think parents need to start asking themselves this. The latest thing might get you brownie points with your middle class enclave now, but will your child still love you and be thankful to you in twenty years’ time?

I will leave you with that. What will children thank their parents for in twenty years’ time?

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Scary Weirdos

Scary Weirdos is a comedy song by Mitch Benn about a man who wondered why he was always surrounded by scary weirdos… until he looked in the mirror and realised he had become a scary weirdo.

Of course ”scary weirdo” is not a phrase I would use, but I have thought about that song recently. Why? It’s not possible to get on with everyone. That’s the caveat. I was at a gathering lately when a woman said that she always finds strange people are attracted to her, they magnate towards her, and she did not know why. My immediate thought was ”Look in the mirror!”

The lady is middle aged with blue hair – and we all know that at this point in time, blue hair gives off a certain signal. Her T-shirt print was a cartoon character. Her tattoos were of cartoon characters. She had a rainbow wristband. She is open about being a Pagan and a bit of a witch. She does role play and D&D style computer games. She seems to think she is an expert on everything and talks incessantly. And I mean incessantly, mainly about herself.

Now, what sort of person is going to think that this lady will be a suitable friend?

As I said in a previous post, we all wear a uniform.

I used to attract strange people and needy people. I have had to do some soul searching and change things about myself in order to attract the sorts of friends that I genuinely want and always have wanted.

Apart from when I was going through a tough time, I’ve not looked too out there. However, I do like some colourful hippy clothes, but I mainly keep them for holidays and festivals. If I walk around town in my colourful clothes, I would attract people wanting money or people wanting to chat in the street about very personal problems or transcendental yogic flying. I wear my tomboy clothes most days.

I do have a rainbow wristband, but I prefer people to see me instead of my sexual orientation, so I hardly ever wear the rainbow wristband. I prefer people to meet me and who I am. Like it or not, people are prejudiced about LGBT people and will assume things about an LGBT person, including other LGBT people. I want to live without so many assumptions.

I have had coloured hair – mainly purple or red – but my hair was always dyed by a professional hairdresser and the colours worked with my natural hair tones. So it was never bright red or bright purple. When I was going through a tough time, my hair was a mess, but someone took me to one side and told me.

My problem that causes strange people to magnate towards me was what I expected from friendships. Firstly, I never saw any modelling of good friendships from my parents. My parents were not nice people, they were violent, aggressive and angry, and so most people avoided them. My dad had zero friends. The dog was his best friend and only friend. My mother gained about three friends and found that no one was there for her when she needed something. But my mother’s version of doing things for people was doing tasks at churches that no one really cared about.

I grew up in churches. There are pros and cons to this. One of the cons is that you are told to be nice and kind to everyone. So I was. I saw that the middle classes – which made up most of church congregations – played by different rules and were not nice and kind to everyone. They were quick to stab each other in the back. I genuinely thought that having a come one, come all policy – as churches are supposed to have – was what God wanted from me.

The middle class folk wanted nothing to do with me because I genuinely believe and follow Jesus as nearly as I can every day of my life, and so with church folk that left the strange and needy people.

We need to be able to think critically about ourselves, and about what signals we give out. We have to be able to look at ourselves and ask real questions about ourselves. I’m doing that around finance and goals at the moment. I have to be brutally honest with myself and where I have gone wrong so that I can fix the problem.

I am happy in the way that I am helping people today. I recruit people for cleaning jobs, and I help those who are working with us into training and exams, and whatever else I can do to help each person reach their goals. By working, those people are showing that they are the sorts of people who will make a go of their lives. Before, I spent a lot of time on people who were happy to make excuses and remain on welfare benefits.

I am still a nice person, but I know now to keep certain people at arm’s length and to invest my time in people who see themselves as worth the time and effort.

I have had to be brutally honest with myself and all the mistakes I have made around friendships, finance, being naive and more. I have had to be brutally honest with myself in order to stop making those mistakes and change the direction of my life.

Let’s see how this goes. Good luck to you in whatever you are trying to change.

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Better Money Habits

In my last post, I looked at bad money habits and 8 ways in which I can work on them. In this post, I present three ways in which I am saving money that I can recommend.

1) Use cheap food apps. Apps such as Olio and Too Good To Go give you the opportunity to buy a lot of food cheaply, and for the supermarkets and cafes to not throw food out on their sell by date while making some profit on products that otherwise would have made them a loss.

I have used Too Good To Go on and off for a year when I have needed to save money. I use both cafes and supermarkets such as Budgens. With Budgens, I buy a bag of food for £4 and I get fruit, vegetables, meat and sometimes fish.

  1. I often get food that I would not normally buy such as steak fillets and plums. Everyone wins.
  2. 2) Groupon and other money saving websites and apps. I have just bought new bed covers with pillow cases on Groupon for £15. A beautiful design that is fresh and fashionable, and much cheaper than going to department stores. Groupon also gives huge discounts on learning courses. You can choose a beginners course for Spanish or Accounting.
  3. Last year when I began working as a cleaning supervisor, I asked members of my team what they want to do; what is the dream? One man said he wanted to work with web design. I pointed him to Groupon for beginners courses. He is now ready to take his exams in order to get an internship.
  4. 3) Ditch the car, ditch the bus, the tram, the train if you work a short distance from your home, if you are travelling short distances. Walking and cycling are good for you, and cost nothing – except for the upkeep of your bike.
  5. I’m seeing a lot of people using regular scooters and electronic scooters as their mode of transport. I’ve seen a man in his 30s nipping to the shop for milk on a skateboard. Last week, I saw a woman roller blading. I have seen a few unicycles here and there in recent years.

The better weather is here and fuel prices are going up. You can transport yourself for free or much more cheaply and keep fit.

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Bad Money Habits

Bad money habits; we all have them. I have been aware that I was just spending without thinking. I was putting money away into a savings account each month, but after that, I was just spending. It was when my new landlord was looking through my recent bank statements to make sure I could pay the rent that it was highlighted to me that I needed to watch my spending a lot more.

On the back of that, I have been watching Youtubes on finance. I saw one on bad money habits, and I thought it was decent content, so I’m going to share it here.

One point that was made was that advertisers and marketers work hard to convince you to buy products. I’m not affected by advertising and I don’t expose myself to as much advertising as other people do, but many people are affected by advertising and so buying stuff is a difficult urge to fight.

1) If you are in debt, pay off that debt. Don’t buy stuff you can’t afford and get yourself into more debt.

2) Put money into a savings account as soon as you get paid. Don’t wait until the end of the month to save because you will have spent all your money by then. As soon as you get paid, put some of that money into a savings account. I get paid various amounts throughout the month, so after all my bills go out at the start of the month, I can put money into the savings account.

3) Make a budget and stick to it. This is where I’ve been going wrong. I haven’t had a budget. So now I am budgeting £50 until July. I need a bit more money while I am moving house. From July, my budget per week will drop to £30. Let’s see if I stick to it!

4) Investigate if you can get money back from the tax office. If you are a care worker in the UK, you can get £30 per month (I think) for laundering your uniform. Have a look into whatever job you do – even if you are PAYE employed – and what job related items you can claim back on with tax. If you are self-employed, you can claim expenses, and this goes on your tax form and you subtract your expenses claims against your income. For example, when I used to read books to students, I bought Frozen books and Paw Patrol books. I claimed back the money I had spent on them. Different countries have different laws, but there are ways in which you can legally lower your tax bill without hiding money in the Cayman Islands.

5) Find cheap ways to socialise and spend your time. Take up a new skill, and this can go on your CV (Resume) and add value to you as an employee or business owner.

6) Invest your money. I am pretty clueless about this. I have tried crypto and failed, so I think I am going to stay away from that. There are long term ISAs, and there are bank accounts, bonds and other types of accounts that give a slightly higher rate of interest than high street banks. Looking on the internet can give you a wider range of accounts with higher rates of interest.

7) Go through your finances and get rid of any expenditure you don’t need eg magazine subscriptions. I joined a second gym that was close to my home where I was going to have personal training sessions with a friend. My friend moved away, so I cancelled the second gym subscription.

8) Fix your attitude. I have had a bad attitude about money, and watching Youtubes about the reasons why people fear or distrust money and people who have a lot of money has opened my eyes even more.
Films, our family, TV programmes and more give us a negative view of people who have money. We are taught that anyone with money is corrupt, evil and is probably going to end the world unless we take their wealth from them.

I come from a family where my parents worked HARD to keep a roof above our heads, but my parents never knew how to use money to their advantage, so I am used to working hard, working many hours, but seeing no financial benefit for that hard work. I was never taught about saving or investing because my parents did not know and they did not have the time to learn.

Schools do their best. I’m an online teacher – part time – but I have taught in schools. Teachers do an amazing job and combat a lot of what some kids grow up with in their family home, but schools turn out employees rather than entrepreneurs. We need to adjust our thinking so that we learn to make our money work for us and learn entrepreneurial skills and ways of thinking.

I have wanted to expand my online teaching presence, abilities and possible income for several months, but have not had the time to write lesson materials and get my game on. Listening to Youtubes on entrepreneurship over the last two days has reawakened my desire to take my teaching to the next level and set up my own courses. I have set a date in July by which I want to present lessons and see how many students I can attract.

I have set up a plan to teach novels that are on the school curriculums. I have researched which books are commonly taught, I have asked a friend to borrow their copy of the first book I want to read and then teach, and I have planned the basics of how I want to teach that book.

I might fail, and if I do, I have the cleaning jobs and the regular online teaching job I already have. However, I do want to use my skills and open up further earning and career possibilities for myself, so I’m going to give writing my own material a bash.

Wish me luck. I wish you luck.

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Patronising Women

I have wanted to write this post for a while, but I have had to find somewhere else to live because my shared house seems to have a revolving door of people with problems, plus my ex came to visit and, maybe, there is a future there. A lot has changed for him. Problems happen and action is taken.

Which takes me to patronising women; both the action of treating women as children, and women wanting to be treated as children as well as women wanting to treat other women as children.

There are real threats to women and girls, but most of us are aware that there are simple things we can do to make sure we do not suffer specific crimes, eg not be in a relationship with a violent man or woman and that cuts down our risk of being a victim of domestic violence to 0%. There are real risks to girls and women that all the common sense in the world won’t fix. But mostly, women and girls can do a lot to protect themselves and they are very easy things.

I’ve been on dates. They were pleasant, but most of them, I just wasn’t into the guy. So I had the meal and a chat and we parted on good terms but we knew that was that. A couple of those guys had appearances that were off putting, as in a visit to the dentist wouldn’t have gone amiss for one guy.

With each guy, I sussed them out quite a bit before meeting face to face. Were they religious? What was their job? What were their hobbies? Why had their previous relationship failed? When were they seeing their parents, aunts and uncles? Some guys got the flick before we met face to face because they sounded off before we met. One guy I spoke to on the phone just wanted to meet various women for sex. I told him that’s not what I wanted and ended the call.

One of the older women I mentioned in a previous post who was an emotional baby moaned to me about a date she had been on. She had travelled by train to meet a man she had been communicating with. When they met face to face, he wanted to go to a hotel to have sex. She refused and went home. She moaned to me that she felt so hurt and used. Several moments later, she told me she and the man had exchanged a lot of sexual text messages – sexting. Well, what did she expect? She had been exchanging sexual messages with someone she had never met for three months, and was surprised when that person assumed they were meeting to have sex. What did she expect?

How we present ourselves to the world is often how the world will treat us. Whether that is right or wrong, how we present ourselves to the world will be how people perceive us to be and they will treat us accordingly.

If you are going on a date, check the person out beforehand. Do they sound like a nice person? Do they sound like they will treat you with respect?

If you are on a date and it’s not working out, let the other person know and walk out. Pay your half of the bill and walk out. If you are not able to do that, you shouldn’t be going on a date with anybody. Maybe you shouldn’t even try to make friends with anyone either until you are strong enough to cope with interacting with other people and take responsibility for your own actions.

If the other person – man or woman – is creepy, walk out, or if that feels dangerous, go up to the security or the bar staff and tell them. Speak to another woman, or man, depending on your situation. Asking for ”Angela” is just being overly dramatic and takes away your ability to solve problems.

And yes, people shouldn’t be creepy etc, but you can control how you react to something. I’ve known plenty of creepy women as I’ve said in a previous post. I stayed away from them. I told them to get off me. I never had to ask for Angela.

Here comes the next…

This is a poster on the London Underground. There was an accompanying BBC article on the matter. Apparently, women have been stared at for up to 25 minutes while on the Tube. The men should not have been staring, and the women should not have just sat there and been victims when all they had to do was walk away. They could have told the man to stop staring at them, or even got off the Tube and gone to security staff who are all over the Tube stations. The Tube is crowded, everything is on CCTV and women’s rights are very much promoted. Everything is on the woman’s side.

I was on The Tube when these posters were up. I travelled on the Tube several times per day for five days. No one stared at me sexually. There are women who say they can’t leave the house without being sexually harassed, yet I can count five years between the times I am sexually harassed.

One phrase to remember is ”Everyone wears a uniform.”

But that’s victim blaming.

I wish women would stop using this phrase. It’s whiny, it says that women have no control over their lives and it seems to relish in perpetual victimhood.

There are bad people in this world. There are many things you can do so that you do not become a victim.

What does a man look for when he goes to rob another man? He’s looking for a man who is smaller than him, who looks like he won’t fight back or won’t try to defend himself in any way. Far more men are victims of crime, especially street crime, than women. The group that is most likely to be physically attacked in the street is males aged 16-25.

When men see me in the street, even late at night, they say, “Hey mate, what’s the time?” Mate. Men see me as an equal. Mostly. They ask me for directions. Why? Because everyone wears a uniform. Men want to sit down and talk about issues with me. Men take me to Arab men’s tea shops where normally women are not welcome. Why? Because we all wear a uniform. I asked a friend if I could go to the Moroccan place in Antwerpen without him, and if I could go inside. He said that women were not allowed in, but because of the way I dress and I act, there would be no problem.

Because of the way I dress and I act.

Let’s flip this. In March, I went to Canal Street (a street full of gay venues) with a group of LGBT friends. Some of the men were wearing shorts. On Canal Street, other men were wearing shorts. Why? Because they wanted other men to look at their legs. It was sexual in its intent.

Back in February, I was walking with a male friend at 10pm through the city centre. It was 2C. We were wearing big coats and hats, jeans and boots. A young woman coming towards us was wearing a mini toga that barely covered her vagina. My friend said to me, ”And they say they don’t want us to look.” A few years ago, another friend said to me, ”They’re drawing attention to themselves.” Another friend who was more plain speaking said, ”They know they’re giving us a hard on.”

We all wear a uniform.

It’s time we stopped patronising women. It’s time we stop treating women like babies. This is not Afghanistan. Women in the UK and USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Western Europe, and more, have choices. We can stand up for ourselves – without being aggressive. We can stand up for ourselves. We can leave a room if we don’t feel comfortable. We can say no thank you to anything we don’t want. We can control what sort of people we allow into our lives.

We can take charge of how we present ourselves to the world. If women want to play the sex game, women can play the sex game. If women want to be taken seriously, though, they can dress and act in ways that do not invite sexual attention. If women find themselves repeatedly on the receiving end of sexual behaviours, that woman can ask women who aren’t treated with disrespect for advice.

I am not saying the women who were stared at on the Tube were wearing next to nothing, but they could have done a lot of things to deal with their situation instead of letting the situation carry on for 25 minutes such as walking away.

I’m not saying that women who have it all on show and are assaulted deserve it. I am saying that how you present yourself to the world does have an impact on how people will treat you. If you are wearing shorts that show off your butt cheeks, that is because you want other people to see your butt cheeks. You have chosen to play that game. Some people play by different rules – criminal rules that can have a devastating affect on someone’s life. If you choose to play the sex game, male or female, straight or LGBT, that is your choice.

What I am saying is that women – and men – have choices. We have choices. We have choices who we associate with. We have choices who we date or who we live with. We have choices around how we dress. We have choices around how we behave. We have choices on how we respond to other people’s behaviour. We can take responsibility for us, for our reactions and our solutions to problems.

To tell women that there is nothing they can do except ask for Angela or sit in fear just treats women as children. It’s highly disrespectful of women’s intelligence and women’s abilities.

On Saturday, I started looking for a new place to live because a new housemate is creepy, drug dealery and breaks furniture and appliances. On Thursday, I signed the contract to move into a much better shared house. I had a problem and I took action to find the solution to that problem. Five days later, I had the solution. It really is not difficult.

I’m going to have to box up all my belongings which will take time and effort, and I will pay money to a new landlord and to a taxi firm to help me move, but I am making that choice to move so that I am in a better situation.

Let’s stop patronising women.

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The Tower Of London

I have been to London many times, but I had never realised that the giant pile of bricks to the left of the River Thames was the Tower Of London. I’ve been walking around with my eyes closed!

So, I was in London recently, so I went to The Tower.

The Yeoman Warder – aka Beefeater – who conducted the guided tour was amazing. He was full of life, full of facts, full of fun and good humour. Yeomans are known as Beefeaters because they were so revered by the royalty they served that they were allowed to eat the same food as the royals. Soldiers can only become Beefeaters if they have served 22 years in the army, have achieved the rank of sergeant and have obtained two specific medals. These are highly decorated and highly dedicated men.

The Tower of London is a World Heritage Site. It is the home of the Crown Jewels, and was first built by William The Conqueror after his victory in 1066. It was originally built as a castle, a fortress, to defend William’s new land. Several kings expanded The Tower and, er, built on its success. The White Tower in the centre was constructed in 1078, and this is where the Crown Jewels are kept, along with displays and information about past high jinxery in The Tower such as the tigers and elephants that were kept there as wonders from around the world.

Charles II introduced the ravens to The Tower. He said that if the ravens ever left, The Tower would fall, and indeed the whole of London – maybe even England – would fall. The ravens remain (thankfully!) in The Tower today. They have free run of the place and are bribed – sorry, encouraged – to stay with daily feeds of meat, fruit, yogurt and biscuits dipped in blood. Biscuits dipped in blood would seal the deal for me. High five ravens!

Which famous people have been held and beheaded or shot in The Tower?

Guy Fawkes. You may have heard of Bonfire Night which is a celebration on 5th November every year across the UK. We commemorate The Gunpowder Plot of 1665 when a group of men tried to blow up the Houses Of Parliament because of their dissatisfaction with the way the UK was being governed. Guy Fawkes was the man captured and executed for this crime. The film V For Vendetta references this.

Anne Boleyn, one of the six wives of Henry VIII. You’ve seen the films, you’ve read the books. Nuf said.

John Lilburne aka Freeborn John (1614-1657). John Lilburne was a Leveller – someone who believed all people are born equal and have equal rights given by God – in the English Civil War. He was a Puritan turned Quaker and wrote pamphlets on the equality of all people, as well as leading civilian fighters in their rebellions against the soldiers of Charles I.

There is a fantastic album about Freeborn John by Rev Hammer and leading UK folk musicians, from traditionalists to punks, all taking different parts, telling the story of John Lilburne and his wife Bessie, with excerpts from the man’s diary. I recommend it!

And I recommend The Tower Of London. It’s a great day out!

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Emotional Dependency In LGBT People

On Monday, I was lucky to see a friend I had not seen in a while. She is a young, intelligent, out going, attractive, hard working, ambitious young woman. We chatted and soon got onto the subject of friends. I asked how her friend “Mary” was. My friend said Mary had gone back to her own country, but that their friendship had ended badly. I said I thought Mary had had a crush on my friend. My friend then went into a long list of Mary’s behaviours – behaviours that I recognised from a number of women who have been attracted to me. These behaviours were that of emotional dependency.

The behaviours included jealousy, manipulation, wanting an exclusive friendship, sexualising a friendship where the other person did not want it to be sexual and moulding their personality and physical appearance to be similar to that of the other person.

I explained I had experienced this from women who were twenty years my senior, who were obese, had zero personality and expected me to fall for them and be with them for life. Every single one of these women, when I challenged them and asked them to stop trying to flirt with me, or to stop expecting more from me than friendship, became hostile, called me names, became aggressive, and later they all told friends we had in common that I had been coming onto them against their will.

I was 31 years old when I rejected the advances of a 52 year old woman. She threw herself down on the floor, and she kicked and screamed like a 2 year old having a tantrum. A 52 year old obese woman kicking and screaming on the floor because I would not be her girlfriend. Either there is something very special about me – well, there is! – or there is something very wrong with that woman.

OK. What is emotional dependency?

Emotional dependency is a neediness. It is a reliance on others to make the individual feel happy, at ease and accepted (Cadabamhospitals.com). It is often caused by an emotional abandonment in childhood – often from the mother. The emotional development of the child is affected. From the age of 0-12, children are rightly dependent on their parents. Around the ages of 10-12, children start to want their own independence, make more friends at school, socialise with other children their own age and develop hobbies and interests. This is the healthy process in emotional development. When that development is disrupted, emotional dependency is created. (Lucaosurgi.com)

A person with this side of emotional dependency is attracted to someone – like the friend I mentioned at the start – who is strong, outgoing, fun, kind, giving, intelligent, attractive etcetera etcetera.

I had spotted that Mary was attracted to my friend straight away because when I saw them together, Mary was always shy, she only spoke if I directly asked her a question, but she let my friend do all the talking, listened to her and went along with whatever my friend was saying and doing. Mary did not assert herself in any way, and that was a big red flag to me.

People can be dependent on alcohol, illegal drugs, TV, video games, food, sex. As a Danish nurse I worked with said to me, anything that benefits the body and brain can be addictive. Emotional dependency is when a person depends on another person or people to fill the emotional gap in their life. The hole, the emptiness, the insecurities, the lack of self esteem. A woman in my university LGBT group was open with me and the others when she said she had problems with addiction. “I get addicted to drink, to drugs, to women.” She knew her issues and she was trying to deal with them. I hope she’s doing well.

People who are needy are attracted to people who they think can fix them – who they hope will fix them. The other side of emotional dependency are people who need to be needed. They try to push their own problems to one side by fixing other people, by giving their time and energy to other people. They can be controlling of the people they are trying to fix. (futureofworking.com)

When a needy person finds a fixer, this is a recipe for disaster for both parties. Both will want to be with the other A LOT, and this will cause both to emotionally stagnate, and their lives will stagnate in other ways, such as hobbies, interests and other friendships will take second place or be forgotten completely.

Sometimes, people read me as a fixer. I’m not. I’m someone who has worked extensively with people in need, but part of my working practice was to let people make their own decisions, their own mistakes and live their own lives. I was happy to see people move on and get their lives together. A fixer struggles when their “project” develops their own abilities and thrives. The fixer flounders because they don’t know how they fit into that person’s life anymore.

I did have this with a guy I dated. He was amazing, very intelligent, wonderful, sweet, and he was great conversation. I dated him while I was quite ill and nearly died, but with the help of the hospital and modern medicine, I pulled it back and got back to full health. The guy no longer showed up. I was confused and wondered what was going on. A mutual friend told me the guy was a fixer. She had seen him with his friend, and he took care of his friend when he’d had too much to drink or had gotten into another argument. I didn’t know this because I’d never seen it. I’d only seen that the guy was sweet to me. Our mutual friend said that now I was well and my health was thriving, that the guy didn’t know how to deal with it which is why he had disappeared from my life.

The guy had told me that he had had to look after his parents from a young age. I didn’t realise that that had impacted on him to the point where he couldn’t form normal relationships. I totally understand it. It’s just really sad because he is such a nice guy and I’d love for him to be happy, have a girlfriend or wife and have someone to grow old with. I really hope that happens for him.

I have said before that I find women “sneaky”. Men are open about what they want from me. Would I like to go for a drink? Would I like to join their book club? Would I like to try on their jacket? Would I like to keep their jacket? (Yes, in the case of one guy I dated, I got the gorgeous jacket!)

Women manipulate situations to get me on my own with them. Women lie and say they have no sexual interest in me, and then they manipulate a situation to get me on my own, and then they literally pounce. They send me flirtatious social media messages, saying how boring their husband or boyfriend is, and how wonderful I am, and it goes on from there. I’ve learned to recognise that pattern and cut the women off before it gets that far now. It is a pattern, from both Christian and non Christian women, it’s manipulative and it stabs their husband or boyfriend in the back, which I really don’t find attractive.

Women also assume that they can be physical towards me in public, in full view of others. Men don’t. One young lady who I had only just met put her arm around me and draped herself across me when I was waiting for friends. I looked down at her and asked her to get off me. She did. Another young lady was not so accommodating. As soon as someone else had told her I’m LGBT and I was on my own, she grabbed me and refused to let go when I told her to. She then tried to make out there was a problem with me. “Don’t you like hugs?” I told her again to get off me, and she eventually did. She had cuddled into me like a small child. I had assumed she was maybe 17 years old. It turned out she was 27 years old. She then lied to other people about the incident and said she had merely thanked me for helping prepare food.

As I said before, these women do not really love me. They don’t even like me. They are motivated entirely by selfish needs. A lot of LGBT women – in my experience – have some form of emotional dependency, as do some gay men. The LGBT section of micheleomara.com’s page talks about the jokes about how fast lesbians date and how quickly lesbians move in their relationships, including U-Hauling, and the “urge to merge” – the two individuals becoming the same person with the same opinions, likes, dislikes and clothing. The L Word covered this in series 2 with Dana and Tonya, and then Alice’s obsession with Dana in series 3. Heterosexual people also face emotional dependency, but this is an issue that I find is far more prevalent among LGBT people – especially women – than among heterosexual people.

As I have said in a previous post, I had heard of women who literally had no personality of their own, and I finally met one the last time I went to the LGBT Christian organisation’s annual big do, and a new woman who was 34 years old literally stuck to to the side of an 18 year old for the entire weekend. The 34 year old had no personality of her own at all. I had tried to talk to her and had struggled, and I don’t normally struggle to find something to talk about with anyone.

The 18 year old was effervescent, she was fun, she was slim with a big personality, she continuously talked about God and the Bible, she had her own dress sense – a pleated skirt, a matching smart shirt and bare feet – and her face was constantly lit up with smiles as she talked about God and how awesome He is. The 34 year old stayed at her side for the entire weekend, silent, no expression on her face, an empty shell of a person, leeching off the 18 year old’s personality. I hated watching her. The 18 year old was completely oblivious because she was focussed on talking to anyone she could about how amazing God is.

You can see I am speaking about these dependent women with distaste. I can’t help it. I do find it disgusting. All these dependent women are much older than the women they are leeching off. In Christianity, older women are supposed to be role models to younger women. These older, dependent women are an inversion of what is natural. They have not dealt with issues, they have remained emotionally infantalised, they have not developed a personality, hobbies, interests, friendships or healthy relationships. Instead, they seek attention from women sometimes half their age, and they don’t actually love these women. They resent them.

I told the young friend I mentioned at the start about the film Notes On A Scandal where Judi Dench’s character Barbara forms a dependent relationship with Cate Blanchett’s heterosexual character Sheba. Barbara has no friends, no warmth, no laughter in her life. She manipulates Sheba, blackmails her, and keeps a diary in which she details her disgust at Sheba’s life, Sheba’s marriage, Sheba’s disabled son and Sheba having fun with her family, such as when Sheba and her family put music on the stereo and dance. Sheba’s family can’t stand Barbara and say that Barbara ruins everything, but Sheba feels sorry for her and keeps trying to include Barbara in her life.

As I said, people who are needy are attracted to people who they think can fix them. The women who “loved” me or were attracted to me who had emotional dependency wanted me to fix them. They did not love me. They loved what they expected me to do for them. They wanted me to make their life exciting. They wanted me to be their emotional nurse maid for life. It’s a purely selfish interest.

If you watched LOST, you would know the character Jack Shepherd, the doctor who wanted to fix everyone’s lives. Jack needed to heal the sick, he needed to heal the most physically wounded people and he married a woman whose spine he fixed. Jack carried on fixing everyone he could on the island. Having the blood type that could be used for any patient’s transfusion meant that Jack literally bled himself dry to save others. Jack formed a relationship with Kate, a troubled woman. Jack was in need himself – in need of being told he was enough, and his worth was not in how many lives he saved.

Putting this to one side, there are dependent relationships where the needy person does actually love the other person. There is genuine love, but the relationship has become dependent. Couples therapy can fix this problem. In opposite sex couples, it is usually the woman who becomes dependent on the man, but it can happen the other way around. The dependent person can learn to feel secure in the relationship without constant affirmation, they can learn to develop hobbies and interests and make friends.

I told my friend what Brother Maxime at Taize had done. Maxime asked two teenagers to stand close together and play badminton. Of course they could not! The shuttle cock flew across the room. Maxime asked the teenagers to stand a distance apart and play badminton. The two could then bat the shuttlecock back and forth. Maxime asked them to stand back more and play badminton. The badminton game was ON! Maxime introduced a third teenager to play badminton, and the three of them played a decent game.

Brother Maxime said that this is how friendships are supposed to be. If we are too close to each other, we can’t do anything. We need a distance between us to enjoy a good friendship, and the friendship is stronger when we bring new friends into our lives. Friendships are supposed to be joyful and freeing and there for new people to join.

FRIENDSHIPS! Not relationships. Bringing a third person into a relationship never ends well from what I have seen!

What does it look like when I am attracted to a woman? It’s pretty obvious, if I am sure the woman is OK with me being obvious. I admire her abilities, her personal choices, her thoughts and ideas, I listen to her – but I also give my own thoughts and ideas, talk about my own personal choices, talk about my own experiences and life. I appreciate her. I don’t want a relationship because that is against my religious beliefs, so I am free to not demand anything from her, to not expect her to fix my life in any way nor even contribute to my life in any way. I am just free to enjoy being wowed out and enjoy the company of a wonderful woman.

I don’t later resent this woman, I don’t tell lies about her, I don’t manipulate her, I just appreciate her. I am friends with a number of women and men I’ve been attracted to. We’re not close friends, but we are still friends and able to chat freely about life, we chat about our friends, when they get together with someone else I am happy for them and I am happy when they achieve new things.

I see so much resentment around today. We see a lot of resentment in the woke movement; people who want to police what other people say, do and think. We see a lot of resentment of successful people, resentment of happy people, resentment of anyone who has anything or anyone that other people wish they have. Emotional dependency is characterised by resentment on both the side of the needy person and of the fixer.

The opposite of resentment is gratitude. Psychologists (everyone from Jordan Peterson on the right to Jonathan Haidt on the left) say gratitude is even a practice that we need for good mental health. You can buy or print out gratitude diaries.

As a Christian, I try to practice gratitude in the traditional way of giving thanks to God for everything I have and for the people in my life. I don’t live in a mansion, I’m not the most popular person in town, but I have so much to be thankful for. I have so much to thank God for.

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Chapter Eleven of The Key

Here is another chapter from The Key.

I have not made a mistake! Claire and Gilli are the same person.

Claire stayed in bed while Tamsin got ready for work. Tamsin slammed doors, slammed objects down and slammed the front door when she left the house.
Claire got out of bed and pressed the phone icon on her pink mobile phone.
‘Salut mon ange. Qu’est qu’il s’est passé?’
‘Tamsin sait tous.’
‘I don’t know,’ Gilli said. ‘She lost it last night, said I was a liar, and I found my work phone different to how I leave it in my bag.’
‘Has she gone to work?’ Yannick asked.
‘I’m coming over. Text me your address. We need to jump on this.’
‘I’ll phone Ian,’ Gilli said. ‘Urgh! He’s going to go full risk assessment on me.’
‘Stop phone Ian. Don’t phone Ian,’ Yannick corrected himself. ‘We could sort this ourselves.’
‘Do you think we can?’
‘It’ll be work focus for this week,’ Yannick said. ‘We’ll be with you in thirty minutes, no, forty.’
‘I’ll get a wash,’ Gilli said. ‘Maybe.’
Gilli took a shower, dried herself, applied body cream and dressed in jeans and T-shirt, ready for her husband arriving.
He arrived forty-two minutes later, along with Graeme, Anderton and Jack.
‘Come in!’ Gilli looked up and down the street to make sure no one was watching as the men piled into the house. She closed the door. ‘Shoes off!’
‘Yes Boss!’ Anderton laughed, but he took off his trainers, and Jack hopped and staggered around, removing his footwear.
Yannick kissed Gilli. ‘You’re so dominant.’
‘Where’s Steven?’ Gilli asked.
‘He’s still chewing the carpets,’ Graeme said from the stairs where he was taking off his boots. ‘I’m getting him house trained again, but best not have him out and about for the time being.’
‘Is the kettle on?’ Anderton asked.
‘Get it your lazy self,’ Graeme said to him. ‘Put enough water in for the rest of us. But no sugar for me. I’m sweet enough.’
Yannick took hold of Gilli again and kissed her before he pulled off his trainers. Gilli stepped into the living room and looked at Graeme and Jack who had commandeered the two large armchairs. ‘Make yourselves at home,’ she said.
‘Can we?’ Graeme asked. ‘Thank you, sweetheart.’
Gilli tapped Jack’s leg with her toes. ‘Do you still not talk?’
Jack looked up at her. ‘What do you want me to say Boss?’
Gilli smiled and went to check on Anderton in the kitchen. He had found the crockery and tea spoons and was waiting by the boiling kettle.
The tall man commented. ‘This is a proper girlie kitchen!’ He lifted a cup to Gilli. ‘Cups with butterflies on them, and this teapot with a sparkly unicorn on it!’ He gestured at the teapot whose glitter shone in rainbow colours.
‘I didn’t buy them,’ Gilli said. ‘Don’t blame me for the decor or the aesthetics.’
‘Your style still 1980s East German industrial?’
‘Of course,’ Gilli said. ‘Have you taken Yan boxing since you all got back?’
‘As if you need to ask,’ Anderton said. ‘We’re missing one member of the group. Boss.’
‘I might come back boxing,’ Gilli said. ‘See what happens.’
He picked up the boiled kettle and asked, ‘Are you back on the job?’
‘I beg your pardon!’
Anderton blushed. ‘I meant back doing proper work.’
‘Husband!’ Gilli called. ‘The underlings are asking about our sex life.’
Laughing, Yannick came into the kitchen. ‘What, mon ange? Then he saw the teapot. ‘What in all that is holy?’
‘It’s not my fault,’ Gilli said.
‘It’s your fault for not destroying it,’ Yannick said.
‘Speaking of destroying things,’ Anderton said as he stirred the tea in the tea pot.
Yannick said, ‘Go and get work phone and anything you didn’t want Tamsin to see.’
Claire left the kitchen and ran upstairs and picked up her backpack. When she came downstairs, she laid her belongings on the living room carpet, including the black phone and the bank card.
Graeme started to lay out the contents of his man bag out on the living room carpet and Yannick and Anderton brought cups of tea for everyone.
Graeme placed Gilli’s backpack on a square of plastic sheeting, and he took a tub of aluminium powder, a small pad of paper and a make-up brush from his bag and began dusting the powder over the credit card. He carefully applied the tape and lifted the fingerprints off the credit card. He placed the tape down on a small sheet of vinyl and smoothed the tape out with the fingerprints.
Gilli took the ink pad and pressed her fingers down in the blue ink, one at a time, and pushed her fingers against a piece of paper in the small pad of paper. She sat back.
Graeme looked at the finger prints. ‘There’s two sets of prints,’ he said. ‘One set is yours, and the other is someone else’s.’
‘Do my phone.’
‘I’m not feeling that adventurous today,’ Graeme said, taking hold of the black mobile phone.
‘Does everything have to be an innuendo?’ Gilli asked.
‘Don’t tell me you’ve gone prudish,’ Graeme said as he dusted the phone for finger prints. ‘I remember you outdoing me on every level of inappropriate.’
‘Really?’ Yannick said from where he sat on the sofa. ‘I would never have known.’
Anderton laughed. Jack smiled and got back to answering his phone messages from the Bolton Team.
Graeme lifted the prints off the phone and compared them to Gilli’s sample prints. ‘Oh sweetheart, someone’s had their mitts on this, too.’
‘It might not be Tamsin,’ Gilli said. ‘I’ll get her toothbrush.’
‘Get her comb, hairbrush, whatever she uses for her hair,’ Graeme said. ‘The toothbrush will have had water washing the prints away.’
As Gilli ran up the stairs, Graeme looked to Yannick. ‘I hope you’re going to catch her, because she’s going to fall from a tall height.’
‘It looks like we got here in time,’ Yannick agreed. ‘We’re family. We will face this as family.’
Gilli ran back down the stairs and handed Graeme Tamsin’s comb. She sat back while Graeme dusted the comb’s handle and lifted the prints using the adhesive tape. He placed the prints onto a vinyl sheet and compared them again with Gilli’s fingerprints. ‘See for yourself.’
Gilli knelt down next to Graeme and stared at the finger prints.
Graeme put a hand on Gilli’s shoulder. ‘We need to ascertain just how much Tamsin knows about you, and if she has been talking to anyone.’
Gilliam tried to stop herself from crying. ‘I can’t…’
‘Let us do our job,’ Yannick said. ‘Will you?’
‘Don’t hurt her,’ Gilli said, looking around at her friends. ‘Do what you need to do, but don’t hurt her.’
Yannick sat down next to Gilli. ‘We will be gentle, but we need to protect you. You know this?’
Gilli nodded.
‘You and me, we will go for walk,’ Yannick said, taking hold of Gilli’s hand. ‘You trust Graeme?’
Gilli nodded. She looked back to Graeme. ‘Don’t hurt her.’
‘I promise you I won’t,’ Graeme said. ‘We have to make sure there is nothing more nefarious going on here. You understand?’
Gilli nodded.
Yannick stood up. ‘Let’s go.’ He helped Gilli to her feet and they left the house that Gilli had lived in for six months, knowing that she would never come back.

The Key, by Catherine Hume, is available on Amazon; £1.99 as an ebook and £7.99 as a paperback. Enjoy!

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A Peek At The Key

It’s time for me to give people a peek at a chapter of The Key, my latest novel. Enjoy!

Chapter Thirteen

Detective Sergeant Gillian Moran was flicking through a newspaper in a bare bedroom. She had brought the armchair in from the living room. Detective Sergeant Graeme Evans was sleeping on the bed. They had been indoors in the vacant flat for two days, keeping tabs on two flats in the opposite block. It was early evening. The dealers were not expected to be back for another two hours.
There was a knock on the front door of the flat. Detective Constable Yannick Mezec came in. He pulled down his hood and came into the bedroom. He held up a carrier bag.
‘Oranges and courgettes.’
Gilli held up a finger to her lips and pointed at Graeme asleep on the bed. She whispered, ‘You better be joking.’
Yannick smiled and whispered. ‘Pizza, chicken curry and fries.’
‘You mean chips,’ Gilli said. She put down her newspaper. ‘Come on.’ She went into the kitchen and Yannick followed her. She put her hands into the carrier bag and picked up the plastic tubs she needed. She took out the contents of the box of curry and scraped half onto a plate, added some chips and put them into the microwave. ‘So what’s the story?’
‘Morning glory,’ Yannick replied.
‘We don’t say that,’ Gilli said, sucking curry sauce off her thumb.
‘Ah. Denning wants you to pay attention to guy in red jacket. The informer says he is man of interest, connecting the gang to much bigger network in London.’
‘Any more to go on than a red coat?’ Gilli asked. ‘The red coat might be in the wash.’
‘He has short hair, beard nicely cut. He’s twenty-two years old. He is Black. Can I say that? Is that right word?’
‘Erm,’ Gilli said, looking awkward. ‘Er, um…’ She took her curry out of the microwave. ‘Yes, of course you can say “Black”. It’s the best term to use.’
‘It’s so confusing,’ Yannick said. ‘We don’t say “Noir” anymore. We say “Black” in French.’
‘I saw you at Denning’s briefing on Monday,’ Gilli said. ‘Why did you leave the Eiffel Tower for us?’
‘Things got too hot in Paris for me to stay,’ Yannick said. ‘I was what you would call an inspector, a DI, but I took a demote so that I can work here and be comfortable with English language.’
‘What were you working on in Paris?’
‘Human trafficking, drugs trafficking, baby trafficking, some big cases.’
‘Wow. And you’ve swapped all that for delivering me food.’
‘I like it here,’ Yannick said. ‘But I am thinking of setting up something different.’
‘Oh yeah?’
‘You’re going all Blackwater?’
Yannick smiled. ‘Not quite XI, but I would like some money for good work. There are many things police can’t do or won’t do.’
‘You’ve been here five minutes and you’re already criticising us.’
‘It’s easy to criticise,’ Yannick said, ‘without doing this work. You are doing this work. What do you think?’
Gilli walked back into the bedroom, and Yannick followed her. Gilli sat back down in her chair and looked up at Yannick and asked, ‘Are you wearing a wire? Denning’s sent me a French policeman to get me to open up.’
Yannick laughed. ‘I am not wearing wire.’ He looked to where Graeme was sleeping. ‘Is he not cold?’
‘I don’t know,’ Gilli said. ‘He doesn’t talk in his sleep.’
Yannick reached for Graeme’s jacket and used it to cover him.
‘He’s taken,’ Gilli said.
‘He’s married,’ she replied.
‘Yes?’ Yannick looked clueless.
‘Don’t you listen to station gossip?’
‘No,’ Yannick replied. ‘Gossip is ugly thing.’
‘You’re so sophisticated,’ Gilli said.
‘I am,’ Yannick agreed.
‘Are you free on Tuesday?’
‘I am, after three o’clock.’
‘You can show me your collection of existentialist literature,’ Gilli said.
‘I’m more of classical man.’
‘I’m open to new experiences,’ Gilli said. She tore a piece of paper from her newspaper, wrote down her phone number and handed it to Yannick. ‘You can show me your Jules Verne collection.’
‘My what?’
‘The Around The World In Eight Days guy.’
‘Oh!’ Yannick smiled. ‘Jules Verne.’
‘That’s what I said,’ Gilli replied.
‘I can also cook for you.’
‘Now you’re just being forward,’ Gilli said. ‘Get out of here. I’ve got pizza to eat.’
‘See you on Tuesday,’ Yannick said, folding up the piece of newspaper and putting it into his pocket. ‘Don’t work too hard.’
‘I can assure you I won’t,’ Gilli said.
Yannick gave her one last glance before he left the flat. Gilli picked up her dinner and dug into it.
Graeme smiled to himself and went back to sleep.
Gilli stood on the doorstep of Yannick’s house, looking at her phone, counting down the seconds to 15:00. She pressed the doorbell.
There was no answer.
She pressed the doorbell again. An upstairs window opened and Yannick shouted, ‘Come in yourself.’ He dropped a key down at Gilli’s feet. Gilli put the key in the lock and pushed the door open. She walked in and closed the door.
Yannick came running down the stairs in a fresh shirt and smart trousers. He looked at Gilli. ‘Ah.’
‘You look nice,’ she commented. ‘Is that new?’
Yannick smiled. ‘It’s just something I throw on.’
‘And I went to all this effort,’ Gilli said, pointing at her T-shirt and jeans. ‘So where’s your Jules Verne collection?’
‘Jules Verne.’
‘That’s what I said.’
‘I have no Jules Verne, sorry,’ Yannick said, ‘but I do have some Rimbaud.’
‘Rambo?’ Gilli said. ‘The first Rambo or the crap one?’
‘The first one,’ Yannick replied. ‘Do you want drink?’
‘It’s a bit early in the day for coffee,’ Gilli said. ‘Have you got any tea?’
‘Milk and sugar?’
‘You’re so bourgeois,’ Gilli said. ‘Milk please.’
As Yannick went to make the tea, Gilli began to scrutinise Yannick’s living room. He carried the cups of tea through and handed one to Gilli.
‘Do you approve?’
‘Do I approve of your book on the history of the mullet or your tea making skills?’ She sipped the tea. ‘It’s perfect, thank you.’
Yannick gestured to the sofa. ‘Sit.’
‘Yes master.’
Gilli sat down on the sofa and Yannick took a chair. ‘I’m not a dog.’ She mimed, as though commanding a dog. ‘Sit!’
‘My English is better than your French.’
‘How do you know?’ Gilli said. ‘You’ve never heard me speak French.’
Yannick gestured at her. ‘Please, speak French.’
‘Voulez-vous baiser moi ce soir?’
Yannick almost spat out his tea. He covered his mouth, swallowed his drink and laughed.
‘What?’ Gilli asked with wide eyes.
‘I’ve been warned about you and your intellect and humour,’ Yannick said.
‘Oh yeah?’ Gilli said, looking over her mug. ‘Who said what?’
‘Your partner Graeme.’
‘He’s not my partner,’ Gilli said.
‘You know what I mean.’
‘What’s Graeme been saying?’ Gilli sipped her tea. ‘I’m interested.’
‘He said you were interested.’
‘Oh he did, did he?’ Gilli said. ‘Someone’s getting a slap next time I see him.’
‘Leave him alone!’
‘He gave you a seven. I gave you a seven and a half.’
‘Seven and a half?’ Yannick said, feigning shock. ‘I’m at least eight. Nine, surely?’
‘Maybe if I got a closer look?’ Gilli said. She put down her cup of tea.
‘If you got closer look you might mark me as eight?’
‘I might,’ Gilli replied.
Yannick put down his cup, got up and knelt down in front of Gilli.
‘Seven and three quarters,’ Gilli told him. ‘Maybe if you were a little closer…’
Yannick reached up and kissed her.
‘Oh yeah! You’re right!’ She smiled. ‘You’re an eight! If you got even closer, maybe your rating will go up.’
‘Are you…?’
‘Voulez-vous baiser moi ce soir?’
‘Upstairs,’ Yannick said, standing up.
‘Yes master,’ Gilli replied, and walked up the stairs.
Gilli lay on top of Yannick, her legs wrapped around him. She snored gently. Yannick stroked her back with his thumb, running his hand up and down her spine. He kissed her cheek and stroked her hair. A perfect afternoon.

The Key is available on Amazon for £1.99 as an ebook and £7.99 as a paperback.

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Niteworks – Another Outstanding Album

I reviewed the last album by Niteworks and I loved it, so of course I wanted to review this new album. I was not disappointed.

The album A’Ghrian begins with one heck of an intro. The chords and note patterns are more than reminiscent of the War Of The Worlds main theme. It’s a demure and restrained introduction to this album, preparing the listener before the bagpipes, keyboards and flutes kick in.

The second track sounds familiar. The beat used is the same as the beat used on the track Calum Ruadh Macnaecail from the previous album, flushing out all the genuine fans. A nice surprise on this album is that some song lyrics are in English, so Niteworks have played a blinder using rhythms from the previous album, but also rhythms and sounds familiar from 90s dance music and they written lyrics that most of us can sing along to and understand more easily.

Sian, the trio of young female Scotts Gaels singers, are back to add their individual and collective voices. What I noticed on this album is that each singer’s voice is unique, with different ranges, and each is easily distinguishable from the others.

Towards the end of the album, the track Theid Mi Lem Dheoin features the vocals of award winning Alasdair Whyte of the band Whyte whose album I reviewed recently. Part of me loves this track because Whyte’s vocals remind me of trad voices I heard in childhood that in my most hubris moments I try to imitate. Throughout the album, the music is more restrained than in the last, but in this track, the music rises with a choir to a dramatic climax adding to the power of Whyte’s conviction. To me, this is the stand out track on the album. I woke this morning with it flaming in my mind.

The album finishes with the title track A’Ghrian featuring Kathleen Innes. This is not Innes’ first outing with this song. You can find a Youtube of her singing A’Ghria live that was posted in 2011.

Respectfully, Niteworks have kept Innes’ arrangement of this traditional song. The music stops, leaving Innes’ voice as the cliff hanger, keeping you hanging, wanting more, waiting for their next album to drop.

This is an album for anyone who has a taste for Scottish trad and who is keen to see trad handed down to the next generation. Niteworks have picked up the baton and run with it.

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