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01/01 Direct Link
New Yearís Day: what a start to 2009, vomiting into my bin. It felt so much better afterwards though. It was a result of mixing different alcohols, not eating enough food to soak it up, dancing too much to cheesey songs and feeling very lonely when the clock struck midnight. I had several messages from this new guy, J, throughout the night and then during the next morning. He had very little sympathy for me. I felt like curling up in a ball and dying, then I realized I had dogs to take care of so I pulled myself together.
01/02 Direct Link
My first day back at work, hardly anybody else was in. I succeeded in completing a number of menial but necessary admin tasks and felt accomplished. I felt so good in fact that I boldly asked J if he wanted to meet up that night, which he eagerly agreed to. I nervously drove over to his. We enjoyed the night together, sat watching the tv, getting to know one another better. I still donít think heís a looker, but we chat along alright and looks fade whereas personality remains. I may need a few more dates though to be conclusive!
01/03 Direct Link
J and I had made plans for him to come over to my house; we were going to walk the dogs as itís a cheap date, full of fresh air and a chance to chat and get to know one another more. However, at the time he said heíd be free he wasnít, then he turned his phone off and wouldnít respond to either my texts or calls. I assumed heíd gone off me, asked him to confirm. No answer, so I stuck with my original assumptions. I was quite upset; Iíd been duped into believing he actually liked me.
01/04 Direct Link
I woke up this morning full of resolution. I am not going to be treated like Iím disposable. A brief conversation with J, where he attempted to grovel through a hangover, and I realized that it was all just excuses for his bad behaviour. If he finds it acceptable to act like that after just one day then whatís it going to be like if weíd been going out for longer? Worse? I told him where to go. Welcome to the new me. I am sick of being messed around by ďmenĒ, and I do deserve much better than this.
01/05 Direct Link
When you fall off the best thing to do is dust yourself off and get straight back into the saddle. Tonight I struck up a conversation over the internet with B.

Heís intriguing me; training to be a doctor, likes reading, likes debating. We banter on MSN, then exchange phone numbers and banter more orally. I flick through photos of him on facebook, he does the same to me. At first, Iím not entirely sure if I fancy him, but the more I look through his profile the more excited I become Ė that wave of positive expectations flows through me.
01/06 Direct Link
More chat with B today. I can see us slipping into a comfortable habit of speaking at lunchtime, speaking late in the evening before we go to bed, texting at other times during the day. Heís not supposed to have his mobile at work, but makes an exception for me. That makes me feel wanted inside, and itís a nice feeling.

Itís great to just be able to talk to a guy without any pressure to go all the way! And we have so much in common that Iím sure we will never run out of things to talk about.
01/07 Direct Link
I can spot men that are only interested in sex a mile away from their profile pictures. They show their naked torsos, sometimes flexing their guns, as if thatís the only way to attract the female species. Welcome to the 21st Century lads, it takes more than just a toned athletic body to impress women nowadays. We left the caves millennia ago.

Itís a refreshing change to speak with someone who engages my mind too, who shares interests with me and teases me, because it makes me think. My mind needs as much stimulation as any physical part of me.
01/08 Direct Link
Sometimes I just canít help myself, I donít know when to stop. What is worse is that I encourage this kind of behaviour, I get some temporary pleasure out of being spoken dirty to; itís self-gratifying a carnal obsession. I lead myself into temptation but do not deliver myself from evil before itís too late. I wind up feeling degraded, empty and alone, as I felt before the conversation but much, much worse. I have knowledge that I have assisted another with their own selfish hedonistic rite, at the expense of my integrity and dignity.

Oh, how I feel used.
01/09 Direct Link
Women are led by emotions, men by logic. Tonight I panicked, fuelled by hormone-driven irrationality. B didnít call me this evening as planned. My mind raced, trying to fathom why not:-

Was I too cheap by the contents of our conversation last night?

Has he had second thoughts on us?

Is there a problem with his phone?

Has something bad happened to him?

I tried calling, texting, all a little too much. I shed a few tears out of frustration at not knowing. I have to know everything all the time, doesnít he understand that? Knowledge is important to me.
01/10 Direct Link
I feel a fool for over-reacting. B is perfectly fine, although finds my behaviour a little odd. I could have said as much in response, but instead pleaded to know that things were ok between us. He forgave me. But I didnít feel comforted by his words, and doubt has crept into the back of my mind; doubt over is this going to work out, is he right for me, and some other niggling feeling I canít define but is there in the background. To counteract these feelings, I clutch at straws of interest he condescends to bestow on me.
01/11 Direct Link
A question: Am I really happy with my life at the moment? Itís fine when Iím busy, I donít have time to stop and think. But when Iím home on my own, with no colleagues, no team-mates, no friends, no family, just Jack who canít tell me one way or another, I wonder if I really deep down am satisfied with life.

I query this because I still feel like Iím searching for something deeper. Do I need religion? Do I need love, and if so, what kind? Romance? Better familial relationships? Do I need more fulfilment in my career?
01/12 Direct Link
My colleague is a Muslim. I interrogate him about his religion because Iím curious and ignorant. He happily answers my questions, Iím learning a lot about his beliefs and culture. He went to university and I found it hard to fathom how he got by being tee-total. He has to pray five times a day, so at certain times he leaves his desk and goes somewhere quiet. Heís paradoxical; he obeys the dogma of his religion, but finds thatís more down to routine than belief, he wants to lead a modern-manís life, but will most likely have an arranged marriage.
01/13 Direct Link
I analyse my own beliefs. Iíve been brought up Roman Catholic Ė christened, receiving holy communion, confirmed. But the whole patrionic system of belief has never sat comfortably in my conscience. I cannot buy in to the whole prophets story, regardless of whether itís Christianity, Judaism or Islam.

My beliefs lie closer to Buddhism or Paganism, but even those religions donít seem to cover it. I believe in a universal energy, which is recycled through births and deaths, and the ďcircle of lifeĒ. A Mother Nature entity at work, keeping humans in check through environmental control than fear of a deity.
01/14 Direct Link
I heard some astounding news at work today; my company have been selected as a partner to deliver the Olympic Village that the athletes will be staying in during the games in 2012!

This is very exciting, a great opportunity for me to get my hands on. I have already expressed an interest with the manager in the London office, now I just have to wait and see if I will be considered. I shared this news with everybody I could get within earshot of; my face was beaming with pride and eager anticipation!

I celebrated with my friend rosť.
01/15 Direct Link
I have doubts over Bís intentions. All we talk about now is sex, sex, sex. There is much more to life. I had visions of us chatting about string theory and the meaning of existence until the small hours, heatedly debating the highlights of Brownís term in government, arguing whether horoscopes and other mystical practices have any real truth or place in orthodoxy. I text him my thoughts, to say if he was only interested in discussing the physical and not the metaphysical then it isnít meant to be. He replied saying he was offended, which was not my intention.
01/16 Direct Link
I regret what Iíve done. In beautiful hindsight I wonder if I was perhaps too hasty to have called things off with B. To some degree I was guilty for the situation. I wonder if instead of ďgut instinctĒ it was just fear and cowardice, and my own judgmentalism made me misinterpret the signs. Itís easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of a new romance, then pause for a momentís thought. In reflection on past relationships I scared myself into assuming I was going to end up hurt again. Does it count if you do it to yourself?
01/17 Direct Link
So, back to the question of what am I searching for, what is it my heart longs for?

Why do I think I will find the answer when I find a romantic relationship with someone? To use an old clichť, I do feel like a jigsaw puzzle with a piece missing. Itís incredibly lonely coming home to nothing, nobody to share the day with, share work stresses with, cuddle up on the sofa and have a hug. I lack close physical contact in my life Ė with anybody Ė and I wonder if that makes me seem cold and callous elsewhere too?
01/18 Direct Link
Cold and callous is certainly not how I want to be portrayed as. Inside I feel like a volcano of emotion, there is a lovely red-hot energy bubbling away beneath the surface, waiting until I meet the right person and can explode! But in the meantime there is a hard rock exterior protecting that love, hard to penetrate unless you know the trigger point.

Iím aware how others may view me. I want to become more open without losing sincerity or integrity. I want to be friendlier to people without becoming a door-mat. So Iím making changes, little by little.
01/19 Direct Link
There are people I know who refer to others, even if they donít know them particularly well, as ďhonĒ, ďdarlingĒ or ďbabeĒ. To me, it sounds fake a lot of the time. I very rarely call people I know those names, even when I do hold them dear to me or know them very well.

For some people itís natural Ė those terms of endearment flow as easily into conversations as any other colloquial phrase. But for me I struggle to use them so freely, so I donít. Perhaps Iím putting up barriers between myself and others, distancing myself for safety?
01/20 Direct Link
B contacted me today, unexpectedly. A simple text, saying heíd been thinking of me. I paused for thought before replying. It led to an exchange of messages, almost culminating in another argument. I doubted that was why he had approached me, he said he wanted to meet up. A second chance, so do I give it to him? Itís funny what effect time has on our emotions Ė a calming, healing influence. I will agree to meet him, if he makes the effort and travels to my county. I will find it hard to trust someone who doesnít show theyíre worthiness.
01/21 Direct Link
I donít know why I give people second chances, they only abuse them. I spoke to B tonight, and he was not prepared to travel to visit me this weekend, citing study as an excuse, again. He knows I have commitments too. He wants to protract our first meeting for another week. I became agitated, argumentative, I donít want to wait any longer. He didnít know what to say so he ended our conversation. Iíve deleted his number completely, I donít want to have anything more to do with him. I donít want it all to be on his terms.
01/22 Direct Link
Having been selected as the Waste Champion for the Group I now have a valid reason to talk about rubbish all day!

I journeyed to London, to Head Office, to meet with the other members of the Sustainability Working Group. I have been tasked with obtaining data from various schemes to do with our current waste management, with the aim of analyzing the data to set a benchmark target for reduction every year until 2012.

Itís great to feel part of a Group-wide initiative, which is supplementary to my normal project management duties. Gets me noticed by senior management too!
01/23 Direct Link
Itís official: The UK is the tenacious grip of a recession.

And itís not like we didnít see this one coming.

The banks exhausted their credit-ratio through over-lending to the sub-prime market. As taxpayers we are now burdened with bailing these irresponsible banks out through a scheme of nationalization. All except for Barclays, so far, who have been bailed out with Arab money. Itís foreseen that they too, soon, shall be cap-in-hand requesting a bail out. Until the banks resolve their issues there will be no more economic growth. The globe is at the mercy of fat-cat mercenary banking executives.
01/24 Direct Link
On-off, on-off, this ďrelationshipĒ I have started with B in more indecisive than a flickering light bulb. The latest update is that he didnít come over today, which I expected as heíd made some excuse during the week, but that he would visit me tomorrow after rugby. I wait with bated breath Ė not.

I am quite anxious about the match tomorrow; Hertford are a tough team to beat, who play dirty if things arenít going their way. The weather is also set to be atrocious, particularly in the howling gales and sheeting rain of today are anything to go by!
01/25 Direct Link
I gave B his second chance, but yet again he blew it. I have grown despondent of the male species; they perpetually let me down, use me, abuse me or otherwise mess me around. I think my resolve is stronger this time around, primarily because I am so tired of all the games. Tomorrow I will remove my internet dating profile and vanish from cyber-dating existence forever.

Tonight I consoled myself by drooling over Hugh Jackman in ďX-Men, The Last StandĒ. I monged on the sofa with Jack cuddled up, wishing tomorrow wasnít Monday. How the weekend goes so quick!
01/26 Direct Link
My colleague and I enjoyed a great debate this afternoon, which contributed considerably to our line of work. The subject of the debate? ďBananas Grow on Trees: DiscussĒ. I think in a pub-quiz from many years ago a similar question was posed, so I was certain that they were not the fruit of a tree. I actually thought they came from a bush. However, my colleague was adamant that they grew on trees. Wikipedia confirmed that he was incorrect; bananas actually grow on pseudostems. But it was www.banana.com that set us both straight Ė they are actually a type of herb!
01/27 Direct Link
Deep in the back of my mind, I keep wondering if I will hear from B again. Am I bothered? I suppose I must be. I donít know why I find it so hard to let go of things that are so wrong for me.

I must be a typical Cancerian: I like to hoard things. This not only applies to the tangible (evidenced by the amount of junk I keep!), but also thoughts, memories, emotions. Itís no wonder I work myself up, I store negative energy like a Pandoraís box; I pity the poor soul who will unlock it.
01/28 Direct Link
Jack has become quite naughty of late. It stems from Rockyís visit over New Year. Both being un-neutered males they were territorial, and whilst left alone as I went off to work they would mark their patches. I came home to a house smelling of urine and spent my lunchtimes and early evenings cleaning up after them.

I thought when Rocky left that Jack would behave himself again, but he hasnít. He takes chances, marking on doorframes, the low-level television unit and the yukka plant. No amount of disinfectant seems to deter him. Heís told off, but to no avail!
01/29 Direct Link
I sometimes wonder if I should have taken Jack on. Weíve never properly bonded, unlike the previous dogs Iíve owned. Heís a fidget, and wonít sit still by me for any great length of time. He prefers to make a nest in my bed with the duvet rather than cuddle up next to me in the evenings. Little white hairs are shed indiscriminatorily around the house. Iím constantly tidying up!

He trembles when he has been told off, not through fear but to inspire pity. He casts sideways glances through his thin white eyelashes when he thinks youíre not looking.
01/30 Direct Link
I started off feeling like a lemon; everybody else at the party was one-half of a couple except for me. I sat in the corner, tried to avoid getting in the way but failing miserably. I chatted with safe people, those who I knew already. I wanted to mingle, it was just difficult to break the ice.

I went to the kitchen, where I struck up a conversation with someone I half-knew. Conversation flowed easily, and I was slightly surprised, mainly because my own judgmentalism had already ruled that person out as a snob. How wrong can first impressions be?
01/31 Direct Link
Itís funny what effect winking at a stranger has. We started talking, discovered we have common interests. We talked for ages, losing track of the time. With all the bad luck on the love front recently, speaking to D filled me with a new-found hope instead. From just one conversation I gather that he is gentle and kind, qualities that were missing in others before him. I have a good feeling about this, but then, Iíve said that before and look what happened.

This time it will be different, I will take my time to get to know him properly.