Sheepish.

So, I was wrong. The Frenchman has been busy with a work project and sorting out his CV to start job hunting. I got a message from him earlier today, all chirpy and apologetic. I’m happy he’s not lost his job, or died or anything but I’m going to have to say something. Not to nag, but this is not a normal relationship. The distance just magnifies everything, making the good things ace and the bad things fucking dire. Anything could have happened to him. He could’ve come off the road and died (heaven forbid, but the driving over there is just insane) for all I knew. All it takes is a message to say “I’m busy, will catch up with you in a few days”. Grrr. Do guys not think about this stuff? Seriously?

And, OK, maybe there were external factors that didn’t help my mood. Such as one of the girls at my french class on Wednesday telling me how she’d left Portugal to be with her boyfriend here in London after a year apart, only for him to dump her 4 months later, leaving her in a foreign city with no friends and nowhere to live. And perhaps reading the ‘It’s Complicated’ agony aunt whatsit in The Metro which was about a woman who had a long distance relationship with a guy ‘in Europe’ who decided out of the blue that their relationship wasn’t working. Miss Sunshine, I’m blaming that one squarely on you (kidding. Sort of).

So, yeah. My head hasn’t been in the best place over the last couple of days, especially with the pressure of sorting out my edits to send my updated manuscript to this publisher. And, maybe I should explain why I’m not jumping from the roof about it. Last year, they gave me great feedback and told me they were considering it for publication. Fabulous. I was so, so excited. One of the Big Six publishing companies were considering my book. Fast forward months later and they say no. Crushed. It’s this same publisher who got in touch yesterday. Well, they’re creating a new division and have recommended it to the new division for consideration. So I’m trying not to get excited, because frankly, I can’t deal with yet another rejection. I’d decided to stop submitting it and just put it on Kindle. I’ve even forked out for the editing and next was a fab cover. I had no intention of putting it back out there only for it to come back with a big fat no. But, hey, miracles happen. You never know. It could be good news. We’ll see.

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Gut Feelings

Sigh. Why do I do this to myself? I know it’s probably nothing but hey, it’s my blog and I’ll moan if I want to, right?

I’ve had a weird feeling over the past few days.  A gut feeling you could say. That feeling when something is not quite right, even when there’s little to no evidence to support it. And, of course, it’s about The Frenchman.

So far, there’s no plans for me to return. Usually we set a date soon after we see each other but this time, he said he was entering a “difficult period” and he didn’t want to give me a date only to have to change it. I know this is about his job because he might be made redundant and he’s supposed to find out this month. The last he told me, he could find out within 7 days or a month. Not quite sure how their employment laws work in France but hey. He’s been having sleepless nights and he’s stressing out about it. So it’s all a bit unsure as to when I’ll see him next. Either way it looks doubtful it’ll be this month. Besides that, our comms have been feeling weird. Instant messages haven’t been as instant as they were and yesterday, after waiting with baited breath for his email, I went to bed feeling disappointed. Nothing.

I know I’m probably being over dramatic but I’m getting that feeling. The ‘its not you, it’s me’ feeling. Of course I know he’s busy at work, staying in the office way into the evening etc etc. And I’m trying really hard not to think ‘well if it were me…’. Because if it were me, I’d want to see the person I profess makes me feel better, takes my mind off work etc etc. I’d want to have something to look forward to. He’s releasing his stress if his emails are anything to go on. Big, mad nights out with his mates at the weekend, etc etc but still.

The truth is, I feel massively vulnerable with him. He’s gotten so far under my skin that it scares me sometimes. I flit between feeling secure and afraid. Every time I see an email from him in my inbox, I have a fleeting moment where I think he’s going to tell me he can’t do this anymore. The stress of his work is too much. He’s not in the right frame of mind for a relationship like this. He can’t handle the distance. And I’d be devastated if that happened. Because there’s nothing I can do about it. We don’t speak long term. I have no idea how long ‘this’ will continue in its present state.

Maybe I’m just having an off few days. Probably some kind of backwards PMS. But my experience, and the experience of others, is telling me to trust the feeling I have in the pit of my stomach. That no matter how much you feel about someone and no matter how you think they feel about you, the rug can be pulled from under your feet without warning. I’ll have to see what he says today, if he remembers to email me that is.

Oh. Some good news. I just got an email from a big publisher to say they’re starting a new imprint and have suggested my book be put forward for consideration. Didn’t even make me crack a smile but its good news I suppose.

A whole lotta Durex and a whole lotta fun

So, The Frenchman came, he went and I conquered. And we came. And came. A massive box of Durex, gone. Fun times. Right now, I’m battling against a cold and feeling a bit sorry for myself. The cold is courtesy of The Frenchman. He came down with it three days before flying in but hey, it’s a small price to pay for the fun we had.

 The weekend went without a hitch, despite the sky shitting snow all over London. I mean, really?! I had to adjust the plans I’d made a little but on the whole it went to plan. I was unbelievably nervous waiting for him at the airport. I have no idea why. But I was. Proper heart ricocheting in my chest, sweaty palms, sickly nervous. But then when I saw him, well, all was good. He looked deliciously handsome and was wrapped up in the scarf I’d bought him for Christmas. Looked good on him, too. On the drive into London, I showed him various sites – the Olympic Park, Canary Wharf, my house. Yep. We drove straight past it. And if it wasn’t for the fact I’m living with the ‘rents, I’d have been taking him there instead. Having said that, when we got to the hotel, it was clear I’d made the right choice. We got upgraded to a suite for no apparent reason (and I never get upgraded anywhere, on anything, ever). So, instead of just a room, we had a massive living room with a great view over London, massive bathroom with double shower, kitchen and bedroom. Nice. This clearly meant more surfaces to get dirty on. And get dirty we did. Bedroom, tick. Shower, tick. Bath, tick. Kitchen, tick. Sofa, tick. Up against the floor to ceiling height windows overlooking Waterloo station? Tick. Just, fabulous. I’m quite amazed at how good the sex actually is. Very cat that got the cream, I can tell you.

 So, the Friday, we went to look at Egyptian mummies and drink real ale in a chintzy Victorian pub and in the evening, I introduced him to Nandos. I cannot believe they don’t have one in France. I mean, seriously? What’s that all about? I adore Nandos. So we met up with Miss America and her husband, had some food and then headed into central London for some cocktails. It was a lot of fun. I love that The Frenchman loves to dance. I love that he’s so affectionate, even in front of other people. He’ll kiss me anywhere. Over the table in a restaurant, on the Tube, on the bus, in a packed bar. I felt thoroughly adored and I’m sure I was positively glowing. It was a lovely day and night. With the snowfall everything was coated in white and it was nothing short of romantic, walking around the near deserted streets of London at 2am after having argued about whether English or French McDonald’s was better…ahhh, l’amour. Saturday was a chilled affair. We had a long lie in and a nice lunch before wandering around Covent Garden, Soho and Carnaby Street. We stopped off at Yuautcha, a Chinese/Japanese restaurant in Soho and had coffees and macaroons (cola, hazelnut and parma violet flavoured. Just yum) and headed back to the hotel for a nap. That night we went on the London Eye, a first for the both of us, and then into Chinatown for dinner. I think it’s safe to say that his naughty side is definitely becoming a lot more pronounced now. As we were having a cigarette in the freezing cold, he told me he’d love to warm me up by pushing me up against the wall and fucking the life out of me. I almost choked on my cigarette. Not because I’m a prude, but because it came from him. He’s always sensitive, more romantic than aggressive in the bedroom, and even though I knew he had a naughty side to him, it took me by surprise coming from nowhere like it did. Yeah. That was a lot of fun.

 That’s what the weekend was. Fun. We didn’t have any heavy conversations, we just hung out. Enjoyed each others company. Took the piss out of my bad French and his dodgy English phrases. After talking about blowjobs, it transpired I can’t say ‘souffler’ (blow) and it’s a common term of endearment in French to call a woman ‘Ma biche’ (my doe). He calls me his little venison instead. We’re racking up the ‘in jokes’ and each of them make me smile. I didn’t repeat the L-Bomb but it took a LOT of restraint on my part. It’s incredibly hard for me to hold back on what I’m feeling sometimes but, I did it. And as he told me at the airport as he was leaving, ‘we’re strong’. That’s enough for me.

For the entire weekend, we were literally joined at the hip. So much so that I feel a bit lost now. As usual, it’s going to take a good few days for me to feel back to normal, get used to sleeping alone and waking alone. Total balls.

I go back to Marseille in four weeks time and I’m already marking the days in my calendar.

It.Cannot.Come.Quick.Enough.

Mr Uncomplicated becomes…complicated

No, this isn’t a new guy on the go. This is The Frenchman. In our email exhange, I’d told him I was going to look at what was on in Marseille during March for my week long stay. It’s been named European City of Culture for 2013 so there should be lots of fun things to do, concerts, shows etc. He didn’t quite understand my message and asked if I’d be coming for a week in February or March. In my message, I’d jokingly said I could get an apartment for the week if that made him less scared, mocking him for when he said a month together scared him.  Obviously I was joking although I accept this may have been lost in translation and e-communication. Anyway, in his reply he said if I was coming for the weekend I have to stay with him, I’d have no choice in the matter. Sweet. Then he said, if I’m coming for a week then we could speak about me staying at a hotel for a couple of nights and made a joking apology for being a chicken.

What the fuck?

I’m not even going to pretend I’m not disappointed. First of all we’d spoken about a month. Then a week. Now this. The month I totally understand and would have no problem staying in an apartment. I wouldn’t want him to feel he’d have to chaperone me for 30 days. In theory, I’d do it for a week as well. I don’t mind the idea of occupying myself for a few days, I’d said in my very first post that I wanted to go somewhere foreign and fend for myself. But really? A week isn’t that long, is it? It makes little sense to me. His signals are becoming confusing.

He constantly tells me he misses me, can’t wait to see me etc etc. Yet he’d be happy for me to make the journey there, at my own expense, and stay in a hotel? If it was me, I wouldn’t be able to cope with knowing he was in my country, let alone city, without seeing him as much as I could. It’s not like we get to see each other as and when we want.

I don’t understand what he’s so scared about. I don’t know what’s happened in his last relationships or if he’s just always been like this. But now I have the memory of him telling me he didn’t know if he was ready for a serious relationship and it’s worrying me. He doesn’t want to break my heart, he’s very scared about doing so is what he told me before. But he’s a sensible guy, he must know the longer we go on, the more I’m going to get attached. What does he want? Should I ask the question, again? I can’t help but feel my dropping of the L Bomb is coming back to bite my little arse.

I have no idea how to respond. I can’t ignore that bit of his email. I feel like telling him it was actually a joke but maybe we should just stick to weekends only. And not bother booking any more trips until he asks me to. I don’t want to play games, everything has been spectacularly uncomplicated so far but I can feel my self protectiveness biting and well, if he thinks he’s self protective he has no idea how I can be too. I’ve been more open and honest with him than I have been with anyone. The Ex included.

It’s the first time he’s sent me a message that hasn’t put a smile on my face and kept it there for hours. This long distance set up is bloody hard and I don’t know if I’m just hitting a runners wall and feeling disheartened. The rest of his message was normal, with his usual declarations of romance etc etc. But I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel like a bear with a sore head today.

I don’t usually ask for advice but, well, what to do??

Dirty Pictures and The End of The World

So last night after a great dinner with Miss Comeback, Miss Sunshine and a few other colleagues, I tucked myself up in bed ready to sleep. My phone had been bleeping away all night with the writer girls I speak to on our Facebook thread. When all four of us get chatting it can get a bit hectic so I turned the notifications off. I’m still getting used to my new mobile and I’ve not yet familiarised myself with the different notifications for different apps, so when my phone bleeped again I sighed and ignored it. And then thought, actually, let me just check. I’m glad I did because it was a picture of Mr Marseille’s naked torso. Hello. We started chatting and clearly, he had the horn. So finally, we started swapping pictures. 

Things have moved very slowly in this regard between us. The guys I dated so far this year all wanted pictures straight away and I was always a bit…put off with doing so. So I quite liked Mr Marseille’s approach of waiting for a while. Think it’s safe to say I slept well. And I’ve kept his pictures in a locked app on my phone for a cheeky peek now and again.

In other news, it’s the 21st December today, which some believe to be the end of the world thanks to a perhaps heavy misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar. Never mind the fact it’s been the 21st for a few hours in some parts of the world and, I think they’re still here. But I might be wrong.Unless of course it’s relating to one of the 24 hours of today in south American time. Then we’re screwed.

If, however, the world does end, I’d like to take this opportunity to say thanks for reading my blog.

But I’m sure I’ll see you (metaphorically speaking) tomorrow.

x

Waiting and Depressed Cats

I spoke to The Frenchman this morning. It looks like he wont be able to come to London before the end of the year after all. He said he wanted to, but he doesn’t have a weekend free. I’m trying not to be too disappointed – I know how hard it can be to find time in December. He said he wants to come in early-mid January for a weekend of 4-5 days, work permitting. He also said he’s excited to see me in ten days time, when we can talk about my extended trip which is good because I’ll need to give notice of my leave at work. From what he said last time, he’s going skiing for a week in early February (I think) so I’d most likely go towards the end of February or early March.

It’s great that we’re still planning this. As every woman who’s in the early stages of dating knows, talking about stuff ‘in the future’ is always a good sign. I’m just not looking forward to a 4-6 week gap over the holidays. It’s not so much about being ‘single’ over the festive season, to be honest that’s never really bothered me. Granted, I’ve been in a relationship for lots of christmasses, but I’m not the kind of girl who craves being in a loved ones arms over this period of time. And given that we’re in different countries, I’m not sure it would make much difference anyway! It’s just a long time to wait.

I’ve always been a bit of a…I’m not sure what the term is. Not a pessimist. Hmm. OK, I’ll try and explain. When I fly somewhere, I’m always convinced that it’ll be my plan that falls out of the sky. If I’m on holiday, driving up a mountain on tiny roads, I’ll be convinced that the car will topple over the side. If I’m on a boat…you get my drift. It’s really weird, but that’s how I am. I’m one of those whose trying my best to ignore all this 2012 doomsday Mayan calendar stuff, which is a lot easier now than when I was with my ex, who positively LOVED that stuff, and frequently said he couldn’t wait for some kind of apocalypse to happen (yes, he was weird). So it’s in my nature to worry about things, the fact that 1 in 3 people are affected by cancer, or panicking when I don’t hear from someone for a while incase they’ve been run over or something. I’m a cheery person really. I’m just a worrier. And for the last few weeks, this has been really heightened.

It sounds so twattish to say it, but I feel like I’ve become more aware of my own mortality. I don’t mean I’m going around worried about dying, just that how precious time is. I’ve never liked waiting for anything anyway but lately I’ve been thinking, time is going by so quickly and HE’S over THERE. What if I die, or he dies, between now and our next meeting. It’s an awful thing to think and I try really hard to shove it out of my head, but it does sneak back in quite often. What does this mean? Other than I’m a total fruitloop, that is.

In happier (kind of) news, he told me that his cat was ‘not right’ last week. He apparently didn’t see him in the evenings after work as he’d be hiding under the bed or sofa. He thinks his cat was depressed after I went back to London. Which made me go ‘awwww’. You know what they say, win over the cat, bag the man.

Actually, I just made that up but you get the drift.

A High Flying Bird

So, it’s been some time since my last post. Last weekend I took myself off to France to meet The Frenchman.

After a mildly nervous flight (it was the first time I’d ever flown by myself), I got off the plane, collected my luggage and made my way to the arrivals hall, with a flicker of nerves. The Frenchman and I have been in constant comms since June, but a little part of me was worried that I’d distorted the memory of him in my head. What if I didn’t actually fancy him in the sober, cold light of day four months on? What if it was awkward when we saw each other? What if we had nothing to talk about? Luckily, as soon as I walked through the arrivals door he was there, and all those questions were answered. Yes, I did still fancy him. He’s taller than I remember, tip-toe kissing tall, and his eyes are this strange colour somewhere between amber and hazel. In his converse, low slung jeans, t-shirt and baseball cap, I was immediately hit with the feeling I had when I first saw him in Ireland. I’d distorted nothing. Any worries I had about that those first few seconds of seeing each other being awkward were gone when he kissed me in the middle of the crowd waiting for their friends, family and business contacts, and I quite literally melted. Well, only half melted. When he spoke to me I might as well have fallen in a heap on the floor. It sounds weird to say it, but our comms have always been by email, so it was the first time since Ireland I’d actually heard his voice. A lot deeper than I remembered, and that accent…

He’d bought me a white chocolate Twix, because I’d told him once it was one of my favourite chocolate bars and the white chocolate was a new one on me! We headed to the car park, kissing and smiling and hugging along the way. He couldn’t remember which car park he’d parked in, and his attitude was remarkably laid back about it. It was something I saw a lot of over the weekend. Nothing seemed to faze him. When we got lost driving around, looking for a place to eat after the concert, both of us hungry and way past midnight, he just said ‘de rien’ – ‘it’s nothing.’ Which was handy since it was partially my fault we’d got lost as he’d put me in charge of directing him with his satnav…talk about a baptism of fire in terms of utilising my newly acquired French speaking skills!

Since we got to the hotel too early to check in, we parked up and went to a cafe for a couple of hours, talking, catching up and joking. Miss America had warned me before I left that my sense of humour might not translate. She said ‘sarcasm can kiss your (my) ass.’ I’m pleased to say there was no awkwardness when it came to swapping jokes! He’s just as sarcastic and cheeky as I am, so a lot of the time was spent taking the piss out of each other! And when we finally got to the hotel room after stopping for a bite to eat…sparks flew. It was Ireland all over again, but this time totally sober. I don’t think I’ve ever had a prolonged period in bed with a guy who was solely focused on me. Like, ever. It was all so romantic, so intense, so French…so amazing. I could quite happily have not moved from the hotel room at all. I said before he was the best sex I’ve ever had…that statement was definitely true and most definitely still stands. If I could think of one word to describe it, it would just be…delicious 🙂

And so it was for two days. Eating a ridiculous amount of food, drinking, walking, kissing, laughing, hugging, dancing, joking, lounging around in bed, holding hands, massaging – you name it, it happened, and I loved every last minute of it. Maybe it’s a French thing, but he was super affectionate. He felt no way in leaning over the table at dinner or stopping me in the middle of the street for a kiss. And all I could think was, wow. He exudes this confidence, this self assurance that I haven’t seen before. He’s 33, so the same age as most of the guys I’ve come across this year, but his temperament is so different. He has a genuine ‘I don’t give a shit’ air about him that manages not to come across as arrogant. He seems genuinely comfortable in his own skin and I cannot stress enough how much of a turn on that was. He took care of me from the moment I landed to the moment I left. He wouldn’t let me spend any money and when I did, it was only after stressing that I wanted to pay for something. Our hotel room was 157 euros a night and we were there for two. He had an 8 hour round trip, which meant petrol. He bought drinks, dinner and snacks. In the end, I managed to spend a hefty 60 Euros all weekend. He was super patient with me when I tried to speak French, encouraging me along the way and took the time to explain things when I didn’t understand them. It really did feel like I’d spent masses of time with him beforehand – I could hardly believe it was only the second time we’d seen each other.

I’m literally overwhelmed by romance. I feel like I’m walking around in this hazy glow. And it’s not because I’ve been treated like a princess all weekend either. It’s because spending some time with him has confirmed to me that he’s exactly what I thought he’d be when I first saw him and from what I’ve learned over the last 4 months. Everything from his taste in music, to his political and philosophical beliefs were bang on point to what I thought they’d be. I can honestly say that there was no flicker of disappointment over that weekend and I was scared that there might be. It’s so easy to make yourself believe that you really like someone in an ‘online’ setting and I was worried the reality would be lacking. But it wasn’t. I felt ridiculously comfortable with him. I’m not second guessing anything. So far he’s been surprisingly honest about his feelings, he doesn’t mess around when I ask him something. He seems to have this aura that relaxes me and instead of doing the analytical will he like this/wont he, if I ask him this will he think this or that, I feel remarkably secure.

I like him, a lot. With the exception of the distraction with Mr Grey (ha, I actually had to stop and try to remember his name then!), the way I feel has been constant. He said to me today that he felt like he was in the clouds all weekend, everything was perfect and it felt to him like we were a couple who had been together for years. He can’t take time off work to come to London until January, so I’m heading to Marseilles in a few weeks time and he’s said we’ll talk about the ‘future’ then. If I was living there or he was here, I’d know the status of our relationship. Mr Grey wouldn’t even have got a look in. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

It’s weird, but I don’t feel stupidly giddy about all of this. I feel ridiculously happy, annoyed that it’s taken so long (which is blatantly down to me and cancelling my trip in August) and oddly secure. I’d have thought that if I were in this situation, I’d be constantly stressing about what he’s doing, whether he’s going to be seduced by some sophisticated French woman given there’s hundreds of miles in distance between us, but I don’t. There’s something about him that makes me feel like I don’t need to worry about anything and that’s a feeling I’m liking a hell of a lot because I’m missing him. Having finally spent time together it went all too quickly and now I’ve got a good four weeks to wait until I’ll see him again. It actually feels like I’m stuck in this dream right now that I don’t really want to wake up from. Everything’s been on autopilot, I’ve done no real work today at all as my head’s just stuck in this daze.

It’s really quite a beautiful feeling…