Tag: Goran

feeling unsettled

I saw Jan the other night – he’d invited me to his local and I went because we hadn’t seen each other since the last time before he went away, halfway across the globe to attend a cousin’s wedding.

It was a strange evening – I was tired and his friends seemed aggressive in their bantering irascibility.  Back at his we spent a companionable couple of hours on the sofa before his lodger, an ex returns.  I kiss him goodnight just past midnight and drive home.  Neither of us slept well.  His sleep punctuated by surreal dreams – of weddings, not unusual as he has just returned from one.

I think sometimes that he is self absorbed – a little unaware of the needs of others around him. Is that why Carly and his other women fall to the wayside?  I’m still around, he must like me.  I like him but am wary, of giving too much away.

In contrast to this relationship with Jan is the one I have with Goran.  I love the wild sex with him and always have.  But he isn’t always accessible as he lives with his young family and jealous, alpha wife.  The sex was punishingly good last night, even though we had tried to keep our hands off each other for the first hour or so.   I flirt with the thought that we might be something more to each other than lovers but know that I want his marriage to succeed.  And because of this I keep my emotions in check.

This morning we went for some coffee at our local coffee bar.  I was feeling a little rough as we’d finished a bottle of cava between us and some red wine after that.  We kissed chastely outside and go our separate busy lives, until next week.

It bothers me that an ex thinks it is un-womanly my having so many lovers.  I am not ashamed of it.  I don’t draw attention to this lifestyle but the men I date are aware of it.  It bothers me to think that they might think badly of my character or morals but I don’t really aspire to that kind of virtue/morality.

I couldn’t fully focus on writing today as distracted by the men who send me messages, I am flattered by their attention, and break off from what I’m doing to reply to them.

Jan asked me up to his this Friday and I made arrangements to stay over at his.  We had a slight misunderstanding but it was cleared up in minutes – when we both openly spoke our minds.  I have been feeling a little over sensitive and vulnerable lately, my senses working overtime, occasionally picking up slights where none were intended.  I am grateful I have his warm friendship and feel a little guilty for thinking early in the week that he might have been self-absorbed.  No one is completely without virtue.

Enough

Why don’t you come over to me one evening next week?  – Jan suggested in the car this morning, just before we kissed our goodbyes as I dropped him off at the station.  We might do something a little more exciting than sleep.

I asked him if he had felt like it during our date or in bed and he said he hadn’t been that interested.  I agreed that it didn’t occur to me that sex was on his mind. We both agreed that sex was not a requirement in a relationship but he said he knew that I was interested in it and he felt obliged to put out as it were, but age etc meant that he was physically limited.  He was only seven years older than me.  In sharp contrast to Goran who is seven years younger than me.

Just before we went to bed I’d had on one of my more risqué nighties, a silky red number that skimmed the tops of my thighs.  I suppose at the back of my mind I’d hoped that it might have tempted him, but alas, it didn’t work.  I wasn’t too disappointed but wondered if it meant that we were destined to be just very good friends.  We get on very well and I don’t feel too jealous when he tells me he might have had a few sexual encounters with other women.  Although I am ever so slightly satisfied to hear that these romps weren’t as earth shattering as either party had hoped.

I realise at the end of this week – a week which had begun with my diary filled with dates every evening of the week, only for most of them to be cancelled and a few replaced with ones with Jan – that perhaps I can be content with only seeing Jan, and Goran, and perhaps occasionally Sebastien and R.  Certainly with the latter duo, my relationship with each is completely platonic.  Lars had sent me an invitation to play but I had politely declined.  There is no one I want to give up my single status for and perhaps it is enough to sleep with one man and see a few others now and again.

on being honest

When it was still warm in mid September and I was just getting to know JR, we fell into a discussion about the masks people wear and to what extent that is a falsehood.  In our dating and even interviewing efforts to appear at our best some of us may present a picture of ourselves deemed socially acceptable.  We may even believe that that is truly who we are when in fact we are untrue to ourselves.

So when he asked me what boundaries I had, I had thought about it for a while and declared that I would not be overly upset if I discovered that someone had lied to me about themselves.  He had been rather surprised.  But it was surely not dissimilar to our wearing a mask.  And naturally on a first date we always try to present the very best sides of ourselves.  Of course it’s easier simply to be honest and it must reflect more on our insecurity the bigger the lie, but that has less to do with the person being lied to than the person doing the lying.  And so it made it easier not to feel betrayed.  We were of course talking as people who’d only just met – it had been a first date when we rambled on in search of a quieter pub or one with more seating than clients.  We ended up eventually at one at the bottom of Downshire Hill.

A few months later, I was having a similar conversation with Goran.  We had been dating since early spring this year and have developed a bond/rapport.  I’d always taken everything he’d told me at face value and yet all the same I felt last week as if he hadn’t been completely honest with me over some trivial arrangement we had made which had then been cancelled.  Eventually he conceded that he might not have been entirely truthful and I had felt a little disconcerted.  And just like that, my warm feelings towards him – and there had been an overload of this recently – have begun to cool.   It’s very difficult to continue to be excited about arrangements we might make considering that they’re likely to be postponed or cancelled and I am almost glad that this has happened to remind me that this is not a relationship that has much of a future.  And to be fair to him, he has always tried to be honest and I had known from the outset that his loyalties lay primarily with his family.  I was merely surprised that he had felt the need to be economical with the verite.

The only reliable constant I have is me and what I do and the choices I make.  Whilst it’s exhilarating to lose one’s heart over another, I should be more careful who I lose mine to next time.

across continents and being at home

How’s the dating?

It’s Jan’s turn to trot across the globe this time and we swap travel tales and tips, he sends me pictures of dishes he enjoyed on his exotic holiday.  He asked me how I was doing with the dating and it’s become a happy pattern now of seeing two or three different men in the week.  Even R has returned and become quite fun to hang out with.  We went to see that very quirky dystopian film The Lobster before going on to a restaurant and then a pub for more drinks.  Finally at about half eleven he walked me to the station and we kissed and hugged each other goodbye.  It was friendly and lovely and we promised to see each other again before he had to go away to dangerous destinations for work.

I told Jan about the Texan who entered my dating life a few weeks back.  But not in any great detail because apart from his sartorial elegance and Harvard background he is still very new and a little unknown.   We take our time between dates and I marvel at my own restraint – perhaps I’ve learnt to savour and enjoy the entire experience, the delicious anticipation, confident that my expectations will not be disappointed.

And of course there’s Goran over whom my heart still skips a beat occasionally.  But the fact that he belongs elsewhere has tempered my enthusiasm and I have sought to distract myself by reading the consolation of philosophy and other works by that  philosopher of the quotidian.  It has given me some comfort to know that my motives in seeing him remain selfless in so far as I don’t wish his marriage to end.  Whilst he remains married to another, we might continue our love affair in a bubble of indulgence each happy to please the other, fully appreciating the short time we have together and making the effort to delight and soothe.

Love

I love you – those words escaped yesterday
liberated I repeat them again
in loving you  I hope I am selfless
returning you intact before midday
without delay nor excuse entertain
Desiring only your happiness.
And already I’ve sped up the process
that always leads to the end and to pain –
there is no echo; for what can you say
we knew what this can only ever be.
Suffering all the anguish of Psyche
While Eros wanders on a different plane
having set his arrows to wreak mischief.
Tempting though to play the game of what if
I would my compass and composure feign.

don’t turn your nose up at online dating darling

I hate online dating

the above snapshot was taken from Dolly Alderton, 26 writing for the Sunday Times

She’d been watching too many movies clearly, those Before and After Sunrise type ones where you want to just grab Ethan Hawke, snog and shag him senseless into silence.

But who am I to make these pre-judgements?  The thing is I’ve not been patient enough to wait 5 years –  less than a month into being single and I’m hooked up with someone has been the story of my dating life.  Except in the last 1.5 years – which gives me another 3.5 to look for that someone in real life.  In the meantime I went on holiday with the first one from a dating website, optimistically called *****… Soulmates (!), and returned home NOT feeling like knowing him had been a huge mistake.  Thing is though, having had your heart broken and definitely approaching the end of days makes one a tad cautious.

Here’s a little preview of diary entries during that holiday –

It was promisingly sunny but bracing when we arrived and were met by our car hire rep.  I never quite got used to driving on the wrong side of the road, causing Jan to wince and chastise me for veering into the hard shoulder on the passenger side fairly frequently – it was mostly good humoured ribbing as he was equally incompetent.  I drove towards Stykkisholmur, stopping at Bogarnes to take in a heritage museum and hear Egil’s saga – he of warrior poet fame, slaying his first foe at the tender age of seven to the fulsome praise of his mother.

That evening the rain came down and tested our rain jackets.  We were recommended a pleasing diner at the tourist information centre by an enthusiastic young information guide (there are lots of good restaurants around here, well, ok not lots, but good …).  So we found Skirinn where we each had two large pints of the local brew with our first of many fish meals.  My inhibitions very much lowered after the strong beers, as we headed to the harbour and the lighthouse to take photos of the stunning sunset and rainbows when the rain cleared, I declared that I was ready to give my heart to the island.  I’m sure Jan must’ve thought me utterly reckless and almost as crazy as the rest of his women friends!

Our second full day, Jan at the wheel when we crossed over to the Westfjords with its breathtaking landscape saw us reaching for our phone cameras; he stopped the car every few minutes to take another scenic shot with his DSLR. We were headed towards Bolungarvik at the northern tip of the Westfjords opposite Hornstrandir peninsula.  En route we stopped off at the Dynjandi falls where the rest of the tourists on this wild bit of Iceland had also decided to congregate. It was still magical enough and we were able to have quite a few moments just taking in the booming majesty and spectacular beauty of the place.

Fresh off the ferry from Stykkisholmur earlier we’d paused at the side of the road and walked down the sides of a waterfall. I particularly revelled in the cushiony mossy banks.  If it hadn’t rained a few minutes before, I might have lain down on it.  But it was damp and the hovering midgies also a nuisance.

The mountains throughout the journey had rough black faces of lava rock, some were tiered with columnar basalts and some still had sheets of unmelted snow on them; the glaciers were only faintly visible, merging with clouds in the far far distance.  Some greenery was creeping up from the valleys, along fissures where water might have carved small rifts downwards.  It was beautiful and although most of the guidebooks said that we would encounter few people in these parts we did pass a number of cars on our journey – a sign of mounting tourism.

We arrived at the guesthouse – Einarshusid.  It was quaint and built at the turn of the last century. To be honest it wasn’t very inspiring initially not least because the washing facilities were shared but the hosts were charming and the place grew on us – we stayed there for three nights.

The next day we drove up to a bay at the end of the headland – the sands were a dark grey and there was a seal having a little swim in the deserted water.  We walked on the mossy grassy cliff top towards the end of a waterfall and I had a little drink.  It started to rain and the clouds descended rapidly as we drove away towards Isafjordur.  There we joined a ferry to Hesteryi, once a thriving settlement centred around a profitable whaling industry and then later when whale hunting was quota curtailed, herring.  But it lost even that trade when all the herring left the region, coincidentally at the same time as when telephone cables had been laid in the waters’ bed.  Now it is only visited by hikers, campers and the odd tourist like us.  There were two resident arctic foxes who gambolled up to us with quite docile expectation of feeding.  We all snapped away at them with our cameras and then it was time to get back on the ferry where the whales obliged us once more with their surface presence.

The hosts at the guesthouse were really a number of students on summer jobs but one of them, Alex, was particularly informative and helped us find amongst other attractions a lovely fish restaurant where we ate on our last night there.

It was called Tjorhusid (the Towerhouse) and we made friends with three other diners on the long tables who were seated next to us.  One was a young American from LA although he was born in Oahu, the other two a French couple from Brittany.  Jan was his convivial self and invited Kevin, the American for a post prandial drink but he declined.  We ended up in the basement of our guesthouse but no one else joined us.  Ennis, who was a Berliner had had a drink with us the previous evening, regaling us with her tales of driving woes.  She was making her way towards Akuryeri on her own and the previous evening we had been invited by two German couples to join them on their film night.  They had connected the TV in the bar to their laptop to play Fading Gigolo.  We watched it to the end that first evening and went to bed at around one in the morning.

When we woke up, Jan had been a little amorous but we were fairly chaste after that.  Goran has been messaging me on what’s app throughout this trip and I detected a little despondency in his tone on Sunday.  He asked and I confessed to him that Jan and I had had a little romp that morning and nothing since which was the truth.

We get to the middle of our holiday after an epic 5 hour journey weaving in and out of the fjords on smooth roads.   We play our music on our iPhones to each other and take turns with the driving.  Intent on arriving, a little anxious about the journey and destination, we missed a couple of sights.  We had eaten our packed lunches fairly late and didn’t feel like having a full meal so went for a walk on the beach and into the tiny interior before going back to the hotel bar for a drink.

I am enjoying this holiday a lot as both Jan and I quite like spending time reading on our own, not making any unreasonable demands on each other’s time. We’d had an honest sort of chat about our circumstances which helped tremendously to lay the boundaries for how we relate to each other.

I broke off from writing this halfway to entertain Jan on his PPE whimsy, Peston and Corbyn came up a few times and then we got distracted somehow and now I’m back to writing as he seems to be intent on a game on his phone.   I go off for a dip in the hotel hot pool, joined by a honeymooning couple from Kansas.  Jan sees us but disappeared back into the room.  I get out after the pool closes and find him on his phone, intent on the screen, lying on the bed.

We’d had a chat about what we want in our relationships with people and he is very much happy in his present state although still very much looking. A bit like me. We are all looking for something that will suit us.   What suits is not getting hurt after an adult lifetime spent with the wrong partners.   The next morning we’d had an unexpected romp – I was in a silly giggly mood.  The walls were uncompromisingly thin and we dared each other to remain silent in our enthusiasm.  He’d said the night before that sex was like sneezing but took it back after I challenged him post-coital.  We settle into an easy, comfortable pace and he says that I am nice to go on holiday with as I’m not at all mad, unlike some of his other women friends.  I laughed but felt inwardly quite pleased and then wished I might be thought a little mad after all.

The day of the journey down the F35 dawned blue and golden and the sights magnificent – glaciers in the far distance, moonscape in the foreground.  Sheep in threes – ewe and her two lambs were a fairly common sight, in the middle of the road licking the salt and then skittering off as we approached.  The road became rough and full of pot holes so we stopped off at hot springs at Hveravelir, and had some tea before pushing on to Gullfoss – the mother of all waterfalls.  The road thankfully improved as we reached the tourist trodden Golden Circle before getting to our final guesthouse.  Towards the grassy plains in the south we saw plenty of Icelandic horses.

Last full day – quietly seeing the main city, a visit to the penis museum and then some souvenir shopping before a drink at b5 to revive us.  I’d come across Halldor Laxness at one of the bookshops and am determined to find him at the library.  It was late – around 4pm but I managed to persuade Jan we should drive to the Black Sand Beach in Vik.  It would have been even more spectacular if it hadn’t been raining and so we spent a mere fifteen minutes there before picking up a couple of Russian hitchhikers on the way back.  The talk inevitably turned to Putin and the Russian economy, or laughable lack of it, according to them.

Things I liked about the holiday – listening to Jan’s music – Pink Floyd, Emiliana Torrini, June Tabor and a bit of his early band Valhalla – whilst on the road trip; also the breathtaking landscape and quiet desolation of most of the north west; and of course the final guesthouse just outside Hverargedi – a modern charm of simplicity, owned and run by an Icelandic sculptor.  She was an interesting character and Jan wished he could have chatted more with her, found out more about her etc.  I also found the last two nights refreshingly relaxing and would vote it the best place to stay.  The holiday could all have been a little cheaper but we’d had a fairly incident and drama free week.

Said goodbye yesterday and we returned to our ordinary lives.

And for your patience and reading to the end of the additional 1800 words, this is why I adore the music of the Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini –

Can you trust your therapist to be right?

Last night Sebastien took me to a posh fish restaurant in Piccadilly where we started with oysters and finished with affogatto for me and apple crumble for him with sea bass and salmon in between.   Defying convention I picked a red Granacha whose lightness despite it’s 2010 vintage complemented our meal.

This would be our last date this summer as he was going to Rome to finish off collaborating on a film script and I was leaving for my own travels.   The next time we’d see each other again would probably be at the end of September.  We’d had a number of dates over the month of July – going to the theatre, cinema or just having a meal together, like last night.  On those occasions we had skirted around the topic of dating and relationships despite it being of interest to the both of us.  Those earlier dates had ended frustratingly with us hurriedly kissing our goodbyes because it was far too late and with no time left to discuss these cogent matters.  And so we had made the date last night with the promise that we would begin the evening without anymore beating about.

So I started the ball rolling by asking him about his relationships.  He has yet to write the email to Natalya with whom he’d had an almost relationship but over whom he is still very much enthralled.   He had rather abruptly ended their very brief liaison, which had apparently not even been consummated because he had sensed her encroaching dominance.  Last night, in the retelling of the events he reached an insightful epiphany and revealed that perhaps by his abnegation of taking the lead, a vacuum had formed and N, taking this as her cue had moved in to fill it – so he couldn’t entirely blame her and perhaps that email to re-establish contact got closer to being written/sent.

His interest in the men in my life and how I started seeing them came next and very interestingly for me, gave me a clarity of my position in my relationship with Goran.  S noted that of all the topics I raised and touched on, none came as close as that of G in revealing how keen I was, how animated I became when talking about him, his background and my growing realisation tempered with self-doubt that he might be a little interested in me.  S tells me that all that G wanted was to get into my pants – which gave me plenty of pause. This morning I wondered that I didn’t tell S if G’s motivation might not have been matched by mine.   By the time we were on our pudding I told S that I was beginning to achieve a glimmer of understanding of what drove G to do the things he does – e.g. continue to see me and his ex-gf.   The key, taking all that he had told me about his open marriage lay in the fact that he was very much tied to his wife – certainly he was willing to dance to her tune whatever it may be – seeing me or anyone else was some small measure of his having a thing of his own, separate from the force of Madame G.

When we had finished our third course and was onto the next stage of the evening S, wearing his therapist hat gave me his opinion on the whole sorry saga – I was mistaken in my belief that Madame G called the shots – he was of the opinion that G, being the alpha male in the equation was looking out for no. 1 – with his Nordic origins and familial experience of an even-tempered society, he was attracted and compelled to remain attracted to the opposites which allowed him to experience those alien emotions of jealousy and anger and the violence to release the pressure, the drama of manipulative game playing along with the violent expressions of such humanity worthy of the longest running soaps known to mankind!

I came away from the evening reeling – from a combination of coming to terms with my own limitations and having to consider what I’m doing dating.  If S was on the money then it wouldn’t be long before G lost interest in me – for I have long past lost interest in the drama and trauma of he said she said.  Additionally, S had cautioned me not to take it as gospel that G might never leave his wife.

ode (or a dirge) to my lover

Don’t fall in love with me therein lies strife
just tarry awhile for some merriment
to take the edge off a creeping midlife
that seeks to undo without sentiment.
Were I to lose my heart o’er you don’t fret
I’ll never ask for yours at any rate
My fickle part will love and then beget
a bark to lie low in ‘til storms abate.

You’ve worked so hard to prove dependable
to the precious few who remain trusting.
Don’t give it all up for a fantasy
you know has not reliability
But stay on course remain unwavering
Your reward is in their love eternal.

on being a mistress

What am I to him but a mere mistress
part-time lover and he, a married man
in an open marriage, though ne’er remiss
from the first few moments when we began
while I was with many, soon few were left
as boldly my heart was heard to confess
its wanton greed upon this knotted weft,
he has always stayed constant nonetheless
sending me sweet messages aplenty
morning noon and night so I should believe
I was cherished and not one of many –
only me, and a wife he’ll never leave.
Missing him between fleeting trysts – each time we thrill
to each other’s touch, as we kiss and feast our fill.

Ode to my lover – a birthday sonnet

In conjugal polyamory dwells the birthday boy
known for his consummately voracious sexual ardour 
amongst women who bear witness – those lovers who enjoy
the thrill of being ravished by their hirsute paramour –
This my Adonis as I hankered after excellence;
whilst my body grew selective and eschewed the mundane,
wearied of the myriad, longing instead for a dalliance
with the learnèd Xerxes who’s both passionate and urbane.

This coffee quaffing beau has charm … though more importantly
knows what to say and when to stop; when begin his progress
softly bed-ward, to end an evening tantalisingly
with carnal promise – the hours to come stretching limitless
as his skin, breath, lips, digits, tongue, and crafted curvature
are employed solely for exquisite, indulgent pleasure.