A draft post from August, 2014. Never finished, I guess, but I’ll post it now anyway.

I’m lying on the sofa. It’s dark and I can’t sleep. At the same time, I don’t want to wake F, hence the sofa. I contemplate going to the computer but I know that, if I do that, I will be awake for at least an hour. So I’m trying to sleep here.

There was an old woman who had the flat before. I don’t know if she died here, in this flat. But, I’m thinking about ghosts. What if her ghost were to appear right now? Right there, in the corner between the new units housing books and the television and the old bookcase? In that corner where it’s very dark?

I could “see” her, even if nothing was there. And nothing was there since I was imagining what she would look like if she were to be there, as a ghost, I mean. But she wasn’t. There was just an empty, dark space.

But I couldn’t sleep because the (non-)ghost made me think of other ghosts. Ghosts from the past that appear, wispy and insubstantial and may, given the space, permissions and time, become more substantial. These aren’t real ghosts, of course, but real things that come into and disappear from your life but, then, have never really disappeared, however much you may wish it. You may think something is dead and buried but it never really is.

Lies, damned lies or much, much worse.

Another of those draft posts written but never published. This from July 2014. Maybe now the blog is more “secret” I feel better about posting it?


Of course, you never really know anyone, do you?

You have to trust. Or not.

And, then, there’s what someone tells you. Is it always true? If not, is it because they’re trying not to hurt your feelings – a “white” lie. Or, sometimes, is it more sinister than that.

There’ve been cases recently, in the newspapers, for example the girl who accused her boyfriend of rape and later admitted she had made it up just for attention.

Sometimes, it’s for attention. Sometimes, it’s because someone lives in their created world.

I employed a salesman who was like that, once. Later, when we learnt that everything had been a complete fabrication, everything started to fit into place. Unfortunately, by then, he had married one of our other employees and she ended up being taken for a ride too. But she was a strong lady and now lives happily (I think) with their rather delightful son. He, on the other hand, continues on separately from them.

Sometimes, I think it’s malicious. And those are the worst kind of people. They do it for spite, for jealousy, or just to be evil.

So, if, years later, you find out that something you had been told had been a fabrication but, as a result of that something, it had taken you down a road that affected, not only you but others as well, what should you do? How can that purposeful, vicious lie be undone?

Of course, first things first – maybe it wasn’t a lie? Maybe the lies are being told now? How the hell do you find out? Should you find out?

Or, perhaps, in any event, it’s better to leave things as they are? After all, many years have passed, many rivers crossed, many mountains climbed. And what possible good would it do to try and repair something broken by the vindictiveness of someone who’s now dead? What purpose would it serve?

Nearly there.

So, to keep you up to date.

The blog move is completed. The posts have been updated and, with any luck, I haven’t missed correcting any links. Some posts have been deleted and some draft posts deleted. Other draft posts are now published or about to be published.

There’s just a couple of things left to do:

1. Redirect certain old posts on the old blog to this blog.
2. Delete the old blog, putting a “this blog is closed” notice up.

And, of course,

3. Promote the blog – letting you link to it and putting it on the other websites for it to get “noticed”.

Nearly there.

You also might like the new pages I’ve put up (see the pages bar at the top) to enable people to “find their way around” a little easier. I’ve amended About this blog, All about me and added My Best Writing, Most Popular Posts and Information for Tourists/Visitors to Milan – just in case you’d care to have a look.

Excommunication. Hurrah!

From a draft in June 2014. I don’t really know why I didn’t post this as it seems finished and ready to go. So I post it now!


As you may know, I’m not that keen on religion.

Like all big corporations, it loses the message in its desire to control.

Still, I am surprised that something like excommunication carries any weight, these days. And, yet, recently, the Pope has excommunicated the “Mafia”. Unfortunately, as far as I’m aware, the “Mafia” haven’t responded to this by issuing a statement, so we don’t know how they feel about it.

And I read that someone has been excommunicated from the Mormon church because she was promoting the idea of women in the hierarchy of the church.

Apart from the fact that it’s bad form to think that women are “less” than men, to excommunicate her because of her campaigning seems a bit harsh. But, then, the established churches are hardly known for their democratic practices, are they?

But that’s not the worst thing, in my opinion. The worst thing is that she should be upset by this excommunication. This was not what Jesus preached – exclusion. He preached the opposite. So, if a group of people who profess to follow his teachings, do something that is exactly the opposite of what he taught, doesn’t that make them and their organisation so far removed from the real thing that, in fact, by excommunicating someone they are, in fact, excommunicating themselves from God’s church?

And, if they’re all excommunicated, doesn’t it make excommunication by them mean the opposite – i.e. that, in this case, she has joined God’s church?

It’s just a kind of logic, isn’t it?

The “Family” tag

Well, so far it’s taken me about 1 month to fix all the links/pictures.

But, I think I’ve done it.

Now there are a couple of things I want to do (such as linking to my “best” posts, linking to specific areas, etc.) which will take more time but, slowly, slowly.

In the meantime, I have got rid of about 50 or 60 posts (some of which were draft) and published some other draft posts (as you will see (as they are scheduled to post over the next few days) and as you will have seen already). Then set up some links from the old blog. And so on.

But, one of the things I just wanted to clarify, which came about as I was double-checking all the old posts. That is, Family. There is a tag “Family” which is great, of course, but not really that simple and could be confusing.

The Family Tag

In my head (and, therefore, on this blog) I have at least 3 very distinct and different “families”.

These are:

1. F’s family – who have always been so kind and who, initially, got me confused with S, F’s ex-boyfriend but, from the first time I met them have been very inclusive – i.e. including me. I treat them as family because, well, they are!

2. V’s family – who were always so lovely to me (with the exception of V’s sister, P and her ex-boyfriend who were, to be frank, downright racist!). I still phone on birthdays, send Christmas cards, etc. Of course, since the split, it’s not been quite so easy either for them or me. Worse still as V is now back “at home”, so more difficult for them, I imagine. However, there is a post soon about the call I made to his mum on her birthday. I still treat them as family because after more than 25 years of being my family, they are too!

3. My family – who, by and large, I dislike intensely. For a while, just recently, I was in touch with my younger brother but that seems to have petered out and, probably, that’s for the best. Just to be clear, there was my father (who died in 2003) who was a right bastard, my mother, one sister who is much like my father and two brothers, the youngest of whom looks slightly similar to me. I now have sister-in-laws and nephews and a niece – but I haven’t met any of them. I don’t treat them as family but as people to avoid. I find them intriguing in that they are my blood relations – but I really don’t have any ties to them. They are a bit like “ancestors” – but still alive (some of them). Only my maternal grandfather remains as the one of them who causes me to feel deep, deep love, even after he’s been dead for so long.

For all three above, if I post about them, I use the tag “Family”. So, it is possible to get confused by that.

So this is just to clarify the category.

Stockholm’s Underground

I have been here and used the Underground system, so some of these I’ve actually seen.

What struck me was that it felt less like going into an underground system and more like entering some huge cave complex that just happened to have trains!

Here is a report on it’s beauty.

I originally did this post in June 2014 but it remained in draft for some inexplicable reason.

We go to buy some furniture ….. except I don’t go.

Originally written mid-June 2014. I don’t know why I didn’t post this!

“You can come if you like.” Those were the words but, for reasons I can’t quite explain, those were not the sentiments. This was more of a “You can come if you really, really want to but I don’t really want you to come because ….. [list of reasons why I don’t want you to come].”

So, correctly, I said, “No, it’s OK, if you don’t mind. I have a lot to do today.”

I DID have some things to do. I wanted to get the Netgear Powerline product to make the computer access faster in the new flat; I wanted to take the duvet to the dry cleaners; I wanted to sort out some more stuff.

As it happens, I was very glad I didn’t go as he took all morning, in the end.

He wanted to buy the kitchen and go to IKEA. I got a photo of how the kitchen would look as it was slightly different after the surveyor had been to measure. Plus, he wanted to get a dishwasher which meant only one sink and not two. But it was OK by me, to be honest.

After the kitchen, he went to IKEA with his list of items he wanted to buy. This was a huge list so, rightly, he wanted to buy it and have them delivery it.

The kitchen will come sometime after 24th July and the IKEA stuff will come this week.

But the difference it made for him was incredible. He’s now so excited. He will start putting everything together as soon as it arrives and then get his carpenter guy to fix it all to the wall. After which, he will start putting his stuff away. Then he will be happy – although he is already looking forward to just putting everything together!


Once again, from the Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook

4 oz margarine
4 level tablespoons golden syrup
3 oz granulated sugar
8 oz rolled oats
1/4 level teaspoon salt

Put margarine and syrup in pan over low heat until margarine has melted.
Grease square, shallow tin about 7.5 inches
Remove syrup mixture from heat and add the sugar, oats and salt and mix well.
Turn mixture into tin, level off and cook at 335°F/Gas Mark 3/170-175°C for 30 – 40 mins until golden brown.
Leave to cool for about 5 mins then cut into 12 bars. Cut whilst still warm or they’ll just break up.
Place on wire rack to cool

I’m not sure why I didn’t post this last year. Maybe because I didn’t do the usual translation of the ingredients into Italian?

The end is nigh

This was a draft post from June 2013. It still applies. I don’t think it was properly finished but, no matter. This (and I wish to make it clear in case it is read by someone going through some issues now, in May of 2015) is not about you but about someone else. Remember this post was written in June of 2013 – 2 years ago!

Of course, there’s got to be give and take.

It’s a trade-off, really. One doesn’t get everything one wants – or, not usually.

You may think that you have the same goals but, often, we project the goals we want to on our partner and only look for the signs of confirmation, ignoring those that go against what we think.

Let’s get this straight. I’m not talking about me, here. Although what I’ve said is, in fact, true for me also, the rest of this post is not. Part of the problem is that I don’t really have any goals to project. I leave that to F. He has plans. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know, for certain, that any of those plans include me although there are hints that some of them do. But, it’s not really important to me. I have this “fatalist gene”, of which I am aware and which, in reality, suits me just fine, thanks. Sure, as time passes, I think more of the future – the future together – but I’m not talking about a future as far as, say, when I reach 70 but rather the future as far as, say, Christmas. This future involves the presents I will get him since he is so difficult to buy for. So, I am working on the present for our anniversary (in October) and I have the plan for one of the presents for Christmas. And that’s it. It doesn’t worry me, it’s just the way I think.

So, back to the purpose of this post.

In two days, two different people’s world has been turned a little upside down. And the problem is their relationship with their partner.

But, I have a little experience in relationships and what happens. I give my advice, unasked for, knowing that they will, almost certainly, ignore it but knowing that it is valid and clear advice.

For one person, I suggested that they not search for something on the basis that eventually you will find something and it won’t make things better. Search, by all means but know that it is the end of the relationship as you know it. In fact, the very act of the searching means that the relationship is doomed. It may not result in being single but it will change the relationship to a point that is irrecoverable. Of course, what may then happen is that “a relationship” continues but it is not the same as the relationship you had. There is no “going back” and “undiscovering” the facts that have changed everything.

So, I advised against it but said that, if she were to continue, be aware of the fact that it will all change ……. forever.

She ignored that advice and continued to search and, unsurprisingly, find the facts and was, on Friday, just about holding it together. But that won’t last. And I felt sorry for her even though I knew that the very act of searching could only lead to this result.

The future for her is uncertain. It will depend upon how she and he react. At the moment, he doesn’t know that she has evidence. Or, rather, on Friday he didn’t know. But it’s hard to keep the evidence hidden and not to say something. And then what? Even if there are promises made and a reconciliation done, if it lasts, it won’t be what she had. And will she be happy enough with that?