Category Archives: novels

Where be the happiness?…

(Held over from yesterday as Blogger broke …)

Life News:

Lordy, what a week. I have to say it’s been pretty bad really and I do feel quite depressed. Groan. I think the fact that, as per the doctor’s instructions, I’ve been slowing coming off the HRT to try to solve the cyst issues, and this is my last week of having it hasn’t been helping. The HRT really lifts my mood but, without it I feel utterly overwhelmed by everything and basically tired and tearful. Poor K …

Neither has the fact that I’ve had to work Monday, Wednesday and tomorrow (Friday) been easing the confusion – I don’t really know what hat I have to wear in the mornings, and I just get used to the work hat when the home hat must be worn and vice versa. And it’s so ruddy busy and difficult too in the office, there’s hardly a moment to breathe. God, what a moaner I am. No change there then.

In addition I’ve had a screaming/swearing/shouting/sobbing match with the other consultant and AXA Healthcare, as they for some unknown reason have involved me in the fact that the consultant hasn’t been paid yet – as AXA say he’s not sent them the report and GP letter which enables them to pay my bill, though the consultant’s secretary says they have sent it, so I then went back to AXA who say they haven’t got it, and could I ring the consultant’s secretary back to get them to fax it to them, and no they can’t ring the doctor’s to get their fax numbers direct as they’re too busy to do that (as if I’m lazing around doing nothing, eh, eh …) and I must do it even though yes they understand that I pay for their ruddy private health cover and I’m the client. By which time I’m barking mad and so tearful I can barely speak to the sodding phone-idiot. Eventually he tries to ring the doctor whilst I’m sobbing on the phone but he says (liar, I’m sure) he can’t get through so I must ring back and get the fax number. So I put the phone down on him and ring the consultant’s secretary again by which point I’m beyond reason and shout at her to give me the effing fax number without any chit-chat as I don’t have time or energy for this kind of thing which in my view she should ruddy well be doing anyway. I get the fax number, ring AXA back, chant it to them, tell them to sort it out if they haven’t got paid without involving me again because I’m the sodding patient and I can’t be arsed with their stupidity and put the phone down on them too. Plonkers. If I never have to deal with (a) ruddy AXA Healthcare or (b) the other consultant’s secretary again, then frankly it won’t be a bloody moment too soon.  All that whilst at work too – no wonder Ruth took pity on me and got me a coffee, fully-caff. Ruth is an angel. No argument about that.

But really, no wonder I’m pissed off …

Not only that but the troublesome absentee neighbours in the middle flat are causing a fuss about K very kindly paying their share of the house building insurance for them as it was due and we thought the building should really continue to be insured (well, it seemed logical to us …). Anyway, they’re querying the long-standing division of costs, the rebuilding costs, the lease, the contents, what we might do if we decide to flood them (oh the temptation, don’t even mention it …) and anything else that springs to their troublesome minds. In addition, they have now started questioning the very lovely downstairs neighbours about whether she has been using their lawnmower (um no, she hasn’t …) and whether the garage she owns is in fact hers (it is. We know it is as this flat sold it to them in the 1960s and so it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with the ruddy middle neighbours, who really just try to get their facts right or simply butt out of what is none of their business). The crux of the matter is I understand they hate us (we hate them too so it’s fair dues) but why they have to interfere with the perfectly innocent downstairs neighbour is way way beyond us. Perhaps they are just insane? It’s a definite possibility.

So, what with all this, I’m now deeply worried about what will happen and what problems they might cause if we ever get a buyer for our flat (academic question at the moment as dammit but no-one’s come near the place and it’s been a week already, sigh …) and whether they’ll decide to block the sales agreement (their right as a one-third freeholder) and therefore prevent us from selling at all. Maybe I’m over-dramatising, but yes I am worried about this. Whatever happens, I do not want to be in this flat for my next birthday in summer 2011. I’ve really seriously got to be out of here by then, if only for reasons of mental wellbeing, even if we have to abandon it and simply buy a similar property elsewhere. I fear Flat 2 might become an albatross round our neck we’re never going to be rid of and therefore the dream of an extra bedroom we might use as a study plus a garden and a garage might be vanishing away. And if the neighbours won’t let us sell it, then they’re unlikely to allow us to rent it out either, further sighing … If all this has taught me one thing and a thing I will freely share with you now, it’s this: never ever buy leasehold, no matter how lovely the people are you’re sharing it with – as things move on and other people come in, and you can never ever tell what might happen. Still, I hope it doesn’t come to this, as I just want us or them to leave. Yes, I’m probably being paranoid, but it’s been a difficult week and getting perspective is really really tough. On the brighter side, I’m sure (sort of) that the middle neighbours must want us to leave – why wouldn’t they?? After all, from the evidence of this paragraph we are of course insane … In the meantime I’ve started to take 2 St John’s Wort pills per day instead of one to try to bring back the happiness though – I’ll let you know if it works, ho hum.

Book News:

A Dangerous Man did really well in the recent giveaway at Jessewave Reviews, so I’m very pleased about that. It’s also now available at Amazon UK and also at Rainbow Ebooks, so that’s nice. Apparently people are even buying it, well gosh.

At Vulpes Libris, I reviewed The Book of Happy Endings by Elise Valmorbida – she’s an author I do admire, but I don’t think true short stories bring out any of her natural clarity and humanity, which is a shame. Neither are they very happy either, but hey maybe that’s my mood. Who can tell.

Meditation 449

Any miracle
leaves its mark:

the memory of poison
thwarted; bread

too numerous to eat;
an echo of wonder.

Meditation 450

If only all diseases
could be cured as easily

by this simple matter
of washing

and understanding
the subtle magic
in the earth.

Anne Brooke

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Holidays and haikus

Life News:

We had a totally lovely time with the Egypt Gang oop north (hello, all, and thank you again!) and catching up was as grand as ever. The only problem was that I spent the whole weekend and indeed the rest of this week being not very well at all, so I hope nobody else has caught what I’ve had – keep taking the tablets … Lord K and I then moved a little further south to County Durham and spent a few days at a hotel before coming home. I must say the hotel was rather too Fawlty Towers than was good for it but the food was good and the staff meant well so all was not lost. I did spent a lot of time asleep and/or using up the whole of the UK tissue supply blowing my nose so I can’t really say it was the best holiday ever but the weekend with The Gang made it all worthwhile, hurrah! Am definitely not looking forward to the return to work though – I could do with another week’s holiday, sickness-free indeed.

Book News:

I have a new webpage for upcoming gay short story, Tommy’s Blind Date, which is due out from Amber Allure Press on 12 September.

Meanwhile, the guns are pointing in my directions with tricky reviews here and here – obviously no-one like male hookers or wolves, but sorry for the trauma, Hayley … Martin and The Wolf did slightly redeem itself however with a 4-star review at Goodreads – many thanks, Ami. In addition, Painting from Life gained its second 5-star review at Amazon US.

I’m also happy to note that during the week (though they’re not there now), Maloney’s Law unexpectedly found itself in the Top 100 Gay Books at Amazon UK, whilst The Bones of Summer was No 74 in the Amazon UK Gay Erotica charts, well gosh. Not to be outdone, The Delaneys and Me came back in at No 39 in the Amazon Gay Fiction charts and, to my astonishment, three of my Untreed Reads stories were in the Waterstone’s Short Stories Top 10 chart, although one of them got a 1-star review (which is much like being blooded at the hunt …), but you’ll have to click on the link to find out which one. I do rather enjoy these 1-star ratings – it’s always better to be hated than tolerated, as my grandmother used to say.

There’s been one new poem this week:

Unseen
The thing seen
stands for absence
in grey and blue:

part blemish
part blessing
understood by you.

And two haikus:

The north swallows us:
skies of brindled blue and grey,
the woodlands’ dark song.

Alnwick Garden
Poison infiltrates
my skin: henbane, rosemary,
wormwood and willow.

Anne Brooke