Friday, 14 February 2014

Valenshizzle

St Valentine's Day is made up. Chaucer made it up. He laid down a lesson for Shakespeare in how to appropriate shizzle and roll it into a nice big ball of something new(ish). Check out the Prof's excellent blog post on St Valentine's Day  https://medium.com/p/566e369a0f4dLove Is Not All She ain't wrong.

Personally, I loathe all the hoopla and expectation of St Valentine's. It's so false and utterly in opposition to what love is. Presents and flowers and showing off to your mates about them seems ugly. "How many Valentine's cards did you get?" is usually a question someone who got a load asks someone who they know didn't get any. That's a proper loving and not at all accumulative or spiteful way to approach it. ("Fuck off" is the appropriate reply to that question, btw) I have lots of single friends, almost none of whom seem unhappy with their lot. I have quite a few married and long-term committed friends, some of whom certainly seem like they'd at least like to have a look at that grass over there, some of whom I have no idea at all why they stay together. The pretence of Valentine's day merely papers over their cracks.

Romantic love is not an illusion. It exists. It isn't, however, something that flourishes under acquisitive temperaments. I don't think I've ever thought I'm better than someone else because of my relationship with Mr Y, I've only ever felt fucking lucky for what we have. That's enough. It doesn't need bombast and swagger. And it's not even all there is out there. There's so many different kinds of love, and each one should be valued.

So take it easy with the puffed chests and, conversely, the misery. After all, love is not all -

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Friday, 31 January 2014

My Six Nations post *warning SPORT related

Ha! Reading the predictions for the Six Nations Championship in the Guardian is always a "treat". Funny how they pretty much go for their own countries. Me? I don't know. I think it could be almost anyone's.

France aren't quite as strong as they should be and they have the disability of the sometimes disastrous Saint-Andre at the helm (why oh why would you choose him over Gaulthier, French Rugby people? Tell me he didn't want it, please tell me that!), but there's always the Toulouse factor to consider (watch out for Louis Picamoles - he's one of the very best back row players in the world at the moment. I'd love to see him play alongside Richie McCaw… That should put the kibosh on him then. Sorry in advance, Louis) and Wesley Fofana is on fire at the mo.

Wales? They've got a difficult draw (like we had last year) so who knows? Just because no one's done three in a row for a while, doesn't mean they can't. They're probably the most established and (hopefully) settled team in the tournament, so why not? They can play some beautiful rugby when they get their shit together and they certainly know how to win these days.

Ireland? I'm tempted to say no but I think that's dangerous. I never discount them and neither should you. They put the frighteners on the All Blacks in the Autumn (even more than the English did) and it's O'Driscoll's final tournament. Bod is the man, the single best player in the professional era, in my opinion. If anyone can pull it off, he can.

Scotland? They're improving (funnily enough since Robinson's been gone. Can I get an "amen"?). They had a pretty good autumn series (a good win against Japan and two losses, but I'm talking about the playing rather than results) and they did come third last year - above France and Ireland.

Italy? To be honest, I'm not sure what's going on with them at the moment but I'll be interested to see some of the young players from the Top 14 in there. They can surprise you when you least expect it.

As for England, I never assume anything. There's quite a few newbloods in the squad and Lancaster has finally got rid of Ashton for the French fixture. Let's hope he's not knee-jerked back in there too quickly if things go wrong. The Vunipola brothers can be thrilling to watch (especially Billy), Farrell seems settled in at 10, and our back row is once again an embarrassment of riches even without Tom Croft. Let's hope they fire. We need to sort out our back line. We need some slippery little suckers who can cut defences up and not run into them and wonder why lying flat on their backs in the mud. Invention, boys, it's all about invention. More than anything, I hope Joe Lauchbury has a fabulous tournament. He's a Wasp and I'm a Wasp until I die.

Fact is, these days I know more about the French Top 14 than I do of the Premiership. It's difficult for me when France and England play because part of me has an investment with our cousins across the ditch (The Yatesies are Toulouse fans). Still, England need to find their form and their team. World Cup's next year and it's at home. Better hurry, Mr Lancaster.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

A Musing upon the Shitdickery of Fat Shaming

Here's the thing - If you use the word "fat" as an insult to me, I'm going to assume that you're a cunt and it will be forever marked in my mind (and thusly the mind of the cosmos) that that is what you are. As an habitual and frequent cusser, I don't use the "C" word very often because I like to save it for the times when I need to inject some proper vitriol into my sentiment … but back to the point. Insulting anyone in such a way is a mass transit route to Ballbaggery Central, but FYI dickwad, you might want to take a good long look at yourself before you start focussing on my grandeur in a negative way. The irony of ironies is the types who like to use that sort of bear-baiting tactic never seem to be Mr or Mrs Oil Painting themselves. Who is?!

Being a skinny, I have been informed, is better than being a fatty. How so? Just because you can't see it on the surface, don't mean your shit's not fucked up inside. You might also want to look at the state of your skin/hair/teeth/manners/temperament/intellect etc before insinuating that I'm not quite up to scratch because of my fat arse/gut/thighs/chops et al.

If you think that me being fat is the worst thing you can insult me with, then you know very little about me or the world in general. Caught in your bubble of smug "I Alone Am Best"-ness, you seem to have not understood that underneath surfaces there lies a plethora of other stuff we should pay attention to when getting to know others. Stuff that's good, stuff that's bad. Indeed, beneath my ampleness there are a multitude of things you could use against me. But calling me out for being fat is easy, isn't it, you lazy twat. But ha! I have drawn you in to my cul-de-sac of In Your Face, because I couldn't give a shit about any of those other things either, I'm at peace with who I am, that's why I don't feel the need to do others down without cause - you should try it sometime, knucklehead. Going around judging people who don't need to be judged (judgement and condemnation are the cheapest currency of the blindly smug) makes you the Pit of Despair, not those you are judging. Good luck with your dickwaddery of negativity, Shallow Hal, because the overriding truth is AT LEAST I'M NOT YOU, with your tiny mind and rote passive-aggressive putdowns (people are very rarely direct when they're trying to tell you that you're fatness bothers them in some way - indeed usually they will deny it all together and dance around it, like the pinch-footed gnat-dicks they really are)

Remember, lovelies, someone looks you up and down and makes some sort of negative remark or insinuates some cheap shit because of your appearance, big small tall or short etc, all you have to do is look (sometimes you have to really look and listen, but mostly it's blaringly obvious) at the person delivering the shitdickery and you realise, with a big old sigh, that nobody is perfect, least of all the tiny mind that thinks your appearance defines you and that your girth is the worst crime of the century. Bit fucking rich, is normally my first reaction. I'd rather be me than some pigeon-toed brain freeze who has all the smarts of a crumbling brick. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, shitkicker, your time is up.

Besides, I'm very good in bed. You should be so fucking lucky.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpHwm5EFVbY

Thanks to the Prof for the clip x

Monday, 30 December 2013

Goodbye 2013. It's been…

Ah, 2013. The year I turned 40. The year that saw too many good people leave us. The year that tried to beat me, but failed. In your face 2013. The year that saw my work in print, a more consistent work ethic, and the very real possibility that I am a writer. Good shit.

I didn’t think turning 40 mattered much. It doesn’t, not in the grand scheme of things, but it mattered more to me than I’d thought it would. It gave me perspective (“HOLY FUCK! HOW AM I STILL ALIVE LET ALONE 40! WELL DONE ME!”), which is a good thing, trust me.  A lot of the pointless bollocks that endlessly haunts me seemed to disappear into the ether (not all of it but, hey, all improvements are welcome) and I remembered that I am, in fact, a kickass motherfucker with no time for bullshit, bitches. Depression really gave its best shot at throwing my shit off but it failed. Bite me, mental shitdickery. This has been one of the roughest years in that respect for a long time, I’d maybe even throw an “intense” in there. That said, I WON! While I may have wallowed at times – sometimes it’s so tiring that you have to, mending takes time – I’ve worked, seen shit through and achieved stuff. Actual STUFF. It may not be the stuff of legend but from the tiny acorn the mighty oak doth grow, my friends. I’ve been published (by the fabulous Fox Spirit http://www.foxspirit.co.uk), I’ve read my work in public (check it out right here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfVTwL9TlWw&feature=player_embedded), I’ve travelled on my own without getting myself into a state about it, I've got a website and business cards (see the former here http://www.chloeyates.com/home.html) and I’ve refused to let the monkey on my back suck the joy out of it all. Fuck you, monkey. You might think you’re clever coming back with a vengeance this year but I’M SPARTACUS! Anxiety, I’ve sorted you out too. Magnesium and B6 is the bomb. Try it if that old bellyaching gobshite, Mr A, visits you regularly. From someone who’s dealt with him since she was eight years old, it’s a fricking Christmas miracle. A big thank you to my dearest Amy, who has always been there when I needed an ear. She is the best sister I could have acquired for myself and I love her without condition. 

My friends, Adele and Kate (the Captain and the Prof) have helped to keep me afloat with their belief and encouragement. I can’t thank either of them enough for being as excellent as they are and for being my friends. I love them both more than they'll ever know. To all the Skulk, some I met in Derby and others through FB, you rock it hard. And they will know us by the trail of our dead. 


I became an Auntie this year (a natural Auntie, I already have two nieces and a nephew on Mr Y’s side,  plus my Amy's sweeties who might as well be my blood, who are all totally splendid themselves) and I can’t lie – Austin Otis van de Peer is BEAUTIFUL! I’m a very proud Auntie. I'm excited to see how he turns out. (Although I'm sorry that of all the things he could have inherited from me, he inherited the larynx problem.)

Mr Y and I have been together for 21 years this year and I love him more now than ever – no cliché bullshit either, I do. He’s got a patient streak 8 fathoms deep and his habit of being oblivious actually works in my favour the majority of the time. I don’t want complicated, I don’t want arrogant ponce, I want exactly what I’ve got – laidback and most excellent. Plus he is still as foxy as fuck!


2014. I’d wonder what’s in store, but that’s a waste of time because it’s coming no matter what. I’m just going to dust myself down, stop fondling my balls and, like the Prof says, BE AUDACIOUS – because there’s no time to do anything else. No time for fear or for uncertainty. Balls out, baby, balls fricking OUT! RARRRRRR!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Love and passion. A ramble.


I read the vaccuous headlines so I deserve the eyeball strain. But since when did "passionate" become a synonym for "argue all the time", especially when you know it's nothing to do with passion and everything to do with YOU SHOULDN'T BE TOGETHER? Passion seems to have been accepted as a good excuse for dysfunction when it comes to relationships. Can't those of us who live together on a pretty even keel be passionate? I 'd chase Mr Y à la Benny Hill all day long if he didn't have to go to work. Because we don't fight, there's not passion? 

I've read that back. What the heck am I talking about? Passion has been used as a flattering cover to excuse excessive shitdickery since time immemorial in both life and fiction. Look at that bastard Heathcliff. People swoon over him left, right, and centre when the fact is the character is an EPIC ballbag (all right, I'm not surprised he turned out to be fucked up considering his childhood, but come on! Really? Romantic hero? Broody spiteful ball sac, more like) And Cathy wasn't any better. I spent much of the last time I read Wuthering Heights muttering crossly to myself about the bloody idiot behaviour of two people who were more aberrantly dependent on the memory of each other than in love. Literature is full of fools who regret their massive arsery later, but indulge themselves in it without a second thought. Is that the human condition? It is, isn't it? We baste ourselves in our stupid, pigeon-eyed reactions and wonder why things turn to excrement. We think the highs and lows of love are what make it special, what make it count. If it's not turbulent, it's not worth it. 

What utter bollocks.

Love, true love, whatever you want to call it, is about a bond. A connection that isn't tenuous, but is as solid as a double decker bus. I only have to look at Mr Y and I feel an intensity that I can’t verbalise. He can be on the other side of a packed bar and I'll still feel it. He could be on the other side of the ocean and I'd still feel it. Time and distance don't change it, it just is. It's not about that old Buddhist bugbear, attachment - which is why I fear many people keep their disintegrating relationships alive. I can understand it. There have been times in our relationship - which is nearly 21 years old - when I've felt utterly lost, but you keep on keeping on, y'know? You work through the hard times and learn your lessons and a little more about each other, not to mention yourself. It doesn't mean yelling and screaming the same old petty abuses at each other ad infinitum, picking the scabs, getting nowhere, then indulging in some hot monkey sex that's really an excuse not to take a good hard look at yourselves. That's not love. That's demented. Like Albert Einstein once said "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Quite so, old boy - and he knew a thing or two about the old love squeezings ... wait, I’ve gone wrong and we’ve ended up back with Benny Hill. 

I don't know if love can last a life time. How would I know? I've not finished mine yet (touch wood). I hope it does though, because frankly I lucked out like a motherlicker the day I met Mr Y. What I'm saying is don't let them fool you. You don’t lack passion because you’re not haranguing each other all the time. It's not boring because you're not humping each other like dogs on heat every five minutes. If you're not taking lumps out of each other, it doesn't mean you're not in love. The perma-tanned airheads (of both sexes) who parade their "passionate" relationships up and down the side bars of tabloid websites aren't good examples. Passion does not trump good behaviour. If you love someone, you behave well towards them (most of the time, but because they love you it's okay when you sometimes don't) Stop and smell the roses. If it's not making you happy, and I mean long term happy, not "he didn't put the loo seat down and the toilet has that green mist again, I'm leaving" term happy, dump that shit and run. Life's too fucking short. 


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Scales of Depression

To say I'm despondent today is a fucking understatement. I weighed myself. Stupid stupid stupid. I had a naughty weekend filled with carbs and alcohol and I knew I'd put weight on. I was pretty strict yesterday and wasn't going to hit the scales until the end of the week. Like a kneejerk ballbag, I found myself stepping on them this morning when I distinctly said I wouldn't. I've put on more weight since the weekend.

Now I feel stuck (Common sense has no place here). I feel like I'm going to be trapped here forever, one step short of the Good Year blimp. I can't explain how fucking depressing it is. All that effort last week? I lost 2lbs. 2 fucking pounds. And now this. The week before that when I exercised 3 or 4 times and ate chips 3 or 4 times, I lost 8lbs. Explain that to me! No, don't. I don't need explanations, I don't need platitudes, I need to keep going. I also need not to weigh myself. No more scales. They are self-righteous bitch queens and they're tyranny must be ended.

None of this is helping the fact that my Depression's reared its ugly mug. Nothing like the classic Chloë meltdowns of 01 or 94, but a bout of hopelessness that, weeks long already, just won't bloody shift. It's like a worm that's chowing down on the apple of my mind and plopping out big nuggets of bleakness. The only things keeping me going right now are Mr Y, Miss Maudie, running and writing ... but you know, when I write that down, I've got to say I'm pretty fucking lucky to have those things. That's how I know I'm winning. I can see so much more clearly these days. I used to be Depression's bitch. I can't say I never will be again but for now I can say I know what to do with him when he trots along all proprietary and shit. I know when he's arrived (there's nothing worse than him suddenly hitting you in the chops, like a misery ninja) so I can face him down like Gary Cooper. It's just very tiring. Some days I feel old beyond my years, worn down by the cycle.

These days, however, I understand there are differences in the manifestations of my Depression. There are differences in me too. Sometimes, it needs swinging at. I need to get angry at its tenure in my brain pan; not that morbid anger that just feeds the little fucker, but a righteous determination that drives me to find expression and makes me stronger. I have to refuse to give in to it. On the other hand, there are times when I have to give in, but under controlled conditions. I have to sit down and take stock and let it flow through me.  I allow it. It's a part of me that may never leave. So I air it sometimes. Let it breathe and say its name. If I stifle it, it just gets stronger. If I'm not afraid of it, it can't beat me ("you have no power here, begone") Then I get back up and get on with living. And that's the biggest difference of all.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

JUST SAY NO TO THE S.S. CHLO!

I always swore that if I lost weight I wouldn't be one of those yo-yo dieters, that I wouldn't engage in the dreary old to and fro. Seeing as I don't actually follow a diet per se, I guess I'm not, but I put one and a half stone back on after losing 8 (and still having 3 or 4 to go) and I've been going up and down within that same 1.5 for about 10 months now. DULL! DULL! DULL!

I've been dabbling here and there with a run now and again, a bit of a walk here, some weights there, a dash of yoga to act for the cherry on top, and not committing to anything at all, especially not my health, fooling myself into believing I was still keeping myself fit. I've eaten more falafels and chips than anyone has a right to (although I think by law everyone should have at least two a week ... which probably explains a lot) and drunk enough booze to sink the Titanic (my backside would stand in for the iceberg)

It's time to pack it in.

I can't kid myself anymore. I'm approaching 40 and shit gets harder to shift as we get older. I'm not happy with it so I have to do something about it. Thusly, I am officially on the wagon for the next six weeks. I'm going to run at least once a day, add a proper weight regime to it so I can at least try to avoid too much saggy old skin, and learn a bit more yoga to add to my sun salutations. I'm not going to drink sugary drinks, eat any white processed carbs, and I'm going to remember why I enjoyed losing the weight in the first place. It wasn't because I wanted (or still want) to be Miss Skinny Minnie or wear a size 10 pair of jeans. I enjoyed losing the weight because I regained control of myself. I didn't look in the mirror and see an imminent heart attack staring back at me (that distinctive colour grey is one of the scariest things I've ever had the misfortune to see) and my brain works better. Much better. So much better. I can think straight and productively. My mental health improves beyond measure. It works for me and that's what matters. Until that bitch queen Self-Sabotage Chlo rears her mingey old head and whispers, oh so softly, "Nah, let's stay in bed. You can do that later. You're back hurts and your legs ache, have a little more sleepy" or "It's just one big fat greasy portion of lard, it won't hurt you, it'll make you feel better".

But it doesn't. SO THIS TIME I SAY NO TO THE S.S. CHLO! In your face, greedy boxes.

Let's go.