I was kind of hoping this film would strike more cords with me, what with the 40 thing, but it really didn’t. Maybe I’m not as 40ish as I think I am. ( this is good, this is my 40, not This Is 40’s forty )

Being forty sucks,
it’s because you feel it should.
Actually it’s fine.

I’m going to let you into a secret. It’s a biggie, so you should all hold onto something, or hug a kitten.

I’ve only recently discovered that the eyebrows we get ‘assigned’ , for want of a better word, don’t have to be the eyebrows we have.

I know. I think the internet slang you’re looking for is WTF.

I’ll elaborate, because that’s needed here. I have okay eyebrows. They’re not too chunky, or too hairy, or too mono-brow. They will totally do, and that’s what those kids have been doing, just hanging out above the eyes, looking okay. I’ve left them to themselves, and they seem content with that, doing what eyebrows do (actually, what do they do? is there something really vital underneath them that needs to be kept warm? The people demand answers!).

Anyhow, the other day I got them plucked and shaped. I’m not kidding you when I say it was a revelation.

Suddenly I have amazing eyebrows….. Somehow, they make my face better. I can’t put my finger on it, but face things just go together more cohesively, there’s tapering, symmetry, form, and also, yeah, killer eyebrows. Fuck yeah, as we say on the internets.


So, I’m coming up to the big one soon, and by that I mean of course my 40th birthday. Now I know I’m not the first person to reach this lofty age, and okay, I don’t look my age ( 32 was the most recent age guess I had – fuck yeah – in your face year forty ) but still, it feels sort of like a big deal.

This past year I’ve been thinking about all the things I thought I’d have done, all the things I thought I’d be, the place I would be in my life once I reached that age, and then thinking that very little of what I thought would of happened actually has.

Yeah. That kind of sucks.

For instance, I didn’t think I’d still be sharing a house with other people at forty. I didn’t think I’d be single at forty. I’m fairly surprised that I still have issues given that I’ve had nearly forty years to sort that shit out and I was kind of hoping to be earning more than like £15,000 a year as well, whilst we’re at it.

It doesn’t paint a pretty picture, and that’s before we even get to the alarming lack of sex going on here.

I do feel that I should be further along in life than I actually am, but if you were to ask me to quantify that in more detail, I’d struggle. I think it’s just that it feels like I should be, well , better at life by now.

That’s not to say I’m a complete fuck up, I think sometimes I do okay, but also, sometimes, okay just doesn’t seem enough.

Maybe this is just another symptom of getting older, maybe it’s just peer pressure, maybe it’s just societies expectations of what we should be when we reach an age where the term young person finally no longer applies.

All I know is that it feels too soon and I feel too young to be nearly forty.

Its not that I’m afraid of being single, more that I’m afraid of how long it goes on for. So far we’re talking a year and a bit, which seems like a short amount of time, and in the grand scheme of things, quite possibly is.

However, to me, it seems like a long time.

Thing is though, if I’m completely honest with myself, I’m not even sure if its being single that’s the problem. Maybe I should  break it down a little….

Things I fear that are a consequence of singleness….

  1. Loneliness – I’m not lonely, but I know that it is a possibility, and that possibility is a real fear. Knowing that I might never live with someone again, however unlikely that may be, is quite a thing to put right in your head.
  2. No Intimacy –  This is a big one. In the time I’ve been single I’ve realised that Intimacy is something I need. If too much time goes by between encounters then I start to feel pretty shit, which in turn leads to….
  3. Lowered Self Confidence – Most of the time I feel pretty good about myself. Sometimes it’s hard to do this though, and a particularly long dry spell really doesn’t help. The trouble is, the dark bit of my head can be pretty vocal during these times, and funnily enough it knows exactly which buttons to push.

So, it’s more the negative things that can come from being single that are the problem I guess, rather than the actual singleness as such.

If I was to confront these fears I guess that they’d be less of a thing, and I suppose by writing about them in a way I’m doing exactly that, I’m looking them in the eye and trying to see what’s behind their scary masks.

I think that once I do see what’s there, once the masks finally slip, that there’ll only be empty air behind them, and then maybe I won’t be so afraid after all.

Identity is a tricky thing.

I’ve spent a long time with mine, and even now I still struggle sometimes. I mean, at the most simple level I identify as genderqueer, or queer, or bi, or maybe even polysexual, or trans*, or……. shit. Identity overload.

I think half the problem is that I know about too many identities, and quite possibly, these identities are pretty alien to a lot of people, and so I try and find one that isn’t, in order to make it easier for other people to understand.

Yeah, I know, shaping your identity to fit around other people, that’ll definitely work, no problem.

If I look at it on a basic level, I think part of the issue lies in the fact that one major identity, something a lot of people don’t even question, was slightly off from the start. Many many people know what gender they are, it’s something that isn’t even questioned, because it just is.

Mine really wasn’t though. I know now that I identity as female, it even says so on my passport, so that’s like a serious thumbs up from the powers, and I am happy with that, but for a long long time I wasn’t so sure.

Something that is so simple for millions of people, was ( is? ) something so complex for me, so complex that it took nearly thirty years to even vaguely begin to comprehend, and that’s without the added complication of sexual identity.

I think, no, I know, I’m getting there, both with sexual, and gender identity, but man alive it’s a hard road sometimes.

Then again, in many ways I guess its a hard road for most of us. The issues maybe different, but the size and complexity, in relation to us all as individuals, is always going to be equal, because well, if it wasn’t it wouldn’t matter, and the road wouldn’t be hard sometimes.




I may of mentioned that I use dating websites. You know, just in passing, but anyhow, there’s something that happens like a lot on these sites, and that’s the “Hi” message.

I’m sitting there, doing my stuff ( y’know, stuff yeah? it’s great, and me? i’m doing it ) and my phone will doing a little ding and I see there’s a message from someone on OkCupid lets say, mainly because it’s always OkCupid this happens on.

I’m all ‘oooohhhh, a message, this is exciting!’ and then i open it and the message is “hi”.

That’s it. Just “Hi”. Sometimes, if the sender wants to add more emotional depth, they’ll stick an exclamation mark on the end as well, but it’s mainly just “Hi” .

I need to tell you, that message, it’s just not doing it for me. I admire the succinctness of it, sure, and as an opening, it’s a great start, but really, I need more. Like at least a paragraph, that would be nice.

Don’t get me wrong, i’m not looking for a life history, but something to suggest you’ve read my profile, or I don’t know, actually can communicate using more than one syllable would be ace. Seriously.

Also, and this maybe a huge generalization here, but why is it always men that send the ‘Hi’ messages? Every single one I’ve ever got is from someone male. Every single one. Sometimes it’ll even be the same men. Honestly if I didn’t know better i’d assume they’re just spamming lots and lots of people all at once in the hope of getting lucky just through the law of averages. Which would never happen right?……..

Another film, another haiku. This one was tricky to write well, still not sure about the last line but it does kind of work so i’m going with it……

Tigers are tricky
to share a boat with, Pi does
commendably though..

Here’s a weird thing.  Right now I can’t really be bothered with dating. I’m at a metaphorical lagrangian point, where the pull of wanting to be with someone, and the pull of being single cancel each other out.

It’s a strange place to be, and to be honest i’m not sure how it happened.  I’m sure that I was pretty interested in being with someone a while a go, and , if say,  I was hanging out at a bar, and someone hit on me, i’d totally go along with it ( although obviously with proviso’s. Remember the rules, mutual attraction, not a serial killer, etc ). It’s just that if I was at bar and nobody hit on me, i’d be happy with that as well.

Shit. I think that’s what being content is.



So, another Haiku, about another film about how depressing love is. Lovefilm is sending me some frankly bleak films at the moment. God job my love life is so fulfilled at the moment *sob*

Sex and death create
disjointed sorrow, in the
defiant sixties.

Okay, so I know it’s predictable to moan about it but man it is hot at the moment. It’s the night that’s the problem to be honest. During the daytime we’re all look at the sun, isn’t it great, lets do stuff outside, lets start wearing stuff without sleeves, lets grow freckles and eat Freezepops.  Its great, it’s all great, that is in till we try to go to bed.

Then it sucks. Here is a typical night in bed for me at the moment ( steady now, i’m currently in a desert of singleness without an oasis in sight, so it’s not going where you think it is )

  1.  I feel tired
  2. I get into bed
  3. I am too hot almost instantly
  4. I open the window, and ahhhh, fresh air.
  5. A bazillion spiders, moths and other assorted flying beasties drop by the open window like it’s a party that’s been accidentally advertised on Facebook.
  6. I spend an hour catching said beasts and removing them. ( I say catching, I also mean squashing as well, which probably makes me sound bad. If it helps I do have a squash/don’t squash pecking order, depending on how big, or likely to bite me the bugs are )
  7. I close the window and think about how one day I’ll make a screen thing for it that’ll stop all this insect nonsense.
  8. I feel hot, again.
  9. I open the window just a little bit. They won’t come in when it’s just a little bit open yeah?
  10. They come in. Step 6 repeats. I mull on the fact that as long as the window is open, the insects will come in. They are no respecters of personal space.
  11.  I lie in my hot bed, in my hot room, being hot until i slip into a heat induced semi coma.

I should probably just buy a fan.

Strange Paul

by @ben_cameron

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