The ongoing story of the bespecabled mail clerk

Zak was honest yesterday and told me the reason I get all these guys floating around is not because of my amazing beauty (hah) but because of my *lack* of amazing beauty, intimidation, and the fact I have “easy target” scrawled across my forehead. Fair enough. I’m sick of not saying “PISS OFF” and always reasoning that men are just being friendly. And I don’t like the thought men might think “easy lay”. GRR.

He came up to my desk today:
“Hi Darlin'”
I panicked and very unelegantly muttered
“um, hi… er.. I don’t know why I gave you my phone number yesterday, I hardly know you, I don’t normally do that..umm. yeah.”
(whoops that came out harsher than I meant)
“ok…well, have a nice weekend then” (and he left quite quickly)

Sadly, the Irish woman asked me about this. The whole thing is on it’s way to being a combination of office gossip and a joke, which I like to think of as my karmic-throwback for not being sharp enough in the first place 🙂

Hopefully that’s the end of that. ^_^ I’ll learn to handle it properly eventually…

Possibilities for the Future?

Yesterday I wrote off to the two osteopathy colleges and asked about open days. (in fact, the idea I might be able to start a course in it this year fills me with excitement, although I also thought it’s worth chasing up my other option – more research) This is what I wrote:

Although I have graduated with a degree last summer (cognitive science at Exeter), I have been interested in osteopathy as a potential career for some time. In fact I wrote to you last year and have a copy of your prospectus, but I wanted a bit of time to consider things before commiting to another degree. Well, half a year on, and I’m still feeling pretty serious about it, so I thought it was time to get myself together and contact people, find out more, and figure out whether it is a real possibility for me. Otherwise, I am also interested in continuing with research or academic work in some form, I would like to put my effort into an area which benefits people.. I am curious as to the implications and connections between osteopathic work and psychology (For example some of the more recent developments such as ‘cogntive behavioural therapy’ – places where they are seeing people as more than just a mind in a vacuum that can be treated with pills. As far as I know they still don’t think much about a brain being part of a whole body however!)

I notice on your webpage that you have an open day on 18th Feb, and was wondering if it would be possible to book a place? Otherwise, any ones subsequent would be good. Also, if there is anyone there who happens to be interested in research links between aspects of psychology and osteopathy, I would love the chance to talk to them!

and this is the reply I got – what a co-incidence!

Finding my limits of political correctness(?)

I was watching a program on TV yesterday “making babies the gay way”, and I was quite shocked by my reaction to it : I was actually disgusted, creeped out and angry.

It may well have been the particularly obnoxious gay guys, collecting kids like ‘saffron’ and ‘aspen’ as though they are fashion items, or the reaction of one of the lesbian ‘mums’ when she acknowledged that actually, this particular kid had -none- of her DNA in it. Perhaps the image of what looked like a young boy holding her new born, or the gay men who didn’t really have a clue where to start with babies and moaned so much about broken nails they ended up hiring a nanny. Maybe the notion that a kid is concieved via a turkey baster, or selected from an online list of egg donors based on how ‘hot’ the woman is and whether she has a medical degree. Maybe because none of them actually looked happy. Yes, the TV can make you believe what it wants you to, I know this.

And yet, what is my problem? Does it go deeper than a knee-jerk reaction to a sensationalist TV program. Certainly it’s not the only thing about having babies which generates such reactions; I also feel sick and sorry for teenage pregnancies or women who are so desperate they have to have kids just to get better income support. Also, single mums and dads can bring up kids well, no disrespect to a single-gender household, though I think it can help for a girl to have a mum about and a boy to have a dad.

However, something about gay people having kids like this, especially two guys…the way its set up in such a commercialist and almost exploitave way.. it just stirkes me as a mockery. And to be honest, I don’t see -how- two gay people can even feel the same mutual desire for progeny as a straight couple. I’m sorry. I feel annoyed that political correctness means they can get away with this without anyone being able to say “that’s wrong”. I feel annoyed that they don’t just adopt a kid if they are that desperate. I think what really got me peeved in the program was the blatant “the other gender are totally crap, we don’t need THEM” despite the fact no matter which way round you do it you still need some sperm and an egg. (and a surrogate mum, in the case of guys) The way these things are being marketed and used as just resources…..argh.. I just don’t like it.

And that’s the main reason I wrote this. I’m not trying to argue that I’m right. I know I’m not allowed to express an opinion like this, since you have to be unprejudiced and so on. I have no problem with gay people getting married and even being blatant in public. But, for me, this is just too far. It seems like an attack or slur on the value of a straight relationship, which are not ‘better’ but different to gay ones, and that is how it should be. Though I guess thats how people my parent’s age felt when gays started becoming more open and in-your-face.

I guess most people are used saying “Well, why shouldn’t they do it?” . I can’t help but wonder why no-one ever asks “Why SHOULD they be allowed to do it?” Just because they can, despite the reliance on modern technology. It strikes me as wanting to have your cake and eat it. Being gay, but still satisfying your panicked biological drive to produce progeny by your mid-30s.

in a nutshell, my un-politically correct view on this whole thing is:
Expressing and feeling love between two gay people: fine. Bringing babies into the equation : selfish.

No doubt it will become “the norm” in another decade or so. ;P


(I am posting a lot lately, but it is a turbulant time for me right now )

This morning, I was reminded for no particular reason of the medicine card reading I did only the once – to find my 7 “totem” guides. I found them interesting, accurate, but never really have ‘used’ much of the medicine from them. The animal I have for the “inner” card was Elk, and I just thought this morning that I may well need some Elk medicine right now. Something with some stamina and a bit more regality and patience that wolf. Wolf is an echo of me, in fact I’ve never really thought about using medicines from other animals deliberatly before.

Well.. I just found a great page on the elk totem here. And…well, it is certainly what I need to hear right now, and is accurate in so many ways to the situation (including relationships and business)

I think when I was a child I almost intuitivly understood animal medicine, or at least the idea behind it. I was happy to ‘be’ a whole number of animals and birds, in my mind and in my games. For some reason I fixed this into ‘wolf’ around the age of 14, after being obsessional about foxes for many years. Thinking back over it now, my interest in wolves and the many wolf-games I played may well have incorportated ‘wolf medicine’ into my life – or maybe it just relfected an aspect of who I am. For certain, something about that animal ressonates with me, and for certain, I have learnt a lot and had a lot of guidance from my experience and interest in it.

Despite this, my interest in animal -totems- and medicine has been a more recent development, only the last couple of years. Crow still strikes me as a teacher who I have not quite grasped yet, and is often a reminder for me of my beliefs and ideas, a little like Christians and their crosses perhaps? But I’ve not really tried to play any other ‘animal games’ since deciding and forming myself around wolf. I’ve also spent much more time trying to figure out what it IS and how it WORKS than actually trying to live the experience.

A few months ago I did feel a lot of ‘cat’, although I felt like I was keeping it blocked out from my life somehow and ignoring much of what I could have learnt.

Still, maybe it’s time I explored some ofther ‘aspects’ of myself, expanded on some areas which need work, as much as social skills, intuition and leadership and finding where ‘me’ is, were developed with the help of wolf.

I would like to develop my integrity, or at least act with the integrity I feel. Patience, able to commit to something and take small steps towards it if I have to. Stamina; a bit of solidarity to mix with the spontaneous and flakey nature. Be a bit more cautious as well. When I visualise Elk in my mind, I can feel a lot of these things – really, I would say it is symbols more than spirits which are helping me, but perhaps the two are not so distinct. I suspect our way of accessing what ‘spirit’ is there is through symbols, and it can take as many forms as our mind comes up with.

———–Elk details for future reference
(last bit, about future is particularly relevant)

“The Elk spirit shows that you are noble, wise and are contemplative in nature. You seldom allow yourself to get to close to anyone, preferring to interact with those that are of family, and a few close friends or aids you rely upon. To these you are a true and loyal friend. Confidences will be held, weaknesses ignored and the open hand extended.

You are a humanitarian, yet you stand apart from your fellow man as much as night is different than day. You are always on guard, hyper-vigilant, protective, and some say even paranoid. You are sensitive about the truth. You are a member of a privileged class and you know it, and whether by brains, gifts, talents, marriage or connections you feel the need to fulfill the obligations of whatever station you are placed in. Because of this, you’ll leave this world a better place, and many will be much the better for it.

You are usually insulated and protected from the harsher aspects of life, and even when you are struggling, you weather the storms in a better style than most. You do things right almost all the time, and you believe that those you care for should benefit from your experiences.

Sometimes the far away look in your eyes tells of other worlds, paths, solutions, or opportunities.

You’re the behind the scene advisor and are usually kind and thoughtful down to the littlest child or the least employee. You are cautious compassionate, steadfast and stubborn. You put others before yourself, and that is a major reason you withdraw and withhold from others. Truth be known, you have major difficulties saying no.

In business this is a time to lead follow or get out of the way. You may feel that you or the company are in a rut, and it is no longer acceptable to you. Paying attention, you see that things need to change and that you can wait no longer. You know this is the time to get a situation or yourself out of the muck. Chances are you will be handling and resolving problems of a long standing nature. Some of these you did your level best to avoid. By chance, can you recall asking, pleading, begging and praying for some of these things to change and work out for the better, yet have seen no resolution? Well, here is your chance. In reality you have been looking forward to this time, knowing it to be a time of harvest and change for the good, and you have determined that you will brook no opposition in making it last as long as you can.

You will have no patience for the truculent, tolerance for the inane or mercy for the incompetent. You probably will view some person as being an obstructionist and will feel the need to see them gone or removed. An emotional entanglement, or a disturbed employee may interfere with your own or others work productivity. You no longer have the patience to deal with them so you’ll probably suggest to them that they get it fixed with the caveat that you will be more than glad to do so. Often an employee will move or leave because of family troubles, or health matters.

If you are new to the job you will probably be overloaded and burdened to see if you can take it.

In love this is a time of stabilization, your relationship although not satisfactory is acceptable.

Often there are some major distractions in your own or your partners life. You may feel you are competing with other people or conditions for their time or attention. Don’t worry, the Elk spirit is a sign of fidelity. You must make an effort to share what is going through your mind instead of remaining aloof and distant. It often is a rough time for you or your partner. Reassure yourself and your loved one, become proactive and take concrete actions to making things better.

Demonstrate your love by service. Service is a language of love. Show them that they are appreciated, treasured and cherished. You may begin to see progress between the two of you and may end up feeling that you’re getting back to the same game plan and the same page. This is not a time of many words. So remember that only true love and true friends can be silent with each other.

Often the weighing of personal sacrifice for family and others becomes an issue. It is a time of introspection, and the crisis revolves around personal value and belief systems. You or they are trying to identify what success and happiness is. You can’t help them with that, but you can share a glass of water, a listening ear or some moments of your time. Besides, time is the only thing you really possess. And that is lost with each second.

Few are they that can find meaning and perfection in that simple offering.

If new to a relationship, it promotes feelings of consideration and respect. If the relationship is at a month or two, the distance requiring reevaluation will probably take place. Give the time and the space. Between you there are similarities of soul that would be difficult to replace. Chances are you are both a hard act to follow.


Past: Hopefully you have paid attention to your health and physical limitations. Elk medicine can teach you that pacing yourself can increase your stamina and can get you through tiring situations. You have been strengthened by the passage of the Elk Spirit. You chose to stand on your beliefs and principles and have paid a price long and dear. You should honor yourself for your integrity, stamina and your willingness to go through such hardship.

Recently, your attention was called to the balancing of your masculine and feminine energies. Balance is the key. Have you been spending to much time with the guys? And you gals, do you seem to be spending to much time with the girls? Is it time to exchange energies with the opposite sex? Is it time to change partners? The fact is, there are other people besides your mate. Do you ever get to go out with your friends? You should be able to. Use discernment and discretion. This does not mean to be unfaithful.

Present: Some situation, goal or objective may require putting in extra time. If your goal seems farther off then you desire take heart. It takes some trees many years before they produce fruit. Take a deep breath and relax. This is a time to pace yourself. Elk Spirit (medicine) can increase your stamina, and will see you through the long haul and assure you arrive at your goal. Check on your diet, eat lots of fruits and veggies. Lighten up. Remember, achieve balance in the sharing of your energy. Too much “mating season” wearing you thin? Have lunch with a friend of your own gender.

Future: If your ready to take on a new project or go in a new direction for your life, pace yourself. Stop and smell the roses. Remember, life is more about the journey than the destination. Cultivate patience because if not your impatience will run you down physically, emotionally and psychically. Vince Lombardi said “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Elk medicine can give stamina to help you see your way through to the end. Balancing relationships, friendships and/or family needs may become an issue. It is O.K. to befriend males and females. Our diversity is what provides us with growth. Enjoy life, but stay in balance or your energy swings will make you feel, think and take things to the extreme. You’ll know if things aren’t balanced.

Dream visitors

Oh, In my dream last night I recieved divine wisdom from the mouth of Tiggs. This might amuse him (and other people too 🙂 ) . It was along the lines of “yes, this is life, this is hard, you can’t carry on being a kid, what are you going to do about it now?”

Hmm, just noticed how relevent the music is right now (Coldplay : the scientist)

Zak said something to me yesterday (on the phone, not in a dream) to the effect of, “you give yourself more credit and less credit than you deserve sometimes. You also assume whether you will or won’t be able to do things in advance, rather than actually giving it a go.” hmm.

I really don’t think I could have got this far without the help and comments of so many friends and people.

I have decided I want to make my mind into a tool to get to where my heart wants to go, rather than let it control and limit me.

What happens when you stop running (and Snow)

I stopped running last night, and I found out that what happens is exhaustion, depression, anger, fear, being scared of getting older, patheticness, lots of tears, and then, eventually, humour.

Also, last night and even more so this morning , I heard a lot of harsh truths from people who love me and I love. I tend to snap back angrily first, denying it, but inside I can admitt that they are saying truths, more often than not simply repeating what I’ve been thinking myself.

This morning my mother was a real mother, and woman. She did not give me pity and plassitudes but told me to my face that she thinks I should stop trying to escape from reality, and actually get some sort of goal and plan together, aim to be able to support myself and not ever have to rely on a man or similar. When I whined “you think I’m pathetic don’t you” she retorted with “yes, I do sometimes. But I think your wonderful other times as well”. There was a lot to take on board, not all of it was fair, but still. She saved herself from hypocrisy by coming into my bedroom and being, for one minute, Pauline the woman not the stressed out Mother: “but you know, I feel pathetic sometimes to. Like how I don’t even know how to open a bank account, or that I keep saying that I need more free time but I never get round to it. Everyone in the world feels pathetic and insecure at times, some are just better at hiding it”. I love seeing these moments of simple honesty, esepecially from my mother. I love knowing that she feels pathetic at times as well, and yet has managed to accomplish so much.
My mother tempered all of this with a bowl of porridge, a cup of tea, and hugs. She also lent me her furry boots to walk to work in 🙂

Something inside me broke this morning, like ice cracking. I realised I’ve been living in the illusion still of relying on my parents for support, financially, but more importantly for a purpose. But I can’t do that and I don’t need to do that. I have to do this myself, which is liberating in that I feel slightly less entangled by parental expectation, however it is daunting to. My mother is not subtle or easy but sometimes you need a harsh truth to break out of apathetic cycling. “No-one ever said it would be easy.” I also found the spark again, the flame which never goes out despite how much depression, foolishness, fear are layered on top of it.

There is a long way to go. I am glad I am able to cry, I feel a lot came out last night that was holding me back.

And of course : the snow. Last night I watched the lighting and snow storm cover our garden in less than 5 mintues. I went outdoors and ran around in snow with no shoes on, rolling about in it, making handprints and snowballs and generally “Frollicking”. Luckily I didn’t get frostbite. Walking to the station this morning, I had to shift myself from thinking about life-goals and instead concentrate on not slipping over. I can not be unhappy when there is snow crunching under my feet, and icicles on trees. In the park I saw a guy in what looked like a tai chi posture, with the morning sun shining and making the snow a crisp blue. I went up and asked him what he was doing, the movements where much more vigorous than tai chi and he was moving round in a circle, drawing it out in the snow. (engage! engage with people! ) Turns out he was from exmouth, is a shaolin kung-fu guy, and what he was actually doing in was “ba qua chung” Apparently it is related to the I-Ching (!) There is something magical about listening to a guy talk about yang and martial arts in a snowy park, drawing out hexagrams with his feet. I felt like life was reminding me what is out there, and that no matter how deep into introversion you go, connecting to the flow of things is not that far away. The fact that the train was delayed to match my diversion, and turned up 30 seconds after I arrived at the station also made me smile.

Finally, everything is so gorgeous covered by snow with the sun shining. I LOVE it and I’ve not seen snow for ages. The huge piles of landfill I can see out the window here, are coated in it snow, and if I squint my eyes right I can pretend they are actually mountains 😀
The ongoing Office drama of Cat:
Bespectabled-Luke asked for my phone number this morning and I gave it to him (GAH! I ‘m such a fool!). The next thing I will say to him is “if you want a girlfriend you are wasting your time” The thing is, I am surprised at (a) how quickly he is moving and (b) how up front and yet smooth he is. Not what I would have expected from a mail clerk. I can’t say I’m not intrigued.


No matter how far I run, intellectually, socially, physically, I can’t escape from the one burning question :
“what am I -doing- ?!”
closely followed by
“what do I -want- to do?”
and finished with a rather despondant but still optimistic
“and how do I get from here to there?”

My dreams have taken a new twist lately: going for deeply ironic. I understand everything in my dreams, and can calmly explain to others the necessity of walking through darkness and death before going on to rebirth. It makes sense to me then, although in my dreams I am where I want to be. There is so much extra colour when I close my eyes. And yet, this to is a running away.

Enough!!!!! I want to turn round and face what ever it is that I’m running away from. Maybe it is nothing but my own shadow. (?)

Music and people keep me sane. No, really. Luckily I had opportunities for both today, a day where everything about the morning made me wish I’d stayed in bed.

And I know what to do: engage. With the world, with options, with other people, myself.

Late last night I found myself poring over old diaries
the girl I was

Knight in shining armour?!

There is a very short but happy looking bespectabled young guy who pushes round a trolley of mail about the department and god knows where else. I tend to catch his eye and smile – nothing remarkable about his looks but yet he seems very *real* in this place of fake actions and noise.

This morning I caught him going into payroll “how are you today?” he asks. I pause, screw up my face a bit and collapse into realism “actually I’m having an awful day. Everything is going wrong”

A genuine laugh: “It’s only one hour in”
“exactly! But my card expired and I couldn’t even get in the building this morning. And that’s just part of it.. I’m just waiting for what happens next..”

Later on, I see him again. “I’m feeling happy now, I found out there is cake going over there!” I express gleefully. Then I conspire to grab him a piece of cake, although sadly I’m caught up in a question and he’s left by the time I get back.

I should have kept his piece of cake. He just came up to me again, all smiling. “I’m really sorry, I didn’t get you your cake..”

“That’s ok. I got something for you though – ” and he hands over a chocolate bar. He asks my name and I hold up my ID card, strung around my neck like the metaphorical noose it is. “Catherine.” A glance at his – Luke (a name I always, for some reason, associate with dripping taps).

Everything has been done in innocence I swear. He has a lovely real smile and I feel strangely as though someone ‘up there’ knew I needed a bit of human contact today. I told him the chocolate made my day, and as he left I called out “it’s always nice to see a friendly face around here!”

And you know what, I meant it too.

I wonder if I should ask him when he takes his coffee breaks. I could do with a friend in this place. And I want to find out what keeps him happy.

I will now resume my angsty-post writing… 😉


A very full, exhausting, relaxing weekend (plus monday off – even better!). Developed a new friendship with Greg and his wife Kathryn, played Go with him (and lost, but I can see why… I just don’t -notice- ) looked up at the stars from their garden in Dartmoor – I actually saw a shooting one! A very relaxing and pleasant time, although it was slightly odd but strangely reassuring to mix with 30 something year olds, past student age but certainly not parental, and be treated as being on their level. It reminds me that there is still a good chunk of time before I actually find myself as my mother.

The rest of the weekend was spent with exeter-friends. Exeter university has almost become disconected from me now, a life I can visit but not be absorbed into, although occasionally I did forget I didn’t have lectures and essays to do the next day. We visited Buckfast Abbey and the climbed up a Tor (with freezing hands and lots of wind – great fun!). I really enjoy these group trips/adventures, it’s nice to have John there as well now, as Rachel said “he’s very interested and interesting”.

When I eventually got home last night, about 10pm, I treated myself to a warm candle lit bath and pondered over the last few days. Rather than just get depressed about returning to work, instead I carefully went over all the nice memories from the last few days, deliberatly burning them into my mind and also giving thanks to my friends and the world in general for providing them. It made me feel a lot better, and emotional as well. I am reminded of a quote from somewhere – it’s not that we forget things, we just never remember them correctly in the first place.

Finishing with some chi-kung, and an I-ching reading, I got to thinking about nourishment, what it is that nourishes people, how I can sometimes discard the nourishment I am getting and not let it benefit me in ways it otherwise could. There is a lot to muse on here. My specific slant on the reading was “you are rejecting the hand that feeds you” which after some circutous(?) pondering made me realise that if I don’t buckle down and get on with some work here and stop being so miserble about it then I’m going to hit some problems. So, I probably won’t be writing much here for a while until I’ve got things together.

I have also realised that I’m much more self-involved than I’d like to me, despite my good intentions. Playing Go is a great way to highlight this, I miss balancing myself out with the pieces and whats more I fail to see or pay attention to what the other person is doing. I need to remember the whole picture sometimes, and bear in mind situations of others before I make an opinion or get irritated by them.

Finally, I am turning back towards science, there are many reasons for this which I hope to write up in an essay sometime. My encouners with the Aetherius society have highlighted the dangers of walking too far away from what we can prove, (and possibly also common sense). However, I still stand by my view that a lot of scientists are dogmatic, political, and there are many false assumptions and laziness going on within even the most recognised scientific branches.

I am reading an amazing book about biology and potential electricity in bodies. Salamanders with regenerating limbs, how bones heal themselves after breaking – these systems are fantastic! You don’t need alien-mysticism when you’ve got biology and anatomy. I can’t seem to escape physics though, to really understand whats happening in the bodies of these lizardy things I will need to grasp the nature of semiconductors and voltages. Luckily I DO know about nerve ‘action potentials’ and ions after lots of study during A-level. I am learning some good, if intense things, from this book, I hope to condense it all down later on. I will also have to contact Sheldrake again some time and see if he’s encountered this work.

Right now I better get on with my OWN. It could be just another 2 months – not long at all 🙂