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Thread: waiting for the whoosh - badgergirl's journal page 313

  1. #3121
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    badgergirl is online now Senior Member
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    Primal Fuel
    Our two weeks Down Under came to an end and I should have paid more attention to the luggage that Squirrel was carrying. I didn’t notice or laughed off many of the tell-tale signs of interactions and problems that would later come back to haunt me (and us). The suburb of doom was so far away from our life together; it hardly seemed to matter that Squirrel’s family was an epic disaster or that his friends treated him like a poor relation because of his upbringing. We left it all behind or, at least, I did. Decontextualised, Squirrel was a very different person and decontextualised was how I knew him.

    When you fly from Australia to the UK you land two days after you left, I know this now but had not quite grasped it then, which is how I ended up going straight to work from the Paddington Express instead of having the day’s grace I’d planned. Fortunately, when the other editors arrived – I’d got in at 7.30am – they told me the whole team had been given a gratis day’s leave to take whenever. I took it immediately and went home to Feral House for a long sleep.

    I remember those months between April and August 2002 as a kind of phoney war. We knew things were going down the plughole, but we had yet to do more than circle the drain. Every article I worked on, no matter what the industry or topic, referenced 9/11. It was still new enough to insist that house style was to write ‘the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001’ instead of the shorthand or US date format. Squirrel, too, could see changes. He began to worry about his job security as the banking sector went into recession. His line manager went to lots of meetings offsite; the top brass began to get shipped back to Austria. Consultants appeared.

    My line manager got herself a job at a medical company and, as she left, she said she hoped her departure would save some of our jobs. One of the senior subs left to go to Penguin. Squirrel and I went out for gyoza before joining my co-workers at farewell drinks in the well-named Dive Bar. At dinner Squirrel had burned his lip on a steaming pork gyoza and, as he put his lip to the glass in the bar, felt a shooting pain run from his lip upwards. By the time we were back at Feral House, he was feverish. In the course of a week the skin in his mouth split open and he couldn’t eat. I took him back to the doctor, after his first visit had resulted in him being told to gargle aspirin, to demand antibiotics. He got them and mega dose Vitamin B, but the damage was done. He was bedridden for weeks, flattened by the mysterious infection (we call it the pork ball of death to this day, but it was whatever was on the Dive Bar glass that got in through the blister that did the damage). By the time he got back to work, the mutterings and hints had coalesced into a plan. The bank was closing its London operation, all the traders were moving en masse to a competitor and the ancillary staff, Squirrel included, were to be made redundant.

    The terms of the redundancy package were quite generous, but the kicker for Squirrel was that he was on an employer-sponsored work visa and in the current climate he was unlikely to find another employer to sponsor him. What was he going to do?
    Last edited by badgergirl; 08-21-2014 at 06:29 PM.
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  2. #3122
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    namelesswonder is offline Moderator
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    Re: tattoo fading. Speak to a tattooist about it, they can tell you what to expect for blurring etc.. The person who is drawing this is not the one who is going to tattoo it, right? Are they a tattoo artist? You will want to find an artist who is experienced with dot work. The less sun exposure to the piece, the better it will last.

    Also, perhaps you can have an artist make a transfer stencil from the drawing. They scan the image/drawing into a special machine which then prints it out onto paper (in reverse) which can be placed against the skin & transfer the drawing onto you. Artists use it to trace the design with the tattoo machine when they aren't doing free-hand work. If someone is willing to do that for you, you could see IRL what it would look like on your back (though it would be blue/purple). Otherwise, photoshop?
    Journal on depression/anxiety
    Currently trying to figure out WTF to eat (for IBS-C).

  3. #3123
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    Quote Originally Posted by namelesswonder View Post
    Re: tattoo fading. Speak to a tattooist about it, they can tell you what to expect for blurring etc.. The person who is drawing this is not the one who is going to tattoo it, right? Are they a tattoo artist? You will want to find an artist who is experienced with dot work. The less sun exposure to the piece, the better it will last.
    I don't expose my back to daylight all that often and I'll be starting as a more mature person (40 is mature, right?) so I suppose I've got a good chance of preserving it. A friend of a friend is the person I've approached - I shall quiz him about dot work. This is such a very long-term project - I'm in no rush and am happy to wait until uncertainty fades to certainty or coalesces to a definitive negative.

    I played sims for the husband for a little while. They got it on during my watch and now I'm building the lovebirds a park to get married in. I renamed the dog (husband said proudly: it's a two-star dog) Deefer.
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  4. #3124
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    In retrospect the dark clouds of financial insecurity and ill health overshadow all, but in the moment we were able to ignore the warning signs for the most part and life carried on as usual. Saturday mornings were devoted to our individual rituals now combined, as we were, into a single unit. So it was that we would get up and walk through the city from Chancery Lane, down past Endel St and on to the Seven Dials to drink single estate, artisan roasted tar at Monmouth Coffee while I read the Guardian and Squirrel sketched. I can sometimes mimic the density of extraction at home and recreate the gratifying hit of caffeine in the bloodstream when for a few minutes the heart constricts to breaking point and the world is deeply etched in its clarity.

    After two hours, when the blood supply was no longer reaching my buttocks and I was nervous of the staff eyeing our bench resentfully, I would bully Squirrel into leaving. We would potter round the streets nearby - a quick visit to Orcs Nest or Magma, perhaps if it was late enough and we were hungry we'd get chips and a pie from the Rock and Sole Plaice or we'd retrace our steps and pick up some groceries on the way back to Feral House.

    There were parties. There were nights in bars. Dinners out or theatre trips ended in cab rides home or wobbly walks, depending on our levels of inebriation or inclination. There were semi-regular trips back to the Iggles too - there was always some computer niggle my parents needed assistance with. I explained defragging to my mother as a sock drawer - it's easier to find the right socks when they are all stored in pairs.

    Life assumed a shape and form that was set, even as it varied day by day. Despite the odd humdinger of a row, we got on easily. It was comfortable, it was easy. We made each other laugh and teased each other endlessly, bickering for our own amusement.

    But still. The thunderheads massed on the horizon.
    Last edited by badgergirl; 08-24-2014 at 08:42 PM.
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  5. #3125
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgergirl View Post
    In retrospect ....
    Dude, that was beautiful.

  6. #3126
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    Quote Originally Posted by canio6 View Post
    Dude, that was beautiful.
    Awww... *blush*
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  7. #3127
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    It was the anniversary of our first date and redundancy loomed. I felt sure, having been hopeful at Christmas and on my birthday, that a proposal was in the offing. I was wrong. August turned into September and I took to my bed for a week instead of writing my masters dissertation. I got it done eventually, but not without hours of procrastination, wailing and teeth gnashing – Squirrel talked me through it and stroked me gently when I was refusing to get out from under the bedclothes. Squirrel did the cover art for me and it was so perfect it said more about the topic than I had managed to express in 10,000 words.

    At the beginning of September we talked about what we were facing. Squirrel was highly unlikely to find another company to take over his sponsorship and he had not been in the country on the visa for long enough to apply for residency (five years on a sponsored visa, whereas two of Squirrel’s four years had been on a working holiday visa). As part of the severance package, Squirrel got access to career counselling and legal support. He asked the lawyer about his visa situation and she told him to just marry his girlfriend. Squirrel is a stubborn man and swore blind he would never get married for a visa.

    He set up his own company, something many travellers did at that time to ensure they avoided paying UK taxes, in the hope that he could get his own company to employ him. I was company secretary, reluctantly, fearing that this ruse would be instantly recognisable to the tax and immigration services. It was. That stunt only works if the company can invest millions in the UK economy, something we most certainly could not do.

    There were tears from me and long angry silences from Squirrel. He point-blank refused to get married for a visa. But it wouldn’t be for a visa, I said, it would be because you love me. The arguments went round and round in circles and the clock hands followed suit. Days turned into weeks; the bank closed its doors for good. Squirrel left the building for the last time with armfuls of high-end computing equipment and software that we eBayed to keep the wolf from the door.

    ‘You are fucking deluded,’ I yelled. ‘We either get married or you are going back to Australia and I’ll tell you this: I am not going to move all the way to bloody Australia with a man who doesn’t love me enough to marry me. We are getting married for a visa. You have had more than a year to marry me for love. It’s your own fault, now you have to marry me for a visa – your own idiocy has created the very situation you wanted to avoid.’

    I rang my parents. Hi, Mum and Dad, by the way, Squirrel and I are going to get married.
    Last edited by badgergirl; 08-25-2014 at 05:13 PM.
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  8. #3128
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    Meanwhile, back in contemporary time, we managed to get the Sims married over the weekend and I developed a bit of a twitchy Sims obsession. I have now asked husband to remove the game from my tablet as I was wasting many, many minutes following a virtual Dalmatian around a pretend garden waiting for it to dig up a meaningless invented currency.
    Last edited by badgergirl; 08-24-2014 at 06:32 PM.
    My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60211.html Into RPG table top games? Check out FateStorm and (in development) Vanguard!

  9. #3129
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    Just to let you know, I have been avidly reading your saga but as usual I am rendered speechless...or typeless...or whatever you call it when you can't think of anything intelligent to post...you're an editor, I'm sure you know the right word...
    My journal - The Walrus: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread108103.html

    “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” - Joseph Campbell

  10. #3130
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    Your writing inspires intense emotion. The way that you are feeding us the story in small segments is both torturous and titillating. I don't want to read any more, but I can't stop.

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