Thursday, August 31, 2006

This evening I had a conference call with a client in Atlanta. The call was at 8pm, so at 6pm I decided to grab a newspaper and go to a nearby restaurant to have supper, before I came back to work for the call.

I sat in a quiet corner of the restaurant and just above and infront of me was a small television which was showing BBC News 24. At one point my attention strayed from the Evening Standard that I was reading to a news report about John Hogan, the man who recently jumped from a hotel balcony with his two children, an action which resulted in the death of his six year-old son.

The news report featured extended clips of this both literally and metaphorically broken man, crying uncontrollably as he was charged with the murder of his son and with his own attempted suicide.

During the report the waitress came over to take my order. She saw that I was looking at the TV and looked up to the screen herself. "Such a tragedy," she said. "How could he do it?"

I've heard a lot of people say similar things about this man over the past few weeks and while I can see why it is only natural that they should ask that question (after all, how many people, with complete sobriety, jump off a fifth floor hotel balcony with a child under each arm) I can't help but feel some kind of empathy for him and affinity for where he must be right now.

It was dazzlingly apparent to me, watching the news report, that John Hogan is a man deeply and desperately in remorse for what he has done to his son, his daughter (who survived with only a broken arm), his wife and the rest of his family, not to mention himself. Infact all of the objective news reports seem to all agree that John Hogan was a loving father and that what he did was completely out of character. While my circumstances are entirely different from his, I know what it is to wake up in an intensive care unit to be told that you have tried and failed to take your own life and as a result have your world completely fall apart.

I don't, and most likely will never know, what it is like to lose a child, let alone at my own hands. But I do know what it is like to experience something akin to insanity, regardless of what caused it. Each of us are passionate and often irrational creatures capable of wild and spontaneous actions that can last mere seconds, but have consequences that change everything and last a lifetime.

While I believe that anyone who breaks the law, in what ever way they have broken the law, should be prosecuted, I also believe that there always needs to be some kind of "human" factor to take into account what that person is going through in terms of remorse for their actions. I know that this does happen in some cases, but I don't think that it happens in all.

I hope that whoever decides upon John Hogan's ultimate sentence takes into consideration the massive apparent remorse he seems to be experiencing. This is a man who no doubt will suffer as a result of what he has done for the rest of his life.

But more than that I wish there was a way that I could tell John Hogan that not everyone is asking "why" and that not everyone despises him for what he has done.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Just over a week ago the owners of my company took all 150 of us to Oxford for a couple of days. During that time we generally indulged ourselves in much surreptitious, drunken, bawdy behavior.

A great time was had by all, especially at the mock-Woodstock type festival that was set up, with real stage and real bands, all in one of the gardens of one of the college houses. It was a fairly noisy affair.

A tad too noisy, perhaps.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


I have succumbed and joined the MySpace revolution.

Can I just point out that I have been rabidly against doing this, because:

a) I didn't want yet another thing to distract me away from my work duties

b) when people talked about their MySpace profiles I wanted to be able to gloat that I didn't have one. You know, because I'm so fucking cool.

However, the reason I succumbed is because I am doing a project for work which requires me to join MySpace. Very irritating.

Despite that, please feel free to add me as a friend. Please! Because, um, I don't have very many at the moment ...

Friday, August 18, 2006

On Monday night I went to dinner with my ex-boyfriend, Will, and his new boyfriend, Jason, who were stopping off in London on a trip. The last time I saw Will was over two years ago, just before I left New York to come back to the UK.

Despite some obvious worries about seeing him, we had a really great evening. I met them at their friend's apartment in Baker Street, we went for a drink, my friend Sam (who had met Will before in NYC) met us, we went to dinner and then we went to the Shadow Lounge. Will was as I remember him: still cute, still funny, great company but I was relieved to find that my heart wasn't doing somersaults all over the place, the way it used to when we were dating.

Jason was also really great and I didn't feel in any way threatened by him. He's just a really nice, funny, interesting, really cute guy, but we're obviously very different people. He and Will made a great couple and I felt comfortable in their company.

It wasn't until I'd said goodbye and I got in a cab to come home that I began to feel absolutely dreadful.

I'd been worried about seeing Will, only because I thought that there was a chance that I would fall in love with him all over again. That didn't happen. I think I'd be lying if I said that I don't feel anything for him anymore, but I think the feelings I have are really just feelings of fondness. I felt myself kind of just wanting to hug him and muss up his hair, as opposed to wanting to make out with him, if that makes any sense?

Having now had a few days to think about it, I realise now that what spun me out was seeing my ex-boyfriend with his new boyfriend, seeing them so happy, seeing them play it out with each other. The way that Will would squeeze Jason's shoulder, touch his face, smile at him ... made me think back to the time when he would do the same things to me. And it wasn't that I wanted him to do them to me again, instead of Jason. I didn't even feel jealousy. They just served to remind me of something that I had kind of tried to put to the back of my mind.

I really want a boyfriend. And not (as I said to my friend Bill, yesterday) in the manner of (say it like a teenager), "I want a boyfriend!"

I want a partner. I want someone to share my life with. I've gotten past the point in my life where I just want to hook up with hot guys (note the operative word: "just"). I want someone to make me compromise my selfishness. I want someone to come home to when I finish work.

And while he might be lovely, Jamie, my straight house mate, doesn't really count.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

God is in my iPod

This morning I felt a bit, but not a whole lot, better.

In my continuing funk, when I got to the gym, I couldn't decide what music I wanted to listen to. So I let my iPod do all the work by putting it on shuffle.

Kitty Empire, the music editor for The Observer, once wrote that she thought that God was the shuffle facility on her iPod. I think I agree, because the very first song to play was this.

Ok, it's maybe a tad fromage-tastic, but somehow apropos and the lyrics really did make me feel sooooo much better.

Ah, iPods.

Is there anything that they can't do?
I'm still here.

Lots of things have happened in the past two weeks that I can't even begin to tackle in a single post. I guess I'll have to make a concerted effort to write about them individually over the next few days.

I've written a lot about how over the past two years I've come a long way from where I used to be. But every now and then I have a day where I feel that a touch of that blackness that I used to feel so frequently. Yet however bleak things might seem in a single day, somehow I'm now always able to pull myself back up and soldier on.

I'm feeling that bleak darkness now, but I'm telling myself that tomorrow I'll wake up and I'll feel better. Even if it's only slightly better, it'll still be better and a long, long way from where I used to be.

I have such a charmed life with so many wonderful friends who add so much colour and fullness to everything.

I don't know where I'm going with this.

I'm feeling sad. But at the same time I can't help but feel incredibly lucky to be here.