3. How to get stuck in a rut…I mean, plateau (part two)

A wise man once told me… yadda, yadda..

That quote is in part one, and the second part of it was to have ‘a family you like’.

It depends what you call ‘family’. What does that mean, exactly? Most people would say: ‘mother, father, brothers, sisters, children, grandparents, cousins, etc.’, and I guess they’re right, but to say I like them all? I’m not sure.

First off, my family is huge. I have six sisters, three brothers, and forty-five cousins, each with their own kids (and therefore mostly they have the Wiggenstein name), and I cannot possibly know all these people very well. I might like them, I might not, and will probably never find out.

So where does it end, this definition of ‘family’? At which point do we say they’re not a relation any more? I read somewhere that we are all mostly descended from the same place – how does that work, then?

I could be with a woman, with no knowledge that maybe our great-great-great-grandparents were married to each other. How would we know, and where does the distinction of family stop?

To me, ‘family’ basically means ‘the people you care about, and (maybe more importantly) that care about you’.

I don’t really care if someone is related to me or not – if I care about what happens to them, then they’re family, by blood or not by blood, and that means: my kids, brothers, sisters, (close) cousins, my parents, my friends, the people I work with, women I’ve humped (though not always, even when I was humping them), and in fact, here is a list of what is important to me, in order:

  1. My children
  2. Me
  3. My family (again, whatever that means)
  4. My friends
  5. My workmates
  6. The north east of England
  7. England
  8. Great Britain
  9. Europe
  10. The world.

That list kind of changes depending on the situation I am in and the mood I am in but, yes, in general, that is how things are to me. The only other thing that could possibly make the list is ‘a woman I like’, but honestly, they would only ever go in at number five at best, and at some point would leave the list anyway.

So then, kids…

I have two, Jessica, 14, and Jack, 11. I don’t where the ‘J’ trend came from – we didn’t really notice it until we noticed it (if you catch my drift), and I don’t know why there was a three-year gap either. It seems to me it would be best to have all your kids in one go, so you don’t have to go through the sleepless nights, nappy-changing, and being sicked on for more than one period in your life, and once they’re at school, you can start building your own life back.

Shocking, isn’t it, that kind of attitude towards kids? Have you noticed this blog is called ‘I’m not a Keeper’? There are plenty of reasons for it.

Circumstances have meant that my kids live with me, in a six-bedroom terrace in Tynemouth. We, when we were a couple, bought the house as an investment to rent out, and now I am living in it. It was a good job we bought it when we did, though – the house prices in Tynemouth are now, ahem, ridiculous. Last year, there was a house in the main street of Tynemouth town centre that was up for sale for a million pounds.

A million fkg pounds!!!

Has nobody noticed that we are in the north east of England? Million pound houses are left for other areas, not ours. Still, though, I am not complaining about that. Who would?

Anyway, kids. Of course, I love them more than anything else in the world (see list above), same as any other parent, and I would do anything to make sure they have a happy life (within reason, I suppose – I mean, if they asked me to kill someone they didn’t like, I’d probably say ‘no’…probably).

There’ll be more about kids as this blog continues, as I also I want to talk a little about others in my daily life, namely, the people that work for me.

My shop is in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, and I have two people working in it; Ula and Ray.

Ula is British, and has Polish parents who have been here for twenty-five years, bringing Ula with them as a baby, and is one of those women who could probably have had a career as a model, being tall, dark-haired and pretty, that being another good reason to employ her, i.e. to get people (men) to come into the shop, even if they never have the balls to talk to her. Another thing about Ula is her name sounds like the Martian war call in War of the Worlds, and if me and Ray feel like irritating her, we use that to call on her. She hates it.

Ray, well, I could write numerous blogs about Ray, and probably will. Let’s just say he is ‘individual’ and leave it at that, apart from one thing: when we want his attention, we sometimes sing ‘Ray, raydy, Ray’, like Elmer Fudd singing the Bob Dylan song.

I also employ a gay cleaner, Richard, who cleans the house and the shop. Being the modern, hip, non-homophobic people we are, we tend not to rib Richard too much about being gay, and even listen to his dating stories, until he tries to go into detail, and we have to instantly stop him. I mean, being gay is fine and everything but we don’t want the ins and outs (so to speak). Also, his name can be shortened to Dick, which with him being gay, calls for any amount of innuendo (did you see that, everyone who thinks we don’t tolerate gay men in Newcastle? Shut up, man).

These people work for me, in that, I pay them to be where they’re meant to be and to do what they’re meant to do. I’m not sure if this counts as friendship, though even when you pay someone, and you’ve done that for years, friendships do develop, and I would say that I would do anything in my capability to help these people as much as I would for anyone else I care about.

So that’s it for now. There are many other people I could talk about in this blog, and will in the future, but it would end up being about 20,000 words long, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about writing blogs, they’re the same as good speeches: have a good start, and a good end, and keep them as close together as possible.

Oh, and before I forget, check out this Geordie female take on Tinder dating: Tinder in the Toon – it’s, how we Geordies say, proper geet lush (that means ‘very good’).

Find you again next week, in part three, the future… hmmm… it’s another country, so they say.


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Author: Andrew Culyer

For good or bad, am just trying to get through this...

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