I knew there was a song about being a weirdo and I could hum the tune, but I wasn’t sure about the lyrics and I’d forgotten that half of the weirdo thing is about being a creep (no) as well as a weirdo (yes) and I am surprised that some of the rest of the lyrics speak to me too. Great tune. Not going to leave me all day now. [What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here!]
Let me explain the weirdo thing.
After having spent the majority of the last ten years or more exploring my much previously ignored introvert side, since arriving in the West Country I have reverted to extrovert and started inviting myself round to the houses of other people I either hardly know, or haven’t seen for twenty years or who are “only” a Facebook friend and we’ve never met or even expressed a desire to, despite having lots in common.
The West Country is riddled with cousins, the first of whom, Jane, I am meeting for lunch this week in Dorchester, Dorset. Another, Bert, lives in Fivehead, Somerset. They are on the list for a visit too. I last saw Jane at a funeral and probably Bert at the same one too since it was his mother, my Auntie Nesta, now that I come to think about it. Auntie Nesta made award-winning cheddar cheese near Ilminster, self-employed all her life, and Bert is self-employed too. Ah, I have discovered some more entrepreneurial DNA.
And last week I went to visit Henry with whom I went to school between 1966 and 1972. H was Head Boy and he saved me from being expelled in 1971. When I lost my last ever job he helped me to complete my financial education and got me into the biggest ever accounting role I enjoyed, a total scary baptism of fire. So Henry is a saviour. As it happens, I saved him right back as he commuted to London from the West Country in the Nineties and the Noughties and we often shared homes, in Clapham first then Marylebone High Street next until I left for points east and Canary Wharf. He had forgotten that we nicknamed him the Thin Hawaiian because that, it turned out, is how he orders his pizza. Pineapple, yuk!
The only way I could contact Henry and his wife, Tara, since they were not looking at Facebook, was via BT directory enquiries. He didn’t sound in the last bit phased to hear from me after twenty years and so I found my way to his farmhouse in the middle of nowhere last week and we tried in vain to catch up with twenty years’ news in three hours before setting off for the local pub quiz, where I met their friends (lovely and funny too), helped their team (I was known as The Ringer), added value to their score (Boyzone and Eye in the Sky), drank half a cider, flirted with the quizmaster and suddenly it was chucking out time.
They were so worried about me driving home, a journey predicted to take just shy of an hour, but they need not have worried because I was accompanied all the way by the biggest, lowest, fattest, most golden moon I had ever seen, so low it kept disappearing behind hedges. It was like having a heavenly being light my way and guide me home safely, it was magical, a once in a lifetime experience. I was so beside myself by the love and laughter and excitement of the afternoon, the evening, the moon and the news on my computer when I got home, that I had a sleepless night and at 0630 abandoned my plans for Thursday, a podcast recording and a planned visit to that Facebook friend (sorry, Sam!) and went back to bed. I peaked a bit soon last week, a couple of days before the sunny Bank Holiday weekend.
This week: cousin Jane.
Soon…Karen, Cath, Bert and Amanda and goodness knows who else I have offered myself to or who have offered themselves to me.
Weirdo, told ya. But long may this sort of weirdness continue (for now). There are all sorts of synchronicities afoot – a day in Oxford this coming weekend with my oldest school pal, and perhaps even an overnight stay. I NEVER stay overnight! People I have never met because they live so far away coming to stay or visit places just a couple of miles around the corner and hoping to hook up. I cannot quite believe it myself. And I wonder what it’s all about, Alfie? Who knows? Who cares? So much of life is unexplained. Frankly, I rather like that.
I have no answers. I am following intuitive nudges, getting out of my CZ and going with the social flow. And I’m loving life as a weirdo.