Sometimes, it's just a cigar

This is our truth, tell us yours

Are you ready for this thing called…


I know, in your head you could, if you have good musical taste, hear Bonnie Raitt singing Thing Called Love, but love’s not a word I say about Jem, to Jem.

I say thank you, quite often. In the absence of the post-coital cigarette, we’re most likely to say thank you to each other, to talk about gratitude and pleasure.

Thinking about that today, as we stood in a beautiful Northumberland landscape that stretched for tens of miles in front of us, an idea coalesced in my head.

Is it possible that, because Jem and myself have consciously eschewed romantic love between us, we’ve created more space for a culture of respect and gratitude in our relationship?

If so, it’s a most wonderful unintended consequence. Instead of those messages with three little words that should say so much but mean so little (with apologies to Snow Patrol for paraphrasing their greatest hit) we talk to each other about gratitude, about smiles, and about how we understand what has happened.

Standing in the landscape as we were I was talking about builder’s pattern books, 220px-asher_benjamin_house_design about the way in which masons, landscape gardeners and other creators have a shorthand that conveys huge aounts of meaning, but which can easily descend into cliche or self parody.

The analogy with the pattern books of romantic love were obvious and clear to both of us. Romantic love is capable of great beauty, even if it is not for me, but beauty is created, not copied from a pattern book.

An analogy with great landscape design comes to mind. Landscape designers work with the land they have; the view we saw was beautifully exploited by builder and designer, but neither one built the Tyne Valley or the hills beyond it.

I came to my relationship with Jem knowing what I wanted it to be, but she made the space where that was possible. Between us, we’ve managed, I think, to create a relationship where gratitude and respect fill the spaces that would otherwise be obscured by romantic cliches.




3 comments on “Are you ready for this thing called…

  1. jemima2016
    September 9, 2016

    this so perfectly sums it up


  2. ValeryNorth
    September 9, 2016

    (with apologies to Snow Patrol for paraphrasing their greatest hit)

    Or Extreme’s big acoustic hit “More Than Words”

    Fascinating thoughts, I love the thing about landscape designers – very resonant for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jemima2016
      September 10, 2016

      it was fascinating, the full story of today began with Carter telling me of this idea for a blog, then spontaneously me suggesting we visit somewhere which had, over the years been designed to fit the landscape, perhaps subconsciously I thought of it, but only as we wandered, and, spotted the long filled in ha ha and trees planted many hundreds of years ago to screen long abandoned farm buildings did the idea of buying a pattern emerge.

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 9, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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