13 November 2011

Thirteen. (Un)lucky for some.


Had a great day today. The pond is pretty much done, as far as we're concerned. Up to nature now – hope someone moves in and enjoys it!

Yesterday was brilliant too -fireworks on the river, then dinner out. It's been great weather and the mist last night seemed very Autumnal. Sherlock fell asleep on the way home, and even slept in a bit this morning.

So all this got me thinking about what my life was like a year ago, as REReader asked.





Pretty sad, really. I worked, a lot - more than I do now. I marked my days off by going in in jeans instead of a suit, but I'd frequently still be in, doing paperwork, chasing up on cases. And I'd take work home with me.

Because of that my diet had gone to shit. Takeouts when I ate at home, or simple things like ready meals or toast or cereal for dinner.

Which meant I was unhealthy, so then I'd run or go to the gym at the yard to try to fight the flab. Spend an hour or so working out, or if it had been a bad day, pounding on a punchbag until I could barely stand up. It was an unhealthy combination of pushing myself too hard in some ways, not enough in others.

I'd decided to give up smoking, after one too many chest infections meant I had to have time off work. But then I'd given up a lot of things just because I'd lost my lust for life. Everything apart from work felt a bit pointless, and when we had setbacks at work - on cases or in court - I let it get to me too much. Took it out on my team because then, in their own ways, they'd take it back out on me, and I needed that. Or I thought I did. You lot and John have taught me that sometimes I just need to give myself a break and not take the blame. For that I thank you.


I applied for another job a few months before meeting John and the boys. They got back to me in the summer - offering me exactly what I'd wanted. That really brought it home to me how much I'd changed because of them.

I'd applied for a transfer into a specialist undercover unit, because I thought why not? No one would miss me, I wouldn't miss anyone, better me doing it than anyone else. I think I would have enjoyed it more than going on how I was, anyway.

The DCI there wasn't happy when I turned him down. He said they'd spent a lot of time vetting people and deciding I was what they wanted. I apologised, told him my circumstances had unexpectedly changed. I expect he thinks I'm a right idiot. But how can you explain to someone you don't even know that you've found something to live for? That you thought you'd find it easier being someone else, but that's because you'd forgotten who you really were?

John and the boys have given me back the ability to find the good side, to feel the joy. Seeing the world through Sherlock and Mycroft's eyes is just amazing. The things they notice, the questions they come up with, the way they just devour all information.

And meeting John, falling in love with him…it sounds corny, but it really is like I've found the other half of myself. Someone to share the good and bad times with, someone to drag me up when I'm down.

Someone to live for.

And on that note, here's a picture I took today, of the changing seasons – out with the old, to make way for the new. And all under the sunny blue sky. Fitting, I think.


84 comments:

REReader said...

Thank you for answering this, Lestrade--and now I just want to give you a huge hug. (John, could you please give Lestrade a huge hug from me now? And Sherlock, in the morning?)

John H. D. Watson said...

I will be giving him hugs from everyone who reads his blog, which the stats lead me to believe is quite a high number.

L - love you.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that to describe someone as 'your other half' is ridiculously romantic when you actually think about it. I'm glad for you that you've found yours.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Anon - I suppose it's a bit like when you're doing a jigsaw and you're certain you've got the right piece, so you try to bash it in even if it doesn't really fit. And then, when you find the actual right piece, it just slides into place easily. That's sort of how I feel. I mean, I know it hasn't been totally smooth sailing, but...it's always felt 'right' with John.

I am currently getting hugs. Which also feels right. Love you too, John Hamish.

innie said...

Lestrade, I'm so glad John and the boys found you and helped you discover yourself. And that you made sure we got the chance to get to know you as well. You're a treat to know.

That other job sounds fascinating, but you're doing so much good just where you are that the only one with regrets should be that slow-moving DCI.

John H. D. Watson said...

When did you apply for the job?

but...it's always felt 'right'

Yeah. For me too.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

When? Probably...August or September last year. I'd been thinking about it, but they don't often want senior officers in those sorts of roles. Then I heard on the grapevine that they needed a broader spectrum of people in the team, so I really wanted to do it. I was almost surprised by how immediately I knew I didn't want to when he finally got back to me a few months ago. There wasn't even a second of thought - I felt bad that I hadn't already told him there was no way I could do it. But then again, I assumed I just hadn't got anywhere with it, it had been so long.

REReader said...

Thank God it took him a year to decide, that is all I can say. Very sincerely.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

RR - yes, very glad it took me that long to apply and then as long as it did to run through all the security/files/applicants. Things could have been very different.

Desert Wanderer said...

I'm pleased things turned out so well for you, John, and the boys. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke.

I've said.this to you and John before, but I've.no problem repeating myself. The two of you are an inspiration in more ways than I think you'll know. Thanks for sharing your lives with us.

John H. D. Watson said...

Glad they were so slow about it. Though I think you're wrong about no one missing you. I'm sure your team would have.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

DW - all of you who comment are inspirational too. Really. And very kind. It's easy in my job just to listen to the criticism, the hatred, and dwell on things that have gone wrong. Between you lot, John and the boys you've really helped me to see the brighter side of things again.

Danger - maybe, but they'd have got used to a new boss soon enough.

I might never have passed the psych tests, anyway. I was more interested in not being myself than in being someone else, if that makes sense.

Small Hobbit said...

Oh yes, John, please make sure I'm one of those you're hugging L for. Thank you.

John H. D. Watson said...

I think he'd better just stay home tomorrow and get hugged. Might be a bit difficult to convince him though.

REReader said...

Pity you don't have the dogs around to sit on him.

Anon Without A Name said...

Lestrade, I'm so sorry that your life felt so isolated and difficult. And I'm so vert glad that you've found such happiness now. Bloody lucky that the wheels of bureacracy grind so very slow.

DW's right - the pair of you are inspirational :-)

John, please count me among the huggers-by-proxy. Thanks.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I'd be easily convinced. My superiors wouldn't.

But really, it didn't seem so bad at the time. At least I was free of Bryan. Just...well, other things, surrounding that, got me down a bit.

Tink said...

INTERNET HUG PILE! :D *glomps*

Greg: Have Sherlock call you in hugged. *nods*

REReader said...

Have Sherlock call you in hugged. *nods*

His Super HAS met Sherlock, after all...

Desert Wanderer said...

That *must* be on their Lestrade Custody Agreement somewhere. Super gets workdays and one weekend a quarter, plus three overseas trips a year. Sherlock gets holdays, weekends, birthdays, and three Hug Days a year. And since I'd lay good money Lestrade hasn't had one yet, the terms of the agreement must be met.

John H. D. Watson said...

Eminently reasonable.

Desert Wanderer said...

Your turn for a long night, Doc? There've been too many of those going around.

REReader said...

(Sherlock, everyone is just joking. Don't really call Lestrade's Super, okay?)

You okay, John?

John H. D. Watson said...

I just need to finish L's cutie mark, and then I'll be able to sleep in the knowledge of a job well done.

REReader said...

Ah. Well, creativity is its own reward.

:D

X said...

Please give us the details once your masterpiece is complete, John. :)

In a ludicrous reversal, my plane was perfectly on time, but my shuttle ride home has been delayed 30 more minutes. I hate sitting in airports /so close/ to being home (well, another 1.5-2 hours depending how many people they're dropping off first -- it is a fact of my geography, confirmed by the drivers, that my building is always the last stop).

Amy said...

Danger's revenge! Sounds like a movie title... :)

L, I'm so glad things are better for you now. *Another internet hug for the pile*

REReader said...

Good morning, early birds!

Is Sherlock giving you a good cuddle in lieu of calling youR Super for a Hug Day off, L?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I still wouldn't bet on him not calling the super...

Hope you're home now X

REReader said...

Rank hath its privileges?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

He's promised not to. Mainly because I told him he had to go to school no matter what.

He is being very cuddly though.

REReader said...

Excellent!

hsavinien said...

I'm going to offer my hugs as well via your boys. I'm glad that you've got an opportunity to be loved and are the better for it.

Dw said...

Well done, Sherlock. Have a great day at school!

Tink said...

Good morning everyone! Yay for snuggly Sherlocks! Maybe you can call Mycroft this evening and chat for a bit? Then you'll have everyone in on this.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

We do need to call Mycroft - next weekend is his exeat weekend, so he can come home halfway through Friday and go back to school on Sunday evening, which will be lovely.

Re-reading this post today I feel like you must all think I'm a fairly pathetic specimen. Sorry. Will try harder.

REReader said...

No, we think you are a very lucky specimen.

Tink said...

What RR said. You are an amazing person Greg. Remember that you're working on not putting yourself down so much :P

Desert Wanderer said...

Why do you say "will try harder"? Did someone teach that to you, like at Hendon? I picked up "no excuse" as the answer to a "why didn't you" question from school, so I'm always interested in where people pick up these sayings.

Anonymous said...

Greg - I've been away the past week, so I'm playing catch up now. I'm so sorry to hear about how your case is going, and your little (half) brother. However, I will add my voice to the chorus of people who firmly believe that you are a good man who does a worthwhile job, is a wonderful role model for two boys, and a fantastic boyfriend/partner to John.

*hugs*
~A from NW

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Rink - I wasn't trying to put myself down. I thought this was quite a happy post, but all the offers of hugs made me think I'd focussed too much on the negatives, which isn't what I meant to do. This wasn't about getting sympathy, it was about pointing out how lucky I am, and obviously it failed to do that. That's all.

DW - I don't know. I often think it to myself - like I'm a teacher writing a report 'Gregory could do well if he just tried harder', that sort of thing.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Tink...not rink.

John H. D. Watson said...

I think people just hate to think of you being that sad in the past, even though things are better now. That's how I feel anyway.

Anonymous said...

Yep, the doc's got it right

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Well, it's all down to you and Ask and Nicky and everyone here it is better now. So give yourselves hugs.

But mainly you, because you gave me the strength to let everyone else in and stop pretending it was all fine.

Want to do lunch later?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Sal, not ask.

REReader said...

What John said.

John H. D. Watson said...

I would love to do lunch later. How's your day going?

Tink said...

Another echo to John! Also, thought I was getting a new nickname there for a minute :P

We are all very happy for you Greg, that you have come so far in a relatively short time. You are amazing! Hence all the hugs and love and well wishes! That your next year may be even better than the last. <3

Desert Wanderer said...

You remind me in some ways of Boxer from "Animal Farm.". Not in everything, mind you. Just the work ethic. "I will work harder" is his motto, too.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

My day is...better than other days recently. Lunch would improve it further though.

DW - i haven't read it. But..thanks, I think. Hope I don't get sent to the glue factory anytime soon.

REReader said...

*ahem* I'm sure you were ASSIGNED Animal Farm to read. In school, you know.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I know we had to do Romeo and Juliet in second year. There were wooden swords involved.

Dont remember being assigned anything else, ever. Although we must have been, for O levels.

REReader said...

Well, there were battles in Animal Farm, but I don't think you'd have acted them out. It's George Orwell being savage about Stalinism.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Well, if it was compulsory in schools I must be one of the only people in the UK who hasn't read it then. I think I'd remember.

We did Lord of the Flies for o level, I'm pretty sure. Kids stuck on an island after a plane crash? Sort of reminds me of Sherlock on Dartmoor...

John H. D. Watson said...

I haven't read it either. We read 1984 though.

L - were you Romeo?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Ha, no, I wasn't. We didn't exactly have parts - each lesson we just took roles. I was never Romeo though. All that pining after a girl wasn't really my thing.

REReader said...

I wish I hadn't had to read it.

REReader said...

(Why don't they ever assign happy or funny books or plays? Only miserable ones seem to make the list.)

Tink said...

Seriously. I got assigned Romeo & Juliet once, and Othello twice. >_< PINE. MISUNDERSTANDINGS. DIE. Yeah.

Why couldn't we read any of the comedies?

Random Anon Lurker said...

John - Don't ever read that book to Sherlock if Mycroft is serious about government. Much paranoia that way. Every time M mentions that he can't talk about something at work, S will think 'Is he listening to me through my TV?'

REReader - They assign us miserable books because they are miserable and want us to share the misery. The only recourse is satire - miserable people can be offended and miserable, and the rest of us can laugh at them.

Tink - well, yess... but the Nurse! Benvolio and Mercutio! Iago! Swordfights! Innuendo up the wazoo! Not as good as some of his others, mind you, but it's still Shakespeare.

REReader said...

Random, I refused to buy into it--I went ahead and did a book report on The Importance of Being Earnest. Even the teacher laughed before I was done with my summary. HA!

Why couldn't we read any of the comedies?

Right? I went to an all-girls religious school and we could have had some REAL discussions about, say, Taming of the Shrew. Romeo and Juliet we just sat there.

(My aunt was, at the time an English teacher and she saved R&J for me after. But without her...)

Desert Wanderer said...

I wasn't assigned it, either, Lestrade, but it's a quick read. Even better if Doc will read it to you and do the voices. I still don't understand the appeal of Shakespeare. It all seems sstolen from Ovid et. al

Don're think I was implying that you're not too bright like Boxer. I only meant the work ethic and persistence and protectiveness.

Small Hobbit said...

We got stuck with Jane Austen, which was even worse. And Macbeth with my mother and her two sisters (aka the three witches).

REReader said...

Shakespeare is not about plots, and really should never be read, only seen in performance, DW. You go see a live performance of any Shakespearean play by good actors and you will understand the appeal, I promise. It's about language, and it's about people. Mostly about people.

SH, HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE JANE AUSTEN?!?!?!?! If you had come to her books on your own instead of having it assigned for school, I bet you'd have loved her. She's also all about people, and she's so sneakily funny...

Desert Wanderer said...

I never seem to get the right points out of books. I felt so bad for.the priest in."Scarlet Letter.". Was his name Dimmock? I don't.think I was.meant to.

No matter, I suppose since the captcha is giving me "portn" which is clearly porn with tea.

REReader said...

Everything is better with tea...? :D

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

SH - we got out of studying Jane Austen because my English teacher couldn't stand her writing. So I've never read any.

DW - I don't know enough to know Boxer was slow! Don't worry, you're safe :)

Anonymous said...

Got to say, Shakespeare should be seen on the stage, no one could have been more anti than me the first time I saw Hamlet, was blown away. As for Jane Austen, in each re-read especially of Persuasion I see new things. Even George Orwell admitted 1984 was miserable (the quote is: 'book wouldn't have been so gloomy had I not been so
ill').

REReader said...

L-You got the glue factory right, though. :)

Small Hobbit said...

Definitely Shakespeare should be seen not read. I've seen ten Shakespeare plays this year (not that I'm insane in any way of course).

REReader said...

That's not insane, that's LUCKY!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

RR - that's because I looked up Boxer on wiki.

I used to go to the theatre a bit. Mainly to see more modern stuff though, rather than classics. Haven't been for years now.

REReader said...

I looked up Boxer on wiki.

Handy, that... :)

Maybe it's time to start going to the theatre again? I'm sure John would be up for it--and Mycroft and Sherlock might enjoy it, too.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Maybe in the holidays. Bit hard to fit it in otherwise.

Would be nice. And the boys should see some Shakespeare at the Globe, just so they have.

REReader said...

Now you're just trying to make me jealous!

Seriously, though--yes, they should. And also because it's wonderful. Shakespeare wrote for audiences.

Ruby said...

I've been reading for ages, but I never comment (I'm shy), but I just HAD to weigh in!

I've never laughed so hard as when I saw A Midsummer's Night's Dream, or (a very good production of) The Merry Wives of Windsor. But we read Julius Caesar in school! GAG. I think schools assign the tragedies because they are seen as more "serious", and of course, Julius Caesar has historical relevance, blah, blah.

I tried reading Emma when I was twelve, and couldn't get through it. I was too young, and I didn't understand a lot of the conventions (if she said "Mr. Knightley" I would wonder, "Which one!? There are two brothers!"). In high school, my best friend gave me Pride and Prejudice and insisted I read it immediately, and I adored it. Since then, I've read Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park (assigned in college but I only read about half), Pride and Prejudice (again!), but Emma is my favorite. If you aren't sure about the books, there are two lovely miniseries: one of Pride and Prejudice from the mid-nineties (with a very young Colin Firth as Darcy *swoon*) and Emma from the BBC in 2009. Emma got a lot of criticism because the mannerisms and expressions are modern, but I loved it.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Welcome, Ruby. Please don't be shy (same goes for you still reading and still not commenting).

We will try to get the boys to see some Shakespeare - have to find out what's playing. I'm sure they'd both enjoy it.

I'm terrified to ask what they've already read - it just makes me feel stupid.

Tink said...

Random: I was the nurse in both Othello and Romeo & Juliet (we had to do the plays we were studying each year) XD I took my pleasures where I could.

Though I have to say our senior year Othello performance was amazing. We changed students every scene, so you had bunches of Othellos etc. Anyway, the scene where he kills Desdemona, it was a pair of martial arts students playing the leads. So Dezzy did not go quietly into that night, there was this kick ass (yet realistic, Des was -desperate- to live) fight instead, ending with Othello smothering her because that's the only way he could manage it. :D

REReader said...

I'm terrified to ask what they've already read - it just makes me feel stupid.

Foolishness! You've acquired all sorts of valuable knowledge through experience. Knowledge is knowledge, the medium through which it is acquired is irrelevant. :)

And it doesn't matter what Shakespearean plays they've read--reading a play and experiencing a performance are entirely different animals!

Tink, that Othello sounds quite...alarming, actually!

Anon Without A Name said...

RR - we get different set texts in schools depending on the year, the syllabus, the choice of the teacher, etc.

I read 1984 while I was school age, but not at school. I didn't read Animal Farm until years later. I definitely recall reading Kes at school, Jane Eyre, A Man For All Seasons, Romeo & Juliet, and Twelfth Night.

Plus, at my school, we had to study two chapters of a poetry anthology for O levels (major exams at 16). The year before mine got "Landscapes" and "Seascapes". *yawn* My year got "People" and "War" - OMFG. Seriously empowering and consciousness-raising, reading all these different perspectives by different war poets.

Lestrade, John - not only could you take the boys to see Shakespeare at The Globe, the National Theatre does some first rate productions, and frequently offers massive discounts on tickets during the summer :-)

REReader said...

Ah, that's interesting, Nameless. While it does change over time (a little), New York State has standardized tests for graduating high school (they're called the Regents exams) and I'm pretty sure that that results in a mostly standardized reading list across the state.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Nameless - thanks for explaining. RR did make me wonder if I'd completely missed an entire term or something not to have noticed we'd been doing a project on a book like Animal Farm.

We'll look into the theatre thing.

REReader said...

What can I tell you? Everyone I ever met in college and grad school had had to read it in high school! (Maybe it's my advanced age?)

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