Love Stories - the Audio collection

Here I am privileged to share some of the love stories gathered as I journey with A Human Love Story.  Of the hundreds of stories I have heard and shared only a small proportion are available to the public.  Many stories are too tender for people to share publicly, and these stories are kept privately amongst individuals and within the hearts of those who heard them being told.  But dozens of stories are available here in this beautiful living collection.  They are for you.  Listen, share and find connection in these poignant, comic, joyous and sad stories of love.  They are the root and branch of community. 

It's the First Forever Thing

And of course it's fine to not want to be something, of course it's fine to not know how to do something, it's natural, I really believe that. I'm just trying to be honest with myself. But what I haven't been able to do is be honest with others. I've not been able to stand up and say 'I'm not her husband', or, 'I'm not her boyfriend', and 'I'm not in love with her' and 'I'm not able to commit to this' and 'I'm not able to cope with this'. To say that out loud is something that is very very difficult.

i never knew i was this brave

I never knew I was this strong.  I never knew I was this brave. Christopher Robin says to Winnie the Pooh "you're braver than you think, stronger than you seem."  I've loved Kathy, i've loved Phil, I love someone now.  And I love myself.  We all love but i'm not sure if there are many who can love themselves.  And the journey is so hard, you know life is sometimes not for the faint of heart, but with these incredibly difficult moments, and they don't last forever difficult, come moments of sublime joy. 

I loved him for 6 yearS BUT NEVER TOLD HIM

I had two best friends and they were both boys, and one of them I fell in love with and I loved him for six years, but I never told him because I was scared it would ruin our friendship. And if he wouldn't feel the same way, we'd never feel the same way to each other ever again.

Life as i knew it was over - what remained still alive was love

"I was shattered, life as I knew it was over. It was a numb state of shock. What remained still alive, was love...Then these messages came in from all over the world, heartfelt messages of love. I'll never know who they are, so called strangers felt moved to write a note to me sharing what they felt."

No one can live here without love

No one can live here without love. Everybody needs it.  If you see someone from a different place and if you meet them, you should treat them nice, you should give them respect. We should treat each other the same. We're not different, we're the same people.

You didn't know what was coming next

She drove JCB's, tractors, everything. Wonderful tango dancer. Wonderful tango, ahhhhhhhhhhh. I just let her go her own way, because she was her own person. There was no way you could tell Mamie what to do, no way. I just let her go. She'd go into a pub and she'd just get on the mic and start singing, start singing. She's just wonderful and people loved her, people loved her. I think I miss that you didn't know what was coming next.

They come from you , They're part of you.

They come from you. You made them. They're part of you. Everything from him is familiar. Everything of Jason is familiar. I just knew it. And the love I feel for him, that's probably one of the scariest loves i've got because it's so deep and it's different from the love that I can put to one side.

i don't have words to explain love

I don't have words to explain love. It's just feelings, feelings that you feel. We're the same people, people are just the same. And i'm proud of who I am.

experiences make trust hard

I'm not sure i'm able to talk about love or share my experience of love. I think because my parents relationship and my experiences of that it makes trust hard. I'm not saying I would never have a relationship. Part of what happened to my mum was that she had mental health problems and perhaps there's a fear that that could happen to me. It's quite layered I think. In some ways i'm very guarded and I don't let that go very easily, if at all.

can you love somebody too much?

I've never ever recovered from his death. And I never will. Someone said to me 'you've got to let him go'. I said 'I can't'. I once asked him a question 'can you love somebody too much?' I think you can.

She must be right - This must be ok

Because she threw herself at me so much and because she seemed to want me so much. I somehow felt, I'd never had a woman that wanted, that seemed to want me so much. I thought, 'God she must be right, you know this must be ok, because to actually want someone so badly. It's actually quite good to be wanted by someone finally. And we stayed together for 14 years. Meanwhile my wife became progressively ill. She became very very ill. She was in a clinic for quite a few months de-toxing. She was diagnosed with bi-polar. It was awful. And when that happened I thought 'God I really need to stay with this other woman because it's the only seemingly normal relationship I seem to be having with anyone. And so it lasted 14 years.

love is stronger than hate

It was all the other people who made a decision to move in that way that light is stronger than darkness. People fight for good on an everyday level and for love, on an everyday level of their lives and will never be noticed in a book, will never be recognised. Acts of love in a difficult world. There's a quote I really like from Desmond Tutu in the African Prayer Book, he said 'goodness is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate, light is stronger than darkness and life is stronger than death'. That's all really.

i miss the love & companionship

The last 5 years she was alzheimer's and I looked after her, through the alzheimer's. Very hard work, but very enjoyable because I knew she was happy. No help, we just wanted to keep it as natural as possible. I miss the love, the love and companionship. She was lovely. I do miss her. It's, it's just something you've got to get over, but you never will, you know you never will

What does that mean?

Now i'm learning how hard dating is these days for people in their 20's in this day and age. I mean analysis of bloody text messages. What does this mean? He put a kiss on this one. It's actually got really difficult. I'm like fine that guys not interested. he hasn't texted back for 3 hours. What does that mean?

maybe i like leaving - maybe love is too heavy for me

Maybe I like the feeling, you know, leaving a group of people I like to another place. Then I go back sometime. I was thinking maybe i'm looking for something, i'm looking for something...when I feel light, maybe sometimes I think maybe love is too heavy for me.

I never say the word 'love'

I never say the word love. That's the thing, I never say it, ever. I just kind of think maybe it's a Scottish thing; we don't sort of say those things, but we do it, we express it in actions or emotions. So we say it silently. Because what is love? It's when you really appreciate someone, when you really respect them and when you try and understand them. It's so many different emotions, it's not just one thing is it.

i feel like i've come home

Some people find it very easy, they meet someone at 16 or 17, a lot of my friends have done that. I took so long, I just took so long, I don't know why. I was somebody who had a quick love when I was at university. And then we only parted because of circumstance. We didn't fall out. I thought i've got the rest of my life, you think life's just beginning and these things are going to happen time and time again, but at some level I never met anyone i've connected with so much, which is kind of sad but not sad. And then the other day, about 2 or 3 weeks ago, I saw him again.

you look like Cheryl cole

"You look like Cheryl Cole". "Oh God, give over Maureen."
"At that time we were dancing at a place called Heelbrens in South Shields. He lived in South Shields and I lived in Tyne Dock. We just got on well together you know. We started to go out. We knew that was what we wanted to be together. But then I wasn't a Catholic and my husband was.

I met her at Uni, up at Keel.  Our accommodation is off campus, so we all have to take the bus in.  And on the first day we were all waiting for the bus and we thought, 'this is interesting, there are some nice ladies here'. me and my two flat mates in a brilliant manly move picked which ones we want. "I'll take the ginger."

I can feel vulnerable in love

I think, particularly with patrick's death, he was my son but I had him when I was very young, I was seventeen, I was a single mother. So, all my adult life I had been with Patrick, he was my one constant. That was a love story in itself, from being a very silly, giddy little girl, doing too many drugs to suddenly realising and understanding a purpose in the world. Which was love for this child. And then loss but maybe discovery of my love for you more, it deepened and solidified. I was committed to loving you but never let myself feel vulnerable in that love...So to discover that I could feel vulnerable in love and actually feel strong from it, that it was safe, was a huge learning lesson for me.

I am a foreigner

My home is definitely back in my country. So every time I get of the plane, I get back home, in the garden with lots of plants and trees and I bring my kids back with me, I feel at home. That's where I feel I don't have to pretend.

Love is not enough

I think love might be every day choosing someone else, or choosing someone to be the main thing about that day. That's why it's difficult when you're single because you feel no one is choosing you. There are days when I wake up and I know that I am loved. On the days when I don't feel that, then choosing myself to love.

being loved - being wanted - being found

I've always struggled with what is the meaning of life. Always. I come full circle, I go round and round. What's this process all about, this living and this dying and this moving on and the next generation. I can't quite make sense of it all. Being loved maybe, be wanted and being found. I don't know. Being recognised by someone, being recognised.

i'm the luckiest man in the world

You always want it to last a lifetime. We've been lucky, we've had ups and downs, bout many more ups than downs. All I can remember looking over my shoulder and seeing her and thinking I am the luckiest man in the world. I can remember it now. She looked magic. If you can get the right one I can't imagine anything better. If you get the wrong one I should imagine it's purgatory. We're very lucky. Getting up in the morning and feeling you have a reason to get up and people need you to get up and need you to do things for you. It's lovely.

people make your place

If you can allow vulnerability in your life to be shared, you kind of have access to other people's vulnerability, and because you recognise something of yourself in each other, it isn't horrifying. And that was always my fear that if you share so deeply, people will be shocked. I used to think place was important. But now I realise it's people who make your place.

what is the essence of me?

I was aware that I was not very comfortable trying to understand and articulate certain things, what is the essence of me and what do I want to get out of life? I think i'm realising that actually I was quite a shy little boy, maybe that's still sort of in there somewhere. Am I worried subconsciously about friends and family and what they think? Maybe I am.

it was very us - nothing ever really works

I said well we'll go for a walk tomorrow because i've got some ideas of where I want to take you. I was really nervous. I kept checking me bag to make sure the ring was there. I kept saying to Jo, don't go in the boot, i'll put the bags in the boot. It was constantly on my mind. And there was this place we went, when we went to the lakes once, called Tarn How. It's amazing. And I was like perfect, we'll go there and i'll just do it. Got there and i've never seen it so busy in my entire life. There was people everywhere, like coaches and I was like, I can't do it here. I can't do it. So I bottled it basically. I just left it.

I couldn't be anywhere else

He squeezed my side and thought there was something about a sparkle in a touch there. We ended up at the grand old age of 24 playing spin the bottle and very luckily the bottle landed on him. That first kiss was so electric, there was something in it. Wow. And it stopped the game. Whenever we're together it's just a wholeness and I couldn't be anywhere else but with him.

the cubicle

He's put his address on this letter as 'The Cubicle', which is where he was in the Newcastle General Hospital and addressed it to my mum in her house in Jesmond, Newcastle. This is dated the 8th of December 1948. They got married in the October. They were married for 66 years and he died, in fact he died there, on the 9th of December, 10th of December. And she died in the August. This year. They were always together. Still are.

 I have a tourist visa & a son 

We have one son who's a lovely boy. Now I have a tourist visa, which has allowed me just to stay here, but not allowed me to do any work, but i'm just staying here and helping my wife to look after our son when she goes to work. Maybe in the future i'm hopeful i'll get the work permit visa, which will allow me to do some work. I like it here but sometimes I miss life in Tanzania, but in a good way.

I remember picking flowers for her

She introduced me to what Welsh children did and how they played and the things they played.  It was all completely different, you know I was brought up in a little village in the Italian Apennines in Tuscany.  She was beautiful, she was blonde, and she was everything I wasn't of course, she was pink.  And I remember picking flowers for her and i think she's probably the first woman I loved, I was five years old but I really felt an emotion of love for this little girl.

there's always hope

I hope that I can give hope to other people who are in a really rotten place. If I can give anything to anybody it's hope, that it's not a dark place and it doesn't have to be a dark place. If they can just hold on there is always something nice that can be there but you've got to allow it to come to you and open yourself to it. There's always hope. It doesn't matter where you are, doesn't matter what you've got, where you've come from, who you've been. There's always hope.

It's not friends - it's family

Me and my children we always came to KLS (Katherine Low Settlement). When I came here I didn't know English not one single word. I was thinking, always dreaming to work with children. My teacher I asked her that I have to work. She sent me to St Thomas' college. I work in the creche two days. I am so happy, I am so proud of my life because I achieved the target I was think. KLS is family, it's not friends, it's family.