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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Have you heard?

Apparently if you want to know what's going on in my life, you simply just have to read my blog. Fascinating I'm sure except those that love me, know me, actually talk to me, know that to really know me you have to actually ask me. I write what I write from the heart and soul but don't sneak a peak into my private life thinking you're in the loop, if you're actually in your own shut tight box. The chitter chatter in the staff room was quite complimentary I was told. Why Thank You but I can't recall inviting anyone to sit and read. Be my guest but don't judge or criticise. I am only doing my best. Just like you.

Christmas Day approaches and I wonder how many families will fight, be torn apart, fake a smile or an orgasm, toast a dead relative secretly pleased that they are gone or pretend that the gift they are given is just what they wanted? I won't. I don't lie. I wave and smile and hold my head up because I am exactly what you see. I do whatever I can to give my girls what I believe is the best I can offer. They are ready for the big, wide world even if they don't want to step into it. They can order a drink, go to the loo alone, hold a hand of an elderly lady crossing the road or have a conversation with a random adult without the help of me. They can climb trees, swing from a rope, jump in a pool, answer the phone, remember our address with postcode, admit they have done wrong, take the blame and accept the punishment. They have godparents that I wish were family, for real. They have friends that won't be friends in a decades time but they know faces that they will remember for the rest of their lives. So do I. I can count on one hand the people that I would call if I needed help but I have friends on two hands that I know would help me. Unexpected friends. I have several teachers that I'd turn to too. I wouldn't hesitate. Don't lose sight of the importance of loyalty. Its crucial to friendship. We all need friends.

Real Love.
It's Real. Why be fake? That's bollocks. No one wants to pretend. No one should want to pretend. Why live a life of falseness and pretence unless, of course, you don't want to break a heart, an achy break heart. I don't think you're going to understand. Broken is how I am but without being broken, you can't know what you need to fix. We all need a bit of fixing every now and then. The odd delete, reset the default, accept that our cookies need to be trashed and the screen set to blank giving the canvas a chance to begin a bigger picture. Only the ones shut in a tight security box will find this confusing. To you, I suggest you leave the page. You are not in the loop. To the others, I simply want to thank you for your support, loyalty, friendship, silence, privacy and trust. It is your silence and trust that I value the most but loyalty is paramount. Gracias. From the bottom of my heart.

Dancing through the fire.
I find that my life has turned around this year. It has changed beyond recognition. I won't tolerate much but I will accept a great deal. I know now that I was waiting for the right reasons and that the reasons I was waiting is because he hadn't come my way. He has now. It is so right. I should never have doubted the wait. I accepted that maybe I might be alone forever but I absolutely wasn't going to settle with the wrong one. Then, the start of Summer, it all changed. For good. For real. Forever. I never thought I'd feel like a teenager again but I do. I have, without a doubt, found the missing piece of my jigsaw. By mistake. In fact, he found me. I am told he wanted to find me a year before but was advised that he shouldn't look. With a push of a button and a friend request, I found the friend I've been missing for almost 30 years. My shoulders have dropped, I sigh with relief not despair and I sleep like I have never slept before. I might regret admitting this especially if I am unexpectedly the talk of a lunch break but I am completely and utterly smitten with the same boy I loved when I was 15 years old. If that isn't higher power working, fate, God above or karma then I don't know what is. It's exactly what I have been waiting for my entire life.

Have faith.
However and whenever you need to because it will come right. Of that, I have no doubt.

So, what have you learnt from this? You have learned that the feisty, energetic, passionate, volatile, exercise fanatic, single mother is happy, in love and still believing that the world can be a better one, Peace can be achieved if you try hard enough and that life is exactly as it should be. Turn the other cheek if some squit irritates you- it is their problem not yours. Deep breaths are essential as are hidden mute buttons on your ears when someone starts ranting, friends aren't perfect and even grown ups need a hug. Smiling is so much easier than frowning and being ignored isn't personal. Who cares? The end of term approaches and I am properly ready for the Christmas break. Have I been a good girl this year? You know what? I think I'll get exactly what I deserve on Christmas Day. For the first time in 43 years.

As I have said before, I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Real Love.

It is 2 years today since I learned that I had lost my mother. For real. For good. Forever.

As I stand here making my coffee this morning before the day really begins, I realise that right or wrong, good or bad, my mother is the reason I am here. She gave me life. I wish I could return the power and make it different, delete the mistakes maybee even have another day. 

I would love to be able to sit down with her and ask her what she thinks. Ask her to look at my life, my home, my girls and tell me, really tell me what she thinks. I would love to make her a cup of tea. No one ever appreciated it more. 
"You make the best tea in the world Fozzie". 
How easy is it to pop on the kettle?

Yesterday on my travels, I found myself calling for an ambulance. An elderly woman had fallen to her knees in the street. I couldn't lift her. I shouted for help and called 999. Mrs Newlands was 87 and I held her hand and told her not to worry. The ambulance crew took her away. I wonder this morning if she is still alive.

Real Love. There is nothing quite like it. Miss you Mum because that's just it- Real Love. 

Always did, always will. I hope you're looking down on this crazy home and smiling at the 3 free spirits that live here. Not forgetting the little fat furry friend you accidentally gave me. He's happy. He's spoilt but only because I adore him. In fact, he's the best inheritance I could have never expected. Thank you. Love you X

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

No one is perfect.

Everything came crashing down yesterday. All it took was for a seed of doubt to be planted and I, as a single mother, with a history of failed relationships, has got it all wrong. I know what people think of me. I'm not stupid. I am doing the best I can. I clean houses, iron shirts and I juggle as much as everyone else does to make sure the mortgage is paid, oil tank full and that my girls are fed and looked after. We all do so much more than we thought we ever would but I have exceedingly high expectations. I wish I didn't.

When Mary had her accident I felt blessed and lucky that I had a child so strong, so tough, so capable of 'almost' dodging disaster that I swore that I would never be ungrateful again. Any child can get hurt. All children can make mistakes and as long as we guide in the way we think is appropriate, surely that is what it's about? My kids know the rules. I am tough on them and yes, I am not as PC as most but my children have had a rocky start and I am proud of them. I have had to explain countless situations to them over and beyond their normal age and I believe by doing so, I am making them capable of life without me. We don't live forever. We all expire and I want to make sure that when I die, my girls can confidently step forwards without me and be prepared for most things. I have written a list. I am writing a book. I have my blog. Nell always asks if she can read my stuff and of course, I reply, "When you're older". What I write isn't for young eyes and I want to protect them from my insecurities for as long as I can. They have no need to know what I feel, think or experience unless it directly affects them. It's private. Except it isn't, is it?

'Swear-gate' continues. I am seeing the teacher again today to see the hard copy of what my daughter wrote. I am praying and crossing all my fingers that it isn't as bad as I dread. The word used yesterday  wasn't a word that I ever use. I use some. More than I should but my kids know that they are not to swear. EVER. Clearly this didn't apply to my youngest last week.

Nell asked me this morning if I could please tell her the 'T' word and the 'C' word. She is almost 10 years old. I tell my children a lot, maybe too much but I answered this,
"No Darling, I will not. Both words are dreadful and should never be used. But I'm relieved that you don't know them" and then Mary added this,
"I know the C word Mummy.. It's Crap."

and for the first time in over 24 hours I looked at her and laughed.

"You are absolutely right. It is exactly that". In more ways than one.

We have health and hopefully, we have life. We also have opportunities to make things right and possibilities of (annoyingly) getting things wrong. None of us are perfect. Not a single one of us. We are human and we all make mistakes. However, we all are also capable of saying 'Sorry' of which I truly am. I wish all horridness would go away and that I was barefoot on a beach with my face in the sun.

Monday, 1 December 2014

So? What do you think?

Funny isn't it? It's been a while since I wrote. You'd think by having someone in my life "to make life easier" (his words not mine) that I would have hours to idle away at the keyboard. I have even mentioned out loud how much I would like to write, blog, get back to the book in hand.. But it seems there are more pressing matters yet again. A few issues and a list as long as Mr Tickle's arm that I hope to tick off. Like THAT will ever happen. It seems that my life isn't easier after all. Oh well.

A Christmas Party. I have a date and the date. Just. If only the others would let go. I watched a film last night which wasn't a great movie sadly but there was a significance in it that I grabbed hold of and thought, "I can do that". I like to take something from somewhere, each experience and see a lesson or a tale. I am open to options, suggestions, offers, change but it needs to be equal and honest.

A woman was holding a balloon. The balloon was tied to a sand bag. She had to untie or cut the string to release the balloon and LET IT GO. But it was a film. They hugged silently and lived happily ever after. How easy is that?

All my childhood (bear with me, I'm not complaining) I lived as the child of an abusive alcoholic. All my teenage and early adult life, I was chronically co-dependant. I spent years trying to fix the people that I was magnetised towards yet it took for me to have my children to learn that you cannot change anyone. I had my two girls and I taught myself to be real. I am a mother. I am solely responsible for my babies. It is my job to teach, nuture, protect, prevent and create a life with them to the best of my ability. I want them to have everything I didn't have. TRUTH. That is all any of us need. Just tell the truth.

Mary is in trouble at school. She was misbehaving on the bus on the way home from a trip and she got caught. She was worried about my reaction so she fibbed her way out of it. I knew she was lying. As soon as I saw her face. She's a brilliant fibber but I'm her mother. With the threat of cancelling Christmas unless she told the whole story, I encouraged her to tell the reality before it got worse. I was cross. I felt very sad that she was able to lie but it is fixed now. As far as I am concerned anyway. It's done. She knows that she did wrong. She feels completely uncomfortable and is upset. She is a child. She is 7 years old. She is still learning. I thought she had been hurt when I was called into the school after the trip. I was nearly sick with worry. In the whole scheme of things, as long as my children are healthy and alive, that'll do me. I might be frowned upon more often than many but I am doing my best. I cannot fix everything single handedly.

So, what do I think? I think that my mother died almost 2 years ago and the date is approaching fast and is more on my mind than I expected. I find myself sad that I cannot call her up and share my experiences. Tell the stories. Off load the burden. Listen to her laugh at the cheek, the absurdities and the over protective parent that I have become since Mary got walloped by a car. She could have died. It really IS that simple. My daughter could have died in the accident. She didn't. My mother could have survived her addictions for a while longer but she didn't either. So, that's what I think. If you don't like something, change it. If you want something, go and get it and if you are alive and relatively healthy, be fucking grateful and quit moaning.

Most of all, appreciate today because trust me, tomorrow, the rug might be pulled from under your feet.

And within hours of writing this, the rug was pulled from under my feet and I was yelled at and blamed for the swear word saga. Apparently, Mary made a child write the naughty words. It is Mary's fault. Or let's be honest- it's mine because I am the free speaker.

"She made me do it".. the oldest excuse in the book.

and then a few hours later, we made friends. And the rug was put back under my feet and we all remembered that healthy and happy is way more important. I swear to God (not with the use of bad language) that I could go mad at the kids for putting me through this anxiety. It is unbelievable sometimes. Is this is how life is now? Really? It'll be a tattoo and a fag next..

Then I really might swear.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A thump, a bump and a bang.

Nell fell in Spain. Went down like a sack of spuds outside the bullring in July. Mary had a crash with a car  three weeks ago and last night, having gone to bed early with a monumental pain behind the eyes having drunk a litre of apple and ginger juice with fizzy mineral water and spinach soup to boost my vitamin d, I get up for a wee at 4am. As I walk with intention back to my big bed still so, so tired with a pain I've never experienced before in my head, I walked straight into the door frame. I heard a crack, split my nose and feeling warm stickiness on my face, I go downstairs to sort myself out. Aloe Vera and witch hazel, 2 x 500gms of paracetamol and an ice cube in tissue held against my face, I return to bed. It slightly amused me (but I am a bit odd) and I questioned how in God's name I managed to do it. Fucking eejit.

That'll do now. That's three wallops for my family. We get the message. LOUD AND CLEAR.

Slow down, open your eyes and keep your head up.

I turned to Mary in the car this morning having skipped the ritual of foundation and powder to mask my ever increasing dark circles and wrinkles so deep, they tell a thousand tales and said,
"I really AM hideous looking now aren't I darling?"

She smiled in a sweet, little girl way and cautiously nodded. Serves me right I thought. I have always told them that it doesn't matter what you look like, it's what's inside that counts. That'll learn me.

I put on my big, dark glasses and asked, "How's that?"
She shook her head, "That's worse".
I wrapped a scarf around my face like a slipped turban and said, "Now?"
She laughed. So did I.

Nothing like a bang to the head to remind you how lucky we are to be alive..

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


It was alright in the morning. In the darkest hours of night, things always seem much worse, more worrying, annoyingly keeping me awake but then I slept, finally. When I crept back up the stairs at almost 4am, I woke him. I needed to hear his voice and feel him hug me. He was unaware of my worries. We talked and I explained why. Although my 'why' isn't usual. It's a crazy concept that in my forties, I am trying to justify the insecurity of why I work well, perhaps better on my own. The rest of the world seems to thrive in company, as a group, a family, an ensemble. Not me. I seem to achieve more and worry less when it is just me. Girls grow up longing for Prince Charming and waiting impatiently for their Happy Ever After. Living the dream of togetherness and creating a family nest. I simply struggle to share my space with anyone other than my children, dogs and cats. It's just the way it is. Until now.. I am forcing myself to go beyond what I usually consider as an impossibility for me because I know that this is it. I am pushing my boundaries but my default is set. I am failing to be what I so want to be. I know the answer, but I am struggling to work out the way to reach it.

Another holdall has been filled and returned here. I can see it on the sitting room floor. The poor man (my friend was right) was probably unsure of when and where to put it. I should have hugged him as he returned and carried his bag upstairs. I was too busy shouting at Nell for being an insolent teenager  at only age 9. Boy does she push me sometimes. She got out of the bath and almost pushed me out of the way so she could flounce down the stairs back to her beloved television. I stopped her. I asked, "What's up? Why the attitude?" and she looked at me with hurt and confusion and replied, "Is he moving in? Were you even going to ask us?"

I don't know what I was thinking. I know that I wasn't thinking. Since Mary had her crash, my world has been turned upside down and I have lost all stability and certainty. It's a horrible feeling. I want to hold my children tight all day long and stay huddled together on the sofa. But I can't. I am jumpy and out of focus. I feel old and tired. I am completely out of sync with everyone around me and I feel lonely.

I don't know how to reassure my girls that taking a chance is good. I am more certain that I have ever been and I want them to feel safe and loved. They felt safe and loved before I met him again though. Things change all the time. We all juggle priorities and make space for new opportunities even when we are unaware of them coming our way. This is a big deal. To all of us. I shouldn't pretend that it isn't but it's a good thing. I am certain of that. When I start doubting my ability to remain centred, my family follow suit and we all lose track. I need to get back. I have to be on it. I cannot float.

We have talked. First it was the girls and I as we sat together. I explained that the sudden shift in living space had been a surprise to me too so I reassured them and explained that it hadn't been expected. Not yet. I suggested that it may change in time but that it wouldn't be for a while. Gradual, steady and calm. They seemed better. Nell wasn't angry and tried her luck by asking for an iPad so I suggested half an hour of American crap on the telly as a compromise which she grabbed with a smile. Mary wasn't bothered in the slightest it seemed. I am worried about her. Her voice, the sound of it, is different. I can hear a change. She talks in a different way. And she is bad tempered. Not with anyone else it seems, just me sadly. It is as though I have let her down. Truth is, I did. Then he and I talked. I listened I'm just not sure I heard. I think I did. He loves me. Thank God for that.

Mary bumped her head right on top of the fracture last night against her bedroom wall. She went white. She felt sleepy. It was almost half eight and I didn't know what to do. I let her sleep. I checked her throughout the night constantly hoping that the haematoma from her crash had gone by now and that she wouldn't get sick again. She woke up late this morning. She is still very pale. She wouldn't eat breakfast and she is grumpy. I offered for her to have a friend for tea because Nell who is so unhappy at school has someone coming to play today and she seemed a little better. Mary smiled at her friend and I sighed with mild relief. As I bent to kiss her goodbye in the line in the playground, she looked at me and with a very loud, clear voice that I didn't recognise said, "You look hideous".

Added a few hours later..

I have questioned all morning how my child can tell me that I look "hideous" or more to the point WHY. Mostly, I was amazed by the capacity to which it had upset me and effected me so much. I came to the conclusion that it was because the simple truth was, I felt hideous.  I have felt pretty hideous since the summer. Sine, in fact, Nell had her turn in Spain and I felt suddenly so out of control of being in charge of them both. It dawned on me that as much as I do, as hard as I try and as often as I help to keep them safe and sound, the world is not predictable and the unexpected can happen. Even to us. I cannot protect them from everything. I can, however, do my best which includes looking after me which I haven't done since August. Popping on a plane isn't general maintenance, it is crucial necessity to keep me alive. I want quality of life now.

I have plucked my eyebrows. I have put on some intense moisturiser 'for a lift'. I have booked myself in for a toner to brighten my dullest of dull hair and I bought a new jumper. I have also booked myself in for an intense 'lines around the eye' treatment next week. I have decided that at 43 years old, I need to help myself if I want to feel better. I am not blessed with natural prettiness but I am healthy and fit. It is time for a good life, a happier life and I am jolly well going to embrace it and ensure that it happens. Now, where is that best foot? I put to put it forward.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Got the message.

So I get a text message. The fire was lit, the curtains drawn, the girls and I were tucked in and under blankets watching Children in Need.

"I've left. I'm on my way". I looked at the message and the world felt still. I replied.
"For tonight?" and waited.
"For good".

My friend breathed in a loud gasp of air when I rang her.
"I didn't exactly mean for him to walk like now.." I told her in a mild panic. My Friday night of calm and snugness was over. I stood up, re-filled my wine glass and failed to answer a single question flying around in my head.

"You have defied the odds" she stated.
"How come?" I asked, not knowing at all.
"He has left his wife for you".
"No he hasn't" I replied truthfully, "He has left his wife for himself. They have been separated for months. He simply hadn't moved out"
"This is huge" she continued, "The poor man.."
"How so?" I questioned feeling slightly wounded.
"He has just left his family".

When it's put like that, it's tough to hear. I am uber sensitive and I never want anyone in the world (even the bad people) to feel sad or excluded. I have waited my entire life to feel happy and like I belong. I had got there. By chance, we had re-met and connected at a time in his life when the days of his marriage were unravelling like a ball of wool. But I never intended for anyone to feel sad. Especially not me.

He walked through the door an hour later with 4 un-ironed shirts, a holdall and a massive guilt trip. He explained that he couldn't take it anymore and that he had decided to leave. It turned out that she had prompted the conversation and suggested that he go. When he replied, "I'll go next weekend" she had responded with, "Why wait until then?"

Strictly speaking, he didn't decide to leave. She decided for him. Either way I should be happier. I'm not. I am worried sick that my flaws and weaknesses will show too soon. I am worried that my children will be worried. I am scared that I won't be able to share my home, my life and my space with another grown adult. I have never succeeded before. I am worried that I am wide awake and he is fast asleep in my bed, our bed and he is completely unaware of how I feel. I am sitting by candlelight feeling disloyal to him for writing this and to my children for breaking a promise. Because I know that when Nell looked at me yesterday, in her eyes she was questioning my truth. I promised them both after The Builder had shouted at me and slammed the door for the very last time, I promised them that it would only be us from then on. Just us three. And now it isn't.

There has been no discussion about what happens now. We haven't sat down like grown ups and discussed where we go from here.  I know that his priorities are correct and in the right working order. I am terrified that the guilt trip he brought with him has been off loaded onto me. I am carrying such a burden now that I cannot remember my legs feeling this heavy. We went to the pub for an hour so (I had hoped) we could talk about a few things. We didn't. Others talked and teased. The joke, it seems, is still on me for allowing my daughter to play outside without wrapping her in bubblewrap. Could a mother feel any more guilty? Add to that already monumental guilt, the worry of what sharing my life with this man might do to my children if it goes wrong and that is where I am. Is it worth the risk? Is it ever worth the risk? Chances are, it won't be easy. That's fine. I understand that Life isn't easy but what if by allowing myself a chance of happiness with a man I love (and who loves me, really loves me) turns out to be another mistake? I'm not sure how many times I can recover. Or is it that I am already so broken that I may as well have another crack?

I'll feel better in the morning. I should sleep on it. Trouble is, I can't sleep.