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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

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Sharing a secret..

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Wrinkle free.

As many women my age (early forties; being this side of 45 is still early forty rather than almost 50), I spend too much time worrying about wrinkles, laughter lines, age spots and saggy skin. It is a natural path of life that we all droop, sag and slow down. I do as much as I can to prevent being older than I feel and I have dabbled with the chemical versions a few times. I am in no position right now (probably ever again) to pay a french man to put chemicals into my face and make me look younger and happier. Whether you agree with botox or filler being injected into your skin, it is true that looking younger immediately makes you look happier. I am not claiming that internal happiness is possible but I am simply stating a fact as I see it. Youthful skin equals younger happiness. We all remember it.  It's so ironic and completely wrong. It is against everything I believe in so why do I think about doing it again? I have got my first ever eye cream (probably 20 years too late) and I now do a cleansing routine (usually only when I'm in the bath with a brilliant microdermabrasion from KIEHLS and a good flannel. It seems to work for me. But with all the face oil (Rose obviously) and eye treatment (geniunely miracle stuff), I have to say that the comments I have received this weekend are quite extraordinary. 

"You look 10 years younger"

"Have you had botox?"

"Have you been away?"

"Have you done something to your face? You look amazing" (I kid you not..)

Truth? I am single. Properly single for the first time in years without any aggravation or irritation under the surface. I am not worrying about what might happen in the next few days, weeks, months and I am relieved to say that I am sleeping so well that I wonder how I ever struggled before. I have come to the conclusion that my life is better this way and if people (one random stranger in London today included) think I look better, look younger then this is the way I am going to stay. I am not suggesting that this has anything to do with anyone else. I am completely and utterly stating as the reality, that my happiness is from my choice to keep my life simple. I am finally (my personal struggle to accept this has been ongoing and constant) with the vision that being alone is my preference. I am no longer ashamed to be a single parent. I am proud. I am not worried about turning up anywhere without a plus one. I relax in my own space. I am surprised, however, that it has taken me so long to come to terms with it. Pre children, I travelled extensively on my own (by choice) and sitting at a 'table for one' used to silently amuse me where others would feel awkward and ask me to join them. I rarely accepted. I have always been this way so now is the time to celebrate it. 

It also makes my life cheaper, less untidy, completely straight forward, flight happy (seating is almost always in three seats), supermarket greedy, with solo control of the remote, guilt- free catch up telly and generally allowing me the pleasure of such simplicity that I question why I ever thought I could be part of a pair. I am part of a trio and quite simply, it's perfect. I have 2 hands not three. I have room in my head for their voices, no one else's. I have a dream of living in France wearing my white nightie and wafting about barefoot on the grass outside my home. It will be my home. It has paint cracking from the shutters and a big tree with a table underneath it. I am entitled to dream about what I know will, one day, be mine. Be ours. 

Not a bad result considering I was feeling so ghastly a week or so ago. Maybe I am stronger than I think? I must be. I won't tolerate fools. Who would? 

Happy Sunday. Big Love to those that deserve it.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Ah Go on then!

I did try. I promise, I did. Hand on heart. I actually believed that I'd written my final post forever and signed off. I wasn't being unnecessarily dramatic or erasing a space where I could breathe for any other reason than I actually thought I was finished. "Really?" asked one of my beloved loyal readers.. It is YOUR blog after all?" I smiled. Same time of year it seems. Always towards the end of May. 

I thought about it for a while. For almost 2 whole days and then I realised that no one can ever stop what I really enjoy. I have every right to do what I like without the intention of ever causing hurt. I have spent a lifetime being squashed into boxes where I don't fit. I won't fit, for one reason or another. When did I lose my confidence so hugely that I became all pathetically grateful when someone showed me a tiny bit of love? Am I so desperate that I need to crave the affection of someone that isn't honest, isn't true? A dear friend of mine showed up out of the blue the evening before last and I made her a cup of tea.. 

"Spill!" she insisted. I smiled at her and replied, "The one thing that doesn't change in my life is my persistent bad choice in men". I drove her to Chippy to collect her god daughter, my youngest from Street Dance (scoff, no comment) and I told her a brief summary of what had happened in my life with this man over the last few months. I was ashamed that I had been so weak with him. I was embarrassed that my friend could see the obvious mistakes I was making over again. Still unsure, I asked her, "Was I too hasty in my final judgement?"

She looked at me making the 'L' shape with her thumb and forefinger on her forehead like a child might and replied, "Find your self respect Rose" which I thought was a little harsh but was the accurate medicine I needed. I have been lost for a while now. I knew my mind last year and I was adamant not to be introduced to anyone. Especially not someone belonging (on paper) to someone else. I got sucked in and promised the earth. I hate smoking and he smoked. I hate excessive drinking and well, who am I to judge as I sit here with a gin and tonic at 6.30pm on a Wednesday evening? But I can. I am not on trial. I have sole custody of both of my girls and I put them first. I work bloody hard to ensure we have the life that I want to give them. I am not complaining in the slightest but WHO ever gets a free life? If you want something, you have to jolly well work for it. It's not all about the money either. Have some self-respect and achieve something each day rather than presume someone else owes you. Fuck that for a game of soldiers. I must have lost my mind. I'm the loser not he.

So I have realised that, gut instinct rules. I don't want to break my safety net ever again. I know what works and I am furious with myself for thinking we might have benefited from an outsider joining in. We don't. We won't. We never will. We are perfect as this trio and I am confident today that I have been absolutely true to myself and my girls. I am reminding myself hourly that we are this way by choice. I could have stayed still in the wrong jigsaw puzzle and made do. It wouldn't have been honest or fair but it would have been easier (from the outside) but I've spent a lifetime feeling unsure and unhappy so I'm not going to compromise. I owe my children that much. I am absolutely allowed to be a single woman regardless of spiteful name-calling and silent suggestions. I am simply not interested in breaking our strong circle. I was criticised and reprimanded over my parenting skills (or lack of, in his opinion). What a bloody cheek. You that casts the first stone.. Top tip to any other adult in this world.. if you're going to criticise a woman who has sacrificed (by choice) a mass of stuff to be a lone parent, make sure you're doing a half decent job yourself. It's a no brainer. You could start with a decent diet. I am very happy with how I have done my job so far under the circumstances. In my opinion, it never pays to lie to your children.

I don't need to quit anything that I enjoy just because I got mixed up with an inadequate, apathetic, highly critical arse. His issues not mine. He called me a 'stop gap' a while back. Rude. Maybe fair. Maybe I was just that. A time filler, a convenient floor to sleep on, a bloody idiot with too much hope and high expectation. But I am not a sodding spa break where one can expect warmth, kindness and love on tap (as well as gin) having shouted at me during his difficult day. Absolutely not. Self- respect has returned. 

I've been digging a hole. A real one. In my garden. I'm going to transplant an apple tree from our allotment to our lawn. Do you transplant trees? Anyway, whether you do or not, I am. I'm still digging. I guess I am still digging because I can. In fact, I will dig or not whenever I want to pick up a spade. Do you know why? Because this is my home and my garden. I pay for it. Every single tiny part of the postage stamp size of it. Stop gap? I must have been insane. But I wasn't. I believed him. Almost.

Oh Fuck, I nearly forgot, one of the others piped up today stamping his too small feet insisting on rights and entitlement. All by text of course. Funny how none of them are that confident to actually use speech. Wimps. I had to gently (smoke coming out of my ears) remind him (by phone on answering machine not text- he was probably too freaked out to actually answer the call) that as Nell's mother, I am only ever going to support her. Idiot. Why does anyone think they can challenge me over the well-being of my children? This last fat one had the audacity to suggest that my children would become "lovely people" if I did something or other. I forget exactly what he was trying to say. I stopped listening a while ago if I'm honest. I was trying to sum up a list of pro's and con's ( as advised by my gay boys) and the pendulum was swinging strongly in one direction at the time so it didn't take much to blow it out of the water. I got flowers from the same boys on Tuesday with a note saying, 'Because sometimes a girl just needs flowers'. Instant respect. 

My point today is What IS the point? Not in a bitter or single woman type way? (I promise) but seriously, how many women married or simply involved permanently with a man actually feel very happy? Oh I know, that warts and all, for better or worse, til Death do us part that they have a few uses.. (I can't think of more than two right now and one of those is never all that, let's face it) but if there was a true, honesty poll about how many women really didn't get monumentally irritated by their other halves.. I'm not confident the pendulum would move at all. The only benefit of men as far as I can see today, right now, is that they need women. I love the boys that I work for over the road but as I say, they are gay. They respect me and I respect them. We are honest and true. I told them about the sneaky late night text to the other woman and both (not one but two) said that I should not allow it. Ever. The husband of my other boss asked me, "Was it his sister?" Nope. 
The carpenter, the plumber and the electrician all looked at each other and said, "Fuck!"

My truth? It probably wasn't as bad as it looked but I know myself. I would never have let it go. If you need to text someone else late at night who isn't your partner, then fundamentally something isn't right. I would never behave in the same way and if I wanted to tell another man at bedtime that I missed him, it would be because I was single and so was he. Moral of the story? Trust your gut instinct. Always. Oh and by the way, it's good to be back. Thanks for having me. BOOM.

Sunday, 15 May 2016


It is the most beautiful morning. I enjoy the most simple of things. I know how my life works. In fact, I need to often just sit and breathe. I wrote something a while ago. I will pop it here before I continue with what it is I need to say today.. 

I can hear the crashing waves outside the window, the spray rattling the pane as it hits, the cold wind outside and the gratitude I feel from inside that I am simply alive. I feel as though with each breath, each intake of salty sea air I am being healed. I arrived exhausted but happy, or so I thought. After a few hours, I was calm but the sorrow in my being was overwhelming. I couldn't work out why I felt this way or what had upset me. It is just life. I haven't time to deal with each thing on a day to day basis. I store them up like a squirrel hoarding nuts. The nuts in my chest are long overdue. Constant let-downs, persistent excuses, apathetic reasons not to see my children and a daily struggle to pay bills, work hard, meet deadlines of life's huge punctual expectations and standards of personal extremes that I simply cannot lower. I go at it at full pelt. Always have done but now I am running at full speed ticking boxes, making applications, making promises rarely breaking promises, helping those that need help, hoping those that offer help might actually step forward. But will they? I doubt it. It is soul destroying that I am always left standing alone when I have served my purpose and it is time to spit me out. 

I gulp in the air like I'm coming up for oxygen having been deprived for too long. Each cell in my head gets clarity, pops open and each ache in my heart is healed slowly but surely. It's the sound of the waves, it's the power of the sea, the feel of the spray on my face and the hope of, with healing comes opportunity. 

I might be constantly let down but I am learning to stop expecting. If you want to make false promises to my girls and then excuses as you find a new hobby, a new distraction, more reasons than sense by all means go ahead but it isn't forgiveable. Not over and over again.  Do the right thing. Just for them. Not me. They are precious nuggets of gold and I hold them in the palm of my hand and close to my chest. Any mother understands the need to protect and fight to look after their babies. I am no different. I will take the pain and make it better for them if I can but I won't bullshit them ever. I answer their questions with enough information but never the painful reality that I have to hold inside myself. I'll open the door to those that love us always but don't expect to find the kettle on. 

I breathe. I relax. I remember and I let go of all the lies, the let downs, the excuses and the no shows. Breathing is the important thing. It makes my heart beat. Without my heart, I have no life. Without my children I'd have no heart. Therefore my children are my life. 

It's about time I started closing the door.  Just quietly. And keeping it closed. 

There seems to be a pattern to my life. The only person that can make this pattern change is me. Today is the day that I will do it. No more. That's enough now. I close my door because I am hurt. I then get better and I repair myself. I open my door a little. It isn't long before my door is left open and because I am happy, capable and confident I seem to attract people who want a part of that. They walk in. They fall in love with my life. They promise me that they won't hurt me. They are different to anyone else I am told.  Little by little, I try so hard to believe it. Never quite allowing myself to be taken in. Trust takes time. I am usually right. Of course I am. This is my life, my home and my heart. No one knows it better than I do. Then something happens. It starts with the smallest feeling of doubt. I can't and won't expose exactly why but I will say that if you love someone, you don't hurt them. Whether it's name calling, disloyalty, unhappiness, old habits or confusion. It's very, very simple. If you care about someone, you don't enjoy making them sad. In fact, you go out of your way to hope that they never feel sad because of you. Because of anyone. You protect them from feeling sad. It really is that obvious.

I live here. This is my home. I have lived here on and off for over 30 years. I am established and recognised. Often I wish I wasn't but I am grateful for the support and friendship because of my girls. I have created a nest here and no one is entitled to make me feel uneasy where I have roots. I do not enjoy being humiliated or upset. I have decided that the only person I can trust is myself. By default. I know my truth. I know what I want and I know how to keep safe. I am grateful that I am allowed to be real. I have no need to cause upset and I will never accept that because I am alone with my girls, I don't understand the truth of a 'family'. I don't want to hear or read any more insulting words or unnecessary reasons. My mind is clear. My heart is broken. My spirit is free. 

This is the absolute last time. I have had it with trying. It's over. Thank you for reading my blog and anonymously supporting and encouraging me to believe that adult love is good. I have felt the love from so many of you but I am now closing down. I am broken and I need to repair. I cannot write this anymore. It has been a huge help to me but I am no further on from where I started. Almost a decade ago I started writing when I was alone and grieving. Do not misinterpret what is very straight forward. I am making a decision because it is the right answer. I love life. I adore my children and I will not allow anyone to interfere with that. 

Like I said when I started, It is a beautiful day. Amen.

Friday, 13 May 2016


It is one of my favourite things. The early morning pause before the village wakes up. I adore the stillness and the absolute calm. I have been very lucky this week. I have been really busy with work and as much as I am longing to get into my hut (with the beautiful wooden floor) I haven't had a chance to sit and write. I crave it. I have put aside some time this weekend to crack on with my main ambition. 

For now, I am sitting in one of my favourite spots with that first cup of coffee and a lit candle. I don't need to justify why I am sitting here or what I might have idiotically lit a candle. I don't need to justify it. It symbolises peace, tranquility and comfort. I am entitled to all of those feelings. The air is clean and I have noted another massive need of mine this week. Unsurprisingly, I need air. Clean air. It is why I chose to move out of the city over a decade ago. Truthfully, one of many reasons I left because the air that I breathe is crucial.

The phone hasn't rung, not a text or email has been received. I have been left in complete silence and as more time passes, I am standing alone with my beautifully balanced and switched on children wondering why they are not worth a fight. I guess if there isn't a fight, why push for it? No one enjoys raised voices. 

I work for some really lovely people.  My job isn't mentally taxing nor am I under a huge amount of pressure, not really although I stretch my time so much that the pressure is to get it done. It certainly isn't a highly paid by the hour job either. But it is physical and rewarding. I like making a difference to peoples lives. Even in the smallest way. I got a text from my boss last night as he sat in the local with his partner. It read, 'Thanks so much. You're a star. In fact, you're a rock star. Shame you haven't got a guitar to smash to prove it'. I smiled at the silent loyalty. I have known these men only a matter of weeks, maybe a month or so. They are genuine and real. No bullshit. Just as I like it. I don't need to smash anything or cause a drama to know the truth. That has been done already without my permission and I refuse to be a puppet in someone else's story. You don't lie to someone you love. Not ever.

My story is good enough. It might be simple but I need it to be straight-forward. I like it that way. I have never and will never cheat or lie. I am very lucky indeed. I am surrounded by my favourite things most of the time. That's just the way it is.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


And then it started raining. Proper big drops of rain that bounce off the road at least three foot high. Looking outside I can see that I have been listening to the rain for at least four hours. It is falling on the roof window in my kitchen in such a way that I feel comforted. This weather is exactly right. There is no other explanation needed but this. 

Nell is in the middle of the blasted SAT exams and keeps looking at me sideways with the occasional. "Are you Okay Mummy?". Why would I want to jeopardise her concentration in the most important week of her primary school education? I have told her that she has already passed each test as far as I am concerned but she cares deeply. Alway has, always will. I refuse to tell her that I am upside down until the last exam has been taken. 

Mary, as straight talking as ever, asked me "Who's Kelly?" and "Why does he miss her?" I answered as honestly as I believed I should, "I don't know Darling" which was the absolute truth.

I learnt a very long time ago that there are consequences for our actions. I am trying to teach my girls that there is a knock on effect to everything we do, say and feel. I don't need to list reasons why, how or when I became an adult woman and I have no desire to hurt anyone and my anger has dissipated.  I now feel destitute. Is that the right word? Probably not. I am questioning whether I have used the wrong words my entire life and if I have attracted the wrong sort with my wrong words and I am simply on this earth to be used as a stepping stone for a while then cast aside. It feels that way. 

It isn't funny. My life isn't a game to be played with and my children are worth way more than a wallet full of lies. I stood up for myself a few months back and decided that I would no longer allow anyone to talk to me or treat me like a piece of shit. It was that simple. Since then, both the fathers of my children have made my life more difficult. My late mothers estate is still in question and my truth isn't good enough. I have discovered that the man that loved me also loves another woman. Several, it seems. Should I have kept my mouth shut and accepted that I am not worth being treated properly? Should I have allowed myself to be treated like a second choice, maybe third or fourth? I am questioning if men and women actually are never entitled to be equal.

I have asthma. I can no longer deny it. I have hoped that I was stronger than this but I'm still vulnerable, fragile and ashamed of being so weak that I allow myself to get hurt like this. My breathing is the first thing to be affected. 

Risk, Cost and Benefit. It was drummed into me and I smiled back at her nodding believing that I would never, ever take a risk before I was absolutely certain. I promised myself and my girls that I would not open our door unless I knew we wouldn't be hurt. I was a complete and utter fool. I should know better.

I turned to Mary when Nell left the kitchen and asked her, "Who do you think Kelly might be?" and she looked at me with tears in her eyes and answered, "His other girlfriend". She's 8 years old. She has already grasped a life lesson that I had hoped I could protect her from until she was much older. 

My door is wide open. I am entitled to leave my door open so that I can hear and breathe the real world. Luckily, my gate was mended and it can be locked. Almost four years ago, I was locking my gate every night because I was scared of my mother. I locked it last night. 

There is no excuse for lying. I was told that Kelly is a really good friend who is married and her husband wouldn't mind the near midnight messaging. In fact, I was told that thanks to the message, he was now having supper with her family. One step further.. he is glad he messaged her. I'm not. I am really upset that he thought it was appropriate to message another woman from his bed having sent me a message saying "I love you Rose. Sleep well X". 

How many times do I have to say this- I do not do lies. Not of any kind. FACT.