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Monday, 13 April 2015

Have a lovely day.

Contrary to so many, I love it when people say this to me silently hoping that automatically the day ahead will be just that. It usually works. I appreciate the words and tell them so. On Friday evening someone said, "Have a lovely weekend". I replied, "You too" and the magic was passed on.

Once the typical aggravation had been deleted from my immediate by the oh so patient boyfriend with a simple, "Pay no attention to it", I let go. Not of him but of the angry, shouting version that I once tried so hard to bend. You can't mould an iron rod. There is no flexibility in a rigid, set fast state of mind. But you can hold hands with ones that love you back and walk for hours in the sunshine saying little or a great deal with kinder words.

It must be exhausting to be so agitated and angry. I imagine.

We had the most lovely weekend. It was simple, straight forward and the girls played outside for hours. It is such a welcome to me that it is Spring.

Walking down the track yesterday afternoon with the man, the girls and the dogs I was over-whelmed with how my life has changed. We are a family. I couldn't wish for more.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Our Father.

It rained last night. Our bedroom window was open wide and my mind woke up and wouldn't rest. I lay there wondering why and how a parent can't love their child? Not enough anyway. Not enough to stop what they're doing and see that the little girl needs reassurance, love, comfort and protection from being abandoned and hurt. The hurt that the father is creating himself. Failing on every level to be the father she needs. My little girl with eyes so wide and innocent, slowly learning that her father simply doesn't give a shit. Excuses, reasons, explanations that barely explain a thing except to me, that she isn't a good enough reason to bend, stretch or move. She isn't worth his time. She isn't wanted or needed unless she can slot in quietly without making a fuss and making sure the roles are reversed and his ego is inflated enough so his family believe his lie that he loves her. I don't believe it. How can I? 

He recognises her by looking into the non-existent narcissistic mirror smiling at the boy she isn't.
Thank God, she isn't. She's a fighter with a heart so big but with a fear of being left behind.
She needs me. I will always be here for her, God willing. I will do anything and everything to make sure that she knows his lack of care isn't normal. I made a really bad choice but I am privileged to have her in my life. She has a family of monumental importance right here, in the right home.

Fortunately, for all three of us, we are learning that the love from my boyfriend exceeds all expectation. The man in my life doesn't need to ask, he knows. He is a father, a friend and the strength I can rely on. He looked at me this morning when I discovered that The Farmer wasn't coming to get our little girl and shook his head slowly. He hugged me and we made a plan. It was said with silent assurance that will go unnoticed. 

Funny thing is, my little girl hasn't asked me if he's coming today. Maybe he's done the right thing for the wrong reasons? Maybe she knew he wouldn't turn up? Maybe she knows more than I think she does already? Maybe she simply loves being at home. Just like he does.

There by the grace of God go I. How utterly extraordinary that by letting go of the anger and rejection from him, I have allowed love and acceptance for myself. There is never any need to shout at me. His raised voice suggesting ludicrous ideas of complete bullshit. The man is an ape. I was advised 10 years ago by a dear friend of his never to expect him to love me. I wonder if this same friend would advise the same thing to his daughter? He is in a jam jar and the lid is screwed on tightly.

Mary just appeared.
"Yes Darling?"
"What are we doing today?"
"We can do whatever you and your sister want to do" I replied.
"Together?" she asked
"Of course".
"YES!" she said.

I watched her leave the kitchen and wondered why I ever thought he might be good enough. He isn't. He never was and never will be. Our mutual friend was absolutely right.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Memory Lane.

Never close the door on it. I have heard the advice many times but I have had to shut the door a few times throughout my life. Sometimes with regret that the face behind the door simply doesn't have the heart or soul that I believed or occasionally through circumstance when paths changed, lifestyles didn't and behaviour was simply unpleasant to witness.

The sun broke through the grey morning mist and lying with my arms stretched above my head, I smiled looking at the face of a man I have always loved. I was full of anticipation to show my girls where we had met. I was 15 years old. Young but already worn thin. I was hanging onto hope with urgency and believed that life ahead could be and would be possible. I was naive, excited, energetic and flattered. The Boyfriend held my hand. I leant against him and believed everything would be okay. I wanted my girls to see the village where my life took a massive turn towards happiness.

Turning the corner into the village on a beautiful sunny day, he stopped the car.

"There!" I announced to the children. "That is where I lived" and I got out of the car. I stood there almost 30 years on and felt extraordinary. Still the same. Immaculate lawn, beautiful flower beds, clean windows, perfect paintwork. Solid, reliable, steady and straight forward. Holding their hands, I walked to the gate. A dog barked but I smiled at her unfamiliar face and she wagged her tail as I stroked her.

"Is that you?" I asked the old man walking towards us.
He looked puzzled but as I said my name, I saw the lines leave his face and youth return. He held out his arms and as we hugged, I remembered how he had rescued my mother and us from a life that could have gone so wrong. This man was still exactly the same as I remembered him, just older. I had memories flooding my head and emotion surging through my veins as I stood smiling, listening and trying to explain. Mum has died. He had no idea. He had chosen a different path and one where I hope he has enjoyed walking. He deserved a really decent life.

I wonder if Mum had chosen to walk besides him whether she would have survived the years of torment ahead or if indeed addiction would have swallowed her up as it did eventually? Would I have stayed holding hands with the boy she so disapproved of and maybe had a calmer, steadier journey to where I am today? Would we have simply ended up in the same spot almost 30 years on without the pain of such tragic and hurtful circumstances? Who knows? The circle of Life. Unquestionably, I am finally where I have always known I should be.

The Boyfriend walked over towards us at the gate. He had lived in the village long after I was taken away but there we were, holding hands without being told off, looking at a man who saved me. I was standing on the gravel drive with 2 men who had done nothing but love me all those years ago. The love I feel today is over-whelming. I will never know if Mum would have smiled at us or frowned at my impulsive need to hug and say Thank you but I am so glad that I took a trip down memory lane yesterday.

Some things never change. Thank God.

Monday, 30 March 2015


I have the chance to go away with a friend, a dear friend, a friend with a house in a hot country. I grabbed my chance, packed our bags and am about to drive to the airport. With the week I just had with the apathy of the fathers of my girls, I will be very glad to be away. If only from them. Pathetic. inadequate, lazy, selfish men that think I am responsible for ensuring my children are happy to spend the night once a fortnight? ME? I have urged, encouraged, pushed and been patient for 10 years. I sat back this weekend and let them deal with it themselves. The girls didn't go. It wasn't my choice. It was my expense though and me who ended up driving around the country to fit everyone into shorter gaps and time slots. Not even a fucking thank you. Rude. It won't happen again.

Do you want to come away for a few days and lie by the pool?

I grabbed my passport, bikini and hugged her.

My answer will be on a postcard.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Should I now own up?

That I have also written 4 children's stories and that my eldest, Nell is furious that she hasn't been allowed to read them? Worse.. she is indignant that she hasn't been asked to illustrate them. Oops.

I hear you. I will print them off and you can draw me some pictures because you are the artist in the family. Oh, the name? You want to know the name of the books?

The Tales of Alfie and Olive.

What are they about?

Pixies, obviously. They are stories of pixies that go on adventures.

I will let you draw for me. Are they good?

You tell me Darling. You are the reason I wrote them. For a child just like you.

Of course Mary can read them too and yes, she can draw a flower.

Yikes, my children are my biggest critics. This might hurt.. Might just fob them off until tomorrow..

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Can I just say?..

Something that I have tried to do for years, wanted to achieve, felt a passion to explain and a need to excuse.. I have just written the final line of my book. I have actually done it. I can now say, with confidence, that I have written a book. Although it isn't a book yet but it is a book to me. It is a story with a start, a middle and an end. This is the end. As I wrote the final lines I had tears running down my face. I had no idea how significant it would feel or in fact, that it was going to be the ending until I had written it. So I shut the laptop, smiled and still with tears streaming down my cheeks, I walked to the beach and took this photo.

Job done. Amen. And a massive Thank you to the ones that never doubted me. You know who you are. More importantly, so do I. X

p.s (there often is) "GET IN".

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Stuck record.

We expect a great deal from each other don't we? Responses to messages instantly forgetting that others have a life to get on and live, answering of phones if they ring simply to reassure that the responses we hear are the ones we expect, timings kept punctually without any questioning, jobs completed fully and properly, lists ticked off, enthusiasm at full capacity even when we might be lagging, depleted, tired.

Oh so tired. I've always been tired. I was diagnosed with ME in my late teens. Boy, I was tired then. Did I really have it? I'm not sure. I slept for hours each day. I had no energy. I was wiped out. I feel like that now except I can't sleep because I have responsibilities. Real ones. Daily ones. Not just once a fortnight or the occasional evening ones. I am completely in charge of three lives. I do not want to be in charge of anyone else. So should I be surprised when I am expected to jump up, smile on demand, gasp, sigh, sob and clap like a puppet on a string or even a monkey on your shoulder. Why can't I sleep? A number of reasons I guess. I have 2 children so a nap is out of the question. DO NOT even suggest it. I have a few worries, as adults do (particularly us women who tend to mull things over at night it seems) especially post 40, post children and post taking on any real grown up stuff and I cannot begin to rest lying next to a man who is WIDE AWAKE but trying his hardest to lie dead still so as not to disturb me. A fly even a flea disturb me. I can sense it. Then there's the hot hand that is rested on your backside. Why would that be relaxing mid nocturnal stupor? I'm half in sleep but irritatingly half out due to the "I cannot move a muscle in case I wake you" thing going on besides me and there it is.. The hand. WHY?? And I won't mention any other obvious bodily heated parts but just because you're awake doesn't mean you can chance it. Especially not on a sunday night.

I guess I'm being mean. I should sit up, mop his brow, stroke his head and whisper reassurances into his  ears and put my need for sleep to one side. I should tell him how much I love him and that all his worries will one day seem a silly nonsense and so far away and remind him that life is okay and we are lucky to have found each other. So I'm setting the record straight, once and for all, making it clear and hopefully there will be no doubt from now on. We all need sleep to recover, stay well, mend, feel happy and be healthy. As much as I love, treasure, appreciate and respect the lump that shares my bed there is only one thing he hasn't understood.

LET ME GO TO FUCKING SLEEP Darling. It's not all about you. Next time you suggest a bloody herbal sleeping pill, you might do well to pop a couple in your own face before your head hits the pillow.

That'll be Goodnight from me then?