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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

So Sensitive.

Nothing to see here. I imagine if you have time to read this, you have time to show kindness to someone. Just a thought.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

So simple.

It's a beautiful morning. A proper Spring day is about to arrive. I might put a tablecloth on the table outside and lift my face to the sun. I have been invited to go to the pub for an afternoon drink. The birds are singing. The outside world is peaceful and full of hope. There is little I love more than a blue sky, a crisp start to the day where everyone and everything is possible. Except today my daughter is sick. She had an operation on Thursday and although it went well, she is struggling with a high fever, sickness and is in a lot of pain. I have watched her all night long. Held her hair back when she was being sick and wiped her face while she slept. I held her hand. No one else knew. There is no one else to know when it is dark, silent and boxes have been ticked. That's just the way it is.

The love she has been shown is enough. It is real and it is hugely appreciated by me. But at the same time, the love that has been forgotten hurts like hell. Presumptions, projections and insinuations that 'all is well' simply because it should be. Get real. If you care, show us. If you don't, don't pretend with tiny offers of consolation and expectation. In or Out. Here or Not. Choose carefully by all means but make it the right choice. Maybe send a card? She's a little girl aged 11. She's still tiny.

I'm almost done. I was still being shouted at by the angry farmer.. I wonder if shouting is just his normal volume? It's bloody peaceful now that he can't call my home phone and bellow so many insults and accusations down the wire that, of course, it's all my fault. I would write more if there was more to say. There isn't except that he, his girlfriend and some of his friends read this (I learnt this last week and can't quite get my head around it). I thought that he was really busy farming, trying to make ends meet, selling a few cattle, watching lambs being born.. I had no idea he had time to peek in here. Hello Simon. And you Bab. Haven't you got anything better to do? Like paint a shed, bake a pie or file your nails? There is nothing to see here. I promise. Cross my heart.

Back to the lovely morning that opens up in front of me. Mary has walked our dogs. Nell is fast asleep in my bed hopefully recovering slowly. And I am sitting quietly feeling full of love and gratitude that my life is exactly as it seems. I am what it says on the tin. I am a mother. I am a grown woman with her life pretty much under control. Having pushed a few mute buttons and the odd delete over the last year or so, my life has levelled out to what I can manage. It is straight-forward and simple. It is this.

I hope to have a wonderful weekend. I am going to sit a while longer and feel the peace. There is no one that can stop me being happy. It's impossible when the happiness is inside my heart. If babies are okay, I'm okay. It is that simple.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

By invitation only.

I made a mistake. Intentionally, I removed my blog from the public eye. Unintentionally, I didn't remove it enough. I hit the button suggesting that I had kept it live for invited readers only. I hadn't. Anyone who knows me well enough (a few unlikely souls doubted me) knows that I am not tech minded and anything as clever or as crafty as having a select reading list is way out of my capability. I am seriously pretty straight-forward. That's not to say that I'm not volatile when a fire cracker is shoved up my backside and I rarely hold back if someone dares challenge me over my lion cubs but that aside, I am as you find me (depending on the day of the week and the ground I'm standing on) But if you know me, it's pretty black and white. Unfortunately. Make sense?..

I thought that I was too sad to write. I felt broken (again) and it didn't take long for me to recognise a pattern. I was told very firmly a while back NOT to open my door until I was certain. But when is anyone ever truly certain? I felt I was. He told me I should be. Do the maths. We added up and got the same answer. My door was practically left off the latch. Serves me right, I expect you're thinking. Haven't I learnt by now? I thought I had. It doesn't take much for me to doubt or be suspicious. I smell a rat a mile off but this time? The air was clean (excusing the 40 a day habit) and he held my hand properly. Like a man holds your hand. I didn't once doubt his sexuality or his intention. I never once felt too in control or like I was his maternal equivalent. Nor was I his play thing. He slept downstairs so I knew he respected my values (I can write that if I want) He poured me wine correctly and he made me feel safe. For the first time in a very long time, I was sharing my time with a grown up man. Until he doubted himself..

A few days in France. Some sun on my face. Playing cards with my girls and squabbling over who gets to sleep in the middle of the bed. Walking, talking and eating frites as the old fellas play boules. The pain in my chest didn't go but it was manageable. It was especially okay when one of my girls handed me a cold beer as I lay by the pool in my safe place. I slept for hours. I missed him every waking minute but I figured that's just the way it'll have to be. I love my life. I had just hoped to share the love with him.

A long drive home in the early hours including a non emergency call to the police to save a stupid drunk man from being killed on the A40 from Oxford and I finally close my eyes at 3am. My girls flat out in their beds. My alarm clock turned off. More sleep. Still the same pain in my chest but one now with possibility of at least understanding the fear that made me sad. A possibility. "Can we talk?"

"I love you". 
"I love you too".
"I'm sorry that I hurt you".
He held me tight. I closed my eyes. I leant against him and let myself feel the warmth of his cashmere jumper against my face.
'Thank God', I thought but was too scared to say out loud. Not yet. Not this time.

The Smoker and I spent the afternoon sitting in the sun drinking rose, eating over-priced but delicious caesar salad and talking. Hours later and I had never been more grateful that this imperfect, complicated, quirky yet incredibly intelligent man had walked into my life. Nothing ever makes as much sense as gut instinct. My question is.. Do I remain out of the public viewing and call it a day with this, sometimes, over-indulgent writing or do I go back to what I know? Is this more like a diary and I am merely silently shouting my personal details out there without getting any reply. Not even hearing an echo.. I'm not convinced anymore. I am worried that a few read for the wrong reasons although surely reading at all, is a good thing? Everyone is welcome (there should perhaps be an age rating to protect the young however..) but don't lie to me. If you read it, tell me. If you pass on my blog address, don't pretend you haven't. Twerp.

I guess I might just plug on a bit. You never know. I might have some amazing life experience soon enough that will make the ones that care, appear and hug me.. Or I might just continue living a really happy (sometimes boring) life with what I've got already. I had to mute the angry man again today. He really is a tit. A part of me feels sorry for him which, I guess, is a bit like that Stockholm syndrome where the victim loves the abuser.. I do care about him. Fuck knows why. He just gets it so wrong all of the time. And then he shouts vile abuse at me for being stupid enough to listen. He'll come round one day. Not back here. We both know that will never happen although I fear his youngster truly believes that I still hold a candle. I don't. Not even a safety match. But I worry that he's made another bad choice. There's no telling him though. It's just common sense. Pick a woman who is going to love you and love your daughter and look after you both. Can you imagine how different life could be? Nah, he will never listen. Shame. Go kick a gate.

The pain in my chest has gone. I am in my home as it should be. My lion cubs are in front of the fire and clean from their hot baths ready for bed. Just the three of us. For tonight. And tomorrow. The tall, handsome man is coming back at the end of the week because he said he would. He loves me. I believe him. He had walked from one marriage and felt like he'd walked straight into another. The difference is that I am married to my life. I am mother, father, wife and husband in this nest. He nodded. It isn't always fun. Life doesn't work that way. Smiling, he asked me to wash his cashmere jumper. Amusingly, hand-washing delicates doesn't seem to come under the title of 'Wife'. Don't worry. I can hear the irony. I'm not hand-washing his smalls. Certainly not until he tells the truth about the beautiful bunch of flowers that he didn't arrive with last Saturday. The local farm shop never ever sells out. Fact.

"I really am very sorry". That'll do me. "Me too".

Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday.

What a beautiful morning. I opened my eyes to the silence of the village. The sunlight was creeping through the crack in my hastily closed curtains and I looked at the clock. I had slept for 12 hours. Half a day. I opened the window and heard the birds singing. The house was completely still. I wish I could have bottled that feeling and kept it. Quiet, still, calm and mine.

And then I remembered. I looked at my bed and saw the hankie belonging to him that I had held all night. I had kept it close. It had belonged to me as I slept so deeply.

The birds are still singing. There is a little more activity in this house. The dogs are mooching about hoping for something to pick up off the floor from the children's plates. The beds are unmade. The oven isn't on. There is no need to rush or hurry along little reluctant feet. The door is, as it always is, wide open and the morning is good. It is actually a good Friday. I like that.

I have just had a request for pancakes. The answer was yes. The answer is always yes but for the next few minutes, I am sitting here in this perfect morning stillness with the sun on my face and allowing myself to breathe. I have every right after all.

Good Friday. That'll do me.

Thursday, 24 March 2016


I keep hearing myself hold my breath to stop the pain in my chest but it doesn't work. I have gone to bed instead. I am hoping that asleep, I will breathe and forget the pain of today. I really hope sleep works. It must. I cannot believe this pain is possible. Maybe I will wake up and it will all be better. 


And then..

I get three messages at the same time.

This is the first..

This is the second..

This is definitely you!..

She can deal with stress and carry heavy burdens. She smiles when she feels like screaming, and she sings when she feels like crying. She cries when she's happy and laughs when she's afraid. Her love is unconditional. There's only one thing wrong with her. She forgets what she's worth! Pass this to every beautiful woman you know. Remind her that she's unique. I love you girl.

The third was a text message that I didn't need to open. I haven't the strength to read it fully. Not today. I am exhausted. In fact, my fellow friends in the school playground took one look at me just now and smiled warmly, knowing nothing of my recent rejection and all said at the same time, "Oh dear!". I laughed. I explained that I haven't slept for 2 days and that I could have plastered myself with make-up and a false smile but that would be a lie. It's the end of term. I couldn't give a shit what I look like although my bleach blond hair looks bloody brilliant. Oh yes, so the text..  It started..

"I need some time to work out how we will fit into each others lives.."

I don't think I need to read more.

I can't remember.. How long does the pain in the chest last? With any luck it will be gone by the time I board the plane to the South of France.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Broken steps.

"Leave it with me" I was told as the flagstone step broke underneath the axe. He was chopping kindling to save me from doing it. I should probably have done it myself. If I had chopped it, I wouldn't have bust the step. I was calm to the amusement of my girls. "Why aren't you cross" one asked me. I smiled. "Because it will get mended, that's why" I hoped out loud. The step has been broken all week. "I'll get glue" he said looking a little uncomfortable that he'd been stupid enough to try and chop the wood on the edge of my step..

"Don't do that you half-wit" he says to me tonight as I try oh-so-hard not to crack his jaw with a rolling pin. You know what? Just do what you say you will. Funny how I never (ever) forget anything. Whether it's paying a bill (late) or ordering logs or arriving to collect my girls from school. It's just the way it is. I cannot forget. I don't have the luxury of forgetting. If I do forget, it's because I (loathe myself for being so honest) cannot afford to remember. Like the embarrassed smile when I realise that the piano lessons are almost a term overdue. But how can I write the letter asking to terminate the tunes that come from my children's fingers? I took a deep breath on Wednesday this week and I did it. I said in writing, "Enough".  It makes me sad that I am the only adult in my girls lives that wants them to learn. "I prefer the violin" reassures my daughter as I look at her and explain that something has to stop. Some might think I have spoiled my girls by letting them try. I will always let them try. 

I got a letter from the child maintenance team today. I am entitled to more money. A whole £30 a month more. That's after his pension fund, travel and second daughter.  A friend joked that it will cover the cost of a decent bottle of gin (Hendricks) but it isn't funny really. It's justice. Slow justice. The other father still denies his daughter what she deserves. Hopefully he's had a good week at Cheltenham Races and made a few quid. Will he put it towards her education? Travel? After school activities? Of course he won't. He needs to save up for another Mulberry handbag for his girlfriend or a week's ski-ing. Let's remember his priorities. Sadly his daughter isn't one. 

Live and let live is what I wish. Let's all be kind and full of love, truth and stop blaming each other for our troubles. We only get one go at this. I know it's a cliche but can we please (just for today) stop blaming everyone else for what we create and accept our faults and let go? No, of course not because there are angry faces at every turn with fingers pointing blame when actually deep down we all know that it is out of our control. It is just the way life works. May I just say?.. Please? May I say?.. Just be kinder and let all of us live as best we can. That's it. We all deserve to live.

So my step is still broken but the glue is ordered and paid for and it will arrive (thanks to amazon) tomorrow, as I hope to sit in YO SUSHI and stuff my face and look at the man (dare I say this?) that I love. I will sit there and drink beer and relax as one daughter is walking around the wildlife park with her father and the other daughter will be in Sussex with her other family. All I care about is that they are happy. Seriously, what else is there? Be happy, be loved, be warm, fed and looked after properly. We all deserve to be loved.

So 'leave it with me' and I sit here realising that the reason I am a mother to my girls is because I choose to be. I want to be there (here) for them every day, every night. I have longed all my life for a family and now I have one. I love them with every breath in my body and I just want them to be okay. I do whatever I can to make this family unit feel safe and secure. I have people that care about us that shouldn't and I have people that don't care about us that should. The point is that some do, some don't. It is more important to remember that the ones that love us are the ones that we love back. That's just a given. I have met people in the last few years that I consider our family and I hope you (hello?) know who you are. I am grateful. More than you will ever know. "I'm bullet proof. Fire away, fire away, shoot me down, but I won't fall..."

Four gins in on a friday night (forgive the typos) and I am 100% real. I have read, heard, lived such a heap of bullshit in the last few years that I know what I want and what I don't. There is never a need in life to being unkind when the pain created isn't necessary. My only beef is that people fuck over the ones they love when they feel like shit. Just don't. We all have a habit of hurting the ones closest to us but there are only so many times something broken can be fixed.