Almost daily diary!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Untitled (part 2)

It was Sunday evening when I realised something was up. I rang Mum to say I was going to visit and she put me off, said she was busy. That never happens! I slept on it on Sunday night and decided I would ring in the morning to see what was going on. I did so and got my Step Dad on the phone. He made up an equally implausible story that didn't fit with the previous one. I called Mum on her mobile. It was off.

By now I was cross and concerned! I was also a little unhinged, well more than normal, because Tall Girl had just left for Year 7 camp. That worry would normally have taken precedence over everything else, (She nearly missed last years school camp because she threw up, on the pavement just outside school, with nerves. I sat her back in the car and then she wouldn't get out again! Not even tears this year, how she's grown!) but not this time. I waved her goodbye and picked up the phone again.

This time, after threatening that I would turn up anyway, I managed to get the truth out of them both! Mum was going into hospital for an exploratory operation. They didn't want to worry me. I'm so glad I persevered.

I drove to Cheltenham and got there mid morning. This meant I had a few hours with Mum before I took her into the hospital. I wondered if she could see I'd been crying. We didn't mention it of course!

I took her in at 1.45, saw her into the process as far as I could then dashed home to get Small Sprog from school. It was a long wait until the phone rang last night. She had the results.........

Monday, June 29, 2009


Sometimes, just sometimes you know when something is going to hit you full pelt. Perhaps it is some sort of sixth sense. I have always dreaded this moment. I knew it would come. Particularly when family life here was going smoothly a while back. Pessimistic or realistic, call it what you like, but when things in life are going smoothly and people all around you have their own sets of problems, you do begin to wonder when your problems will come!

Well, I didn't realise I would be the cause of mine. Not the entire cause, but the one who would bring the decision nearer, who would start the ball rolling to break up the family. Once it was reality I remember thinking that things don't roll along smoothly forever. I remember thinking, this was it, the thing that was going to happen. I always thought it would be illness of a parent or something like that, when I got to this point in my life.

And now, all of a sudden, I am faced with that too. The inevitable illness of a parent as they get older. Of my Mum. It's not for sure, yet. By tomorrow we should know. I am in that place I never wanted to be. It was inevitable, I could almost feel it in my bones of late. I'm not sure my state of mind can cope with this as well as everything else. I need to be strong.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just indulge me for a moment........

I spent some time reading Harper's Bazaar in a waiting room today, it was in date too, which was a bonus! I haven't looked at that particular magazine for ages, as long as I can remember in fact, and it was very pleasing to do so. When I was much younger, in my twenties I guess, I would often buy it, or Vogue, or both. The format hasn't changed much, nor the content really as there seems to be an '80's revival and there are still so many young and beautiful models drifting through its pages.

Then I came across an article about someone real, she was very beautiful, of course, sort of floaty and wistful. I forgot to read the words, I just got caught up in the pictures, it was a beautiful life.

When I used to buy this magazine for myself, years ago, life held so many possibilities. It seemed that what went on in those pages may be attainable one day, fame, fortune, wealth and beauty, it all seemed to be there for the taking.

I am old enough now to realise that I will never have that sort of life. Perhaps old enough too to realise it might not all be as it seems. However, as I flipped through the pages, I mused that last weekend I was 45, and my life is already half spent. I have squandered some of it, wandered directionless for too long, filled it with mundane tasks, waited.....

As I came back to the real world, I reflected on how interesting it had felt to remember, just for a moment, what it was like to be young, and to believe absolutely anything could be possible. When did I lose that feeling?

PS. I didn't mean this post to be read in a negative way. I am not lamenting misspent youth, just remembering how different I felt then. I definitely wouldn't want to swap everything I know now for that long ago innocence. I am happy with my lot, really I am.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Small Sprog and a meme

I was giving Small Sprog a bedtime hug tonight and he didn't want me to let him go.
"I'll stay another few minutes" I said "But it's late and you need to sleep"
"Not just a few more minutes" He protested "Ten thousand hours"
There was a short silence while he thought about what he had just said ....... "Actually" He went on " I think I might be a bit bored by then"
How sweet, at least I know where I stand!

I've been tagged by Half Mum Half Biscuit (what a great blog name? I'm sure there have been times when I have been more biscuit than mummy!) I think I may have done something like it a long time ago so sorry if it seems familiar. Here goes....

Here are the rules:

1. Mention the person who tagged you 

2. Complete the lists of 8s 

3. Tag 8 other bloggers and let them know

8 Things I'm looking forward to:

1. This weekend.

2. The school holidays.

3. Being in control of my own life.

4. Some child free time (as much as I love the school holidays)

5. Finding a fulfilling job.

6.Watching my children grow and thrive.

7. Finding myself.

8. Being content.

8 Things I did yesterday:

1. Started to construct my CV.

2. Applied for a job.

3. Ate lunch at breakfast time.

4. Laughed.

5. Drove to the train station.

6. Kissed goodbye.

7. Ate chocolate.

8. Slept peacefully.

8 Things I wish I could do:

1. Spell

2. Swim properly, not just downwards.

3. Get through my divorce without causing hurt and pain.

4. Come out the other end (soon) feeling it was all worth it.

5. Time travel.

6. Write a best seller.

7. Be better at playing with my children.

8. Earn a living doing something I love.

8 My favourite fruits:

1. Cherries

2. Strawberries

3. Raspberries

4. Peaches

5. Mango

6. Blackberries

7. Lychee's

8. My Children

8 Places I'd like to travel:

1. Anywhere instantly (like the original Tomorrow People, do you remember them?)

2. To the future.

3. To the past.

4. To the countryside.

5. To the sea.

6. To bed.

7. To see my Granny.

8. And back again........

8 Places I've lived:

1. Cheltenham

2. Bristol

3. The dog house.

4. Planet Loon!

5.Cloud Nine.

6. The depths of despair.

7. On top of the world.

8. In my minds eye.

8 People tagged:

Now this is where it all falls down a bit! I find it hard to choose 8 so please be tagged if you feel like it, it's all up to you now...........

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Weekend

It's been a bit of a 'birthday whirl' here over the last 48 hours or more, I've had a ball! I am thankful for having amazing friends and family who have helped me celebrate, it has been a great few days. The down side is that Husband is due home this evening. He has been away since early Thursday morning and the little black cloud that haunts us when he is here, followed him down to Cornwall, well I guess it did because it hasn't been here over the last few days. However I can feel it's imminent return and my heart is heavy. I am trying not to think about it, so forgive me if I reminisce a little.

With Husband out of the house, I was able to arrange for some of my very best girlfriends to come over for the evening on Friday night. It really is so good to have the house free. They came bearing gifts and cards and all brought fabulous food. We all ate far too much, and some of us drank a little too much also! We giggled a bit and told girly tales. It was fun and lasted well into the night.

On Saturday morning I was woken by Tall Girl and Small Sprog singing 'Happy Birthday To You' at the top of their voices. They had made cards and Tall Girl had been shopping, making sure Small Sprog had something to give me too. We opened presents in bed and other cards that the postman had delivered. We had fun.

By 11am Mum had arrived to share a late breakfast of Chocolate Croissants, which is a birthday tradition in this house. One of the Nit Children from down the road joined us too. I was conscious my calorie intake was gathering speed. (Mum had brought more presents and cards and a cake!) The children had already half eaten their way through Small Sprogs gift of a box of chocolates, so there was a bit of a sugar rush going on. What they ate I didn't though, so there was a bonus in there some where!

After a leisurely few hours with Mum, we all went out to the local University Botanical Gardens, Small Sprogs choice. He had been on a school trip there earlier in the week and was inspired. We had our own guide for the whole trip. It was a beautiful day.

By the time we returned home it was nearly tea time. We lit candles and ate cake (more sugar) and I thought that I couldn't remember such a nice day at home for a long time. In the evening, while Mum babysat the children, I fell into my Oasis. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day. I am very,very lucky.

PS. Thank you for all your birthday wishes, so glad you finished the cake off because I couldn't eat another thing!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Give peas a chance!

On the way home tonight I asked Small Sprog what he would like for tea, hoping it would be easy because I am 'entertaining' tonight. Sausages, was his inevitable reply, with chips.
"And would you like that with peas or broccoli?" I asked him thinking that I ought to get at least one of his '5 a day' in his tummy before bed time.
"Not broccoli?"
"No, peas"
"Or you can have both?"Now that would be a result I thought!
"Just peas" He insisted, then....."I wonder what it would be like to swim in peas?" He said

What is in his head, I wondered!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sneaky Mum!

It was my day off today. There are so many things that I should be sorting out here, but none of it really appealed, so I took a trip up to Mums for the day.

I thought you might enjoy this little snippet of conversation from our day, we are in the kitchen and Mum is rummaging through the wine rack:

"Here you are, take this for your Girls Night in on Friday" she says, brandishing a bottle of red wine in my direction.

"Thank you" I say "But you really don't have to do that."

"It's Dads" She says

"Well, he doesn't have to then"

Then she says in a stage whisper "Don't tell him"

"You can't do that!" I exclaim

"Yes I can! Anyway, he hides the good stuff" (I'm not sure how to take this)

"What, like a squirrel?!" Oh my goodness, what is the world coming to?


"Who from? You don't drink it"

"He hides it so I don't give it away....

Well that works then!
I am starting to wonder if she is giving it to me just to get rid of it and stop him drinking it.I walk off into another room smiling as she shouts from the kitchen

"There's 3 in the airing cupboard!"

"Three what?" I shout back and then I realise....... he's not hiding them very well then!!!

PS As we head off for a sedate dog walk she thrusts the bottle into my hand again.
"Better put it in your car now love, so you don't forget it"
She's not going to tell him she's given it to me, is she?!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The obligatory school fair

Small Sprog wanted to go to the school fair on Saturday. School fairs are not my favourite thing to go to. In recent years I have kept well away from the organisation of them, a cop out really, but having organised one a while back, for two years running, I suddenly went down with the well known condition of 'School Fair Burn Out'. Organising one was sort of stressful, though enjoyable in an almost sadistic way. Anyway, we must have been going to annual school fairs for getting on for seven years now, gosh, it actually seems sooo much longer than that!

It was while I was standing in the huddle of bodies that was the face painting queue, that I began to reminisce fondly to myself. How many times had I stood in a face painting queue? How many hours had passed deciding which of my offspring wanted which face? A tiger, Spiderman or a butterfly? How many bath times had been spent scrubbing the stuff off a screaming child when the paint was supposed to be washable? How many........

Tall girl caught my eye. She may have seen a tear. For I was not waiting in the queue this time with a tired and irritable 'Sub Unit'. No, this time I was waiting for Tall Girl to finish her shift. She had painted dozens of toddlers faces, and made them all very happy. She had done a good job. Where had all the years gone? I was proud.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fat Larry

Last night Tall Girl and I had a long chat before bed. We were both tired and just lazed around chatting about nothing in particular. I love to hear her chatter. It is at the end of the day when she is most likely to 'let go', drop her guard, and issue forth on all sorts of topics. I have only just realised this fact. Perhaps when she is sleepy she feels more relaxed, or perhaps it's a going to bed delaying tactic?

I listened to her talk about school and friends, the fact that her e mail's wasn't working for a while and how a boy mailed her a few weeks ago. I asked her if she mailed him back. I have heard his name before. There was a girl too. She hadn't responded to either. We talked about making friends. How, sometimes, you just need to say 'Hi'. We talked about how it is nice to have friends that are boys as well as girls in your social circle.

In her hand was her soft toy that she still takes to bed with her, despite being 12 years old. It is a lamb, his name is Fat Larry, though he's not that fat anymore. She can't sleep unless he is with her. It's a funny thing.

All of a sudden Larry, after 12 years, found his voice! He has a funny sort of accent but, if you listen very carefully, you can get the gist of what he is saying.

As we talked about friendship, I mentioned that I have lots of contacts on line now that I consider to be friends. She looked at me straight in the eye and Larry said "Now, you really do need friends in the real world mummy, not just virtual ones!"

I consider myself told!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Should have been singing in the rain.......

I have my baby back from camp, and a tired little man he is too. All that he took with him was wet through and a bit smelly, a bit like him really! He came home, as predicted, suitably filthy, extremely tired and with a rather nasty looking rash!! I guess it won't be the first or that last time for all three of these things!

However, he is recovering, but I thought his grim experience of the dug out toilet was worth a mention. So here is his story:

Cast your mind back to the weekend if you will, very wet, cold and rather windy. Picture the scene of many small boys, soaking wet and very muddy, singing songs around the camp fire. Picture the cows temporarily rehoused in the next field just for the weekend, and you get an image of the idyllic remoteness that was, for one weekend only, Cub (boot) Camp. 

The fact that they were in a cow field meant there were no facilities. No facilities meant that the toilet needed to be excavated from the land. No luxury was spared though, because the hole was suitably covered with a tent, and a plank provided to sit on. Sounds perfectly lovely don't you think?

Anyway, at some point he needed a poo. Off he duly went, striding across the field in a force ten gale, rain lashing down from the sky, and into the toilet tent. Just as he was sitting there, on the plank, bum hanging over the edge, about to' go', and wind whipped off the top of the tent! So there he sat, poor thing, pooing.....pooing in the rain. 

Poor love, it made us laugh though!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Get a grip.........

This weekend Small Sprog has departed for his first Cub Camp. He left at tea time yesterday, bag packed and excited to go. I, on the other hand, could feel that nasty anxious feeling welling up inside me. I told myself to 'get a grip' but it didn't work well.

He's only in a field just up the road, less than 2 miles away, but it's his first time away, under canvas, with people in charge that I barely know. Strange isn't it? I mean he's 9 and a half now, but to me he is still my baby! I am worried about him being cold, uncomfortable or hungry. I even did the classic line as he left of 'have you got a hankie?'! Can you believe it? I can hear you giggle, I mean, where did that come from?!!

Luckily he took no notice at all, humoured me and set off with what looked, impressively, like a sense of adventure, leaving his worried mother behind. 

How many more times will he pull at my heart strings?

Meanwhile I woke at 6am this morning to what sounded like almost biblical amounts of torrential rain bucketing down from the sky. I had visions of him wet and cold, lying awake in his tent. I had visions of the very basic, hole in the ground, toilet facilities overflowing and pouring down the hill (not even sure he's on a hill!) and into his (and only his!) tent. Then I think how he might, in consiquence of the vast amounts of sewage (they have been there a little over 12 hours), catch some dreadful disease and die. 'Get a grip' I told myself, but it didn't work well!

It's 9 o clock now and still raining. 

Tall Girl and I have a full girly day planned, an art exhibition and then shopping at her request. I am looking forward to spending the day with her. It's been a long time since we've had a whole day together with no one else around. She is my big baby giraffe! We will have a good time. I just can't quite relax about the weekend................

For goodness sake get a grip!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

If you're having a hard time.........

There have been a few sad and poignant blog posts around lately, despite the time of year and the beautiful weather. So when I was riffling through a drawer yesterday, and found the following cutting, I thought maybe I should post it! It is my mental checklist, and has been for sometime, though I can't say I do very well with it but at least I try! It's not always easy to be positive in the face of adversity but this might help a little if you're having a hard time......

Happiness Tools

Try these regularly for two months:
1. Take half an hour of exercise three times a week (Not sure I ever manage this one!)
2.Count your blessings, at the end of each day, reflect on at least five things you are grateful for.
3.Have an hour-long, uninterrupted, conversation with your partner or closest friends each week. (Nothing like cake and a good chat!)
4.Plant something: even if it's in a window box or pot. Keep it alive!(Hmmmm..)
5.Cut your TV viewing by half (It didn't mention blogging!)
6.Smile at and say hello to a stranger at least once a day (I like this one)
7.Make contact with at least one friend or relation you have not been in contact with for a while and arrange to meet.
8.Have a good laugh at least once a day (If all else fails you could try tickling yourself, though really in all honesty, it doesn't work well!)
9.Give yourself a treat every day. Take time to really enjoy this (Chocolate!)
10.Do an extra good turn for someone each day.

Do you have anything to add?

Monday, June 01, 2009


It has been a beautiful sunny weekend. The little dark place in my heart has been replenished with sunbeams and, although it aches a little from having to say goodbye for a few days, it will settle down today, and carry on with the mundane that is life here in suburbia.

Perhaps I should explain a little. 

For a long time now, too many years, life with Husband has been fairly emotionless. The children have made up for it of course, their ups and downs, happy times and worries have all oiled the emotional cogs. Too much sometimes! But high emotion was never the order of the day here.

There are benefits of living life on an even keel. It feels safe, and predictable, though colourless and often empty.

This time last year we were on a family holiday. I can remember being out in the sun, much like the weather has been this weekend, looking at the most beautiful azure sea, and feeling that there was so much missing in my life. I was watching a man and a woman sitting on a low wall, waiting for a boat to collect them and return them to the mainland. He placed his hand on her leg, just a little further up her thigh than was 'decent', they touched and held each other. It looked intensity delicious. I was mesmerised and remembered, from somewhere a long time ago, how it felt to be touched like that, the excitement of it, how it felt to be held by someone you cared for. I could almost feel the emotion radiating from them, their happiness, their private world that I had glimpsed for a second in the sun. And I felt empty. Tears welled in my eyes. How could I go on living my life without ever feeling that intensity of emotion again?That was a year ago, almost to the day.

I thought it would never end, this emotional vacuum, and the more I contemplated it the more I knew I couldn't go on like it forever and that only I could do something about it. Today Husband will receive the first solicitors letter to initiate our divorce. It has taken a long time to reach this point, three weeks just for the letter to come, 6 months since I said I wanted to leave him, it could take forever to sort out, but the process has started and the children have been told. They seem to be relieved that there is a solution to the constant tension they can feel between us.

That is one side of the emotional roller coaster, but is that all there is? No, very far from it. As well as Mother, Daughter, and almost Ex-Wife, I am now the woman waiting for the boat. I have felt the intensity of emotion again, the emotion that, just a year a go, I craved for, but it is far sweeter than I imagined it would be. I have felt the sweet touch of anothers hand. I have felt the elated highs as well as the plunge of despair. I feel alive again.

Would I rather be living in an emotional vacuum? I don't think so.