Almost daily diary!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Thanks for continuing to read my ramblings! I am hoping to not be 'Invitation Only' for long, maybe 2 weeks or so.

I made the mistake of leaving myself open to being traced to here by someone who is not part of the blogging community, and whom I know as an acquaintance in the 'real world'. I am very cross with myself for being so careless! I am hoping the interest will wain with time and I can be open again. I really don't mind what people read here, it is how they comment and form opinions which may impact in the non virtual world with which I am concerned.

Anyway, thanks for all your comments. I have always found bloggyland a very supportive and non judgemental place. Hope you do to.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A year ago......

A diary is a wonderful thing. A year ago I wrote this post. Life was more gentle then, the clouds had gathered, but were still a long way from bursting. A year later and I am in the eye of the storm but, as everything around me is in flux, for the moment, I can enjoy just a little peace.

However, like last year, Husband is home Wednesday night, and I feel, as I did a year ago, resentful that I should have to share the house again so very soon. I am wondering, amongst so many other things that need to be sorted out, whether to move out with my children very soon into somewhere rented. There would be benefits a plenty but also some draw backs too. The main one would be that Husband would still live here, and every time he had his custody time with the children, they would have to come back to their 'old home'. I'm not sure I could cope with that, I'm fairly sure it would be very hard for them.

I have asked my solicitor to ask his solicitor (mad isn't it?) if we can put the house on the market. Now. I cannot do it myself, the property is in his name. When we moved in together, years ago, I sold my home and came to Bristol. The mortgage on his property was never changed into joint names. I never realised the implications, but then I never anticipated any of this.

So here I am, in the eye of the storm, helpless but with hope.

A year ago I wondered if I was a bad wife. I have the answer now...........

Thank you to BS5, who inspired this post, by recently recalling some of his earlier entries.

PS. Also belated thanks to Chic Mama who passed on this lovely award last week. Sorry it's taken me so long CM. I can't choose who to give it away to, as I read so many great blogs, so please feel free everyone, if you haven't already received it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Friends and blessings

Back down to earth now and home for the weekend. It has been a busy 10 days or so, hence lack of blogging. I have had a long chat with my new solicitor. Yes, new! And I feel clearer now about the future, though it all still seems insurmountable at times. There have been arguments at home, the tension rises weekly and I have had a few health worries. All in all I feel a little wrung out.

However, to count my blessings, Husband is away, so the children and I can relax together in our own home. It is lovely to spend time with my children and there be no atmosphere, yet, at ther same time, I very much miss my 'other life'.

Anyway, Mum came over today and it is impossible to be lonely when she is around! She will only come when Husband is away, and he goes away infrequently, so it was good to have her here. She blew in with the breeze at 10 am, to find us all still in our dressing gowns, unwashed! Oh the shame!

This afternoon we all went together to see a very good friend of mine in Cardiff and her, now grown up, family. We lost touch when I married. Husband was never keen to socialise and when my children were small, well, we just went our separate ways for a while. However, it as been so good recently, to be back together again. It feels like we have never been apart. She knows me better than most other people I know, and I never have to explain how I feel to her. We have seen each other through 'thick and thin' over the years and I am very thankful to be part of her life again. The company of good friends, as always, was such a tonic. We laughed and reminisced loads. Tall Girl learnt more things about her mummy, and the time passed happily.

Tonight I am thankful

Monday, September 21, 2009

A double life

This weekend was warm and beautiful.

I spent most of it in the country in wonderful company.

Sometimes, there can be such peace and comfort,
such warmth and trust that you feel your whole heart
swell up with it, revel in it and be glad.

There was lots of laughter this weekend and much kindness, and no matter what happens elsewhere, I have experienced it, it will stay with me.

I am lucky and blessed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poor Small Sprog

Small Sprog has extra maths tuition. He hates maths. I'm not entirely sure putting him through more of it does any good at all but I feel I have to try something.

Anyway, his lesson used to be on a Monday night, but today was his first session after the holidays and it's now on a Wednesday.

We arrived home from school and he went straight out to play with the oldest of the nit children, from down the road, whilst Tall girl and I attacked her science homework.

When he came in later, just as I was half way through cooking tea, and said he was tired, something suddenly clicked! I looked at the clock. Ten past five. Oh no, his lesson was supposed to start at 5.

"Quick" I shout "Put your shoes on and get into the car!"The children look puzzled. I babble on about time and changes and maths, shove a buiscuit into Small Sprogs hand, and generally flap about a bit! They both seem to get the picture!

We all rush around, trying to find folders and shutting windows before piling into the car and driving the mile or so to his tutor. We arrive just as she is phoning to see where I am.

I got out of the car, slightly disheveled, to take him safely to the door and apologised profusely. Then I realised that she was staring at my feet. She looked puzzled. I looked down. In the hurry to get there, and after shouting instructions to the children to get ready, I had forgotten to put on my own shoes! Ooops! Sometimes I wonder why I'm let out at all!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

X or ex

Tall Girl likes the X Factor, over the last few years we have spent nights through the autumn, together on the sofa, watching all the contestants with interest. Any night would do, the repeats are more frequent than Simon Cowells face lifts! It has been good.

Husband always moaned at having to have it on the TV at all, and I have to say, if it weren't for Tall Girl I don't think I would be watching all of it either, but together with her, it was fun. It was our girly time together.

On Friday night, as the X Factor theme tune played out of the TV, Husband rushed to the sofa to sit by Tall Girl.
"You never used to like the X Factor" I hazarded.
"Was that sarcasm I can hear?" Was his reply.
"No" I said, but he went on, with his own brand of sarcasm.

I find it hard to talk back, especially when the children are around. Why can't I stand my ground here? I hate that I can't be me, I buckle, I am not strong. Why? The harsh words make me cry, which I do silently in the kitchen. I wish it was different.

This year TG has a new TV partner, I should be glad for her. I am sad.

(Then again, hopefully, soon, he will be my ex factor!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

The phone call. Part 3 (Or, money is the root of all evil)

I know it has taken me three days to get to the point, but the phone call was about making a will. Since Mum knew of my imminent divorce, she has worried about sorting out her will. She has been talking about it for ages. I really wish she wouldn't discuss it! I don't want to know, I wish I didn't know now.

What she really wanted to do was to leave her savings to me and also her half of the property that my parents currently live in. To do this she needed my step father to sign an agreement. Apparently there is a way of her bequeathing her half to me which also entitles him to tenancy rights until his death. It sounded complicated but do-able, and she has spoken about it often. She is convinced she will 'go' first, and I have to say, I think she is right, though I haven't actually said so!

Anyway, having heard her 'chunter' on about this for some time, when I called her the other night, and asked her what she'd been up to, she said she'd been to make her new will. I asked her if it had all gone to plan. Now don't get me wrong, I would MUCH rather have my mother here forever, than benefit from any inheritance, but it has been concerning her and so I was hoping it was all done and dusted and that she was happy with what she had done.

However, my step father did not sign the form, which she needed him to sign, so that she could pass her half of the house to me and she was upset that all she could leave me were her savings. She was disappointed.

Apparently he was worried that, should I inherit half the house in the future, I would somehow make him homeless. My initial response was shock. " Of course" I said to her "I would NEVER do that". See how deep the crustacean was buried? To me he is still my father, be it in name only, and I could never, ever do that. She agreed that she knew I would not, but she couldn't persuade him.

Then she told me what he was going to do with his will.

Everything, the property (all of it should he die last) and his savings (they have no joint account) were to be left, not to me, but to my daughter and her only. Not me, not Small Sprog. And what's worse, he was going to leave it in trust for her until she was 35! I will be retired by then and heading towards 70. It was then I became angry, and my mind started to put things together.

All these years, all this time, he has lied to me. Our whole relationship has been full of lies. He has led me to believe, over the years, that he cared. He has done things for me, painted walls and cut the lawn. He has taken my side in arguments, listened to my ranting, he has appeared to care, it has been very convincing. We almost have a normal relationship. Am I mad? I thought, stupidly, that after everything, because I had called him dad, because he had been sorry, because I had known him for most of my life, because he had shown me small acts of kindness, that he loved me. And now it seems he never has. He does not care, he does not want to help. I am nothing to him.

And as I thought about it I realised that, of course he thinks I will leave him homeless! He doesn't trust me. He doesn't realise I hold no grudges. He thinks I don't care, just like he doesn't care about me. But I am still the child, accepting and forgiving, I have done both those things and he has no idea. Though I am not about to tell him now. Perhaps he still sees the situation as the adult. He thinks I hold the things he did to me against him, he thinks I will still tell “Don’t tell your mother, she’d make me go away and that would make her very unhappy”, if only he knew. He thinks that if Mum were gone, I would show, what he perceives to be, my true colours.

Perhaps he is right. Now I know where I stand perhaps I would?

But no, I don't think I could, even now, and anyway it is all academic. He didn't sign and Mum has not had her way. She is used to that. To add to all of it I have 'told'. She has that to bare now, though I'm not sure that she really believes me, even now.

By the end of the call we both agreed that 'money is the root of all evil' Yet there is something pure to have come out of all this. Something that shines through the darkness, it is this; I now know where I am, I know where I stand, I know how he feels about me. I can be fooled no longer. Only the truth is left. Of course we will both go on pretending, playing happy families, having to, needing to. Yet underneath it all I will know, there will be no more confusion. He doesn't love me and I am free.

You can read part 1 here and part 2 here

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The phone call. Part 2

............In true stepfather style, he stepped over the decent limit of what is natural and good. I stopped him, but that wasn’t enough, I was caught, we were both caught, in a web of lies and blackmail that has lasted all this time.........

“Don’t tell your mother” He'd said afterwards, when I was 13 “She’d make me go away and that would make her very unhappy”. So goes the speech of many a ‘bad’ daddy. And so I didn’t tell, we, him and me, keep the secret, because we know, I knew, he was right.

Eventually though, children do tell, though it is common for them not to be believed. About 4 years later, in a fit of temper one day, in the middle of an argument, I told my mum. Not all of it, that only happened tonight in the phone call, but I told her enough, or so I thought. I expected something to be done, I'm not sure what.

She did nothing.

I left home when I was 17.

Apparently, what I'd told her, still protecting her even when I was angry, was merely that he had had intentions. Perhaps that is just what she chose to hear, but that is what she believed until the phone call. Was she naive? Perhaps she didn't want to face the truth. "It's not been easy living with him over the years" She said to me last night on the phone. I know that it has been hard for her, but it was her choice.

I said nothing.

Like a large black crustacean, clinging to the back of our minds, scratching and pawing to be released the memory lingered. During the following uneasy years after I left home, we buried it, slowly. We kept the secret and the creature diminished with the years. Untalked about it faded. Perhaps that was for the best.

I was never close to him, could never be close. We never hugged like ‘normal’ families do, or touched or kissed goodbye. It was OK, we could do this, on the surface everything was fine. We looked like any other family, from the outside. Though I did sometimes wonder how my mum could stay. How could she know what she knew, and still be with him? I still don’t have the answer to that question.

Yet I have accepted. I have accepted and forgiven. It is water under the bridge, gone now, and there is nothing to be done. You can't change the past, you can only make the future, and bearing a grudge is not my way, it is not healthy. I do not hold it against him, it is far too long ago for all that.

The nasty dark creature was safe in it’s box for quite some time, until I had my own children in fact. My daughter. How could I protect her? (Let me tell you now, I never ever leaver her alone in his presence) How could I make sure that nothing like that ever happened to her? She was still a baby when I asked that question to a councillor. He replied that by the time she was 13 my step father may be dead! He is not. Though one day inevitably he will be, and that was how the phone call began...........

You can read Part 1 below, or here.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The phone call. Part 1

I really don't know where to start with this story, though it isn't actually a story at all, not in the fictional sense anyway. Do I start with the telephone conversation tonight, or what happened to me when I was 13 years old? Tall Girls age.

Wherever I start, however I write it, it will be long and I won't be able to write it all at once, not here, not in it's entirety. Yet perhaps sometimes things are better left unsaid, undone, as they have been for so long. But then again, they have a habit of coming back to haunt you in later life, many times, as they have done tonight. Maybe now, this is the last time it can hurt me.

And then again this story is about the truth, how it has been hidden, how deception and sweeping under the carpet, can lead to a life time of questions, now answered in just one little telephone conversation. One small, innocent call, made on a whim. A call in which I expected to discuss mundane everyday acts, the children, the day passed and the day yet to come. But we didn’t discuss those things. That call, innocently made, suddenly changed my view of my world. I can see so much more clearly now.

However the reality is harsh, though I knew the truth all along. I never thought though, that the truth would finally be revealed. The deception was so good, so long lasting, that I almost thought it was real. But now, at long last, I know where I am, which is pretty much alone, but stronger for it. Perhaps I should start at the beginning..........

I have never had an easy relationship with my step father. I think I have mentioned it before. I can’t remember warming to him, even when we first met, but I can remember not trusting him, right from the start. There was a sense of unease at the beginning, even without any justification for that feeling.

When I was 12 years old he formally adopted me.

I took his name.

I became his.

During the adoption process, I can remember talking to, who I can only think now must have been, a social worker about the whole idea of being adopted. Even in those days ‘They’, the authorities, kept the child in mind. I can remember someone asking if I agreed to all the arrangements, if I actually wanted to be adopted. I said I did.

Can you believe that? I said I wanted to be adopted even though, with all my being, I knew it was the last thing I really wanted to happen. And do you know why I agreed to it? Because I knew it would please my mother, I knew that that was what she wanted. I agreed and I was adopted. And that was that.

I think I knew what the future held even then. To go into details here would be wrong, difficult to write and totally unnecessary. Suffice to say that, in true stepfather style, he stepped over the decent limit of what is natural and good. I stopped him, it wasn't that bad but it happened and consequently I was caught, we were both caught, in a web of lies and blackmail that has lasted all this time. Until tonight. Tonight I finally found out where I stand with him and my mother knows so much more. I am worried for her. I should not have told.

I'm not sure this makes sense, but I will write more another time.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Back to the old routine

Have I ever mentioned how I hate routine?! The holidays are a wonderful doer-away with everything that is repetitive. No after school clubs, no extra activities, get up any time, eat when you're hungry. Perfect! However, once everyone is back to school, off we go again, back onto that hamster wheel of life, endlessly trudging around, and at times almost disappearing up our own backsides!

Could it be different? Could we have fun instead? Could we perhaps have breakfast before a shower on a school day?! Oh joy! Would it be too risky? Don't get me wrong, the routine works beautifully, the shower routine ensures all get washed and clean, in perfect bathroom harmony. The breakfast that follows, is quick, easy and functional. We all get to where we should be on time. But it is so boring and predictable, cheerless and not any fun! And that's just the mornings!

Boooo to the hamster wheel! Yay to throwing it all up in the air and seeing where it lands!

If only I were made that way!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

This time last year......

This time last year it was Tall Girls first day at senior school and her first 40 minute bus trip to get there. I can remember the nerves. It seemed such a big event.

Events like that mark time. "This time last year........"

Yet so much water has passed under the bridge since then. I am a million miles away from my former self. It feels good. I have grown. Things have changed. There are far more changes yet to come.

Tall Girl is also a different person. She has changed. Her body has changed. She has grown. Up. She deals with emotions of her own and others, us, that perhaps she shouldn't have to. She has matured beyond her years.

Where will I be this time next year? Sometimes I think it is better not to know.
How will she be? Still beautiful to me.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Back to school

Over the last two days I have entertained 13 children in total in my house! Some were invited and some just appeared at the door. Today it seemed that the phone was ringing -
"Can you just look after.... while I take ......?"
- Or the doorbell donging every few minutes -
"Can ... play?"
"Why don't you just come and join in?!" Children just kept coming or going, or so it seemed!

It has been totally manic and there is very little food left in the house! Two batches of home made cakes have been devoured, two loaves of home made bread, along with several pizzas, hot dogs and garlic bread, not to mention packets of biscuits! It has rained almost constantly, therefore they have played indoors most of the time, though 5 of them put up a tent in the garden today and ate lunch there, in the rain!

Although there was loads of mess to clear up on both days, it has been great fun. They are old enough to entertain themselves now and they arrive with nice mummy's who stay and keep me company and drink tea. This is how the school holidays should be! The children mill about, get out arty stuff, play out when it's dry, make dens in the rain, then drag in mud and bits of grass! But it all clears up at the end of the day! Mummy's sit about and ponder life. Obviously we never eat the cake or devour the pizza!

The company of good friends, both the children's and mine, one of life's simple pleasures. A great way to finish the school holidays.

Counting my many blessings.......