Almost daily diary!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tomorrow we are going on holiday, a week away from it all! I have been looking forward to it for such a long time. Schools out, the children are happy, the bags are packed. 

Meanwhile The Dilemma (thank you for all your comments) has not been resolved
I have asked for a temporary earlier finish time, they responded by saying they would call me back today to discuss it. Despite leaving a message and email I have received no response today. I presume negotiation is not possible!

So, although I am really looking forward to the holidays, I am finding it hard to focus on the lovely weeks ahead. There is unfinished business. As I left work today, was I leaving for the last time or will I return in September? 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Dilema

Over the last month or so I have been applying for jobs, around 16 in total. I have been called to interview twice, both were the 'better' jobs.

The first interview was stressful and long winded. It was the first one I had been to for 5 years, I was not surprised when I did not secure the position. However to get and interview from 85 applicants was something I suppose.

Last Friday I was called to another interview, 60 applicants for that one, better odds! I really need the hours, especially as I have heard nothing from husband since he said he was cutting us off financially the other week, the solicitor seems to have gone quiet too.

Anyway, I was supposed to receive a call tomorrow to let me know if I was successful. When my phone rang this evening I was not expecting the call. 'You were so good at interview' she said 'we knew we had to have you' Good to hear I guess but...

The position is full time. I need the hours. But this also means I will never be able to pick Small Sprog up from school again. He'll cope I hear you say but ...

Husband has always said he wanted the children 50% of the time, every other full week. The main reason I was able to keep them with me was that I worked school hours and it was agreed that this was a major factor in caring for them. He could not be there after school, I got to keep them.I don't want to lose them.

So, if I accept the much needed job, 37 hours when my current position has been cut to just 11 from September, does it mean I lose my children? If I decline the job, I cannot afford to live.

Money does not buy happiness. Practical or emotional stability?

Tomorrow is my day off. If I take the job, I may only have one and a half days left in my current position. It all seems surreal. It all seems wrong. I have a bad feeling. Or am I just feeling like that because my life will change so much. I have not worked full time since Tall Girl was born. 

Affordable living or my children with me most of the time? A stark choice which I need to make now.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I came, I saw, I conquered...

Well not really, more like; I hung on the phone for half an hour, went to the council offices and eventually managed to get my completed form in my hand delivering it to the solicitor on the way home, whooppee!'

It is a long story, but I'm sure you have all had the experience of 'Press 1 for this, Press 2 for that', what do you do if your problem isn't on the options list? Well, my employer, the City Council, have thought of that. The last option was 'Press 6 for HR emergencies!' I have 'pressed 6' more than once these last 10 days , I can tell you!

When you get through to a human they are very soothing, they must really need to be...

Once I knew the form has been located, and the person on the phone promised faithfully to fill it in straight away, I made the journey across the city to pick it up.

I drove through uncharted territory without getting lost (this city is such a sprawling place) and valiantly made it up to the Second Floor Reception with no problem. I spoke to the receptionist explaining I had come to pick up a form and could he let Paul know I had arrived. 'Which Paul?' he said
'I don't know, he just said Paul, he works in the blah de blah dept that fills in legal forms'
'Ah' he said 'I won't be able to find him if you don't know his surname'
'Shall I ring him and ask?' I say
'You'll have to' he grunted. (for goodness sake!)
So I did, from my mobile phone. From the second floor, I called the council office I was standing in! 'It's OK' I tell the soothing voice from 'Press 6', I'm on the second floor. . .

Meanwhile I receive an email from Husband, ''I would never not support my children and I never want to hear you say that again'', he wrote. What does he think paying his wage into an account I have no access to without setting up Child Support Payments is then, I replied? I have had no response.

Friday, July 09, 2010


Life can be such a roller coaster at times. Today husband informed me he was cutting off all financial support to the children and myself from 1st August. There is no child support order in place. My hours have been reduced at work. I am stunned.

Recently I have been feeling so much better, I have even read 2 books from cover to cover. Yet all of a sudden life seems less smooth again.

However right now I am lying on my back watching the clouds rush by, there is a chilled glass of wine sitting next to me. The sun is shining and I am loved. Life can be so strange sometimes. . . .

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Reached the big 500 at last (Post not strawberries!)

From this ...

To this (Small Sprogs biggest ever strawberry!)

via this ...
(Tall Girls sticky hands!)

To this, 14 jars of it in fact!

A particularly satisfying weekend!

We picked soft fruit with Mum last Saturday, we do it every year, so much so that Tall Girl pronounced on the way home that once you'd been fruit picking it really felt like summer! We had a tradition, the realisation made me smile.

We picked strawberries and raspberries until our hands were red and sticky but just as we were wandering towards the exit Tall Girl happened upon some huge cultivated blackberries. We had already gorged on everything else but thought we ought to try one in the interests of, well I'm not really sure?! They were delicious, black as night and shiny too, ripe and plump and juicy. Suddenly we unexpectedly ended up with a punnet full of them. I so love this time of year. Tall Girl decided she was going to make them into jam. I was secretly pleased. The tradition was catching, we were 'memory making'

As for Small Sprog, he managed to eat his body weight in strawberries, his favourites, and took great delight in finding 'The Biggest Ever Strawberry' as well as deformed ones that looked like bottoms, or worse! Still at least he remembered not to smuggle out 'free' ones in his trouser pockets, because when you put on your seat belt in the car they go all squashy - a lesson learned a few years ago!

On Sunday we cooked batches of jam together and froze some of the raspberries too. Tall Girl, with a little supervision, made 4 pots of her own blackberry jam. She labeled them proudly, it looks and tastes good. All in all we made 14 jars altogether. There were lots of pans and spoons to lick out...

Thursday, July 01, 2010


My Mum has always been a bit forgetful. It has nothing to do with age. When I was little she would take me shopping, and then, when we had bought everything she needed, she wouldn't be able to remember where she had parked the car. I remember walking the streets of my home town, trying to find her little red Mini before the traffic warden did! Far more recently there was the time when she dove off down the road with several Christmas presents balanced on the car roof and didn't stop until several people had gesticulated wildly at her. She has a history of loosing things...

She came down to see me on Monday, and to see Small Sprogs school play, in which he had a very small speaking part. I met her, as I always do now, just off the motorway junction because she's not confident driving in the city.

Despite trying to be on time, there she was, as I drove into the car park, sitting on a bench in the sun. I parked my car and walked to where she was, apologising for being late. She said she was perfectly happy waiting and had been into M&S to buy me some strawberries, bless her.

Anyway, before we set off back to my house, we went to her car to get something she had forgotten. And that's when she realised. No car key. We tipped out her handbag. Twice. Looked under the car, back to the bench. Nothing. She began to panic and, as I tried to keep her calm, I suggested we went back into the shop to see if it had been handed in. Thankfully it had. So off we went, happy that all was well. We had lunch at my house and went to watch Small Sprog, who was good in his play and very much himself, if you know what I mean?

However at the end of the performance we were informed that there was to be a collection for Cancer research, everyone delved for change during the encore and guess what? Mum couldn't find her purse. Oh no, I thought, she can't have lost that as well as her keys, not all in one day surely? She panicked and visibly grew old before my eyes. 'It's OK I soothed, we'll find it, but you just need to sit there for another few minutes until the performance is finished, then we can go and search for it'

I thought she was going to get up and rush out of the school hall. Instead she buried her head in her hands. The look of her reminded me of when she suffered a horrible depression after her mother died. One day, when I was younger and single, she sat in my house and proclaimed that life was no longer worth living. It is a hard thing to hear and at the time I had only a little understanding of just how awful depression was. It took a while back then, and medication, for her to recover but I got her back. How much she would have missed if she had got her wish?Two grandchildren for one thing.

Sometimes though, I think I still see the shadows of depression clouding her face, she is better but damaged. I feel it lurks and it scares me. So when I looked at her, so obviously stressed, I realised how fragile she is, how old she has become. One is used to ones mother always being there, a pillar of strength. When do the tables turn? When does the child become the adult? When did I become the one who reassures and nurtures? The change seems imperceptible, but all of a sudden it is there, fixed. I am the strong one now.

The performance finally finished, I ushered her out to the car. She was uncharacteristicly quiet. Had all been well she would have been revelling in the success of the performance. Instead she was locked up inside herself. I talked to her gently, like one would to a baby, soothing sounds, even and measured, I have soothed my own children in the same way to bring sleep and dispel illness.

We went home, searched the rooms she had spent time in, searched my car and her bag again, all in vain. Again her head was in her hands, 'it's OK' I said 'It's not the end of the world, no one is dying, no one is in danger. You may loose the cash but the cards will be OK, it will all be OK'

We drove back to the car park where I had picked her up. I parked next to her car so that we could look inside and see if it had fallen in there. Again we looked underneath, but it wasn't there. It wasn't there because it was somewhere else.

Yes, it was somewhere else, somewhere much more visible, if only we had known where to look. There it was, on the bonnet of the car, just neatly sitting between the bottom of the windscreen and the wiper blades, in full view of anyone passing. It was intact amazingly. Who'd have thought it? She was relieved of course, and cross with herself, but my main concern was that she was still in shock.

We went inside for sweet tea and chocolate. Once she seemed OK to drive, some hours later, we said goodbye. It had been a very eventful day and one, she told me, she would not be telling her husband about. It had brought home so much to me though too, like how little she has become, diminished somehow, and how fragile too. It made me realise how much I will always love her, and how time stops for no one.