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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Eggs in my basket.

"Are you jealous?" I was asked the other night.
"Of course not" was my truthful reply. I was amazed to be asked. How can you be jealous of someone who shows nothing but darkness, greed and a troubled soul? Someone who cons and cheats their way through their life gaining more in substance than in spirit? I am not. Really, truly but to be questioned was upsetting. Should I be? Never. I'd rather have nothing.

I may be here today with just 2 children but they are mine. I may have no husband, no boyfriend or lover in sight but I love me and my girls. I may expect too much of friends by hoping that they will buy me a drink or ask me out for supper or tell me that my girls look well but I can see, pay and provide for myself. I am so disappointed that both fathers have forgotten to call the girls to wish them a Happy Easter and I am upset that I have poured my own Hendricks Gin and Tonic as I stir the gravy yet again. But, I am not wishing I was someone else with someone else's bricks and mortar or sitting on a leather seat in a car that I haven't bought myself.. I am very happy with what I've got.

And for the record, I have 2 men right now upstairs in the bedroom so life ain't half bad. It's the ones that have forgotten that have upset me but then again, they were inadequate when I met them, why should they have changed?

Our hens haven't hatched the eggs yet either but the girls have hunted and eaten a stack. I have roasted a chicken, lit my own fire and will pop my feet up quite rightly when I feel like it. I might even have a snooze. I wish more than anything that my children hadn't been forgotten but I hope they haven't noticed. Mary is painting my toenails telling me that she wants to be a nail varnish person when she's older. Nell is holding a rapidly melting chocolate bunny watching All creatures great and small.  Like I said, life ain't half bad really. It's just disappointing.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

I try and try..

Smile, best foot forward, positive mental attitude and power of thought and yet over and over again, I am left standing, waiting, expecting. Not for me. I don't care about being let down I promise. I am lied to and then expected not to mind. I do mind but I can't be bothered to challenge. It isn't my soul that has to deal with being such a blatant fibber. But don't do it to my girls. Don't disappoint my children. They are way too young to learn that life is not quite what we expect all of the time. 

Not a single Easter egg or Easter card for either of them from anyone but me? How is that fixable? I buy birthday presents and Christmas presents- I over compensate all the time but how can I explain that grown ups are so preoccupied with themselves that to buy a chocolate egg that isn't for them to eat isn't on their list? 

And then I get asked, "Why do you want to go and live somewhere else?"

Believe it or not, I am not here to entertain or to prove a point or to make something wrong, right. I have exactly the same right to be happy as the ones pretending that they might be. Just be careful because one day the carpet will be pulled from under your feet and you'll be looking for someone to help you up. Kindness costs absolutely nothing. 

The Easter Bunny is due to arrive and having done an Easter egg hunt for so many for years, I haven't this year. Guess what? It's just us. Happy Easter. I love my girls so much.

Let's try.

Oh how I have tried. You name it, I've given it a go. Like an itch wanting a scratch, I have needed, wanted, tried and hoped for everything to be as it should, as it reads in the books, as we all dream. And it is, nearly. I have a few tweaks to make, a few things to finish, a list of hopes (some completely unrealistic and unlikely) to still work toward. But (with a capital B) the here and now, on Easter Saturday as I sit and look out of our new windows (yet to be painted) I am still. Not for long, I want to go running but you know what I mean. I'm still inside, internally, in my soul. I have no need or urgency to keep trying quite so hard or keep running away. Nope, it seems there is a shift in my system- I am running towards not away. I guess the main difference is that I feel real. I have accepted that as much as you pull or push, you cannot make yourself fit if you simply don't fit. You cannot live a life that isn't yours. You cannot keep listening to a language that doesn't make sense (and I am referring to one in the same tongue) and (this might only be me) I cannot compromise myself so hugely that I am then changing who and how I want to be.

I know that relationships are tough. I am not naive. I am not so deluded that I am still waiting for Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet. Neither am I pretending that my baggage is attractive or easy to carry. I can imagine I appear one way when I really am the other but it doesn't matter. I can carry our bags and as much as I would adore someone to join in and help by opening the occasional door, only if it comes with ease and acceptance.

'Where will you be in 5 years time?' A question I ask myself often. The answer is always the same. The only difference is that when I answer it this morning, I actually believe my answer to be right. It's possible. I'm excited about my chances and my dream. The smells and the sight I will see when I open the door to the countryside around me. It isn't quite as it should be today but it's a step closer. The door is different and facing the wrong direction but like I said, I've got a 5 year plan. It'll be old, rustic, country, occasionally silent, occasionally wet but mainly beautiful, warm and calm. Not so different really. I could perhaps arrange to pick up this old treasure that we live in and drop it exactly where I see us to be but that IS impossible. It isn't impossible to think, dream and keep trying to get there.

In the meantime, I have a few eggs to hatch and to quote Nell yesterday as we peeped into the bantam hut, "Eggs symbolise a new life. A new start. A new beginning". I looked at her with so much love and fascination (Mary and I are on the same page where eggs at Easter symbolise chocolate. Atrocious on my part. Mary is excused for being six) and I replied, "You are so right. There are 3 eggs under there. One chick each".

Happy Easter Saturday.


Friday, 18 April 2014

Light my fire.

I have always been accused of having too much fire in my belly. A passion for all things good and enthusiasm for the things that make me smile. I can't help it. I was called 'intense' yesterday- I am hoping (and favouring as an alternative word) 'focused' as more accurate. I certainly am capable of getting a bee in my bonnet and thinking of nothing else until I am finished. I feel finished this evening though. I did way too much yesterday. Proving a point as well as running 5 miles and then driving to collect my girls and getting stuck in traffic to name just a few. I tried to squish as much into my free day as I could and I did. I even went to the local to toast a friends birthday last night with 3 glasses of wine and a kiss. It was a happy birthday as far as I could tell.

Sometimes even the smallest surprises are better than no surprise at all. I wonder if the power of positive thought is as incredible as I need it to be. So often I am amazed by what I want to happen and hope to see right before my eyes actually appear. I guess if you want something badly enough it's worth the risk of waiting? In the meantime, I'm going to light the fire and sit still. Bugger it, I need coal..

Thursday, 17 April 2014

I can.

Absolutely I can. I will and I am.

It's what I teach my children. So why have I lost sight of it..

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Welcome home?

I drove into the village yesterday after a long journey home to see the tree that I organised in full bloom. I smiled a sad smile. I am so happy that it looks so simple and beautiful but to quote one neighbour, "I don’t think anyone really gives a shit Rose” and that was that. Even before the tree went in.. Charming.

Our home has new windows. Accurately, it has half new windows and half old ones and the new ones won’t open. Mary has a new bedroom which is incredible. I am amazed that no one has thought of it before. She has an actual bedroom now not just a passage way hidden by a curtain. Except she can’t sleep in it because the walls need sanding off, the carpet needs relaying, the ceiling needs the wires poking back through somewhere safe and her shelf is missing exposing sharp nails for her innocent little finger to prod. I feel like Sarah Beenie with an insight so valuable that I should farm myself out for advice in houses and get paid for it. Nice thought. It's not happening. At the same time, my brilliant builder (don’t be fooled- not that one) to my instruction, has cut through the BT landline main box and we are disconnected. No phone, no internet. A helpful friend of mine remarked last night, “Fuck, I must remember to tell MY builder not to make the same mistake when I start my house. I don’t know what I would do”. Thanks for that then. 

The house was covered in dust. Anyone and everyone who has been kind enough to comment to me whilst I was away (especially The Builder who knows me better than most) and email me the progress of the on-going building work would have expected a little dust? Hello? Do we need bread and milk or perhaps a hand lifting furniture back into the house on our return? No one? Anyone there?

Four hours later, Nell (yes my 9 year old daughter) and I had washed, wiped, polished and tidied every surface. I am simply shattered. The Builder dropped our dogs off and legged it before I had even exited the airport car park. He turned his back and walked away rather than offer his time to help clean. I did it all by myself. Yet again.

I am fed up of doing it by myself. I do everything alone. I was entirely responsible for my children on holiday and when we met up with friends, it was me that has to constantly discipline them. Over and over. I have no back up. I hold their passports, their bank accounts, their birth certificates and their clean washing. I am not complaining about my duties but I am complaining about the lack of insight from adult, intelligent people who, occasionally, might help rather than comment. It is the toughest job I have ever had. I am so proud of my children. Others might criticize the defiance and determination of my youngest but she is vehemently confident and aged 6 will try and speak another language, ask for the bill and go to the loo on her own. I have to help them trust the world because if I don’t who will? They are not babies anymore. I will always be their mother and I am doing my best but it is bloody hard work.

So, now that we are home and Spring is clearly here, rather than point and criticize, rather than tell me how lucky I am not to have a husband (although I agree most of the time) rather than moan to me about your lack of free time to go shopping, please stop and think. Being a single parent is a killer. It is not standing on greener grass and I cannot attend school meetings on a whim at the same time as moaning that I have to go home and cook 2 pork chops. Everything I do is my choice, my decision. I am the head of this family. I clean, cook and curfew. I will wait for BT to fix my phone line and I will pay the bill. I will open and close the new windows once I have established when they will be finished. I am the only bread winner, the only one to answer the questions.

I will look at the tree that someone doesn't give a shit about and enjoy the blossom on it. I will also never expect anyone to welcome us home especially on a beautiful Spring day with the offer of bread or milk and I will never allow The Builder to turn his back and walk away another time. That’ll do. I almost can hear a very slow clap. That’s twice in less than a year, a man has walked into my life with promises of fun and love to only turn and walk away moments later. Obviously, it’s me not them. I understand that. But this is about me not them. Each time someone does this to me, I shut down that tiny extra part of myself that was almost open to possibility and I breath. Keep walking and don’t ever look back..

So let me tell you about my day today. A BT engineer turned up (half an hour early) and with the standard £130 fee for an internal fault (the wire was clearly cut) before he even started I offered him tea and cake. "That's a positive step forward Madam" he smiled at me. I handed him his cup of sugary tea and we chatted like you do. Like I do anyway. It's polite, it's civil, it's called human nature. I said something to him as he fiddled with the wires in my new windows and the joiner wasn't far away cementing up an enormous hole created by my old cottage falling down as he worked his magic and the BT engineer almost fell to the floor laughing. I thought he couldn't breath. He looked at me between hysteria and gasping for air (I cannot repeat the one liner for fear of being sued sadly) and he said, and I quote, "That is the funniest thing I've heard for a very long time. You have made my day. I'm not charging you" and he didn't. Not a bean. 

A few other things happened in my day that surprised me and made me smile. I was having a very good day. I kept being surprised by my good fortune and saying 'Thank you' out loud. Then at about 6pm, someone walked through my gate bringing me a promise I'd forgotten about with a smile that I wish I could remember every day for the rest of my life. Amazing. I fed my girls and I went to the shop and did the lottery. Who knows? On days like this I wish my mother was alive so I could repeat it because it was brilliant yet unexpected. I don't need to win the lottery to feel like a winner but who's to say I can't try?

You have to be in it to win it. I cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings and I'm not referring to bread or milk or negative talk about trees. I don't need a bag of coal either sadly.


Friday, 11 April 2014

Si Signora.

The farmer isn't in Ibiza. Not that it matters a jot to me but to Mary, it might be a tad confusing that he is in the area at the same time as us. Anyway, Thank the Lord, he's not. He's farming. He called us to ask how the holiday was going and we chatted about prawns. I laughed until I had tears running down my face and as much as he would protest, he was laughing too. He was simply trying not to. 

Laughter should be natural, should come easy. I am often caught up in it with something the girls say or do. They are the funniest people I know. After me, of course!

I am asked often about my status, my day, my life yet I find when I ask the simplest of questions in return, I am ignored. Do I stop asking or do I accept that some people are unavailable. I am open. I am honest. I am permanently confused. I choose right of left as I walk, sometimes run. I have no direction until I am travelling it and I wish that I could say, "Yes" without thinking, "Maybe?".

So we all strive to live happily ever after. That's all we ever want isn't it? That, and world peace and no famine or disease. Quite a long list really. I was struck yesterday by the most over-whelming grief for my mum. It came from nowhere and I was lying on the sun bed as the girls watched a movie to keep away from the rays that it turned out were burning me and BOOM- I was crying like a child. The smell of the foreign land maybe or the sun or simply picturing her wafting about in Italy in the  house she took me to with a coffee and a fag.. I don't know but suddenly the reality that I will never see her again, not ever, was too much. The pain was so strong that I failed to disguise it. Luckily I was alone. Grief, it's a funny old thing. Just like that. A smell, a sight or a memory and I was right back there with her. I hope she's wafting somewhere beautiful with her coffee (maybe not the fag) and feeling happier.

It's cloudy today. I'm relieved but don't tell anyone or remind me in a week that I said that! It's just that there's only so much heat I can take it seems. A day looking around, buying myself a coffee pot and getting the girls a treat or two each.. We might sit and drink Lemonade and watch the world go by.

One life, live it. If only by smiling, pausing, thinking, crying or answering a question. But don't ignore. Don't ignore a moment in a day hoping it might dissolve. Each day surely is a gift.