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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Just try it on..

"What colour is it?" I asked him and he replied with absolute decisiveness and a satisfied smile, "Red". So I opened the box.

I looked at him after all these years and tears instantly came into my eyes. I tried so hard not to show my confusion.

"Oh God," he continued, "What colour do you think it is?" So I lowered my head slightly to one side, allowing the weight to leave my shoulders momentarily and I sighed.

"It's beautiful. It's pink. But it would depend on the light I'm guessing. In the morning, it might look pink. When the sun comes up high into the sky, it could certainly be pink with sparkles on it maybe some flecks of crimson and then as the sun goes down, it will turn a deeper shade, an almost red. Never quite red but almost".

"Try it on" he offered. So as I stood there before him barefoot, I turned away and pulled the dress over my head. It was perfect. It slipped down my body and fell to the floor. Tiny, delicate straps with such hand crafted detail. Years of work and concentration. I turned to him and saw my reflection in the window behind him. The dress, in fact, looked red. He was right. The dress I saw had been pink. This wasn't the same dress that I had seen. I had seen something quite different.

All the hope having left my heart and all the memories of younger years more intense now than before. I wished the lid had stayed on the box. The dress should have remained in the cupboard. Too much had been released. He had found it, opened it but I had stepped forwards and allowed the possibility. The air in my lungs felt clean and my heart swelled. My head was clear. My mouth wouldn't turn upwards. My eyes wouldn't stop crying. I was silent.

"I'm really sorry" he tried reasonably and logically, "I thought you knew.."

I nodded and turned my back from him as I removed the dress.

"It's a beautiful dress" I told him quietly as I carefully stepped out of it and put it back into the tissue where it belonged. I reached for the lid and together we put it back on, tight.

The dress belonged to someone else. It belonged to his wife.

Keep quiet.

You see? I can't do it. 

Many people have such excitement in naming and shaming, telling others bits of over-heard information, being the first to know, the quietest to tell, muttering a little too loudly in the pub, gossiping, that knowing look.. Occasionally, I will pick up the telephone to one maybe three good girlfriends but never to enjoy someone else's misfortune. I have never been a grass or a gossip. Not ever.

I have, however, it turns out been a teenager in love. My blast from the past has reappeared in a lovely way when I had silently presumed (never presume) that our lives had gone off on tangents. They had. They have. We are miles and years apart except this modern communication of social media has allowed us to poke, prod or whatever it is that we do now. We type. We tap away at a keypad and simply start by saying Hi. I loved him I am told. Not just by him but I checked with my best friend from
school and she has confirmed it in the worst way..


Brilliant. That was so uncool of her. That's blown my cover. I've obviously always been incredibly emotional. I do remember him being tall. Maybe I had to go on tip toes to kiss him? I also remember scrawling our names all over my self-covered text books.

Something like that.. I remember sitting on his rickety single bed underneath the velux winnow in his bedroom listening to music. Not sure what but I've got a feeling it might have been this.

Not quite but almost. Story of my life it seems. Not quite but almost. My advice? Skip the ads. Turn the volume up and remember. I tell my girls too often that we are creating memories every day so to make the day a good one.

Happy Sunday. In the words of the man himself singing the cover by the melancholic band we all loved, "God Bless you. I love you. Thank you".

Amen to that.

Saturday, 26 July 2014


haven't been called that before. I haven't, however, been asked to write publicly either. I am dancing for joy, half naked so count your lucky stars that this isn't Skype, as I hold my half full glass of pink cava in my teeny (a size too small) bikini bottoms and I literally, dance for joy. I was mocked my entire life by my family for trying, attempting, writing, expressing myself..

Today, I dance and I write because I have just been asked to do so. A little cautiously worried about the description 'refreshing'.. I am true, honest, so look out you locals, bite your tongue before mocking me and my family of three so freely again.. You might just find yourself publicly humiliated as you have laughed so often at me.. 'Judge not' as I have written so often yet you all judge. You all presume that I am here as a single mother because I am intolerable rather than I am intolerant. Bite your tongues before you ask such personal questions. My sex life? It is none of your goddamn business whether it exists or not. At last, your outrageous interference in my life can stop.

Me and Garfunkel are dancing, a little embarrassed and perhaps drunk because I am dancing but hey, practise what you preach Rose and judge not, anyway so if you'll excuse us, step aside, pour me more cava because fuck me, I deserve a break and I believe I just got one.

"Since a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. Lie le lie.."

This is me, just me, not me and me entire family with or without the husband, it's just ME saying "

Oh my word. Are you going to be sorry for making me feel like a complete dick. BOOM! Your only consolation is that it isn't my style to be quite so rude. Luckily for you.

Thursday, 24 July 2014


"Where have you been?" wrote Male, 29 Hot headed and Horny.
I am not telling you this for any other reason than to prove that (even if unintentionally) when you disappear, go quiet, live as normal.. the odd one notices. It's a shame he's so young. Not his actual age but young, juvenile, emotionally not developed. You know what I'm saying.. Male, 29 seems a decent enough lad with potential to be fun and fruity but he doesn't have the staying power. He wouldn't last more than 2 minutes and I don't mean horizontally.

I replied, "With neighbours drinking pink Cava. Lovely." and he came back with, "Do you know people out there?"

I didn't. We do now. I seem to make good friends for a very short time. We go on holiday. My girls remember each holiday as though we live somewhere. They will often say, "Mummy, do you remember when we lived in .. France?" which we never have but the point I am making is wherever we go, we go fully. So they are right. We do live there if only for a short time. I guess what is the point if not to embrace it completely and utterly. We do live here, for now.

Our neighbours made the most delicious tapas and were fantastically friendly. Of course they were. Why wouldn't they be? Not one of them teased me or made a snide remark about the size of our new kitchen extension, the lack of fun in my life or most importantly, the void of a husband. Before you think I am praising them because they are not English- they are. They are more British that the locals in my small minded village at home. I question yet again why I live in such a claustrophobic area. So judgemental. So damning. So fucking unfriendly.

I am having to make some pretty big decisions. Not simply about the colour of bath or tap size, variation on worktops, plinths and floor tiles, number of spot lights and whether I want a dimmer
switch- obviously I do. I mean big decisions for when I return home and write my Wil. It needs to be
done. I have no intention of going anywhere (other than a hot country) for a while but if I do depart this earth unexpectedly, I have my girls to think about and make things straight before I go. In doing so, I need to ensure that the right people have the right information. I need to have a clear head and not be distracted by trivia. I need to be, exactly what I always insist upon, completely honest but it is hard with a doubt in my head. I know the answers already. I am uncertain of a few things but mainly that my role will be stepped into and embraced as a lifestyle and a privilege.

Maybe I do need a husband after all? God, I never thought I'd say that. Maybe the one thing I believe I can live happily without, is the one thing that would enable me to live happier? Hang on a minute, slight set back. Who, obviously, is going to take me on? And if he does (which he won't) do I need to do what every woman in the world does and turn a blind eye to the irritations of sharing a life? More washing, more chores, discussions when now there is only ever my decision, extra toothbrush (okay a minor detail) but more spittage in the bathroom basin, more loo roll, another adults bottom on my
floral scented loo seat.. Ugh. Nope, forget it. I'm not ready. I might be (almost) 43 but I am not ready
for that. So you see? Male, 29, Happy and Handsome isn't the only one who cannot commit. The difference is though that I am the mother who makes the beds for my babies to lie in rather than being the baby lying in the bed made for me.

I have recently got back in touch with an old neighbour from my early teens. I can see his smiling, freckly face as it used to look. The 80's side flick and the shiny, grey trousers that narrowed on the lower leg. God knows how he remembers me. I was an uncomfortable, awkward teenager. Not in myself so much but around others more. I was never relaxed just in case I got a thump. I remember him being kind and funny. He's still funny. More so but then again I find life funnier now. I allow myself to laugh. Old neighbours and new neighbours are equally as entertaining. I can choose who to laugh with and who to have as my friends. I may live in a small minded village but having a small mind isn't essential. It is unattractive. Open up, look forwards and don't judge.

Life is today and hopefully tomorrow. Yesterday is what makes today so special but be careful frowning upon what others do if you aren't so certain of yourself. It is far too easy to think you know what others think when not one of us has any idea. Just be kind. My old friend, my neighbour, my first boyfriend (I think) was kind. He still is. There is no measure for kindness and I am so grateful that he has shown up again. Full circle maybe? Who knows? All I do know is that I'm really happy that I have a chance to sit, drink coffee and remember. Mum would laugh. Mum was well back in those days. It is thanks to her that I ever had this freckly, flicked haired boyfriend to start with so, with or without approval, I am happy. Funny old thing, Life.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Some things never change.

Yet importantly some things do. Change is good. Change is progress. Change is opportunity. Change is new beginnings. Change is a chance to put things right. Change is only ever life moving forwards and as sad as it might be right now, the smile will appear and the reason for the sadness will be obvious. Change is growth.

Some things never change but importantly some things do.

Monday, 21 July 2014

With slight excitement..

I am putting myself on the line here. I am going to give myself a small pat on the back (larger one will come when it is certain) but.. last night, sitting outside with the silence and the peace, I realised that I felt ready. I picked up my laptop and I opened 'The Book'. 

I have returned to writing it. So, if you'll forgive me for keeping this short this morning, and as much as I would like to write all about the beauty and the peace surrounding me, I did that yesterday. I am going back to Ted in the cottage kitchen who has just looked at Maud wanting to kiss her..

The block has been lifted. I am writing again..

The view.

I am trying to post a photograph of what I can see before me. But, for some reason, I am unable to do so. I will resort to old fashioned description which already I worry that my ghastly A level English teacher, Miss Blackler (wonder what happened to her after 1989) would scrawl a thick red line through the entire script and write (in appalling hand writing by the way you bitch) 'Waffle'. I am smiling now at the memory because she had probably no idea what a detrimental effect her constant abuse had on my confidence aged 16. Repeatedly being told how crap you are at something truly isn't education although my ability shone through when the results came out. It was one of the very few times in my life that I remember my mother being incredibly proud of me. I, on the other hand, waited for a second letter to arrive admitting that there had been a terrible mistake in the posting of results and rather than the awarded A, I had, in fact, achieved the expected U. The letter never came and I have kept hold of my grade A at A level English ever since. It was the biggest surprise of my life to date. But to be fair to the skinnier than skinny Miss Blackler, I do waffle and talk shit a lot. Fair point to make but perhaps not on every assignment.

Beautiful red roses in full bloom with lavender in a vase sit on the glass table as the sunlight begins to warm the grass on the lawn in front of me. Dogs bark in the distance. Birds sing a good morning and the pool hut makes a charming whirring noise as it refills for the day ahead. It is still. Everything looks clear and as the light starts to get warmer, the colours in the trees make me wish I was a painter.  The terracotta floor tiles are no longer chilled from the night and except from my children behind me, there is very little activity. It appears that no one else is awake. If they are, I have no idea about them. We are completely secluded and although very private, it is far from lonely. The smell from the trees and flowers is nothing but a joy to the senses. The dawn is my favourite time of day and it is moments like this that I question why I am sitting here alone. Not alone completely but without another to share these privaledged times. I reach up and stretch, more tension dissipates from my weary limbs and I realise that I have been completely on full throttle for months. Time to relax. For real. I can think of no other place right now I'd rather be.

I must walk barefoot to the outside washing machine to retrieve my nightie to hang on the line for the party tonight which, for all good intentions, is held by me, with me and my plus one, also me. I shall sit, as I have done since my old boyfriend once remarked, by about 7pm in it and love the fact that I can. He loved that about me. I love that about me. My mother laughed about that about me too. I have always been very comfortable in my nightie. What's not to like?

Good Morning!