Thursday 30 August 2007

What a difference a year makes

This last year has been the most difficult and challenging of my life. Last summer my 18 year long marriage and my 21 year relationship ended very abruptly with very little discussion and no real attempt to fix what had gone wrong. My beautiful children were stunned by their dad's decision and sudden departure, he told them and left on the same day and I thought I would die from the sheer pain of it all. My poor babies became very clingy and they were terrified that I would leave them too. It was an incredibly difficult situation and as he had left I had to try and support them whilst trying to make sense of it all myself. He couldn't explain why, he knew he loved me but just wasn't happy with our family life together. To this day he still tells me he loves me on a regular basis and I still don't know the definitive reason our relationship ended. If he knows himself I doubt he will ever be brave enough to tell me.

Our last year has been a mess of trying to untangle a life together, we are a financial disaster and the debts are rising. My children will not stay overnight with him or even visit him at his new house so he visits them at what was the family home, which is extremely difficult for both of us. Eldest Beautiful daughter will barely speak to him, The Beautiful Son is very wary of him and Beautiful Baby Daughter blows hot and cold with him.

It has been so difficult for us to know how to treat each other, we only know how to be married to each other, all our adult lives we have been together, all our memories and all our milestones have been together, I don't know how to be his ex wife.

The wider family circle has been ripped apart too, family weddings and even my parents in laws golden wedding were held with my children missing because they wouldn't go alone with their dad. My family blaming him for leaving us and his family blaming me for keeping the children away from him and them. No one really understanding the full picture.

I truly regret the pain and confusion we have caused our children. Their sense of security has been shattered and their happy childhood ended. We didn't know how to handle things and I'm sure we have made many mistakes which have caused untold damage and hurt. All 3 have struggled at school, both with their work and in discipline issues and have often been unable to cope with things that the previous year they would have taken in their stride.They have become much harder to get along with and have bickered what seems like almost constantly. They all have had friendship problems and have at times been inconsolable with grief.

My beautiful baby daughter has screamed, shouted and stropped and it has been so, so hard for her to not have her dad there and so hard on both her siblings to have the house in chaos as she tried to work through her pain. My son has found it really difficult to be honest with his dad as he is scared his dad will stop loving him and just tries to accept and make the best of the situation. My eldest beautiful daughter has tried not to show how much she was hurting as she didn't want to upset me and has had such an unhappy year. Just as this was happening she had to start a new school, start GCSE coursework, the hormone fairy visited big time and she had a big fall out with her best friend, so it would have been a horribly challenging time for her anyway without all the crap that came with her parents separating. I am so ashamed that I didn't always see her pain and that I wasn't there to support her. She knew much more of what was going on as she was older and realised something was wrong as he kept spending time away from us both mentally and physically as he was preparing to leave us. She asked him outright if he was going to leave and he swore to her he wouldn't. She has really found it difficult to cope and things came to a head yesterday when she broke down.

Last night I made her sit down with her dad and I to tell us how she felt. All the things she's kept bottled up for a year came out. How she felt betrayed and abandoned by him, as he had promised her that no matter what he'd never leave her and then 2 weeks later walked away, how she felt she couldn't add to my pain, how he had caused all this pain and the decimation of our family life and then just walked away to his new life, returning to play happy families when he felt like it. She feels he acts like we're still a family when we're not and she feels he doesn't care about us or the pain as he tries to put a brave face on for them. All of this came out and all 3 of us sat crying. I have always told her that it isn't a case of taking sides and that her dad loves her and we did tell her that again last night.

I want all my children to have the best relationship possible with their dad, he's not a bad man, he was unhappy and made decisions which had ramifications he couldn't forsee. He had turned 40, was having huge problems at work and for a man who's sense of self comes mainly from his job found that difficult to cope with, he spent a significant proportion of his day commuting, going to a very hostile workplace and coming home to a family he felt didn't appreciate him. He is not a bad man, he's not the most self aware of men but he loves his children dearly.I am sorry I could not be the wife he wanted me to be and that he was so unhappy with us.

Last night I also managed to talk to him a little bit about my new life and how happy I am and although I know some of it was difficult for him to hear, he was gracious enough to be happy for me and to wish me well. He also managed to tell me a little of his new life and I hope he can be happy too.

This morning my beautiful baby daughter started middle school and I hope that this new school year will give her a fresh start. Please bring her enough but not too many challenges, enough to tire her out a bit please God !!! She is excited and optimistic as she should be, good luck to my wee sweetie scone. My baby, whom I love very, very much.

This morning my beautiful son got kissed awake just as he likes and the smile he gives me every time and the way he just hugs me fills my heart with joy. He's gone off to school with a brand new uniform and bed hair sticking up all roads and he looks like scruff of the year but I love him.

This morning my beautiful eldest daughter got up and said she felt happy for the first time in ages and much better that she'd told us how she felt. She feels now that because I am happy she can be honest about how she feels knowing that I will be able to support her. That's how it should be and again I'm sorry I wasn't there when you needed me. Anyone who knows us knows how close we are and I love her so much.

On my 40th birthday last year, I realised that sad as it was, I had nothing left to say to the man who I had loved for all my adult life and that it was all over bar the shouting.

In the last year I have been on a really painful but ultimately worthwhile journey. I will always regret that my children have had to shed a single tear of the oceans they have wept and I regret all the hurtful things I have said and the actions and decisions I have made which have hurt the people around me. I have learned so much about myself and the woman I am at 41 bears little or no resemblance to the girl I once was and then the wife I became. I really do like the me now, I was a real mrs cardigan before, really beige. I was very unsure of myself, had very little confidence and only defined myself as a wife and mother, I have managed to do so many things for myself in the last year. Let me share some of my highlights with you

I am closer to my children than I ever have been.

I have written my blog.

I have realised how much I mean to my friends and how much they mean to me.

I have managed to drive all the way up to Scotland by myself.

I have taught some fantastic students.

I have made so many new friends both on blogger and in my regular life.

I have got very drunk, sang out loud in public ( very badly !!!) and snogged the face off the lead singer in a band like the rebellious teenager I once was.

I have sung "For Reasons Unknown" by The Killers,( which is pretty much my theme tune for my new life ) when in the car with my ex husband which was immensly satisfying.

The Beautiful Man phoned me and let me listen to The Killers singing " For Reasons Unknown" live at Glastonbury when he was there

I have fallen in love.

So a great big huge thank you to the following people for being in my life

Laura, Jack, Lucy

My parents, my sister and brother in law and my nieces

Lou, Susan, Sarah , Jo, Sarah R, Christina, Leah, Melanie and my original and best matey boy The Edge

My children's friends, The Matey boys, Rhys Daniel, Izzy and Jo

All my colleagues at my 3 different workplaces

My students old and new

My friends on blogger, all you lovely people who read and comment and all you who email and support me when things get too dark to blog, a huge thank you to you.

Lastly to Gordon, for letting me go and to The Beautiful Man who's waiting for me.

Monday 27 August 2007

The Perfect Weekend

Portofino Coast in Italy
With The Beautiful Man
From Wednesday to Sunday

How good is that ?

Wednesday 22 August 2007

My jolliday

I'm off on a little jolliday today. I will be back on Sunday. If you're good, and wait patiently for me, I'll tell you all about it when I get back.

Monday 20 August 2007

My daft wean

I've had a lovely weekend. I'm a little surprised to say that as The Beautiful Son and Beautiful Baby Daughter have gone to Scotland to stay with their paternal grandparents. I don't usually cope well without my full complement of offspring but I'm managing surprisingly well. Had a lovely day on Saturday with Eldest Beautiful Daughter and then had the perfect Saturday evening with The Beautiful Man.

Then on Sunday, my friend Jo and I went to Leeds. Me likey, the Victorian Quarter was lovely and I've never seen so many designer handbags, it was almost like being in Glasgow ! The Starbucks on the Briggate was lovely and there was a hot emo boy serving, EBD has taught me how to spot them. She rang me while I was out and asked if I'd spotted any and when I told her I had, she asked why I hadn't taken his photo ?

The reason she rang me was to ask should she peg the washing out. Now I know that I always say that she's decorative but not functional but this is a bright child, sitting 10 GCSEs and predicited A and A stars for most of them, and she's asking me when I am a 2 hour drive and 100 miles away, in a different county, should she peg the washing out as it looked like rain !!!

I've had a technologically challenging morning trying to book a hotel and claim my priority points whilst trying to convince them that I'm not Mr Laurie Sansome, using the membership number they've sent me on my e statement. I should have checked if he had more points than me before denying it really. I'm off to Bicester today, where I will meet himself at the Starbucks there, I have now realised that I have been to a Starbucks daily for the last 4 days. Himself is right I should just set up a tab and a direct debit from my bank account.

Saturday 18 August 2007

Thinking you're funny

One of my biggest faults is that I think I'm really funny and I don't always allow for people not understanding my particular style of humour. I think I can be a bit cruel in my humour and can give a right good slaggin but in my defence I love it if someone belts it right back at me.

I feel sometimes that because I'm Scottish, non scots don't always get my sense of humour, I'm a bit parochial. I love the fact that BBC2 are showing Still Game in England and the kids and I tune in on Thursdays at 10pm for our little bit of home grown humour. Also on BBC2 on Friday nights is Grumpy Old Women which the kids and I also watch. There's a real comfort in knowing you're not alone in your little foibles and struggles against the world.

Yesterday himself and I went to Starbucks for lunch, twas very citing for me as I hadn't seen him for 2 weeks and also my lovely, lovely friend Lou had sent me a pre paid Starbucks card for my birthday, how good a present was that for me ? !!!

Again, difficult to buy presents for, me ??? come on.

Anyway, I digress we're at the counter and I ordered himselfs grande full fat latte with 4 shots and my venti coffee light frappucino and paid with the card. then himself says " What do you say to the nice lady? " in a tone you would use on a 5 year old child and I was puzzled because I had been very polite. Now I know as a Mummy out of the holy trinity of Please, Thank You and Sorry I had used the 2 appropriate ones. " Don't get you, sweetie" I murmured and himself says in the same tone as before " Say sorry to the nice Starbucks lady " a bit puzzled I enquired why, to which he replied " Say sorry for going to Cafe Nero with Lara " which 2 weeks ago, I'm sorry to say was true, she had a free voucher and we used it although I didn't like it there honest !!!
Of course at this point I cracked up and now the nice Starbucks lady thinks we're both mad. Later on he told me that in boring meetings, him and his mates sometimes play bullshit bingo which is when someone says management jargon they can cross it off their list. Now I thought that was a gas idea, I know as a teacher I have real wanky phrases and I'm sure all professions have them, so next time I have a staff meeting I'll prepare my list for it. Who would have thought management consultants had such a good sense of humour ?

I now realise that it doesn't matter if most people don't think you're funny, if you find some people who do, then you're good.

Thursday 16 August 2007

You think you know people

Last night The beautiful Friend Christina came round. All good, 2 tubs of low fat pringles, low fat dip and a bottle of Kumala Rose. Snow Patrol and then Texas to listen to and a big gossip, lovely.

During our meandering chats I told her I was going to Borders on Friday to meet himself for lunch as he comes back from his holiday tonight. She asked why we didn t meet in MH as it would be nearer for him. I explained that there was no Starbucks there. She had a puzzled expression and said there were loads of places to get coffee. Yeah, but there's no Starbucks I persisted. Then she said to me - Is it really that good ? I've never been in one.........

I nearly fell off my sofa, how can she have got to the grand old age of 39 (sorry Chris) and never have been to a Starbucks. They are everywhere. Now I accept that I am disproportionately fond of Starbucks and I feel unfaithful if I get coffee from anywhere else, but come on, never, ever been to Starbucks, and she's even been to America. My little brain can't comprehend it.

I waxed on for a bit about about my venti skinny lattes and my caramel light frappucino's and the cinnamon swirls that are my particular vices. The blank expresion remained. I even called in Eldest Beautiful Daughter for validation, she explained about marshmallow twizzles and caramel cream frappucinos and the special mint hot chocolate at Christmas. Still Chris remained unmoved.

While I was explaining how last year I got so excited when they brought out the red christmas cups and the Gingerbread Lattes that I texted the Edge and he had to tell me to control myself as he'd made himself sick of the Toffee Nut lattes the year before, I noticed the expression on her face, she's looking at me in a kind of like never mind, you poor thing that obviously has no life type way. The way I look at people when they tell me their hobby is trainspotting or such like.

How could I have not noticed that she is the only one of my friends I have never been to Starbucks with, why haven't I noticed that ? Even my friend Sarah who doesn't even drink coffee comes with me there. I have favourite branches in different cities, I am actually quite sad. I think it's fair to say that Christina and I are a bit bemused by each other now.

Sunday 12 August 2007

Birthday Blog

Happy Birthday Me - I am 40 feckin 1 today, Happy Birthday to himself who is 40 feckin 4 today and Happy Birthday to Red's Mom who is the baby of us all at 40.

I woke up to lots of giggles from Beautiful Baby Daughter and her 2 little friends Isobel and Joanna who were sleeping over, they made me a beautiful card, which opened back to front and had the world and it's granny stuck onto it, it also said Happy Birthday Mum with lots of love from Lucy, Izzy and Jo. Nice to know I have all these extra children isn't it ? I absolutely love these home made cards with all their excess, none of that less is more type stuff.

A lovely visit from my friend Jo with really thoughtful birthday gifts and another visit from my friend Christina again with well chosen gifts. Apparently I am really difficult to buy presents for, frankly I think I make it easy for people, I mean come on, I even put it on my blog what I'm after.

Lots of lovely emails and texts from friends near and far, cards, presents, flowers and cake from the people who love me, how good is that ? And do you know what, next year will be even better !!

Thank you to all the people who took time out of their life to celebrate with me. Like I always say I'm a lucky, lucky girl. Okay, a lucky, lucky getting on for middle aged woman - don't want to get caught out by the trades description act !!!

Friday 10 August 2007

Happy Birthday Mum

Arrived back after my visit to The Beautiful Parents. Happy Birthday to The Beautiful Mother who is 63 today, and because I love her, I left before lunch time so she could actually enjoy her birthday without me and mine cluttering up her house ! She usually needs a good rest after my 3 have been, she waits on them hand and foot. She also lets them eat anything they like and I mean anything, ice cream for breakfast - no problem. What my kids don't get is that it wasn't like that for me when I was growing up, they think it was like some Glaswegian Disneyland with all you can eat sweeties and junk food, wall to wall tellies and very liberal parenting. Ok let the Edinbuggers amongst you retort that that's what happens in weegieland anyway.

I had a very nice trip, which included several museums, art galleries, Loch Lomond, Balmaha and Luss and okay some shops and plenty Starbucks

Whilst I was in Scotland I had the extreme misfortune to go and see Hairspray with my sister and my girls. Whatever you do, DO NOT GO AND SEE THAT FECKIN MOVIE. It was truly truly pants, it was also 2 hours of my life wasted that I will never get back and when you're half way to being dead, all your hours count. Everyone else loved it, I thought the best thing about it was the Irn Bru advert, the one where the goths get summer happy, genius, I loved it.

I was lucky enough to receive shed loads of text messages whilst I was away, which I love, but the funniest one was from Rhys Daniel who is The Beautiful Son 's maddest mate. It read " hey wot time u comin home anyway i got a tent for my birthday so come sleep im it tnite " I replied in very correct English that I would be home in 4 hours and thanks for the offer of the sleepover but wouldn't he prefer TBS. He replied that he's texted TBS and he hadn't replied, well fair play. On the drive home I got another 3 texts from him telling me to drive faster. When I got back he was sitting on my front doorstep waiting for us ! I think he missed The Beautiful Son.

Excuse me whilst I go lie down in a darkened room as I will be forty feckin one on Sunday and after the delight of a 6 hour 330 mile drive with 3 ungrateful, overheated, sugar highed children I feel the need for a large glass of the red stuff. Make sure you wake me up at 10 pm for Grumpy Old Women on BBC2, though won't you ?

Monday 6 August 2007


I'm driving home to The Mother Country today to visit The Beautiful Parents. I will be there until Friday, there's only so many biscuits and so much plasma screen telly a girl can watch . Eldest Beautiful Daughter usually makes me a cd for the journey with all my current faves on but we had no blank discs left, so I will have to do without my current favourite song " Plug in baby" by Muse. Never mind, I'll try and get on with Maximo Park.

The Beautiful Car has had a clean bill of health by the lovely man at the garage and even got a wash by Beautiful Baby Daughter, all good.

This morning I phoned up to renew my car insurance and to fess up that I've got 3 points on my license for going through a red light. I was the only one amongst my friends that had a clean license and even at work too so I was a bit sad to get the points. I was even feckin sadder when they told me it would add another £26.40 to my premium and another £10 excess to my windscreen cover and £20 to my theft cover - Porquoi ? Why is my car more likely to be stolen because I have been christened an " ambler gambler " - because the computer said so.

I asked them to take my former spouse off my policy as he no longer drives my car, he actually very rarely did. The advisor told me to take him off ( even with his 6 feckin points for speeding) it would ADD £49.60 to my policy as you get a discount if you have a spouse !!!!!!!

Singletons of the world unite, that really is bang out of order.

Saturday 4 August 2007


Now that my holiday is over, it's back to the real life. This includes my running. I didn't run at all when I was in Turkey because it was just too hot. I am not a real proper runner, like my friends Susan and Melanie, I don't do races or time myself, my running is a form of damage limitation, just trying to keep fitting into my jeans sort of stuff. I try and do 5 miles 3 times per week. I personally feel that I should be getting a medal just for that alone, as I am very nearly 41.

I always start off with a bit of procrastination, I'll do it later, I'll just sort this stuff out, oh look it's raining ( I am a completely fair weather runner, wouldn't lace my trainers up if there was a spot of rain around) eventually I make the decision to go or The Beautiful Children make it for me, by saying "would you just feckin go, you could have been gone and back by now "

I always ask if anyone wants to come with me either running or on their bikes. The Beautiful Son has never come and Eldest Beautiful Daughter did a 4 mile cycle with me once. The real star is Beautiful Baby Daughter, between last Easter and us finishing for the summer hols in July, 3 times per week before school, she would cycle for 2 miles with me and then she'd go to school and I'd finish my 5 miles. I did wonder if I was being slightly cruel making her do a 2 mile cycle before school but I felt it was a fair trade off as she could talk at me, completely uninterupted by a sibling and have my undivided attention and my utter inability to disagree due to me not being able to talk and run at the same time.

This week no one has wanted to come with me but The Beautiful Son offered up his Ipod. It's one of the little shuffle ones, bright blue and it clips on. I've never ran with earphones in but thought I'd give it a go. Well feck me, my son has the most eclectic music taste. His playlist has a lot of The Killers, some Primal Scream, Fun Lovin Criminals, Dandy Warhols, The Undertones all v good for me. Then I had some Linkin Park, which he loves and some My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Muse and Nirvana, very, very him but the thing that utterly utterly confused me was a very random addition of Dolly Parton. No really and truly, Dolly Parton singing 9 to 5, where the hell did that come from ?

I have now decided that I would like a little pink ipod shuffle for my upcoming birthday, please and thank you, so that I can put my own songs on it as it's very hard to jog to Linkin Park !

ps if you're stuck for something else, I covet with covety covetessnous a Tiffany Cross Tag Bracelet, it's like the one I already have but instead of the " return to Tiffany" tag, it has a beautiful cross. Difficult to buy presents for ? me ?!!!!

Wednesday 1 August 2007

The Beautiful Car

I have fessed up several times that I am a tad technophobic, ok I have the technological capabilities of a baby giraffe. I have never fessed up that I have the car knowledge of a baby giraffe also. My nearest and dearest aren't too impressed with my driving either but I have a full no claims discount so I can't be that bad. However I will admit that the only technical thing I can do with regards to my car is put petrol in and change the cd.I am quite girly when it comes to cars, I don't really know much about any kind of cars except that I hate BMW's and I think that their drivers are the worst on the road, I do love my car though, it is a little black A class Mercedes, and I think it is the very best car in the world, it doesn't have a name though, I'm not that girly. It never lets me down, it's high up off the road which makes it easier for me to see as I am only 5 foot 3 and it's easy to park. In short it's perfect.

Today, as is my want , I swanned off to Starbucks for lunch. I was extremely happy, quite a good compilation cd that Eldest Beautiful Daughter made me, not my best one but I very foolishly lent it out and in return got the Maximo Park cd, that was a crap swap. Anyway I digress, the sun was shining, I was driving along quite happily, 2nd best cd on till I get to Starbucks. My local is attached to a Borders Bookstore, I was a wee bit early so I browsed around and bought The Beautiful Man the new Ian Rankin thriller as tomorrow he goes away on holiday, see what a nice, kind considerate sort I am, I am so considerate I very carefully chose 1 from the back that hadn't been handled too much, as TBM can't read books anyone else has read before him, even me, he doesn't like pages to have been touched by anyone else and he can't do hardbacks. Even though I have that very book at home that he could borrow, I still bought him his very own untouched copy and then went straight out to the car to put it in the boot, as unsullied as possible.

As I walked towards the car I noticed a puddle underneath it, quite a large puddle. Oh God no, my car's incontinent, I got down on the ground and looked underneath, I have no idea what I 'm looking for or any clue what to do but feel I should look underneath. A bloke comes over and peers underneath and informs me that my radiator is leaking. This sounds expensive to me, probably on the Gucci bag type scale of expense. Not quite as bad as my credit card bill at £2000 - yes that is for 1 feckin month but certainly on a par with TBM phone bill ( which was HORRENDOUS, but he will kill me if I fess that up). I feel slightly panicky, just at that TBM arrives, I show him the puddle and being the company car driver he is and the very successful management consultant ( for that read delegator) and he tells me to phone the garage. I'm extremely pleased to know that I have the number in my phone, so I ring the nice man at the garage and he advises me to open the bonnet, check the water and top it up if necessary. TBM asks what the garage suggests and not wanting to appear too shallow/girly/incompetent as I realise I don't know how to open the bonnet never mind check the fluid level so I tell him I've got to bring the car in. It did cross my mind if the cheapest option would be to catheterise it myself.

After a very long lunch, I drive like a granny to the garage as I'm terrified that the car will overheat and grind to a halt and everyone will get cross with me for holding them up. When I get there the nice man asks me if I topped up the water and I fess up that I don't know how to open the feckin bonnet and he very sweetly explains, in soothing tones you would use on a 6 year old how to open the bonnet and check the water etc. He was just like my dad to me. He did look at me as if I shouldn't be allowed to drive if I can't do something as straight forward as open the bonnet though. He's keeping the beautiful car in for observation tonight and I can visit tomorrow and I sincerely hope that it will be an uneventful recovery from the emergency surgery. ( and not too expensive as well )

PS I want to take this opportunity to add that TBM really is 1 in a million to put up with not only all my nonsense but to also have me fessing up his quirks for my mates to scrutinise. You truly are the business.