This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
On the house front and divorce front I am just waiting for the legal wheels to turn and boy do they go slowly sometimes!! I had a wistful day yesterday when I was on a sunny day out and everywhere there were couples holding hands. It is my weekend with the boys so I know EH (ex-husband) is away with Fluff and probably holding hands too. I know it sounds twee but we had our own way of entwining fingers – our own Masonic handshake and so inevitably I wonder if he does the same with her? When will my turn come?
The last three years have been tumultuous to say the least. I have had two of the most pressurised and stressful jobs I have ever had during the most emotionally draining years of my life and now this new job is my step back. Some friends have questioned why I am taking such a role, part time and very undemanding – but a very wise dear friend has called it my “fallow” period, my time to rest and reflect and re-evaluate.
In the last 3 years during all this chaos I have climbed Kilimanjaro, run the London Marathon and trekked around India! Don’t get me wrong they were all amazing wonderful lifetime experiences, but I know in my heart they were all escapes, a means of running away from all that was wrong in my life i.e. my failing marriage! EH and I continue to have our ups and downs – from my perspective this ranges from wanting to punch his lights out to tolerating and even vaguely enjoying his company.
On a recent visit I commented that the house looked like a Chinese laundry and he confessed to sacking the cleaner as she was worse than useless. I agreed to take over and could see she must have hardly lifted a finger as there was actual mould growing in the boys loo! Although he does a fairly good job of keeping up with clothes laundry it is questionable how often towels and bedding are changed. So I set to with gusto – granted a lot driven by pride – pride in a house I used to call home and want to see cared for again. The boys remarked on how nice everything smelt, “it has a mummy smell about everything.” When they were younger I could have fobbed them off by saying they could smell my love and care! Nowadays they know it’s just fabric softener! When he has to have a valuation of the house for all of our separation financial blah blah blah I am there to let them in and show them around. I return to the house armed with cushions, candles and pictures
and make the place look homely once again – even my youngest who usually notices diddly squat manages an appreciative “Nice – Woman’s touch eh?” The boys have always been given chores for the summer, primarily to help stave off boredom and when younger they were rewarded with adventurous days out. As they are now bigger motivation is proving much harder. One of the chores has been to re-varnish the wooden garden furniture – normally a job for son number 1. He has spent the first part of the holiday in a totally gung-ho mindset exhilarated by the end of exams and still in a permanent hungover state as celebrations and continual 18ths all roll together and now he is working! The youngest confesses he hates sandpaper and likens it to nails down a chalkboard. And electric sanders? He doesn’t like the vibrations up his arm! So guess who is sanding everything down – yep muggins. On the plus side a metal garden furniture set that I picked up for NOTHING at the local tip has been up-cycled. He loved spray painting it and it now looks shiny and gorgeous and all set for my weeny cottage garden. Then he pressure washed the gates and anything else that stayed still long enough. I have never seen the dog get out of the way so quickly .
Today in misty rain and wind I am back to varnish it all while my boys are at my place devouring hot chocolate and a packet of biscuits or 3 before Sunday lunch. It is strange that, as I work, my mind is all over the place thinking of the barbecues and parties we have had in this garden. Tea lights, lanterns, torches and fairy lights, good food and great company. Bonfire nights, New Year’s Eve parties all with fireworks and celebrations and I wonder when I will really feel like celebrating again – although on the whole I am fairly up beat these days I still have my moments.
Talking of up beat I have 3, yes 3, consecutive weekends of Festivals this month and all with BFF. One is a whole weekend of camping and I have to say she does camping even less than me – at least Kilimanjaro and India gave me an experience of dumbing down ones personal routines! But it will be a riot and I know we will have good times. She is my rock although recently, when we went out, I had a glass or two too many and I asked why she doesn’t stop me? Apparently it’s because I am so entertaining! She also old me recently that EH texts her a lot. At first my heart sank and I thought NO, not my husband and best friend, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Whenever we have fought, especially the dramatic yelling and screaming fights, he just asks her to call or visit to check up on me. No wonder she has been so astute and I wondered how she always knew when I was in a bad place but it just shows that he still has a caring side.
Anyway we will venture out and have a blast, pass the baby wipes! Then, hopefully soon, I can relax in front of the fire in my own little nest with both my boys living with me (God the chaos !!!!) I have looked into local book clubs and a choir (my boys think I am actually retiring and plan to get me slippers and a pipe as a moving in gift!) I want to join the gym and take up yoga and Pilates again – I just want to find time to find me as I know there is life in the old girl yet – I just want to re-charge my batteries to face the world again as a bright confident intelligent SASSY bird!