Where are you?

Location: Cambridgeshire

Professional single mum, a snob who has no right to be! Want to work for myself, line my own pockets and relax a bit more! Must stop smoking!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Thirty three!

Oh my word... I'm 33 today! I learnt to drive 16 years ago! I left school 17 years ago! I got married 12 years ago! Had my first child 10 years ago! Since then I have redesigned my life to work with circumstances and to lead a good life... BUT, the days merge into weeks, into months into years and before you know it, you are thirty something! My 30th birthday party seems like yesterday, but 3 years tells me it wasn't!
My little darlings brought me a cup of tea in bed this morning, along with a card and present, a CD I wanted bless them! I have had numerous phone calls and text messages from family and friends wishing me a lovely day, telling me I will see them later. You see, as much as I may complain about my age... it's on days like today you realise where the years go.
Investing your time in your children, the one thing I will certainly always have no regrets over. I am a lucky woman, I have 2 beautiful kids who love me endlessly and want nothing more than to make me happy... and this morning they couldn't have done more to start my day nicely.
I love my family, and they all love me... as the youngest a huge fuss has always meant my birthday is a day I see everyone and get utterly spoiled! My friends are all great, like the family you choose to have around you, andI'm going to be surrounded by them all today, and again on saturday for a small partay!
My man... what can I say, just adores me. We had a very romantic weekend away without any children last weekend to start my birthday week, in a beautiful hotel with bolly on ice for my arrival and quality time being spoiled and looked after!
I can't ask for more than any of that! This makes me realise that as the years slip past your life just gets richer, and that the time goes while you are spending it loving others and being loved. Yes sure, the everyday stuff gets in the way, finances may stop us doing exactly as we wish at times but you know... I'm very lucky! It is when you consider all of this that you realise how little you have yet lived, and what there is to look forward to... bring it on!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back to school...yay!

What a relief! Six long weeks ago, when the weather was in the blistering 30's, the nation resounded to the cheer of kids breaking up from school for the summer. As teachers rejoiced, honest parents will tell you that their hearts sank!
Trying to do right by everyone I asked the childrens father a good month before the holiday started when he was able to have the children during the eternity they had off. The week they broke up, he gave me some dates to book my holiday around... next year I will provide him with dates he needn't take off, as I ended up with no holiday due to the strict 2 week booking period required by my company!
So the children spent one out of six weeks at home with me, while I was kinda working, kinda not! I can't do that, either I'm off or working... not essentially skiving! Everyone who helps with the kids went away during the same week so I was stuffed, and relied on help from good friends to have them while I absolutely had to go out.
In all I had an intermittent 4 overnight pit stops with my children which I spent unpacking, washing, ironing and repacking, not catching up with them before they went on their next mini holiday!
I drove over 650 miles during the holidays delivering them to where they needed to be, just to turn straight round and get ready for work again!
Be honest... am I trying to be too many things to too many people, am I trying to work around too many factors or are the summer holidays just a total bitch for everyone? In truth I'm not all that ecstatic that they have now gone back to school, just that they are home, normality has resumed and they are no longer living out of an ever expanding suitcase but back to routine and stability... and I don't have to have every hour of the day covered on the childcare front!

An observation!!!

It strikes me that women are increasingly out there not just doing it for themselves, but also for their men and kids. I am a single mother to two kids, now nearly 10 and 9. I work hard in a target driven sales role to enjoy a good lifestyle while their dad makes a "contribution"! He has since created a new family and has them to look after, which I don't resent because in all reality I don't want his money. I accept it because he should have some financial responsibility for the children, not because I depend on it. As a father he never let's the kids down but he never does any more than he has to, and has no influence over their upbringing whatsoever. My self respect conflicts with itself on these issues... any thoughts are very welcome!
I have two friends with very different circumstances, who have also seperated or divorced from their childrens fathers. One father is a multi millionaire who lavishes his child with gifts, surprises and shopping trips. However the man is incapable of showing the child right from wrong, affection or even stability. My other friend's ex would rather not work so he cannot contribute to his children, and also opt's to take a very back seat in his childrens lives. I watch as my friend works hard doing several jobs just to make ends meet, but her dignity is proudly in tact!
We've made it too easy for them girls! Our independence (try and take it away and you die) has become our biggest enemy. Both these friends have since met other people. Men in their 30's who moved in with nothing but a holdall, and have drifted from situation to situation getting nowhere, achieving nothing and bringing nothing to the table. Men no longer need to get out there, make something of themselves and provide for those they love... it's all laid on a plate for them!
I would never expect another man to provide for my children. If I can't I would turn to their father before I asked someone else to... but the reality is I will never allow myself to be in that situation. So how come there are so many guys out there who are willing to live off our efforts?
Refreshingly, my relationship is with someone who has custody of his daughter, his own house and more to offer than I have materially. I'm not in it for those reasons, but it gives us an equality and integrity I have far more respect for than my counterparts.
How does society explain grown men having nothing other than a small bag as their worldly goods and a readiness to depend on their women? Where is their self respect?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Robbie is a god!

Vienna is a beautiful city, it's architecture is nothing short of diverse and amazingly distinctive. Girls...the shopping is fabulous!!! From H and M to Chanel, I was one happy woman looking around the endless streets of retail therapy. My poor boyfriend was very forgiving but I made sure we had regular alcohol stops for him. However, customer service is NON EXISTENT! From the hotel which provided no room service or double beds (???) and the bar didn't open until 7pm, to the shop assistants who offer no help and wouldn't spit on you if you were on fire!
Some friends (fellow blogger Richard and his wife Lara) joined us on Saturday evening, and we went to the Ernst Happel Stadium to watch Robbie Williams. I am a big fan, and was among the 375,000 people who went to see him in Knebworth three years ago.
The show was fantastic, Robbie was his usual arrogant but charming self who had the 50,000 strong crowd on their feet immediately. This was the first sign of joy/pleasure I had seen from Vienna and was sadly to be the last. His repertoire was predictable but very much enjoyed... I know all the words to all his songs (how sad is that), but hearing them live almost makes them new again. I am in agreement that the song writing has gone downhill since Escapology, but on stage the man does "rock the mike right"! And of course... he is fit!
However, we concluded between us all that we could have gone to Milton Keynes to see him, and that none of us would wish to return to Vienna. The place is souless, has no atmosphere, and the people are bloody rude and austere to be kind to them!! I could have got into several arguments with waiting staff and air stewards and sadly, despite having a romantic weekend with my man, drinking champagne and having horse and cart rides around the city... I was so ready to leave!

Where are you?

Where are you?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Little Britain

I cannot wait for the third series of Little Britain... it has already been far too long in the making. What an amazingly funny and unique show!
Vicky Pollard... Yeah, but no, but yeah but no, but the thing is right, is that she don't need to give no evils...she's really 'orrible and just like my neice in a moment of attitude. S'not my fault, I never done it.
We can all identify her with someone we know. My neice Charlie goes to private school, is very articulate, intelligent, well travelled, sporty yet can turn into Vicky in a blink. No teenage pregnancies (so far, touch wood), isn't a chav and yet has that high pitched "Oh shut up" when she can't dig herself out of a hole!
Andy... I want that one,that one, I want that one...don't like it! How simple yet genius is this character? Probably my favourite character.
I don't know anyone to relate Andy to, and this may be why I find him particularly funny.
Everyone, knows something about the series that only David Walliams and Matt Lucas could do justice. In a conference I attended while series two was being screened. The speaker used the word bitty and the crowd could not contain their giggles. Over fifty people of varying ages very unprofessionally immediately thought of the thirty something Harvey breastfeeding from his mother.
"Yeah I know", it's taken over the nation. It may be sad, but makes me laugh more than anything else on the telly! Other than Abi Titmus but that's another blog!
On the day of ticket release for the UK tour of the show, I tried to get hold of tickets but couldn't! I later found that Dave, a friend of mine managed to get some. Now I introduced Dave to the show. He was even reluctant at first but having become a fan... he got some and I didn't!
I offered Dave a 50% profit opportunity on both tickets... along with the promise that he would be my best friend forever. I also pointed out that as a compromise he could sell me the 2nd ticket, still at a 50% profit and we would both be happy. As a last resort I explained that if I didn't go and he did, he'd be leaving himself open to my resentment and our friendship could be affected forever.
In reverse order...good, better and best plans of attack. I hate not getting my own way you may notice.
He faltered for a moment and stuttered that he'd already told is dad about the 2nd ticket, as he'd seen it a couple of times and thought it was quite funny. I like Dave's Dad... I really do. But...huh!
So, as I know both series 1 and 2 word for word, AND CAN'T GET TICKETS FOR THE SHOW, please please bring out series 3. David, Matt...your public are waiting!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Family is falling apart!

My last blog made reference to my fathers death. This happened nearly seven years ago, yet although the pain never disappears, it lessens with each day that passes.Possibly the amount you realise you miss them consequently increases.
My family has always been very close. I am the youngest of three children, both siblings being older brothers by some eight and nine years. Leigh, the eldest and now 40, and Neil the middle child now 39 have always been incredibly good mates aswell as brothers, with only just over a year between them.
I followed several miscarraiges and was my Daddy's little girl. My Dad (Pops) and I were as thick as thieves from a very early age. I also had very protective brothers who infuriated me greatly as I grew up! However I would have taken offence had they not stopped me leaving the house because they deemed I was wearing too much make up, or hadn't told my parents that the party I was intending to go to would not be appropriate for me.
I'm still hard to please now, but my family always had a dynamic I was incredibly proud of. My Mum and I hated each other when I was a teenager, but we overcame it once and for all when we shared the moment of my fathers passing. I held his hand and told him it was ok, he could go because we would all be fine and we would always love him every bit as much as we always had.
Where did that come from? It was an out of body experience and some one else came in and said all that. Me, I would have been incapable of speaking, a blubbing mess on my knees begging him not to leave me. I looked at Mum, her whole life disappearing from her before my eyes and I couldn't make it better. I had to make her syrup on toast, run her a bath only a woman appreciates and while she was in there I would call the boys, tell them the awful news they knew was coming.
How do you begin to tell them? You are about to break their heart and despite your deepest wishes you can't do a thing to stop it. It had to be me that told them, not the doctor.
First I rang Leigh, being the eldest it seemed to make sense that way. I told his partner Jane when she answered that I needed to talk to Leigh, and I told him what he knew was coming, told him I loved him and needed him there now. He did a 40 mile journey in under half an hour. When I rang Neil, I spoke to Angela his partner and Neil wasn't there. He was at a meeting and she would go to him and tell him as I couldn't leave Mum. Poor Angela, but it was the quickest, kindest way to Neil.
I worried about them, and Mum and then about me. Whenever I was hurt, angry, vulnerable or sad I crawled on my Dad's knee and it all became ok. I adored him, he was my safe place.
I cried for my children, Harriet then aged 22 months, and William then aged 9 months. They would never have any memories of their Grandad, but thanked any God I don't believe in for letting him know and cherish them. I cried for the other grandchildren who all thought Grandad Sandy was a total dude who would do anything, go anywhere with them.
I cried for Mum, I cried for the boys, I cried for the kids and I cried for me. But most of all I cried for Dad, for so much he would love to be there for, how much he hated to leave us all.
The heart of our family had gone, to a place without us. We all as siblings recognise how much our lives have changed. On a Sunday you could expect to be welcome at Ma and Pops' for dinner. We would all be together as often as possible, with thirteen of us...2 highchairs to boot! Laughter was expected, a house rule.
It's a different house now... my Mother has a new partner bringing a strange twist to our lives. not in a negative way I add. Leigh, Neil and I are in regular touch, see each other when we can and are there for each other. We all laugh among ourselves, but don't laugh with Mum in the same way.
Dinner at Mum's never happens now. She speaks about it, but never does it. Leigh and Jane have gone through the enormous emotional turmoil of IVF. Mum had no idea until I told her under Janes instruction at the last minute because they couldn't do it. Neil has just today given me the news that he and Angela are separating and Felicity (my neice) and Angela are moving to Newcastle. I was devestated, not surprised but actually they have done everything right, in the right way yet simply grown apart.
The split of a family is the biggest weakness I have. My husband and I separated over two years ago. After all this time I cannot begin to tell you how much I wish that wasn't the case for my children. They miss their Dad too, just like I do mine. They deal with it incredibly well and rarely say "I wish..." but when they do, it tears me apart.
They talk to their Dad every day, and see him every other weekend. I want them to have the best possible relationship they can possibly have, just like I had with mine. But him not being here has put their family under the disfuntional banner. Just like mine is. I have a great relationship with Leigh, who has realised I'm no longer twelve and I tell him my secrets. Neil is the person who understands the perspective I would want to have when my current mood wouldn't allow it! Be the better person and all that. Mum is fantastic in helping with child care in support of my plight to give my children a good lifestyle.
But it's relationships with individuals, not the family ralationship it used to be. Is it because we are all so aware of Pops' absence that it's not the same. Christmas and birthdays, that's it.
Now we have the presence of my Mums partner. My childrens memories will be of him, not Pops. Their family recollections will be nothing compared to mine, almost a different family altogether. Only one person missing, and it all goes haywire. Now this is happening to Neils family too. James their eldest, nearly sixteen is going to live with his dad while Felicity 12,is going with her Mum.
Angela is from the north east, and has been yearning to return home since she left some 24 years ago. She's been part of the family since I was my daughters age. James and Felicity will never have the relationship I had with the boys. Neil will miss Felicity enormously and wish she was with him while wanting her to be with her needed Mum for her own happiness.
What is happening to my family? Nothing is as it should be. We are all successful individuals whose lives are going in directions that hurt us every day. Making sacrifices that break your heart regularly while working, living, functioning in our everyday lives. All of us are feeling pain and I can't make it better. My family is gone, I have a succession of relationships with individuals as I prepare to go and stay with Angela and Felicity, fuss over Neil and James, thank Mum for her help and offer support to Leigh and Jane.
I never thought this could happen to us. How will it be when our children reach our age? What sort of shape will my family be in then?
I wish it could all go back to how it was... we were all happy then!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Which way do I go?

I first heard about my dear friend Richard's blog last night when arranging a visit to see him and his family this morning. I have to confess when Richard proudly told me about his blog, I had a wry smile to myself...just imagining quite how much I knew he would have to say on any of the most random of subjects imaginable.
Being the true, encouraging, supportive friend that I endeavour to be, I asked Richard to humour me and write a dedicated piece on Camilla!
I knew when asking this that Richard would have a staunch opinion on this. Massively patriotic to the very core, whatever Richards viewpoint on this, it would be hugely engaging to read.
Well this morning, the piece was written! I was in the door no longer than to say "Hi" to Lara and the boys, before I was whisked to Richard's study and placed in front of his pc!
I wasn't wrong, the piece was nothing short of depth, opinion and was incredibly entertaining. Having logged on to the site to read other offerings Richard has submitted, I wasn't wrong in the randomness of his subject matter!From the monarchy to education,with an ultimate low of a Big Brother/ McDonalds analogy!
However... I loved it. As I read his 'thought's' I realised quite how much I had to say on so many subject's myself, including Big Brother and McDonalds.
So, I thought I would give this a go...brace yourselves!!!


I loved princess Diana. She was gracious, incredibly beautiful in a way that could not be defined by simple prettiness. However, I loved her in a "Hello" magazine way. Every time I picked up a glossy magazine at the hair dressers or at the nail studio she was there, on the cover looking utterly "fabulous darling"! Maybe her imperfections were her greatest beauty because they made her seem more real and alive.In jeans and t shirt, a suit and hat for or one of those stunning evening dresses she wore, she looked great. Her personality showed humour and determination, while showing a caring nature she was able to share with some of the worlds most underpriveledged of situations. I believe that Diana, Princess of Wales was a far better mother than our monarch, and it therefore naturally follows that the love, compassion and individuality she has passed on to her boys will keep her with us until beyond my time on earth. I enjoy that when I read that Prince William is excelling at University, or seen in a tabloid messing around with friends or indeed his brother Harry. I find Harry's refreshingly prankish teenage years very normal and unstuffy!
Yet the stoicism William and Harry so bravely displayed when following their mothers funeral carraige had me sobbing. Diana's funeral was held on my birthday, the 6th of September. On such a day, when you don't want to be aware of anything that is happening, you want to switch the world off and be left to grieve, those boys were subjected to the entire world watching, and then meeting them and cheering them up.
The strength was breath taking. My more recent experience of my own Father's death has shown me quite how hard keeping up appearances is. It therefore follows that I hope to be alive long enough to enjoy the reign of King William. What a balance that fine young man has, what more can this loving, compassionate individual who has a backbone the size of the Berlin Wall bring to the table.
I'm very proud of Great Britain, the monarchy, our heritage, our history, influence and not to mention our fine literature, music, art and growing development in conservation and environmentalism.
The death of Diana was a shocking blow to our nation. Although we should have been more shocked and ashamed at the entire farce of events leading up to both the marraige and inevitable divorce of the Prince and Princess of Wales, it was no wonder that the princess sought solace in the arms of Dodi al Fayed.
My words cannot express the sadness that they are no longer here to enjoy the happiness that Charles and Camilla share. There would be no wrong in that. When I first heard on the car radio that Charles and Camilla were to marry it took me a moment to conclude my thoughts on that. I started with the young Princes... how would they feel about it. I felt sure that palace officials would be engineering their public opinions for them, but wondered how they, as Diana's sons would be feeling about the marraige of their father to the woman that so clearly always had Charles's affections. Their father had never deeply loved their mother,was never true to her and yet hurt her sense of dignity, loyalty and trust until she decided not to try and beat them, but to join them.
Both Diana's mental and physical health suffered after a succession of occasions that we would only share with those we love and trust most...not with the entire nation watching.
How much must they miss her? How often do they wish she was here? To give advice, or support, or just to give one of those hugs we often watched her throw herself into.
None of this detracts from Charles contribution such as conservation and The Prince of Wales Trust is an inspirational organisation for our youth and opportunity. It could also be said that the Prince of Wales has enormously chilled out since Diana's death to encourage a stronger bond with the boys, try and be all they need.
There must have been mental conflict, but what we saw was a wish to see the remaining parent as happy as possible. It has always been clear to us that there has been a deep affection between Charles and Camilla, and what waste would it be if they were also denied a retirement of happiness and contentedness. I intend to take no lifetime wishes to my grave, but I don't want to take any regrets either. I hope that the establishment regret the earlier years of denial and unhappiness of both Charles and Diana, and for his part in it, I hope Charles does too. However life is unquestionably too short to live in the past, and if no good came of all the bad then why has there been so much angst.
I'm glad Charles and Camilla married. Diana was the Princess of Wales and should remain so. When I die it doesn't erase who I was, and nor should Camilla erase Diana's existence.
I add strongly that I truly do not believe that Charles should be King. He has shown himself as selfish and untrustworthy. He is no more than a product of his upbringing, not loveless but very rigid. His royal generation was of secondary importance to the nation when it came to his parents, but to Diana, her boys were everything.
I am a single mother, working hard to provide for my children, making sure they are loved, cared for, fed well, adequately clothed and catered for in every way. Emotionally my children have adapted well to staying with Daddy every other weekend but it still hurts them that we are not all living as a happy family. I don't know where they find their strength, security and adaptability from, but they do it with a smile, bless them!
In turn, I identify with Diana, a woman cheated of the life she believed she would live. A life she would put everything of herself into, and sacrifice some of herself for aswell.
Like me, Diana wanted to hold her head up high, with dignity and be allowed to live her life in peace. If only, and she and Dodi would be here and glad Diana's unhappiness hadn't been in vain...