Sunday, 25 October 2009


It seems one in five voters would consider voting for Nick Griffin following his appearance on Question Time. And one of those, is ….my mother!

It has caused great ructions in this house as everyone has tried to challenge her opinion which they should all know by now does nothing but cement her weird ideas even further. I know she is partly doing it to get attention but it has really upset me.

She insists she is not a racist but in the same breath says that he isn’t either as he has apparently said in the past that non-white people can stay in this country if they pull their weight, and that’s what she thinks too. And then she goes on and on and on with her views on muslims, asylum seekers, eastern Europeans, blacks (she doesn’t differentiate between them) etc…..and how they are “bringing this country down”. I hate it when she talks like this. She has always held very right-wing views that have got worse since my dad died. He used to keep her in check and I have often warned her to keep her thoughts to herself, which she has largely done. Now though, thanks to Nick bloody Griffin, she thinks she can express them loudly and proudly. She believes most people feel the same but don’t have the courage to admit what they really think in public.

I feel so ashamed of her. The children have been arguing with her and Ewan has taken to simply avoiding her. She’s been in a mood all day and has just screamed at me that I am turning my family against her even though I’m the one who has said the least. There’s been a horrible atmosphere in this house since that damned programme was aired and right now everyone is in their own rooms, feeling miserable.

It’s not often like this in our house but when it is, it’s because of her.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

A Talk In The Park

I love Autumn.

I know I've said in the past that Spring is my favourite season, but October is such a wonderful time of the year. Crisp days with the leaves on the trees turning various shades of flaming red and brown. It's such a treat walking through the park on days like this and yesterday morning, I decided to take the long way into work so that I could do just that.

It was such a beautiful morning and I loved the sound of leaves crunching underfoot. I was, without even realising it, very content.

Which is why, when a text from Matt came through asking if I was free because he wanted to tell me something, I decided not to ignore him but told him to call me. He rang immediately and I sat on a bench to listen to what I knew would be some elaborate attempt to get me to meet up with him.

It was a good line. He wanted me to hear from him that Kelly was going to be moving into his flat next month. I don't know what he thought I would do - burst into tears, fly into a hysterical rage, beg him not to let that happen ....??? Whatever, he seemed surprised when I simply said "that's nice".

"Are you OK with that?" he asked.

I almost wanted to laugh and asked in return why I wouldn't be and he said he didn't know!
I told him it would be good for him and that taking a step towards some sort of commitment would make him a better person. He then said that he was only doing it because she was making his life hell at the moment and kept crying and accusing him of seeing someone else so he felt the only answer was to to say "move in". He has since regretted it though as she is now very excited and he feels "trapped". I feel very sorry for her.

We talked a bit more, or at least he did, and after a few minutes he asked if we ....... could meet up. I said no, simply and politely and then said I had to go. But after I put my phone back in my bag, I sat in the park for a while and suddenly, felt inexplicably sad.

That's how I've felt since - and I can't seem to snap out of it.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The Thin Blue Line

It really was quite a pathetic attempt at a cliffhanger, wasn’t it?

I did the test as soon as I got home from Kim’s house and had a momentary panic when I saw the blue line, but that of course was to tell me that I had done it all properly. The next window was blank. I’m not pregnant!

I'm so stupid. There was never any real danger that I would be - and for the record, it could only have been with Ewan's baby. I guess it was wishful thinking on my part or that old drama queen in me coming to the surface to try and take centre stage with some new crisis.

Seeing Nancy pregnant did make me feel somewhat envious even though it’s actually the last thing she really wants. She’s already got three – Michael (16), Minnie (14) and Marnie (12). They are all now at high school which should have meant more time for her. But now, at forty five, she’s about to have twins. And she doesn’t know if she can cope.

I guess, if I found out that I was pregnant I don’t think I would be able to manage either. As lovely as it would be to have a little baby to look after again, it would be a complete nightmare at this stage of my life. I love reading the yummy mummy (and daddy!) blogs and they make me smile and remember how lovely it was having my babies. I do reflect though on how I would cope now with tantrums and early mornings and lack of sleep and constant attention. The conclusion is that, overall, I am satisfied with the way things are thank you. Job done !

Trouble is, as my periods get lighter and less regular, I know that it won’t be long before I can’t have a baby and that’s doing strange things to my head. It’s that whole wanting what I can’t have thing.

It’s also the desire to be needed. As my children grow older they need me less and I’d be lying to say that doesn’t affect me. Of course I’m glad that they are growing up into mature, independent, wise young people but I don’t want to feel discarded.

Oh enough of all this! That is definitely the last pregnancy test I ever buy. Menopause is approaching. It won't be that long before a little voice is calling me Granny Selina!

I may as well put my greying hair in a bun, sit in a rocking chair and give up now !

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Autumn Expectations

I was ill all last week.

I left work last Monday evening after an impossibly busy day which I hardly kept on top of and when I got home I fell into bed and didn’t get out until yesterday. I don’t know what it was but over the week, I had a taste of everything - sickness, headache, dizziness, earache, blocked/runny nose, sore throat, cough, general aches and pains and stiffness but mostly lack of energy…as if someone had let all my air out. I haven’t felt that bad in a long while.

I still don’t feel right and I wouldn’t have got up yesterday if it wasn't for my darling friend Kim. Every October, for the past few years, she has had an Apple Day get-together for her girlfriends and it’s a lovely opportunity for us to catch up with each other.

She always goes to a lot of trouble making the most of the produce from the mini-orchard at the back of her huge garden. She does home-made cider (which is very potent), and various apple puds and cakes and a she does a pork barbecue that we have with her fantastic apple sauce. She also does goodie bags to take home for the family with toffee apples for the kids and various jars of apple this and that plus as many apples we can pick that are still on the trees. She says it’s her way of using up her harvest so that she doesn’t have tons of rotting apples to get rid of each year but really she puts an enormous amount of work into making sure everyone has a fab time and it has never been anything but wonderful. She always manages to pick a great autumnal day too before it gets too cold.

I especially wanted to go yesterday, because I couldn’t make it last year as work was so busy but also because I knew one of my closest friends Nancy would be there who I haven’t been able to reach since Sean’s funeral.

I felt rough on the train there but I knew I’d feel better once I was with the others. Kim opened the door to me and after our squeals and hugs she looked really serious as instead of pulling me out to her garden where the others were, she told me to go into her lounge as Nancy needed to tell me something.

I suddenly felt in a panic. Had I done something wrong? Was there something wrong with her? I almost didn’t want to go in but I did and there she was sitting down, looking as gorgeous as ever, though somehow different and I couldn’t work out why until she stood up. Nancy is pregnant!

I couldn’t believe it and it all came tumbling out that she only found out just before she had got the news that Sean had died and that she had then been really ill and quite depressed as she and Will had not not been getting on (again) and she hadn’t wanted to speak to anyone and that she was now five months pregnant and that oh, the reason she was so big was because .......she is expecting twins!!

I really feel for her. I can’t believe she has gone through all this without talking to any of us. She’s much better now both physically and emotionally but I think she’s scared about how she's going to manage with five - that’s FIVE children. It was so lovely seeing her though and I reassured her that I would make myself available to give her plenty of time.

On my way home, as I thought about her situation and how frightening it would be to have a child at this age, I suddenly thought about how I’ve been feeling this last week and it was like a light bulb suddenly coming on! Could I be? I am late. In fact, I can’t remember when I had my last period.

So I stopped off on my way home and bought a pregnancy test.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The Cheating Game

I have been pondering the whole issue of infidelity.

The subject came up yesterday when I was at lunch with some clients, including a celebrity chef who cooked for us and plied us with copious amounts of alcohol. He’s been a naughty boy but he was trying to convince me that it means nothing if you don’t kiss! He said kissing is the most intimate thing two people can do, whereas sex is just a physical relief – like going to the loo or eating when you’re hungry. So, it means nothing and thus, is OK.

What he said was no surprise. I’m well aware that many men hold this opinion or use it to justify their behaviour. He also blamed his wife who he said he loved but had allowed their sex life to become formulaic. I suggested he might be to blame there too but he said it was her job to excite him into wanting to do more than execute a quick, covert strike once the children were asleep. He put together a very persuasive argument for why his sexual dalliances were OK and nothing to do with his wife.

He asked me if I had ever had an affair and of course, I looked suitably shocked and said of course not! He said my husband was a lucky man but suggested he was bound to have had a couple of flings in the last couple of decades and if he hadn’t, he was probably dead from the waist down! I said he was doing men a disservice by judging them all according to his standards but he laughed knowingly.

I think I probably understand the notion that men box their affairs and their marriage differently and neither is connected to the other but I’m sure that’s not the case with women. It’s certainly not the case with me although I still don’t understand why I have been unfaithful to my husband, who is a good man.

We have a good sex life. It might not be as saucy as when were first together but I think it’s more effective. We know what the other likes and what works for each other.

I know if I was found out, it would probably be the end of my marriage whereas I don’t think that would be the case if I were to discover the same thing. I know for certain that my children, especially my daughter, would never forgive me and my mother would disown me and my friends would probably take a step back too. Society is far more judgemental of women who cheat.

I read somewhere recently that women are, in fact, programmed for infidelity as nature drives them to keep a man or two in reserve because men die earlier or go off with younger creatures and we are in need of protection! It’s a great theory but I don’t think that’s why I do it. Not that I am at the moment. Although …..

I finally answered Matt’s barrage of texts and emails after I got one on Tuesday that asked why I was still not talking to him, and asking to meet up so that he could at least get some “closure”! I messaged back to say we would not be meeting up, and that led to an exchange which got naughtier and naughtier as he reminisced on things that we’d done in the past and what he wanted to do in the future. I should have stopped it and I did eventually but I found I was enjoying myself. I haven’t answered any texts since and I WON’T be seeing him again but that question of why I behave in this way still hangs over me.

Maybe, I’m not so dissimilar to the chef !