Friday, 31 December 2010

The End Of Another Year

I had my forecast for 2010 prepared by a celebrity astrologer this time last year and I thought it would be interesting to go back and see what he got right .

He said:
- I would get a pay rise before my birthday in February …..WRONG !
- I may change jobs and even move home ……WRONG !
- Travelling abroad would be a distinct possibility…..WRONG !
- Although I have a good network of friends, I should nurture my friendships more as I could fall out with a few this year…..WRONG, though to be fair I have been pondering the meaning of friendship recently.
- My marriage will continue to be problem-free and we will work well as a couple….. well that was obviously WRONG to start with but things have been good this year
- I need to be careful about my health, as I will be prone to a number of common ailments like flu and stomach problems ….. I laughed that off at the time but it was the one he came closest to as I ended up in hospital in September and quite frankly, I haven’t been right since, so I’ll give him that one !
- My life still has a way to go before things will settle enough for me to start unravelling the knots ……RIGHT ! I have started “unravelling” but it feels as if there’s still such a lot to sort

So I think we conclude that on the whole our astrologer friend was …a bit crap. But that’s OK, he’s a nice guy so let’s just forgive him and move on!

Thinking back over the last year, my therapist has been good and my sessions are now down to once a fortnight on his advice. I do feel much better and that cloud of depression has certainly lifted. I guess the worry is that I’m aware of it still hovering in the distance and I don’t want it to come back. Blogging about what Ewan did helped a lot. I think the problem is that that in the current climate when money is tight, I am constantly anxious that there could be a repeat which of course puts a strain on him as he is constantly trying hard to prove to me that was a one off mistake but I can’t, or won't, forget it. That said, I have felt very warm towards him recently and we’ve been getting on well but somewhere deep down I’m still scared of something and so I know I’m holding back. We started entertaining more again this year and I really believe that has been good for us as it is what we used to do early on in our marriage.

My nephew Daniel got married this year but with a special wedding there is always a funeral. This year there were two – my darling young friend Maria and a newer friend, Anna, who died suddenly. That resulted in me nearly getting back with Matt but fortunately I saw sense and ended it with him once and for all in February. I just feel very embarrassed now about my whole fling with him. What was I thinking?

That feeling of foolishness deepened when I found out later in the year that what I thought was a very special relationship with Chris all those years ago, was really no more than just a notch on his bedpost as I learnt about a string of other women who thought they were “special”. I cringe every time I think about it

Much better not to think about any of that and instead, focus on my lovely children. This year Kyle got 10A*s in his GCSEs - I still can’t get over that - and Sasha has written her own musical which will go on stage early in 2011. I’m so proud of them both.

I found out just this month that I have an uncle, cousin and niece that I knew nothing about. We plan to visit them in the States sometime next year.

And that’s it really. Although I can't let pass that I hit a hundred posts this year. However, the blogging has slowed down considerably and I don’t get the chance to read and comment on my favourites as much as I would like. It’s good in a way as it means I’m now actually living my life again as opposed to just writing about it but doing it less feels like something is constantly missing. Maybe, hopefully, I’ll strike a happier balance in the New Year.

Oh well, just a few hours left. Time to “dance one year in, kiss one goodbye”. Who knows, maybe 2011 will be ….the perfect year ! Here’s hoping.

Happy New Year to you all xx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

How Did This Happen So Quickly?

I can’t believe it will be Christmas the day after tomorrow!

I have spent the last week still writing Christmas cards, buying gifts and food and drink, wrapping presents, preparing nibbles or fancy meals, entertaining and being entertained and I’m loving every last minute of the festive panic.

There’s more of the same over the next week so I don’t think I’ll be back here this year.

Therefore ……

Can I take this opportunity to wish you, my lovely blogging friends, a VERY happy Christmas and a brilliant New Year!

Have a good one! xx

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Spreading Some Festive Cheer

So, a few weeks ago, my blogging pal Rosie Scribble wrote a post saying how she had got a free TV simply by commenting on a fellow blogger’s post who had written about getting a free washing machine.

All these freebies came courtesy of Appliances Online

She invited her readers to comment and I did, congratulating her but I couldn’t bring myself to ask for anything in particular as a) I was a bit sceptical and b) I could hear my mother’s voice from when I was young telling me never to ask for anything but always wait to be offered !!!

I forgot all about it then, until earlier this week when I received a surprise email from a lovely sounding gentleman thanking me for commenting on Rosie’s blog and OFFERING me the choice of some posh choccies or Amazon vouchers in return for just linking to them. And do you know, I’m happy to do that as deep down, I have a bit of a sneaking admiration for the clever route they have taken in their marketing.

So, here’s the link and feel free to leave a comment here saying what you were hoping Santa might bring as you never know, Appliances Online could be reading.

Meanwhile, do I go for chocolates or books or chocolates or DVDs or chocolates……oh, such decisions !!!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Family Secrets

When my mum was little, her father’s brother was killed in a car accident and because his wife couldn’t cope with life, their son stayed with my mum’s family during the school holidays. My mum and her brother and sister became very close to him and looked on him more as a brother than a cousin.

The last time they were all together was at my parents’ wedding and then almost immediately afterwards, the two boys went to America to make their fortune. Soon after I was born, my mother’s sister who was only 20, developed a brain tumour and only had weeks to live. In that time, she wanted to see both her brothers. The trouble is neither of them had any money and between them they scrimped and saved enough for her real brother to come home but not enough for both of them.

Although my aunt was pleased to see him, she was desperate to see her cousin too and so my grandad took out a loan to buy an air ticket (which was very expensive in those days) to get him back. But, he got home just an hour after my aunt had died and in her last hours she had still been asking for him. He was completely gutted and everyone was grief stricken that such a beautiful young woman had been taken away from them. But my Mum’s grief turned to anger and she gave him a really hard time. She accused him of not caring enough to get a loan of his own, constantly telling him that my Aunt Sadie had been calling his name and that he didn’t have the heart to reciprocate her love, shouted that he wasn’t worthy of her love because he wasn’t even her brother and that from then on he was not dare consider her his sister because she wanted nothing more to do with him.

I only found all this out last week as suddenly, out of the blue, she told me all about him, including how horrible she was to him. Until now, I only knew about my Aunt Sadie, who I never met and my Uncle Charlie who I’ve only seen a few times as he lives in America. And now, I find out I have an Uncle Charles who also lives in the States and who is currently over here on a visit to the UK. He got in touch with my Mum and told her he was coming to see her whether she liked it or not and after all these years of bitterness, she finally relented and agreed to see him.

He came over last night and it was very emotional.

Ewan opened the door to him and welcomed him warmly and I was drawn to him immediately because he looks just like Uncle Charlie. He shouted my name when he saw me and gave me a big huge bear hug and I loved him straight away and then as he let me go, Mum came down the stairs slowly with tears streaming down her face and he ran to her and they hugged and hugged and she was sobbing and saying how sorry she was. This is one strong woman who never apologises but she seemed almost frail in his big arms as she held on to him so that I thought she might never let him go. He hugged Sasha and Kyle and told me he knew all about them as he had seen photos from Uncle Charlie and then we went into the sitting room and caught up with 40 odd years as Mum just sat next to him, holding his hand and looking at him, occasionally stroking his hair.

We had a lovely evening and we talked more over dinner. He told us he had got married the year after my aunt died because he had got a girl pregnant (!) but that they were married for over 25 years until she died suddenly and that he now lives with his daughter who he named Sadie (which made Mum cry even more) who is around the same age as me and married with a daughter. I gave him a lift back to his hotel in Central London and Mum came along too and we met his daughter, my second cousin Sadie and her daughter Naomi.

We’re all going out again tomorrow night. I can’t get over the fact that I have family that I didn’t even know existed and that last night, I met a woman who looks a lot like me with a girl who looks very similar to my Sasha.

I still can't quite believe it all.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A Special Post To A Fellow Blogger

Dear Amanda

Because I do love your blog and I always value the comments you leave on mine and because I am oh so grateful for the Tuesday Tipples and because I like you and suspect that we could be very good friends, I feel obliged to notify you of something terrible that is about to happen. Not on the scale of recent events there but worthy of advance warning…..

First though I need to go back a few years when I was away from the office for a few weeks and came back to find a new member of staff – Billi.

In a group of really talented, lovely, funny, beautiful people she has always stuck out as, well.......not !

She is a short, squat, scruffy, loud woman. It doesn’t help that she uses her very strong Liverpool accent almost as a form of aggression ! On most days she’ll come into work late, always looking slightly grubby with tatty combat trousers and shapeless tops, no make up and her lank, greasy hair scraped back off her face with an elastic band. Fortunately, she is kept hidden away deep in the main office far away from clients but …… on the odd occasion that she has come to a big event, she undergoes a magical transformation and she looks, well, there’s no other way of describing it but, quite beautiful. And when she got married, a year ago, I couldn’t believe the photos were of her as she looked so elegant.

But the thing is, she is quite vile. She shouts all the time, she always feels hard done by and so is permanently angry, she has the most dreadful phone manner, she swears using words that make me cringe, she can’t ever accept that she may be in the wrong and she has several huge chips on her shoulder.

She was brought in by one of the senior partners and the rumour is that they “knew” each other rather well though I can’t imagine how that could have come about.

Most people in the office have had a run-in with her, including me, just a few months after she arrived, when she got upset with me for not inviting her to a particular meeting. I told her it was because it didn’t involve her and she went off on one saying that she was fed up with the way I treated her, like she was dirt on my shoe and that actually I wasn’t all that and that I should take a long look in the mirror some time as even though I may think I’m young, I’m actually nothing but an old goat !! I told her to watch her tone and she challenged me to do my worst and see if she cares.

I stormed into Ken’s office and demanded that he do something about it and he said I should calm down and learn to cope with a “naturally fiery spirit” !!! That’s when I realised she must have something very big on him to let her get away with the constant episodes. Since then, I have rarely engaged with her and she has never made any attempt to apologise to me or anyone else.

Anyway, yesterday, she walked into the office and shouted “OK yous lot, listen up, ay’ve got summat to say! (I appreciate this is a very poor attempt to mimic her in writing but you need to know I do it brilliantly in real life). Ay’m leavin this doomp. Me husband’s gorra job in New Zealand so ay’m going withim and yous lot can all foock right off. Ay’ve hated every one of ya and you’ve mayde my life hell, so good riddance to the lotta yer an I ‘ope this coompany goes down, takin the lot of ya with it. See ya – wouldn’t wanna be ya”

Seriously, she really did say all that and she turned on her heel and walked back out again. There was a couple of seconds of silent shock and then everyone started cheering and laughing. Even Ken came out of his office smiling. However, I suddenly realised that our great joy means impeding doom for you, dear Amanda.

She’s coming to Christchurch !!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Musical Dreams

When Sasha announced last year, that she wouldn’t be applying to university, I was admittedly upset but she seemed adamant that she wanted to take a year out and I fought hard from telling her what I wanted her to do and allowed her to make her own decision.

I was worried that she would while away her days sleeping in and then going out with her friends but I have to say that although she enjoyed the long summer break she hasn’t wasted her time since September. She has found herself a part time job at a shop three days a week but more impressive is that she has been helping out at a soup kitchen on her days off and for a while now she has been working at a youth centre in her spare time too. And whatsmore, she seems to get a lot of pleasure doing that. So much so that she announced a while back that she was going to write a musical for the youngsters ! I told her I thought it was a lovely idea but assumed it might be something that never saw the light of day.

But then, a few weeks ago, she played me some of the music she has already written. She has done the opening and closing numbers and two other songs and when I heard it all I was completely blown away. It is amazing. The storyline centres around first love and the music definitely has hints of Grease, High School Musical, Glee and a bit of Hairspray thrown in for good measure. The kids will love it but I’m still getting over the fact that my daughter has put this together. My little girl !

She has been musical since she was tiny (she used to hum while lying in her cot) and is always singing and playing the piano and guitar. Her GCSE and A-level music compositions were pretty spectacular so I really shouldn’t be surprised but I just can’t get over how she has put this together in such a short space of time and how she has got it so right.

I was at an event with Lord Lloyd-Webber a few weeks back and although I enjoyed my brief conversation with him (about how he went out with Liza Minelli for a while!!) I had to keep stopping myself from butting in and saying “By the way, my daughter is 18 and has just written her first musical and IT’S BLOODY BRILLIANT - can you give her a job??!!! “ But I didn’t…..

Anyway, last night she asked me to help with some musical workshops for the kids so that she could work out who the strongest singers were and that was a fantastic experience. These kids, aged 11-16, were brilliant. So enthusiastic and they clearly love her. And, they made a great sound.

I think my rather beautiful, talented daughter is going to have a success on her hands and I am unashamedly bursting with pride !

Thursday, 21 October 2010


I’ve been thinking about my friends a lot recently.

I have always surrounded myself with lots of people and I like that I form friendships quite easily and that people seem to value having me around. But I think that when I was feeling particularly low, I was upset that I didn’t have anyone I could turn to who I could pour out all the angst and bore to death.

I know that’s not true though. I know any one of them would listen to me without judging but because of my issues I couldn’t talk about what was wrong. Hell, I didn’t know myself. If I’m honest, I don’t really know now although with the therapist’s help I have a better idea.

The point is that I enjoy being a friend to others and listening when they need a comforting ear. I can’t expect that back when I refuse to allow any of them into my inner core. It’s my problem not theirs.

I saw this poem recently and thought it summed me up, especially the second verse.

I fear it's very wrong of me,
And yet I must admit,
When someone offers friendship
I want the whole of it.
I don't want everybody else
To share my friends with me.
At least, I want one special one,
Who indisputably,

Likes me much more than all the rest,
Who's always on my side,
Who never cares what others say,
Who lets me come and hide
Within his shadow, in his house -
It doesn't matter where -
Who lets me simply be myself,
Who's always, always there.

A great move forward is that I recognise now that I have never had, nor never will, have this sort of relationship because I don’t think I’m worthy of just being myself - others might not like that real me. It’s a work in progress with the therapist but an area that will probably take the most time and effort.

What I can be, however, is a good friend to those around me. I can offer unconditional friendship and one day, when I have truly sorted myself out, that will be a two-way process

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Selina, My Old Friend, Where Have You Been?

I’ve neglected this blog and my online buddies recently as I’ve been catching up with my real-life friends. I suddenly realised that I hadn’t seen enough of the people I care for and that apart from work events, I rarely go out now.

The old Selina was constantly entertaining or going out to friends’ houses or events with Ewan and the family. I don’t know when it stopped but at some stage I just got very tired of it and lost all enthusiasm and I just wanted to be at home at the weekend, in my pyjamas, watching X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing !!

I’m sure it was to do with that period of depression that I went through when I didn’t really want to make the effort to engage with others. But when I was off sick last month, I couldn’t stop thinking of how things used to be and I felt very strongly that I needed to reconnect with everyone.

So, over the last four or five weeks, we have had friends over to dinner and lunch at the weekends or been out to parties (oh, and a wedding) and this last weekend we had a party which was great. It felt so lovely having everyone over again and I forgot how much I love cooking for others and putting on a spread. I feel quite exhuausted now though as I don’t have the stamina I once had and preparing everything and clearing up afterwards takes longer than it used to but still, it feels so right.

I think the real Selina is slowly and surely on her way back !

Friday, 1 October 2010

Creating A Stink

My son has taken to wearing quite a lot of aftershave recently. I think it’s to alert everyone to the fact that he is now shaving but I had to tell him it was really too much and that it was never a good thing to be able to smell someone coming......long before you see them !

A couple of days ago, I picked him up from school and took him shopping for some new rugby boots and we stopped off for a coffee. While we there, we saw a bloke that used to live on our street who joined us for a bit and when he left, he gave me a hug and then said to Kyle “I love getting close to your mum, she always smells so divine” !!!

I expected Kyle to show that look of disgust that he normally displays if anyone says anything nice to me but actually he was nodding. He said that he agreed, I did always smell lovely and I nearly fell off my seat !

My darling son then went on to ask how I did it because he wanted to know how to smell good through the day without piling on loads of scent. And so, delighted at finally being asked for advice on something by one of my offspring, I told him my fragrance secrets.

At the moment, I have three perfumes on my dressing table, Chanel No.5 (which has been the one constant since I got married), Burberry Weekend and Cerruti 1881. I also have bath/shower gels and body lotions to match and basically I just layer.

Once I’ve decided on the scent of the day, I use it in the shower and as soon as I come out, with my skin still damp, I apply the appropriate body lotion and then I use the matching perfume under arm, in the crook of the arm, in cleavage, behind knees and …..on the soles of my feet ! Then about an hour later, just before leaving the house, I spray a light mist over my hair. At lunchtime, I’ll usually dab a little on my wrists and/or neck to see me through the rest of the day.

Ewan often says I smell lovely when he gets into bed and cuddles up to me and that still makes me happy, even after all these years.

So back to the boy, he was seriously impressed with his old woman’s advice and we went in search of something he liked and he chose the Obsession for Men range, which bizarrely came with a free pair of CK boxers ! And …..after just a day of his new fragrance regime. he told me the new girl in his class who he has fancied from afar for the last couple of weeks asked him if he wanted to “hang out” some time !

Yes! The sweet smell of success. I am a genius …

Saturday, 18 September 2010

All Clear

I had to go to hospital again yesterday to have my stitches out (which was bloody painful actually!) and the consultant told me that they did get all the abnormal cells out so there’s no need for any more action now. I have to go back in six months to check no more have appeared but otherwise all is well and I think I can put it all behind me.

Thank you for all your kind comments and emails. They have meant such a lot and been a great support.

You’re all quite lovely !

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Bye Bye BB

I have struggled against it but I feel I have to mark the passing of Big Brother here in the UK.

It should have been stopped ages ago of course, but I have to admit that in the name of television history, I watched this final series of Ultimate Big Brother. It confirms why I gave up watching it by BB4 ….but all the same, there is something strangely addictive about the programme.

I remember I couldn’t wait for it to come to the UK as I was working in Holland when the first ever ever episodes were aired there in September ‘99. The following summer it was here and I was really keen to see how it worked as a social experiment. I was hooked from the beginning and often thought it would be an amazing learning experience to look at how you interact with a group of strangers and see how your faults and qualities develop with different personalities and to then hear what they think of you and say behind your back. I often imagined how I would cope with situations and people in the house and I loved the special programme they had on a Sunday evening in those early days with the psychologists, who explained why the housemates behaved they way they did. I really loved it.

I think I learnt a lot about myself too. For example it became so clear that even when a housemate was in the wrong and challenged by the others, although one or two would acknowledge their mistake instantly and apologise, the majority would defend their position and scream and shout to try and justify what they did or said, just so they wouldn’t have to back down. I realised pretty soon that was me. That I hated to be wrong and that especially with Ewan, I would go on and on until he was so confused that he would apologise. I have worked hard to change that behaviour over the years.

I also saw myself in a housemate called Mel. She was lovely but she enjoyed male attention and if I remember correctly she giggled, flirted and kissed at least four of them in the opening weeks. I thought her behaviour was atrocious but then realised I was so offended because it was exactly how I behaved. Any male interest and I would turn my face to the admirer as a flower looks up to the sun. It justified my existence. Made me feel worthwhile. And I could see all that in Mel and I saw how the other housemates didn’t like it at all. I remember thinking that I would stop being so pathetic where men were concerned but I clearly wasn’t that successful as I went on to have two affairs after that. I’m still working on it though and with the help of the therapist I think I am learning not to be so dependent on what men think of me.

I think the thing that struck me most was how much the evictions made me think of ….wait for it ….death! Finding out they were nominated was like housemates being told they only had days to live. Some of them were very philosophical about it, making the point that they all had to come out at as some time. Some made a decision to enjoy every last minute of the few days they had left and would often show a side we hadn’t seen before. And some spent their last hours in complete terror of the reception waiting for them outside – would they be booed mercilessly or cheered on by the crowds? But whatever their reaction to possible eviction, they all coped as they went through the doors. Some of them got terrible jeers and looked as if they wouldn’t be able to get down the steps but once they all spotted the heavenly Davina waiting for them, they seemed to find the spirit to go on and most of them then seemed to love the paparazzi attention and the crowds looking at them and shouting their name and their interview which in most cases gave them the strength to go on and face their new life.

It was a shame it it all changed and became an opportunity for fame hungry idiots to expose us to their stupidity. The whole social experiment went out of the window and I lost the point of what it was actually about any more.

I watched most of the Celebrity Big Brothers though and found it fascinating just being a voyeur. Not that I would ever admit to that – I was too ashamed! I prefered to tut-tut and shake my head and blame it for everything that is wrong with TV these days.

I think as it all comes to an end though it is time to, quietly, under my breath, secretly thank Big Brother ….and wish it well in that afterworld that is TV history.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Fancy Some More?

Sorry? Did I say everything was all right?? How very stupid of me. Of course, being Selina Kingston with a blog to fill and all, how could everything be all right?? There has to be more ….

So, after I wrote my last entry, I felt quite exhausted and went back to bed and I woke up to Ewan shaking me and asking me what was going on as I had been dozing for ages and how was I going to sleep through the night as it was now four in the afternoon.

I recall saying I needed to get to the loo but as I stood up I felt terribly dizzy and sick and that was it. The next thing I remember is waking up in hospital !

Apparently I had lost a lot of blood - it was all over the bed - and that sent my normally calm husband into a complete frenzy. He called the ambulance and it seems they were there in a matter of minutes and whisked me off to hospital.

Sasha later told me that it was like a scene from Casualty and if she hadn’t been so scared she would have taken the time to enjoy it, especially as the paramedic was “proper fit”!!! I’m really cross about that because he would have seen that I was wearing my old comfy, holey pyjamas rather than any one of the pretty sets that are in the drawer ! Not that I could have kept them on for long as I was back in that ubiquitous hospital gown within minutes of arriving!

It seems that a stitch had come out of my cervix, hence the excessive bleeding and so they told me that they were going to cauterize the area and then pack it. Nice ! They did it while I was awake but gave me a sedative. Ewan was asked if he wanted to come in to hold my hand and he said yes ! He has since told me it was the worst decision of his life as he thought he was going to pass out !!!

As it was so late by the time they carried out the procedure, they decided to keep me in overnight to monitor the bleeding and my blood pressure but I was home again by lunchtime. Again, I slept for most of the day but this time when I woke up, I felt much better. I have to stay off work now for the rest of the week and they want me back in tomorrow to check all is well.

My mother is still clucking around me – it’s so unnerving! She made her famous tomato soup to help my recovery but Ewan announced that he couldn’t have any as he will never be able to face anything red again !!

That made me laugh so much that I swear another stitch has gone ……

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Anyone For A Cone?

I went in to hospital on Thursday for the Cone Biopsy and even though I put on a brave face, inside I was incredibly anxious

I had to put on the most delightful green surgical stockings (to prevent DVT), a hospital gown which refused to do up at the back and big paper knickers. And then I had to wait for ages. Fortunately I had taken in some magazines which kept me occupied but I was left for a good few hours.

In that time a nurse came in to do various checks but she was very dour and didn’t really engage with me!

An anaesthetist came and took my history - she was very sweet but very young which was somehow disconcerting.

And then the consultant breezed in. He was very jolly and sat next to me on the bed and went over what he was going to do and all the things that might go wrong. He said they had decided to do a hysteroscopy as well (which is basically sending in a camera to have a good look at the womb) and if that showed up anything serious they needed my permission to whip it out there and then ! That came as a shock but I signed the consent form and realised that my signature looked unfamiliar as my hand was shaking so much. The doctor told me to not worry and modestly added that he was an excellent surgeon and that it would be over very quickly.

After he swept out, another very young doctor scurried in and took some blood from me which resulted in much of it spilling over my arm and on to the sheets as she apologised profusely and looked as if she was going to cry.

The grumpy nurse wasn’t very happy about it when she returned to do some more checks. Five minutes later she popped her head back in through the curtains to tell me briskly that I had protein in my urine which suggested an infection of some sort so I needed to see my GP when I was back home. I asked her what she meant and she just repeated that I had protein in my urine. When I asked her if that was serious she said she didn’t know but I should see my GP. I’m so pathetic that I didn’t ask any more questions and just went back to my magazine!!

And then, suddenly, this huge giant of a man pulled back the curtains and made me jump as he bellowed “ Ready?” and before I could say anything, he said “we’re off” and then wheeled me on my bed out of the ward as the grumpy nurse ran after us with my notes. I still had my magazine with me!!

I have to admit I was scared then.

I was wheeled into the ante room where there seemed to be a hundred people milling around and through the double doors I could see more people in the operating theatre with its huge lights. The sweet anaesthetist came out and asked me how I was and when I couldn’t answer she said it was OK and perfectly natural to be anxious and that she would be with me the whole time and that everyone was there to look after me. She then started sticking needles in my hand and explained what she was doing but I couldn’t hear because the grumpy nurse had handed over to another nurse who started asking me to confirm my name and date of birth and then someone else was explaining that we would be going in soon and then another anaesthetist was there telling me she would be putting me to sleep shortly and then they put a mask over me and then ………..

…..The next thing I remember is about four people around me telling me that I had to lie still, pushing me down on the bed and saying I couldn’t go anywhere yet and asking me why I was crying !! As I came round they told me that everything was fine and that my womb was still in place. It seems I had woken up sobbing (which is quite common apparently) and I had tried to get off the bed. All seemed fine and then suddenly out of nowhere I was sick (again very common!) - extremely impressive projectile vomit which spewed out in an arc over the bed and on to the floor! They injected something into my hand and the relief was instant. I’m desperate to know what it was as I’m sure it could come in handy for the next hangover.

I was in recovery for a while and then they took me back to the ward where I must have slept it off for a good few hours because when I woke up, Ewan and Kyle were there. I don’t really remember saying much to them but afterwards Kyle said I looked pale and deathly and didn’t stop babbling!!

I slept through the night and in the morning I felt much better. The tea and bacon sandwich they gave me has to rank as one of the best meals I have ever had !

I thought I would get to go pretty soon but I spent the whole day on the ward as my blood pressure was too low for them to release me and I drifted in and out of sleep. The actual discharge took three attempts. Ewan and Sasha had come to get me at about seven in the evening but we didn’t get out until ten!

The first time was looking good. Sasha had helped me change and the nurse had gone over everything and given me my discharge notes and then she removed the needle from hand and …. I passed out !

I felt fine almost immediately but I had to wait an hour and a half before the second attempt. On this occasion we almost did it but after all the thank you and goodbyes, I got to the end of the ward and …went again.

This time, even though again I felt OK straight away, we had to wait an hour for the the doctor and he said my blood pressure was still too low and if it didn’t pick up in the next hour I would have to stay another night.

Fortunately, the third try was fine although when I hit the cool night air I nearly went again but was determined not to go back in!!

And that’s it. I’ve been fine since, although I have been sleeping far too much. I think I must look a real fright as everyone at home looks very concerned and they are all being very kind and considerate. I tried to put some washing on yesterday but Sasha took it off me and ordered me back to bed. That has got to be a first !

Things really must seem very serious to them all - even my mother is being nice to me !!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Yesterday , Tomorrow, Where Are We?

I had to go into hospital yesterday for some pre-op checks.

It seems I am in very rude health. Perfect blood pressure, no previous medical history, correct weight for my height….the nurse said I was lovely and straightforward !! She sent me off for a chest x-ray and some blood tests and assuming they come back normal, all will go ahead as planned, tomorrow.

While I was waiting for my blood tests ( I took ticket no 89 and they were only on 51 when I arrived!), an old lady was wheeled into place opposite me by her carer who then sat next to her. They both smiled at me and I noticed that the lady in the wheelchair was well-dressed and she sat up straight and proud and was well-spoken.

She asked her carer what the number on the ticket was and was told 93 and she noted that they were in for a long wait. The newspaper that was in her lap then slipped off her knees and fell in front of me. I picked it up and handed it to her with a smile and she thanked me very graciously. She handed it to her carer and asked her to read some of the articles out which the carer did and they talked about some of the stories.

I was quite fascinated by the two of them.

In between the reading, the old lady asked a couple of times what the number was on the ticket but the carer didn’t answer which I thought was a little rude. A little while later, I noticed the woman was not sitting so straight but had slumped a little in her chair. While her carer was reading, she pulled her sleeve and asked “what time is your appointment?” The carer said “There’s no time – it’s not an appointment.” “Oh” said the old lady “what is it then?” “It’s a blood test remember and it’s for you, not me.” The old lady’s eyes widened and the carer patted her on the knee and reassured her that it would be OK and over very quickly but they just had to wait a while first and then the old lady seemed to slump in her chair and stared at the floor while the carer just continued to read the newspaper quietly to herself.

I felt very anxious all of a sudden.

Then, about ten minutes later, the old lady sat up straight in her chair again and started to talk about one of the stories in the paper. I can’t remember the details but it was something about a man being sacked when his employer found out he was gay and she gave her opinions on why that was so wrong and had a very eloquent discussion with the carer about employment law and human rights. She broke it off to ask what number was on the ticket and was again ignored and then she suddenly asked where Brian was. Her carer asked “Brian? You mean your husband? He’s not with us anymore.” “Why?” asked the old lady. “Is he up in London?” “No” said the carer “He died a while back, didn’t he.” The old lady looked confused and then anger flashed across her face as she said “What a wicked thing to say. You’re a horrid girl. I shan’t talk to you any more.” And she sat staring at the floor again while the carer continued to read the paper.

I finally got it then.

It had taken a while to figure out as the old lady had seemed so proper. I bet she was a teacher once, even a headmistress but I guess dementia doesn’t care about the past.

Number 89 finally flashed up and I walked away as the old lady, forgetting her anger, asked what number ticket they had……

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Other Results

I neglected to mention that my son got his GCSE results. last week

He got 1 A and …….TEN A*s. In addition, he got an A in an AS level that he took a year early !!

I want to be modest about it and when people have congratulated us, I have smiled sweetly and said “yes, he has done very well - it's been another good year for the xchool” But actually, I want to run to the highest point and shout loudly:


The thing is, this academic brilliance doesn’t come from me as much as I would like to take the credit. Ewan was the high flier as a student. I got by at school and university but I never really grasped how to do the whole study thing and I see that in my daughter.

She did better than we expected in her A-levels and that came as much as a surprise to her as to us but it hasn’t increased her desire to go to university. She made a choice earlier in the year not to apply and to take a year out to pursue her music and drama. I wasn’t happy about it but at the end of the day it is her decision and we will support her.

I’m constantly amazed at how different my two children are and how, in spite of that, they get on so well. I love watching them together. Sometimes they don’t interact with each other at all and then other times, they are falling about laughing together and of course, often they are arguing..

Sasha was genuinely delighted at Kyle’s results and she instantly took him out to treat him to lunch. Today they plan to go shopping and then off to the cinema. I know they are incredibly fond of each other and that reassures me. They’ll always be there for each other long after I have gone which is very comforting to know.

I have two fantastic children. I am so proud of them both and I don’t acknowledge that enough.

By the way, did I say ……that was TEN A-STARS !!!!!!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

And The Results Are …

So on Monday, I trotted along to the hospital for my morning appointment expecting to have to wait for ages but once I had given my name, the consultant came out to greet me and took me into his office.

He asked me how I was feeling and when I said nervous, he said he was sorry that he hadn’t spoken to me over the phone but that he preferred to speak to his patients face to face.

He went on to explain that the reason that it had taken a while to get back to me was because he had wanted to discuss my case at the monthly MDT meeting with a pathologist and oncologist. Just hearing the world oncologist made me freeze inside as I immediately thought the worst.

However the situation is, although the colposcopy examination showed that my cervix is clear the biopsies showed that there are some pre-cancerous cells further up the neck of the womb. This is what is worrying them and so I need something called a cone biopsy. This is a small operation which will cut away a cone-shaped section of the affected area that will remove the abnormal cells and offer them a larger sample to examine and see if there is any need for further treatment.

He was keen to point out that at this stage there are no invasive cancer cells as far as they can see and that hopefully this procedure along with smear tests every four to six months will prevent any further abnormalities developing.

I felt quite relieved after he put it like that and then he suddenly said that he didn’t want to waste any time and his day for surgery was Thursday and he would like to schedule me in the same week. I mumbled something about it being too soon and he then said that he could delay it until the following Thursday but that he didn’t want to leave it any longer as it was quite important to carry out this treatment as quickly as possible. I asked him why and he said if there were abnormal cells further up in the womb they would need to act quickly.

Why do doctors talk in such contradictory terms? One minute he made me feel that this is all just a regular procedure and then suddenly it sounded almost like life and death with his sudden urgency to get it done.

Remarkably though I feel quite calm about it all now. It all seems fairly straightforward and the consultant is kind and seems very competent, if lacking in the best bedside manner !

Anyway, I’ll be in hospital this coming Thursday and Friday and then a few days off work to recuperate. There are a various things I should apparently refrain from for about four weeks after ….. including sex.

Ewan says that will be no change from usual then !!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

A Time To Laugh

Yesterday in the office, I laughed.

I have learnt in life that those worst times of grief, when it feels like happiness will never come again, are so misleading. Although it doesn’t seem possible at the time, the shadows do lift and suddenly, sometimes when you least expect it, you hear the sound of laugher and realise it belongs to you.

That happened to me yesterday.

I guess I have been quiet these last couple of weeks and have kept myself shut away in my office, using work as a distraction. It’s not been so bad at home as the family give me much-needed energy. Especially when my daughter got better grades in her A-levels than we were expecting. We’re all incredibly proud of her.

But yesterday, Pete, one of the young guys at work was relating a terrible dating experience he’d had the night before and suddenly I realised I was giggling and as the story went on, I had pretty much collapsed with the others into a heap of convulsive laughter. It was good for me and I needed that – it was such a release.

Just ten minutes later though, I got a call from the hospital.

They want me to go in as soon as possible to discuss the results of my Colposcopy with the consultant. I asked for more details but the secretary said she wasn’t qualified to give me that information and that it would be best to wait to speak to the doctors.

It’s been a month since I had that test and I stupidly assumed that as I hadn’t heard anything that it was all OK. To be honest, what with Maria’s death and then the funeral, I had pretty much forgotten all about it. That phone call has put a stop to that though as now, I can’t think of anything else. I have to go in on Monday morning. I’m trying to be calm and rational but it’s proving difficult.

I guess the gods weren’t ready for me to start laughing just yet.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Why Can’t Life Be More Like A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess called Maria.

She wasn’t really a princess but she was so loved by her wealthy parents that she was treated just like one and given everything she wanted and was always allowed to have her own way. She was perhaps a little spoilt but she was so funny and pretty and full of life that everyone who met her loved her and forgave her sometimes negative traits.

For example, she got bored very easily if things didn’t go her way and so when she decided she didn’t like it at university she just dropped out. She tried her hand at a few jobs, including modelling, but because they didn’t interest her she never stayed long.

And then one day, she met a lady called Selina.

Selina recognised something of herself in this wild spirit and so took her under her wing. She gave her a temporary secretarial position in her office and Maria found that she loved it there. It soon became obvious that she was a natural in the PR world and she made herself invaluable until the directors gave her a permanent position as an assistant and from there she worked her way up. She stayed with the company for five years and the only reason she left was because she fell for one of the clients - a very rich young man called Gerald who swept her off her feet.

She had a fairytale wedding and Selina, who had become very close to her, was her matron of honour. All was well and Maria and Gerald were happy and settled in the country.

Or so it seemed.

Gerald would often ring Selina’s husband Ewan for advice on how to handle Maria as she was becoming more and more demanding and unhappy, living so far away from everyone. She refused to adapt to country life and complained bitterly that she wanted more. Gerald loved her and tried to make her happy but increasingly they led separate lives as Maria spent more time with her young single friends in London.

Both Selina and Ewan tried to talk to her but she refused to understand the need for compromise and after just three years, the couple split up. Selina spent a lot of time with Maria who was heartbroken. As much as she had pushed him away, she loved Gerald and now she couldn’t cope with him not being in her life. She alternated between partying wildly and shutting herself away for days at a time.

Selina, Ewan and Gerald waited, hoping that Maria would find peace and be ready to return to married life. But on the last Saturday in July 2010, she partied a little too heavily and then ran out into the road where she was hit by a car.

For Maria, there was no happy ever after.

I’ve been distraught since the news of Maria’s death.

Watching Gerald’s grief has been too much to bear. He blames himself and nothing we say can convince him otherwise. She had only just turned thirty and she had it all. I just don’t understand why she let it slip away.

I just can’t get over the pointless waste of such a young life.

Thursday, 5 August 2010


I’m here but am finding it difficult to blog at the moment. I have been visiting everyone but haven’t left many comments so forgive me.

Something has happened recently – not to me and nothing to do with my health but it has left me reeling and I need time to come to terms with it.

I know it will help to write about it and that’s the plan but I need time to get round to it and I just don’t feel like it for now. Perhaps I’ll be ready tomorrow or next week or maybe next month but however long it takes, don’t lose patience with me.

I’ll be back eventually.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

After The Tears

I’m bored of crying now – time for some laughter and this morning, I remembered something that started me giggling, even though I was sitting on a crowded train !!

It happened quite a few years ago to my beautiful but ditzy friend, Nancy and it made me scream with laughter at the time, even though I have never been entirely convinced it’s true. It if is, it could only have happened to her. It’s to do with one of her smear tests so look away now if hearing about that is going to bother you !

So, she had spent an afternoon shopping when, on a whim, she went into her local GP centre to see if the doctor could fit her in for a smear test. She was told if she could wait twenty minutes it should be fine. After sitting there for a while, it suddenly struck her that she ought to tidy herself up, down there, and so she popped into the ladies. Of course, there was no loo roll, so she had to rummage around in her bag in search of tissues but there was nothing apart from one crumbly, screwed up offering right underneath all the junk that had been building up in there.. She used it to …ahem…sort herself out and then made her way in to the doctor’s office.

She got on the couch and the doctor started the procedure but she noticed that he and the nurse exchanged glances and she then handed him a kidney bowl into which he placed something. After it was all over and as Nancy was left to get dressed she couldn’t resist a quick peek into the bowl and there, to her horror, was ……. a first class stamp stuck to a bit of tissue!

She said she was sure she could hear them both laughing before she had even closed the door on the way out and she was mortified! She moved to a different doctor after that as she couldn’t bear the shame of facing him or the nurse ever again.

The girl is so funny! I’m crying again – this time with helpless laughter.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Tears, Tears And More Tears

I seem to have spent all my time crying recently.

On Monday, I stopped off at the supermarket after work to pick up a few bits. While I was at the checkout, one of the staff fell and gashed her arm on some broken glass. Her supervisor was practically apoplectic with panic and was screaming for an ambulance and the store first aider. The girl on the floor was white with shock as the blood was pouring out. I don’t know when I became so squeamish but I felt very faint at the whole spectacle and I actually wanted to rush out but I was in the middle of the whole packing and paying exercise. As I left, I looked at the poor girl again and she didn’t look in a good way with everyone crowding around her and suddenly I was crying. I rushed to the car and it took me a while to compose myself. I really hope she is OK.

Then on Tuesday, we all went to see Toy Story 3 as my teens were keen to see how the films they had grown up with concluded. We went with no expectations as I warned them that it was unlikely the third film could live up to the other two. How wrong was I – it was brilliant ! But towards the end, it set out to pull heartstrings and instead of a discreet tear, I was sobbing loudly …..much to the embarrassment of my children.

And then yesterday, I went to the hospital.

I really tried hard to be matter of fact about it but to no avail. I thought I was calm while I was in the waiting area which was for all outpatients. But then, this big woman came in, pushed to the front of the queue and said that she had been told to go to the wrong place where she had been waiting for ages and now she was late and she better not have missed her appointment or there would be hell to pay. The receptionist asked her nicely to wait her turn but no, she carried on shouting until she was finally booked in and told to take a seat. Then a mobile phone rang out and the Indian man who owned it answered it, admittedly quite loudly. This of course sent the crazy lady into a frenzy and she started shouting at him to turn it off as they weren’t allowed in hospital and then she delivered a monologue about how “these people” shouldn’t even be given treatment on the NHS which she had paid for all her life and suddenly others were telling her to shut up and she shouted back and you guessed it, I was crying again.

It was really embarrassing! I was trying not to which of course made it worse and I kept my head down and let my hair fall around my face as I tried to wipe away the tears without being seen but they kept coming and then I looked up and a muslim woman, in full burkha, offered me what looked like a used tissue and that kindness made me cry even more as I said no thank you and then rummaged around in my bag for my own but it was no good, I had to go to the loo to blow my nose and pull myself together.

Fortunately, almost as soon as I came back to the waiting room, I was called in to see the doctor. She was a gentle woman with a kind looking face and so of course when she asked me if I was OK, I started crying again and then there were two nurses with me making a fuss of me and getting me water and tissues and telling me that it was completely natural to be nervous but that they would be with me and everything would be OK.

After taking my history, the doctor started the procedure and explained what she was doing at every stage. I had pretty much calmed down when she suddenly said she was sorry but she needed to call in the consultant. When the nurse squeezed my hand, I could feel the tears pricking my eyes again….

They were streaming down my face by the time the consultant came in. He had a look and then said that they were a bit worried about an area behind the neck of the womb which they couldn’t see as clearly and so he was going to take a biopsy. He warned that it could be uncomfortable and asked if I wanted a local anaesthetic but said that if I could bear it, he could do it very quickly without. Stupidly I agreed and oh bloody hell it was painful and whatsmore he decided to take THREE bits out of me !! But as they had already seen the tears I decided to just let all pride go out the window and cry like a baby. I mean proper bawling.

I thought I was OK today but I’ve just half-watched that Panorama programme about some undercover filming in a vets’ practice where the animals were treated really cruelly and that has set me off for the night.

My family have fled to safe areas in the house and I am writing this in paroxysms of spluttering sobs. I might never stop.

Bloody pathetic !

Monday, 19 July 2010

Not Dead….Yet !

So I’m still here but I have to say, it’s been a weird week !

Those enduring thoughts of imminent death stayed with me for a couple of days and in that time everything seemed extremely heightened. I suddenly seemed to notice everything.

- how captivating the flowers are in our garden, especially the roses on the pergola. This is the second bloom of the year and it is spectacular. The heads are enormous and the blood red petals are so soft and velvety. My favourite place to sit at the moment is on the swing underneath them in the morning and evening as they pump out their heady, divine fragrance
- the lavender at the back of the garden also looks stunning and smells heavenly
- lying in bed first thing in the morning whilst still dreamy and listening to the birds singing. I have never noticed before just what a rapturous sound it is
- looking up at the sky which has been particularly blue recently, while stretched out on the grass and imagining I’m floating up. It’s such a sublime feeling
- it seems that everything I eat, especially all this luscious, ripe fruit that is around at the moment, is just scrumptious. On Wednesday, my cherubic, angelic son made me a simple hot baked potato with lashings of butter and grated cheese and it tasted like food from the gods - blissful

I spoke to my therapist about the whole experience and he thinks it’s all rather strange. He said he would have been concerned if it was something I was longing for or seriously anxious about but as I’m not, he’s unsure what it could be. I asked him if he thought, as some readers have commented, that it might be death of the old self as I resolve various situations in my life and he conceded it could be. He said that he thought I had come a long way since we started, which I don’t think he’s said before.

We talked about my faith and beliefs and my attitude towards death (which has never been one of fear) and he also asked me if I had ever had any psychic experiences. When I started laughing, he wanted to know why I was so amused. I can never really make him out. Did he ask me that because it’s something he believes in or was he just checking if I really am in need of serious psychiatric help?

I asked him if he thought I was mad and he said it was a word he didn’t like and then a discussion followed on why what he thought of me should be so important and I got very confused in my answer. The only thing he gave away was that he did think after all this time that I was still trying to be very “alluring” in our sessions in order to make right the things that come out that I don’t like about myself. I told him I wasn’t trying and that I was naturally adorable and he rolled his eyes but I saw it – there was a hint of a smile !!!

I came away from him on Thursday evening feeling better. And I went to sleep without wondering if I would wake up. Friday morning felt more normal again and not so dreamlike and over the weekend, those feelings pretty much disappeared and all should have been well.

But then, late this morning, while I was at work, I got a call from my doctor.

He said that the long-overdue smear test that I finally went for last week had shown some serious abnormalities and that he had arranged for me to go into hospital for a colposcopy examination on Wednesday morning. I said I needed to check my diary in case I had any meetings and he just said very briskly that he strongly recommended I made the appointment a priority.

That sort of urgent language is worrying. So much for laughing at the idea of being psychic……

I put the phone down and cried.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

This Could Be It

Apologies in advance for being morbid but I felt I had to get this one down. You see, over the last couple of days I have had a strong feeling that ….. I am going to die.

It’s not fear or panic or anxiety – not even the depression that has plagued me for the last year or so. This is just a simple belief that has suddenly come about that I only have a few days left.

It’s so bizarre. I go to sleep actually wondering if I will wake up. I’ve even left a note in my bedroom drawer listing bank details and where everything is in case anything does happen.

I’m sure it will pass but it has never happened to me before. Obviously I haven’t said anything to anyone but I may have to share this one with the therapist later in the week - it will only serve to further his opinion that I really am a total fruitcake!

Anyway, just thought I'd mention it. If there are no further posts from me, you’ll know I was right !!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Remember Matt??

Yesterday, when I logged on, I was very surprised to see an email waiting for me from Matt.

I haven’t heard from him since that cold day back in February when we met in a bar and I told him that I didn’t want to see him anymore and his response was less than pleasant. Since then, I have done a very good job at putting him out of my mind. I’ll admit it hasn’t been easy but I can honestly say that in the last month or so, I have hardly thought of him at all.

I nearly didn’t open the email but of course, curiosity got the better of me. Here’s what he had to say:

Hey there, it's been ages since I've been in touch I know, so have decided to rectify the situation! How the hell are you? Work still busy?

I suspect you are still looking super amazing, and with the sun out all the time at the moment, I bet you are driving the guys in the office wild with your summer wardrobe!

Trust you are still singing. I’ve decided to give it a miss for a while but I'll be along to help out at the shows if I’m still needed.

Hope the family are cool, anyway, curious to hear how you are. I think I'm just about holding up without you, but I better not go down that road or you’ll tell me off again, so I'll say ta ra!

What the hell is that about?? What is the point of this email??

I sat for ages looking at the screen trying to come up with a suitable reply that conveyed a friendly tone but nothing that suggested any desire to return to how things were. But then realised that actually, I think he’s a tosser and I don’t see why I should try and be friendly because I don’t want to get drawn back into his stupid games.

So, I deleted it !

Saturday, 3 July 2010

To Blog Or Not To Blog

A little while ago, when I was waiting for my daughter at the dentist, I read an article that has been playing on my mind ever since.

Basically it was a piece by someone who was clearly irritated by the whole social networking trend. It was a witty piece where he gave his views on Twitter and Facebook which I suppose I share to an extent as I’m not involved with either. But then he moved on to the blogging community which he said was a complete and utter waste of time.

He questioned exactly what sort of person feels the need to share information with the world in a blog and then he went on to answer by saying it was losers who clearly have a lack of identity because they need to share who they are. He said it comes from living in a very narcissistic age where unless people recognise you, you cease to exist and that in the real world, they were probably very uninteresting people. Blogging, he said, was a way of making sure you are connected to someone and that most bloggers are they types who secretly wish they had the guts to be on Big Brother.

I was a bit miffed. Maybe because I recognised something in what was written but not totally.

Why do I write a blog? Why do I record such detail which, if discovered and traced back to me could, no probably would, destroy the family life I have?? Is it to do with a lack if identity?? I don’t think so. I think it’s more about feeling safe enough to show a part of me that I don’t have the freedom to do in my everyday life. But why do I need to do that? Is it narcissm to want to document who I am for public consumption?

I may admit to dipping in to Big Brother from time to time and imagining how I would deal with various situations in that house but I certainly have no desire to be on that or any other reality show. I’m not that much of a wannabe but if I’m honest, I suppose deep down I wish I was a someone. Maybe that’s why I was the first to encourage my daughter when she showed a clear talent and desire to perform. I’ve done my motherly duty in warning her that she is entering a cut-throat industry where few make it but I also feel I owe it to her to encourage her dreams. And of course if she does make it, I’ll be a “someone” through her…..

However, I have taken that article quite personally as it demeans and mocks my need to blog.

It’s been nearly two years since I started this online diary and I believe that writing it has really helped to improve my emotional wellbeing. I’ve always known from when I used to keep a handwritten journal that the act of writing allows you to explore your inner self in a deep and intimate way. My blog has become my place to document and then examine the situations I find myself in, confront my fears and work out how to get on top of my emotions. Together with comments (positive and negative) from those who have followed my journey and those that drop by, it has become a great sounding board.Those comments have also been useful for seeing more positive aspects of myself and this has been especially useful in battling my recent almost overwhelming feelings of depression.

I read all sorts of blogs. Ones like mine that are quite personal, ones that invite discussion, records of parenthood, ones that contain the most amazing photos. There are no rules but each one satisfies the writer ….and me, the reader.

For me reflective writing is immensely therapeutic for lots of reasons - self improvement, a way to vent fear, anger, humour or depression, and a way to learn new perspectives.

So I don’t care what that bloke said, I’m not going to give it up any time soon.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Office Talk

We’re going through a bit of a quiet time at work. We’ve got lots of summer events in late July and August but until then we’ve got some breathing space. It means however that our daily mid-morning progress meeting which should only be a few minutes at the moment, has been getting longer and longer as we seem to talk about everything OTHER than work. For example, this morning’s meeting lasted an hour and we discussed a whole host of random topics and I still have no idea how each one came up.

For instance, the subject of jeans was discussed and how long it was OK to leave them between washes. One person said she washed everything after wearing it once without exception but most other people said they let denim go a few wears before bunging them in the washing machine. However, one young lady said that she had bought a pair in March that she lives in when she’s not at work and they hadn’t had a first wash yet !!! She couldn’t understand why everyone was ughing and yeuching !!!

Then we moved on to how the supermarket checkout is fast becoming a place of huge stress as the whole packing thing is really difficult to do quickly and there was discussion about whether we should finish filling the bags once the total to pay has been announced, and the reward card has been asked for, and if there is a parking ticket to be validated and if we want cashback, etc or whether we should deal with that first and then continue packing after but then of course the next person’s stuff starts to join yours and that actually whatever you do, the people behind will be tutting and rolling their eyes and adding to the stress factor.

It was then noticed that one person (actually the girl who never washes her jeans) was wearing the same clothes as yesterday and there was much cackling as the group cast guesses on why that should be the case and she maintained that it wasn’t a problem as she always kept spare underwear, a tootbrush, toothpaste, perfume and make up in her desk which generated a whole new discussion about what everyone keeps in their drawers and I was really quite shocked…..

Then the agenda moved on to who everyone would like to look like if they could and it seemed unanimous that the girls want to look like Jennifer Aniston and the boys like David Beckham.

The girl with the unwashed jeans then asked if her new boyfriend was right to make a fuss about the fact that she was taking eight pairs of shoes on a four day minibreak…..????

And finally there was some considerable debate on what it is that makes Come Dine With Me such good viewing.

Oh, and I was allowed a paltry two minutes to assign a new job that had come in and check on the progress of one small event we have on the go at the moment. And then everyone went back to their desks which are clearly full of all sorts of illicit booty.

I did try to be a proper manager during that meeting and maintain pursed lips and disapproving looks and not join in with the laughter or inane chatter but …… I may have failed !

Friday, 25 June 2010

Dress Your Age

A few weeks ago when it was still cold and the sun was refusing to shine, I was rummaging though my wardrobe when at the back I found a skirt that I had forgotten all about because I had grown out of it. I was quite excited seeing it again and I remembered that I hadn’t tried it on since losing all that weight last year. And so I stepped into it and yay, it fit. In fact, without wanting to boast (well OK just a bit) it was slightly loose !!

It’s a lovely black fitted skirt which flares out just about the knee and is very flattering. I wore it with a long black jacket and sheer (not opaque) tights and I have to say, I felt very cute as I looked at myself in the mirror.

However, as I came down the stairs to my darling teenagers who were waiting for me to drive them to school, my son said “Lordy, Ma! you’ve forgotten to put your trousers on” !! I knew what he meant immediately and as I looked in the mirror it did appear as if I had come down in just the jacket, tights and heels !! I asked my daughter if it was that bad and she put her head to one side and looked for a second before judgement and then proclaimed that my skirt was too short for someone my age !!!!????!!!!

All that delight at finding something that fit again evaporated in an instant! I looked a fool. What’s worse an old fool trying to look young !

It’s in the charity bag now.

Thing is, I really want to take it back out. I’ve actually got good legs. They are quite long from the knee to the ankle which gives the impression that I’m showing a lot of leg when I wear a shorter skirt but actually I’m not! It’s not as if I wear miniskirts like my daughter that barely cover her pert little bottom. Maybe though, at my age, shorter flirty skirts are quite simply a no-no.

I’m fortunate that even without the use of botox (yes, really), I look quite a lot younger than I am which is great but it means I’m confused about what to wear. I’m not ready to dress like my mother but I really shouldn’t be dressing like my daughter. Not that I would ever borrow her clothes but she takes mine which suggests what I’m buying for myself is too young. But I shop in mumsy places like Wallis and Monsoon and Marks and I’m careful to buy things that I think are elegant and stylish - not fashionable.

I often see women younger than me dressing like the kids and bizarrely it has the effect of adding on decades. Teenage clothes don't make you look sexy - they just make you look old. I know that much.

The women who look great are the ones who dress in the way that’s best for them and I always thought that's what I did. Even though I’m slimmer than I was, I know I can’t wear tight skimpy clothes in the hope they’ll make me look curvaceous. I’ve always known that clothes that fit well and hint at what’s underneath are much more flattering for an older woman.

I have a confidence in my body and my sexuality now that I never had before but I still know that doesn’t make it OK to wear a mini-skirt. But goddammit, the skirt in the charity bag isn’t a miniskirt, just slightly shorter than I normally wear.

Oh bugger it! I’m off to rescue that skirt and whatsmore as the sun is shining brightly today, I’m going to wear my short white skirt…….with bare legs !!! So there.

If I’m going to do this getting old thing, I might as well do it disgracefully!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Finding The One

A friend of mine came round for dinner on Saturday night, with her new man.

I met Mandy over twenty years ago when she was going out with one of Ewan’s closest mates. We got on really well together and when she dumped Michael, because he had the audacity to ask her to marry him, we stayed friends.

I always thought she had made a big mistake, as Michael is lovely. He was devastated when they broke up but about a year later he met someone else who he married and they went on to have three beautiful children. Splitting up with Mandy was the best thing that could have happened to him as he found a woman who totally adores him.

Mandy always told me that she didn’t regret her decision but I knew it hit her hard when we told her he was getting married and then, each time she found out he’d had another baby. But she said the reason she didn’t want to marry him was because he wasn’t The One and she didn’t want to just settle. I couldn’t understand it because she acknowledged that he was thoroughly gorgeous and decent and great in bed and kind and generous and that in fact there was nothing wrong with him but she felt he was second best to what she was looking for and that she wouldn’t know what that was until she found it.

Of course, deep down, I knew what she meant. Ewan and Michael are very similar and although I was aware from the start that Ewan wasn’t The One it didn’t matter because on paper he had everything I was looking for and I wasn’t convinced that I would ever find a better fit. And he loved me and I found him incredibly attractive and attentive so unlike Mandy, I did settle – I wasn’t brave enough to do anything else.

And as the years went by and I watched Mandy, I knew I had done the right thing. She drifted in and out of relationships, desperately lonely but desperate not to put up with anyone that wasn’t right.

The longest relationship she had lasted about five years. He was a television presenter and we all thought he must be the one but while they were away on holiday she suddenly announced that this wasn’t what she wanted and it had to end before she found herself in a rut. He told us later that he had a ring in his pocket and had found the perfect spot to propose and had been waiting until the last day of their holiday to do just that. I was heartbroken on her behalf but she just got up, dusted herself down and got on with life, only slightly stunned when within the year, he married an ex-girlfriend.

Once she hit her forties, she found it incredibly hard. Everything (and it seemed, everyone) was telling her that she was getting older and the longer she left it the less chance there would be to have the family she so wanted and that she shouldn’t be so “picky”. But if anything she seemed to be more resolute in her desire to hold out for true love.

She often told me that she would know him when she met him. That her soul would recognise her perfect mate. It sounded like a bad song to me. She wanted what her parents had before her mother died. And I have to admit that when I met them at Mandy’s big fortieth birthday party, they were so adorable together. Very close…still holding hands and still looking at each other when something made them laugh. I did think that was very special.

She’s forty eight now and recently she told me that she had given up all hope of having children and that she was frightened of growing old alone and that increasingly she had been thinking of past relationships and wondering if she had been foolish in letting them go so easily. But even in that conversation she said she knew the right man was out there.

And reader, I have to tell you – I think she’s found him!

She brought Hugh round on Saturday night and he is indeed, wonderful. They only met last month but they have seen each other practically every day and they look like a couple who have been together for years. Very easy in each other’s company and the way he looks at her made my heart melt. His hand on her back or the occasional touch of her face and her pure radiance in his company which I have NEVER seen in all the time that I have known her was just so moving. And I think it touched Ewan too because he, in turn, was very attentive to me, kissing me on the top of the head as he passed by to take the dishes out, taking my hand as he asked if I wanted him to do the coffee. In fact, he does that sort of thing all the time and I guess I have always just taken it for granted. But Hugh pointed it out when we were talking about relationships and said that we were clearly a special couple as twenty years together hadn’t stopped the obvious affection and that he hoped, twenty years from now, he would still be kissing the top of Mandy’s head…….

I had to disappear off to the loo then to have a quick cry. How lovely that he thinks me and Ewan are special. How stupid am I to think that we’re not. Maybe I did settle for Ewan but I realise now, that’s because he WAS the right man. For all his faults, he is so perfect for me. No one else would have put up with me for all these years the way he has.

I’m so pleased that Mandy has finally found The One after all this time but it’s only dawning on me now, how lucky I am, that I found mine twenty years ago.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Did You Know

From time to time, I like to do a meme. They are a good way of focusing the mind and readers could find out something they didn’t know before. It’s also something any of you are free to take and use but I’m not going to tag anyone. Most of all though, it’s something to post when you can’t think of a single other thing to write about……

First memory
When I was little I had a childminder who took me on when I was less than a year old. She had a dog called Carly and apparently we were inseparable. She used to follow me around and there are some gorgeous black and white photos of the two of us together. I think my first memory is of her barking when I fell over in the back garden and started crying. She was adorable.
Religious faith
I was christened when I was a baby and it was important to me that I married in a Church and that I had my children christened and that my father had a Christian funeral. But I don’t go to Church regularly except on Christmas Day and maybe at Easter. I do find though, that when I’m on my own and see a Church open, I like to go in and spend some time in quiet meditation. I’m not clever enough to argue the point but I do believe that there is a higher power. Someone looking out for us. It’s an easy thing to shout down though and people often have when I have admitted this so I tend to keep quiet. It seems that most religions spread the same message of love and forgiveness and that can’t be a bad thing to follow.
Best friend
I don’t have one and I think that might be the root of my issues. I can’t seem to allow myself to get that close to any one person even though I surround myself with lots of people. I suppose my husband is my closest friend and increasingly, my daughter who recently I have been getting on so well with and who is turning out to be one of the funniest people I know.
Beauty routine
I’m a bit lax really. I don’t cleanse, tone and moisturise as often as I should although I seem to have gathered a collection of lavish, expensive products for the job. It’s easier just to wash my face with soap and water and then slap on loads of Nivea. I don’t wear that much make up during the day so that when I put lots on to go out, I feel dramatically different !
Best trait
I think that basically I am a kind, compassionate person and I know people are drawn to me because I am a good listener. I also have a loud laugh which people love to hear if they have just made a pathetic joke !!
Worst trait
Probably that loud laugh! And a seriously bad temper.
Blair babe, glam Cam
Oh per-lease !! Give me strength – there has to be another choice…..
Biggest regret
There are probably loads but I learnt long ago that there is no point dwelling on them. The most successful people seem to be the ones who learn from their mistakes and refuse to wish their life was any different.
Cat or dog person
Because of Carly, I always thought I was a dog person but when I was a teenager a very haughty ginger cat decided to adopt us. He just stalked in one day and stayed and surprisingly my mother let him. I think she recognised something of herself in him. Everything was on his terms. He came and went as he pleased, gave affection if he so chose and seemed to get pissed off and impatient very quickly and for no real reason. He was a complete pain in the arse….and I loved him to bits. He disappeared about three years after he first pitched up and we learnt that actually he really belonged to the family across the road who took him with them when they moved.
Last got drunk
Saturday, at a Come On Engerland party – shameful !
High maintenance
Uhmm…… have you not read this blog?? Of course I am - BIG TIME !!!
Backpacker or designer suitcases
Did you not read my last answer?? Definitely not backpacker – if it hasn’t got ensuite facilities and fluffy towels, I’m not interested !!
What clothing makes you feel good
Anything that makes me think I look good …..and I love it if I find something old that suddenly fits again!!
Signature look
Usually black trousers or skirt, with a colourful top and heels – very boring!
City or country living
I couldn’t live anywhere where there are no street lights!
Phone or text
I use the phone too much at work so I try to avoid it all other times and I hate talking into a mobile. I seem unable to do that quietly and still shout ….in that Dom Joly fashion!
Won the lottery what would you do
I fantasise about this all the time. Pay off debts, make sure the children have what they need, give up my job and find a worthy charity who could benefit from my experience and some of my new found fortune!
I don’t play though so I’m not quite sure how that will happen …….

Friday, 11 June 2010


Today my husband said that he can't remember buying any underwear in the twenty odd years that we have been married. I concede he may be correct as that may be something I have been doing ......

Is that so weird??

Monday, 7 June 2010

A Taste Of India

My nephew, well actually Ewan’s nephew as it his brother’s son, got married at the weekend.

I feel like Daniel is mine as he was only about seven when Ewan and I got together and I fell in love with him straight away as he was and still is, soooo cute. He often stayed with us during the school hols when he was little as both his parents worked away a lot and he went to a boarding school. As a result we are very close and Sasha and Kyle look up to him as their complete and ultimate hero. He is such a gentleman and I marvel at how perfect he is in every way – gorgeous looking (like a model), clever (he’s a doctor) and very affectionate and caring. I absolutely adore him and am very proud to call him my nephew.

He introduced us to Trusha when he was at university. She too was studying to be a doctor and they hit it off straight away. She is an incredibly beautiful Indian girl and they make such a perfect couple. She’s very close to her family and also very sweet and kind. She was worried that her family wouldn’t accept Daniel but of course, when she finally admitted she was seeing him and they met him, they fell in love with him too and gave their blessing. In the same way, I loved her the moment I met her – she is so special.

The wedding was up in York and even though we’re at the start of exam season, we made a weekend of it. On Friday, we spent the day with Dan and had a family evening with him which was lovely and then Saturday was the Big Day. Trusha and her family are Catholics so the wedding was a very traditional church affair. She was probably one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen. It was a beautiful service and I think I cried more than Dan’s mum – I’m so pathetic !

It was the reception that made the day though. Trusha’s family spared absolutely no expense. They are clearly very wealthy and so it was held at their stunning home in a jasmine-filled marquee in their huge garden, which smelled exquisite.. Drink was flowing from the point we arrived and I was quite typsy long before we sat down to the meal. Her family were so hospitable and friendly and completely charming. They made sure all of Dan’s family had what we needed and they were also very entertaining. All the women were just stunning in their beautiful, colourful and vibrant, silk sarees and I felt very boring in my pale pink outfit. We were sitting at a table with Ewan’s sister and vile husband and Trusha’s aunt and uncle and their families and they really put us to shame as they are clearly very close and see a lot of each other.

And boy, did they know how to drink. Trusha’s aunt, Preeti, kept coming back from the bar with large measures of scotch and she didn’t seem at all affected whereas Ewan and myself were really quite drunk but desperatly trying to be well-behaved, although I couldn't stop giggling!!

There were lots of chidren and young people there and so we lost Sasha and Kyle very early on but they had a ball too. I just have to hand it to Trusha’s family as there was course after course of the most beautiful indian food (and boring bland English food for people like Ewan’s brother-in-law who “can’t stand” anything spicy !) and they insisted we tried everything which we did because it was all just gorgeous and unlike anything I’ve tried at Indian restaurants.

It was just a fantastic wedding and I think Indian families really know how to have a good time. The English side just came across as boring and actually, quite ignorant. I was speaking to Trusha’s mother, who is lovely, and while we were chatting, Dan’s gran (his mother’s mum) came over to say that she was having a lovely time and then she put her hand on Nisha’s arm and said “we knew what to expect about your culture because we watched ‘Bride and Prejudice’ last week and (…wait for this!) we went to Barbados a couple of years ago” !!!! Nisha just smiled and gave her a hug but I was deeply embarrased. What must they think of us ??

We didn’t leave until the early hours of the morning and we were surrounded by the London contingent of Trusha’s family who were insistent that we come to their regular parties as we are now part of the family. I feel so flattered by that. They were all such lovely, warm, kind people who look out for each other.

I want to be an honourary Indian !

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Walking In The Dark

So last week, I went off to the Peak District with team leaders from our Glasgow and Manchester offices that were part of the election events that we were involved with, to talk about what went well and what didn’t and how we provide an even better service in the future.

In addition we ran some obligatory team building exercises as well. I didn’t have to take part in those but the last one was a midnight walk from A to B with just one map, a compass and a couple of torches. After a fabulous dinner and a few drinks in the bar, I decided I would join them as it was a great group and we were all having such a laugh. It wasn’t too arduous. Several bottles of wine between us all took away any fear of the dark!

As we were ambling along, I was enjoying a chat with Michael from the Manchester office when he suddenly asked me if I could hear what the others were talking about in front of us. He said it was good gossip material and he was surprised it had taken this long to come up and then he shouted over to the girls from the Glasgow office, “Is he still seeing that pretty young thing with the long red hair?” and the girls dropped back and said “No. It’s another broken heart. This one has taken it so bad that she’s leaving and going round the world on her own.” And they started giggling. Bemused, I asked who they were talking about and Michael simply said “Chris Cooper”. It came completely out of the blue and felt like a hard punch in the stomach...

I have done a good job of keeping Chris out of my head all these years. Given that he works for the same organisation as me, it is inevitable that I hear his name at various meetings or see his name on the odd group email but I have never had need to speak to him since…well, since he dumped me. I have sometimes wondered if I might meet him at an event, especially when I’m up in Scotland, but I usually know by the time I go that he is not involved which makes it safe for me to attend. Although deep down at some level, I suppose, I have been wishing I might see him again, even now, after all this time.

Anyway, everyone on this black walk was now talking about him. “You know him, don’t you?” said Michael. I almost wondered then if it was a cruel joke that they had come up with because they had somehow found out about our relationship and were trying to find out more. I stammered that I hadn’t seen him in years but that we had worked together in Australia back in 2004. “Did he try it on with you” asked Heather . “ No !”shrieked Zoe “He wouldn’t. Selina’s well out of his league…..although hang on, he did have a thing with Iona didn’t he....years ago?” “Well that was never proven” said Ben “although it does beg the question why did she then ask him to go to Australia.” “Did they keep sneaking off together?” Eddie asked me as they all laughed loudly.

Suddenly I felt ill. There was a bench nearby and I had to sit down as the others gathered round, concerned. I told them I had a stitch and needed a second. If I wasn’t terrified about making it back alone in the dark, I would have told them all to go on as I didn’t want to hear their idle chatter anymore but as it was, they were all quite happy to plonk themselves on the grass around me and carry on revealing what they knew about Chris’ sordid life.

Over the next half hour, I listened to the group talk about him and I learnt such a lot.

He clearly had got it on with Iona many years ago. Then there was a young Muslim girl who worked briefly in the office and who left broken-hearted and feeling violated because she didn’t even realise he was married and he had promised her all sorts. Then there was a woman he met in New York when he was out on a job there. And then he had a very “serious” relationship with Katie, from our office in London.

And at once, I remembered having a long conversation with Katie in the ladies’ loo a few years ago when I found her crying and it all spilled out that she was having an affair with a married man and that it was made doubly difficult because he lived so far away and that he was going to leave his wife but he just needed to see his daughter into her new school because he was such a loving father but his wife was a bitch and he deserved someone who truly loved him and that’s why what she was doing wasn’t wrong.…….When I caught up with her a few months later she said that it was over as he had dropped her, saying that he loved his wife and couldn’t leave !

And then lately, it had been the girl with the long red hair who had caught Chris’ attention. And now it seems he’s on the prowl again as a young Italian girl is due to start in the Glasgow office for the summer. She’s a real beauty apparently and the group were laughing and taking bets on how long before he managed to bed her.

During the barrage of revelations, Michael did say that he had a drunken conversation with Chris a few years back when he admitted that he was seeing someone and that this one was different and not like any of the rest and that the sex was like nothing he had ever experienced. I sat up then, wondering if maybe, maybe that was me. That I wasn’t one of this long list of conquests but someone important in his life. Because what we had didn’t match what was being talked of here as cheap, nasty gossip. Zoe and Heather asked all the questions that I wanted to know in a bid to find out who it was and it transpired it was ....... Katie. Katie with her short skirts and very high heels. Yes, of course it was Katie. Katie would be very good at the whole sex thing.

As we walked back, I did a brilliant job of pretending to be interested in what the others were saying and laughing loudly so that they would have no suspicions that the Chris talk had so upset me. But as soon as I got into my room, I burst into tears. I think I cried all night as I remembered that time in Australia and how he had played me so perfectly.

I had always thought we had something so special and yet all the time I was just another in a queue of stupid, pathetic women ready to fall for his practised lines. I can’t put into words how I feel at the moment.

I know I’m not deserving of any sympathy as I chose to jump into bed with him, knowing full well I had a husband and family waiting for me at home. But what lured me into his bed, was the pretence that he wanted to be my friend and the promise of his friendship seemed so true and so enticing.

I also know that I am a prize fool and the pain of that is palpable.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Looking Back

Apologies in advance, as this is going to be a very long entry.

I’ve just come back from a couple of days away where I had to oversee an election debrief with the team leaders from our offices in Manchester and Glasgow. I want to write about something I heard there but I need to put it into context by first re-posting some entries that I published soon after I started this blog. Sorry if you’ve read these already but I need to collect my thoughts and doing this gives me some time to get my head together.

The Second Affair
My second affair happened six years ago but it still feels so recent - probably because I still don’t think I'm truly over it. It was completely different to my fling with Ollie which, let's face it, was only about sex.

It started when one of the directors of the company I worked for, Iona, decided to pursue a better life in Australia and she wanted to see if she could run a branch of the business out there. So, she asked me to join her for a while to help set it up. She also asked a guy called Chris who was part of our team in Scotland. He was someone I knew of but had never actually met.

The offer came at just the right time and it was a challenge I needed. Ewan and myself were having serious problems. If we weren't arguing we had nothing to say to each other. We both decided the five week trip would be a good opportunity to try living apart for a while. He thought it was what we needed to get us back on track but I wasn’t so sure.

I really didn't go with any other intention than working hard to make the new office successful ....and maybe to get some much needed sun after yet another appalling British summer. Iona had already been out there for a month and she arranged for Chris and myself to travel out there together to join her. I had wanted to travel alone as I needed the space. The thought of making small talk with a stranger for twenty-two hours filled me with dread. Iona had already booked the flights and accommodation though, so there was nothing I could do.

I remember going to the airport early and checking in quickly so that I wouldn't have to sit with him! But I hadn't been in the lounge for long before he found me!! I immediately felt guilty because he asked me very pleasantly if I wanted to be alone or if he could join me. Of course, I couldn't say no to the latter and actually to my shame, we hit it off straight away.

Our flight was delayed for a couple of hours and in that time, I had him opening up about all sorts of things - including how his marriage was in trouble. I recognised a lot of what he was saying from what was going on in my own life and threw in my twopenny advice. He told me that he had never met anyone he could speak to so openly before.

In a last minute rush then, we got his seat changed so that he could be next to me and we had a great flight together. I've never known time to go so quickly. We talked and laughed and found we had a lot in common. It was just so easy and I really enjoyed being with him.

It was evening when we got to Sydney and there was a message at the hotel from Iona saying that she had to meet an important contact and couldn't join us so we had a lovely dinner on our own. By the end of the meal, I had told him all about the problems in my marriage. I never do that - I don't tell anyone anything about myself but with him I felt that he genuinely wanted to know and it felt good opening up to him.

We had arrived on the Saturday and got stuck into work pretty much straight away. On the Wednesday, we had got back to the hotel late after entertaining potential clients and gone to our rooms. I had just showered and got into bed when there was a knock at the door. I opened it to find him standing there with a couple of miniature bottles of brandy from his mini bar.

"I can't sleep" he said, in his gorgeous Scots accent "You don't fancy a drink do you?"

And so he came in and we did, in fact, talk for quite a while. He was sitting on my bed and then suddenly he just moved towards me and kissed me. He told me he had wanted to do that since the first moment he saw me and that's how it started, in earnest.

We spent all our time out of work together which meant we got very little sleep. Because I was able to talk to him so freely, I told him all my fantasies - things I had never even told Ewan. As a result, the sex was amazing. But more than that, it was just lovely being so close to someone.

It's simple things that make my heart race when I think back to that time. We went to the beach one weekend and he had gone off to get ice creams and I just remember watching him walking back to me, his shirt completely unbuttoned, revealing that amazing body. His soft, soft skin looked so brown against that white shirt..... I still feel light-headed thinking about how much I wanted him at that moment.

As the weeks went by, we knew that at the end of it we would both go back to our partners. It was understood but it just made our time together so much more precious.

Saying Goodbye
That time in Australia and our relationship meant so much to me.

For a few short weeks, I was with someone from whom nothing was hidden. I held back from allowing myself to fall completely but although I wasn't in love with him, it was something very similar. More than the physical, it was being able to talk so openly and to be with someone who couldn't get enough of me. That feeling of being needed, wanted, desired is very addictive.

On the flight back to London, we were both quiet. We reflected on the trip and what it meant to each of us. He told me that he never wanted to lose me as a friend and that I was to phone him or email him whenever I needed to talk and I was so grateful to know that for the rest of my life I would have a friend who knew me so totally. We talked about how we would deal with our problems back at home, how we would both make a go of our marriages, knowing that we had each other to turn to for support and understanding.

When we landed, he helped me load my luggage onto my trolley and then told me to go. I wanted to wait for him but he said that we had to say goodbye there. It had come too quickly but I knew he was right. So I put my arms around him and he held me tightly as we kissed and I just wanted to stay like that forever and not go back into that world that was waiting for me. Eventually, we broke apart, he told me to go and I walked away.

I didn't turn back, even though I wanted to with every fibre of my being. But instead, I walked through the doors to Ewan and the kids who were waiting for me. As soon as I saw them I burst into tears. They thought it was because I was happy to be reunited with them after so long, but only I knew I was crying for what I was leaving behind.

How It Finally Ended
After we said goodbye at the airport, I spent an evening catching up with my family but before I went to bed, I took my phone into the bathroom and texted him goodnight. He replied immediately saying he felt very alone in his London hotel. Even though I climbed into bed with Ewan that night, my heart was with Chris.

The next day, I had to take Sasha to a musical theatre workshop audition in Covent Garden. It was a beautiful crisp but sunny Autumn day and after I dropped her off, I had four hours to kill until I had to pick her up. While I was looking round the shops, I got a text from Chris. He said he had completed all his London meetings but his flight back to Glasgow wasn't until the evening, I told him where I was and within half an hour he was with there with me.

We had lunch outside on the Piazza but just like on the flight home, we didn't say much. We simply held hands and looked at each other, and that seemed to speak volumes. He did want to know though if I'd had sex with Ewan the night before. I told him that I had and he said the thought of that killed him but that it was OK because of course that evening he would be with his wife, Kaye. I hated the thought of that but said nothing.

While we were sitting there, we could hear an opera singer entertaining the crowds. She started singing Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" and her voice was so beautiful that I thought my heart would burst. I looked at Chris and like me he had tears his eyes. Looking back now, I think I may have realised at that moment that it was really over and that there was no way we could even carry on a friendship. I can't hear that song now without thinking of that look on his face.

We walked to the tube station and this time there was no passionate kiss, he just squeezed my hand and walked away and within seconds he was engulfed in the crowds of commuters and tourists who swept him away from me.

We emailed and texted for a few weeks after that but he soon told me that he found it too difficult. He said it would be easier if we didn't communicate on a regular basis so I left him alone for a bit, even though I thought about him all the time.

Then, about a month later, Ewan and myself had the most almighty row which had been brewing for some time. Halfway through it, I snapped and said I'd had enough and that I was leaving. As I walked to the door, he grabbed me by the arms and said he wouldn't let me go and that running away wasn't the answer. I burst into tears then and I think had some sort of breakdown. I remember falling to the floor screaming in between great, racking sobs which seemed to come from deep within me. I was shaking and unable to breathe and Ewan cradled me and told me that everything would be OK and that he would look after me and help me through this, and I wondered if maybe, he knew.

Later when I was calm, he let me go off alone for a walk in the park and there of course, I called Chris to tell him what had happened. He listened, saying nothing. Then, when I finished he said, almost dispassionately, that he couldn't deal with this. That he wasn’t in the right place to be able to handle it. That he had his own problems and that he was sorry but a clean break was the only answer.

I couldn't belive it! This man....this man who promised to be my friend, in whom I had confided everything, was now telling me to go away. It felt as if he had ripped out my heart.

Once again in my life, I faced rejection and what felt like compete betrayal. Every inch of me wanted to curl up and let the world carry on without me for a while, but this time I made an immediate decision that I wasn't going to break.

I took a deep breath, wiped away my tears and returned home to Ewan.

Getting Over It
Although I made a decision that day in the park to carry on after he dumped me so unceremoniously, it took me a long, long time to get over it.

I felt so alone after that phone call. I found myself thinking of him constantly and even though I knew I had to get back to living my life, I felt such a fool. I couldn't quite believe that what we had was just over, so soon and unexpectedly. From the moment we had met at the airport, I thought I'd found a friend but it was clearly different for him and that felt like a kick in the stomach.

I was so angry for so long . So terribly sad and confused and constantly on the edge of tears. I couldn't understand why he would tell me that he couldn't deal with this, when together, we had gone over the problems we might face on our return and promised to be there for each other, however bad it got. Whenever I thought of how he had almost cruelly dismissed me that day, it gave me such a physical pain in my chest that I truly thought I might be seriously ill. It was the not understanding that was the crux of the issue - what had I done to deserve this treatment from him?

I kept running over in my head exactly what I would say to him the next time he got in touch. How I would let him know what a shit I thought he was to push me away when I needed him the most. But of course, he never did contact me - he cut me off completely and it hurt like hell to know that he was just not bothered.

I desperately wanted to tell someone but I looked at my friends and there was no one I could confide in. I knew they would judge me or tell me I was stupid and so I dealt with it alone. Or rather I didn't - I was in a sorry state for a long time and at one stage I thought I would never get over it. I had pinned such a lot of hope and expectation on him which is not something I normally do and that made it all the worse. Whenever I had any time to myself, it was that thought that made me cry the most and I hated him for making me feel like that.

I don't hate him now though and my heart and stomach don't churn so much when I think of him. Because however much I try not to think about him, I do. His face often comes swimming into view and I find myself remembering him yet again. I do wonder if I will ever truly get over him but even so, this feeling has in a way been more bearable than when Lee left me. Unlike then, there has been no time in the last six years when I have wanted to end my life, although there were many times that I didn't think I could get out of bed to face the day.

Not very long ago, I realised that in order to truly move on, I have to remember my time with Chris with great affection and no bitterness. After all these years though, I still want to see him and talk to him because I know I never did anything wrong and I've never understood why he went so cold on me.

Part of me now also believes though, that he's simply not worth my emotion - even though he has taken so much of it.