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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The first pancake...

I am considering posting an ad in the local paper...

     "Knight in shining armour required; has tool belt, answers to the name of Dave."

Why? Oh because me, in my grand idea of being independent, have found myself hanging two interior doors on my own, whilst making further lists for myself as I hang on to said doors in earnest.

"This shouldn't be difficult", my brain informs me as I order the doors...
"This is not hard", I think as I unpack the doors and gleefully throw away the exterior cardboard with wilful abandonment...
"This is educational," I ponder while admiring saws and planes in the DIY store...
"This is not beyond me", I consider as I YouTube how to hang a door...
"I'm screwed", I realise as I pretend to pose with the door against a now empty door frame...

To be honest I really wanted to do this alone. I wanted to be able to stand back, through wood shavings, sweat and varnish and say...'Yeah, I did that. I hung a door. And it looks straight'.

However, hanging doors is not a simple thing. It looks simple on the YouTube video, but actually it isn't. That is why carpenters are skilled people who know what they are doing, with the right tools...however, why is it that so many men are able to do this efficiently who aren't carpenters? Is it just practice? Are you taken to one side in your college years and given chances to practice these skills, just in case you use them in the future?

The man in the local DIY store asked me a couple of days ago if I made pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.
I looked at him with a saw in my hand a tad bemused, but he smiled encouragingly so I said yes, of course I did.
"Well, it's much like making pancakes." He said wisely.
"Oh? Mixture a bit too thick and disastrous?"
"More or less. The first one you make will not be perfect, however the rest are all fab."
"Great. So what you are telling me is that my first door will be crap."
He nodded and smiled, then left me with my thoughts.
Way to go local DIY store with the inspiring, motivational...You Can Do It speech...

Also, I am infuriated that I am struggling with this. I don't want to rely on calling a friend if I get into difficulties...I want to try some of these things on my own, I want to achieve these things...but bloody hell, I keep looking at this 6ft high piece of wood and thinking 'Oh bollocks, where the hell is that Knight in shining armour when I bloody need him?"

I am being so super careful with the measuring and cutting. So careful, I have had to cut it three times and it still doesn't fit...too nervous to cut too much. I have discovered a cheap alternative however, to a Black and Decker workmate... They are called the twins and they sit, balanced on the door on two dining room chairs while I saw...it really helps to steady it.

We are nothing, if not practical...

Alas, there is no such thing as a Knight, or a Prince, or Batman with a tool utility belt...so, best to just get on with it, and accept that my first door will be my worst.
So...anyone need their door hanging before I start on mine?




Thursday, 12 March 2015

Doing it alone...

I discovered something this week that I'd been unwittingly missing...and no, it wasn't just my sanity of raising three superheroes, that alas, has been missing for a very long time.

No what I realised this week is that I had been plodding along in my usual hustle and bustle of a life, and lo and behold bam there it was. It kind of crept upon me, sneaky like - one moment I was happily, definitely enjoying my solitary existence, then the next...not so much.

What started as a comfortable evening with a friend, chatting, watching TV, suddenly left me with the realisation that not only had I enjoyed the company, but that I had also missed it.

Not such a shocker perhaps to many of you, we all enjoy company, however most of us singletons are quite happy with the fact that we get to hog the remote control all night, and that we have first refusal on the last chocolate biscuit in the tin. However, there are occasions, where the companionship of another or a cuddle on the sofa with someone more profound than the dog, is the only thing that one needs.

A friend on Facebook has written that very thing this evening - a public declaration of her need for that most basic human instinct, (beside food and water obviously)...warmth, touch and affection.

I mentioned it to another friend just yesterday, genuinely surprised that my emotional need had shifted a little.
"It's a new phase in your life," she said with delight, "It's not such a terrible thing is it?"
"Well, no of course not."
"It is not that surprising that you are moving on and are ready for the next phase." She went on to explain that the last three years had seen so many changes; relationships that perhaps one wasn't ready for; a new home, new car and creating new ground rules for raising children alone, to name but a few, that it was only natural that once things were established that I would want the next thing. "You have proved your independence," she said, "Now it is time to allow someone else in."

With this declaration she rummages through my recently delivered post and smiles, "Look! Local business man looking for new trade! Get a quote, it could be the man of your dreams!"
I think this is highly unlikely - and to be fair, I already have a window cleaner who is very good at his job. However, it does make me think that if we do not 'push' ourselves to make that step, then it is more than probable that the single life will remain the path that I am on.

The man of my dreams, (if such a thing exists) isn't going to turn up on my front door without an invite, and whilst much of the advice from good friends is, 'things only happen when you aren't looking for them'; well, I am sorry to burst that bubble but I know friends who have not been looking for years and guess what...they are still single.

I am, however, not quite ready to frequent every bar in my search for a star...or to work through the soul destroying internet dating websites again...so I am left pretty much where I am. Bumbling through life, in the knowledge that I am remiss of my companion and his affection.

It will happen - one day. In the meantime, I seem to have acquired some local tradesmen telephone numbers...hey, don't knock it, it's as good a place to start as any...and Pootle, we do have a lot of work to do on our houses. Who said we had to do it alone?

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

A man called Dave...


My wedding anniversary passed me by recently. Unnoticed by anyone else except for me...and perhaps my ex-husband. The last three years have moved so quickly since our separation, and we now seem to have defined our new roles quite easily.

We now see the light the other side of the hurt and the anger and get on better than we have for years. It feels better. Life has moved on, and I see him as a friend now. Someone I can share the news of excitement or disaster in the family unit, without feeling judged.

I am lucky. I know I am. I know so many other couples who have separated and the hate, anger and distrust remains for years maybe forever. Thankfully in our family unit we have evolved and we now welcome Daddy's new girlfriend. I don't quite see myself picking out curtains with her, however she and I seem to have adjusted to take on a friendly stance and attitude towards each other. I get where she is coming from; taking on board a new boyfriend with three children and an ex-wife is a daunting prospect, so complete kudos to her. As for me, there has needed to be further elements of adjustment, however now I am just pleased and want to work towards our children accepting the extension of our family.

So consequently, whilst driving the other day, Superman felt the need to clarify the new roles...
"If Daddy and H get married, she will be our step mum."
"Yep," I respond waiting for it to tick over a little more in his mind.
"But can I still call her H, as I don't want to call her mum."
"Absolutely," I say, quietly chuffed.
"What about you?"
"What about me?"
"Well when you get married again..." (anxiety overwhelms me a little here but I recover quickly) "I won't call him Daddy."
"No, he wouldn't be your daddy would he?"
"No." He thinks again, "I think I'll call him Dave or David."
"Well that could be awkward."
"Why?"
"What if he is called Frank, or James? Calling him by a different name might look rude."
Giggles in response...

It is a tough one. Children have to be flexible and prepare themselves for the possibility that someone else may take the affection of their parents, struggling with the knowledge that this is more than likely to mean that their parents will never get back together.

It is a process that needs to happen, however what is recommended is that as always, communication is the key. Talk about the possibility you could start dating again, talk about hypothetical situations where Mummy, or Daddy, might have someone else in their life; and as hard as it is, try and encourage a relationship with your ex's new partner.

As I said I know I am lucky. I know others who have found themselves willing to forge a new relationship with the new desired choice of their ex, and unfortunately the new partner is difficult and makes this is incredibly hard. For everyone concerned.

Introducing a step parent takes time, patience and resilience, however in my house, if they are called Dave - they are already half way there.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

No fast food in space...

Spiderman has been experiencing a blip.

The last few weeks at school have been a trying time for him, his teachers and myself alike, while he has tested new boundaries and expressed his 'irritation' for all things...including learning.

Thankfully the last ten days have seen him turn a corner and we appear to be back on track, (admittedly seemingly encouraged by the lack of all things electronic) and he also seems to actually be excited by a recent school project.

I admit, I am excited by his project too. His project is all about Space, the planets and our moon; something that has seen him avidly researching 'Moon Facts' and replaying the lunar landings until the cows come home.

In turn, his growing knowledge has also started to inspire Batman and Superman and the last few nights have seen the three of them in the garden, wrapped up warmly, poised delicately with binoculars, checking out star constellations and crescent moons.

This evening brought further excitement. When I told them about Mars One.
"You mean someone is going to Mars?"
"What? Like forever?"
"Will they have babies?"
"How will they breathe?"
"Can they still order pizza from Domino's?

They found the whole thing fascinating, and so do I - that within the next 8 years man or woman could be landing on Mars; within my and their lifetime.

My hobbits however are less than impressed about going, with looks of horror on their faces as they each refused to go.
"No way."
"Nope, not for me."
"Couldn't live without Domino's Pizza."

Oh it is so wonderful to hear where I am in the pecking order.

However it is also wonderful to have children who get excited about something so exhilarating and inspiring that even I feel quite overwhelmed by it. Is this what it felt like back in 1969 when man landed on the moon? Did they consider it to be impossible as they gathered around their black and white TV's?

Now we are here, and hopefully within the next decade, humans will walk on Mars. Maybe they will find life? Water? Or maybe they will find proof that men really did originate from there?

Alas for me, I will still be plodding along back here on Earth, reprimanding my children and removing hardware and electronics to assist them in making the right choices...however after this evening, I also have another threat to keep them on the straight and narrow.

"If you don't behave, I'll send your ass to Mars."

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Just so we are clear...

Clarity.

Makes everything clearer. Smoother. Normal even. Just a little bit of communication so that people understand and can relate to what you are doing or feeling.

When I worked for BA and there was a plane delay, I would make a point of telling everyone that I was checking in or boarding for their flight, as much information that I was able to. It helped them. There were less arguments, less stress at the Gate and even some camaraderie to be found.

We are simple creatures. We like to be told what is happening; it gives us a sense of control.

Now, of course I am well aware that not every reader of my blog knows every intimate part of my life...good God, why would you want to? I am sure that you have your own dilemmas to deal with and adding mine to the mix would be rude and a little bit presumptuous of me.

Nevertheless, I do feel compelled to blog this evening over the issues once again, of communication. Call it; a second part to 'New Balls Please.'

A recent experience has led me down this route. A recent experience has made me completely realise that there are men out there whose only focus is themselves and their ego. Not that I was completely oblivious to that fact, but it is with sad realisation that someone I trusted and allowed back into my life on their request, felt the need to lie to me, ignore me and in general behave badly.

Then finally, after gaining and breaking my trust yet again - they suggested that in a roundabout way that we stay in touch, by commenting on my blog.

Please. Don't do me any favours. Do not think that I want to ever hear from you again by blog, by email, by text or snail mail.

Seriously people, if you are even considering contacting an ex flame to enquire about their general well being or contemplating a new relationship, and there is a little part of you that is just unsure...then DON'T DO IT!! Step away from your 'phone...leave them alone. It took months maybe years to get over you, so don't even consider making them feel shit again. It makes you selfish, weak, shitty and quite frankly, a cockwomble (look it up under Urban Dictionary.)

As for my dilemma, it is no longer a dilemma. I now have complete clarity and for once I am speaking what is really on my mind. I am finally waking up to the fact that being nice, is not always the answer.

So Goodbye. You know who you are.

...and just so we are clear...


Sunday, 16 November 2014

New balls please...

All of you men (and women) who have behaved badly towards someone who cares about you, need to go stand in the corner right now.

I am not talking about the usual couple type arguments that come and go like the change of the weather, but all of those who have been deliberately dishonest, lied, broken promises, played mind games and generally made someone else feel crap by your actions.
Badly behaved characters return in real life too...

Yes, you. Go stand in the corner and face the wall and reflect on your behaviour.

Did you think that those that were hurt wouldn't eventually see your behaviour for what it truly is? That we wouldn't wake up to the knowledge that your behaviour is wrong and actually you don't deserve the best?

Many of my friends are tired of being lied to by 'potential' love interests...would it really be such a terrible thing to just be honest? If you had the balls enough to contact someone, tell someone a pack of lies or flirt with them - then you surely still have the cojones to tell them the truth and not hide behind silence and blame culture?

Grown up men behaving like teenage boys with no responsibility and no respect to the women they are talking to...do you seriously think that you deserve such amazing women in your life?

A good tennis game starts with two freshly faced partners, ready to play...a bad tennis game will always have one that plays unfairly, loses their temper when things don't go their way and love is always a zero score...

Is it all about winning? Is it all about scoring the ace and knocking out your partner?

Well, do you know what? If the above sounds like you I would like to tell you without further ado... Game over and new balls please...

Monday, 10 November 2014

Pants, pot noodle and passports...

Due to a random drunken decision six weeks ago, Pootle and I found ourselves jetting off to Ireland this weekend. Dublin to be precise.

The hobbits and I have recently just moved house and Pootle is in the process of buying hers, so this felt like something we needed to do to let our hair down, however we were also reliably informed that Dublin was expensive...not a good time for added expense.

"Don't worry," Pootle reassured me, "we take clean pants, our passports and we can survive on Pot noodles should we need to."

So leaving unpacked boxes and the heating system on low, our adventure started with the unforgettable flight journey with Ryan Air; attended by the wicked witch of the west and her mate.

Could the staff on this low budget airline be any more miserable? Muttering through the safety procedure, grumbling about the inconvenience of changing a five euro note and almost pushing us down the steps on arrival. Ryan Air - making it memorable.

However, not to have our excitement quelled...here we were in Dublin. In Ireland. The home of James Joyce, The Pogues, Leprechauns and most importantly...the black stuff...Guinness.

...and what a fabulous city it is.

Many people made suggestions for our weekend, but we were warned by the mother of Pootle, than in no uncertain terms not to go to Main Street. Allegedly, there were undesirables there...i.e. Drunkards, people who partied all night, men etc... So we promptly googled it and made our way to Temple Bar. A city of buzzing night life and Irish jigging...a match made in heaven.

We visited the Leprechaun museum, the only place to make me feel tiny on a chair, tried Irish Stew in a small pub; drank a large Whiskey at the Jameson's factory...and got a tad tipsy on Guinness on the Guinness tour.

The best bit however, just had to be rocking it late into the wee early hours of sunday morning back at Temple Bar, with some new found friends. People, like us, who were not quite ready to sit in their rocking chairs and give into the aches and pains of older age.

So if you ever get a chance to go to Dublin...enjoy the Guinness, the Whiskey, and the friendliness of the Irish...after all, all you need to get away is just your pants, your passport and some pot noodles...