The difference a year makes

This time last year things between us were not good. We had been married for a whole 6 months. When we married I felt happier than I ever remember being in my life. Three months into our marriage we had our wonderful honeymoon in California. But within days of returning home things began to go wrong. My husband was not himself, he was showing signs of dementia or so I thought. However it turned out to be a mixture of anxiety attacks, and an over indulgence in secret vodka drinking.

The anxiety attacks were dealt with by the taking of anti depressants. The alcohol abuse is an ongoing situation, but at least I now know what I am dealing with. At the time I was extremely angry, I felt that I could not trust my husband. I felt betrayed.  More than anything I was angry with myself for not realising what had been going on.

Owl still drinks but, we never go out to the pub anymore. Back in March Owl had a fall in the road  due to his legs giving way. His alcohol level had dropped. I took him to hospital with a cut head and broken hand. There he was given some medication to replace the alcohol he hadn’t had. He was promised help by the hospital clinic. This didn’t materialise other than one appointment where he was told that he is a binge drinker and should cut down for a week then stop. Ha ha what planet did that advice come from.

Anyway, for a time Owl was not able to do much at all. Gradually though he has become stronger and fitter. He has been very busy working in our garden doing all the things he should have done last year but wasn’t in the right place to do anything much except sleep.

The shed that I bought for him last year was finally erected. Owl began by making it stronger in places by making wooden braces. He painted the shed forest green.shed 1  shed 3 before adding fixtures for everything to go inside, there is a purpose build space for everything that goes in there.IMG_1944 then he painted the old shed green to match the new one. IMG_1947 the back gate was also painted green to match. This also involved taking off the ironmongery to be painted black.back gate When he had done that he reorganised the space near to the back gate which meant adding a hanging basket bracket to the wall as a hose tidy.under magnolia tree Once all this had been done he turned his attention to the hedges that he had hired someone to cut a few weeks prior. He was not happy with the way they were looking. He spent the next couple of weeks cutting the hedges by hand. hedge 1 now he is simultaneously working on the five bar gate and taking up the decking at the front of the house.hedge 3 Oh and I nearly forgot he has painted all the fences under the hedges and along the outside of the house.

None of these things would have been possible a year or even 6 months ago. I am so pleased with the progress he is making. I am also pleased that he has even begun to apply for work outside the home. Ok so I have been applying for jobs on his behalf but he has sent his CV to some places too. Step by step we are getting back to where we should be.

Better than before

I recently discovered Betternotbroken a fellow blogger who has escaped from an abusive relationship. I have only read a few of her posts one of them being four sly abusive tactics. Reading this post I recognised these signs although at the time I hadn’t figured them out.

Sleep derivation, yes I was subjected to that, I would be asleep when he came into the room shook me awake and began talking (rambling about anything) if I started to fall asleep again he would shake me again “I’m talking to you.” This would sometimes go on for hours even though all he was doing was going round and round in a circle telling me the same things over and over.

He would insist that I join him in the pub, or often it would be to collect him from the pub. I would end up sitting at a table with our boys for hours on end whilst he talked to his ‘mates’. Sometimes he would buy me an orange juice but he wouldn’t bring it to me. He would be too busy having a conversation with one of his fellow drunks. He would have the same conversation with each mate as they came in. Everyone in the pub knew who I was, I knew most of their faces, I also knew their names because he talked about them a lot, I wasn’t sure which name belonged to which face though. I couldn’t make a scene in front of all his mates, what would they think of me. He was very popular, everyone liked him.

How many times did he tell me how much he fancied the barmaid, he could give her one! It didn’t matter where we were but if he saw a good looking woman, he could always give her one. It didn’t matter that he was married and his wife was there. There was one woman who was a regular in the pub, she was not good looking, she was another drunk, she also had a downs syndrome daughter. (I did feel sorry for her to a degree). My husband would spend far more time talking to her buying her drinks, than he ever did me or our children. (I wasn’t totally surprised when they began living together after we divorced).

When I turned 40 I decided that yes I did want to have a party, not to celebrate being 40 but to celebrate being alive, I had been in remission for a year. I asked my husband to organise it. At the last minute he booked the function room at the pub, I would have preferred somewhere else but that didn’t matter as long as my family and friends were there. He managed to stay for an hour.  He didn’t even go next door to the bar, he went home!

Slow sabotage. He would tell me that I was fat, and yes I had put on weight after having his children. Whenever he felt guilty for spending too much time in the pub, he bought me chocolate, even though I was trying to diet. On mothers day or my birthday, he bought me chocolate (often end of date, price reduced). He would often produce lovely sweet desserts for me to eat, if I failed to eat it all, I didn’t appreciate the effort he had made for me. So although he told me that I was fat he did everything he could to stop me for losing weight. For many years I was told that I was ” Fat, stupid, ugly, with a  brain like a sieve.” I was lucky to have him as nobody else would have me. I couldn’t wear make up or have nice clothes, I lived in baggy t-shirts, sweatshirts and jogging trousers. After our marriage ended I began wearing nice clothes again. Now I prefer skirts to trousers.

When the children were very small I had a number of part time jobs. In theory he would come home from work and I would go to work. Only this didn’t actually happen. Sometimes he would be late home (because he had stopped for a drink) so I would be late getting to work. Other times he didn’t come home, instead I would have to ring in sick or have a reason for not going to work. Gradually I realised that because of him I was slowly becoming unemployable. Who would want to employ me when I couldn’t be relied upon to turn up on time if at all.

There were other ways that he undermined me, like constantly telling me that my friends were not nice people and they were just using me. I shouldn’t trust my friends. If he came home and found that I had a friend with me he either went to the pub or else hid upstairs in our room until they had gone. He was making my friends feel guilty for being there. Gradually most of my friends stopped visiting.

In the days before I had a mobile phone, my husband would phone me from work numerous times each day. He was checking that I was ok. I couldn’t go anywhere without telling him. If I was late getting home from the school run because I had chatted to one of my friends on the way home he would know, because I wasn’t there when he called. When I got my first mobile phone he was able to call me wherever I was. It didn’t matter where I was, for whatever reason, he would be constantly phoning me. When I was out with my mother she would get so fed up with the phone calls that she would tell me to turn the phone off. Of course I never could.

By this time the only times I ever went out without the boys was with my mother. If I was going out for any reason and needed my husband to look after our sons, he would be out until I was due to leave. I would be panicking that he wouldn’t get home in time for me to go.

When I was out ie my mum’s graduation, he would call me with an emergency that meant I had to rush home. I only ever went out 2 or 3 times a year.  (not including day to day stuff).

All this stuff was just how my life was day to day, nothing major, there was no violence, just slow drip drip control, separate and defeat. Once I finally had enough and managed to bring our marriage to an end (the abuse intensified for the 7 months were we under the same roof). It was a difficult time but I fought so hard to get out of that situation.

Moving forward a few years, I was at a party with a friend, when I met Keith. I liked him and we swapped email addresses and phone numbers. By the time I got home he had text me and emailed me. Over the next week or so we exchanged emails and text messages. We talked about meeting up the following weekend. Then he asked me why my marriage had ended. I told him that my husband had been emotionally abusive. Keith then admitted to me that he had been emotionally abusive to his wife, in the end she killed herself. ( He was a respected member of his local community). We talked about my husband and I said that I didn’t think my husband was aware of what he was doing to me. Keith told me that my husband knew exactly what he was doing. I declined to get involved with Keith. I had fought so hard to get out of my marriage that there was no way I was going to put myself back in that situation, especially knowing in advance what he would be like. Oddly he still thought I would go out with him. It took weeks of ignoring his messages before he finally left me alone.

 

I used to be a mummy

I used to be a mummy to four little rug rats (Prodigal, Statto, Pug and Skater). These little boys would run rings around their mummy. I always felt that I must be a bad mummy as I couldn’t control my brood. They never did what I said, they thought my living room was a) a football pitch, b) a wrestling ring.

Sometimes they were so naughty that I would stand in the middle of the room and scream. That got their attention for a while. Other times I would put on my coat and shoes and walk out of the door saying good bye. They would come running after me. ‘Mummy mummy don’t go, we will be good.’

Whenever I mentioned to anyone that I didn’t think I was very good at being a mummy, I was told that I was a very good mummy. When we were out my boys were well behaved and polite. Even our neighbours thought I was bringing up my boys well unlike the screeching noisy girls that lived next door to us.

There were times when half the neighbourhood’s children were in my house/garden. There were also times when I would walk to the local park with a string of children following me, rather like mother duck with all her ducklings.

Then after I recovered from Cancer I didn’t know how long I would be around for my boys so I got involved in the football club that they belonged to. By then I was more Mum than Mummy.  Not only did I have my own boys but their friends too. My car was always full of teen aged boys covered in mud, smelling of sweat.

I dreaded the teenage years, tantrums and strops. They never happened though. I believe it was because I spent my evenings talking to Prodigal then a few years later Statto, then Pug  and Skater. I learnt about the music that they liked/played. I learnt about all the football clubs in the Premiership, who the players were, who the managers were and what the grounds were called.

During the difficult period when I was divorcing the other parent, my boys became my support. They protected me from the abuse I was subjected to. My boys were growing up.

Now three of my boys are living else where. They have partners, they don’t need a Mummy any more. However they do all still love their Mum.

 

Hills and things

After taking 6 hours to complete a 4 hour journey we finally arrived at our destination late afternoon on Saturday. It had been a warm sunny day which made the many hold ups including a 4 mile stop start crawl on A34 bearable. 7 miles before we reached our destination I suddenly noticed that the engine light had come on, this brought on a mild panic, that and the constantly changing fuel gauge as we travelled up and down steep hill roads, would we make it before we ran out of fuel or the engine conked out?

Half a mile to go the SAT NAV told us to turn right then left, I almost missed the left turn it was so narrow. Well by that I mean that I saw it just as we passed it. Being a dual carriageway I had to continue until I could do a U turn, retrace our steps back to the narrow lane. Trundling along the lane I was thinking that I knew my in-laws lived down a lane but I hadn’t expected it to be such a narrow lane. The grass growing in the middle of the lane indicated that it wasn’t much used. It was with much relief that we reached the end of the lane which then merged with the lane we should have been on. A & B were there waiting for us as we turned around.

Next morning we woke to heavy rain, hurricane Bertha had hit the UK overnight, I believe that the weather was worse back at home than it was here in the Peak District. However the rain couldn’t take anything away from the view from our bedroom window.IMG_1783 I can see why A & B fell in love with living here.

Late morning we went for a drive (their car not ours) for a tour of a rain soaked Buxton, I was impressed with the architecture there, I will have to go back another time to investigate properly. This was followed by a drive around Bakewell, which was also very pretty even if it was crammed packed with pubs. Even in the rain there was an abundance of walkers. Before heading back for lunch we visited Chatsworth Park. We stopped to see a small Classic Car gathering near to the impressive stable block. The rain had just about stopped which was appreciated as we strolled towards the stable block. A & I made a dash for the public toilets only to be met by a queue so we made our way to the restaurant to use their facilities. These I found most disconcerting. It is not every day that I find myself surrounded by 3 images of myself reflected in the yellowish tinted glass of the cubicle (whilst sitting on the proverbial throne).

IMG_1809 The stable block at Chatsworth House.

After lunch owl and I set off on our own to find some fuel. I was worried that we wouldn’t make it the six miles to the nearest petrol station, the further I drove the closer we were getting and the prospect of a rainy walk was decreasing, I was beginning to relax. Having filled up I was much happier, we went in search of a local landmark, Monsal Head viaduct.

IMG_1813  IMG_1812 As you can see the view of the viaduct was not quite what we had expected so whilst Owl took himself off for a pint in the nearby bar I decided to follow the footpath to get a closer look at the viaduct. The path to the right looked very steep so I took the path to the left through the trees in the hope that it would come out nearer to the 1870’s construction over the river Wye. The tree covered steep hillside walk meant that all I could see were trees and more trees. Eventually I managed to work out from the glimpse of hill side across the valley that I had long ago passed the viaduct without seeing it so I made my weary way back up the hill for a well earned diet coke.

Next day we woke to see the sun shining on the fields, this was not to last all day but we didn’t get too wet on our visit to the Derwent reservoirs, where Barnes Wallis practiced his bouncing bombs.IMG_1823 IMG_1826 Howden Reservoir leads down into Derwent reservoir before finally ending up with Ladybower Reservoir.IMG_1836 Here we can see the different levels in each reservoir.

The afternoon saw a trip in the opposite direction for a trip down memory lane for Owl and his sister. We drove across the Derbyshire dales to Macclesfield where they had lived briefly in their early teens. We then went on to Knutsford where they sent their teen years. It is a small pretty town that has kept much of its history intact. We ended our visit with a drink in one of Owl’s old haunts.  IMG_1858

On our return to the house the sun was shining so I took the opportunity to take a wander up the garden to take some pictures.IMG_1871 IMG_1875  IMG_1872 Such a lovely place to live.IMG_1879

Then yesterday we made the journey back home, all was going well until the last few miles when the roads were gridlocked due to a burnt out lorry. Which I understand has still been causing problems today.

Getting back on track

I have done two things this weekend that are getting me back on track.

Firstly, I have made a decision to do something that I first did 19 years ago.  When my then husband found out what I was doing he was furious. He thought I was trying to do something to him. He believed I was set on ruining his life.  He just couldn’t see that what I was doing was for me and the children. I was taking care of us. I was making it possible to stay in our marriage. So what was this thing that I had done? I went to Al Anon. For those fortunate enough not to know what that is. Al Anon is a worldwide group set up for the families of alcoholics. Just like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) it is anonymous but instead of helping alcoholics with their addiction, supporting them as they manage without alcohol.

Al Anon is a support group for the wives/husbands/parents/siblings and children of alcoholics.

Al-Anon Family Groups hold regular meetings where members share  their own experience of living with alcoholism. Al-Anon does not offer advice or counselling, but members give each other understanding, strength and hope.

When I took the decision to go to Al Anon, all those years ago, I was in a deep despair. I was pregnant with my fourth child, my husband was drinking heavily and our finances were in trouble. I wanted desperately to leave but I had no money and nowhere to go. If I couldn’t go, then I had to do something to make life easier.  First I sought help from an alcohol and drug abuse councellor. He told me that as I was not the one with the addiction he couldn’t help me but he advised that I had to make a choice. Either leave my husband or if I chose to stay then I must learn to take care of myself and my children and let my husband look after himself. This I actually found easier to do that I had expected. For years his drinking had been the centre of life for all of us not only him.

Anyway, I went along to weekly meetings for about six weeks before he cottoned on to where I had been going. During these weeks I learnt about The Serenity Prayer which has become my Creed. Everything that I learnt there stayed with me and helped me to get through the next ten years.

Recently it was suggested to me that maybe Al-Anon could help me in my current situation.  The person who suggested had no idea that I had been before (why should they). I did explain that I had found the meetings a great help in the past. Then I got to thinking about it. I have been coping with the situation with my current husband  but maybe now is a good time to go back to meetings. Maybe I will learn more, perhaps there have been changes in the help and advice that can be given since that time in 1995. I looked up when and where the local meetings are. Yesterday I was in town and walked to the side road where the meetings are held just to acquaint myself  with the venue.

This time I have been upfront about it and told Owl that I intend to go to meetings, I shall be going for my own benefit.

Secondly, a few months ago I took on a proofreading course, partly because I felt that it might help me with my writing. Also there is a chance of adding to my income.  I am midway through the course. I had not touched it for a few weeks for various reasons. This weekend I promised myself that I would get back to it and this afternoon that is what I have done.

Oh Brian

It feels like a life time away now but in reality it was only 3 years ago (just before I met Owl). I was single and chatting here and there on a few dating websites. This particular Saturday afternoon in early March I was chatting when I received an invitation to chat to Brian. He asked me what I was looking for, I told him that I was just browsing to see who was out there. I wasn’t seriously looking as I was quite happy being single. ( I was only on there that afternoon for something to do).

We quickly moved from the site chat to msn where we chatted for hours. Again later in the evening we chatted again. We seemed to be hitting it off.

He told me that he lived in Birmingham, he had his own ‘Real Estate’ business and often worked in Europe and Scandinavia. I asked him questions about where in he lives in Birmingham, mentioning a few areas that I have heard of. He was very vague. He told me that he was divorced and has one son who he sees whenever he can. Within days he was telling me that he loved me and asked if I loved him. I told him that no matter how well we got on online, I couldn’t say that I loved him before we had even met.

Brian told me that he wanted to move to be with me, he wanted me to look for a house for us. He was also going to buy me a new car a Nissan Duke. I am sorry but if someone loves me and wants to buy me a car surely they would ask which car I would like not tell me what they would buy. A Nissan Duke is not a car that I would ever choose, I think they are ugly. (my apologies to anyone who does have one).

I didn’t do anything about looking for a house as I didn’t take that seriously. Why would someone I had never met make that kind of commitment?

Sometimes when we were chatting he would ask if we could chat on webcam. Yes I was in favour of this as I wanted to see who I was talking to. The picture was never clear but I could see that I was chatting to the man in the photo he had sent me. Sometimes we chatted online during my lunch break. These lunchtime chats were very odd as they appeared to be the kind of chat you get when someone has translated what they wish to say from another language. Stilted and grammatically incorrect. Yet the evening conversations were more flowing. I realised that I was not chatting to just one person.

He began to push me about looking for a house. Now I know I can be naive at times but by now I was convinced that this was a scam. I decided to play along and see where  this would go. I printed out about 80 pages of chat, just in case I wneeded to go to the police at any time. I lost count of the times he asked me about how much I earn. How many bank accounts I have etc. I had made it clear from the outset that I was living on very little money.  Eventually I looked at some houses around the £200,000 to £300,000 mark. I sent him the links for these houses saying that I would not want to make the choice alone, if he was planning to live there he should have a say. He told me to aim higher, I asked him what price bracket he wanted to look at. He told me  £900,000+. I found a few, and sent him the links, he chose one that was about 1/2 mile from where I was living.

He then told me that he was going to go away to Africa on business he wanted to buy a diamond mine. (or maybe it was a gold mine). He would then buy a jewellers shop in London and name it after me. Over the next week or so he told me he was busy with looking for the right mine to buy. I did some research on the mines, before asking him a few questions. He was as vague as ever.

The next step was soon apparent, he needed to pay for the house he was buying for us but would be away in Africa, so he was putting his accountant in contact with me to make the arrangements.He had found the mine he wanted to buy and was going over there to finalise the purchase. (Hmm that happened very fast). He gave me his accountant’s name Joe Cole (no not the footballer), who happened to be in Norway at the time.

I then received an email from Joe, I didn’t respond, I just waited. After a day I had a message from Brian, had I heard from Joe? I pretended that I hadn’t. After a while I told him that I had found it in my junk mail. What I didn’t say was that I had already drafted my reply but was delaying sending it.

Hello i am Joe Coleman financier to Mr Brian Boucher. He asked me to contact you so i can know how he will settle the payment of a house he is purchasing  Please contact me back when you get this mail so i can know how to proceed with it okay

Yours faithful
Joe

Dear Joe

thank you for your email, I had been looking out for it as Brian had told me to expect to hear from you. 
Please excuse my ignorance but I do not know what it is that you require from me. As far as I am aware the transaction to purchase a house is to be arranged by yourself on behalf of Brian. Since I have no involvement in this transaction I fail to see what you need from me. 
 
However I am happy to assist you in any way I can.
Yours Sincerely 
Apparently he needed my bank details so that he could send me the money so that I could buy the house for Brian. He need to know how I would prefer to receive the money, cheque or bank transfer?
I declined to answer.
A few days later I had a message from Brian.
I told him that I was very hurt.
Why was I hurt?
Because he thought I would be stupid enough to fall for his scam.
Surprisingly he cut me off.
A couple of weeks later I saw him online so pestered him to talk to me.
Eventually he did.
I can’t remember what I said to him but it ended with him telling me to ‘go away.’
And there was me thinking that he loved me!
I reported him to the dating site giving his username, his email address and that the email address for Joe Cole.
I never heard any more.
I just hope that he has not been able to con any other women, although I expect he has. When I look back at how that whole situation panned out over about 6 weeks, I wonder how any woman can be taken in by men like this, but perhaps if you are very lonely and looking for love you might be less aware. Maybe if I had been desperate to find love I might have been more susceptible.
I will post his photo on here once I find it, as it is on another computer.
 Brian Boucher
Have any of you or your friends had experience of  a scam like this?

The journey

I have not been on here for a few weeks, firstly life in general was getting in the way. Then I set out on a journey that I had never expected to take. I couldn’t write about it at the time but now I feel that as that particular journey has reached its end, I can now write about it after the fact.

The journey was a personal one involving my work. If inadvertently I offend anyone involved who might happen to read this. Please know that no offence is intended. This is merely my stance on the journey that I took.

I work in an office (not huge but it has doubled in size in the 7 years I have been there). In the department I work we have a Manager, Supervisor and four staff (one p/t). Recently our Supervisor applied for a more senior position in another part of the office. He was successful. He had been in his present position for many years. For some years now I have covered for him when he is on leave. At first the were many discussions behind closed doors. Would a new Supervisor be appointed or would his responsibilities be divided between those of us left?

I gave much consideration as to whether I would want to be the new Supervisor if one was needed. I knew that I could manage the work, but would I want the added responsibility, the added pressure? Now, I like and admire the Manager of our dept, however, she does have a trust problem. She doesn’t trust anyone else to do anything without her checking it. I happen to know that she admires the way I come in and get on with my work without having to constantly ask questions. For this reason I was unsure that I would cope with her constant questions and interference.

This said I told myself that, I still have 15 years before I can retire, she only has 3. Would I be able to manage 3 years? Well maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as I anticipate. On the other hand do I want to stand still for the next 15 years, doing something I have already done for 7 years.

This morning I saw this which I felt was rather apt.

F E A R I chose to do the latter.

When the time came I duly prepared my CV (the first in 7 years), I took my time getting it exactly how I wanted. (printer problems included) but finally it was ready.

I handed in my CV not knowing who else was applying. Then I found out that there were three of us to be interviewed, myself one of my colleagues and an unknown person. We had a week to prepare a 10 minute presentation on our ideas for setting up Telesales within our office.

Despite knowing that my manager and I have a mutual liking and respect for each other, I knew that this was going to be a one horse race, and I was not that horse.

Knowing that a) I’m not the right horse, b) I have never in my life had to put together a presentation. c) I am totally clueless when it comes to setting up and or running a telesales operation.

I thought about doing the first … forget everything and run. I could take the easy option and withdraw my application. I could sentence myself to another 15 years of not progressing. Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed my job, I have been very lucky in that respect but the last couple of years things have not been quite the same and I can feel myself becoming stale. I don’t get the same job satisfaction that I did have.

I am not a quitter so I took up the challenge, I decided to face everything and rise.

I made discrete enquiries, I sought advice from anyone I felt could help me. My evenings were spent on google searching for relevant information. My weekend was spent putting together my presentation and going over and over what I wanted to say, until I was happy that I had done the best that I could.

My Interview went well, I was nervous but managed to keep my composure throughout the hour I was in there. I was feeling good in myself that day, I had made an effort with my appearance and felt good both on the inside and out. There was nothing more I could do.

I had to wait days before I found out whether I had reached the end of my journey or was I about to start an even bigger journey. When the news came that I had not been successful, I was fine with that. I was probably more relieved than anything. My journey had ended but the main thing was that I had had the courage to make the journey in the first place.

Going on this journey has made me realise that I need new challenges. Maybe there will be other opportunities for me to shine. Perhaps there will be other challenges for me to rise to, I am not afraid. The next time a new journey presents it self to me I won’t be afraid.

Pretending

Today I have been pretending.

It might have been a Bank Holiday here in UK but it has been a wet miserable Monday. So I have been pretending. No I wasn’t pretending to be a princess or an air hostess, I was pretending that I can be domestic when I want to.

Throughout my supposedly adult life I have done what I have to do to keep my family happy and healthy, but I have not really been naturally domestic. I cook, clean, and wash, as much as is needed. I have tried to give my family the home they deserved, without having to be too domesticated. Over the years I have knitted jumpers, sewn on buttons and repaired ripped trousers etc. I have even learnt how to cook without burning everything. My sons will never stop reminding me about the time Pug’s friend came to tea and I burnt a whole tray of smiley faces (potato shapes).  My current husband is even under the illusion that I am quite a good cook. I know they say practice makes perfect, well I guess I must have practised enough to be passable, another 20 years and I might be getting closer to perfect.

Today though I have been pretending to be a perfect housewife, I actually cleaned the oven. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have cleaned the oven before just not as well as this. I am actually quite impressed that the oven racks are now gleaming chrome instead of blackened  metal.

What have you done recently that has been an achievement you have impressed yourself with?

 

Plastered

This morning as I listened to the radio I heard a song I hadn’t heard for a long time. It got me thinking about one of my philosophies in life. The song was this one by Ralph Mctell  . The streets of London tells you to stop feeling sorry for yourself because you really don’t have much to complain about compared to the people living on the streets of London.

My life has never been easy, it has been a struggle right through my adult life for one reason or another. I might at times write about the things that have or are happening in my life but I usually manage to laugh it off rather than complain. The reason being that no matter how bad things might get, I know, there is always someone worse off. 

When I lived with my first husband who was an emotionally abusive alcoholic, life was difficult and at times unbearable I was grateful that he never hit me or my boys.

When I had stage three cancer, I was grateful that I was treatable, 13 years on I am still here to tell the tale.

When I was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, I did at least have a roof over our heads and our health even if there was very little money for heat or food. We still had each other.

During the difficult times in the first year of my second marriage, my husband’s ill health (both physical and mental)  were made easier by the support of family and friends.

I do know people who always see the negative in everything, I feel sad for these people who never seem to be able to allow themselves to be happy. People who live their lives as victims of life make me feel mad. Yes there was a time when I felt like one of those victims where nothing in life ever seemed to go right. Then I realised that there was only one person who could change my life, me.

Coincidently this morning the girlfriend of my son Pug, posted this quote on her facebook page. ‘We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it’

Now, when things don’t go right I count my blessings instead of my problems. When I am feeling my lowest I think of the things that make me smile.  I remember my wonderful sons, I surround myself with flowers, music and laughter. I watch the birds as they go about their day.

From where I am sat writing this I can see sunshine through the windows, there are four vases of flowers in the room and when I look through the kitchen to the back door I see one of the pigeons, that frequent my bird feeder, strolling  around as though he owns the place.

A few days ago my husband had a fall when he was crossing the road, a kind man, who happened to be walking near by helped him up and got him home. He had blood on his hands, arms and more worryingly on the back of his head. I left work to take him to the hospital. He was assessed and taken to ‘major injuries’. We were left in the corridor with a growing number of others for about 1.5 hours (it could have been worse). Finally he was checked by a Dr, x-rayed, put on a drip and sent to the observation ward where his broken hand was plastered.  After much deliberation and conversation the Dr concluded that my husband needs treatment for his alcohol intake. This is something my husband is in full agreement with.

He may be in pain and having to learn to cope with being one handed whilst his hand is in plaster. The cut on his head was merely a graze which appeared worse than it was due to the amount of blood. However his fall has led to something being done about helping him to stop drinking. If he manages to complete the treatment on offer and stops drinking he should be able to get his strength back properly and maybe he will be fit enough to actually work. He will then be able to earn some money as well as save money by not buying drink.

Now here is a little something to lift your spirits The Corrs

Changes

I am beginning to get used to my new injections although I still don’t think I would be able to do them for myself.  I’ve had seven in total so far and the only one that actually did hurt was the first one that was done by the diabetic nurse. Since then two of my colleagues have done them for me and the last few Owl has done.

I have noticed since I started having these injections that my appetite has been much smaller, I am struggling to eat much of even my favourite food. I am suffering from heart burn on an almost daily basis.  I feel very full and bloated. I would have thought that considering that I am eating less I would feel slimmer but I feel fatter.

Since watching that program yesterday about the people who have to follow extreme life changes to lose weight I have decided that I need to make myself go for a walk every day. I have now done two days. I can’t promise I will go every single day but I am aiming for 5 times a week for now.

This morning I got up early, I had got an idea into my head about a possible new story I wanted to write. I wrote two pages right away and have been thinking about where I want it to go from there. This afternoon I was reading another blog  When all is said and done and found a post talking about a book ……The Bobblehead Dad by Jim Higley. I have not read the book but I gather that Jim has survived cancer and this is his book about it. This got my mind working. I have been going wrong all the time I have been trying to write a novel. All this time I have been trying to find a plot to write my fiction novel about, when all along I have been wanting to write about living with and after cancer.  I have already written about my experience with cancer elsewhere so why don’t I just write my story in my own way instead of trying to put it into a work of fiction.