Wednesday, 25 February 2009

'That same small town in each of us...'

Allow me the Don Henley song quotation. Tis a favourite of mine - The End of the Innocence. Makes me think of virginities lost, and first loves in small hick towns that we itch to escape. You see coming home is always a bitter sweet experience for me. Full of expectation, a need for things to be 'right,' to have bonding moments with my family who I see so rarely, for me to feel connected to the place that once was home 18 odd years ago. After the hell of last week it is blissful to be removed from my war zone and to be surrounded by people pleased to see me. To be a 2 minute walk from the sea, to have cups of tea brandished at me every 5 minutes, to have Sproglet play with his cousins and to lie in every day - is so damn comforting. Everything is softer: the water, the bed sheets, the rolling views, the lilting accents.

I regress to my 17 year old self. Sometimes I reach down, expecting to pick up my huge dusty art file that I was forever lugging around with me in A level years. I drive by my old school and itch to walk up the hill, stare up at my first love's boarding school dorm room window, gossip in the 6th form centre, loosen my thin school tie. I think I yearn to be that girl again sometimes - to be so full of hope and potential. To still feel that life's possibilities are limitless. The summer of '90 - filled with the angst and ecstasy that came with my all encompassing first love.

When I'm home I miss eating cake and chain smoking in the Mad Hatter coffee house; drinking cheap cider in Botanic gardens; playing strip frisbee instead of studying for imminent exams; kissing in the smoky Empire pub as a band blasts out dodgy covers; cycling to the Video Store for the latest release. I want to hide up in my treasured bedroom in my Mum's ex-boyfriend's house - where I used to live at weekends. My sanctuary. I want to do my make-up in the mirror he built for me that was surrounded by circus lights. Secretly smoke out the window listening to the neighbourhood kids squabble as the summer sun goes down. Watch 'Purple Rain' over and over again on my beat up old VHS machine or play Prince's 'Sign of the Times' album to death. Help my would-be step sister to hide booze in the local woods. Cycle to a friend's house and wander barefoot in the park. But those times are long gone. Mum's ex sold my sanctuary 13 years ago. The last time I went there I took down my Prince posters and a collage on my wardrobe door that I had spent 4 years building and shed tears knowing that life was about to move on.

I think of the time my friend Eleanor bumped into me and first love boy standing kissing goodbye in the sunshine on an exceptionally hot day at the gates to Botanic Gardens. From a distance she hadn't recognised me - she just thought that the couple kissing looked 'the picture of love.' I knew even at the time that it was special - a time I'd never recreate again. A moment that I wanted to capture forever - so I scribbled it all down furiously in diary - I still have it.

So nostalgia hits me from every angle. Today I drove Sproglet to Ardglass - a tiny little fishing village by the sea - to see a good friend's parents. They have known me since I was 15 and are the most hospitable brilliant people. They lost their eldest daughter 9 years ago - which has understandably changed them - this 'unasked for ' life they now live. They showed me the almost finished house they have built that looks straight out onto a golfcourse that rolls down to the sea. It is amazing. Full of space and light, with floor to ceiling windows to let in this serene view. I ate lunch with my friend's Dad at a tiny little cafe nearby that served up the best food I've eaten all week. Then we had tea in the odd little conservatory, that is reached through their bedroom in the quirky cottage style house they are renting while their dream home is finished. We sat in rocking chairs, looking out at the golfers putting below,the sea that lay beyond and a cloudless blue sky. We talked about marriages and grief and love and life and let the sun warm our faces. Sproglet played with shells and binoculars and curled into my arms. I felt utterly peaceful. I didn't want to ever leave.

We shared big hugs goodbye and life felt that little bit brighter - that marriage at any age can be testing - that we never know what is around the corner for us, that there is no right or wrong in relationships. The 17 year old was quiet - I didn't yearn for the past. For the briefest of times I was happy in the here and now.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Me and Sproglet

I'm thinking that my Blog needs a tad more colour - so as technically limited as I am - I'm attempting to add a few pics. Showing rather than telling my crummymummy- ness as it were.
Better run - cases don't pack themselves...


The sun is shining today. Spring has finally sprung. The biting cold air has gone, replaced with a mild fresh breeze. The snow has thawed to reveal grass roots emerging, little bulbs poking out, keen to flower.

In my house winter has continued. Yesterday passed with not a single moment of communication between us apart from him helping with a wildly awake Sproglet at 5am. 5am!!! I went to work - manic manic day (why oh why am I working with an incapable writer in this, my hardest ever emotional week??). I ate fries and home baked biscuits and fed myself comfort. Returned home with Sproglet (first day he ran to hug me when I picked him up from nursery - since T've been back this week) and proceeded to work all evening. The knot still twisting.

I awoke today to to find a text from Husband - he planned to stay at work but would be home before we leave for our flight this afternoon. Yet as I crept down the stairs I heard his bear like snores from the spare room. He had sent me an email. At last - he speaks! 'Hey hon,' it began. Promising start no? He hoped the trip away would give us time to clear our heads and 'regroup when you return.' I'm up for a bit of re-grouping! Even if it sounds like some bad episode of Oprah. (No, I know, Oprah is a goddess who doesn't do bad episodes).

He said hasn't just automatically stopped 'loving my wife.' This gives me more hope. Where there is love, there is still hope. I know I have to change. I know that I can't be this ball of rage every day -it exhausts me let alone anyone else. Today I called my Mother - I read the email to her and in my Mother's typical style she managed to make it sound pessimistic. Some gate opened and out it all spilled. How I always feel she judges me and criticises - I have never been good enough. That ever since I had Sproglet all the old buried issues have shaken off their dust and leapt forward to the front of the pile. How being a Mother makes me reflect on my own Mother - and question more than ever why she made the decisions that she did. How - just because she is now sober - I can forgive - but I cannot forget those wretched tormented years where I walked on eggshells and lived in fear of her exploding temper - that could be set off by the smallest, most insignificant thing.

I was oddly calm. It was easy suddenly to say all those things that had remained unsaid while we went on with life, playing out the charade for the public that all was well in our worlds. I went into places I had long ago thought I had closed off, shut down. How it seems so normal yet is so far from normal that at 14 I decided to carry on living with my Mother's ex-boyfriend at weekends, when she had moved out. That his home was the only sanctuary for me during those hellish years. How my acupuncturist reckons I 'sought out pockets of love' - and how angry I am that I had to even go seeking. I often think that if it weren't for my other family - my friendships of old - where would I have ended up?

But I am here - and I have to accept that I brought myself to this point. I need to get myself out of it too. I need to get to a place where I don't hate my Mother any more. That the ball of anger bounces away. That I can be a less frustrated emotional soul. Needing less approval from every person I meet. That I fill myself up - not needing others to give it to me - like some emotional vampire who can not be satiated.

Husband said 'I am hoping that this short break will straighten my head out and I can think clearer about us as a family.' See that word again - he is hoping. I am willing to do the work. I just need him to meet me halfway. I can't make a marriage work by myself.

The snow fell and I wrote off my car. If that hadn't happened I don't think I'd be where I am. I was meant to be at this place. It aint a picnic I can tell you - but it's a starting point. I must away and pack. I can't wait to walk by the sea, drink endless cups of tea, see my oldest friends and hug my Father for the first time in over a year. Going home is where I need to be. At least I go with hope.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

From bad to worse....

Oh god where to start? I never knew I could cry so much and eat so little. The past few days have been beyond horrible. It feels like some cliched nightmare from which I don't wake up. The worst feeling is this knot of fear that swells daily and rises up making me almost wretch. I am wretched - and I don't know how to make this better. I feel so lost.

Ok - Sunday was movie-athon. The place I always turn to when life gets me down. Vicky Christina Barcelona,(luscious) He's Just not that into you (woeful - am glad I sneaked into that showing and didn't pay for it or I would have demanded my money right back) and oh yes - my life on screen - Revolutionary Rd. I came home to a cold indifferent husband and we proceeded to have row mark 5. I went to bed after calling him the C word and dissolved into tears.

I packed. Monday I left. I hugged Sproglet goodbye and bit my lip to stop from crying. Husband was quite civil telling me I needed days away to 'clear my head' and 'have time out.' My plan to make him wake up to how hard it is to be full time worker/mother/housekeeper etc somehow backfired. I drove to work in the new car and choked back sobs. They spilled out the moment I hit work and my lovely script eds noted my stuffed case and the fact I hadn't been on holiday. They rallied round and made me - once again - so blessed to be surrounded by such kindness. The day was thankfully busy and I left work with everyone, getting the train to a friend's house. It was so strange - almost a relief, not to have nursery to race to, the motorway to navigate, dinner to make. A stress headache that become a normality - disappeared. But no matter how hard I tried to feel upbeat the knot kept twisting. At Sam's she fed me comfort food and wine and told me to remain strong - Husband has to see the error of his ways etc. He had texted me that day - a pic of Sproglet covered in bolognaise - but I didn't reply. I was trying to be strong.

Bizarrely I slept well and then hurried to work - taking the wrong bus,getting lost as London and all it's sounds and smells assaulted my senses - it has been a while... As lovely as Sam's was (and she was amazing to me - her and her boyfriend) - I missed Sproglet, my bed, my home, my life. I felt all at sea. That moment when the world is buzzing round you and you feel entirely alone. You awake and before your day even begins a creeping sense of dread envelopes you. The knot rises...

Tuesday I called him and we spoke in short curt sentences. Then he asked if I was ok - was I relaxed (???) and having a good break. He made it sound like I was at a fucking spa. I explained that no, I wasn't too good, what with leaving my marriage and all, and that it was meant to be for HIM to think - for him to see how his endless hours and job from hell have driven this deep gorge between us. We snapped, he went silent, I hung up.

Today I texted him to say 'I miss you. I'm finding this all very hard.' He wrote back the most dreaded words ever to be said in a relationship: 'we need to talk.' My stomach sank to the floor and my legs actually wobbled. I rang him. He wasn't sure that he wanted to be with me any more - that I speak to him so badly and treat him so badly he just wasn't sure any more - he didn't know what he wanted. I fell to pieces. Oh thank god for my work mates to the rescue. They were just so sweet - soothing hugs and wise advice - just go home now. I told them I was scared. I didn't want to come home to see those soft brown eyes look at me with a total lack of emotion. I didn't want to face facts that he might not love me any more - how the hell did it come to this? How I am here? How???

So I drove home - I could hardly see I was crying so much. A work friend Abby had said - let him talk. You listen. Weird thing is - I'd been out on tues night at some poncy London club drinking martinis (my god - I felt like ME again for a minute - it tasted delicious) and met two gay guys (Husband usually calls me a fag hag and I take it as a compliment) and one said that when my husband wasn't listening to me it was because HE wanted to be HEARD. So I sat and listened. I listened to how psycho I have been -how he works so hard to provide for us and then I wake him after 4 hours sleep to help with Sproglet and he is tired and still I bitch - and how badly I speak to him - and you know - he is right. But he doesn't seem to see that I have been driven to this - that I didn't become this monster overnight.He doesn't think it is all down to his job. Maybe he is right.

I silently wept and he went continued - that he wants me to go to Belfast with Sproglet without him, that when I return we can 'move forward' but that he feels detached from me and no longer is sure if we can work it out. I quivered and explained how I felt overwhelmed and in not being able to cope - I stress out and lash out - and I accepted that residual angst left over from my childhood has raised it's head and I probably need a good dose of therapy. I accepted my part in this mess with good grace. I thought that might make him waver - he stood firm.

I tried to touch him and he recoiled. My heart literally broke. I felt winded. I sobbed that he was scaring me - that I have never seen him so cold, so removed from me. Who is this stranger in front of me - he looks like Husband, sounds like him, but it is like some i-robot has taken his place. He said that he has shut down - that he feels cut off from me - that normally my tears would move him - but now he just feels nothing. He doesn't want our marriage to continue if I stay the way I am.

He left to get food and I called his Mother. I knew they had talked last night. She was lovely and told me to let the dust settle. To go to Ireland and that the break will do us both good. He came home. I speak to him now like I spoke to Sproglet when he was about 5 months old: in soft soothing tones, in a meek and terrified way that I barely recognise. I feel like I am walking on eggshells and can't be myself. How long can this last?

He hid upstairs - where he resides as I type. I picked up Sproglet from nursery - he didn't come running to me like he normally does, he cried when I asked him to leave and put in a sterling performance tonight when I tried to bed him. He clearly is unsettled and that makes me feel like even more of a failure. I rang my reformed alcoholic Mother who preached to me how she had to change and now I do too. I raged at her - yes that rage appearing again - because I am not in control, because I don't know what else to be except angry. I need to let go of my past - I need to not be the scared rejected girl I once was - I need to not repeat my past and push the one I love most away. But how to do it? I can go and see someone - no problem - but what then? I do all the work and he carries on in this job - me pussy footing around him, scared to ask him to do anything for fear of being seen as a nag? Afraid to voice how I feel - how lonely and relentless it is to parent the way I do - and try and hold down a busy full time job?

How is this going to work? I always used to think 'that'll never happen to me' but here I am. In the throws of a crumbling marriage. I love him and yet I resent him too - for being so dismissive, so cold, so damn in control - while I am a blubbering wreck. I wish I knew which way to go - how to win him back and still make him want to change his damn job and spend more time with us - to admit maybe that he is scared to try and find another vocation that perhaps isn't as well paid. But before I can try - will he stop loving me first? Is a new clock ticking?

These days feel endless - it is hard to concentrate when everything feels upside down. Friends are supportive and offer wisdom but they only know my side. They aren't in my shoes and although they try - they have no idea what to say or how to get me out of this mess. Answers on a postcard please.... But to all who have sent love - I thank you - because as strange as it is to unload all this in cyber space - it helps. And those hugs and texts and emails and messages mean more than you will ever know.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Do I stay or do I go?

Let's call this week the 'meltdown' week. I can't remember a harder week. Work was stressful - enjoyable - but stressful. It involved long hours and late nights to achieve what I need to. My insurance coughed up and then gave me 48 hours to give back the hire car. In doing so they set the Mission impossible style clock ticking - I had to get a new car pronto. I know nothing about cars. They have wheels, they can be shiny, they go from A to B. All that mileage, 1.6, 1.6 or 1.8, year, make, model, spec, alloys business - what does it all mean?? The panic and stress set in. Could Husband help - no of course not - he was working a 6 day week and deep in his own self pity pit.

A fuck up on his rota meant that he had had 3 days off in the previous week and so had to make up for it. This translates to - I will have to make up for it. Whilst he lives the groundhog day of work, home at silly am, sleep, up, an hour or two and then work, home at silly am etc. I am left holding the baby and all responsibilities.

Rather than bore you with the details it means I get up alone every day - get Sproglet sorted, to nursery, then I work a full day, pick him up, get him ready for bed etc and then begin the whole process again the next day. In between I have to somehow find the time to do washing, folding clothes away, food shopping and remembering Sproglet needs jabs, oh and sorting out insurance a new car. throw in my most hectic working week ever and you get a general picture. To say it was hard is an understatement. Basically I am a single parent - without the status. I lead a lonely isolating existence in my suburban dream. I think if see Revolutionary Rd I'll be on the blower to Samaritans - as it apparently will mirror my angst.

Sproglet has taken to waking occasionally in the night - or bouncing out of bed at 6am. This leaves me even more on edge. Thurs I awoke to find Husband had scoffed all the Coco Pops. No big deal you would think - but these are all Sproglet will consume these days. i was enraged. I woke Husband to ask him why he has been so thoughtless - and he calls me a nutter. On route to nursery Sproglet won't hold my hand to cross the road - I make him and he responds by trying to bite a chunk out of my hand. This is the second day in a row that I have been dealt this blow - so I take his raisins off him and tell him in no uncertain terms that this aint on. He howls. Neighbours watch. I simmer.

At nursery he is still having a fit and then clings to me - refusing to let me go. He goes from angry monkey to clingy koala. By the time I leave and he is throwing himself on the floor I feel I have done 10 rounds with tyson. It is only 9am. I get to work knowing what graft awaits me and promptly burst into tears. Workmates are soothing, warm and so darn lovely that I just don't know what I would do if i didn't have such a great bunch to cheer up my day.

Fri I work from home all day - beavering away in front of log fire. Then I find that the money hasn't cleared from the insurance and the car I wanted has been sold - I weep. I am exhausted mentally and physically and lonely. I still have to get Sproglet from nursery and begin a food shop. I get home at 7:30pm and bed him. I drink almost an entire bottle of red to send me to slumber. Sproglet wakes at 3am and won't go back to sleep. Again I am alone dealing with this. I snap. I call Husband and tell him it is over - I'm leaving him. That I can't go on being Mother and Father to this child. Trying to juggle work and Sproglet and his nursery dealings and car stuff and house stuff and tenants and food shops and birthdays and washing and light bulb replacing and EVERYTHING. I am not superwoman. I am one woman - who is tired and frustrated and sick of doing it alone. Why not just be alone and be done? At least I wouldn't fester daily with all encompassing resentment. Rage busting out every pore. Husband thinks I am mad. I am a quivering mess. He hangs up and says he won't come home - that I am a freak. I cry myself to sleep.

Next day I have a car to buy and a son to feed. I manage to get out of the house - I am so tired I can't think. But I must drive about 45 miles and view cars and somehow do this with a small bored and hungry child. My loyal best friend comes with and without her... I don't know what I would have done. I call husband and he is calm about my threats to go - simply asking what time I shall depart. I am teary and without hope. I get a car - I don't know if it was the right one or what I should have got - but time was pressing and I knew it had to be done.

Best mate's kind man arrived to drive it home. The whole process from leaving the house to getting home with new car took a cool 9 hours. Still - I had Sproglet to feed and bed. Another good friend arrived laden with comfort food of mash, chocolate and sticky toffee pudding. She cooked as I cried.

I love my Husband - I really do. I hate his job and it's relentless hours. I can't be bothered to go through the peaks and troughs of why he is still in - but it all boils down to money and him being unable a work out a feasible way to leave it and still get a good salary for us to afford our life. My point - he hasn't even tried. Not bought a book, done a jot of research - nothing. We thought the bar was shutting in Jan - and with it I would get a husband back - a Mr 9-6 who was there for me - a proper living breathing Husband. not a lodger kind of man who is useless to me.

But the refurb was put off and the hours continue and I feel I have been on this merry-goround forever and a day and yet he is still there - he won't hear how unhappy I am - he won't CHANGE ANYTHING. So what do I do? friends think I need to make a stand - shock him into a wake up call. I am so tired I cannot see the wood for the trees. So today I pack. I may not leave until tomorrow - but I'm going. I need to leave him holding the baby so he realises what I do and how hard it is.

Don't get me wrong - my heart is broken - I weep as I type - but I just cannot go on like this any more. It is no life. I will return at some stage to pick up Sproglet as we both fly to Ireland on Sat for a week - I can't wait for family comfort and love.

We all marry filled with hope and love and eternal devotion and then life comes and gets in the way. Everyone aspires for the happy ending. When you get there you discover there is no happy ending - its all smoke and mirrors.

It is damn hard and it can be very lonely. I must go and pack. I have never felt so lost and yet so certain. Wish me luck.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Dummy Mummy decade...

... is the title of a great article in The Observer Woman magazine today. Every month when this supplement comes out I can't wait to get my mitts on it and devour every well written page. Rachel Cooke, who admits she never wants kids, discusses how recently a entire generation of women have become obsessed with motherhood and can talk of little else.

I couldn't agree more - even though this sounds somewhat rich coming from a woman who blogs about Motherhood. The difference I think, nay hope, between myself and a dummy mummy - is that I hope to god I have something more to chat about than simply what colour Sproglet's nappy was today? I appreciate that women need to talk about motherhood because if they didn't they'd go stark raving mad - as it is so damn consuming - and isolating. If we didn't get a load off - we'd combust. So forgive us Rachel.

Yet I agree with the crux of her argument - that the women who drone on and on about motherhood - and seem to be only identify themselves (and I quote Rachel) 'primarily, vociferously, and sometimes exclusively as Mothers' - confirm what men think: that we are only interested in having babies and nesting - ergo why should women be promoted, taken seriously or well paid? That this motherhood devotion is oddly competitive and smug - that somehow you just don't 'get it' if you haven't pushed a watermelon out of you vajayjay.

Rachel's main fear is that she will turn into a woman like the one she describes a meeting at a recent party. She asked the woman if she had seen a certain film and the woman replied 'I don't see films' as if movies are how people without kids fill up their dull hours, until they do. This woman added a further blow when talking jobs by saying 'I really wouldn't want to work full time, it just wouldn't be fair.' No wonder Rachel wants to punch women like this in the jaw. The pedestals which these martyr women put themselves on (Ulrika Jonsson being the worst at this - always bleating on about how tired she is, how she doesn't do blah blah blah because she has so much more important things to do being a mother of four - easy answer Ulrika, if you didn't want this exhausting life - replete with nannies I add - then why didn't you just shut your legs for once??) just highlights the yawning gap between child free women and those with kids - when sisters, we should all be on the same side eh???

I too have a fear - the Militant Mother. I encountered one today. I took Sproglet for a 'playdate' (the very title makes me nauseous)with a local MM I know. She told me how her in-laws were coming to stay for a week to mind her darling daughter and explained how she has typed out the kid's routine for her Mother-in Law to follow. Yes - typed it out. She means business. It was stuck to the fridge for reference. I get that it is good to let those minding your child know what he/she is used to - so I glanced over it out of curiosity. Oh my god. First line: 'Up 7am. Breakfast choice of cheerios or toast. After breakfast she is dressed immediately.' Not so much routine as militant orders. This child isn't allowed any chocolate (ever) and only milk at bedtime. No snacks other than snacks listed and she has to sit on her potty twice daily although 4 months or more shy of actual potty training. I'm surprised the kid hasn't got an allotted fart window at 1:05pm every day...

Thing is - Sproglet sits on the potty whenever he fancies - slowly slowly catchy pooey monkey. He eats chocolate - as in buttons or maltezers - regularly, under the idea that a little of what you fancy is always good for you - and total abstinence just creates a feverish like need for said forbidden fruit. I'm a flexible mother -crummy - but flexible and as long as he is happy - hell, I'm happy. Now Sproglet shares his toys, is a happy wee soul and kisses crying kids, sleeps like.... well a baby, (a paradox there as many babies do not sleep at all) eats his grub with relish and is friendly and kind. Militant child in the short time was I was there today: hit Sproglet in the face, pushed him towards a wall, took HIS toy from him and cried when she had to give it back, kept her rice cake treats to herself until she was told to share, had to sit on the naughty step twice, screamed when she didn't get her way, held toys he wanted to play with under his nose and then swiped them away before he got near them and physically kicked him out of her spoilt princess tent. Sproglet took it all in good grace - even after he fell over and had a massive nosebleed. I smiled politely and restrained myself for wanting to pin this little madam to the ground for being so mean to my wee boy. If that is what routine does for you - maybe it's time to throw the typed papers out of the window? No?

Rachel - sorry for that outburst - am sure it bored the hell out of you. But I'm available for a post - Bafta deconstruction, a chat about fav movies out at the mo (MILK is great), the wonder of J Brand jeans and an Obama love in. Wine included.

Friday, 6 February 2009

My complete history of dating failures...

Diet schmiet. Totally gone out the window after losing 8 pounds and feeling insanely smug. This never ending stream of snow has thrown everything into disarray. I've had to work from home 4 days this week, Sproglet's nursery has closed twice (try working at home with 'Horton hears a Who' on repeat behind you (or when he has an almighty tantrum - today's was quite special, I'm surprised he has any vocal chords left); and I'm trapped at home - terrified to get behind the wheel again until this slushy scary mess has melted to oblivion. Supplies are dwindling, every shoe/boot is wet, I've had to cancel seeing the osteopath (which I was desperate to do post crash with a niggling twinge in my back gnawing away at me no matter which way I sit) and I have raging cabin fever. Yes, I am moany. Bear with me - I am a pulsating combination of rage, menstrual hormones and boredom.

So I've been watching DVDs - in between Horton marathons (bring back Kung Fu Panda I beg of you Sproglet). An interesting one was 'The complete history of my sexual failures' - catchy eh? A documentary by a unwashed pretentious 'independent film maker' who wanted to know why all his exes had dumped him. Within 2 mins the answer to this misguided bloke's question was crystal - he was the most arrogant narcissistic slovenly selfish male that I have ever seen. I just kept wondering what these clever beautiful women had ever seen in him in the first place.

An interesting journey into his psyche went off course and ended up being all about his (small) penis and how much he needed to get laid. He overdosed on viagra but that failed to produce any signs of personality from him - he just wandered the streets asking women to shag him; bless, you need looks to carry that one off. He ended up arrested. The most amusing moments in this film were obviously contrived - Chris (I think he was called) desperately tried not to smirk at the shoehorned in comic moments as if they had just organically evolved. The film ended with him getting another bird and getting a bit weepy with his most beloved girlfriend (he hadn't wanted to commit, she had left and was now pregnant and quelle surprise Chris felt now that he wanted her back)but didn't really hold a mirror up and solve his main problems by stating the obvious - you are a prick Chris - and obsessed with your own!!

It made me think of my own list of sexual failures - well, not MY failures but exes - some of whom were definitely failures. Why did I date the ginger bob-haired wannabe actor who listened to radio 4 all day and cleared his throat every night as he brushed his teeth? Or the dullest man in Britain who was cute but refused to ever perform cunnilingus? (He dumped me by the way - he said I had 'too much personality for him.' By that I think he meant I had one - as he didn't. He lived on a boat that smelt of dead sheep. That would be because there was a dead sheep trapped between said boat and barge). Or the German who looked like a concentration camp survivor and spent most of the day (and night) in a stoned stupor? Or the now-famous Hollywood actor who had two photos in his room - a tiny one of his then girlfriend (I thought they had split up) and an enormous poster sized print in black and white of himself, proudly facing his bed - so when he made love he could stare at the person he was most interested in - himself. Or the misogynist comic who couldn't kiss and introduced me to his girlfriend. One of 6 of them. Or the cute thick store-guard who could barely string a sentence together and two timed every girl he dated but was hot in the hay... Or the (still single)commitment phobe who would pace the floor every time he came near me, his Catholic guilt eating him up as he worked out yet another (am sure valid) excuse why to not be with me - only to get frisky with me again months later - and then at parties kiss other girls in front of me, whilst I abstained from alcohol - to take my medicine for vicious cystitis courtesy of him. This loop played out for several years - and I thought that was what love is!!! Give me strength. Or the film director who had a woman in every port (no, I didn't know about that either) and promised to sweep me to LA only to replace me with an aging English actress over 40. Where was my head? I don't need to visit them to find out what I did wrong - I need to ask myself what the fuck I was doing with any of them to begin with! I say this not out of arrogance, but with the beauty of hindsight. If I could take my 17 year old self (and upwards until 28) aside, I would have a strong word in my shell like.

Anyway, tonight's fare is Savage Grace - about a Mother who ends up shagging her own son. Nice. Pass me the chocolates...especially those nice little Munchie ones. Only £1 with a DVD. See the things I know these days? The snow has got to go....

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


I'd lost control of the car. I gently turned the wheel but to no avail. The wheels locked and it skidded forwards - my braking only amplifying the speed as it ploughed straight into the central reservation with an almighty bang. For a the briefest moment I was on a dodgems ride - spinning and bumping and twisting and turning. But it was the motorway, in minus 4 weather, 6 deep powdery inches of perfect snow and my little car the skater on it's glassy rink. I spun around bumped the back somehow and then careered across both lanes and into the ditch where I came to a shuddering halt.

I was shaking. Chris Moyles was still talking about his comic relief mountain climb. I was ok. No blood. No other car involved. My first thought - I won't get into work today. I reached for my phone and called my boss. A kind man pulled over and lifted the front of my car off the lane. He parked just to the right of me - hazard lights flashing so as no one ploughed into me. People were kind - several slowed down and checked I was ok. One man called the police. My boss was calm and helpful. 'All that matters is that you're not hurt.' I couldn't take it in - I was shaking. Tears threatened to spill. I had no idea what to do. I was a few miles from home - how to get there? What do I do with the shell of my car? My car - my wee trusty machine now in bits. 'A write off' the police cheerily confirmed when they arrived.

They took to me to a local service station, where in the McD's a sympathetic manager hugged me as I sobbed. I just kept thinking how lucky I was that Sproglet was safely at home and hadn't been with me. I got a cab. Drove past the wreck and teh taxi driver said I was blessed. Husband held me and Sproglet gave me dribbly kisses and looked confused to see Mummy crying. I felt so lucky but so scared. Life can just go - in a flick of a switch - a moment on the icy road. As the rest of London stayed at home - happy for a day off - I wondered what had made me so determined to get into work in the first place? Never again when the snow falls will I attempt to go ANYWHERE.

Today my neck hurts. I feel oddly downcast. I feel isolated without my car. Such a headache to have to replace it - within the alloted hire car time (21 days). I'm nervous about getting back in the saddle. Hate the pretty white stuff that makes the world look clean and bright. I feel strangely vulnerable - like I never want to get in a car again. It will pass - I hope.