Sunday, October 4, 2009

A final homecoming

Hello again, loyal followers. I confess that I have not had the heart to post anything for a while.

Now - I have decided to try and rise like phoenix from the ashes. Life is so bloody, that maybe a gentle Sunday morning stint at the laptop may be cathartic.

The junior daughter and I had a great time in Cornwall. Unfortunately, my great niece was christened three days into our holiday week, so we had to miss the first few days of the break. The weather was divine and missing 3 days of it was a great shame. I really needed a break - but - the time we had was restorative.

I join friends every year for a week in September. These friends have been so good to me, kind and loyal, and their young are a delight, such good company, and I love them all. They take a house outside Fowey on a little creek, and I take the little cottsge attached to the side. The views across to Fowey harbour are lovely, and we go over to Fowey everyday in a little dinghy to get provisions, newspapers, and to get a cappucino, which I cannot do without! We sit on the lovely terrace of the house, overlooking the creek and the sea, and do the crosswords, gossip, eat, and drink gallons of rose. Meals all arrive somehow, someone is deputed to produce each one, bits get pooled, and it is so hassle-free. We are a mixture of young and middle-aged, people come and go all the time, trips to Lostwithiel station to and fro to fetch and drop off, it is a very enjoyable time. I read not a book - all the posey nonsense about which ones I should take! In truth, this is not the sort of holiday where much reading gets done. I always live in hope.

For once, I was not looking forward to coming home. Just to seal the dullness, it took me six and a half hours to get back, the traffic was a complete nightmare. It makes one realise that the sainted 'staycation' the media ramble on about, is not to be attempted. The roads cannot cope. The junior daughter had returned to London the night before, thank goodness, and her train journey was quick, comfortable, and a better idea altogether. I took her and Possetta Baddog to Lostwithiel station, she looked so small and Christopher Robin-like, clutching the Baddog as if she was Pooh Bear, they clambered onto the tiny three carriage train and disappeared almost in a puff of smoke, up the track towards Newton Abbott, and so on to Paddington.

During my journey home, Billy was panting and hyperventilating in the back of the car, and hated every moment. I could feel his hot breath blasting through the gap in the front seats, and I longed for the journey to end. Maud, the seasoned traveller, lay curled up on her sheepy bed on the front passenger seat, very occasionally raising her head disdainfully and glaring at Billy, as if to say, 'Calm down'. My dogs are my salvation, as I have said before. So companionable, funny, warm and loving.

We eventually arrived home. As I opened the front door, I was met with a wave of nostalgia and then a feeling of emptiness. This was not a home any more - it was a shell, full of memories, memories of happier times, family life, a life gone for ever, there was no warmth, just a chill in the air, ghosts hanging suspended. For the first time in the twenty-four years I had lived here, I realised it was not a homecoming, and never would be again.

I have loved this house, every nook and cranny of its honey-coloured ironstone walls, 18 inches thick, the warmth of those walls at the end of a hot sunny day, the masonry bees buzzing around the myriad holes in the stonework. Inside it is always cool yet light and sunny, this house is my life. I have made the garden, loved every minute I have spent in it - however, the last four years have been so unhappy and traumatic, that I have slowly abandoned it - unable to put my love and heart into it any more. I know now when I wake early, and lie in bed looking out over the garden, and the field with my three sheep quietly grazing, that soon it will be gone for ever, and I will never forgive my venal, philandering, cheating husband for the misery and unhappiness he has brought to my family.

4 comments:

Wildernesschic said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear about your return home. I love my home with the same passion and my garden I have created from the remains of a lovely garden from year before neglected for two decades and I cannot imagine leaving here. You must be feeling low.
All I can say is sometimes change is good and you may find somewhere you are just as happy maybe more so without bad memories and a new garden to plant.... All the same what a pig !

Rebecca Portsmouth said...

Dear Aurora,

I love to read about your journey (especially your dogs and garden/nature) and glad you've had a lovely break away.

I do hope, however, that you're able to let such strong feelings towards the P. go at some point, because if you are angry at someone, the anger connects the two of you. If anyone deserves peace and happiness, it sounds like you; hope it's yours very, very soon.

liZZie said...

Calling in to say that I am a middle aged divorced woman, twice in fact, and that when you are able to accept what's happened you'll move physically and emotionally and you will be if not happy, content and at peace. If you Google 'Divorce Recovery Workshops' (DRW) you may be interested in them. A lot of the time I wish I was married, happily and not so alone, but then I think about my husbands and also what my behaviour was like under the pressure of failing relationships and think may be it's better to be alone. May be some of your anger is because you didn't jettison the 'P' sooner?

Chic Mama said...

I could cry for you....your post could be an extract from a novel. Beautifully written.
The holiday sounds lovely, I would love to do the dinghy trips for supplies.
I know how you feel about your home....this was OUR dream home, I feel trapped in it now and have no energy at all to keep it tidy etc...lost all interest and spend hours on the internet looking at houses in the hope that I can escape here one day.