Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The sound of silence

I can't sleep and have crept down to the kitchen, to be followed by the dogs galloping down the stairs, and asking to be let out. They have hared across the lawn, in hot pursuit, I assume, of a fox. I can hear crashing, snorting and barking, and no doubt, they will be back soon, tongues lolling, their quarry far away over the fields.

At this time of night, it is so quiet, not a sound in the house, nor outside. The walls of this house are 18 inches thick, made of Northamptonshire ironstone, and not much sound seeps through. It is almost eerie. I am glad I am wrapped up in a ghastly, unflattering, but cosy fleece dressing gown, with sheepskin lined slippers on my feet. There is a definite chill in the air - I am not running the central heating for more than a couple of hours a day, even though the temperature has dropped considerably these last few days. As the philanderer has stopped paying me any maintenance at all, I shall have to get used to the chill as I cannot afford to pay the heating bills!

I have just looked at my e-mails to see that the senior daughter has sent me a lovely photo of her chums, H and M, who married recently. They look so happy - they came here for lunch during the summer when the daughter was at home, are quite delightful, and I wish them all the joy and happiness in the world.

I am feeling reflective again looking at this picture of happiness. I feel sad - how, 41 years down the line, can a man behave so badly and not have a twinge of conscience, and how can his ghastly ambitious young lawyer excuse her encouragement of his lies, and concealment of his finances and his health problems? Not a pleasant scenario, Mrs M in MK, perhps you are hoping for a promotion, for destroying my life?

I muse on the nature of the philander's present relationship - she thinks he is 'the one'. he, behind her back, true to his nature, says he feels nothing for her, she is available, he does not intend to marry her, he quite likes her! I wonder if she knows this! You see, he behaves true to form. A leopard never changes its spots. Not my problem. Watch out, dear.

The dogs have come back, scrabbling to be let in, and have flown upstairs, to stake their claim to a large share of the bed. I just love them, their warm silky bodies, which smell of starch and clean sheets, their soft ears, their dear brown and golden eyes, looking so warmly and lovingly at me. Dogs are definitely man's best friend. We used to own a wonderful Golden Retriever called Bertie, short for Albertine. She had the most gentle nature, and she and I belonged to an organisation called PAT Dogs, Pets as Therapy. For years, we visited hospitals, hospices, geriatric rehabilitation units and sick people, it was such a privilege and pleasure. Bertie brought so much joy to sick and elderly people, laying her soft head with its big brown eyes on laps, gently accepting tiny bits of biscuit, and allowing herself to be stroked and petted. We also helped at a drop in centre run by Headway, a charity for people who had suffered head trauma. She was a diamond, my Bertie, and we miss her. She mentored Maud when she was a puppy, and also dear Violet, she was the mother hen of our dog fraternity.

The stillness - absolutely nothing to be heard, the sound of silence. When we first moved here, all those years ago, I was left on my own a lot, and was absolutely terrified. Over the years, the house has gathered me in and closed itself around me. I feel utterly at peace here on my own now, this house is like an old dear friend, protecting me.


Anonymous said...

Hello there,
I have been a long-time reader of your daughter's blog, right from the very early days, and I have become such a fan of your writing too.

Your blog is wonderfully evocative and I really think it's an avenue you should pursue further ... I think it could lead to a rather amazing book.

I, and I'm sure all your readers, are thinking of you at this tough time.
Linda x

Anonymous said...

Dear Aurora

I've come across your blog and was touched by it as my mother is in a similar situation (not with my father, but the evil step-father). She has only been able to travel abroad once (due to finances), works long hours standing agonisingly on her feet to make the mortgage payments and is soon to be left with only £10k to her name after the settlement/house sale/lawyers fees. All this to contend with at 60! I hope she might be able to garner some sort of positivity from your heartfelt and intelligent writings. Aerin

Red Lipstick Style said...

I have to agree with Ms. Linda, your writing is lovely. And you as well, a home is a dear, dear friend. I too love and cherish my home and thank God for it each day. Hope you have a great day!

westendmum said...

The dogs sound lovely as does the house, I was right there in the crisp country air in your writing, even though I'm holed up in a city flat. Sorry you couldn't sleep, he'll get his come uppance, they always do. x

Anonymous said...

Have been reading your blog for quite some time and had to tell you that you sound like a wonderful person - justlook how fortunate you are !! Who cares about your a-hole ex...never forget that what goes around comes around !! I have an a-hole ex also and even tho' am younger than you can sympathize with your every word vis-a-vis the dreaded 'X' - power to the sucker silly cows that fall for them - we are much better and smarter women than they will ever be ....
All the best to you - T x

shayma said...

that is such a lovely thing to do for people (PAT)- i am sure the people whom you and your dog met have sent you positive vibes and said a kind word about you every night before going to sleep. we all have our own ways of healing, dont we?
sending xo. shayma

annabanana said...

You are so gifted at at writing/comminicating. You are really talented. And your future is in this sphere. I have have found you quite by accident. I tend to to be very blunt/direct. So, here goes. Take the high road. You KNOW you are the better. You made him what he was. However, you had faith, he did not. And this is what happened. You simply continued to be who you were, authentically. Men with no faith, fear DEATH. So they think if they take a younger women, they will be immune. Of course, they lose big time. You have to see "MOONSTRUCK", a movie (US) with Cher, Nicholas Cage, Vincent Gardenia, and Olympia Dukakis. However. I am sending this from Long Island, NY. I have been divorced 24 years. I really thought I would walk into the sunset with this person. It did not happen. It took me time to get it. In the beginning, a nightmnare. Beautiful ending -- I won big time. Yea, we divorced -- on my terms -- I don't understand your Court system, where were the accountants, where are the lawyers, etc.
My story is, of course, much longer, but this is about you. I can tell you are a lady-- But -- every lady knows when it's time to take off the gloves -- go to it. Take yourself to a spa, get a mani/pedi, facial -- yea, yea, no $$$$$, get your daughters, you can do this at the kitchen sink. Hold your head up and straighten your back. ALWAYS look good. And remember this -------- he KNEW you you were the better when he married you. I love the stories of the altar servings. Sorry, I don't have a blog. I'm 74 now, and all your lives are very interesting.

Chic Mama said...

My H's lawyer was an ambitious woman too......her nasty, hurtful letters came back to bite her on the bottom though. He hasn't paid the fees and owes them an astronomical amount.
I hope things improve soon for you. XX

zurin said...

I have just discovered ur blog thru Shayma. I was reading this post n halfway thru I just had to stop to comment.

I never knew these reflective writing blogs exist! your writing is beautiful, evocative n thoughtful...Like the other writing blog I have just read (discovered thru Shayma too) I am addicted..totally.. I look forward to more of your thoughts...tq for sharing..

I will continue to read now.



Make Do Style said...

The lawyer thing isn't personal. I'm afraid it is the nature of the job - she is acting for her client. The client drives the car and the road that is chosen.

I'm really sorry it is such an awful ordeal and wish it was but any other way. Very nice prose though, evocative and beautiful.

Catherine said...

I think you should do more PAT work if you can with Billy. He sounds like he is cut out for it. My dog is an unofficial therapy dog for people. She attracts a lot of attention when she is out; people of all ages stroke and pat her and she loves it.