Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guilty pleasures

I'm hungover, maudlin, I can't possibly have a hangover when I haven't gone to bed yet. Can I? Yes I have.

The senior daughter, fresh from London Fashion Week, and I, swept up the lane in the pouring rain, to have pre-dinner drinks with friends in the village. A very jolly affair, but three gin and tonics later, I felt much like "the morning after" It has dawned on me that they must have been at least trebles.

I began this post on Saturday evening - then ran out of steam completely. I am afraid that these days, try as I might, I cannot raise much enthusiasm for A Life Reclaimed.

I am beginning to realise that there is not going to be a Life Reclaimed, and I fear for my future. Nothing seems to touch my philandering husband - he refuses to answer questions about his finances, he refuses to cooperate, he refuses to pay me any maintenance saying he has no money. Unsurprisingly, he still owns 5 cars, takes frequent holidays, is in the process of buying a house, and is not short of money to live a full life. Why cannot the law protect me, and call him to account? He is threatening me now that if I do not accept his unfair offer, based on non--disclosure, he will apply to the Courts for me to pay all his costs.

Last week I rallied briefly, and went down to London to see the junior daughter. In the past I went every week, to check she was OK and to do various things to help her - but now, I cannot afford the petrol to go very often, and have only seen her twice since Christmas.

We had lunch at Pizza Express, using a 2 for 1 voucher, I might add! It was good to spend time with her, and also, to see Posetta Baddog again. She excelled herself by howling with pleasure when I arrived, and then did a huge wee, totally losing control!

On the way home, I thought, damn it, and went into Daunts Books in South End Green. I bought 4 books, and felt so guilty - I could not afford them. I hugged them to myself, pushing away the guilt: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym, The Book Thief (can't remember the author - I actually had to order that one) The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy, and the new biography of Irene Nemirovsky who wrote amongst others, Suite Francaise. A cornucopia - I suspect that I will burn the midnight oil with these, dogs curled up beside me in bed.

Daunts is my favourite bookshop - a brilliant eclectic stock of books, they will order anything, and the staff are beyond charming. Every book gets a bookmark, and they have brilliant cloth bags to carry away one's prizes)

(Some friends took me to see The Last Station last week, which inspired the purchase of Sofia Tolstoy's Diaries. The film was excellent, I adored it, so well done - Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer were amazing. It was actually a German film, shot in Germany, but it might well have been shot in Russia. Well worth seeing)

To compound my extravagance,I nipped into the Euphorium Bakery next door to Daunts and bought three slices of a delectable Tarte au Pomme, to take to friends who had asked me to supper on my return home.

There are some delights still to be savoured, but they are becoming few and far between.

Today the sun is out, last night there was a welcome sharp frost, so today the sky is blue, the air is sharp, and there is much birdsong to be heard. This afternoon, I am playing tennis, which will be a joy after all the terrible weather we have had recently. For the first time in months, my lovely kitchen is flooded with sunlight and maybe, Spring is around the corner. I have a bowl of red floppy tulips and catkins on the table, their pollen dusting everything with a fine mist. I am about to make a Moroccan Orange Cake, a Diana Henry receipt, which we will eat after we finish our game of tennis.

I keep telling myself that I must be positive - I suppose that after a lifetime with someone, it is difficult to comprehend how they could be so unpleasant and so spiteful. It negates everything - and so there are no good memories left. And - a much loved family home will have to be left behind, and he will depart for a new life that does not include his family. His loss.

Just writing again, I suddenly feel a little better.


Anonymous said...

Please do keep writing; it would be a great loss if you were to ever lose all of your enthusiasm and I would certainly miss reading your blog - particularly the parts about cooking, dogs and Northamptonshire - all of which I very much relate to!

It's very often quoted, maybe quoted too often, but always stands firm in my mind. Although I have no experience of what you are currently going through, I always try to keep this at the forefront of my mind when I really think that I just can't be bothered with it all anymore!

"Nolite te bastardes carborundorum"

And if nothing least Spring may finally have arrived....!


Anonymous said...

Please, you must get an attorney that has the disposition of a rotweiler (sp?)...on contingent..DO NOT let this man steamroll you - you can get through this...stop being nice...don't give up..never give up.

Susan said...

(Sorry to delete with name (though it still shows up, I have to be careful.)

I echo those above. Aurora, you must engage an attorney who will go after this person. I can't recommend as I'm not in the UK but I do know people have been in similar situations in UK & they fought it. I wonder if depression isn't robbing you of the energy to find someone to take the case? (Which would be understandable, not criticizing.) In that case, can't some of your friends who are your age (it's sticky to ask the girls to find out, it is their father, etc.) to do some canvassing for you? When I was a young teenager in the mid-1970s, some of my friend's parents (who went to our church as well) were able to engage a lawyer on behalf of my mother who had nothing. I mean that man left us actually hungry. I had to go down & apply for food stamps but was not old enough. It was a genuine nightmare from which I still have, well, nightmares. (Not often, but it scarred me, my three younger sisters.) Do any of your friends read your blog? If you are too upset to approach them, could you send them a link to a few of your posts re: your desperate feeling? I am worried.


Anonymous said...

I'd give you a hug if I could...

pierre l said...

I think we would all like to give you a hug. All this makes me feel guilty to be male, but I am a widower, not divorced and never had an affair in 30 years of marriage. Plus there is nothing I can do to help.

pierre l said...

And do keep writing providing it helps to make you feel better. This is your blog, so write as little or as much as you like.

Chic Mama said...

I'm so sorry....but don't stop writing.
I can't tell you how similar things are from a legal point of view, exactly the same is happening in my life. I just cannot understand how they are getting away with it.
Take care of yourself and don't give up fighting if you have the energy but also don't destroy yourself in the process ( That's what I keep trying to tell myself anyway...easier to say than actually carry out)

Queen Vee said...

Yes, please don't give up! You WILL reclaim your life. I echo the other commenters in urging you to get a good lawyer – it is just not right that he should leave you with nothing. Using lawyer will also mean that you need not talk to your horrible ex EVER again, and that will improve your happiness a lot, I'm sure.

Sending lots of warm wishes and a hug.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for sharing. I do hope you are able to find a lovely kind lawyer who will do some of your fighting for you. That and perhaps a forensic accountant?

Also wondered whether you had been on the Money Saving Expert forums. There are so many people with tips and hints about living frugally ... including ebaying spare things.

Your silky dogs sound wonderful. I was walking through Oxleas Woods yesterday and there were so many dogs there, especially around the cafe where they serve large mugs of builders tea.

Iheartfashion said...

I hope you will keep writing. It may not feel like things will ever get better right now (and believe me, I feel the same about my own troubles), but the fact that you can take pleasure in small things like books and cake is a good sign. Things will improve.

Anonymous said...

Want to suggest a lovely book about Sofia Tolstoy called Song Without Words. It is a book of photographs taken by Sofia. She was quite a talented photographer. I, too, saw Last Station and was totally mesemerized by the story and the performances. Her life story is both heart rending and inspirational. I think that you will be very moved by this book, and it might give you some comfort during this difficult time of your life.

Best wishes for a wonderful new life!

ReikiRee said...

Dear Lady, please keep writing, keep walking the dogs and keep hope alive that you will Reclaim your Life! Yes! You will. I know it. You won't get the life you had, but you will get the life you build. I know what I'm talking about, because I have walked in your shoes. Not fun. Get thee a Rottie-solicitor, one with experience dealing with Husbands who cry "Poor!" My husband hid all kinds of money. Finally, I just wanted OUT! The Universe was watching and took all his hidden assets in a stock market crash HA! Would have liked some of that in cash, but I am doing more than well now. Go find yourself a Man who loved being Married! (... how about that Widower?) Or not. You will do fine.

Anonymous said...

I love your descriptions of the food you eat, the walks with your dogs, the weather, the joys of your daughters and your life in general. It's not an easy time for you now , but I think you have risen above your difficult situation and shown great courage and grace.

Be gentle with yourself - you have a lot to give: not least in this blog. Oh well, I do hope it's a comfort for you to know how well liked you are here.

Warmest good wishes from (rescue dog) Tia's Mum.


Anonymous said...

I have just stumbled on to your blog quite accidentally and was moved by your situation. As with everything there are no easy answers and I won't patronise you with platitudes. However, to retain even the semblance of an ability to draw inspiration and spiritual sustenance from the simple choices we make in life is a gift. A gift embodied by the joys of cloth bags, sharing food with friends, spending time with our children and inciting such glee that a dog will urinate in your presence! Through the fog of circumstance you can, clearly, see the value of these things and make others see them too. A gift indeed. Thank you. x

Catherine said...

OK. I have some tips for saving money.

Don't buy books at bookshops anymore. Sad, but true. Go on Amazon. You can get them sometimes for as little as 1 pence then you pay postage. I also haunt the charity shops and buy them for between 50 pence and £1.

Re your house sale, perhaps it would 'helpful' to talk the house down to prospective purchasers if you really want to stay there. For example, it's really cold, or damp or whatever. Unless that is of course delaying the inevitable. Just thought it might be a way of sticking two fingers up at your ex.