The house is flooded with early morning sunshine, and as the kitchen french windows are open, I can hear the usual birdsong and the sheep murmuring for their breakfast.
I am exhausted. Last week I finally had to make the decision to put my beloved home in the hands of the estate agents. Once the decision had been made, their well-oiled machine swung into action. I had to get the house cleaned from top to bottom by the agency I have used for years. Five people for ten hours - the house was turned out, upside down and round about, and by the end of a very long day looked absolutely marvellous. Everything sparkled, smelt wonderful, and my heart was breaking. The garden was weeded, the lawns mown, all the various repairs to the roof, the plumbing, the electrics, and so on, had to be done. Everyone involved went the extra mile for me, and I realised how kind people have been to me since I have been on my own. Nothing has ever been too much trouble for them.
The day before all this activity, the senior daughter returned to New York after nearly five months at home. What a performance to get her packed and ready - a very bittersweet experience for both of us, because she will never return to our beloved family home. When I left her at Heathrow, I had a huge lump in my throat. These last months have been heartbreaking. We have written already, the two of us, of all the clearing out we have done together, the piles of letters read, the books sorted, the wonderful vintage clothes belonging to various members of my family, sll the childhood toys and memories of her and L'l Sis. The end of a family. Just all memories now.
I am finding the destruction of everything that has meant so much to me, everything that has been pivotal to my life, almost unbearable.
Yesterday, in church, I really thought that my heart was going to break. This church, where I hsve worshipped for 24 years would soon be lost to me. The Easter lilies filled the space with a rich opulent scent, and the sunlight came through the windows in great shafts. The news was out that the house was on the market, and everyone gathered round, offering their condolences, saying how sad, that I was a much valued member of the community, and would be much missed. We sang hymns that I absolutely love, and the tears welled up and fell down my cheeks.
When I returned home, I walked round my garden with the dogs. All the memories - the potager, with its brick paths and box edged beds, this was created in memory of my mother, my little gothic greenhouse built in memory of my aunt and grandmother. The huge white wisteria on the back of the house, planted in memory of my father, and which stubbornly refused to flower for 16 years, and which, last year, was suddenly covered in huge sweet-scented creamy racemes of flowers. The Wedding Day rambling rose given by a friend on our 30th Wedding Anniversary, the Ruby Wedding roses, a present 5 days before I had to ask my philandering husband to leave. So many memories in this garden which I created from scratch, and now must leave behind.
I have to face the stark realisation that I am now too old to create another garden, and it is a bitter pill to swallow.
My final sorrow is that Maudie Littlehampton, my treasured loyal little Jack Russell, at 14 years old, is going blind. I fear for her when we move, because an unfamiliar house will be difficult for her to find her way around. Here, when she nips out under the gate and wanders off, and gets disorientated, kind friends return her to me.
I ask myself - what is the point of all this misery? My husband has turned into a spiteful, vengeful, deeply unpleasant man - bitter and twisted. He has destroyed his family, lied, cheated, been consistently unfaithful for years, spent all his money on himself, his myriad mistresses, and racing cars - and to what end? His girls will not have anything to do with him, and what has he achieved? He has ruined me, he has not given me a penny for months, I have spent all my private money trying to divorce him, but he just will not give proper financial disclosure, or me a fair settlement. It is now nearly two years since I chucked him out, and still no resolution God rot him.
6 days ago