Friday, June 25, 2010

Mildly pissed, grumpy, and tomorrow is another day

I love you all - I simply can't personalize my replies - incompetence - but I sooo appreciate every comment, suggestion and gesture of support. In time I will get myself in order, but please accept my salaams and thanks - I also support you all, and do understand all the shit that everyone else goes through. No situation is unique to the person mired in their personal shit.

I am mildly pissed - another glorious English summer's day - another house viewing, and yet another couple who do not want to buy my lovely home. I love this house with a passion, as I have said repeatedly to the point of boring all readers of Aurora's ramblings, and cannot understand why buyers are not beating a path to my door.

This morning I stumbled out of my bed, followed by the lights of my life, tails wagging, tongues lolling, thundering down the stairs to the kitchen door, desperate to charge down the garden. I stumbled over them as I tried to unset the burglar alarm, fell over the cat, cursed, and bleary-eyed, ejected all animals out into the wide blue yonder, to be met by the baaing of the wretched sheep.

Hell, a house viewing at 10 am, and I am not so mobile that getting everything into apple pie order was going to be easy. Life seems so complicated - perhaps sorting my house out was not so important. Actually it is - if I want to find a buyer, ancient bowls of dog food, and empty wine glasses,, and unplumped cushions give out the wrong messages. I have been told to streamline - but hey, after a while just where do you hide hundreds of books, kitchen equipment, etc? Damn everyone.

Today, apparently, the prospective buyers complained that the house was dark, the wisteria cast shadows. the apple tree outside the dining room door had to go, damnthem - find another house. It was pointed out to them that it was 10 o'clock in the morning and the sun was barely up, and a little later on, the house, south facing, would be flooded with sunlight. Use your imagination and find another house to buy!

This is not the right attitude. Personally - I think one knows within seconds if a house is right - it does not require 4 visits, endless ctiticisms, and negativity oozing from every pore.

I am definitely sour tonight - a shame really, because it is a lovely evening - but I am tired - emotionally exhausted and ungrateful. It is draining to be jolly all the time, my yawns are as big as the entrance to the Channel Tunnel so maybe I should retire to my bed with my beloved canines, a mug of weak Earl Grey and a pile of books. A large gin and tonic and two large glasses of chilled rose are turning out not to be a panacea for all ills.

But - I did hsve a delicious dinner - I found some excellent Cumberland sausages in my freezer, which I grilled and they were meaty and yummy,steamed a great pile of shredded curly kale, split a large sweet potato in half, criss-crossing each piece and smearing with softened butter, and freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, and baked in the oven. Heaven. I have suddenly regained my appetite.

Tomorrow is another day - and it promises to be peerless weather-wise. Enjoy, dear readers.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Introspection mixed with bitching! - catharthis?

The end of yet another glorious day. There are definite benefits in being housebound whilst the weather is so wonderful, and whilst there is Wimbledon to watch on the television.

Yet - it means there is an awful lot of time for introspection - and for going over time and again the cesspit of a marriage I have just left behind, and one's hopes for the future.

To be quite frank, if I was brutally honest, my marriage was a disaster, from start to finish. The philanderer was totally unable to be kind, or faithful, right from the start, and I am just as much to blame, because I should have recognised what an incipient car crash I was involved in and should have bailed out years ago.

If he had just been a gentleman, and perhaps chosen something other than scrubbers, out for what they could get, and maybe perhaps made me jealous, rather than pissed off and furious I might feel a little better. I hug myself whenever someone tells me what a tart his latest woman is, she has slept with half the county, and certainly has made it her business to home in on every divorced and widowed man, plus any married man who has taken her fancy, and usually it has ended in tears. Sordid. She certainly is stuck in a seventies time warp, bleached blonde hair, bad roots, and no dress sense whatsoever. But - I handed her to him on a plate, it probably is not such fun now it is not clandestine.

There is so much discussion in the public domain at the moment about couples divorcing in their sixties, and how it is mainly the women who instigate it, although there are an awful lot of sad middle-aged men who think the grass is greener, and get a nasty shock.

I find it immeasurably sad that at a time when we should have been enjoying a gentle retirement, our home is to be sold, he has marched off with a huge chunk of our joint pension fund, and most of the money, and seems impervious to the chaos and hurt he has caused to the family, especially our daughters. A Pyrrhic victory, I fear, and I doubt in his quieter moments, he feels proud of his behaviour. I cannot believe she is a substitute for his girls - and as most of our friends do not want to see him, he has a whole new circle of acquaintances to get used to late in life. And - oh joy, one couple who seem to be his new best friends, he always for twenty years, said he could not stand! Yippee.

Bitch, bitch, but a catharthis! Sometimes it is necessary to purge the venom. Bring on the leeches!

My Bill has just rushed in from the garden - I love him so much it hurts. Today I managed my first little walk since leaving hospital - Bill and Maud were so excited, and leapt and snuffled about the track along the perimeter of our field. Dogs are so intuitive, they haven't left my side since I was discharged, and what a joy they are, so loving and responsive. When I am lying on the bed thinking my evil thoughts, they both lay their dear heads on my laps and gently reproach me. We have an adventure ahead of us, where to go, we could go anywhere in England, should we move away and make a fresh start, or should we stay around here, where I hsve many staunch friends? Who can tell, who knows? Karma will kick in I feel. The chance of a fresh start is seductive - watch this space.

Finally - my e-mail is up and running again, what a shambles. A dear friend in the village who is a computer whizz is coming soon to coach me in the finer points of coping with my laptop - a bit of barter going on here! Maybe the pull of this village will be too much to relinquish. How kind everyone has been to me over the past two years. I feel taken care of in a way that I have never experienced ever in my life before.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An English Garden in all its glory

How glorious the English summer is when it is at its best.

When I awoke this morning, as usual the bedroom was flooded with light and the birdsong was magnificent. I lay in the cosy warmth of my bed, idly stroking both dogs behind their soft ears, deep in thought.

I did a virtual tour of my beloved garden, recalling the names of all the roses I had planted over the past 24 years, Tour de Malakoff, a deep purply red with an exquisite scent, Ghislaine de Feligonde, a huge affair, with small glossy pale green leaves, and multiple heads of the most beautiful sherbert orange flowers, Veilchenblau, opens a deep violet single flower with a yellow centre which fades almost to a soft grey, Alberic Barbier, creamy with dark green glossy leaves, the white ramblers, flopping and climbing everywhere Kiftsgate, Seagull, Sanders White, Wedding Day - Etoile de Hollande, a dark red heavily scented rather sparse floppy affair, Rosa Moyeissi Geranium, little leaves and great arching spires of geranium red single flowers, Madame Hardy white with a little green eye, Blanche de Belgique, soft pink little scented flowers and almost grey leaves, this one with a dark purple clematis, Warsaw Nike, rambling through it. So many old favourites, Buff Beauty, Souvenir de la Malmaison climbing through the white wisteria, partnered by Lady Hillingdon, egg yolk yellow, floppy, with almost red stems and green glossy leaves. And my favourite, Madame Alfred Carriere, soft pinky white, scented and climbing over the garage roof, the greenhouse and up through the damson tree, lax and floppy yet still vigorous and gloriously invasive.

How I have loved planting up this garden,and as I wrote several days ago, my garden is now saying goodbye to me, in all its blowsy fullsome glory, the best it has ever looked. Five years ago I planted peonies throughout the garden, and now they are speaking to me, blowsy, opulent, and bursting out of the framework of supports I placed around them earlier this year. White ones, deep pink single ones with a yellow centre, pale pink, how I love peonies, their delicate scent which wafts through the warm summer evening air. And earlier - my wonderful tree peonies, soft yellow streaked with orange, double, sweetly scented, Souvenir de la Madame Cornu, old and woody, yet still flowering profusely, and Davidii, vigorous, but little dark, dark red single flowers, almost hidden by the foliage.

Over the years I learnt hard lessons gardening here, we are in a frost pocket, and sometimes the garden gets extremely wet in winter, yet in summer, it can bake as the house is south facing and quite exposed. I have divided the garden up into little rooms, and this has worked well, whilst I have been mindful that I have to plant to suit the conditions.

Luckily, it appears that many of my favourites have flourished, great fluffy mounds of Alchemilla Mollis, almost a weed, which pushes up everywhere and which I welcome, Canterbury Bells, Peonies, Roses, Foxgloves, Hardy Geraniums, Astrantia (not called Marshwort for nothing!)Iris Sibirica, Aqueligia, Clematis, rambling over the trellises, through the roses, Grandiflora rambling through the apple tree when the blossom has finished.

How I have loved planning it all. It really is true that it takes many years to get a garden to maturity - I personally like my garden blowsy, cottagey, not manicured, I encourage many plants to seed themselves, so every year there are surprises throughout the garden.

I used to sow many annuals in my little greenhouse, lovely white Cosmos, lime green Love-lies-Bleeding with its grest lambs tail tassels, white and blue Love in the Mist, deep red Sunflowers, and many more, but for the past two years have not had the heart to continue.

I have had the space to be generous, and along the bank by the tennis court planted over a thousand Pheasant's Eye Narcissi in swathes - these remind my of my childhood garden, where I lived with my grandparents, and from whence I gained my love of flowers. These narcissi flower after all the other bulbs have finished, and look magnificent. The philanderer always hated bulbs, and every year, behind my back when I was out or away, would spitefully mow down the leaves when the flowers had just finished, instead of leaving the leaves to die down. My abiding memory of him was his spiteful behaviour in my garden. Ramming the lawnmower into the base of my clematis, cutting off the shoots at the bottom of my Kiftsgate rose, it used to break my heart. He truly was malevolent.

I made a little damp area, and this year the gunnera is huge, its great umbrella leaves casting giant shadows, the yellow flags are standing to attention by the Rhus Palmatum, the deep blue Iris Sibirica colonising themselves along the length of the stream.

I shall miss it all.

My redcurrant bushes, never pruned and growing magnificently, have burst out of the fruit cage, great fronds arching over the potager - the berries are just turning colour and I must watch them like a hawk or I will lose the fruit to the jackdaws who, as usual, have colonised the chimneys, sometimes appearing in the inglenook in the drawing room. Over the past few days, they have stripped my two cherry trees of the just ripening fruit. I am unable to pick the fruit as climbing a ladder is out of the question at the moment, so I have just had to look on helplessly as they squawked and cackled and plundered, the leaves shaking and bowing under the onslaught.

Today I am really tired, exhausted. Yesterday every time I sat down I fell asleep, always waking wondering where I was, with a dry mouth, and taking time to focus. I suppose I should listen to my body - I was told to do absolutely nothing for a month, so perhaps I should just settle down each afternoon, and watch Wimbledon - after all, how often does one have the opportunity to watch every second of the television coverage.

What I really need to do is sort out my Google Mail account. Somehow I hsve pressed something incorrect, and cannot access my e-mail - I can't answer any of the security questions, and go round in circles. It is a good thing I can access my blog. I am quite ashamed of myself - the term Luddite is so apposite to me.

I am just aware of something in the background - the Habanero from Carmen - how I love this - so forceful, so right on, so positive. I feel like stomping round my kitchen. Yes, my girl, get on with your life.

Monday, June 21, 2010


It is hard to know where to begin - life is still spiralling downwards, like a biplane in a tailspin.

I have never felt so vulnerable,yet over the last three weeks since I left hospital, my friends have been amazing. I have had major surgery, and am unable to do very much for myself and life is very proscribed and stretches ahead of me until the end of July, when I hope to be able to drive once more. and try to resume a semblance of a normal life again and perhaps start walking my dear dogs once more. I do miss the walks in the countryside during the summer.

It is difficult to comprehend just how bad life has been for the past two years - just as I think a corner has been turned, one is struck by a double hammer blow yet again.

I do believe in Karma, but I am being sorely tested at the present time. I know I am fortunate to have such good friends - I was taken into hospital, visited regularly, collected and taken home again, my dogs were lovingly looked after whilst I was in hospital, and when I arrived home, delicious meals were delivered on trays, flowers sent and arranged, and I have had many visits, and loving care. I was so worried about living on my own, thinking I would never cope when I came out of hospital, but I have been so fortunate. A girlfriend came with an enormous bunch of peonies from her garden, another with freshly laid eggs from her hens, another regularly walks the dogs, I have been out to one of two social events, and have been collected and taken home again afterwards. The senior daughter came home and cooked delicious food - it has made such a difference.

The house is on the market now as I have written before, but as things stand at the moment, I am not able to sort the house out further, so events will just have to take their course. I am at least able to watch Wimbledon and to enjoy the sunshine and the gsrden for the last summer before I finally move away. A bittersweet experience after the vicious winter, the garden is fecund, green and lush, as if it is saying its goodbyes to me. The roses will be spectacular this year, as was the wisteria.

However hard I try, I find it difficult to accept how life will change for me over the coming months. I feel very unwell, and will take months to recover, and the thought of losing my life is very hard whilst I feel under par. I am completely unable to understand how my ex-husband could have been allowed to treat me as he did - and how the Courts could have sided with him, the wrongdoer in every respect. It is doubly hard to accept him living under my nose with his mistress,ruining everything I do, and enjoying a lifestyle that I can only dream about.

Before I sign off and clamber into my big soft bed with my beloved dogs, I must hug to myself the residual wonderfulness of last Friday night, when some quite darling friends of mine took me to Garsington Opera, and treated me to the most delicious dinner inthe interval. We saw the Marriage of Figaro, quite my favourite opera. It was glorious, the singing was amazing the cast obviously loved every minute and it cheered me up immeasurably There are still some very cheering things in my life amid the gloom and i do realise that one's cup is always half full, not half empty.

The kitchen french windows are still ajar, and the night air is really cold, despite it being Midummers Night. An owl is making quite an eerie racket, otherwise the night is very still. Bill is breathing deeply in his basket, and Maud is supine on the sofa next door - neither will appreciate being booted outside for a late night widdle - tough luck!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A New Dawn

Yesterday evening I heard that my Decree Absolute has finally been granted. I felt absolutely nothing.

Last week I left hospital after major surgery and am now holed up at home for another six weeks, unable to drive, garden, or do very much at all except, now, ponder the dawning of a new phase of my life.

The last two years of my life have been a living nightmare. As regular readers of my blog are aware, this has been a journey fraught with misery and an inability to understand the sheer vindictive, self-serving, brutally unkind behaviour of my now ex-husband.

I know I am repeating myself, but how could I end up the total loser in this sordid business when I asked my husband to leave our home, finally realising that having put up with his philandering, and profligacy, for years, this was the end. This final affair, being conducted behind my back with a local woman with a very sordid reputation, and on my doorstep, was more than I was prepared to accept. It was certainly his 16th long-term affair, and I have realised since separation, there have been more.

In my innocence I thought he would put his hands up and settle quickly so that we could all get on with our lives. No such luck. He has waged a despicable war against me, lied to the Courts, refused to make full disclosure, basically ruined me. I have had no maintenance for 8 months, struggling to maintain our substantial home and grounds, whilst he and his doxy have enjoyed many expensive holidays, he races his expensive cars, is doing up a house, and told the Court he was livng on £2000 per month and had no assets bar his equity in the family home. May he be damned.

He made sure the Court turned me out of my home, half of which I own, and his assets were aplenty for a deal to be done. But, of course, he was hiding his true financial position. He now tells the world that he has given me all I asked for and more, and what is my problem!

I hope he ponders well on his Pyrrhic victory.