Julia’s Blog


Single life :)
July 18, 2011, 9:57 pm
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Well, I never thought I’d say it again, but life is great! Still friendly with the ex; we wanted it to be so and although I have my moments and end up like a screaming fishwife for a few minutes, in reality he doesn’t deserve it and I want us both to be happy. Think I have done that for the last time, actually, as am totally accepting and happy with our new lifestyles.

I now go out more than I ever have in the past! I have a good social network to draw on whenever I feel I want to; someone told me about meetup.com and I now go walking and talking, dining and drinking, listening to bands, bowling, and whatever else I choose to do, or choose to put on as an event. I love Rock Choir, singing our repertoire loudly in the car! I have a new car, actually; I love my bright blue Jazz (bought off a friend who mentioned in passing that she was thinking of replacing it with a new one – told her it was on my wishlist, and bought myself a real little bargain!  Serendipity!

I live with just the one softie beagle and two cats – the mad ADHD brown Jack Russel (flyball gal) and her blind friend Zak now live with their dad, and visit me from time to time! I love my early morning walks with Meadow, and what I had been worried about has turned into a pleasure as I enjoy the fresh, empty park with dew on the grass in the sunlight. I meet a couple of early walkers occasionally, and we cross the fields and make light conversation before starting our day at our various workplaces.

I have lost nearly a stone and a half, and now fit into new dresses! That is not through stress, but having joined FatFighters, or similar, I now have a healthier lifestyle without mansized portions, and more wine than I really needed, although it is still one of my guilty pleasures, along with a slab of dark chocolate in the evening.

I am enjoying being able to make changes to the house and garden, without seeking approval or having to negotiate – any mistakes made are of my own doing now! I can come home, slob in my PJs, drink wine, eat when I want and watch what I want… or go out and socialise!

Honestly? Happier than I’ve been in a long time! I wasn’t unhappy, I just didn’t know there were alternatives.. I am flying to South Africa sometime soon to meet new relatives, off to Spain in the summer with my family, and negotiating time to visit my cousin in USA in the autumn.  None of that would have been even imagined! Lonely? Do I sound lonely? I love meeting new people, and estimate I meet a new person every week, some of whom I will see much more of in the future. At my summer party this year there will be new friends who have never visited my home, and I am very positive and so grateful about my life.

So, if you find yourself, as I did a year ago, in the unhappy position of finding yourself newly single, believe me there is life out there. It may not have been the one you had carved out for yourself, but that’s OK. Because as long as you’re honest and let people know when you need a hug and support, whether that’s a cuppa or a bottle of wine and a shoulder to cry on, they will be there for you when you want to dance and sing and laugh as well, which you will want to do with them someday… sooner than you may think :)

 



Newly separated-ish!
October 10, 2010, 10:08 pm
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Hello again!
I am so pleased to see this app for iPhone but still not so easy to type! Will have a go though! I wanted to write this blog to let you know that separating may not be all doom and gloom and if it helps someone, then that is fine. I won’t get too personal and my husband will be assigned a different name, just trying to decide what suits him!
We realised before the summer how we had been drifting apart but also agreed that we had different core values and wishes. I suppose we are atypical anyway, as we met when I was 42, and independent single mum who had been on my own for 12 years. He, Norman, was just 24 but going on 40! My daughter said he was a 40year old trapped in a younger man’s body! How we laughed!
We had 14 happy years of marriage, but the last five were on our own with our growing menagerie of pets, in the countryside. Although I have a secure-ish job, Norman has had his own company and been let go several times and so he turned his hobby into a job, of sorts. It us hard work and spills into time and our physical space too. He sees this as the way forward for him, but as someone approaching retirement I knew that this was not away of life for me. That makes me sound shallow and acquisitive but I also want to see the world, explore without always asking how we can do that. So I think we came to an amicable decision to part without too much difficulty.
Having said that, there were sad days and times if peaks and troughs. We had booked a caravan holiday before all this, and we both needed a break, so went off innate summer anyway; albeit for a shortened duration. It says a lot that we could get on as friends in that confined space, though we were glad we could reach iplayer and play DVDs on the laptop. I went through periods of weepiness and grief but our decision was the right one for us, and we kept talking. We have a sign of support and hold out our hands in a fist to touch base and show that we are still friends.
Norman is still in our house until another property that I own can be sold, so we are lucky to have that option and we have this time of transition that gives us space to get used to ideas about living independently, but also I realise the things that irritate us about the other, and know that it was better to start the process earlier, rather than when we really can’t abide being around each other!
We have the ‘kids’ too, so I will end up with the gorgeous softie beagle and cats, and Norman gets the neurotic jrt’s! Good luck Norm! I will have access and will dogsit and he is happy to have Beagle when I need some space.
The tears have dried, we remain good friends, it will be OK. I find mindfulness and living in the present helpful; I try not to ruminate if I am feeling a bit down. We are both socialising and getting out more, but enjoy an evening meal and catchup, at a superficial level.
My son thinks it’s weird; I prefer ‘unusual’ as our marriage is/was, but people can see we’re ok, I’m not getting tragically thin, more’s the pity, but don’t feel too sad for us. I’m gaining space, independence and a quieter life. I’m keeping a friend nearby and can enjoy our pets, maybe sharing a meal or walk together, and that is fine. I realise how much I have moved on already, I advise being kind and respectful ( as much as is humanly possible, I’m no saint!) . I hope this helps in some small way, feel free to share your comments, would love to hear from you!
Smartiej :)



Newly separated-ish!
October 10, 2010, 7:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Hello again!
I am so pleased to see this app for iPhone but still not so easy to type! Will have a go though! I wanted to write this blog to let you know that separating may not be all doom and gloom and if it helps someone, then that is fine. I won’t get too personal and my husband will be assigned a different name, just trying to decide what suits him!
We realised before the summer how we had been drifting apart but also agreed that we had different core values and wishes. I suppose we are atypical anyway, as we met when I was 42, and independent single mum who had been on my own for 12 years. He, Norman, was just 24 but going on 40! My daughter said he was a 40year old trapped in a younger man’s body! How we laughed!
We had 14 happy years of marriage, but the last five were on our own with our growing menagerie of pets, in the countryside. Although I have a secure-ish job, Norman has had his own company and been let go several times and so he turned his hobby into a job, of sorts. It us hard work and spills into time and our physical space too. He sees this as the way forward for him, but as someone approaching retirement I knew that this was not away of life for me. That makes me sound shallow and acquisitive but I also want to see the world, explore without always asking how we can do that. So I think we came to an amicable decision to part without too much difficulty.
Having said that, there were sad days and times if peaks and troughs. We had booked a caravan holiday before all this, and we both needed a break, so went off innate summer anyway; albeit for a shortened duration. It says a lot that we could get on as friends in that confined space, though we were glad we could reach iplayer and play DVDs on the laptop. I went through periods of weepiness and grief but our decision was the right one for us, and we kept talking. We have a sign of support and hold out our hands in a fist to touch base and show that we are still friends.
Norman is still in our house until another property that I own can be sold, so we are lucky to have that option and we have this time of transition that gives us space to get used to ideas about living independently, but also I realise the things that irritate us about the other, and know that it was better to start the process earlier, rather than when we really can’t abide being around each other!
We have the ‘kids’ too, so I will end up with the gorgeous softie beagle and cats, and Norman gets the neurotic jrt’s! Good luck Norm! I will have access and will dogsit and he is happy to have Beagle when I need some space.
The tears have dried, we remain good friends, it will be OK. I find mindfulness and living in the present helpful; I try not to ruminate if I am feeling a bit down. We are both socialising and getting out more, but enjoy an evening meal and catchup, at a superficial level.
My son thinks it’s weird; I prefer ‘unusual’ as our marriage is/was, but people can see we’re ok, I’m not getting tragically thin, more’s the pity, but don’t feel too sad for us. I’m gaining space, independence and a quieter life. I’m keeping a friend nearby and can enjoy our pets, maybe sharing a meal or walk together, and that is fine. I realise how much I have moved on already, I advise being kind and respectful ( as much as is humanly possible, I’m no saint!) . I hope this helps in some small way, feel free to share your comments, would love to hear from you!
Smartiej :)



Newly separated-ish!
October 10, 2010, 8:42 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Hello again!
I am so pleased to see this app for iPhone but still not so easy to type! Will have a go though! I wanted to write this blog to let you know that separating may not be all doom and gloom and if it helps someone, then that is fine. I won’t get too personal and my husband will be assigned a different name, just trying to decide what suits him!
We realised before the summer how we had been drifting apart but also agreed that we had different core values and wishes. I suppose we are atypical anyway, as we met when I was 42, and independent single mum who had been on my own for 12 years. He, Norman, was just 24 but going on 40! My daughter said he was a 40year old trapped in a younger man’s body! How we laughed!
We had 14 happy years of marriage, but the last five were on our own with our growing menagerie of pets, in the countryside. Although I have a secure-ish job, Norman has had his own company and been let go several times and so he turned his hobby into a job, of sorts. It us hard work and spills into time and our physical space too. He sees this as the way forward for him, but as someone approaching retirement I knew that this was not away of life for me. That makes me sound shallow and acquisitive but I also want to see the world, explore without always asking how we can do that. So I think we came to an amicable decision to part without too much difficulty.
Having said that, there were sad days and times if peaks and troughs. We had booked a caravan holiday before all this, and we both needed a break, so went off innate summer anyway; albeit for a shortened duration. It says a lot that we could get on as friends in that confined space, though we were glad we could reach iplayer and play DVDs on the laptop. I went through periods of weepiness and grief but our decision was the right one for us, and we kept talking. We have a sign of support and hold out our hands in a fist to touch base and show that we are still friends.
Norman is still in our house until another property that I own can be sold, so we are lucky to have that option and we have this time of transition that gives us space to get used to ideas about living independently, but also I realise the things that irritate us about the other, and know that it was better to start the process earlier, rather than when we really can’t abide being around each other!
We have the ‘kids’ too, so I will end up with the gorgeous softie beagle and cats, and Norman gets the neurotic jrt’s! Good luck Norm! I will have access and will dogsit and he is happy to have Beagle when I need some space.
The tears have dried, we remain good friends, it will be OK. I find mindfulness and living in the present helpful; I try not to ruminate if I am feeling a bit down. We are both socialising and getting out more, but enjoy an evening meal and catchup, at a superficial level.
My son thinks it’s weird; I prefer ‘unusual’ as our marriage is/was, but people can see we’re ok, I’m not getting tragically thin, more’s the pity, but don’t feel too sad for us. I’m gaining space, independence and a quieter life. I’m keeping a friend nearby and can enjoy our pets, maybe sharing a meal or walk together, and that is fine. I realise how much I have moved on already, I advise being kind and respectful ( as much as is humanly possible, I’m no saint!) . I hope this helps in some small way, feel free to share your comments, would love to hear from you!
Smartiej :)



MEADOW
May 10, 2009, 8:29 am
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Blurb from website:  Meadow is an ex breeding beagle. She is the most delightful little dog with the most wonderful temperament. As she lived on a puppy farm in Wales, she had never been inside a house before. She absolutely loves her walks  – at the moment she is being walked on a trailing long line and tends to stay relatively close and responds well to being called when you change direction. She greets us in the morning with a lovely wiggly series of play bows and really likes receiving praise and fuss. She ignores our cats (she’s actually a bit wary of them), has been good with every dog she’s met and gentle around children and babies. She can be a bit nervous around new people but has usually befriended them in a matter of seconds – she has won the hearts of everyone she’s met. Meadow has a cheeky playful side to her and whilst she still doesn’t know how to play with other dogs, she loves chasing along when they’re having a run. She loves her walks, but is so good around the house and tends to be quite happy to curl up and sleep if nothing’s going on.

Meadow-Update-25-04-09a

The full story:

Last weekend at flyball, I looked out of our caravan window and saw a lovely little beagle being walked on the sunny evening field. I have had a beagle when I was a teenager, and he, Crusoe, put me off having one for life, or so I thought. Headstrong, stubborn, willful and definitely in charge… but beautiful and handsome. I adore their appearance, those soft brown eyes, medium-sized strong build and colouring, and of course – those long soft, velvety ears.

When I chatted with the lovely woman walking her, Karen, she told me that she was her fostermum and that she had had her for six weeks. Before that she had been rescued from a puppy farm, and had probably only weaned some pups in the last few months. I was NOT looking for a third dog, having two lovely but lively Jack Russell terriers already. My husband came over, and we both fell for this delightful little girl, but had discussions long into the night with a couple of friends, one of whom is a veterinary nurse and animal behaviour expert. Her friend has adopted a lovely little dog from Hearing Dogs, who didn’t quite make the grade with them. They agreed to visit the beagle with us next morning, and give their opinion.

As Meadow had not had experienced the same beginnings as other beagles, she is not very beagly in her behaviour (except for walking everywhere with her nose skimming the ground). She is placid, docile, calm, chilled… any more relaxed and she’d be horizontal!

The next morning, in between racing the other dog at flyball, we all went over and interacted with her, observed our dogs with her, and talked it over some more. Once we had decided to offer her a home, the fostermum offered to bring Meadow to our house in Hertfordshire, which would count as the home visit with manytears, http://www.freewebs.com/manytearsrescue/  the charity who organised the adoption procedure. Our flyball team, it must be noted, fell about laughing, as most dogs who are successful are border collies and working sheepdogs! We did not choose her for her flyball ability, but for all of the reasons stated above, fortunately. However, all agreed that she was a gorgeous dog, and welcomed her warmly.

Yesterday, Karen brought her over and after a walk in the park with our other dogs, Meadow decided to stay. Zak and Ellie have been tolerant, not hugely welcoming, but not being aggressive either; they all need to sort out their ranking… Ellie, the small but bossy flyball girl, has been top dog over Zak, but when Meadow sat in Ellie’s basket, she did back off. She seems to recognise that Meadow is larger (only slightly taller than our white Jack Russell, Zak, though) and more mature – she seems very interested in Meadow’s rear end, checking out her gender and also the fact that she is a matron… so that will be interesting if Meadow assumes alpha female role. Zak knows his place! Meadow-Beagle-11-0-09

We welcome this charming little dog into our home, and hope to give her a rich and happy life…. thank you, Meadow!

First we went to PetSmart for a smart new harness for the car and a long lead, then we went to Wilkinsons for doggie beds and then we went to Verulamium to walk around the lake… lived here for nearly four years and our first visit. Meadow travelled very well, falling asleep. She also sniffed and found all sorts of old biscuits under the bottom shelf at PetSmart!P5100021

The park was lovely – she sniffed and sunbathed and watched the ducks, I couldn’t believe how chilled she is. Halfway around the lake is ?the oldest pub in Britain called the Fighting Cocks. We had never been there, so settled at a table at the front of the pub, where we could hear the running stream, not knowing that there was a beer garden behind. She loved it, drew many admiring comments and strokes, and lay down for a snooze.That was her first ever visit to a pub – the first of many, probably!P5100024



My Scottish roots
February 21, 2009, 5:10 pm
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Was great to get back to Scotland – it’s a fair while since I visited. As a child, I never felt any Scottish heritage, it was my sister who was given the Scottish name of Fiona, while I was named after the French side of the family. While there, I popped into Scotlandspeople at the Register House on Princes Street, and found that my father had had two birth certificates, one for Stornoway and one for Edinburgh, the former being – well, illegal. So she gave me a copy of it anyway. the story goes that the doctor on the Island, where my grandfather was Sheriff-Substitute, was always drunk and as my granny was well advanced in child-bearing years ( she already had a 11- and 12- year old), they didn’t want to take their chances with this wee ‘gift from God’ and so my father was to be born on the mainland. I still don’t know why Moray Place in Edinburgh, except that Grandpa was said to have had offices in nearby Charlotte Square at some time, or perhaps Granny had family she stayed with.

In July 1922, my father Ian made his appearance in the afternoon, and some time after that, he was taken back to Stornoway (where the birth was again registered) and as he was carried into The Old Courthouse, the villagers called out “Look,there’s the wee sheriff!”

It was so good to get back, the last time was for my aunt’s funeral in Perth, when we went to Glasgow and to Edinburgh but only for the day. Need to do the Whisky Trail one day, and find traces of my earliest ancestors that we know of, the Haldens of Musselburgh and previous to that, Inveresk…. for another time…



Caravan holidays
January 29, 2009, 8:36 pm
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My friend Kez wants me to tell you about the caravan… the good thing is that we have now booked our summer holidays in France in said caravan – henceforth aka Bessie as she is a Bessacarr. We bought her of our friends John & Steph last year, primarily for our flyball tournaments, which I am trying to avoid blogging about! But when we used her on our weekends away, I realised that we really loved caravanning… perhaps I hit that age! Certainly, will never camp in a tent again – need own loo and to be warm and cosy at all times. When i was a kid, we camped in Scotland, France and Spain and loved it, and I brought up my kids in the same way. Great way of life, much more fresh air and freedom than a hotel, loved it. Eventually everyone got bigger, and we spent a few years Eurocamping in massive static caravans. But this is different…. its so cosy, and like being in a small log cabin. Bessie is not luxurious or even spacious, but I am sooo looking forward to weekends away and then the fortnight in France, ending up next to my sister + brother-in-law’s caravan pitched while they renovate ‘le dump’, a small house in France bought a few years ago for the princely sum of £40,000! When we do meet up, we do a come dine with me – we do the Friday meal, and invite them over, and then go to their caravan on the Saturday – great! Bessie is getting on, nearly 20 I guess, but she is dry, warm and clean. Have only braved the shower once, was actually fine, but involves a trek across a field with an Aquaroll water carrier (usually by himself) as it would run out, and you dont want that with a headfull of shampoo! The plan is to use 5* caravan sites – often run by Castels et Camping (ex-chateaux on site) – where there will be luxurious washrooms and loos… bliss! Mmmmm – can’t wait! The drive is slower of course, but we build extra campsites into the tour… we will do Rouen, the Loire, Charentes-Maritime (where le dump is), Le Mans, and Normandy. All for £20 a night plus channel tunnel plus food and WINE —- not bad eh? What holidays have you have – Jon’ likes driving so we do a lot of Europe – this is prob as far as we want to go with Bessie though. The new(ish) car is diesel so that should save, plus no autoroute payments this year – picnics en route, much as I did when a kid. Hated charcuterie then, Dad would have a wine or two then a nap, and then carry on – times change eh? We often stop at Courtpailles – they have a really good fixed menu, but are often just off motorways so may have to be more organised ourselves … we can sit by the roadside with our camping table lol.. or in a car park ;-)

Any other people like caravanning or is it just me – will te novelty wear off … would love a posher one one day, with a fixed bed next time, definitely – otherwise it has everything and the experience wont change!

Jx




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