Alcohol and the family

A couple of days ago I noticed that someone had been having a good look around this blog. Whether it was someone I know or not I don’t know. That someone had looked at lots of posts including one called where has my dad gone.

As i scrolled through the list of posts looked at I knew what most of them were about but this one puzzled me. My dad died in 1995. So it couldn’t be about him. This particular post was written back in 2015.

Reading it again it took me a little while to remember it. I was describing a visit to one of my sons in London. On the way to the flat he shared with his now wife and another couple. They stopped at a local shop. Whilst they were inside (I was waiting outside with my youngest son). A drunk was ejected from the store.

When my other son came out he asked “where has my dad gone?” I knew instinctively what he was on about. Growing up with an alcoholic father had an impact on my boys. This particular son could do a very accurate impression of his dad when he was drunk.

When my two eldest sons were going off to university within a week of each other I wanted to take my boys out for a drink. All four of them chose non alcoholic drinks even though two were old enough to drink and one was 17.

All four boys are now adults (2 are fathers) they do all drink now but only moderately. As a young adult my eldest son used to be the designated driver when out with mates. My second son was usually the one taking care of his drunken mates. Although I have heard a few tales of his drunkenness. My younger two are not keen on alcohol.

Talking about it earlier my mother commented that when she came to our house once when eldest was about 8 or 9 he told her. ” If you have come to see my part time father, he’s at the pub”. It is sad that from a very young age he knew the telephone number of the pub off by heart. ( Before mobile phones).

As a family our lives revolved around the pub even if we were not in one. If we went anywhere at the weekends we had to be back before the pub opened. My husband couldn’t cope with getting there after the door was unlocked. During the day his friends would come and go but he would still be there.

He would frequently phone home to say he would be back in half an hour. Other times he wanted me to fetch him. When I did (with boys in tow) he would need to finish his drink. I always refused to have a drink. Sometimes it would take several hours before he managed to leave. Often I just left him there and went home.

My boys grew up knowing that their father was very good at making promises. Not good at keeping them. They learnt never to expect him to keep a promise. He would buy them play station games or football shirts to make up for not being there. I lost count of the birthdays he missed because he was five minutes away in the pub. I don’t know where he got the money for his guilt gifts. We never had enough money for the bills.

I learnt over the years that everything was an excuse to drink. Bad day at work, good day at work, hot day, wet day. Money worries or me being annoyed with him.

After I divorced him he was upset that he didn’t want to be a weekend father. I said that would be an improvement. He would arrange to see the boys. Not do much the eldest as he was off leading his own life. Frequently he would either cancel seeing them or he wanted them to lend him money for cigarettes or beer or both. When they did see him I would drop them off. Happy to have some me time. It never lasted. I think 2 hours was the longest before I got the plea from them to pick them up.

I am happy to say that he gave up drinking about 4 or maybe it’s 5 years ago now. He is better for it. He is trying hard to rebuild his relationship with his sons and have a good relationship with our grandchildren.

Since i moved back here to live with my mother I see him regularly. He has been a great help to both of us in the last couple of years. I wouldn’t go back to him but we are at least friends now.

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Peace at last

I have had great enjoyment out of the last few days with family visiting. Apparently both my grandchildren have been chattering away to their parents about seeing Granny and the things they did and saw. Teddy was convinced he was going to the beach with Granny and Gampa again today.

When I woke this morning I was thinking how quiet and peaceful it will be today. I know that my mother has loved seeing the family but she does get very tired. I am sure she is thinking Peace at Last which reminds me of a favourite book when my boys were little.

Today I am working on my Avon. I have been adding to and improving my Elliesdeals blog. This afternoon I shall be preparing brochures and deliveries. Both of which I have neglected so far this week.

I haven’t been out in my new car again yet but I have looked at it several times.

Earlier when I was checking the stats for this blog I noticed that someone had been looking at an old post from 2014. I have noticed this quite a few times recently. I can only assume that whoever has been looking is probably disappointed when they see what the post is actually about. It called little tits. I also see that the most popular page is Petrol Head.

I know that I have at least one petrol head who reads this blog regularly. I keep meaning to mention for him that on the day I went to look at my new car in the garage forecourt I followed a grey right hand drive mustang along the motorway. (I even missed my off slip). Then last weekend I passed a bright yellow mustang going the other way. I might not be with my petrol head husband any longer but I just can’t help noticing American cars when I’m out and about. I guess it has become a habit.

Something I’ve wanted to do

This is something I have wanted to do for ages. Probably the last couple of years. I have gone as far as starting a new template a couple of times but found that starting a new blog is harder now than it was years ago when I began blogging. There are so many templates to choose from. The widgets and plugins are a minefield. Earlier this week I decided to alter a blog that I had started perhaps 5 years ago with my husband. It never really got off the ground. Trying to work full time and run a business at the same time as creating posts for a new blog became overwhelming.

Now though I have more time. I have converted my old blog to one dedicated to my Avon Business and Sunshine Team. I have over the last few days added a few posts for different products. I am also creating a new page for each group of products with links to individual product posts. There are links to my online shop and I shall be adding a link for joining my team.

Elliesdeals

On another note. I had visitors yesterday. No I’m not talking about birds or squirrels or even cats. My youngest son and his g/f. came to see us. Sitting at a distance and with face masks. The last time my son visited, He only lives 20 minutes away by car. Was back in July before my hospital stay. It was so nice to see them. Apparently it was very odd being on a train again after all these months. Sitting chatting felt almost like normal times.

Next week ( just after my birthday) I shall hopefully, providing that everything goes to plan. See my older boys and their families. I am so looking forward to seeing everyone. We are meeting at a local play area near the creek. The last time I saw both my grandchildren at the same time, was our family Christmas dinner 2019, when my granddaughter was 3 months old.

I just hope the weather is better than it has been the last few days. We even had a few snow flurries yesterday. Very unusual for here.

Do you ?

Do you?

Looking into your pale eyes
As they sparkle with your smile,
Our faces just inches apart as we laugh and chat.
Do you read what is written in my eyes
Do you see the hidden desire

The need to reach out
To touch your face
To taste your breath
As together we allow
Our lips to meet

The light touch of your hand
About my waist
So brief yet indelibly
Burnt into my memory
To cherish until next time

Do you have any idea
Of the calm turmoil
You create within
Your touch, your smile
These things I crave so much

Do you want it too
A time and a place
Where we can share
Much more than
A simple kiss

Writing

In my family it would seem that the women are/were writers. Both my grandmothers wrote. I have always known that my maternal grandmother wrote short stories. I have a copy of one that she wrote. I believe that she wrote stories for WI but also sent some to magazines. My mother told me years ago that her mother had earnt money from doing this. It was only in recent years that I discovered that my paternal grandmother had a whole file of poetry that she had written. I have never read any of it.

When I was young I liked to write short stories (mostly for children) I never did anything with them. It was just a hobby during the quiet periods at work. When I was 21 my maternal Granny died of a heart attack. After her death I couldn’t bring myself to write any more stories. I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up a paper and pen. I thought that was the end of my writing. In truth I carried on writing but not in the same way. Over the years when I was troubled I would write down my feelings. If someone had hurt me, whether in my romantic life or in life generally, I would write them a letter. I never gave /sent the letters but it helped me to put my thoughts together.

I have always known that my mother liked to write. we were talking about it yesterday. She has a file of poetry that she has written throughout her life. I can’t say that poetry is my thing but there have been a few scribblings in the past. Writing must be in my blood. Both my husbands have been good at art (second husband was a graphic designer). My eldest son and his fiancee are both artistic. I can’t draw a straight line let alone anything else but my artistic side comes out in my writing and recently my knitting.

After the end of my first marriage I joined the world of blogging. Years of living in a coercive controlling environment for many years my confidence was at rock bottom. Blogging helped me to grow my confidence. I became part of an online community. I received feedback from everything I wrote. I was getting the affirmation I hadn’t had before. I started writing posts about my life. I also began to write short stories which I shared with my friends. A few years down the line I was writing less and less. I was running out of inspiration. I was also working full time again as well as running a home and family as a single mother. I was tired.

I had been married to my second husband for about 9 months when a friend inspired me to start this blog. Over the years I have had problems with finding things to write about. I didn’t want to constantly write about my marriage. I didn’t want to write about people in my life. I have written the occasional piece for several years. It is just recently that I have begun to write more regularly again. I am never going to write a best selling novel. I might eventually get back to writing short stories again but for now I am happy just putting words together for my blog. Each day is something different. That in itself is amazing in this current life of not going anywhere or doing anything.

Now and then

Now that I have got back into blogging I have decided to create a new blog to promote my Avon business. It’s currently in the pre launch stage of setting up. Taking a break I went back to my very oldest blogs to have a read through some old posts. It was interesting remembering or not some of the things I had written. I wrote those blogs during the years between my two marriages. There are posts about my life as a single mum to four teenaged boys. There are posts about my life as a single woman. There are quite a few of my attempts at creative writing.

What struck me was the feel of optimism, a love of life. I didn’t have much. Each month was a series of struggles but I was happy in my own way. I was free to be me. I was free to go where I wished (so long as I could afford to). I could have friends.

These days I don’t have immediate money worries. I am able to treat my sons and their families in ways that I couldn’t in years gone by. I am happy sitting with my laptop, knitting, reading, watching our wildlife. I don’t have the same freedom. I’m single (separated for 3 years). I don’t feel any great desire to meet anyone new but that doesn’t mean I have given up on romance. (maybe one day). I can’t just get up and go. I live with and care for my mother who in her late 70s is disabled. She has MS which for many many years didn’t affect her mobility but in the last few years has rendered her housebound. I have to make sure she is ok before I can go anywhere, keeping an eye on the time.

Six months ago I underwent major surgery, I was terrified before hand but now even though it was life changing I feel so much better than I had done for several years.

I should be feeling positive and anxious to get on with the rest of my life but I feel as though I have lost my sparkle. My zest for life has got up and gone. As my health improves I am determined to make the best of life and continue to make sure I actually do have a life instead of being buried in the life of being a carer.

The highlights of my life are watching my family grow. Seeing my two grandchilden develope their own personalities. I do miss them all as they all live at a distance from here.

My current life is comfortable I just wish I had the zest for life that I had before.

Clatter

The clatter of studded boots on concrete floors as the players spill out of the changing rooms, on to the open grass, heading towards their allocated pitch. Parents and other spectators standing in groups stamping feet rubbing gloved hands in an attempt to get a little warmer. Clutching flasks of tea or coffee for later.

Nets being hurriedly put up whilst managers and coaches go through the warm up exercises, practicing set pieces, corners, penalty shots and the rest. Numb fingers trying to collect money and write names onto official forms. The shouts of abuse from opposing sides sometimes friendly banter other times intimidation. Persuading one of the spectators to take up the flag and run up and down the side line keeping up with the run of play, taking the flack from spectators annoyed by his decisions.

The man or occasionally woman in the middle all dressed in black with whistle, note book and cards to hand. Good or bad he must be paid, his decisions unquestioned, rarely appreciated, isolated from the masses, a lonely figure, dedicated to the game.

Turning out no matter what the weather, cold and wet, freezing or hot, wind or snow.

These are the things I remember as I receive the text. ‘stay under duvet, game is off’

Turning over in my bed, snuggled in the warmth………that’s ok then.

Secrets

This one is from 2010

secrets

some secrets are good
some secrets are bad
this secret was just a secret
neither good or bad
but now it is nolonger
the cat is out of the bag
they all know
there is no more hiding the truth
they are relentless
they will not rest
a secret once revealed
is no longer a secret
in time it might be forgotten
but it won’t be a secret again

Now that they know
they will bully and cajole
until they get what they want
they will plead
some might beg
demands are made
no excuses are acceptable
now that they have realised
mother makes the best roast potatoes ever!!

A question of wind still

Back in 2009 I wrote this piece , reading through it makes me realise how long I have had these thoughts and still do. The issues have become more urgent.

A question of wind

I find it incredible in this day and age that this is even an issue.
We all know that our natural sources of power as in fossil fuels are running out. We all know that as humans we need to reduce our carbon footprint if our world is to survive. We should all want to create a better, healthier life for our children and their children and all the other generations to follow.
For centuries we have harnessed water and wind to make life easier. we are used to seeing traditional windmills although these days there are fewer and fewer still in working conditions. I did see a fair few on my holiday in Norfolk.

Now though there are a new kind of windmill …..the Wind turbine there are wind turbine farms, usually situated in remote locations. During the summer there were protests against one such wind farm being set up on the Isle of Wight not far from my home near the Hampshire coast. Local residents on the island were very much against this happening near them. At the same time there were other protests on the island involving a sit in by employees of a company that was about to close which would mean job losses for 600 people on the island. The company produce components for wind turbines. The closure of the company was due to a lack of demand for wind turbines in Northern Europe.
Now maybe I am the only one who can see the irony of this. However the Islanders are not the only people who do not want these great white structures blotting their landscape. As the months have marched slowly by in recent years I have heard of a fair few protests by residents refusing to allow a wind farm to be built near them. Maybe if the Islanders and others like them were not standing in the way of progress, then there would have been no need for the company to close and those 600 people would still have jobs (something to hold onto in this current climate).
Personally I think they should be considering the bigger picture and what these turbines mean to our future as oppossed to what future our children and grandchildren will have without them.
Whilst in Norfolk not only did we see far more of the traditional windmills than we normally see these days but there were also clusters of turbines in remote fields plus others dotted around standing alone. It was quite an unexpected view on our boat trip to see two traditional windmills seemingly next to each other although actually on opposite banks of the broad, then in the distance a solitary turbine appearing to stand between the two older structures.
The place where we were staying has a wind turbine farm just a little way out to sea. Far from being put off by the sight of these majestic towers I found them fascinating. I do not understand what all the protests are about. There are far worse things we can live near such as the electricity pylons that stretch across our countryside buzzing away day and night. If we went back in history to the days when windmills were first constructed we would probably find that they were considered to be unsightly and unwanted. Now we find them quaintly magical. Perhaps in years to come we will forget how ugly some people find the turbines. My son has just returned from his 28 days travelling across US and he tells me that these Wind Farms can be see all over the place.

I would like to say that if such a farm were to be situated near to my home I wouldn’t bat an eyelid but somehow I doubt that would be true …….perhaps the novelty would wear thin after a while but I think I would be fascinated by them for quite some time.

If such a wind farm were proposed in your local area would you welcome or reject it. If this has already happened did you protest or welcome the progress for our future?

8 things

I recently got in touch with a fellow blogger after a number of years. This got me going back to my original blogs. I am rereading random posts. Some of these I shall share here. This one was interesting to see what if anything has changed since 2007

8 passions in my life

my four boys
my music
my writing
my reading
fresh air
my computer
my friends
compassion

8 things to do before I die

ride in a hot air balloon
ride in a helicopter
learn to ride a horse (I have a fear of horses)
finish at least one book
see my boys grown up and settled
find a man who is worthy of my love
finish my IT course
travel widely

8 things I often say

I suppose you can’t get home any other way
What homework have you not done ?
Use headphones we don’t all want to hear it!!
Hugs as always
You know where I am if you want anything
How much do you need?
I’m getting there
I may not have any money but I am happier than I have ever been

8 Books I read recently

The Beachcomber – Josephne Cox
Trust Nobody – June Hampson (my writing tutor)
London – Edward Rutherfurd
The Quest – Wilbur Smith
Tease Me – Dawn Atkins
Sinners – Jackie Collins
Triumph of the sun – Wilbur Smith
Sex, lies and online dating – Rachel Gibson

8 songs that mean something to me

I’m not in love – 10CC
Lady in Red – Chris de Burgh
I just called to say – Stevie Wonder
Cherry Cola – Savage Garden
I will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
Whole Again – Atomic Kitten
All Woman – Lisa Stansfield
All your Attention – Daniel Bedingfield

8 Qualities I look for in a friend

compassion
humour
honesty
warmth
trust
intelligence
spirit
courage