Friday, 21 November 2008

Builders' Magnolia

I've cleaned my car - as best I can... I always seem to miss a bit; the lower 'sills' I think they are called? I know that cold weather is imminent and thought it best to have a clean frozen car rather than a dirty one. Why? Don't know!

I have just spent a fortune on my credit card for paint! Yes, I want to get rid of the remainder of my Builders' Magnolia, which is now a dirty version of the original, complete with swatted dead mosquitoes and children's' fingerprints. I have chosen 'Liqueur' for my bedroom and 'Old Gold' for the bathroom. I don't mind the painting, but I loathe all the preparation. So, daughter number two and granddaughter are coming up tomorrow to help me out. It's the shifting and lifting that wears me out. With a little bit of help I should be fine.

I don't know what I'm doing for Christmas... my daughters are all tied up with other things and visiting other people for the festivities, leaving me all alone for the first time - ever! I didn't think this would happen to me. It's something I have to get through - me and the cats! Perhaps it will be okay... we'll see!

I haven't made a Christmas cake, or a Christmas pudding. I have no money for presents for everyone this year. I have no where to go. This is a strange situation and quite alien to me. Part of me just wants to hibernate until the New Year when it's all over. But, why should I complain? There are thousands of people in a much worse situation than me. I have a lovely house, with heat, warmth and a little food; a TV and a large comfortable bed. More importantly, I have my health and my lovely memories... oh, and a Gin and Tonic if I should need one! I am indeed a lucky woman!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Country living - alone

I read Liz Jones's Diary in yesterday's Mail on Sunday; it mirrored my own thoughts and feelings on living in the country - isolated with only animals for company. The noisiest one being the Barn Owl and his mates.

Like Liz, I wonder what on earth I'm doing living so far from civilisation when I'm so, so very lonely. Then I read further into her page, realising that it isn't the place that makes you lonely, so much as the fact that there is no one to share anything with. If I had my lovely man here with me, I would fully appreciate and love the sound of owls, foxes, birds, geese and ducks and all the other sounds of nature that are free from noisy motorbikes, screaming kids and shouting mothers, engines revving and lorries thundering along. I don't have the world and his wife rushing past my window, looking in my open windows at my furniture.

Liz sums it up when she says, "I want to be loved". Don't we all?

There must be thousands of people in this country living alone who feel unloved and very lonely. However, when I meet with some of my friends, I listen to them moaning about their husbands and partners. I see them hurry off home to make sure dinner is made on time - not so much out of love, but to avoid a row. I watch their lack of decision and their lack of confidence and low self-esteem that has somehow crept up on them over the many years of being in a marriage that is not quite equal. They cannot make arrangements to meet up without first asking permission. They have to ask to have the car or to even have pocket money.

While I too am lonely, I don't want to be in a relationship that is one-sided or dominated by someone else. My first marriage was along those lines and it took twenty-four years before I escaped. My second marriage was so very different. We were equal; we cared for each other deeply and never, ever undermined each other. I was very lucky to have such a rare and loving relationship, albeit only ten years, before he died.

While I empathise with Liz Jones, I would not enter into any relationship that would jeopardise my individuality and freedom to exist. I get very lonely, but I'm learning to live with it. Having a man (any man) around isn't always the answer... perhaps getting to know, value and love oneself comes first!