Saturday, 13 June 2009

Oh crap. What a day.

Woke at 5am (as I've done all this week, since Brixton Man and I parted company) with a hideous, twisting turning sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Couldn't go back to sleep partly because my head was throbbing quite dramatically, having successfully quaffed an entire bottle of Pinot Grigio. All. On my own.

I'm fairly confident that contravenes the government guidelines re. healthy consumption but what the hoo. I was home alone (the cat doesn't count, although I vaguely recall towards the end of the evening attempting to engage her in an in-depth conversation re. the merits of wet vs dry cat food) and I am nursing a broken a heart.

I lay in bed, feeling really really awful. Ghastly sense of impending doom. Wondered if I might be dying. Thought how dreadful it would be for my gorgeous girls to come home on Sunday night to discover me dead in bed, reeking of booze and cigarettes. I must get my act together one of these days. Ideally, I should stop drinking altogether and I really, really must quit smoking. It's a truly dreadful habit and as far as my girls know I kicked the habit 10 years ago. I hate the fact that I'm deceiving them. At the same time, I'm convinced that I'm doing the right thing by not smoking in front of them. I would hate it if either of them ever smoked. I would feel guilty as hell if it was because they'd seen me at it. So I pretend that I don't and I've managed to get away with it, so far.

My eldest would be especially horrified. Though she was only five at the time, she clearly remembers her beloved Grandma dying of ovarian cancer and in her mind smoking = cancer. The smoking = cancer idea was initially foist upon her by an uber-enthusiastic Year 1 child whose father was an oncologist. Dad allowed daughter to bring into school a blackened 'pretend' lung for show-and-tell. Daughter neglected to mention that it was 'pretend' and thus traumatised an entire class of six-year olds plus one very inexperienced South African supply teacher. The smoking = cancer idea has been further reinforced over the years by heart-wrenching anti-smoking TV adverts depicting wizzened, oxygen-deprived ex-smokers gasping for breath while surrounded by attractive, weeping children who're telling them how much they love them and how much they wish they'd never smoked.

Though it now seems that my mom's cancer was in all likelihood the result of faulty genes (her sister died of breast cancer a year later and a whole raft of first cousins went and go it, too) Eldest Daughter now thinks that everyone who smokes will die a ghastly death.

Good thing. But it makes the need for subterfuge on my part all the more imperative.

So I didn't die in my bed this morning (though, given the choice, I'd like to die there one day. As opposed to in a filthy NHS hospital or under the wheels of the 74 bus or at the hands of a demented serial killer.)

I got up. I plodded about. I wished I were someone else, living a less complicated life which didn't include self-medicating with wine and cigarettes on a far-too regular basis. Tried very hard to think optimistic thoughts about all the people who love me and who think I'm completely fabulous. But it didn't work. I kept remembering how Brixton Man didn't want me anymore (prefering 'novelty' and 'the need to be stretched' to the love and devotion on offer from me). WTF. Is he completely mad? How could he not want me? I am totally and utterly fabulous.

See. I'm trying to do the happy thoughts thing again. But again, it's not working.

I'm not fabulous. I'm forty-five (how did that happen?) and today I feel one hundred and fifty. My hair is definitely thinning and I've got lines on my face which are unrelated to laughing. I have two gorgeous girls but one failed marriage, no job to speak of and as of Monday, no Brixton Man. I'm a mess.

And this afternoon, just as my hangover had dulled to a gentle ache, my telephone rang. It was my ex-husband. 'Hello,' he said, sounding brisk and business-like. 'I'm just ringing to tell you that Much Younger Girlfriend and I got engaged this afternoon.'

Oh crap.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Here I am.

Well, here I am. Heartsore. And with no expectations.

I have no absolutely idea - and I really mean absolutely NO idea, of what I'm doing... but I have been inspired tonight by a most fabulous fellow blogger upon whom I stumbled earlier today. If she can do it I can do it, is what I'm thinking right now although the chances of my ever being able to match her fluency, intelligence and wit are basically, zero. In fact, if you know what's good for you, you should leave my blog immediately and scamper straight over to hers. She is magnificent. Funny. Real. Really funny. Despite the upheavals of her often complicated existence, she always seems to find something to laugh about. She is amazing. I realise I'm now starting to sound a little bit obsequieous but really, if you visit her blog you'll see what I mean.
Am not sure if the world needs another blog, especially since I'm wallowing about in the same mudpool (cesspit? bloodbath?) that LuLu is in, but what the hey? I totally expect to write my little heart out for weeks and months and years and not ever get noticed, anyway. There are 75 million bloggers out there, apparently: how does one ever raise one's voice above the clamour, I wonder?

But perhaps being heard isn't even the point? In my case, I think it's more about getting it down/getting it out, regardless of whether anyone is listening. I've been contemplating a blog for some time now and since reading Lu's wonderfully witty, always interesting, regularly moving posts, I have decided I should attempt the same. Give it go. If only to save my sanity and fill the hours between now and when my two gorgeous girls come home. But I have no idea how to download photos or do anything clever .... so don't expect anything exciting from me. At least, not for a while.

I am your proverbial underachiever. Have never, ever done anything really well. Apart from make babies, which I think I did very well. I understand most things, but usually only half. When I was about twelve, I had my fortune told by a crazy woman with very few teeth and the longest hair I've seen on a human head. She said that I would eventually find my feet ... "but later, rather than sooner" (her very words, exactly).

Hmmmmmmmmm. It's now getting very, very late .... so I'm cautiously optimistic that things are about to get better and that I will soon feel the tips of my toes touching the bottom of the particularly deep, dark pool that I'm currently treading water in. (Have no idea why I'm drawn to these ridiculous water-related analogies. Big apologies, non-readers.) The crazy old lady also said I would find happiness with a red-haired man. This I find hard to believe. Not because I have anything against red-headed men per se but because I am, these days, inexplicably and somewhat alarmingly, attracted to men with absolutely no hair whatsoever.

How weird is that?

Perhaps I will win the lottery. I would so love to be ridiculously rich. Naturally, I would be very, very generous. I would immediately rent Richard Branson's island and fly in all the people that I love and haven't seen for ages (and also the ones that I see regularly,too) for three weeks, minimum. We would have a wonderful time, telling eachother how much we loved eachother and we would all catch a tan. Doesn't everyone look - and feel - better with a bit of a tan?

Brief background: home alone this evening, having dropped off my two gorgeous girls at Ex-Husband & co-habiting Much Younger Girlfriend's recently purchased house (more of which later, perhaps) and already I'm more than halfway through a bottle of cheap Pinot Grigio. I should have been out & about tonight on the back of a motorbike with Brixton Man (more of whom later, perhaps) but since he 'called it a day' at the beginning of the week I'm home alone, consumed with self-pity and wondering where he is/what he's doing/with whom he's doing it.

Feeling heartsore.

(I wonder: exactly how many blogs have been started as the consequence of heartache? How many more have had their beginnings in outrage? Isolation? A desire to convince or persuade? It would be fascinating to find out.)

But as my beloved Mom always used to say (and Lord Alfred Tennyson before her): 'Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.' Which is all good and well of course but speaking from experience - both past and recent - being a loser sucks. Big time.


PS. A bit of background: it's Friday. I'm sure the whole WORLD apart from me is out having fun ... and I'm home alone on my laptop, in my dark, dark house (trying hard to be green) with 'Have I got News For You' bleating on in the background. Am feeling desperate. I am the proverbial Desperate Housewife. Except I am no longe a wife. Have an admission: I find Paul Merton weirdly attractive. I also really like the fact that he has had his fair share of hard times and yet is still able to crack a smile. And the funniest jokes. Which must mean there's hope for us all, surely?