An Oasis.

KM finally made it down for his visit. We chose to stay at a charming local hotel for a couple of nights, and I’d bought The Game of Life for us to play seen as we have rediscovered our love of board games.

I took nothing Uni related with me, which is actually quite unusual.

We enjoyed dinner together on Friday night at the hotel restaurant and I sat there feeling like a proper grownup on a proper date. You can tell it was posh as everyone was talking in hushed voices, our wine came in a wine bucket and the waiter called me madam plus it passed KM’s “fancy place test.” His hypothesis: if you pay before you eat = not so posh. Whereas if you pay after you eat then it must be classy.  I looked across the table at KM and it really hit me how much I miss just going out to dinner with him for a nice meal and some conversation. We talked about KM’s business and some projects he’s working on. We talked about our flat (where KM is still currently living) and how much we miss THE best cat ever: Benji, who is sadly no longer with us. I realised how much I miss this.  We’ve been together going on 12 years. Yes, there have been a few ups and downs along the way and even a couple of break ups, but I love the guy to bits (thankfully – seen as I’m marrying him.)  Now that we are living at other ends of the country and only seeing each other every couple of weeks, I feel sometimes like I haven’t got a clue what’s going on in his life.  I don’t mean to sound controlling, but I like coming home at the end of each day and getting a little report on the days happenings, cooking together and snuggling up in bed. When that report happens by phone or in our case more often than not by Skype text…well it’s just not the same.

Not only that, but my brain totally can’t keep track of all the things I need/want to share with him or worse: I assume I told him about something only to find out I didn’t and he has no clue what I’m talking about.

This weekend was like a little oasis in the desert – 2 precious days of time together.  It was wonderful. We didn’t do anything particularly special. There were no grand adventures or days out, in fact we didn’t even leave Salisbury. Sometimes the simple things in life can bring as much pleasure as the grandest of adventures. We enjoyed some great food together, shopped at the weekly market for my groceries and caught a film. On Sunday afternoon I found myself sat in our room knitting and enjoying my new drink of choice: peppermint tea. KM was taking a nap. During this couple of hours peaceful contemplation two strange and delightful thoughts struck me…

First I really do feel more peaceful when KM is nearby, I relax better, feel safer and happier within myself. Even when he’s not doing anything to directly affect the way I feel (at this point he was lightly snoring but I’m sure he wasn’t doing it for my benefit). This is love to me; grand romantic gestures are all well and good and I’m not going to fool anybody if I try to claim I don’t enjoy them, but it’s this calm quiet unassuming love that endures. I don’t believe in the popular analogy where two become one through marriage, it’s simple maths to me … I will not become less than I currently am through marriage, nor do I expect KM to stop wishing I would do the dishes more often, or scale down my shoe collection, I expect we will continue to have the same fiery, bickering relationship we have always had as each of us walks the line between the person we are currently and the person we wish to be. I see the union more as a bonding of a complimentary pair. Each remaining separate, but reinforced and strengthened by the presence of the other. KM’s love for me enables me to go out into the big wide scary world and be more myself knowing that I have a safe haven at home with him in our KM-ALI bubble. It’s easier to stand tall on your own two feet when you know someone is willing to catch you when you fall. We won’t always get it right, but our intentions are true. I really believe I’m marrying an amazing man, though after nearly 12 years I’m far from setting either of us on a pedestal of being perfect or even perfect for each other. It’s not inconceivable to me that on the surface of planet Earth there might not be a woman who is a better match for my KM… somewhere… (Hopefully far, far away where he will never meet her :P) But KM has given me his piece of his heart, and it’s the most valuable thing I own.

Second, it was truly odd to me to find myself mindlessly knitting for a couple of hours without once feeling guilty about the huge mountain of Uni work waiting for me when I get home (by 3 hours the guilt was back in full force) I actually found myself thinking wow this is what a real day off feels like? It was bizarre for my fried brain to realise that a day will actually come when I will actually have days off. Whole days… no guilt included… what an amazing luxury. 2 years and counting… Keep swimming, Ali, Keep swimming.

I have to admit to feeling mentally stretched to my limit right now, between missing KM, learning to drive, trying to change my exercise and diet habits, planning a Wedding, and year 2 of my training… I’m left reminded of the women I look after in labour who are often brought to the point where they believe they can’t go on anymore only to find somewhere within themselves the strength to endure a little more… a little more… a little more … pushed to their very limits the strength of women amazes me almost daily, I find myself looking for that same power somewhere within myself, not to birth a child but to build the life I want for myself.

I could do with a compassionate midwife figure to support and guide me at times hehe

Ali xX

The Macdonalds

A cynic sat among the cathedral congregation: the music gently plays… men in kilts, fancy dresses… Mother dressed in pink, father oh so proud, a woman whose smile sparkles more than her stunning white dress, A handsome kilted man waits…

“Do you take this man ….?  I do”   The first of my two closest high school friends becomes someone’s Mrs. One of our trilogy is Married. Even the cynic wipes a subtle tear from her cheek believing for this moment that a wedding makes all the sense in the world. Musical Miss kissed her groom to the sound of popping champagne corks and shall hence forth be known as Musical Mrs.

Wonderful sunshine, good food, great friends… It truly was a beautiful wedding. Running like clockwork, no stress, no awkward standing around and even reasonably priced drinks at the bar but these physical details are tiny compared to the joy written on the happy couples faces all day long.  A truly loving union of families it was wonderful to watch. And who could help but cheer at the news that Dad’s aging old Jaguar had made it to the church on time, or at the appearance of the childhood friend Soft the teddy bear, testament we were told to the bride’s loving nature and proof that she would love her fiends not for a short time but until they are literally falling apart.  There was perhaps only a slight hint of jealously as the many talents of family and friends were displayed: a song written for the happy couple, a violin tune so lilting and lovingly played by a young girl whose skill leaves many adult fiddlers in her shadow. Even their own Scottish reel “The Merry Macdonald” created by friends and danced into the late hours of the festivities.

Yes, it was a soppy overflow of love with a sprinkling of the usual wedding traditions but in no way did this day feel cliché. It seemed to flow as a natural celebration of my friend and her man.  I truly am grateful I was able to share it with them.

Maybe this wedding thing isn’t so bad…

Much love luck health and happiness to you both and I do hope we continue to be friends until we are falling apart.

All my love

Ali xx

Rings & things.

Fasting is no fun. I woke up too late today to really have proper meals before my fast began.  As a result, I only actually ate a yogurt and two slices of toast before embarking on my 14 HOURS food free. OK ok make that 1 raspberry flavored yogurt, 2 slices of toast  and as many M&M’S as I could crunch up and swallow in the 5 minute count down to zero hour – a number which is lower than you might think seen as I was laughing the whole time which makes actually chewing kind of hard.  It only actually registered after it was pointed out to me that actually this is food and drink free.  Water is my only option which really sucks because I find it so hard to drink water.  I really don’t like it; couple that with the fact that I’m the most stubborn and contrary person I know. As soon as you tell me I can’t so something of course it’s the only thing I can think about.  I never realized until this evening how much FOOD is advertised on TV AND it all looks GREAT… even the stuff I never would have considered eating… if it hadn’t been for the fact that the activity is prohibited. Each advert had me lusting Homer Simpson style:  Mmmm popcorn… mmm cream cheese…  oooo pasta…  marmite… wait I HATE marmite…  actually that looks good (its not the smell alone makes me gag )…  meat… chocolate… awwwww chocolate… such fond memories you’d have though I was never going to eat the stuff again. The only thing that failed to inspire my deprived taste buds was the Arby’s advert.  I don’t know what it is about that place but their food SCARES ME… and usually it has to be said advert food is way more appetizing than the actual object in reality, so Arby’s…. I’m thinking no…. the cheese on these things looks unnatural.  It’s the food of my nightmares. Just thinking about it I’m starting to break a sweat.. Yeah I’m an Arby’sophobe can you get therapy for that?!

My stomach won’t stop growling at me. I think it’s angry. The noise I don’t mind so much but the ache of I’m hungry feed me… FEED ME… that just takes the piss. Where are you every other day when I struggle to eat my meals or just plain forget to eat altogether?  Hunger – you never show up then do ya!? Bastard.

Moving quickly on to good news… no, GREAT news.  I found out tonight that one of my friends got ENGAGED last Tuesday. We’ll call her Musical Miss because of her crazy violin-piano-singing passion and talent. Now usually I’d be all cynical.  I’m not a great advocate for the institution of marriage it has to be said. Well, OK, that’s not quite true. I’m a hopeless romantic in theory. I’d like to believe that everybody has a soul mate out there and I do believe in true love. Its just I have some issues with the whole idea of monogamy, which lets face it, is kind of key to the traditional marriage service.  Yes yes I KNOW… this view is going to make me REALLY unpopular and may even lead to some name calling or unfavorable judgments about me and my morals or standards. So be it. Live and let live, I say I’m not saying a monogamous relationship is wrong for anyone else at all.  At the end of the day, be in the relationship that makes you happy. That’s most important.

Musical Miss and her man are utterly happy and what’s more they are so well matched and cute together. It has cynical people like me calling for a bucket and grinning from ear to ear.  My friend has been there for me the whole time as I was growing up.  I totally admire her pragmatic practical attitude. The amount of different passions and commitments she juggles is staggering and she’s had more then her fair share of heart ache too. I’m so so thrilled that she has found a sweet, caring and funny guy who recognizes her for the amazing woman she is. From what I’ve seen, being with him only makes her stronger. I wish them every blinking happiness in the whole world. To me, they are the real deal and so I find myself in rather unusual position of being thrilled and excited by the prospect of a wedding. Actually its pretty damn awesome that I’ve had to add a congratulations card to my shopping list.

Ali xX

K.S.: My girlfriends getting married … bring on the hen night woohoo!

Can I have a word……… about a baby.

 Motherhood is hard. It’s a 24 hour job with no breaks. It’s a life long contract it’s draining financially, emotionally and physically… or at least what I have seen of it. I’m not a mother, but from every angle I look at it this gig is tough.

Yet there’s nothing I want more…  not even a Green Card. I’ve wanted to be a mum for as long as I can remember. Remco – that’s the name of my first doll – a baby boy to match the one my parents brought home from the hospital (we called the real one Andrew and a fine brother he turned out to be). I was two. After that came a little girl that cried tiny tears and had the most frightful blonde curly hair. She was from my Granny.  I had a bald Cabbage Patch baby whose head smelt funny that Santa left me one Christmas morning, Finally, I had Rosemary. She was a big baby and I saved up for her all by myself from my weekly pocket money (I didn’t tell them but she was my favorite).  I was nine. After that, my parents declared I was too old for dolls and a blanket ban on new babies was strictly imposed.  I remember them all. I loved them dearly. I only wanted to play the mommy game when I was a kid, much to the frustration of my playmates. What I loved best was “helping” look after my younger cousins.  I pushed Graeme to sleep in his pram when my arms still had to reach up to the handle. I couldn’t even see in to look at him. His mommy gave me the nod as he dosed off “mission accomplished”. I remember the wide eyed amazement I felt when I first saw my uncle cradling a new addition to the family. I just kept thinking she’s tiny. TINY.  No, you don’t understand – really really small. Breast feeding made my head spin. I’m sure I must have creeped my aunt’s out.  I didn’t intend to be rude but was fixed to the spot with fascination staring at them through the thick lenses I had to wear. Would have been a great look I bet.  I EVEN remember the first time I was shown how to change a nappy. How delighted I was that I was allowed to share the help (trust me this is the one fascination I have truly gotten over… yeah).       

I imagined I’d have three kids: A boy, a girl, a few years gap and then the baby of my family.  I even had their names picked out since my teens.

I believed, I was born to be a mum, apparently I was wrong.

If you’ve read my blog at all, you’d know that’s not going to happen for me. The chances are I won’t be a mum… ever (I know, I know. people have told me before there’s always adoption. I love the way they sound so happy when they say it, though the thought of it makes me die a little more inside – I don’t want a baby. I want MY baby. Maybe my outlook will change with time. Here’s hoping)

I’m not telling you all this to talk about myself though. I don’t need sympathy or pity or tissues.  I’m not sitting here crying my eyes out either. I just need you to understand. I know about wanting babies. I know about being broody. Yeah, they don’t turn that off when your reproductive system goes into meltdown. I understand. If you could give me nine months of carrying a child when the time is right for me, you can have the rest of my life. Seriously.

The key for me is “when the time is right.” My dream of having a child is not to have one at all cost. I want to be able to support my children.  I want to bring them into a loving and stable environment. If you offered me the chance to carry life right now, I’d like to think I’d say no. I know it would tear me apart to pass that up but I hope to goodness I’d be strong enough for the baby’s sake.  I’m in no place to look after a child. I’m embarrassed to admit it but I wouldn’t cope.

Don’t take this as me being anti-single parent because I’m not – there are many, many genuine reasons that either parent ends up raising an infant alone  and I have nothing but respect and admiration for anyone in that position. I believe they should be given every support.

BUT … you’re 22 years old.  You have two wonderful children already – a son who’s so smart, a daughter with the brightest blue eyes I’ve ever seen – each depending on you to show them how to fulfill all the potential they were given, each looking to you to nourish and protect them – watching you, learning by your example, with so much love to give you if you would only let them.  They have no father figure, which I know means you have to be both for them. I know that kills you. You’ve been to the edge and I’ve heard you cry. Wished I could be right there to hold you and help you to make things a little better to ease the burden.  I know the fierce love you have for them but I also see the struggle of coping with two young children on your own – the heartache of one living away from you .

I was devastated for you when you miscarried your third child. I was so mad that you didn’t call me, didn’t let me be there, never reached out to me until after the fact.

Now you’re pregnant. Congratulations.

I want to be happy for you.  I want to be able to jump up and down and scream for joy to look forward to your new journey, to shopping for baby clothes and meeting your child.

But there is so much I don’t understand. I thought you were struggling with two? I thought you were focusing on getting your son back with you and not living at your mother’s? I thought you would have learned to be more careful… or did you plan this? Do you want it? Are you really happy?

What about the father? Is he happy… does he want a child? Will he be there for you and the three kids always? How long have you been together anyways? Is a few months long enough to decide to create a life together? From what I can see, he’s so young – I mean in some countries he’s still underage.

What am I missing? What pieces of the puzzle do I need to see things the way you do? Because, right now, I’m angry – angry and hurt. I mean if everything you’ve shared with me is true then I’m so scared by the prospect of another child that, to be honest, I feel like you showed amazing irresponsibility. If it’s not true then you’ve lied to me all this time?

What do you want from me? Someone to listen? You can have that. Someone to care? You know I do. Someone to jump into your arms and tell you this is the best news ever? I can’t do that. I’m sorry. I wish nothing but the best for you and your kids. Always have… and always will. For heaven’s sake I’m not saying you shouldn’t have the child. I would never wish the pain of giving up a child on anyone and I certainly couldn’t ask of you something I would find so utterly impossible any more than I would wish harm on an unborn child. After all, babies don’t choose the situations they are born into. They have to trust that someone else thought about that. Convince me you thought about it.

I have read so many sad stories recently. I’ve been looking, you know, for others with PCOS – someone who might know what I am going though. searching for information, trying to figure out how I can cope, what I should do to help myself – because I need to deal with this and, unlike you, I had no control over what’s happened to me. I mostly found women, couples struggling with infertility, waiting for years, hoping praying to be on the right side of a statistic, desperate for miracle. These people are in stable relationships. They have homes of their own. They have jobs – work for their living and endure terrible heartache. How is it fair that they find impossible something which you seem to take for granted? I find myself wondering if you walked a few miles in their position, would you still have such a casual attitude to the creation of life that you appear to have right now??

It infuriates me, but the truth is the world is not fair. The taxpayers money will be spent on supporting your third child, meanwhile the NHS is refusing other couples fertility treatment. I guess there’s only so much money to go round, huh?  

So, there you have it – the honest ugly truth. I’m angry with you. I’m a little hurt. I’m disappointed. Most of all, I’m confused and I don’t want to go on feeling this way.

Please explain. Make me understand.

 Love  Ali xX

“Children begin by loving their parents ; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” 

 ~ Oscar Wilde