Printed from WriteWords -

One Day at a Time

by  Calypso

Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Word Count: 6149
Summary: Written for the Society of Women Writers and Journalists competition on Life Writing, I didnít submit it because itís a true story (posting under Non Fiction didnít seem right, feel it appeals more to fiction readers). Even though I changed the names, I worried about the consequences. Iím quite pleased with it and would like to know if itís just me enjoying my own diary, or whether there is something in itÖ Itís very long, but itís hard to know where to cut it.

Sunday 13th May 2010

Iím sitting in a rotting wooden steamer chair in the middle of grass that needs cutting. Its 4pm and the sun has come out for the first time all weekend. Itís May. I can hear birds chirping. Thatís all I have now to remind me that I like it here.

Last night I went to bed after eleven, which is late for me. Iíd been watching TV, but didnít have the energy to get myself to bed. Just as I started to drift off Josie padded along the landing and got in beside me.

Sheís too old to sleep with me. I should have put her back into her own room. But I like her next to me. Iíd been sleeping for barely minutes when a hand rocked my shoulder. I opened my eyes and saw Lydia. I let her in too. M could sleep on the sofa.

Josie woke us all at 6.23am. I got up. I poured cereal and glasses of milk. I made myself toast. Twice. The first time around the girls ate it.

I still felt tired. Iím always tired. It was 8am and they wanted to paint! I moved Josieís milk onto the chest of drawers so I could put a cloth on the table. Lydia had left two drawers open. The top one because it contained drawing equipment and the second one because thatís where we keep drinking straws, nestled up to tea towels. Josie reached for her milk and missed. Milk sloshed into the top drawer drenching the contents and dripped through woodwormed holes onto clean tea towels. I didnít know what to clean up first. I forgot about aprons and they got paint on their pyjamas.

They wanted to make cakes. It was nearly 11am and none of us were dressed. M wasnít even up. I told them to go into the lounge to watch TV. They fought over which programme to watch. There was dirty crockery in every room, damp laundry was draped over every radiator and I had to wear a pad because I had a cough. And they were fighting over the frigging telly. I went into the lounge and I screamed and I screeched and I shouted. Then I slammed the door and sat in the kitchen and sobbed because on top of everything else I am a bad mother.


Since this morning Iíve had a bath and Iím dressed. M has taken the girls out somewhere. Heíll expect me to be grateful when he gets back. I hope they arenít too late. Lydia needs her hair washed and the nits combing out. I did mine in the bath.

Iím better in the garden. But there are still things here than depress me. I can smell nextdoorís tomcats. I can see Dadís valiant attempt to wash the white-washed walls around the canopy and door. Green streaks are still there. Paler green that before, but still there. I come from a pussy footed family who make do and mend. Bleach and elbow grease are the order of the day. Really we need to rip out the canopy, build another, have someone in to paint the walls. Anyone can see that.

I can also see bikes and dollsí prams and dried up bedding plants in green plastic containers. Dying hydrangeas. (Why are they dying? I planted them to make me happy). Clothes on the washing line, some still smelling of BO because Mís got a problem that the washing machine canít fix. The smell of the cats remind me that the washing machine smells of bad eggs. Must add that to one of my lists.

The sun has gone in now. It went in a few minutes ago but I was too busy listing reasons to feel miserable to notice. Actually, I think itís raining. I need to gather up my books and wine glasses. I need to take down the washing and drape it over radiators.

Saturday 29th May 2010

The original feeling has gone, but I hope it might come back. Of course he was checking me out. Why would I think that if he wasnít?

But I donít know who he is, or even where he is. Havenít seen him for days. I really am beginning to think he never existed. Odd that he disappeared at precisely the same time I decided that if he wanted to check me out, then that was fine. And if he made a move, then then was fine too. I canít even remember what he looks like anymore. I keep looking at men around the office, I tilt my head, squint my eyes and think, was it you?

I hate weekends, I particularly hate these stupid Bank Holiday Weekends. Yesterday I counted the hours until Tuesday morning when I would be safely back at work. It was the pits here today. But I thought positively. I waxed my legs and applied fake tan and kept telling myself this is the beginning of the end.

Sunday 30th May 2010

I think I like lupins so much because they remind me of childhood. They arenít particularly attractive. Too pointy. But they make me happy because I have a memory of perching on the end of a red sun lounger with a packet of felt-tipped pens. Mumís drawings were of course better than mine, but I watched and learnt. Even now I can churn out a passable daffodil, tulip or lupin at the drop of a hat. We have lupins here, but not enough.

Alison came over this morning. We donít see each other nearly often enough, me and Alison. We go back a long way. Itís also unusual for her to come to mine. Usually I go to herís, we both prefer it that way. She because she doesnít have to travel, and me because I do. She arrived while I was yelling at the girls. She said calm down and she hugged me. This is something else that is unusual. Alison and I arenít huggers. She is my oldest friend, one of closest friends, more like a sister. But itís not usual for us to hug. Because of the hug I had to try doubly hard to fight the tears. I didnít want our coffee morning to be about me crying.

Monday 31st May 2010

On my own today. Sometimes I need time alone and M, thank god, sometimes obliges. Iíve painted my nails and am in the garden again while they dry. Itís bright and sunny, slightly breezy but extremely pleasant. Grass still needs cutting, kitchen and bathroom still need cleaning. Whole house still needs cleaning yet Iím here in the garden smelling of fake tan and nail varnish.

Heís has taken the girls to Winchester to buy them more stuff for me to pick up off the floor. Iím trying hard to get rid of the amount of stuff we have. People push stuff through my letter box. We go out for a meal and are given more toys and cheap crayons that donít even work probably. We need more storage.

The spray I bought for the nits Ė or, I should say lice (Iíve become an expert. Nits are the silver coloured empty egg shells) Ė smells like Ouzo. 1986, holiday in Corfu. It was one of the best weeks of my life. But now I need to crack on with Josieís jumper. Itís pink and I feel like Iím knitting raspberries. I can already see her in it. Little brown legs, snugly jumper, wind in her hair as she pads along in the wet Cornish sand. Caravan booked for August. And in fact this breeze is perfect for knitting. I wouldnít have the energy if it was hotter.

Tuesday 1st June 2010

Long dreary bank holiday weekend finally came to a close. My 51 hour wait wasnít in vain. I saw him today. And this time I knew it was definitely him. The thing is, he was wearing pink and Iím really not good with men and pastels. He was taller than I remembered. Much taller. And thinner too, but only from the back because when he turned to walk away, I saw a belly. Quite a big one. An odd one, it looked like he was made from beans Ė like Lydiaís rabbit Ė and that all the beans were caught in the bottom of his pink shirt. And that if he untucked it they would all fall onto the floor.

Wednesday 2nd June 2010 (Half Term, day off work)

My head was so full of crap this morning that I poured full fat milk onto my Cheerios. I swapped with Lydiaís. Then I poured full fat over those too.

M is involved with an online game called ToonTown. Heís been at it for years. When I complain he says itís better than gambling. And because it is, I shut up. He pays to play, about £30 a month I think. He doesnít drink or go out much, £30 is nothing to complain about. This time, itís not the money that worries me.

But I do complain because when I say he plays it all the time thatís what I mean. He takes his laptop into the bathroom. He stays up playing with these odd, dark and ugly characters, till 3am and sometimes later, seven days a week. He often uses two or three laptops simultaneously, he arranges them on the dining table and tampers with the keys like a frantic pianist. So frantically that sometimes he gets out of breathe. I peer over my reading glasses and give him a haughty look.

He wears earphones and makes a big fuss out of removing them when I speak. I spend evenings watching crap on telly, listening to the bits of music that isnít soaked up by his earphones. Sparks, Pet Shop Boys and other stuff Iíve never heard of.

He is, he tells me, one of the administrators on the site. I think Iím supposed to be impressed. He has made some virtual friends, Americans. Geoff, Kristina, Boop. (Boop!). In the deepest depths of the night, he sits in the kitchen and Skypes. Sometimes when I get up for the loo or headache tablets or Calpol or milk, I hear American voices. Boopís voice in particular I hear a lot. I try to listen, but even right outside the kitchen door, itís all soft tones and mumbling.

Boop has sent presents over for the girls. Big things like stuff from the Bear Factory. Lydia says that Dad says she isnít allowed to talk about Boop in front of me. He denies he says this.

Friday 4th June 2010 (Half Term, Mís birthday)

Yesterday I was at the beach with Lydia and Josie. Amazing weather. I was simultaneously worried about getting sunburnt and not getting tanned. Factor 10 is so high, but itís hard to find anything lower. Considered going without for the first two hours. I should have been relaxing. Both girls, of course, were smothered in Factor 30.

Iím waiting for M to get back with our take away. His birthday, heís getting the curry. I donít make much effort for his birthdays these days. At the beach yesterday I considered leaving early to make a birthday cake. But we didnít. On the way home we popped into Sainsburys and bought a hideously expensive yet tiny chocolate cake and candles. Not for him but for the girls to experience birthdays as they should be.

I had a nice hour in the garden with them. We lit the candles and blew them out several times so everyone could got a wish. M graced us with his company for well over 90 seconds, and then went back indoors to his laptops.

Later, as I watered the bindweed, I felt the onset of another black mood. Iím over connecting these moods to PMT, they happen too frequently. Itís being at home. Every room is filthy dirty, and untidy. Stuff and crap everywhere. I canít put anything away because weíve got too much stuff. Tonight I couldnít put the iron away on the shelf under the stairs because itís full of crystal decanters and unfashionable vases that, until now, I felt I couldnít get rid of because they were wedding presents. Tomorrow I will take them to the bottle bank. So tonight, rather than make an effort because itís his birthday, I sat on the sofa, starred into space and sulked. I stared at the back of his computer screens. What kind of daft game is this that heís playing? I think he felt for me, kept asking if I was OK, other questions to try and snap me out of it. But itís too late, we canít get back to where we were. I donít even want to.

Monday 7th June 2010

The whole, weekend was wonderful, bright and sunny. I didnít leave the house once. Felt something near contentment for a while. Got hacked off about asking M for housekeeping money. Why do I always have to ask? We go through the same routine every time this happens. He laughs at me because I say do more housework than him. Or sometimes itís the other way around.

I will try to stop whinging about him not pulling his weight and generally being sloppy. No need to keep going on about it. But first, let me have this. Itís not just the housework that he doesnít do. He doesnít look after the cars, the garden nor does he do any DIY. He takes ToonTown into the bathroom when he baths the girls. Proudly saying his girls are old enough to look after themselves in the bath now. They can - I usually see to the laundry while they are kick each other.

Maya Angelous says that bitterness is like cancer.

Tuesday 8th June 2010

He held the office door open for me today. No eye contract, we ignored each other skilfully.

Wednesday 9th June 2010

No work today. You are supposed to enjoy days off work arenít you? Everyone and everything got to me today. Everything seems too stressful to bear. Hence why Iím up here in bed and itís not even 9pm. I will probably go straight to sleep and wake up at 2am for two hours. That seems to be the general pattern. Stuff will go around and around in my head. I will get up for the loo. Listen to the Americans in the kitchen. Check on the girls and go back to bed. But I still like going to bed. Itís like the end of a chapter and thereís always the thought that perhaps the next one will be better.

I like mornings too. In the afternoons I start to feel lethargic and by 4pm Iím often depressed.

Saturday 12th June 2010

I felt weak when I got up on Thursday morning. As sometimes I do. Out of breathe, tired and, well, basically just ill.

Josie is going to be staying down in the Reception class next term. Lydia stayed down too. She was immature. Josie is immature too. Iíve failed. I want my daughters to be bright and confident. I thought their reading and writing would just happen once they started school. I didnít realise it would involve stress and heartache.

Sunday 13th June 2010

When I first started all this malarkey over the guy at work, I saw it as a way out. A route to happiness. Or to feeling at least content. Or at the very least something other than drudgery. I also thought it was a done deal. I thought it was simply a matter of giving him the nod. I really did. How funny.

Iím worried Iím going to get myself into a senseless scenario and along the way I will make a fool of myself. I canít take no notice so someone Iím so intensely aware of. Iíve started to lose weight. Iím going to call him Tony.

Saturday 19th June 2010

Itís 9.10pm and Iím in the garden again. Iíve been getting on with my knitting. Iím watching the moon which is almost exactly a half moon. Itís getting brighter as the sky is getting darker. Right now itís still light enough to write and knit. Iíve been knitting and thinking about writing in here and wondering what to say.

Iím glad I made the effort with the busy lizzies, they look nice. I have been given some petunela plants too. But they are still in their green plastic trays. Looking leggy.

Sunday 20th June 2010

My imagination has set to work again. Dreaming up all the things we could have spent equivalent money on. I hate wastefulness, itís so, wasteful. Ungrateful. Think of all the people who have nothing, and look what we do with something. Why is he so useless, why am I so angry, surely I canít say Iím surprised? I should be used to it now, accept what it is that I canít change. He never does anything he says heís going to. What shall I do, ask for a divorce? Kick him out? Both? How? Why is he so useless? Why does life seem impossible? Why does he drag me down to crapland with him? I feel so energised when heís not around. Why canít he just go away for ever?

Monday 21st June 2010

When I drive to work my head is full of so many thoughts that I think itís going to pop. Itís probably like that all the time, but during that half hour drive I have time to notice. Thereís not much else going on to throw me off track. I wish I had a sieve that could sort out the rubbish thoughts from the good ones.

So, all this crap is going on in my head while I somehow manage to get myself to work. I get my coffee from the machine and then people start talking to me, I donít think to say hello, I wonder what the noise is. Sometimes I realise and move my mouth to say hello but more often than not nothing comes out. My voice isnít loud enough, and first thing in the morning like that, thereís usually a frog in it. I donít move the right muscles. I have to concentrate, focus, get myself into gear, wake up, pull myself together. Engage brain. Smile, speak. One guy said to be other day that I always look at him as if I want to murder him.

Thereís always so much to do. Last night I thought Iíd left everything in a pretty reasonable state. But this morning I found my beautiful lime green basket full of all the stuff weíd taken to the paddling pool four days ago. It was just sat there on the landing. Damp towels, wet swimsuits, three grey socks, ice lolly wrappers, a leaky suncream bottle. I had to tip the whole lot out on the floor to find my phone and purse before leaving for work. I everything where it fell.

Tonight when I got home, I picked everything up and sorted it out. I also hoovered upstairs, cleaned the outside windows, washed and combed Josieís hair, watered the plants, cut down the honeysuckle stragglers, washed up the breakfast stuff and lunchboxes, tidied the lounge, did some laundry and cooked dinner. I felt too tired to eat it.

Tuesday 22nd June

In the garden. This time watching a daddy blackbird feed his baby. Itís wonderful. These birds have been around the garden a lot lately. I thought they were being friendly, but it was my own Dad who told me that when they are like that they are desperate for food, and itís that thatís making them brave. Itís been very dry recently, that would make it tricky to find worms, and itís too early for the berries. I only have bread, but will buy nuts and seeds tomorrow.

At first the daddy picked up the bread and flew away with it, but then he bought his chick down here too. Sheís stood on the broken pergola thing, ever so still. When he feeds her itís like they are kissing and itís making me think about my own children and how much I love them.

Itís 9.40pm. Late to be sitting in the garden, but still pretty early for bed. I get so tired these days. Iím fantasising going to sleep.

Iím worried. Think Dad Blackbird has lost his baby, sheís not on the perch anymore. Heís making a hell of a lot of noise. I didnít see her go either. I donít know what to do to help. Last time I looked she was waiting there, as patiently as ever. I hope sheís OK.

M has been in Poland on business. He came back today. How can I make him go for good? And I suppose I do have to reluctantly admit, Iím nervous about him going. Sometimes I like chatting to him, he can be good company. Sometimes. And financially, will we have to leave this house? Leave the village? I wonder if it matters that we have to leave.

The moon is in a different place to last night. Iím sure this chair is in the same place. Last night it was directly above the roof at precisely this time. Now itís closer to nextdoor. Thereís still light enough for me to write, but only just.

Sunday 27th June 2010

9pm and Iím in the garden with my wine and knitting. I wish I could be more like my Mum. She finds it impossible to relax when thereís washing up to be done. She gets twitchy, this girlsí toys are everywhere. I donít want them to be, but I canít be bothered to either pick them up or nag at the girls to pick them up themselves. Iím not twitchy. Not about that anyway.

I may as well get on a say it. Iím pissed off that Tony caught my eye so many times. So many times that I foolishly thought he was interested and that all I had to do was give him the nod. So many times, yet since the second I decided I would react, nothing. Itís so unfair. Iím so bored I could scream.

But I still have hope. Itís good to have hope, to have something to look forward to, Iíve got nothing else. No wonder my demented little mind invents things.
Tuesday 29th June 2010

Sat outside til 10pm. I was knitting and contemplating. Thatís why I like knitting outside. If I was contemplating without knitting, it would look to the world that I was doing nothing and it would be obvious to anyone that Iím insane. Knitting is the perfect cover.

Everything smells more intense at night. Nice smells. And I like this summer heat that hits me as soon as I step onto the patio. The blackbird family visited again tonight to remind me I never did buy those nuts and seeds. This time it was mother and son. Last night I offered them some of my rice. They pecked at it but they really didnít like it. They left most of it, although oddly it wasnít there this morning.

Sunday 4th July

When we go out we spend loads. More toys, £3 milkshakes. I like to think itís not that Iím tight. I like the idea of a simple life, that Little House on the Prairie time when youíd only have two dresses. Is it possible to get back to that? School issue so many letters. Sunhats, your child must wear a sunhat. The Primary Times, leaflets, exactly how many leaflets are needed to explain something as simple as a library reading scheme. I stack it all up to read later but never do.

On Thursday evening I went to Eastleigh College with Karen to see a quilting exhibition. I wasnít keen, I wanted to go late night shopping to buy perfume, I wanted to go to the pub with my work friends. Her Cupcake Quilt was exhibited. I wrote a text crying off but deleted it before I sent it. I went along feeling I was doing a good deed.

The exhibition was in an old school building. Awful colours on the walls and highly waxed floors. I was really surprised at how quickly I felt alive being in amongst creativity again. Realised how stifling it is at work. My mind buzzed with energy and my fingers became twitchy.

I loved the arty people there. Some wore long dresses, some had purple or pink hair, grown women with glitter eye shadow! Loved it. But something else struck me too. Many people took their partners along to along. Couples were talking to each other, being civil to each other, talking about having barbecues at the weekends, friends around. No bickering or snide comments. Couples holding hands, being nice to each other. It happens I know, Iíd just forgotten. Apart from work, I havenít been out for a while.

Sometimes I think we are playing dare. Or chicken. Neither of use wants to make the first move. Sometimes I wouldnít mind a cuddle, but would never make a move for fear of rejection. He did that once. Weíd been yelling, I was tired, exhausted, stressed, I cried and reached out for a cuddle. He pushed me anyway and said, ĎWe donít have that sort of relationship anymoreí. We were on the landing, outside the bathroom.

Does he want me? Do I want him? I have no respect for him, I think he smells, he canít dress himself, canít manage the basic admin that sensible life requires, heís dysfunctional, untidy, he likes peculiar things Ė heís like a little boy, right down to preferring squash to coffee. He puts chutney on lasagne. He lies as a boy would lie to his mum. He says Ďbla, bla, bla,í to me when I question him about not pulling his weight, doesnít pay his bills on time and merrily pays £12 late fees left right and centre. Yet he tells me that having a Costa coffee is extravagant. He orders computer stuff from Amazon, gets the spec wrong and doesnít send anything back, stuff piles up, he doesnít give me the money Iíve worked out he needs to give me in order to ensure all the bills are split 50 / 50. Iím keeping him, looking after him, subbing him. Why does he think thatís fair? Why do I keep doing it?

Iíve written a lot tonight. Going to stop now and knit while I fume about money. I quite often fume about that.

Monday 5th July 2010

Itís 7am and Iím alone at the kitchen table. The girls are watching telly. We had a bad family meal last night which involved lots of shouting. Boy, can he find things to bellow about.

He spent the evening playing a very loud game on his laptop. Lots of elephant and gun noises, yes, honestly. I did some pottering around and went to bed early. He woke me when he climbed into bed at 5.17am. Later, at about 8am probably, I will bellow too. I will shout like you would at a teenager ,about him being constantly late for work and about slack performance and about how he shouldnít put his job at risk when he has a family.

Sunday 11th July

Itís gone 9pm and once more Iím in the garden. The pigeons are fighting, they do this first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Iíve seen them in the trees and on the roof and on the TV aerials. They hit out at each other with their wings. Itís hideously loud. I wish I could get a gun and shoot them all. But Iíd probably miss and wreck the house.

Sunday 17th July 2010

In the garden again, itís passed 9pm. Iím not hurting this week, I just feel edgy. Edgy at work, cross with myself for not focusing, Iím only getting away with it now because we are in a lull. Iím cross that Tony sits so close to me in the office. I blame not being able to concentrate on that. I spend too much time mulling this over. I reckon Iím allowed to indulge a bit, but not this much, some of it is fun, but it is also making me edgy and cranky.

M is being nice to me at the moment. Nothing amazing but enough for me to notice. Perhaps heís noticed Iíve been hurting too. Oh god, I hope he hasnít found this diary.

I havenít told him that Iíve noticed because in my usual uncertain way, Iím wondering if itís all in my imagination.

Iím feeling old. You can be a doctor, an established one, by the time you are thirty. Iím nothing. M being nice has thrown me. Before then I had no qualms about Tony, but being nice has reminded me that we are married. Thoughts of Tony have been my escape route. I canít not have an escape route, my eyes are glazing over.

Actually, I havenít seen Tony for a while.

Wednesday 21st July

Itís 9.32am. Iím in the car park at the Arboretum on the way to Mumís. Itís a pretty place to stop.

Havenít seen Tony since a week last Friday. When I saw him he was dressed up in a suit and carrying a huge John Lewis box. I decided he was going to a leaving do. He was responsible for the present because he was giving the speech. Then I thought, oh my god, that it might be his leaving present. And then, because we are now out of the lull, I completely forgot about it until yesterday afternoon. May be it really was his leaving do. Not sure how I feel about this, I donít feel that fussed, but I do feel that life would be terribly dull without him.

Last night I started to panic about work. Iíve been spending far too much time day-dreaming, whilst cleverly looking busy. Last night it suddenly hit me how close we are to the next print deadline. I panicked, got really cross with myself for wasting time. I still have time to pull this around. Need to pull my socks up though. Have a Half Year Review tomorrow. Probably good timing.

Writing in this notebook is a very self indulgent, egotistic pastime. Auntie Sue has cancer. Mum seems OK on the surface, but she talks about it a lot so I know sheís not. Not only that but Mum had to go to hospital for another three month check-up yesterday. I am going to try not to be selfish today and I will indulge her. I will let her decide what to do and I will let her moan about Dad for as long as she likes. Whatís more, I wonít once ask her about how the cancers are going.

Thursday 22nd July 2010

Mum gave me stuff yesterday. Some tokens for Alton Towers, she cut them off a tissue box. There was more too. An article about mould and how it could give children asthama. I need to sort out the mould in my bedroom. Thereís bits of mould all over the house, but itís worse in my room. The article mum gave me says mould can kill. I chucked it the recyling bin but I couldnít bring myself to throw away the coupons. I took them work. Sending emails about coupons going begging no doubt secured my position of a sad middle aged woman.

Wednesday 4th Aug 2010

I knew it, I really did, I knew Tony was still around. He was back in the office on Monday. I know itís nonsense but he makes me happy.

But then I got thinking. A three week holiday only happens once in a blue moon. Or that other sort of moon. Yes, heís wearing a ring. At first I thought I was fine about it. I mean, that belly, and he didnít ask me out that time I thought he was going to. So it doesnít matter. Iím not devasted. Iím not up for a full blown relationship, but I wanted, and expected, something. Someone to treat me as an equal, someone who respects me. Someone bright to stretch my mind broaden my horizons. To take me out now and again and buy me presents.

I feel a bit sad tonight.

M is still up all night, still talking to Boop. He still wonít get out of bed in the morning, heís late for work, wears old, dirty clothes and still takes that suitcase, the one he took to Poland and never unpacked, to work and back every day. I donít know why. He doesnít function in the same way as other humans. Still, I knew that when I married him, at least some of it, not all. Iíve made my bed and now I have to lie in it.

Saturday 7th Aug 2010

Have to be careful otherwise negative thoughts about M prevail and my mood gets very bleak.

Needed to move his car today. Papers, empty sandwich cartons, crisp packets, PCs, keyboard, email printouts. Picked one up and read it. It was a printout of a job application Ė Systems Admin. Crap job. Why print it out? Is his job at risk? Oh god, something else to worry about. I cared for a few moments and then realised weíre separate now. I can manage, no matter what. I would have to if we were properly separated.

I look at the girls and think Iím over the worst. I didnít particularly like the toddler stage Ė such a faff. Now they are beautiful and fun and quirky. They make me happy. Of course still naughty. Have to keep reminding myself that I am their guide. They learn from me. I need to try to be a good person., otherwise, god help them.

Sunday 15th August

7.30am and Iím in the kitchen alone. Driven to distraction by toothache. Have been to the dentist several times but he doesnít know what causing it. Iím on antibiotics in case itís an infection. We go to the caravan in Cornwall on Saturday, itíd better be gone by then.

The washing is drying in the bedroom because it wonít stop raining. Whatís the story with Boop? It was her birthday yesterday, or rather yesterday was the day he took the girls into Winchester to buy presents for her and then to go to the post office to post them off. I found a plastic bag with a WH Smiths receipt in it. It read ĎHeart with Diamondsí. I keyed the barcode into the WH Smith website. What was I looking for? I donít know, something, ammunition. I feel muddled, about that, about work and my toothache means I canít think straight. Got a speeding fine today. House work, I canít keep on top of it. I need to be spending my money on a cleaner Ė not on fines for driving at 38 miles an hour and £200 at the dentist.

Friday 20th Aug 2010

Packing. Still got toothache. Dentist reckons now it could be neuralgia. Got a headache too, and itís raining, always raining. Tired, Iím always tired. Went to doctorís to ask about the neuraglia, while I was there I wanted to talk to him about hormones and depression and being tired, but I was too tired to be bothered.

Monday 30th Aug 2010 (Bank Holiday)

Strange holiday, but I think the girls enjoyed it, which was the point. Iím ready to ask him to go. He spent a lot of time with the girls while we were away. Messing about in the park, body boarding, sandcastle making, buying toys. They are closer to him now than ever before.

Been getting myself in a stew about how upset they will be, having to say goodbye to him on Sunday nights. But is it the right thing for them in the long run? I know it is for me, but what about them? If we stay together will they grow up thinking theyíve been living a lie? They are old enough to know we arenít friends, they know we donít kiss and they know that other couples do.

My own thoughts can keep me occupied for hours. I stare at whatever, usually looking downwards and towards the left. Iíve always done this, even as a child, I used to stare out of my bedroom window. Sometimes I think that if other people were to see me they would think I was insane, but usually there are too many other thought kicking around my head to make room for that one.