Sunday, March 20, 2011

A catch-up

Isn't this rotten - I don't come and visit you (I've popped in here and there though) and then do a post after three months. I'm doing it as much for me as to reach out to you lot - in the years to come I will look back at my blog and remember how my life panned out, this is a dear diary really...

It is now four months since Mr FF chose to leave He is living with someone else now and is very happy and settled. I've been on a couple of 'dates' and my profile on these dating sites seems to get me a lot of attention, but I am quite a fussy person. I'm not even sure what exactly I am looking for - but I guess I will know it when I meet him.

Work at the nursing home is going well but it does make me very tired. I do long days now, working from 7 - 7 with two 15 minute breaks and 30 mins for lunch. I do a few of these a week and sadly have to leave the bichons alone for some 13 hours. This is easy to type but it has been very hard to come to terms with. I looked into various options (neighbours, paying people to pop in, rehoming) but, at the proverbial end of the day, they have each other, pads are down on the floor for wees (although they have been very good at holding on to it so far), they get a longish walk at 5am (yes, I get up at 4.30 on my long days) and again at 7.30. Plus, on my days off, they have my more or less undivided attention. If I go out I bundle them into their look out seats in the car and they either come with me where I go or stay in the carpark somewhere, barking happily at passers-by.

Work is also sponsoring me in an NVQ in Health and Social Care. Every two weeks I go to a college where I am instructed in stuff and have essays to submit. Many of my fellow students seem thick as anything to me and seem to have trouble grasping the simplest of concepts. I know a lot of academics sneer at these NVQs (non vocational qualifications) and they seem very easy compared to the OU courses I did. When I asked my tutor if she preferred the Harvard referencing system in my essay she had no idea what I was talking about - still, I sound a bit contemptuous here and I really do not mean to be. My plan is to get this bit of paper (sometime in September), by which time I will have been working in care for about a year. I then think I will try and get a job as a deputy manager somewhere (usually you need a nursing qualification but I have seen a lot of adverts where this has been waived, as long as the manager is an RGN), I really need a 'better' sort of job.

I never thought I would end up a poorish person. I had a very comfortable, middle-class upbringing and wanted for nothing really. All my money went in France and also on nice living and improvements over there. My parents tried to drum into me the value of money and it is only now that their words ring in my head. Still, I got there in the end; I am very proud of my new budgeting skills.

My weight loss has more or less stabilised at four stone. This is mainly due to the fact that a couple of months ago I joined a gym and even though my shape is changing for the better and I am losing body fat, because of the increased muscle tone (there must be some muscles somewhere, surely) the actual loss on the scales does not reflect how I am looking. I have been busy selling off my former 'fat clothes' on e-bay; these nice clothes sell for a fraction of what I paid for them but it is still cash coming in and it saves them just hanging around here. I did a flying visit to the French house a little while ago to bring back some things to sell - I've flogged some jewellery that belonged to my mother, some presents I was given, a few other bits and pieces. Things I thought would be mine to pass on to someone have now ended up being sold - but we do what we can to get by and it was indeed necessary.

Oh my blogging friends, I have missed you but really did not feel in the mood for talking about my life. It must be a good sign I guess that I am now able to.


Steve said...

Ah, FF, it all takes time. Lots of time. Falling out of love with someone takes years... you do it a little bit every day; you think of them less and less, let go in tiny segments until it is all done. And then you feel a hell of a lot better. Keep going. Sounds to me like you've gone past the dip and now have the upward climb ahead of you.

Lola said...

So pleased to hear from you again -our very best wishes for all your future plans.

Take care and kisses to the bichons and yourself,

XOXO Lola & Nora:)

e said...

I have been concerned and wondered what you were up to. Steve is right that falling out of love takes time, as does getting re-acquainted with yourself, friends, hobbies and goals. Small steps over time may yield big rewards, and it sounds like you are on your way. I am sorry that things have been so tough for you. If I can lend an ear or be of help, let me know. Wishing you and the Bichons the best.

Rob-bear said...

So glad you've reappeared in the blogsphere, FF. I'm so sad that life has been this "challenging" for you. But I also think you've got what you need to be a survivor. In fact, you're already proving that to yourself. (Not that you need to prove anything to yourself; we had no doubts.) I trust you'll do well with these NVQs, and that your experience and your university training will prove your worth to any employer.

Hope that spring will light up and warm up life — for you and the Bichons.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you do those long hours - the thought of them exhausts me!

I admire how you're tackling this tough time in your life. Tough? Your whole world has turned upside down in a matter of months.

But you are in a lovely county (where only the best are born, ahem). And summer's on its way when you will be able to sit outside country pubs, sipping beer.

And welcome back to the blogosphere, you've been missed. I'll alter my blogroll now.

Anonymous said...

P.S. My old blog is still on your blogroll but is now private. My new one is:

the fly in the web said...

So pleased you're blogging again....though feeling like doing anything other than easing the feet after working those hours must be tough.
Let alone the shattering changes to your life.

So unfair that you should suffer financially from a situation not of your making....but aren't you a fighter!

Worth plodding through an undemanding course to get the bit of paper, though, given the circumstances...and then it's onward and upward.

Give the bichons a pat, please.

Carol said...

You were right, still had the old link and I'm about to change that!

This must have been a tough post to write but life will get easier. It will take time but you are a fighter and you WILL get through this! Like others have said before me, it sounds like you have hit the bottom and are now on the way back up. Go easy on yourself and if there is anything I can do please just holler!

Lots of love n hugs

C x

French Fancy... said...

Poor old Ayak is not able to comment via her bloglink because of the ban Turkey has imposed on Blogger. Here is some of a lovely Facebook message she sent me:

If I was there now I'd give you a huge hug and a pat on the back. You have remained dignified in spite of the break-up. And I know just how you must feel about having to lower your standards and your lifestyle in so many ways.

Oh do just get this NVQ piece of's just a formality and quite unnecessary really. Gone are the days of our youth when people were judged on their performance and ability. Nowadays these pieces of paper are handed out to you have no doubt experienced! Then do look around for a better job. You can easily do it..and any care home would be lucky to have you in a managerial position.

I'm glad you still have the dogs. You'd be lost without them. They do adapt to different circumstances and these long days won't be forever. When you find something better, the hours will improve.

Wishing you so much luck and deserve it.

French Fancy... said...

Steve - yes, I hadn't thought of the old 'dip' analogy but you are right, I was down in a pit and am slowly climbing up the sides

Lola - how lovely to see your fluffy photo back in the box here. I'm looking forward to catching up with you both.

e- you sent me a lovely email a while back and I apologise for only sending a brief reply. When I wasn't at work for quite a while I just retreated when at home, didn't really reply to things - I'm blessed that so many people in the blogosphere seem to remember me and care

Rob - I know you've had your own problems but as is your nature you are always thinking of others. You're a lovely bear

Dumdad - In the past I'd heard about stupid hours that some people worked and always wondered how they coped. And now I know - you do it with a laugh on the side with a colleague, a hug from an old lady who is grateful for one's ministrations, a sneaky slice of cake in the kitchen, a snatched sausage roll from the supper trolley - little things to get one through the day. I suppose it's a kind of blitz spirit round the bedpans.

fly - oh I've missed you on here (but I've missed everyone really). Haven't we had some life changes - you and I.

Carol - yay, we hit the blogger on the same day. Great minds and all that

Ayak - thank you for your support, it means a lot and here's to Turkey seeing sense as to Blogger very soon

Jean said...

It's lovely to see you in print again - I have been wondering how you were.

I know you have lots of people telling you to hang in there, it will get better and I hate to sound the same but it is true. My first husband ran off with an older woman when I was just 25, even though I still loved him, and launched me into misery and poverty in one fell swoop. It's hard but it does end.
I remember standing in the supermarket and trying to decide between chocolate biscuits and washing powder as I couldn't afford both. I hate to think that you are going through this but you seem like a fighter to me.
I agree about it being early for dates. On the other hand it's never to early for a bit of fun and anything that boosts your badly battered self-esteem.

Ken Devine said...

Yes, its' a good sign that you are able to talk about it.
Welcome back, Julie.

Mark said...

There's not a lot more left to say after your post and the comments above. Get a good lawyer maybe? Seriously.

But there I go again, the practical side of me dishing out advice...

In fact, when I separated from my first wife I used to find myself crying in the street ( and it was me who left) Self questioning and accusations was not very helpful - ultimately, I needed time to grieve the loss of a relationship.

Stay well, stay strong, take care.

Anonymous said...

So very sorry to hear of your marriage breakup. you sound like you're really working to get your life back on a new track.

Aged care is my thing too. And it's what got me through those first tough years after my partner died. Work and blogging. I hope these things help you as much as they still help me

Lulu LaBonne said...

The other commenters have just said everything I could ... it's bloody hard and I'm sorry that you're going through this

Frankofile said...

You are A MAY ZING !

and probably a janfebmarchapril zing too....

so pleased to find you blogging again, and telling it like it is. Well I guess you've self-censored but even so.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see you back on line again; the NVQ and thinking about a better job is a very positive step. Your previous experience should help there too.

As for the selling stuff - I am in the middle of sorting out a load of stuff to get rid of on Amazon and e-bay. Not because I need the money, though it will come in handy, but because I seem to have reached a point in my life where I want to get rid of a lot of the clutter I have spent the previous decades accumulating. So perhaps you should look on it as just another step on the road of life.

Scarlet Blue said...

I have missed you. I'm so sorry you are going through all of this; it's something that's always at the back of my mind - that I should squirrel away more money for a rainy day.
Anyhow, however eratic your blogging is, I am always here to read.

Angie Muresan said...

It's amazing what weight loss and exercise do to the body, isn't it?

I have been poor and it is no fun. I did learn to save though. And saving isn't much fun either, is it?

Thinking of you and sending hugs across the miles.

bichonpawz said...

Hi there! I popped over to see how you and the bichons were doing! I see many changes have taken place in your life. Having been there myself....I can relate. Take it one day at a time and be kind to yourself. Hugs to you and your bichons!! xoxo Jeanne (and Chloe and LadyBug too)

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you. It may only take a moment to fall in love, but it can take a whole lifetime to fall out again... if ever.

Life sounds tough... but it seems to me that you are gaining in strength and courage every day.


French Fancy... said...

I just did a long reply to everyone else and it got swallowed up by Blogger. I will try again later

Scarlet Blue said...

Blogger has been mischievious lately... I keep having to remind myself to copy my replies before I press publish.

French Fancy... said...

It just swallowed it up again but at least I saved it. I'll try again in batches...

SECOND ATTEMPT - and yes, I will follow Scarlet and copy my replies in case this subsequent try goes belly up:

Jean - we are 'abandoned twins' then, rotten, isn't it. I'm trying not to dwell but it is difficult.

Thank you Ken

Mark - I cry all over the place, yes, some four months on I still find myself reduced to tears in the strangest of places. Even drafting this post made me cry. As for lawyers - let me just say ' the channels for communication between him and I are open'. It should all be sorted in about six months I think, at the latest.

French Fancy... said...

Hello Myra - you fellow care worker. I must come and find out about you and your life

Lulu - the Facebook chat we had that night sticks in my mind. It was the right talk at the right time and helped me - thank you

Frankie - self-censoring doesn't come into it! I began and deleted so many sentences - you can imagine, I'm sure

French Fancy... said...

CA - go us, de-cluttering. It is so therapeutic and I am looking forward to another trip to France to bring back another load. Incidentally, it was lovely to meet you the other week.

Scarlet - oh stick some away, sweetie. I am so cross with myself that so much got spent on totally stupid things - like an 18th floor swanky room at the Ritz in New York. The bill for that would have kept me in food for about six months. I know it's good to have memories but I'd rather have the money now.

Angie - It is no fun not being able to buy something one would once have bought without a second thought. I also don't get paid if I am off sick and this time of year it is hard to be healthy all the time

How lovely to see you again here, Jeanne. The bichons have been such good therapy for me - always needing a walk no matter how blotchy and tear-stained my face is.

Fi - He was (and is) the 'love of my life'. I will never love like this again - of that I am totally sure. If only he had felt the same...

Here goes - let us see if this posts

A Super Dilettante said...

My dearest, this is an extremely honest post. I feel very humble by your courage and honesty. You are extraordinary woman. You are so articulate, intelligent, brave and vivacious. I do greatly admire you. I was incredibly moved by this post. Keep your chin up. There will be a bright future ahead for you. There are two sayings which I love by Brazilian novelist, Paulo Coelho and I want to share it with you xxx

“But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it’s better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you’re fighting for.”

"When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”

French Fancy... said...

ASD - I've cut and pasted those two sayings and put them in my special page of uplifting remarks. I still look at those cards you bought me - every single morning and say one out loud. I suppose the universe is listening.

Sometimes, in the midst of my despair, I suddenly realise how selfish I am. There is me mourning lost love and there are people in the world who have lost so very much due to the recent tragedies we have all been humbled by. I am alive, am working, have people whom I love and who love me (you are included in this) and I have much to give thanks for - and most of us here probably feel the same.

We are all blessed - long may we prosper


A Super Dilettante said...

PS. My dearest, just to let you know that I replied to your comment on my last post in my blog x

Wylye Girl said...

FF, it's so good to see you again. Only two days ago I was tring to find an e-mail address for you so I could drop you a note to see if you were OK as you'd been gone for so long and here you are. I'm glad you feel up to blogging, it must, surely, be a good sign. I hope from here on the only way is up. All your bloggie friends are standing right behind you willing you on. Take care xx

French Fancy... said...

Wylye girl - what a lovely comment you have left. Thank you so much.

C. Troubadour said...

I'm glad you posted, dear FF. I thought of you on your birthday earlier this month and hoped you were all right.

It sounds like you have much to juggle from day to day but that you are doing it, despite the exacting demands. We're behind you here.


Bill said...

Way too much re-setting, re-calibration, re-doing, re-adjustment going on in today's world. Wouldn't it be nice if everything was a tad nicer and easier?

French Fancy... said...

Thank you CT - and how nice you sent me virtual birthday greetings. It was my first birthday in years without a bouquet of flowers and it felt most odd - so I went and bought myself a bunch of spring ones.

Bill - I'm all for simplicity these days, down-sizing, minimalism. I've had my flamboyant era.

Anonymous said...

All I will say is this: I'm glad you're back, and HUGS.


Vera said...

I took a tumble similar to yours in a lot of ways, including the loss of income. I also had strokes at that time as well. But from that state of being, I found an inner strength which pushed me onwards and eventually upwards. I met my husband, and we came here to France. If I had not had that low time then I would not have been able to appreciate the man or the move. Hopefully this will apply to you in the future, FF, and sending you many blessings to help you on your way.

French Fancy... said...

Val- it always has been and always will be a pleasure to know you, here and in the real world

Vera - I love comforting comments like this - here's hoping it happens for me as well.

Jennysmith said...

Am with you all the way, FF, for what it's worth.

Yes, that is my hourly rate in the shop - horrible, isn't it.

Although it gets you down, it sounds like you are making a good life for yourself.

I hope you get over Mr Fancy in time. sod him. xxxx

French Fancy... said...

Jen - you always cheer me up. Wish I knew you in real life.


Phil Lowe said...

So glad to see you back FF. I've been through a seperation and divorce and know exactly where you are coming from including the crying all over the place. Since then a few wild rides on the helter skelter of life like my recent two years out of work before the kp job and my role at Tesco.

Like yours the pay there ain't mega bucks and my last pay slip gave me less than I need to live on and so it will go on if I let it. I too am poor financially and have been selling old dvds etc to bring in a bit of extra cash. The other day I had another big blub and then the 'determined one' came out of me and I thought 'bollocks to this I will sort this out!' Your attitude sounds very similar to mine in this regard.

So,I've tried to write down what I spend (depressing and enlightening at the same time), I've done a 0% balance transfer and best of all, spoken to someone at the DWL about Working Tax Credits. Apparently I might be able to get £200 a month from them!

I hope this helps knowing that someone else has been in the same boat on choppy waters and there is hope.

PS:It took me about two years to finally stop loving my ex and see her as a freind. We are still freinds but the old style love has changed to one of respect.

Dash said...

Hi FF, great to see you back, I am truly sorry to hear about your current circumstances which you have written about so beautifully and honestly. The healing process does take a while, but you will be healing all the time without realising it, every day will get a little better. You may feel like you have been travelling down one of the snakes of life the last few months but soon you will be going up the ladder again.

Larry M. Brow said...

So, don't talk about your own life, even though we are all curious/sympathetic. Talk about England, or Libya, or the people at the gym. Or tell us about how life at the care facility would be if Byron was one of the guests.

Notice your contentments and value them appropriately. Big hug.

French Fancy... said...

Phil - thank you for such an honest and open comment. I always thought that that well known supermarket would reward its experienced people a bit better. You deserve better, as do I and here is hoping we both achieve it.

Dash - it's good to see you back here and thanks for the support.

Hiya Larry - I don't want to speak about current affairs really - I'm better at doing My Life - and in a way this is like therapy for me.

GaynorB said...

Being able to blog about the happenings of the past three months is a big step forward.

Remember that any big journey is made up of millions of small steps, and you have started that journey (please don't read this just as a platitude, it is well meant and from my experiences)

It is also very clear from the comments here that you are much loved and respected by all sorts of people, who wish you well on this journey, as do I.

Bon courage.....

With very best wishes, I am thinking about you x

Phil said...

Hello FF. I’m very much a newy and an outsider to your blog and in turn your wider community of longstanding blogger friends and admirers. Your post update here is extremely touching to read, and the many kind words of support, empathy, encouragement and wisdom that have already been expressed here, clearly underline the considerable warmth and feeling that your many blogger friends feel for you in what has been a deeply harrowing and life altering period in your life to date.

I cannot add anything more of worth or value to you here that has not already been said, other than to echo everybody else’s comments, sentiments and well wishes that you be allowed every opportunity to progressively climb back to a more acceptable level of general happiness and emotional well being, as quickly as possible and circumstances dictate.

Very much looking forward to enjoying your ‘new future’ postings from this day forward. Best wishes to you.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful to see you back here, Julie. I've truly missed you. I can, of course, fully empathize from past experience what you have been going through and it is a tough time in life. So, consider your reinstated blog a positive step along with the other ones you've been taking.

marc aurel said...

Great to hear your news. This may not be comforting: I have been happily married for twenty six years, but I still feel pangs of being in love with my first wife. Soon after we broke up, I thought the feelings would fade with time, but actually they increased. Anyway best wishesd to you in your new life and congratulations on your exercise program.

Angie Muresan said...

Well now... Where did you disappear to this time? Come back, come back. I miss you!

Metropolitan Mum said...

I am sorry to read about these dramatic changes - I am sure that you'll come out a lot stronger on the other side and that happiness awaits you. xx

cheshire wife said...

So good to hear from you again. You are being very resourceful selling on your pre-owned possessions. I do admire the way that you are sorting out you life and getting on with things.

Elizabeth said...

Gosh, FF
I had no idea.
What tumult and alteration.
Do hope you will continue blog-therapy
and not lose touch again.

Your ife sounds complicated and grim but it seems as if you will survive in the end
since you have pluck and determination.
I think the pups will survive too.
much love

Selina Kingston said...

I have missed you too FF and I was very moved while reading this post. Life sounds pretty tough at the moment but at least you are living it and working at making it better. And because of that it will be - hang on in there...and keep writing xx

Delana said...

I have missed you so. Honey, I've been there and I'm feeling your hurt and your pain. I promise you'll get over the man...but going from comfortable to poor sucks! It sounds like you're doing all you can and you will come out on top. I just want you to know we're with you. Please email me privately if you would like. Bisous

ed pilolla said...

yeah, i ended up poor, too.
and i've been doing some disappearing myself. it's good to be writing again, and it's good to see you again:)

A Woman Of No Importance said...

FF, tried to leave you comments a wee while ago, but Blogger gobbled my every comment - Trying again today...

Not an easy road, is it - life? I can see that you have been very brave and have applied yourself with aplomb to this new turning in your journey, FF... Please know that I am most proud of you and all that you are and have been and will be - Love you xxx

Rob-bear said...

Oh dear! FF, missing in action.

Do hope you're OK.

Selina Kingston said...

Hoping you are OK and wishing good thoughts your way. I'm sure I had left a comment here before but Blogger seems to be against me at the moment.
Here's hoping you will feel up to writing again soon. Miss you x

Suburbia said...

Brave lady


French Fancy... said...

You last few bloggers that I've not responded personally to - so sorry. You are all lovely people and I'm touched by the support on here

e said...

Dear FF,

Just popped over to see if you are okay??? I hope so.


Miss Scarlet said...

Yes, still thinking of you.