The rumours are not true, I am very much alive and kicking. I have not run away, nor become a literary mute. So why have I have not posted for months? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. Yes, I have been busy. Very busy. But that has never stopped me before. I think I simply couldn’t find the words to say.
To say what? Well that’s the problem. I don’t know what to say.
I vowed at the start of my blog that it wouldn’t become a place for recording negative times (god knows there are a few of those when you’re getting divorced). I wanted to celebrate the adventures that me and my girls embarked on together.
Where am I going with all this? I wish I knew. I don’t really know why tonight, of all nights, I felt the need to sit in bed with the work iPad (the perks of being on call) at 10.30pm and start typing after all these months. But typing I am.
The past few months have had their fair share of good times to shout about, that’s for sure, so let’s focus on those:
I became officially single again (in the legal sense… Darren and I are still very much together)… Mrs Southby no more, hello Miss Green. Who knew divorce could be so liberating? I have my deed poll through now, which together with my decree nisei should allow me to change my name fairly easily… Now I just need to get around to writing all those letters. Being the last Green on my side of the family, I have to say I am quite looking forward to getting back to it.
I started my new job at the Environment Agency (hence the use of the shiny iPad). No longer the whipping girl of a politician, I am back to what I enjoy and do best (I hope), working in a busy media office. I really can’t tell you how nice it is to enjoy work. To get up in the morning and look forward to the things you will do that day. I’ve certainly missed that feeling over the past few years, so fingers crossed it lasts. The only downside thus far has been the need to work ‘out of hours’… This week is my second OOH since starting there. My first I spent the best part of a Sunday dealing with flooding fears. I’m hoping this one will be a little quieter…
I have added to my family… No, not a baby (I’ve not been quiet for that long)… Two new cats. I have really missed having a cat around since my gorgeous Dargo died a little over a year ago. I got around the emptiness it left by avoiding my house, preferring to spend my time when I didn’t have the girls at Darren’s. But the girls were keen to get another cat and I was keen to spend some time in the house I paid so much money to rent every month, so some new feline family members were procured – Leila and Jasper. I have to say they are gorgeous. And they have greatly effected my need to be at home. Downside for Darren is he has to share the bed with a cat when he’s here (Jasper likes to get up close and personal) and he has to spend a lot more time here and away from his precious technology… I’m lovin’ it though.
I have also been on some far flung adventures these past couple of months… To Ayr (Scotland) where we photographed the wedding of two very special friends, to Morocco with Darren where we climbed Mnt Toubkal (she says casually like it’s something you do every day) and to France with my girls and my parents (where I got sun burnt, captained a canoe very badly, drank too much and had an excellent time jumping through massive waves… Among other things).
I completed the Spire to Spire 26 mile trek in aid of Help for Heroes with Darren and James (my former work colleague and all round lovely guy). We walked from Winchester Cathedral to Salisbury Cathedral… Well okay technically I started walking and ended the day shuffling in pain, but on the bright side I managed to run the final straight… (popping an enormous blood blister on my heel in the process). I have to say it was a truly fabulous day and as always with these things, I am so glad I did it. What an achievement. But it wrecked my feet. I couldn’t walk for a week and even now (several weeks later) I have to pick my shoes carefully and am still losing toe nails and skin. It also prevented me from training for and taking part in the Blenheim Palace 10k, which I wasn’t happy about. But hey ho, I’d do it all again.
My girls have grown so much in the months I’ve not been blogging. Eleni has started school and Asri is in her second year of juniors. They both swim and dance, and Asri goes to Brownies and is learning the clarinet. I’m so proud of them both. I only wish I had more time with them. I miss them terribly during the seven days a fortnight that they are with their Dad… Some pains never leave you.
So it’s a good job I have Darren to keep me occupied during non-parenting times. We have such adventures together. It is thanks to Darren that I found myself on the side of that mountain, and largely thanks to him that I came down in one piece! 🙂
Darren wanted to do something different to celebrate turning 40… Climbing this mountain in Morocco was it. And I went along for the ride… Erm, walk! It was fabulous. I learnt so much about myself in those eight days. I learnt I can be much stronger than I think, I learnt that I have the capacity to overcome mind numbing fear… Despite being frozen by fear to the side of the mountain on the final day of the assent, having slipped and fallen on some loose gravel, blinded by sun and buffeted by 40mph winds, I turned down the offer to turn back and struggled on. I reached the top and felt better about myself in that moment than I have ever felt in my life.
But in hindsight I also learnt that I am not strong enough to do things alone. They say that no man is an island, but there are those who could survive alone and those who couldn’t and I am in the latter camp. I would not have made it to the top of mount Toubkal and those mind blowing views if it hadn’t been for Darren (who held himself back to look after me) and the fantastic guide who helped me keep going by taking my rucksack and quite literally hauling me up (and back down) parts of the mountain.
I wish I were stronger alone. I wish I were one of those people in our group who strode up that mountain with a smile on their face and few cares in the world, leaving me far behind to deal with my fear. And that sentiment is true for my life in general…
For all the sense of achievement, I will always wish I could have done better.
But you know what, I did it… And I was able to phone my girls that night and say “guess what girls, Mummy climbed a mountain”. I may not be the best at the things I now attempt (generally worse is more apt) but if I can show them there is so much more to this world, if I can inspire them to try new things, to confront their fears… Well then I will have done a small part of my Mummy job well.
So what next? Well this weekend it is just me and my girls for the most part. Dancing lessons and the cinema planned for Saturday, and on Sunday we hope to meet up with Darren, Alice and Elisa for a few hours. Small adventures, but adventures never the less.