I didn’t know I wasn’t happily married …

Hello everyone and thankyou so much for dropping by …

Remember those regrets I was talking about yesterday? Well, this is one of them …

It’s very personal, and I may be over sharing here, but I am increasingly discovering that this blog writing process, which I am new to, is indeed extremely cathartic. Highly recommended!

When I was married my husband and I were fortunate enough to have our own plane, a Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six, and we each held a Private Pilots’ License.

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This particular light aircraft was considered a bit of a beast back in the day and still enjoys an excellent reputation today. It can carry 5-6 passengers with just one pilot. It’s nearly 28 feet long and has a wingspan of almost 33 feet and has a cruise speed of 168mph and a maximum speed of 174mph. It also has a range of 840 miles and I once flew ours from the UK to Sardinia with no problems at all.

I can honestly say that at the beginning of our marriage I was deliriously happy and (extra cheese anyone?) living on cloud nine.

During the first two years of that marriage however, we only spent two weekends at home, even though we both worked full time, and any free time at all was spent flying.

I am aware, as I write, how ungrateful I sound but I longed for a home life. Living on a farm I wanted to spend time with my dogs and horses, cook a traditional Sunday roast sometimes, socialise with friends and family and to simply enjoy my home.

Little did I know that storm clouds were gathering …

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And so it came to pass. My husband suffered a heart attack at the age of 39 and obviously was no longer allowed to fly solo. He owned and ran a large international business, smoked sixty cigarettes a day and was having an affair with his much younger secretary (rather predictably given how little free time he had with his feet actually on terra firma) and the ambitious little madam (subsequently his words, not mine) was making sure that this affair was becoming common knowledge – the perfect ingredients for a heart attack I would say.

Hence, at first a passion of mine, aviation gradually became a chore as from then onward I always had to go too – I had no choice because if I didn’t go then he couldn’t fly.

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My husband had literally keeled over right in front of me and I did all that I could to save him – now I’m not a doctor but I do think his chances of survival could have been dramatically reduced had I known about his extra-marital affair at that point but, luckily for him, I didn’t.

Shortly after that, with her meal ticket nestling safely in her belly, his secretary announced to the world that she was pregnant with his child and so the whole sordid truth could no longer be kept from me, despite the best efforts of my husband who amazingly had already purchased a house and car for her in an attempt to placate her and buy her silence.

I can still remember, oh so clearly as if it were yesterday, the day I arrived home from work and my husband was waiting for me, shuffling nervously and looking terribly pale. I remember it so vividly because it was the day my world fell apart.

He began with the words “I’m so sorry but I have something to tell you, before you hear it from someone else, and you’re not going to be very happy” – an understatement if ever there was one.

It was all so difficult to absorb. I was in complete shock at first as, although selfish at times, he was a loving and quite romantic husband. He often surprised me with extravagant gifts and flowers and was always affectionate towards me. I honestly thought we were still in love and I was left feeling as though I had never really known him. He was a fake, and that in turn meant that all my happy memories of our time together were fake too.

The irony was that I had once prayed so desperately for his heart to keep beating and now I just wanted it to stop.

In my mind I questioned everything. Was everything an act on his part? To stop me suspecting anything? Was this …? Was that …? Should I …? Could I …?

In the end, I felt so betrayed and broken that I just didn’t care enough any more to even try to look for answers. I just didn’t want to know. With his words still ringing in my ears as I left, still pleading “We can get through this together”, I was off. Because clearly that’s all they were, just words.

Another lesson learned, it was time to start a new chapter and I was determined to get off to a flying start …

There, see, I do feel better! I managed to recall and relay all of that without even the smallest tingle of pain. Partly, I suspect, because his life eventually turned to crap with a further unwanted pregnancy with a different little madam, bankruptcy and a stroke.

Karma.

My mother once told me that success is the best revenge and that you should never take revenge yourself as it will only be a fraction of what Karma will serve up to your wrongdoer. Ain’t that the truth!

Elizabeth x

 

 

 

 

Please be kind to yourself …

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Do not regret

That which you’ve done

For things you’ve done

Can never be changed –

The days between birth and death

Are few

And all have been pre arranged.

I wrote this many years ago, when I was still in my twenties, and it was published at the time in a book of contemporary poetry, a copy of which I still have somewhere. I believed it to be true back then as life was pretty much perfect all round and, apart from the loss of my beloved great grandparents, I hadn’t really suffered any major losses of any kind.

Forty years on however, are my sentiments the same in this regard? No, I don’t think they are actually, and realistically neither could they be as I now have plenty of regrets, and naturally some are more painful than others.

Occasionally, once in a blue moon, I will take the time to revisit said occasions in my mind. I try to be as honest as possible, as it is tempting to edit some of these re-runs if they are particularly unpalatable to watch, but I have learned that the more times I visit them the less painful they become.

A kind of desensitising process takes place if you will but that is not the aim of the game … I keep revisiting to ensure that I have learned every possible lesson that can or could be learned so that a kind of inoculation process can take place – a self medicated vaccine to protect me emotionally should a similar eventuality ever arise.

It may all take place at a snails’ pace but it IS moving on nevertheless.

Please be kind to yourself,

Elizabeth x

Is it a poodle or a pony in that box?

Hi everyone, and firstly may I say a huge thankyou to you all for taking the time to read my ramblings and secondly a big welcome to my blog for my new followers. Thankyou!

Every time I discover I have a new follower it reminds me of Christmas Day and that sense of wondrous anticipation and excitement which lingers in the air prior to opening ones’ presents.

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Even as a child this was one of my favourite times, savouring the moments BEFORE opening any of my gifts. I’ve since seen children frantically ripping the festive paper from each one before immediately discarding the contents by practically throwing it over their shoulders in their haste to move on to the next – but for me the most exquisite time, a time to be relished, was in the seconds before I carefully removed the wrapping paper, neatly folded it and then gently set it to one side just in case I ever needed it (unlikely), or perhaps someone else would need it at some point (even more unlikely).

I confess that I was considered an eccentric child even as an infant. My Mother once told me that I used to go to sleep in my cot laying on my back with one arm pointing straight up to the sky and occasionally one leg too. My Mother explained that whenever close family or friends came to visit and asked to see the baby she had to first dash upstairs to make me presentable by lowering my arm and leg, as was often required apparently, so that her visitors didn’t think I was strange or even deformed.

And even now, (this is top secret, strictly entre nous and must go no further) I occasionally love to go to sleep with one arm in the air, stiff as a board – my arm just sort of locks into place and I find it very comforting somehow. I don’t do it with my leg though, that would just be odd!

As I grew I then developed an appetite for eating brown paper bags – don’t ask me why but I thought they were delicious. I really liked the old fashioned ones best, sprinkled with vinegar. And if we ever had a fish and chip supper I would always prefer the salty vinegary paper to the actual fish and chips – in fact that would be the only time I would eat white paper but brown … yummy, that would have been my diet 24/7 if I had been allowed.

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Now, couple all of that with the fact that I was obsessed by just two things as a nine year old child – ballet and Cilla Black. I attended as many ballet classes as I was allowed, wore my ballet shoes around the house at all times, walked on pointy toes pretty much everywhere (even though I wasn’t allowed) and wandered around singing ‘Anyone who had a heart’ and ‘You’re my world’ spontaneously creating the soundtrack to my childhood.

I can remember breaking into a song and dance routine once (Cilla + Ballet) in the middle of a large department store as my Mother stood chatting to a friend she had bumped into – my Mother was so accustomed to this, and so engrossed in her conversation, that she no longer paid attention … until my little sister started shouting “Booooo, rubbish, get off” and throwing broken biscuits at me. It was on this very day, once we got home, that my Mother put paid to my blossoming singing career by telling me that she had given me life and she could just as easily take it away if I didn’t stop. Probably just as well as I could feel myself veering towards Shirley Bassey at that point and she’s quite loud and needs a lot of arm room to practise and perform.

Anyway, back to Christmas Day … as a psychologist I have naturally analysed myself a zillion times hoping to one day fashion the most perfect possible version of me. Is this a vanity project or a lost cause or perhaps something in between the two? I haven’t established that yet. I prefer to think that by analysing myself, and by being scrupulously honest, I am honing my skill set further to sympathetically and successfully analyse my clients.

Which reminds me that many years ago, when I started training as a counsellor, the first homework I was given was thus:

Submit fifty phrases, each containing just three words or less, which are non-judgemental but which reassure your subject that you are listening and understanding what is being said.

I started off well, as I assume most people would, with phrases such as:

“Oh, I see”

“Yes, I understand”

Blah blah blah etc.

But by the time I got to phrase 48 I was at a complete loss for new material.

And so Phrase 48 was “You don’t say” …

Phrase 49 “Get outta here” …

and Phrase 50 was “F**k right off”.

Upon examining my paper, my tutor informed me that she felt my style was more suitable to Los Angeles rather than Lowestoft, and that was the end of that particular course.

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Honestly though, in mitigation, it’s not as easy as one might imagine – just try it and see. It becomes quite difficult before you even hit half way!

Anyway, back to Christmas day again … even at that young age I had already worked out that the presents sitting before me could, in fact, contain anything at all (subject to the parameters of my imagination) right up until the point I actually opened them. As my sister screamed like a banshee and threw mounds of crumpled and torn wrapping paper everywhere I was perfectly happy to just sit there staring at this beautiful magical pile of surprises yet to unfold.

For example, in my mind, that heavy looking pink and silver parcel tied tightly with silver ribbon might contain a real live poodle, or perhaps a pony even. Anything was possible, right up until I opened it. I can, to this day, remember opening it slowly in case a dog or a pony jumped out – I needn’t have worried. It was actually a Petite Junior De Luxe Typewriter (which gives an indication of the size of the box that I thought a pony may have been waiting in) but I was over the moon with it and my love of reading and writing accelerated from that day forward.

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Such a wonderfully thoughtful and inspirational gift for a young girl with a vivid imagination and I am eternally grateful!

Enjoy your day, and thankyou all so much for making mine by following me,

Elizabeth x

My ‘To Do This Decade’ list …

Hello everyone, and I hope this finds you all happy and well.

As I mentioned before, I have been doing these arm toning exercises for several weeks now – nothing too  energetic, and I’m only using 0.5kg weights as I’m just a beginner, but already I can see a definite improvement!

I really like this particular trainer too as she seems super nice and is very easy to understand and follow. And these exercises are really working for me.

Already I have gone from bingo wings to bing wings and pretty soon I expect to bin my wings altogether. Yay!

So, below are some of my main goals on my To Do This Decade list (I don’t like to rush lol):

Stop smoking – check.

After smoking for more than thirty years this was a biggy for me – I had stopped twice before actually (once for a year and once for eight years) but then stupidly started again. This time it’s almost three years since I last had a cigarette and yes, every now and then (particularly after dinner) I still want one but I came to the conclusion (several times over) that it’s ridiculously stupid of me personally to continue smoking into my old age as I have had pneumonia twice before (and smoked throughout it, even though it was a painful struggle – now surely THAT is the definition of an addict. Unbelievably stupid).

Become vegetarian – check.

This is because I truly believe that if abattoirs were made of glass then no empathetic human would or could eat meat. My decision is also based upon the fact that meat does not seem to suit my digestive system as I have grown older – I always feel so completely full, bloated and sluggish afterwards. Not good. But this is and fortunately I love it:

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Lose weight – working on it.

Yes, this is indeed a work in progress. And yes, I have definitely started to lose weight. I wanted to lose a stone and I have dropped a dress size so I think I am probably about half way. I never weigh myself, I just gauge it from the clothes that I wear ie. what size are they and are they too tight. Primitive, I know, but this works for me.

Get in shape – getting there.

So far I’m doing my jowl exercises, my arm exercises, cycling for my legs, planking for my core and now I have discovered a brand new challenge which apparently is supposed to be super effective in many ways. And you don’t need any equipment or lots of space to do it in. What could it be?

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Standing on one leg, that’s what! I think it’s called The One Leg Stance exercise if you want to Google it. And according to a really interesting article in the Daily Mail today …

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2956179/Can-standing-balance-one-leg-help-young-balance-offers-insight-general-health.html

… the ability to balance on one leg is an important test for brain health too, according to Dr Yasuharu Tabara, associate professor of genomic medicine at Kyoto University, Japan.

Continue to educate myself more regarding self help – check. I am currently reading as much as I can to explore many different avenues in my quest for overall self improvement – please check out my ‘Self help books’ section to discover lots of information which I have found helpful.

Anyway, bye for now as I must dash – it’s a beautiful day here in Norfolk and I’m off to play with my dogs in the sunshine.

Have a lovely day, Elizabeth x

 

 

 

Are you a creaser or a melter?

Hello everyone, how’s it hanging?

Now then, I’ve heard that there are basically just two types of faces as you age – creasers and melters.

A creaser apparently develops lines and has facial skin similar to that of Sid James (to varying degrees of course).

A melter, however, has very few lines but their facial skin is sagging. This makes me think that it is easier to improve the appearance of a melter (either by exercise or, more radically, by cosmetic procedures) rather than that of a creaser for obvious reasons.

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With this in mind, I was mooching around on YouTube again and came across this video for those of you who (like me) are melters:

 

 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained and so I will be adding this to my daily exercise regimen for the foreseeable future … and hope to see some positive results. I shall let you know …

Elizabeth x

Shut up you fool, just shut up.

 

“I’ve never felt this scared in my whole life”.

“It’s so brutal”.

“This is a battlefield”.

“We’re at war”.

“I am literally fighting for my life”.

The above are all quotes which you might think accompanied the truly harrowing battlefield scenes in a recent episode of the most excellent television dramatisation of ‘Vanity Fair’. Or from the brilliant new thought provoking film ‘Hostiles’, which I watched at the weekend. Or perhaps from the coverage of some terrible tragedy featured on the news. But no, none of these and nothing like that.

These are, in fact, the sentiments openly expressed by some of the latest batch of mainly completely deluded individuals who are contestants in the long past it’s sell by date (in my opinion) X Factor.

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I find their comments hugely insulting to those who carry out really difficult and unpalatable tasks every day in their chosen professions, for example the military, the police, health sector workers, carers etc.  And I personally think that the whole lot of them need a good dose of actual reality and should be assigned to serve compulsory military service, for at least a year … and then let’s ask those greedy self obsessed fools how brutal they really think singing on a TV show is!

Enjoy your day,

Elizabeth x

 

Happy days with my Mama x

Hello everyone, I’m back!

For the last few days my dearest Mama (my favourite ex mother in law) has been staying with me and we have been here, there and everywhere, cramming in as much quality time together as possible.

As I waited at Norwich Station for her train to arrive from Cambridge there was an announcement over the tannoy which caught both my attention, and my imagination. Word for word it said “This is British Transport Police. If you see something which doesn’t look right please inform a member of staff. See it, say it, sort it”.

Well, where does one begin. I immediate saw a woman clearly waiting for the same train as me and she didn’t look at all right! A hand knitted orange cardigan with grey tracky bottoms? I ask you, if that’s not a crime then it jolly well should be. As should being judgemental but because it’s me doing it then it doesn’t count.

And the chap to my left hasn’t combed his hair for more than a week, I’m pretty sure of that.

There, as requested by British Transport Police, I’ve seen it, and I’ve said it (to you) but I couldn’t sort it as at that precise moment (probably just as well) I spotted Mama heading straight for me.

We’ve since toured the glorious Norfolk countryside at length, visited Barton Broad, watched a wherry sailing, had lunch on the river at Wroxham, fed the ducks and swans, visited a craft fair, enjoyed afternoon tea at Whitlingham Lake, walked the dogs extensively and shopped until we dropped. And I’m still dropping – I absolutely loved every minute but I am exhausted, reminding me how unfit I still am. Please bear in mind too that, at almost eighty years old, Mama is super fit and attends her local gym several times a week and also swims often.

Here is a picture of my darling Mama in the loos at Wroxham Barns – obviously I wouldn’t normally choose such an insalubrious location for a posed photograph but I think you can see why I made an exception in this case as each cubicle door has a gorgeous, and most realistic, image printed on it:

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And as you can see my Mama still looks lovely and dresses beautifully, has a healthy appetite, eats sensibly but well, enjoys just one small sherry at Christmas, and has a zest for life which would put many to shame.

Bless her. And you x

Mama swans 2

 

 

 

Does your coffee table kiss and tell?

Hello everyone – having only been here for just a few days I am absolutely delighted to have accumulated 22 followers already! Yay! Whoever you are, thankyou so very much as you have inspired me to continue to write, and to continue to exercise (just in case any of you are hot/or hotter than me). Well, I think you are all gorgeous (even you, yes you, the rather plain one at the back) x

Speaking of plain … I was watching a TV property programme the other day and a couple of prospective buyers were being shown around a potential new home, a large barn conversion in North Yorkshire.

The exterior of the property was still very traditional and gave not the slightest hint as to what lay inside behind closed doors. Then slowly the rather grand heavy wooden door opened and, hey presto, we were inside.

Wow! Not at all what either they, the potential buyers, or I expected.

It was a vast space, with sparkling white marble floors, crisp white walls and ceilings, and pretty much all the furniture and contents were white too, taking stark minimalism and open plan living to the extreme.

The gorgeous old stone exterior looked perfectly at home in it’s scenic Yorkshire setting but the interior was pure Hollywood mansion.

It was completely bland though. Ok, I accept that the owners had prepared their home for an inspection, together with a film crew, but as I glanced around I realised there were no personal belongings of any kind on show there. No framed photographs. No books. Nothing.

As I absorbed this vast blandness (with the TV on pause at this point) I gradually found my attention drawn to the coffee table nestling in the centre of this huge room. It was made up of two heavy slabs of white marble, one placed vertically at each end to form a base, with a much larger third slab resting on the other two. But it was what was on it that fascinated me – or rather, what wasn’t. Again … nothing. Nothing at all.

I thought perhaps the property had been vacated already? But no, the presenter referred to the current owners’ penchant for minimalism and added that even their cat matched their decor – totally white. The poor thing was practically invisible to the naked eye until it ventured outside.

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Actually, I’m rather surprised they even had a cat in their sterile environment but perhaps it was there to catch any stray white mice?

Anyway, I digress, it dawned on me that not a single shred of information could be gleaned from this home regarding the occupants – for example:

How many?

Which genders?

Their ages?

Their family?

Their professions?

Their interests?

Nothing!

And yet, to my mind, a persons’ coffee table in particular is usually full of clues. I’ll give you an example.

This is mine:

Chatting on phone with Frank (age 95) 17.12.15

Now, I’m not a detective but I can gather quite a lot of information from this coffee table, although it’s rather difficult to prove my point when this is my own and therefore I know all about me. I would suggest however that it belongs to a more mature person (one old enough to have a black and white mother)? One with a sweet tooth? Someone with a love of travel perhaps (note the Morrocan table, the Asian mini chest of drawers, the French candlesticks). I wonder what it is telling you though?

And, I wonder, are you sitting looking at yours as you read this? What would it tell me, or indeed anyone else, about you if we could see it? And trust me, as an inherently nosy person when it comes to other peoples’ homes, I’d love to see your coffee table!

For this reason I particularly enjoy travelling at night, by car or train, because of the added bonus of getting a good look into peoples’ homes, albeit fleetingly at sixty or so miles an hour (and it’s even more difficult by plane lol).

Well the point I’m trying to make, albeit a little clumsily, is that I personally think it’s good, healthy even, to enjoy your home and to surround yourself with your treasures and things which make you feel comfortable. I think if I were to live in that all white minimalist environment for any period of time it would feel, to me, like a heavily censored and sanitised waiting area, rather than a home.

I wonder what you think?

As for me, I’m off to do my bingo wing exercises, have a (very) quick plank (NOT a euphemism) … and then tidy my coffee table.

Elizabeth x

Welcome to the Karma cafe …

… where revenge is a dish best served cold. You may have to queue a while, in some cases years, but I promise it will be worth the wait.

There is a phenomenon which, as a psychologist, really fascinates me and I’ve heard it referred to in the trade as the Lightning Laugh.

It is when a person suddenly, without any warning or perhaps any kind of build up at all, just explodes with a laugh emitted at full volume, mouth wide open, and it’s completely unexpected rather like the sudden eruption of a volcano.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha.

The laugh itself is too loud and too long, ensuring that no-one can speak or contradict them until they stop.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha.

Indeed, the slightest thing can set them off and they often do this repeatedly. Prime examples can often be found on reality shows yet surprisingly little has been written about it. I personally believe it often manifests itself in someone who appears to be uber confident but in fact has very low self esteem and uses the Lightning Laugh as a control and/or defence mechanism, to cause a distraction if you like.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha.

Add to this the fact that they are open mouthed and baring their teeth like an agitated primate (which denotes hostility and readiness to fight) and their insecurity, hence their inappropriate behaviour, becomes more obvious.

And just today, I accidentally did a Lightning Laugh of my own but for a totally different reason …

Many moons ago, I lived with someone for about four years but he really wasn’t The One for me and I decided to leave. When I returned just a few days later to fetch my belongings they had all gone – he then led me into the garden and showed me the remains of a big bonfire where he had burnt the lot!

Everything was gone, including some of my treasured childhood toys, various gifts from my parents which included a large woodcarving and a beautiful Persian rug – and most heartbreaking of all some absolutely exquisite original watercolour paintings and a very large leather bound family bible which I had inherited from my grandmother. Inside the bible was our family tree, written by hand of course and ornately decorated with gold leaf, detailing generations of births and deaths. These were all enormously precious items to me, of great sentimental value, and they could never ever be replaced.

It was an act of pure wickedness on the part of my ex and no amount of pleading and grovelling by him in the aftermath could ever allow me to forgive him. Never. And I never found closure either, feeling an enormous amount of guilt for losing such family treasures which had been gifted and entrusted to me.

But today Karma rewarded my patience and finally I have closure.

Just by chance, on the Facebook page of a mutual friend who was attending a wedding, I saw a photograph of this very same bible burner marrying his much too young Thai bride, although if he hadn’t been tagged by name I would never have recognised him. Once tall, dark and handsome he is now just tall. And bloated. And a rather nasty shade of pink, verging on purple. Long gone are the smouldering good looks which attracted me to him all those years ago and he now looks like a big fat over ripe plum, especially next to his petite new bride.

There were lots of congratulatory comments, many of which were in Thai, including one from the bride herself, replying to a comment from her sister. Curiosity then got the better of me.

It read ” S̄ìng thī̀ reā thả pheụ̄̀x ngein – chatā krrm k̄hxng c̄hạn khụ̄x kār bæ̀ngpạn teīyng k̄hxng h̄mū thī̀ mī kār dūlæ xeācıs̄ı̀ nī̂ which roughly translated means:

“What we have to do for money – my fate is to share a bed with this over sexed pig”.

I read this with such glee that I spontaneously let out my very own Lightning Laugh!

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha.

Because I suspect she will probably take a great deal from him, just as he did from me.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha.

The big fat dumb plum.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha HA!

Now fingers crossed that Karma doesn’t come after me for laughing,

Elizabeth x