You were supposed to live forever.
You were supposed to live forever.
Just to let you know Margaret Thatcher died. I don’t believe in heaven or hell but if you do happen to bump into her in the afterlife, I’m sure you would be kind due to her dementia even though I know how much you utterly hated the woman and the devastation she wrought on the mining community you hailed from. Your dad was a miner but died before she came into power- I think you were glad of he never got to see what happened to the village you grew up in.
I don’t think it’s nice to crow over someones death, I’d be sad if anyone was happy you died, even if you did have a knack of
deliberately rubbing people up the wrong way sometimes.
I’m not happy she died, if anything her dying has bought my own grief for you up. She was always in the periphery of my childhood and so I remember happier but hard and worrying times in the eighties growing up. I remember being very scared when the Falkland war started as I was convinced I’d have to be an evacuee, and we were about to get bombed! This was despite the fact we lived in rural Midlands. My primary school history lessons clearly had some kind of an impact.
I also remember we all knew she stole our milk but then I never really understood that one- we had to pay 10p for a carton of slightly warm milk or a glass of apple juice at breaktime and when in year6 me and a few other girls were made milk monitors and were allowed a free drink for our troubles- except we kept nicking more and more milk and juice and the profits went down. Given I also wanted to be the next woman prime minister in Y6 maybe she had had more of an impact on me than I thought….
I don’t really remember joining you in solidarity on the miners strikes but I still have the picture from then (and you assure me I met and charmed Arthur Scargill aged three or four!). We still have the jigsaw somewhere made from this picture that mum got from saving up coupons from marmite jars. She would never let us actually do the jigsaw incase we lost a piece. It was recording history!
Anyhow. You’ve gone, She’s gone, Joe’s gone, Both sets of Grandma and Grandpa’s have gone, Becci’s gone, Sam next door went yesterday, one day we will all be gone, ashes to ashes and all that.
Death- bit shit really.
Miss you dad.
Dear Elderly Couple buying lightbulbs,
It made me happysad when Mr Elderly Couple cheerily announced
“Oooh it says these new lightbulbs last 10years, just think, we will probably never have to buy lightbulbs again!”
Mrs Elderly Couple you looked a combination of faintly amused yet groaning inwardly at your husbands sense of humour, and yet also clearly slightly terrified of your future demise as you simply said “yes dear”.
I do hope you both get to experience the joys of purchasing energy saving lightbulbs again (although top tip -your electricity provider often gives them out for free) but more importantly I hope Mr Elderly Couple keeps up his sense of humour and you and Mrs Elderly Couple remain such a lovely clearly happy couple and that when your time does come that you get to shuffle off this mortal coil and towards the light (the light that takes several minutes to warm up and reach full brightness) together at the same time, so one of you never misses the other, bad mortality jokes and all.
Lots of Love
P.S You are role models for me &LordC. I want someone to write about doing something like that in 40years or so.
Dear “A Time to Grieve”,
So on the first anniversary of my Dad’s death the Times run an article on “grief blogging”
and this blog didn’t get a mention- sniff. This blog was set up mostly to help me write out my grief and I reckon some of the following posts have helped me massively:
I don’t think I am very good at grieving. I don’t often let myself cry or be sad and sometimes I feel like a pressure cooker ready to explode but I just can’t give into the grief just incase.
Incase of what I don’t know. Maybe I am scared if I start I will never stop. Instead I delay, distract and disassociate.
Sometimes there is just too much going on in real life to allow time to wallow, time to grieve.
Today I planned to grieve, properly, I honestly did, its the anniversary of losing my dad, its what I am supposed to do right? It hasn’t really happened. We have the builders in so sobbing all day wasn’t going to happen with three strange men in my loft! LordC unexpectedly and wonderfully took the day off work and we mooched into town and had lunch. In honour of my dads heart and my own heart investigations on Monday I ordered a healthy lunch and a glass of Rose he probably would have liked. We meant to go and sit in the Botanic Gardens as dad loved it there but it was raining and we ended up in Poundland instead. Dad also loved it there but that’s not quite the fitting tribute I intended!
I suppose I have blogged somethings that have helped, and right this second instead of taking some time to have a good sob I am writing this post whilst I finish off my dad’s bottle of Christmas Baileys. I suppose that is how I grieve- making new traditions and memories in honour of my dad.
although perhaps an annual poundland pilgrimage is a bit much.
The Baileys thing will always be my 31st Jan tradition from now on. Dad always used to buy me a bottle of Christmas Baileys, as he thought I liked it. I didn’t really and often it would still be around the following Christmas. Since he can no longer buy me a bottle of Baileys, I arrange for my brother to carry on the tradition of the Unwanted bottle of Baileys. We made Baileys Tiramisu on Christmas eve and there was just enough Baileys for a glass tonight.
So here’s to you Dad- A time to grieve and sip my Baileys and blog about a time to grieve without actually taking the time to grieve.
Such is life,
Dear Birthday Beano,
I am decoupaging my father in laws old trunk into a toy box for the girls covered in your fabulous comic. I bought random selection of 17 on eBay from 1981 1982 and 1983. They arrived in the post today, to my complete surprise there was one from the exact day I was born!!! Given you were only produced once a week on a Thursday, then the odds of me getting a Beano out of the 17 I received from the exact date of my birth were slim (I had no idea I was born on a Thursday or the Beano was issued on a Thursday) and to get this treat on today of all days made a very hard day (first anniversary of my fathers death) a special day. I don’t really believe in ghosts but I’m comforted by pretending it’s a sign from Dad.
Thankyou Birthday Beano. You shall occupy pride of place on my daughters’ new toy box.
Time ticks on,
Never waste a moment
Seize the day
Baby is born
Toddler turns 2
Life goes on
Daughter avoids grief
Life goes on
Baby turns one
Anniversary of fathers death.
Tomorrow about 9.30am ish
Time to pause
Time to grieve
Toddler will turn 3 next week
Life goes on.
Time goes on.
First Christmas without you. Mum and bro seem to be having fun chez. Curds.
Mum keeps nicking all my Baileys that Bro bought me (since you can’t buy me my annual bottle anymore he has taken over the tradition). Bro is fine helping with dinner and girls adore him.
Girls are being poppets, Omble is not in the slightest bit interested in Christmas but likes the wrapping paper, and Oddler has turned into present demanding brat from hell but now they have run out she is very happy with her presents- I think LordC doing his usual trick of dragging presents out to make them last was winding her up (That and the sugar mouse mum gave her for breakfast!), just like you used to with me and bro!
Strange not to talk to you today. Miss you. Love you.
They say bereavement is a journey, one that never really ends but has easier paths and harder paths. I’d say since my dad died I stuck my roller skates on, load my backpack up with more and more stuff to keep me busy and preoccupied from grief and got my head down and tried and skate through it as fast as I can.
Except I wasn’t looking where I was going. I’ve crashed into a wall, and fallen flat on my arse, the contents of my backpack are strewn around me. I’ve realised that although it was the only strategy I felt I could adopt at the time (I had a three week old baby she took priority, then she got easier, so I took more & more on at work to keep me busy and distracted) it was not a sustainable strategy.
So I’m stopping to rest for a while and I’m taking some time to sort through my backpack, getting rid of some of the items causing the most weight and stress, working out what’s most important, before picking myself up to continue with this journey. It’s scary because I am no quitter and some of the things in the back pack being got rid of will cause difficult consequences for other people and I really really hate letting people down.
Actually admitting I’ve crashed into a wall is quite embarrassing for me too, I’m usually the perfect superskater, I don’t ever stumble or fall, I just carry on, but heck on the otherside of the wall is a giant drop. So I’m glad I’m stopping now and sorting it out with a bruised bum and pride rather than carry on hurtling on and ending up with a broken neck/brain.
Think I might stroll the next part of my bereavement journey. Allow myself to cry that I can’t see my dad over Christmas, that he can’t see or celebrate Omble’s first birthday (he never met her) or Oddlers 3rd Birthday which falls exactly a week after the anniversary of his death. I need to get through all these milestones properly, carefully and finally allow myself to grieve. Properly, with the help of my family, friends and a bereavement counsellor, not by ignoring distracting and hurtling on.
So where are you in your bereavement journey and how are you choosing to journey?
Lots of love
Following on from writing to Delia about the traumatic time I tried to follow her boiled egg recipe , I am writing to you about the time I made your Baileys Tiramisu.
I have a large bottle of Baileys in my fridge which my Dad got me for my Christmas present, a month later he died, so sadly this will be the last bottle of Baileys he ever got me. As it happens I am not that keen on Baileys but I used to be when I was 18, and every year since then my Dad or my brother bought me a bottle of Baileys as a Christmas present. I have never had the heart to tell them I don’t really like it, and since on Christmas day it is a bit nice in a coffee and its okay in an emergency “no wine in the house situation” so usually by the following Christmas I might just about finish the dregs of last years bottle so would be timely for next years bottle.
Anyhow my mum came to stay this week and she suggested making a Bailey’s tiramisu to use the bottle up as I am not keen on drinking it these days. I happen to love tiramisu so I decide that is a genius idea. When I later nip to the supermarket for some essentials I remember the tiramisu plan but failed to bring the ingredients list with me, but a sneaky look at a packet of ready made Tiramisu in Sainsburys tells me I need cream, marscapone, and sponge fingers. I figure I have coffee at home and it will all be fine.
Of course when I get home and look up your recipe here, I discover I am missing some of the crucial ingredients and don’t have the right amounts of anything. So I am going to share the LadyCurd version (my amendments are in purple) of your Baileys Tiramisu.
Serves: 12 (or should if you have enough ingredients!)
So yeah absolutely fab recipe Nigella- with hindsight halving all the ingredients properly except for the alcohol was possibly a mistake [hic]. I think my version needs a touch more coffee flavouring and liquid to the sponge fingers so another espresso would have been ideal. But all in all I am very pleased with it- LordCurd doesn’t like Tiramisu and obviously the kids can’t have any so it’s a lovely indulgent desert for me to eat up swiftly in next couple of days.
A very fitting tribute to my Dad’s last ever bottle of Baileys Christmas Present.
P.S It has two raw eggs (and half all the other non alcoholic ingredients) in – how long do I have to eat it up if I made it on Tuesday Night?
It’s 6months today since you died so suddenly when Omble was only three weeks old.
I have so much I want to say to you, so much you need to catch up on so I thought I would write to you a bit of an update about what has gone on in the last 6months. I really miss phoning every few days to update on my news and hear yours.
Firstly I know you would be massively proud of a new role that I recently took on which is massive and high profile for my field which is awesome and scary at same time, I hope I can do you and the role proud. Oh and you will pleased to hear I have a new job, I start next month and I can’t wait to get back into it. It’s only a day a week initially but they are desperate for me to work more than that but I want to stay at home with the kids and carry on with my freelance so this seems the right balance for now. They are also going to let me do my masters dissertation project with them so the masters should get finished this year too. I know how proud of me you were for me starting it, and although I wasn’t sure I whether I was going to take it past the PgDip I have already I have decided I want to for you. For your memory.
Also I have had two articles published recently and I am writing a third. All in national publications two of them really well known, one pretty obscure. I am loving this getting paid to write lark and I am so pleased it is thanks to blogging and twitter that I am getting paid to do something I love that I can fit around the kids. I’m hoping for a few more gigs like that and I know you would be so proud of that. I am also getting increasingly angry and activisty which is thanks to you and mum starting me out on the miners strikes.
The kids are doing brilliantly- Oddler’s language is superb for her age and nursery are always commenting how advanced she is for her age which puts to bed the worries about her start in life. She is completely toilet trained now including at night and in the end it took days not the weeks I was expecting. She does have a stroppy streak too her and mum says she is identical to how I was as a toddler- so just imagine me at that age and you will see your granddaughter.
Omble is now in a lovely little routine and I am pleased to report by some miracle she is pretty much sleeping through the night though last night she didn’t (I will write about that tomorrow). She is eating plenty and smiling and laughing at us lots. She says mama and dada and baba but not at anyone in particular she just babbles. She isn’t rolling or sitting yet but that’s mainly because after you died I didn’t put her down for a week and after that she turned into velcro baby and wouldn’t be put down so hasn’t spent much time on a mat to earn how to do these things, but at least this time around we have no worries about possible brain damage so I am just going with the flow much more. She utterly adores her big sister and the two of them are starting to play a bit together which is really lovely to see. I now know how hard you must have found it parenting me and Bro, Omble often accidentally kicks etc which upsets Oddler and I have to try and deal with it so Oddler doesn’t feel hard done by, it is such a tricky balance, and I get now why I thought my younger bro got away with so much- I don’t think he did really- just two different kids.
LordCurd is doing great, he is wonderful and amazing as ever and has been such incredible support to me and the girls these last few months. I do try and cherish him like you always told me too but I know I could always do more and I promise I will. He is very busy at work at the moment so I am trying to cook more and do more around the house. We just had a massive sort out of upstairs so now my study is in our bedroom, Oddler’s bedroom is now the former study/spare room and Omble is now in the nursery. I think we may look into that loft conversion we spoke about at some point otherwise we will grow out of this house but mum and bro are looking at the possibility of moving into it instead. Will be amazing to have them live here instead of 3 hours away. Oh and we had the garden landscaped by Olly- he did an utterly amazing job, you would be very impressed. I know how much you liked him and you will be pleased to know we are giving him all your tools if he can use them. Would be nice for them to get used up as part of your DIY legacy.
Oh and I think I have chosen a new car that you and mum were helping us out with now we need a bigger one since we are a family of four. I know you were going to sort it for me, being a dadlike thing you wanted to do for me, I am quite pleased I am sorting it myself for the first time ever, feels terribly grown up, although I am a bit scared about the automatic parking brake button the cars I want have, so I am still trying to find a better alternative. Its a toss up between a C4 Picasso or a Renault Grande Scenic. What do you think? I know you didn’t approve of the Citroen but don’t think we discussed the Scenic which I rather like. In fact I think it is currently likely to be the scenic unless I find something better. Need to sort it soon as we are giving my car to LordCurd’s sister to help her out.
Hmmm what else has happened in the last 6months, mum has done lots of work on the house, uPVC windows, new roof and the like, it needed to be done and I know how you wanted to do it but hadn’t quite got round to it (in 10 years!) it’s all very strange and not sure how you would feel about it so maybe I should shh now. She wants to be warm and comfortable in the house for the last few years before she moves here. Bro has also been much much better since you left us, he did have a bit of a wobble and we were worried but he is back to doing well again, and I am attending a siblings support group which is massively helping me to prepare to ultimately take on his care one day.
I guess alls left for me to talk about is how much I miss you. It’s funny since I was a child I spent so many years worrying what I would do when one of my parents died, I even used to cry myself to sleep with the thought of it, but now it has actually happened it actually hasn’t been as awful as I thought it was going to be. Don’t get me wrong I miss you dreadfully and I think about you often and sometimes I am blind-sided by random things like cups of tea and the grief wells up in me like a geyser, but most of the time I am too busy to wallow or grieve thanks to work, the family, life, and you were right “life is for the living”. I do take time out to have a cry now and again. I will always miss you and never forget you, but we had 30 fairly brilliant years of you being my dad, I wish there had been many more but that’s the way it goes sometimes. The girls will always know what a great man their grandpa was.
I love you.
I miss you.