You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened ..

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Check that pic of my 3 kids taken on the morning of the Millennium,   Laura is now 28,  Claire 22 and Steven 30.   All summer babies.

Happy days.

Things have changed in the past almost 20 years.  I was divorced a few years later and they’ve grown up,  All young graduates and my elder two are established in their careers and living with their partners.

A couple of weeks ago,  I mentioned on here how pleased I was for my munchkin, Claire 22,  to graduate and get a new job.

The only problem is that the new job is down south at one of the major banks.  Thankfully its not London based,  but it is a fantastic opportunity and carries an amazing starting salary.

I’m absolutely delighted for her.

But here’s the thing ..  I’m somehow sad,  not for her or them .. I’m delighted ..  that doesn’t change.    But its as if somehow its an end of an era and my purpose and usefulness has come to an end.

That’s rubbish really .. I know it .. You know it.

But its overwhelming.

I find myself making tea in the morning,  knowing that she’s still asleep in bed,  knowing that she’s safe and thinking next week,  I’m on my own.

We had dinner last week and her brother and sister wrote beautiful messages on the good-luck cards they have her ..  Their as proud as I am ,, but without the angst.

Tomorrow I drive her down south,  she’s going to be living with her boyfriends parents.

I’m looking forward to meeting them and I’m pleased that she’s not going to a flat. Moving house and starting a new job in a new city is stressful enough never mind living in another unknown place.

A 6 hour drive from Glasgow and it will be like driving her down the aisle.   Giving her away to a new life.

Yeah pathetic I know.

She says she’ll be back every few weeks and she’s already planned to be back on the 14th.

But how long will that last?

Indefinitely she says,  her life is up her,  she says.

And I want to believe her,  even although she’s starting a new life down there.

I hear my inner voice saying,  part of being a parent is you need to let them fly,   you’ve done a good job,  provided for them and gave them the tools to fly and now they are living their own lives.

It’s my proudest achievement seeing them get on in life.

But despite my brain over-ruling my heart, knowing it makes sense,  it still hurts.

Jeez,  I’ve had my moments of heartache or even heartbreak before.

But nothing,  no nothing, compares to this.

Tomorrow her boyfriends parents kindly offered if i’d like to stay at theirs.  But I booked a hotel to save any inconvenience.  I’m genuinely looking forward to meeting them and going for dinner on Saturday night.

No doubt that there will be sad good-byes on Sunday before the drive back north to Glasgow.

No doubt that I’ll be choked but will try and keep a smile on my face.

On the positive site,  next week,  an empty nest ..  I can sit about in my pants ..  play my music or piano as loud as a like at any time of day or night.

It’s time to take the parental gloves off and get back to living a single life.

Give it a couple of years,  the grand-kids will be here and I’m quitting this working for a living malarkey.

Bring it on!!   🙂


 

Sunday at 12pm,   Celtic are playing Rangers at Ibrox,   I may be driving up the road or might watch it down south then head for home.

I hope there aren’t any more tears on that long drive up the road.

Have a good weekend whatever you do.

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Work Stories – Wage Slaves?

This new job is like a prison.

It entraps you, cages you, expects certain aspects of discipline and timekeeping.

It enforces a dress code, smart trousers and a shirt for men or a dress or trousers and blouse for women.

No jeans allowed.

Or so they say.

I’m wearing jeans, smart dark blue ones with a Ted Baker shirt and tan boots.

It’s how I roll and fuck them if they want me to change.

The place is empty until just before 9am and has a Le Mans start at 5pm with people already having been to the loo, washed their cups, packed their laptop and cleared their desks waiting for the clock to tick-tick onto the hour.

I’ve never seen a place empty so quickly, Well not since my shipyard days when there wasn’t any overtime on the go.

Certainly not in an office setting.

It’s pointless waiting on the lifts at 5pm as the upper floors fill them. I’m on the 5th and the executives are on the 11th. Somewhere in between the lifts are packed. It’s the stairs for me.

Gets the steps up anyway!

Continue reading “Work Stories – Wage Slaves?”

Flying The Nest?

2 down, 1 to go!

Well it’s finally happened, My kids are all growing up and leaving me to start life’s of their own.

Laura 28 left first, just over a year ago, buying a house with her partner. She called me last night to tell me they are getting married next year. I’m delighted for them both.

Steven 30 leaves this weekend, moving into rented accommodation with his partner. They’ll be buying soon but giving it a try first

Both of these were expected.

What wasn’t expected is that my munchkin Claire 21 would be moving out so soon.

She recently graduated from Strathclyde with a first class honours degree. I’m very proud of her. Even more so that she has her first job working for a major bank on an amazing starting salary.

A salary that many of my own extended family couldn’t hope to earn despite working for many years.

There’s the proof that education and guidance makes the difference to people’s starts in life.

What wasn’t expected is that she’d be leaving home so soon and moving south to their headquarters.

Coincidentally her boyfriend lives in the same city.

What’s the chances eh??!!

I’m pleased for her but can’t help feeling a bit sad.

This place we live isn’t just a house, it’s home.

Soon I’ll be rattling around in it on my own.

The thought of downsizing crossed my mind, maybe renting it out and using the money to see the world.

But truth be told I’ve seen as much as I want to see with the exception of New York, Vegas, Washington DC and the California coast

I’ve no desire to backpack across Vietnam or experience food poisoning or malaria in less civilised parts of the world.

So what next?

I’ve no idea really, keep working, no mortgage to pay so just enjoy life.

Truth be told, I think it’s time I found a new partner and settled down.

Life’s too short and too precious to live it on your own.

2am on Monday morning. This new job comes with bank holidays.

But if truth be told I’m not convinced if being staff rather than self employed is for me.

Especially with a daughter getting married next year!

It’s going to be costly. 🙂

A Gun At My Head?

It’s been a big year, many changes occurring but nothing too bad or irrecoverable.

2 days at court with the legalities of finally reaching a settlement with my former partner.

She took the stand and laid it on thick. But she lied and I could prove she lied.

At lunch on the second day after I’d shown the evidence they wanted to talk and we settled out of court.

Yep I took a hit, not as bad as it could’ve been after already giving her a 6 figure settlement but she was holding a gun to my head and it was worth taking the hit to keep the house.

Who gifts 6 figures? Seriously?

Not even the judge believed that.

It was my own fault, blindly trusting someone with my hard earned cash, giving them a loan to help them move on, only for it be used against me as a bargaining chip.

I should have got the legal steps in place at the time. My bad.

I made the mistake of treating people the way I expect to be treated. My word is my bond. If I make a promise then that promise will be kept.

It’s a done deal and life goes on.

The gun is no longer at my head. The mortgage has been paid off. There’s still money in the bank.

Life is good.

Now that the stress has been removed it’s time to have some fun!!

ForgetMeNot

With friends like that?

Friends like what?

Well it’s kinda hard to explain.

Have you ever had or do you currently have a friend that you love dearly,  that you’ve went through lots together,  marriage,  divorce,  in his case re-marriage ..  long term friends who have went through the good and bad together.

I was best man at his wedding,  the second one that is,   been there when the twins came along,  advised him to play more of an active part and stop using work as an excuse to avoid dealing with the kids as his wife needs the help.

Not that I’ve ever been a fan of his missus,   I never thought they were right for each other,   particularly as during the pre-marriage days he had a few misdemeanours,    one in particular where his future wife turned up at my door asking me if he’d stayed at mine the previous night.

Now what can you say in that situation?

Tell the truth and stick your bestie deep in the doo-do?

Or lie your ass off and swear to the big guy in the sky that you’d been out for curry and beers,  came back to mine for some more drinks and he’d fell asleep.

Nobody sticks their mate in the shit,  it just isn’t done.

The missus couldn’t prove I was lying and although I was deeply uncomfortable with it,  what else could I say?

He’d texted me that morning in a panic,   he’d met a girl a few weeks ago and unbeknown to me,  was out with her on the Friday night, telling his girlfriend that he was out with me for the night.

Boys will be boys and all that.

They go out for dinner and drinks,  he goes back to hers,   nature takes it’s due course and the fud then falls asleep, waking up at 7 in the morning in a panic and calling a cab.

He then texts me from the cab to ask me to cover for him if his missus gets in touch.

What can you say?

Errr .. Nah mate,  your on your own?

So he gets home,  the missus suspects he’s been up to no good and rightfully gives him the third degree.

He feigns innocence and has deleted the text to me from his mobile.

I wake up at 8am .. well it is a Saturday .. and see his text, I  can tell he’s panicking and on the way home and know that he’s in it deep as he has a bit of previous.

I swither on sending him a text,  but don’t want to say anything that drops him in it and don’t’ really want involved either.

Nothing happens the rest of the day,  she’s obviously watching him like a hawk and he’s on best behaviour.   But later that evening,  while eating a take-away with the kids, the doorbell rings.  It’s his girlfriend asking if she can come in for a chat.

“Of course you can,    I’m surprised to see you,  hope everything is okay?” .. and I was surprised to see her .. hoping that my genuine surprise is masking my discomfort.

So she comes into the kitchen and I put the kettle on,  any excuse to buy a bit of thinking time.

I turn to face her and although her blue eyes are red as she’s clearly been crying,   they’re intensely staring at mine and she wants a straight answer.

“Did Robert stay here last night?”

Short, sweet and straight to the point.

It’s the moment of truth .. or lie.   It’s the moment of choice.

To choose the path of the hard and hurtful truth or to tell a horrible but gentle lie?

What would you do?

Back your best mate up or tell the truth and drop him right in it?

Call me weak,  I chose the easier path and lied .. yep,  as brazen-faced as I could manage,  I put surprise on my face as if the question had came out of the blue and lied through my teeth.

“Yes,  he was here”  .. and I’m doing my best to look as if the question itself was a surprise  ..  “We went for a curry and a few beers,  then he came here and we put on a Bowie concert and that Depeche Mode one that we had been to,  he fell asleep on the sofa,  so I went to my bed and when I woke up this morning he was gone”

Bowie and Depeche mode an easy and convincing add-on .. my bad …  but she knows we are both fans and have been to see them and watched these concerts at his house after nights out when she’d been there and went up to her bed.

“Is that what really happened?”

“Not sure what you mean?   Yes that’s what happened,  did he say that we did something else?  Is everything okay?”

“He says that he stayed here last night,   but I don’t believe him.   He’s been too secretive lately and disappeared a few times without saying where he’s going or where he’s been,  making excuse to go shopping on his own,  anything to get out the house for a while”

And she stares at me,  almost pleading to hear the truth  “Are you sure that’s what happened?”

And she knows,  of course she knows,  she just can’t prove it.

And I lie again, shamefully,   brazenly,  I’m even embarrassed about it now 15 years later.

A lot has changed in that time,    their married,  got the twins,  I’ve never had to lie for him again.

Back then,  after the dust settled and we met for another beer and curry night .. I ripped him up for putting me in such a horrible position.

If his missus was to read this now,  how would she feel,  knowing that despite him being a good dad and husband,  he had lied to her back then,  would it change anything .. or does time heal and we move along and close off the past,  preferring not to look at its dark secrets?

Let me give you a wee bit of advice … if you’re ever in that situation where you know your partner has cheated but can’t prove it and he has his best friend backing him up.

Trust your instincts.

 

So what’s wrong with me?

3am and the world is dark

Everywhere except the blue-white light from my phone.

Fell asleep on the sofa .. again.

There was a message from her waiting when I woke up.

Asking if I was awake and wanted to talk.

I wasn’t and I didn’t.

She says that she misses me.

I miss her too, but not enough.

Not enough to make the effort, invite her over, spend the night wrapped in her arms.

Or legs. Continue reading “So what’s wrong with me?”

He Ain’t Heavy ..

Bert Hardy exhibiton

There he was, lying sleeping, or so I thought.

A private ward on the 11th floor of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow, fantastic views out the window looking north to the Campsie Hills then Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps beyond.

Not that he was in any state to admire the vista, he had more important priorities having just came through a kidney removal.

His wife and daughter had already been and gone, leaving him resting, recovering from the effects of the anaesthetic.

I waited outside the room, I didn’t want to go in, wake him or even chat to him. It didn’t seem appropriate.    I just wanted to see him.

I just wanted to know that he was alive and well and that he was on the way back and over the trauma of the operation.

I can see him through the glass of the door, head back, propped up on pillows, eyes closed, mouth slightly open.

That was enough for me, maybe a quick chat with his nurse and get his status, then head for home.

At that she appeared, Nurse Aboui, small, slim, black as the ace of spades, afro hair and a dazzling smile as she offers her greeting. Continue reading “He Ain’t Heavy ..”