I like to think that no matter how old I get, I’m still open to learning new things, and with that in mind, here are 5 things I learnt last week:
Parents get old, even superhuman ones
My Dad is quite poorly at the moment and I’m struggling to come to terms with it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s OK, it’s not ‘serious’ serious, but it means he’s no longer able to do everything he loved doing before. Golf, darts, snooker, gardening, building … everything he was doing up until a few months ago. Dad has always been active and I’ve always looked at him as like he’s superhuman really, his active lifestyle belying his actual age, so to see him like this is a shock to the system. I mean obviously more so for him than me but still.
I decided to go along to his latest doctor’s appointment so I could make sure everything that needed to be done was done, and as we sat in the waiting room together, somehow we began talking about some of the crazy things Dad did with us kids when we were younger. Pretending a rowing boat was a speedboat (attached to Dad’s van and driven fast up the banks of a beach), flying kites on the roof of our house, walking across frozen lakes … Dad was always the adventurous one and Mum was the homebuilder, the comfort we came home too after the adventure. It was the perfect childhood and I guess it sometimes leaves me feeling a little sad I can’t offer everything to my kids that I had growing up.
This is the first time I’ve looked at Dad and seen him look his age but I’m hoping that if we can get ‘everything in order’, he’ll perk up. But it’s hard realising that our parents are mortal isn’t it?
Don’t date a man who lives in Devon
It’s a long story, but I started chatting to a man on a dating site who lives in Devon. He saw me pop up as a local when I was passing through the other weekend, and we got chatting when I got back. He was the first bloke that I have had any sort of connection with for a long time – he’s a London boy with a great sense of humour and we so we arranged to meet in London some time in November. BUT … there’s always a but, he’s going through a divorce and still lives with his wife. Supposedly going through a divorce, because I’d never know either way would I? I tried to envisage how a long term relationship with a recently divorced man would work and came to the conclusion it wouldn’t. So I called things off before they even went anywhere. It’s for the best, but I cant help thinking that maybe I should have taken the risk. We’ll never know.
School kids are mean
Dexter is still in the settling in period at his new school and everything was going really well. Well, as well as I could have expected. But there have been a few instances now that have been really upsetting. Firstly, Dexter almost got mugged by a group of kids from the neighbouring school. He was on his own and was approached by a group of five boys who asked, “Got any spare change mate?” and then proceeded to try and take his money off him. Of course, I was on my way to Devon at the time and couldn’t do a damn thing about it. I rang the school concerned who, thankfully, took it very seriously, but over a period of a few days of talking to Dexter about it I took the decision not to take things further. He’s now at the age where retribution and street cred are very real things to him and begged me not to do anything. He’s 11 years old FFS. So now when these kids walk past our house (they know where Dexter lives), I stand on my front doorstep and make my presence known. It’s really really tough not being able to talk through these decisions with a partner and know that the buck stops with me but if they dare approach him again, they’ll feel my wrath.
Also, 11 year old girls can just be plain mean and Dexter is just finding that out too. It’s a juggling act trying to look out for his welfare because he’s a sensitive kid, but also prepare him for a world where people can be pricks. I don’t have the heart to tell him that this is how life will be from now on!
Old men make me cry
Old men make me cry, I don’t know why, but particularly since I ‘met’ Eddie in my local cafe, I just have a massive soft spot for them. But did you see this story about Bill Palmer, a 95 year old man who rang into a radio show because he was so lonely? His wife is in a care home because she suffers from dementia and so the DJ of the radio show invited Bill onto the show for a cup of tea, a chat and a man hug. It was so touching and that image of them hugging has stayed with me all week because to some degree, I can relate to that loneliness.
There have been tens of thousands of offers from complete strangers to keep him company because they were so touched by his story. Bless Bill and the people who reached out to him and if you don’t cry, YOU ARE MADE OF STONE.
I’ve resorted to flirting with the Chinese delivery guy
Yes times are so bad I’m now flirting with the Chinese delivery guy … who turned out to be married anyway. I wish I was joking – I’m not. We ended up chatting at the front door for ten minutes before he happened to mention that he was married to the woman who owns the restaurant. Christ sake. This pretty much sums up my life.
Let’s hope this week brings better news. Or at the very least, not worse.