I’m on holiday, staying at my brother’s house in a village in Wiltshire. It’s a several hundred year old thatched cottage, with roses round the door and chickens out the back – all gloriously and comfortingly English. In fact, as I type this I can hear someone mowing their lawn outside, as well as the insistent drone of bees and wasps on the lavender that borders the path.

My two and a half year old niece regales us daily with the unexpected things that bright children trot out to the amusement of adults the world over – at the moment it’s a burgeoning interest in words (‘Botticelli’ is a firm favourite) and a delight in stories “out of your mouth, Aunty Trucie Woo” involving a pixie named Minga.

My two month old niece is bonny and thriving, and loves nothing more than being held by an open window to feel the cool breeze, especially if there is something with strong contrast beyond to examine with round eyed wonder.

And I still have my magic touch with babies and children. 🙂

My youngest sister has already been down to stay for a couple of days and the rest of the family descend tomorrow. Heaven help us.

I’ve even managed to fit in a trip to visit one of our sister companies, which went rather well. As a general rule, I’m not much of a forward-planner, but if I ever want to come back to the UK from Oz I’ll need a job and this particular company makes beautiful books and isn’t based in London – two points in its favour. I actually found that I’ve worked with three of the staff before in previous jobs, too, so that was handy. The potential is there, should I need it.

The only unfortunate part of this trip has been the realisation that I need to break all contact with the man I’ve loved unrequitedly now for several years. We spent a wonderful day together on Tuesday, walked along the canal from Avoncliff into Bath, talking and sharing pretty intimate details of our interior lives all the way. Then we sat in a pub and talked some more. In all, we spent about 9 hours together and I wasn’t bored once. We’re so ridiculously compatible it seems obvious to me that we would bring out the best in each other, but he seems genuinely scared of that possibility. And I refuse to allow myself to indulge in absurd self-loathing as a result. I’m fit, healthy, intelligent, creative and attractive. Repeat ten times.

Anyway – of course – he was quick to tell me that he’s just started seeing someone else. She sounds just as wrong for him as the others but he’s just as convinced as he was last time that this time it’s different. I’ve heard it before and I simply can’t bear to hear it all again without saying what I really think… which is never welcome, is it?

So, to spare us both I’ve had to say goodbye, once and for all. I’ve unfollowed his various digital trails to remove the temptation to contact him in response to one of them. And its okay, it’s his choice: I can only make my own choices, not his, and I choose to walk away, head held high, and not look back.

However, one very good thing has come out of this; I had thought I was, if not content then certainly resigned, to remaining single and childless. But I find that the combination of helping to look after my nieces and thinking about what I want and need in a relationship has made it clear that I am not ready to give up on my dreams. I want a husband and I want a family. I know I have something good to offer as both a partner and a mother and I am determined to find it. Illogically, I have been expecting one man to give me a chance when I wasn’t giving other men a chance. That changes now.

From today I am focused on my present and future, no longer on my ‘might have been’ tomorrows.

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22 Responses to Holiday

  1. azahar says:

    Yay! This guy was clearly never “the one” anyhow. Glad to hear you’re moving on.

    So, how about some chocolate you fit, healthy, intelligent, creative and attractive creature?

  2. robodad says:

    My heart both warms and aches for you. You can borrow any of my three kids on a temporary basis. Please.

    However, I would highly recommend you only borrow ONE at a time. Singly, they are bright and adorable, but any two are guaranteed to fight like the little knee biters they are.

  3. Illogically, I have been expecting one man to give me a chance when I wasn’t giving other men a chance. That changes now.

    Good. You never know what you might not have been seeing, by looking toward an unreachable horizon. 🙂

  4. modestypress says:

    OK, here is a useless suggestion from a senile old man.

    Hire an expert.

    As I mentioned to you not long ago, When Steve Ballmer, a Microsoft zilionaire needed a rustic vacation cabin built, he hired the son of one of our neighbors who happens to be one of the best home builders on our island to do the job. This was no accident, I am sure. If Ballmer or Gates or one of their ilk needs surgery or plumbing fixed or a ditch dug, he or she will hire someone is who is one of the best at that particular kind of task.

    You are a beautiful woman of great intelligence and talent and difficulty. (This describes my wife as well.) You need a rare kind of bloke to suit.

    However, my method of finding a mate can not be depended upon. My brother made a prank call. This is like solving one’s financial problems by winning the lottery. Obviously it happens once in a while, but it not a good plan.

    For your problem, finding a suitable mate, you need a matchmaker. Go to a culture where they have great experience and talent at this task, perhaps India or Korea, and get someone to find you the proper bloke. (He does not have to be Korean or Indian or whatever, though why not, but just a good bloke well suited to your talents and difficulties.)

    Don’t argue with me about this. You have had decades using your own method and it has not worked. Don’t be proud. If I needed a good art work done I would hire you in a flash, because as brilliant as I am, I am definitely not an artist.

    Get cracking, lady.

  5. doctordi says:

    Wow, that’s some holiday!! Truce, good for you, this all sounds very sensible and true and wonderfully sane and I am looking forward to our lunch upon your return so we can talk a bit of shop and then debrief like freaks. Happy trails!

  6. piereth says:

    I cried and smiled at once when I read this. I salute you, you lovely strong woman; both for allowing yourself to be true to how you feel for all those years and also for admitting when enough is enough. He is right for your in one way, not right for you in so many others.

    You deserve, absolutely, to be able to share all that wonderful ability with children and with other adults; you deserve, absolutely, to have the marriage and the family that you want. You’re an incredibly valiant and candid woman. I can’t think that you’ve been given all this personal address and gorgeous looks, to say nothing of a miraculous way with small people, in order not to make them and you happy. Best of love and keep smiling. xxxx

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Thank you sweetheart, I’m truly touched by that message. It won’t be easy to do, but it was necessary. Knowing that my friends are behind me helps greatly.

      I’ve never really been the kind of person who ‘moves on’ quickly or easily – usually more of a wallower in pointless self-loathing and recriminations – but perhaps more than anything else I don’t want to find myself in the category of ‘women who have unrequited feelings for him that he feels nothing but guilt and irritation about’ (there are apparently enough women in that club already and I dislike crowds!). A little dignity is sometimes jolly handy.

      I have no idea how I’m going to realize my dream of a husband and family, but removing the utterly unattainable element is surely a step in the right direction.

      • piereth says:

        ‘Guilt and irritation’ – oh, Barbara. He’s certifiable, but we’ve been over this already!!

        Step in the right direction it surely is. Your dignity is intact, I assure you. Just nipping out to the garage to make you a calm, handsome, coruscatingly funny and sexually magnetic man, who wants children and will not do the equivalent of paying you (rather badly) to raise them.

        Till you have a family of your own, lean on us; and even when you do have your dream come true, we’ll still be here. We’ll always be here.

        Love you mightily and hugely! xx

      • Norwichrocks says:

        Thank you darling. Having the love and support of my family and friends will make being strong about this much easier. X

  7. That man seems to have irreconcilable idiocy innate within him. I salute your determination and I believe you will find the right man now that you no longer have tendrils of energy distracting you from the rest of the world. It is so hard to cut off those ties to people you truly love. But sometimes it is totally necessary.

    Finding a professional matchmaker is not a bad idea, actually.

    Your niece sounds like a properly inspirational child! I wish Jesse would get busy and father a child because I long to be a grandmother. I’m not holding my breath, though. . .

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Well, I don’t know about ‘irreconcilable idiocy’ as he has a right to his own opinion and choices, after all. However, as a friend put it, its insulting that he would yet again prefer to take a chance on a woman he’s only known for a short while and who may or may not share his values and proclivities (and who in this case is several years older than him, too – which is significant when one considers that he wants to have a family), rather on me who he has known for years and who definitely shares those values and proclivities. So, while I am patient and loyal, it would be plain stupid to stick around any longer to be insulted. 🙂

      You’d make a fantastic grandmother! Come on Jesse, get to it!

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