Finally I have a fully operating laptop, not one that decides to explode half way through an essay, so I’m back! A lot has happened, I won’t bore you with the details but the long and short of it is I’m single for the first time in 3 years and I’m at that awkward stage where one minute I want to run down the road naked and the next I want to cry into a pint of ben and jerrys. Having to bottle up my feelings at school and act as if I don’t care that I mean nothing to the one person who I trusted with my life is such a wierd feeling. Sometimes I genuinely feel ok because he’s been such a twat and I deserve so much more, and I feel happy in a way that I can do what I want and not have to justify it to anyone, or listen to the horrible and hurtful things he says without thinking. But then I start thinking, missing hearing him laugh and holding my hand and it floods back. So I’ve been doing my best to keep busy and distracted but this is one I thought I’d share. For the past couple of days I’ve been transferring all my images from my dinosaur of a PC to my grand-spanking new one and, me being the sentimental, soppy idiot that I am, have decided to publish some of my favourites. This has certainly cheered me up if nothing else…
My cousin and I are way to similar, like its ridiculous. We have the same stupid sense of humour and like the same things, so its fair to say when we are together we have such a laugh. Only problem is, she lives an hour and a half away and as we both work over the weekends, we only see each other once maybe twice a year. Over the summer we decided that we should make some quality time together before we both go off to university next year, so we booked two tickets to Dinard, France for a week to stay with our grandparents. I was sceptical about staying with them based on my trip there last year with my Dad. We were the first visitors since Grandy had been given the all clear from his bowel cancer, but he was still in a lot of physical and emotional pain and nan had been distracting herself from the stress by cleaning the house (sterilizing is probably a better word) thoroughly every day and took huge pride in it. Obviously 5 people moving in to their guest house cause slight disruption in the set up and if we so much as left a scrabble tile out, she lost it. Saying it wasn’t a relaxing break is understatement of the year and in the end my Dad booked tickets for us to leave early. I guess I understood why they were so tense, as Nan had to deal with Grandy’s illness alone and it had obviously put strains on their relationship- but at the end of the day, they chose to isolate themselves from their families and move abroad, I just wasn’t expecting such huge changes in their personalities.But I figured, as Grandy’s on the mend, maybe things will be different?
We left Redditch at 3:45am on Sunday morning and set off for the 3 hour journey to Stanstead airport. My dad isn’t the best with following sat-navs and likes to make his own way, so we got to the airport with 30 mins before departure. Luckily enough we got through check-in, baggage drop-off and security pretty quickly so went to get some breakfast from boots. After we looked to find our gate… “56”, on the other side of the bloody airport. Fair to say, running across an airport inst an easy task with 2 big bags and a huge coat on, but we got there 20 minutes late and joined the back of the queue (I don’t know why we rushed, Ryanair isn’t exactly the most reliable or attentive airline) On-board, it was absolutely rammed and looked more like one of these Indian aircraft’s you see with a capacity of 50 and there’s 100 people on and chickens are running up and down the isle. With a short flight of 45 minutes, we had landed by the time I’d finished my breakfast wrap.
Nan and Grandy picked us up from the airport, they seemed chatty enough and Grandy looked a lot healthier than the last time i’d seen him. We squeezed into their mini and began the 2 and a half hour journey back to Calais. At the house, not much has changed, the lounge still needs plastering from two years ago but the cushions have been reapulstured, I offer to help but Grandy says “Oh no, if all of the work was done then what would we do with our days?”. I love their house, they are at the end of a small village where everyone knows one another. Across the road is Dave and Davina, a couple from Manchester who have lived here for 6 years with their sons Curtis and Jordan (Jordan is bloody gorgeous but we wont go into that). Further down there’s Emi and Alexi, two elderly French women who are either sisters or just best friends I’ve never really asked, who love to speak to me and Em in French and give us bon-bons whenever they see us. Opposite from them is Pipi, a very strange French man who loves to confuse us by speaking his own hybrid language of French and German. Then there’s Kelly and Bob, a couple who own 4 guest houses that they rent to people on holiday. It is because of them that Nan and Grandy live here. My Mum, Dad, Lucas and I used to stay with them years and years ago, when I was about 5 and I’ve got some amazing memories from this place, and if mum hadn’t told Nan about the “for sale sign” at the end of the road, they’d probably still be in England.
Anyway, we spent the remainder of the day lazing around before taking a short trip to the “Intermarche”, an amazing place full of incredible French food and clothes (yes, the French equivalent of Tesco’s) we bought about 70 euros worth of nutella, pancakes, baguettes, cheese and crab sticks and chilled in the garden with platters of goodness.
Next day, I woke up with an incredible pain in my stomach, the hate of all men on my mind and a hunger for chocolate in my belly. Shit. Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I haven’t had a period in a year and a half and have been told by numerous doctors that they may not come back, and if not, then I can never have children. This has basically depressed me for a very long time- whenever my mum and step dad have treated me like crap in the past I’ve always said to myself “when i have a baby things will be different”, but since I was diagnosed infertile, honestly, I’ve just felt like a sad excuse for a woman. I had been having mysterious boob pains and mood swings for a few weeks before, but when I was packing I didn’t want to bring any “supplies” for fear that it may jinx it, but bugger me it was happening. I’m not exaggerating when I say I have never been so happy in my life, I have been given another chance to have a baby in the future and a period is never something I’ll take for granted again.
With limited entertainment and not being able to get anywhere, Em and I had the opportunity to spend some quality time together. We spent 3 maybe 4 hours every day going on walks around the village, fields and forests. I don’t have many close friends, but me and Em can just be ourselves and we found a field and just lay in the grass for hours talking about our worries. It literally felt like such a clear out of emotions, she ranted about her recent breakup with her boyfriend and I did about my stressed relationship (will give updates later) and about family worries and it felt so odd, like the combination of just being in a huge field on a sunny day looking down onto the village there was just this weird sense of freedom and being totally relaxed, we just let all of our worries out and then that was it, we didn’t have to worry about them any more.
Later in the week, the oldies took us out for a meal at a little French restaurant in town,where I ordered scallop gratan with a cheesy sauce, shrimp and rice. Being around the French, drinking wine and sharing bread felt so odd, like I could see myself living here and doing this everyday (if it wasn’t so bloody expensive). After, we wondered around the market and I bought a new wooden wind chime to add to my room and used the opportunity to get some more snaps with the family before we left for the airport.
The journey home was fairly uneventful, other than being felt up at security and interrogated at customs. All in all, it was just a really relaxing escape, a great way of spending some time with my beautiful cousin and I was reassured that Nan and Grandy are slowly getting back to themselves and no longer is cancer the main topic of conversation.
(A small update on the boyfriend situation; I think the break did us the world of good, although I felt bad leaving him with his bust leg. We’ve talked and came to the conclusion that its ok for us to disagree sometimes. People have always found it weird that we’ve had such a long relationship at such a young age, even one of my “friends” has said that we’re too good to be true behind my back. No too people are the same, so we’re bound to clash occasionally but we’ve stepped back and looked at our entire relationship and not just the past month. I love him, I can see myself being with him for the rest of my life, but every relationship is tested and that what has happened. If we’re meant to be together then we can get through uni and be happier the other side, all it will take is effort on both of our parts. He’s literally my best friend, he knows everything about me and I think that’s what I was more scared about losing, but that’s not going to happen any time soon. We make each other laugh way too much, he makes me feel better about everything and I’m always there to help him with anything, we have something incredible and as long as that stays, we’re going to be absolutely brilliant)
I’m having a very lazy Monday because I’m absolutely shattered, have been working non stop and on my feet for most of the summer so far so I think I deserve a day of peace before it all starts again. Yesterday was the day my step mother got the day she has been waiting for for almost 10 years- that we were all sure wasn’t going to come- her and my fathers wedding day.
She is much younger than Dad, and wants nothing more than to settle down with more kids and get married whilst my Dad has, and I quote, “already been there, done that”, referring to his first marriage with my mum and the fathering of my brother and I. I’ll be completely honest, I’m not convinced that this wedding wasn’t just a way to shut her up and make her happy, and that’s not just based on the fact that although my Dad earns a large salary the ceremony, reception and disco was all held at the same small venue two minutes away from their house, but also the guests who came. Dad only had a total of 4 guests and that’s including my brother and I who technically weren’t guests but the page boy and bridesmaid. The other two guests were my aunt and cousin who later informed me that they were never actually invited, but the wedding came up in conversation and they asked if they should probably be there. So I assume that Dad wasn’t all too bothered about who attended, whilst Jo had all her family, friends and colleagues there.
The day started at 9am, I was dropped off at he hotel by my Dad, who didn’t speak to me the entire journey. He’s an odd bloke, arrogant and above everyone else and acts like nothing phases him. Always going 10 above the speed limit and constantly on the phone to his colleagues talking about who they should fire next, just cause’ they can. He throws his money around like he’s got it on tap and uses it to get exactly what he wants. The rules have never applied to him, yet he’s always landed on his feet. People like this frustrate me at the best of times, so its fair to say that although we have some similar traits, we are two very different people.
Arriving at the venue, I was swept up in a cyclone of frantic bridesmaids. Nothing was done, the ceremony room was yet to be decorated, the restaurant was still filthy from breakfast and Jo was outside smoking. I was quickly thrown into a chair and my hair was under attack from an army of backcombs and curling tongs. Personally, at my wedding it will be more a case of the bridesmaids having their hair how they want, as long as its not nicer than mine or some off the rainbow shade of pink. It then dawned on me that the women in charge of my hair were actually all barbers, and god were they barbers for a reason. By the time they had finished I looked like I was a 12 year old girl about to take part in a beauty pageant in Tennessee. Half of my hair was up in a half bun and the remains were tightly curled and left to hang lifelessly on my neck.
Disaster. I am sure that Jo did this on purpose, she wanted me to look hideous. We had a weirder relationship than my father and I. She isn’t much older than me but I see her more like a step sister that I have to be nice to. She has no morals, I don’t know maybe I’m still bitter about the fact that my dad cheated on my mum with her and got her pregnant before my Dad had even moved out. Normally I’d feel like a bad person for thinking this, but honestly I just think it makes me human. I can see it from her side either, it must be awkward for her being around her fiancés children knowing full well that she is the reason we are fatherless, but like I said, that’s her and my dads fault.
Jo stood back to admire her work, disgusting. She smiled and said perfect. I grinned, got up, went into the bathroom and cried my eyes out. She knows that my self confidence is shot at the moment, why was she doing this? Anyway after a short 10 minute breakdown, I decided that she wasn’t going to win this one. She needed to understand that if we are going to be in each others lives, she’s going to have to realise that she has nothing over me, she took my Dad, the least she could do is give me decent hair for the wedding. I wasn’t even trying to impress anyone, it was the principal now. I grabbed the remaining curls of hair, twisted them up and pinned them underneath the bun, making it all look like it was one large updo. It actually looked half decent. I went out of the bathroom acting like nothing had changed, she didn’t say anything but the look of defeat on her face was precious.
The wedding itself was average, I walked down first and caught eyes with my boyfriend who was sitting behind my brother and cousin. Don’t fucking trip now, you may look like a hippo wrapped in purple cling film and high heels but you still have your dignity. I sat down with them, turned to my boyfriend who mouthed to me “You look beautiful”. My Dad looked his usual self, trying to hide feelings he “doesn’t have” and look above everyone else. I noticed behind them on a desk was a laptop with Skype open, and could see the distinct faces of my grandparents who were watching from Skype. Nothing eventful happened during the ceremony, other than my granddad shouting “HIYA!” during the silence when Jo was walking down the isle. Classic Grandy.
After the wedding there was just a buzz of photographs and champaign, that id already had 4 or 5 glasses of and was feeling slightly tipsy already. After, there was a lot of waiting around. I was properly reunited with my cousin, Emily and my Aunty Andrea. They are probably the nicest girls I have ever met and we have so much in common, we talked non stop and caught up which was nice. I only see Em once maybe twice a year due to distance, which is really sad because I don’t really get on with any other girl like I do with her, I think its mutual when I say that if we were closer we would be best friends.
The meal was bog standard. Dad had forgotten about my gluten intolerance and Em’s vegetarianism and had served a bread and mozzarella salad to start, a chicken and white wine sauce with veg for the main and profiteroles for desert. I wasn’t hungry due to being squeezed into a corset and my stomach being restricted to 1/4 of its original size, but I ate what I could. I have honestly never felt so uncomfortable. All off my boobage was spilling over the top of my dress and I couldn’t really twist or bend without pain, plus being surrounded by people that were wearing nice, normal floaty dresses was getting my anxiety high.
Dads speech was something to behold. Again he thought he could wing his way through it, like everything else. I recall him comparing her to his car, which didn’t impress her much understandably. The best man speech was dragged out and everyone was pretty much ready to go home by the end of it. He ended by wishing them luck on their honeymoon to North Wales, which confused us all because they were going to the South of France, but after a couple of minutes of Dad calling him an idiot he retaliated by saying “Sorry, Rob just told me he was going to Bangor for a week” (say it fast and it sounds like bang her)
After the meal there was a lot of sitting around doing a fat lot of nothing. Tea and coffee was offered, and when me and Em went go make our tea, Em left hers on the edge of the table whilst she got some milk. The duty manager came over with the cake cut up onto strips and leant across the table to put it on an empty space, meanwhile obliviously dunking her blazer pocket into Em’s tea. We both saw and just looked at each other before breaking out in hysterics. She moved away from the table and must have felt the sodding wet pocket dripping and said “I’ve dunked it in haven’t I!” before apologizing relentlessly and offering to make her a new one, to which Em said “No don’t worry, I’m sure it doesn’t taste of jacket”. Bugger me, she drank it and critiqued it by saying it was a subtle blend of china and pocket fluff. Probably the highlight of the evening.
A couple of hours passed, and emphasis shifted to alcohol. Fair to say my Dad was absolutely hammered by the time the first dance came around. It wasn’t a dance but more of a public grope that went on far too long. Afterwards the dance floor remained empty, apart from my Dad who had judging by the smell lost control of his bowels and was running around breaking wind, swearing at people and drinking more than a thirsty horse. Time for us to leave, we thought at half 9.
If anything this wedding has given me an idea of what my wedding WON’T be like, I now know that that my Dad shouldn’t be given alcohol when the windows are closed, and tea tastes a bit better when you dunk a strangers pocket in it. Not a completely wasted day then.