Fear of the unknown

Another oldie that I’m putting forward for you to have a look at, an important part in my life and thankfully one that worked out well

Part #12 of Josie’s Writing workshop and I have decided to go for option 5 this week …

5. Tell me about a time when you ‘felt the fear and did it anyway’

By the time the spring had sprung in 2004 I had been a single mum for almost 9 months and the truth is I wasn’t coping very well at all. I was living in a smaller village up the road with the children, Thomas then 16 and Megan 14 (not the best ages for dealing with a separation)

I was working in the local tourist agency and I was good at my job. I enjoyed it. I looked after the ‘Foreign Office’ as it literally translates and it was my job to drum up groups to come to Folgaria in the winter for a ski trip. My lunch break was so long I was able to do a quick ski, eat a hot dog at the top of the Martinella ski back down, drive to the office and change in time for opening time. How cool is that?

But, I couldn’t adapt to this new life thrown on me in August 2003.

You see, we lived in a tiny mountain village in the Dolomites. I’d been there for 17/18 odd years and I knew everyone. I knew their parents, children, where they lived, how many pets they had and what they bought from the supermarket, so consequently they knew everything about me.

They knew my ex was living in the family hotel and frequently entertaining the girl he’d left me for. They knew where they’d been last night, how much they had drunk, who had been with them and what they were doing at the weekend. For some reason, they felt the need to tell me these things, as if it was a help to me.

I knew I was drinking more and more at home alone in the evenings to dull the pain, pass the time and just get drunk in order to sleep comatose and dream free till morning and I also knew deep down that my future here would be just like this. I would never lose the title of his ex-wife and therefore never move on.

So I needed to do something.

Move to Trento? Rovereto? Two of the local towns at the bottom of the mountain.

For what purpose?

No, I needed to go back home to the heart of my family, I needed the freedom and acceptance of England. I needed to get away from it all. Be free. But how?

A plan slowly started to form. A job at the Italian Tourist Board in London came up and before I knew it, I was on a flight for an interview.

I ‘knew’ the job was mine, it just felt so right.

I received confirmation via email a week later giving me one month to close down my 18 year life in Italy, move to England, find a house, hand my notice in at work and say goodbye to my friends.

My heart was beating ten to the dozen. It had happened. Everything had fallen into place, it had to be right but all of a sudden I was petrified. My forehead was damp, my breathing was rapid and I felt sick. My armpits were sweating!!!

What if it wasn’t the right decision?

What if this was the biggest mistake of my life?

How would I make friends?


One million and one questions bombarded me and all I could rely on were my instincts which were shouting at me

‘The time is right. It’s the right thing to do. Go for it!’

Tommy decided to stay on in Italy. I understood. No teenager wants to uproot at that age. He would live with his dad in our family home that was being renovated after a fire in 2001. And the pair of us would become frequent flyers.

Megan was torn, of course she wanted to be with me but she too was frightened. She didn’t want to leave her dad or the friends she’d had since nursery school.

She decided to come.

I did it. I followed my heart, listened to my instincts and am here telling you the tale. So don’t be frightened. If it’s the right thing for you it will all fall into place and you must follow and step into your new life leaving the door of your old one to close quietly behind you.

The children revolution

Have you got kids? Did they bring enormous changes to your life? Mine did. They have totally revolutionised our life as we once knew it. What’s more I did it twice over, my older kids are adults and have their own lives, I was free to focus on me – what did I do? I went ahead and started it all over again!

If you are just starting out on the Trying To Conceive route with the ideal of having a happy family to be responsible for then firstly I wish you all the luck in the world and hope you don’t have to wait too long but I’d like you to have a click on the video below as gorgeous babies bring huge changes and if you are aware of them before you start you may be better equipped for dealing with the revolution they will cause in your life once they are here.



And what a beautiful life it is!

As I come towards the end of any year I do stop and take stock of the journey I have followed, the choices I have made and the direction my life seems to be taking. It’s a good starting point for making New Year’s Resolutions and for deciding where I am going and what I should focus on in the coming year. What do I want to achieve?

In fact at the start of this blog last January I added a page called Lifeplan, it’s still there and every three months or so I update it. It’s more for me than my reader. I am a big believer  in happenstance serendipity and ‘meant to be’ situations and I like to see what has happened looking back. My Lifeplan is a mixture of wishes, dreams and goals I’d like to achieve, for obvious reasons winning the lottery is a dream and will be taken over to every New Year until I win it :)

At the beginning of last year we had our house on the market but it was so slow, I thought we’d never get there but we did, we sold end of April and moved end of June. Hoorah!

My book, well it’s nowhere near finished but spurred on by Rocky Mountain Woman’s intention to join in the NaNoWriMo this year we joined forces and started to write. I’m happy with the progress, maybe not as quick as I would like but hey, I’ll get there. Should you be interested in having a peek go here.

Finances – we really are beginning to feel the pinch right now surviving on just one wage. The girls would cost me £40.00 plus each to go to nursery per day making it quite difficult to step back into the working industry pretending to find a salary that would cover nursery x 2, travel and something leftover, so I resign to another year at home unless of course something comes up. I’ll leave the door open on that one this year.

Body – I STILL have to lose the same identical 3/4 kilos, I know it’s dreadful. I should be ashamed of myself. Funnily enough on Blogger.Ed blog forum yesterday I noticed a post asking for volunteers to run the London marathon for a huge Big Brand company, they’d give you a personal trainer, nutrition expert and all the kit necessary. Oh my heart jumped, that would be marvellous but in my heart I know it’s just not the right time, I’m not ready for that yet as much as I’d love to do it.

So what’s for 2011? Well I love the idea of Karma it’s good for the soul and journeying around Jenny’s K week I spotted someone doing this (and I’m sorry I can’t remember who it was, but I did bookmark the link) I’m going to give it a go, it will be good for spiritual growth and understanding myself a little more.

I also found the 365 project which sounds fun, a project where you take one photo every day and post it, at the end of the year if you’ve been consistent you have a wonderful photographic diary. I want to improve my photography skills and maybe this will help me. I shall also be looking in on Cosmic Girlies brilliant tutorial blog if  can make time. I have promised myself since July and as yet haven’t made it but maybe 2011 will be easier who knows?

I also pondered on sharing my love of Italy and maybe one day a month focusing on an area that could be interesting for a future holiday, that’s the Italian Tourist Board coming out of me :) Oh and one last thing I shall be attending Cybermummy thanks to the wonderful people at Loud Karaoke (are they trying to tell me something?) who are kindly sponsoring me, I wonder if I should brush up my vocals here and enter for next year’s X Factor?

So that’s blogworld, how about real life?

Well we need to do some more decorating, starting with the girl’s bedroom which currently is a vile golden embossed wallpaper. I would love to start an allotment and will have you know I have bought a book, as yet not opened but I’ll get there. The garden needs an overhaul and so does my wardrobe!

Let’s keep this simple

  • Carry on/complete book
  • decorate the girls room – move them from cots to single beds, that should be fun!
  • allotment – this may slip over to 2012 I think
  • Enjoy the girl’s growing up, make the most of this year with them before they head of to pre school in September
  • Try to see Thomas, Megan and Gracey at least twice throughout the year
  • Win the national lottery :) Gotta give it a go right?

So there you have it, my lifeplan drawn up for 2011. What goals are you going to set yourself? Which dream is it time you gave a go at to see if you can make it come true? Which skill are you going to dedicate time to in order to try and improve? Have a think and let me know what’s on your mind for 2011 – just make sure it’s a good one!

I am immensly happy at being nominated in the BMB Freshest Voice category for 2010, I need votes in order to bag the medal and I kindly ask all of my readers to visit BMB and cross the Mari’s World box, every vote counts and I am up against some brilliant blogs, it’s a toughie, please help. I’d be eternally grateful xxx

This is my entry for Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe Thursday, today’s letter is L, please have a look at wht the others came up with

Photo credit

Things to be thankful for

All across the United States families are sitting down to feast on turkey, trimmings and pumpkin pie and I wish them all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving to me is something I have seen in American films, sitcoms and heard about over the years but never really done much more than acknowledge it and decide they were eating their turkey on the wrong day. I mean everyone knows turkey is for Christmas. If I get this right they’ll also be exchanging gifts too, again wrong! That’s Santa’s job.

Today is Thursday, the day I take part in Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe Thursday and instead of continuing with the alphabet our homework this week is a Thanksgiving blessing, so here is mine.

I am thankful for having Paul in my life, after so much sadness and unhappiness, my life is now the happiest it’s ever been. He completes me.

I am very thankful for all of my four children each one brings me joy in their own unique way, I adore them all equally. Impossible to choose a favourite.

I am eternally grateful for giving birth to two healthy twins after such a long and difficult time. I am thankful for making Paul a father, a lifelong dream of his. I adore seeing the love he has for these funny little people in our house.

I am thankful for my own wonderful family for the support they have given me, the good advice they always lend me and for all the fun and laughter we have when we’re together. This includes all members, old and new, Jean :) and it includes my ‘new’ family ie Paul’s.

I am thankful for my dear friends I had to leave behind in Italy on taking my decision to return here. I think of you all often, I’m not so good at keeping in touch but you are always in my heart. When I win the lottery I shall buy a house over there and come and visit more often.

I am thankful for my friends here in the UK, they guarantee a laugh, they all honestly care and they are all truely wonderful people. When I win the lottery guys, we are having one hell of a knees up – promise!

I am thankful to have a roof over my head (a very nice new one) that Paul has a job and doesn’t seem likely to lose it in this precarious climate (touch wood) and we do have a few pounds left over occasionally for a nice evening out or a special trip.

I am thankful that our food cupboards are full, that we have central heating, hot water and clean clothes on our backs as I know in many places in the world this is not the case.

I am thankful that at the moment the UK is continuing to plod on towards better days, there’s a lot of confusion, a lot of fighting and debating but I am hopeful we’ll get there as a unit as we always do.

I am thankful for all of my readers here on my blog, it has helped me over the past 11 months, it has given me inspiration and it has given me an output when all I have is toddler talk from morn till dusk. Thank you and please feel free to comment whenever, even if you disagree with my thoughts, no especially if you disagree with what I’m saying. :D

Writing all that down may seem a bit phoney but I can assure you it’s very therapeutic, if you are having a hard day, like I’ve had a few recently, then start to think about what you are thankful for and the negativity starts to dissolve.


Disappointing gifts…

Christmas '09

I know, we’re not supposed to talk about them, we hide our disappointment behind a huge smile and gush ‘Thank you”s very very convincingly but the minute you’re alone and you think about it. You’re gutted. It’s horrible. What the hell are you going to do with it? You can’t chuck it in the bin with disgust as that person will be round to see you sometime or will expect you *shudder* to actually wear it. Despair, despair, despair.

How could that person possibly ever have thought you might like that? What in the heck were they thinking? Or hold on a minute, was it a bargain scooped up at a jumble sale/dodgy market stall/their passed away grandma’s wardrobe passed on to you as ‘vintage’?

Oh please! *rolls eyes*

You see I have probably received a fair few disappointing gifts over the years, where I thought the doner had much better taste and at least knew me better than that. I won’t name anyone as that would just be rude and if anyone asks me after reading this I shall reply, ‘Heavens no, not you! I love your gifts, I adore your good taste.’

I don’t want to come across as inconsiderate, pretentious or just damn right obnoxious but I feel I have to shed a light on this problem. It is happening time after time after time, up and down the country and it’s ruining the party folks. It has to stop!

I have begrudgingly noticed that as my life journey stretches more into the distance, ironically the gifts become rarer, fewer and far between (WTF? Does anyone know why?) admittedly some are more expensive and consequently… small … but as a child I remember the excitement of the Christmas stocking opened in the deep of night whilst the adults were still comatose from their Christmas Eve celebrations, too tired to even tell us to shut up and get back to bed. My brothers would have devoured their Selection packs before the sun was anywhere near the horizon and would already be pestering me for mine (which incidentally used to last me through to the end of January at least, much to their contempt). Not only the secret stocking opening in the dead of night but hanging around forEVER for the family to arrive so we could attack the masses under the tree. I cannot remember getting a dud pressie back then, oh actually I can, great Aunts and never met distant cousins come to mind.

Moving swiftly on, you may agree that this has led us all to writing out Present Lists these days. Maybe a bit presumptious but hey you can only hide your increduality ( I’ve just invented that word I believe) so many times before it becomes pure anger. Occasionally your list may be frowned upon. Some people genuinely like to think about you as a person and try and buy you something they believe will delight your soul. Sometimes it works fabulously and you wait eagerly to receive said persons gift praying the joy it’s reciprocate but on the other hand other times it’s horrendous and you want nothing but to throw it back at them. Were they just getting you something to shut you up because they had to?

Mmmm, possibly. I have heard, whilst in a queue at various stores, ‘Oh she/he’ll have to like it and lump it. They can always change it can’t they?’

There you go, it’s a bit of a downer isn’t it? Why are we buying and spending our hard earned cash because we ‘must’.

There’s a recession on guys! Let’s redimension our Christmases. They reckon we’ll spend circa £60,000,000 between us all from now to the Big Day (UK stats alone). I can’t afford that!

We have taken a new stance this Christmas, I have phoned the brother who will be hosting Crimbo this year. He has two kids, I have two kids (the older two don’t count,  they’ll be in Italy and their presents from us will be posted – hopefully on time) and we have mutually decided that we won’t bother with gifts for the adults, we’ll concentrate on the children (after all that’s what Christmas is all about, right?), we will both as couples save at least £50 and put it to Champagne/other booze to drink on the day! Sounds like a brilliant idea to me. (after all that’s what Christmas is all about right?)

Cross off the superfluous – You don’t have to! I emailed my circle of girly friends and suggested we dropped the presents me to you, her, her, her and her to me, me , me, me etc and all went out for a meal instead, maybe in the new year when the calendar is slow. It’s being done, maybe a tiny bit begrudgingly as their present pile dwindles too but it does make sense.

Do we really have to buy because we ‘have to’? Or can we be strong enough to bring Christmas back to a more normal dimension where gifts are given for pleasure?