Everyone Loves A Trier

I have had a funny few weeks and my routine, I do love having a sense of routine, has been all over the place. But I am trying to keep up with everything and everyone important. We don’t always get it right – do we? But we should keep trying. As someone clever once said, “you only really fail when you stop trying”!

keep trying

This is me trying to finish my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post before my three busy work days. I have realized if I don’t work on it on Tuesday evening – it’s never going to happen!

I do love that Melanie kindly provided the SHARE-YOUR-WORLD questions faithfully each week:



Are you thin or thick skinned?   Are you easily offended or tend to let it just roll off your back like a duck does with water?

Well…I always thought I was able to shrug off anybody else’s unkindness or lack of considerateness. In the past I was good at shrugging off other people’s unkindness (and I think even now I am good at it). If somebody else was nasty, I always said in my head “they are the ones who are going to suffer the most as they find themselves lonely and friendless”.

despairHowever, I did find it completely draining and exhausting receiving unkind comments on the scale I did due to my association with my ex-neighbour Jack. For others to insinuate that he and I had an erotic relationship when we did not, to be victim of rumours that I was having an affair with a married man, to be called all sorts of horrible names – tramp, slapper, whore, and much worse – and for the invasive interest in my personal life to go on for so long and for so many other people (most of whom I had never even met) to feel they had a right to say these things. That wore me down. I tasted despair due to that situation.

Perhaps others would have been more resilient. After almost two years of that, I was often in tears, often distraught, but I thought I was coping with it. I had not had one sick day off work in five years despite working between 40-60 hours per week. I was super-fit and spending hours running and playing sport. I thought I was resilient.

My breaking point came shortly before I found myself sitting on a park bench. That night I did not want to go home because I was scared to see Jack, and went to the park instead – that night I was immersed in despair and I lost sight of my own safety.

How important are morals in a healthy society? What are the most important morals for citizens to have?

How important are morals in a healthy society? Hmm. Well…do you know what happens to a society whose morals break down over time? – which often happens to a society that becomes affluent. If you visit a museum of world history like The British Museum you will see what happens. When life becomes cheap, values and morals break down, families break down, communities break down, empires crumble.

It’s interesting that when you learn about ancient Greece and Rome, Assyria and Egypt,  and other empires – you sometimes get an idea as to how depraved entertainments were becoming at the height of their success. Can you imagine the arenas packed with bloodthirsty crowds cheering the violence between men and sometimes animals?

The boastful reliefs where these ancient empires recorded their own inhumane actions. The sport that was had – brutal treatment of captives and animals.

The incredible cruelty that was inflicted on captives, slaves, women, animals… is it any wonder that those societies broke down? The rife corruption and abuse of power. Who would weep over the downfall of a sick and twisted civilisation?

I often wonder at those who feed their minds on depraved violence today in the form of movies and video games. They are training their own brains in an alarming way. Life is becoming more and more cheap. Once the political climate becomes volatile enough – what will they do? It is unthinkable.

The most important morals for citizens to have? Hmm. Well you can’t go far wrong with love and respect for others and holding the gift of life as sacred. A lot of laws are just a practical application of how to show love and respect for other creatures – both humans and animals.

What will your epitaph be?

She tried. She really did try.

 French toast, pancakes or waffles?

Years ago my mum and my sisters went to Belgium for a weekend. It was the first time I had sweet waffles smothered in naughty toppings.

If I deserved to have one now, it would have to come with some kind of caramel sauce – maybe some fruit like banana.

But to be honest, sweet waffles are such an amazing treat – one that I rarely deserve – I think I would be happy with any combination of fruit or sweet sauce. Any of the above are a treat though, I would enjoy pancake or French toast. I just remember my first experience in Belgium of waffles and I even remember the handsome waiter who served them. Yummy! I mean the waffles of course!

What were you grateful for this past week?

Several things. I don’t know where to begin.

  • I found something expensive that I thought I had lost
  • I had a wonderful conversation with Goldfinch that has made me feel much better
  • I had a wonderful conversation with my sister Milly and hoping she and her little family are coming to stay soon
  • The friend of a friend I agreed to go on a coffee-date with is now back from holiday and he sounds as if he is looking forward to seeing me. He is being very lovely.
  • I don’t seem to be throwing up as much this week as I was the previous two weeks – feeling a bit more normal again. I have to admit I was feeling incredibly rough before this week. But I seem to be so much more settled now.
  • I used the gift card my landlady gave me in December – it had £50 on it – she is so generous
  • Although I have been writing about some memories that are pretty miserable for me in the CARAMEL LEARNING TO LIVE AGAIN series, I have felt tremendous support from other bloggers. I am deeply grateful for that.


Run For Your Life!

shrugI had clearly annoyed my new boss by declining to drink more wine, and then escaping his company, by retiring early for the night. But this was not something I was going to worry about. If he pressured me to drink alcohol or asked me what kind of sexual acts I enjoyed – I was going to run as far away as I could get from him.

The next morning, he was up much earlier and was making it clear that he was not happy. But I have this way of dealing with grumpy people. I ignore their grumpiness. I gave him a cheerful “Good morning” and I smiled and chatted to him, though he was unresponsive at first and kept on giving me strange glances. But my cheeriness wore him down.

I inquired about his son. I had not seen his son since I arrived and wondered why. My new boss told me that he and his son had argued a few days before and he had told his son to get out of the house. His son had gone to live with his (my boss’) ex-wife. It suddenly dawned on me that I was living alone with this man. That realization was crushing to me. This was not an acceptable arrangement. From that moment I realized I was going to have to search for another post, and I did start to look.

I asked him what his general routine is. He said he did not want me rushing round in the morning cleaning. He said he likes to take it easy in the morning. He said that after a leisurely breakfast he would drive to work (he owned a company located about a 45 minute drive away) and spend three or four hours there before heading back. He told me that if there was any cleaning to do I could do it while he was out.

He said he also went to the gym two or three times a week. He asked me if I would like to go with him as his guest. In my mind I was thinking “with you? – no way Jose!” but I just told him I don’t really like the gym, but I prefer outdoor activities to keep fit.

His reply was less than polite and left me quite staggered. He told me that I could make more of my figure. He said I had great breasts but if I went to the gym with him then I could attain a nicer shape. I had a feeling my second day at work was going to be even worse than my first!

There was nothing wrong with my shape. I was a normal weight and shape. I have always been a bit top heavy. Before I was attacked I was doing a lot of exercise as well as working long hours, so I did become leaner around my lower half. After I was attacked, I was only doing house-work for my family and I wasn’t running or playing sports, just walking. But my weight was up and down during that year. I did not have much appetite at all and lost a lot of weight at first. But I rested a lot. In addition my family tried to fatten up. I knew my lower half had expanded a little. But I was still a very healthy weight and shape. I did want to improve my strength and stamina, but I was very reluctant to start going to the gym with my new boss.

I repeated that the gym is not something I would enjoy but I said that I would like to start walking again. We were on the outskirts of London and there were a lot of green fields and woods nearby. I said that I would like to go for a walk each day especially while the weather was so lovely.

He continued to pressure me to agree to go to the gym with him. He claimed he could help me get into a really nice shape. I said I was only interested in keeping fit, but not overly worried about my shape. He told me that I should be. I responded that I saw no reason to worry about my shape so long as I was fit and healthy. He replied that I should make myself more attractive to men. I laughed and stated that was not something I was concerned about. He looked at me as if I was ridiculous and asked me what was wrong with me. Can you imagine how I was feeling? Can you?

Calmly I thanked him for his “honest opinion” and promised I would be strict bout going out for a daily walk. Grrrrr!

Before he could reply, the doorbell rang. One of his friends had arrived. My boss was still in his robe, and his friend seemed annoyed that he was not ready. My boss told him he would go and have a quick shower and dress. Before he ran upstairs he asked me if I would mind boiling a couple of eggs for him.

I made a cup of tea for my boss’ friend and tried to make light conversation. I could tell he was sniggering and smirking a bit. He seemed to make references to  my boss choosing me for my as his new naughty maid. I completely ignored the inference. But it was interesting to be aware of what my boss’ friend thought of him. Hmm. It just reinforced my conviction I had to find another place as soon as possible.

toast soldiersWhen my boss returned he asked me what on earth I was doing with the eggs. I had automatically hard-boiled them and then peeled the shells. He was really annoyed with me. I should have asked how he wanted to eggs. I had just done them the way I prefer. But he wanted soft-boiled eggs with a slice of toast he could cut up and dip into the runny egg yolk. That’s the way we had eggs when we were little children. I apologised and acknowledged I should have asked how he liked his eggs. He looked at me as if I was a complete fruitcake!

Then he threw away the eggs I had hard-boiled and gave me a training session on how to boil eggs the way he liked them using a little device that you put into the pan with the eggs. I had never seen one before but I admitted it would mean I would not have to count the minutes the water was boiling.

I felt a mixture of humiliation and great amusement at him training me how to soft-boil an egg. He wanted me to watch the pan and observe how the egg-timer changed colour. It felt so ridiculous standing next to my boss, both of us stating at the pan of boiling water. I could see his friend found it funny to watch. Once the egg-timer had changed colour indicating the eggs were soft-boiled, my boss told me I could now remove them from the heat. He patted me on the behind and said “Good girl!”

I could not control my reaction. I stood back and said in a loud firm voice, “Please do not touch me!” I think he was a bit embarrassed I had snapped at him in front of his friend. He grabbed the pan and started to prepare the eggs to eat with his toast. I decided that was my cue to disappear.

After my boss and his friend had left, I cleaned his bedroom and bathroom and the kitchen and dining rooms. I left everything sparking. Then I headed out for a walk. I headed back towards the local high street. I found a local library and filled out a form so I could have a library card. I also found the local leisure centre which had a large swimming pool. I also bought some vegetarian food. I brought it back to the house and realized my boss was not back yet.

So I went out again and this time headed towards the green fields at the end of the town. I walked along very pretty paths with lush green trees and wildflowers and saw ponies and rabbits and squirrels. All of that cheered me up. I have always loved walking in through green spaces – but especially at that time it brought me a great sense of peace and calm and refreshment.

Lost in my own thoughts, I wondered how I would endure being in the house with this man who was making me feel so uncomfortable. Was I overreacting to him? Was he really that bad? Was I being overly sensitive? The last thing I wanted to do was ring my family and tell them I needed to come home. I wanted to be in London. I was going to have to make sure I found another “tied-accommodation” post as soon as possible. Part of me knew that this man could make me want to run for my life!

But finding another job with accommodation was not easy. I did find somewhere eventually, but in the meantime…

…well, I will explain in other posts.