It’s the rule not the exception.

I had a lovely weekend. My little house was filled with family and despite everything we had great fun, we camped out on anything we could find (i haven’t built any beds yet) and Sundays afternoon group activity was shed building (under the watchful eyes of my neighbour, who stood outside and advised us the entire time!).

I loved it.

I loved playing the ‘host’, I loved looking after everyone and to begin with I even loved standing and waving as the drive off. I went back into my little house, and flaked out on the settee. I relished being on my own. I could watch crappy tv, not put my mug away and have a really unhealthy tea. For the first few hours I was happy and contented just being on my own.

Then I started to think. For various reasons I have no plans for this week, just lots of nights by myself in front of the tv. At first I thought a week off would do me good. I could relax, chill out, veg and just spend sometime by myself. But then I realised this time it’s different. This time it’s for the foreseeable future.

When I was living with the ex I didn’t mind when he was away with work. Despite missing him while I was away, I loved that I could eat food he didn’t like, watch crappy tv which he didn’t enjoy, sneak the dog into the bedroom to snooze with me on the bed, I vegged out, relaxed and just valued having some me time (with the dog obviously!). But this time there is no end to the tunnel. When I’m feeling lonely I can’ t think ‘oh well it’s only 4 more days’ because it isn’t. Yes, I will go and stay with family and friends, and they will come and stay with me. But I am going to be by myself a whole lot.

I’m worried about this. I’m worried that the lazy me will raise her head. You know the one that doesn’t clean the bathroom twice in one day or pull out the settee to hoover behind it (yep I didn’t both of those things!)  Part of my is worried that if I get used to lazing in my Pjs and slobbing I won’t get out of the habit. I am worried about how I am going to spend my time once the DIY is finished.

At the moment I am trying not to dwell on it. I forced myself to turn out the tv and go for a walk by myself – not great fun alone, but it was half an hour killed. Tonight I have counselling and tomorrow I need to hit the shops, Wednesday I have BD and Thursday I have a singing lesson and so that’s another week written off.

But I don’t want to live to write off the week, scrolling through the days, clock watching. I did that once before when I was being bullied and I swore to myself never again. When I was with the ex I enjoyed every day. I was truly living in the moment and every day was filled with new possibilities.

I’m not quite sure what living by myself is going to look like, but at the moment I have very mixed feelings about it.

My first award and yes I am so excited I am doing backflips (In my head)

I got a Liebster award. Look at it. Sat there all shiny and new. My very first award.

It's mine, all mine!!

It’s mine, all mine!!

 

It was given to me by the amazing Deb at Peace-a-bull Assembly who I love almost as much as her two dogs Ray and Julius. if you love dogs you have to go and read this blog, if you don’t love dogs well a.) you’re a crazy person and b.) get yourself across there because I guarantee you will after you ‘meet’ Debs two!

Now, there are rules to this award.

Nominee posts an image of the award on their blog. (done)

– Nominee links back to the nominator’s blog and of course thanks them. (done)

– Nominee answers 11 questions nominator ask of them. (below)

– Nominee then nominates 11 new bloggers they deem worthy with less than 300 followers & make sure to tell them. (slightly more tricky, I may bend this rule a little as I am just going to nominate people who I think are amazing!)

– Nominee poses 11 questions for their nominees to answer. (ha ha this will be fun!)

So without further ado, my questions asked by Deb:

  1. Does your pet have a “go-to” trick? Yes. Mity will lift a paw or two if he wants something. In fact if he lifts one paw and it doesn’t have an effect he will lift the other one and continue to alternate paws until you give him something or he falls over. BD not so much.
  2. If you could change one unchangeable thing about your pet, what would it be and why? I would take away BDs nervousness and fear. I would give him the confidence to run and play with other dogs and take the risks that I can see he wants too take but is too frightened to.
  3. If you could change one unchangeable thing about yourself, what would it be and why? Where do I start. I think I would take away my self-doubt, worry and fear of being alone. (pretend there all one thing, ok?!)
  4. Cake or pie? Depends on my mood, but 90% of the time it would be cake!
  5. If you could pick a super power-you can read your pets’ mind, your pet can read your mind, or you can leap tall buildings in a single bound-which would it be? I would want my pets to be able to read my mind. I could tell BD I have his back so take those risks.  I would tell Mity the reason he is on a restricted diet is very much for his own good.
  6. If you could meet one animal celebrity, who would it be and why? I have met a famous animal celeb. I met Mugly and he really won me over, he was such a sweet heart. I don’t really do the whole celeb thing, human or animal, so I would be happy to meet any animal, regardless of their celeb status!!
  7. What one human celebrity would you like to meet and why? Ditto. There is no-one I really want to meet – I think I’m worried they would disappoint me! I’m generally not that bothered, although when I go concerts I have been known to become some crazy obsessed woman.  Because clearly they are going to spot me in the crowd, fall madly in love and whisk me off to some romantic location where we would have a large house, sun and a pool and plenty of pets (all rescues of course!!)
  8. How did you decide upon the name of your blog? I wanted something that was a bit unusual and represented hopes and dreams for the future, you see this blog was supposed to be about me meeting Mr Right, living happily ever after, having kids. So I used the thesaurus to come up with alternative words and it suggested “Castles on Clouds” which I liked as it is a song from my favourite musical so it felt very me. I set up the blog under this name and then promptly locked myself out. I couldn’t get back in so I needed a new blog and for some reason I picked the number 25. So Castles on Clouds became 25 Castles on Clouds which I am sure you will all tell me is far superior ;0)
  9. What is your proudest pet ownership moment? Watching BD play with a group of collies. He had a brilliant time, he even put up with a young dog who was trying to wind him up. I was so proud of him, and happy for him, I cried.
  10. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received? This can be attributed to the ex. He met some of my friends and they asked us how we had met. He said we had met through work, and that he walked into my office saw me there and thought ‘wow’. Apparently he went back to his office and told them all he had just met the most stunning girl, and he said “we had a conversation, but I can’t remember for the life of me anything she said I was just so entranced*!” I was amazed that not only had he felt like that about me, but that he would admit these feelings to people he didn’t know.
  11. What movie have you seen so many times that you basically have it memorized? There are a few of them. Growing up my sister and I used to act out our favourite films, I can do you most disney movies, seven brides for seven brothers…. However I can (more impressively in my mind!) sing along to the 10th (i think it was the 10th) anniversary Les Mes soundtrack so well I know when the actors and actresses will breath, how they phrase the words and I know the exact moment in the Castle on Clouds song that the balloon pops startling the girl singing! (you know that is impressive and not sad right?!)

*not official words but hand on heart that was the gist.

 

Now for my 11 nominees. This rule I am going to bend slightly. Basically this is motley crew of people who have helped me get through this last few months, inspire me daily, challenge me to do better and are in part the reason I come back to blog (now you know who to blame!) I am sure most of the below will already have it, but anyway. My nominations are:

1. Clowie – Clowie’s Corner

2. Mollie and Alfie – Mollies Dog Treats

3. Amy - Long Drive Journey.

4. Jodi – Heart Like a Dog

5. Savannah and the kid Sage – Savannah’s Paw tracks 

6. Jane – Northern Mum

7. Donna – Donna and the Dogs

8. Kristine & Shiva- Rescued Insanity

9.  Dawn - American Dog Blog

10.  Wiley – Wiley’s Wisdom

11. Leo – Walk to Rio 2016

And finally for my questions:

1. What’s the one bit of advice you would give to a younger you?

2. What’s your proudest achievement? (other than receiving this award from me – obviously!)

3. What are you doing right now?

4. What is the one thing you wouldn’t change about you?

5. Do you cut the fat off bacon before you eat it?

6. Which came first the chicken or the egg? (reasons are needed)

7. How do you (your folks) take your (their) coffee?

8.  What’s your go to ‘feel better’ trick?

9. What is the meaning of life?

10. What would be your ideal gift to receive or give?

11. What would you like to share that I haven’t covered in my above questions?

 

A slight cope out

I have a  splitting headache and a potential wine hangover (which is annoying as I so didn’t drink that much last night!)

There is a dog lying on my computer chord so I am currently battling to reach the keyboard and mouse (occasionally one of both will go flying across my desk, last time taking a pot of pens with it!)

There is no coffee at work so despite the fact it is now lunchtime I am yet to have my morning coffee (could this be the reason for the headache?)

The amazing loft ladder which was installed a couple of months ago  (the only thing that has gone without incident or an idiot of a workman) broke on me (actually nearly fell on my head and everything) last night. My dad can’t fix it, I can’t fix it so I need to call them back out.

 

My mum isn’t well (although Mity is better – can good wishes be switched from Mity to Mum?!)

The internet isn’t playing ball and keeps breaking meaning I can’t see your posts/visit you and it is taking me forever to finish the post I have in draft as it requires links to blogs and I can’t access blogs to make sure the links are right (grr)

So for all of those reasons I give you todays post…..

 

images (2)Look at me staying all positive and stuff!!

 

Is quality better than quantity?

This morning I was a little unorganised. It was my first time in my new house with BD when I had to be at work the next day and despite thinking through the morning times and over allocating time, things took longer than I thought. Add to that I was packing for a bag for a night away (which I am always rubbish at), ensuring my house was left clean and tidy (yep, I’ve become uber house proud) and trying to appear keen and turn up early to work (yep so didn’t happen) and I was a little frazzled.

 

I had to start skipping corners.

 

First thing cut was my morning cup of coffee, then I decided I would grab breakfast at my desk. I gave up on the idea of trying to sort my gas meter out and randomly threw items into my bags, one bag packed for me, one for BD, hoping that I wasn’t forgetting something important. I still hadn’t made up quite enough time and so the only other area I could scrimp on was cutting down the length and location of BDs walk.

 

When I had been planning the previous night, I thought we might make it to some local woods. It would be secluded. There would be no dogs to worry about just the two of us. Looking at my clock and realising it was 7.35am and I was still in a towel I knew my woodland walk was going to have to happen another time. I tried to come up with another location but realised my best course of action would be to risk the very popular, local fields. It meant we could set off walking right from my front door, and we wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time driving from house to walk to house to work.

 

I looked at my watch as we left my house and I realised I had run out of options and I was going to have to cut his walk short this morning.

 

We had 20 minutes, 25 at a push.

 

I felt guilt. He is an active collie, he spends far too much time alone and now I was failing him. However, as we started our walk I started to wonder if I really was failing him?

 

I spent those 20 odd minutes completely focused on my dog.

 

As we walked along the road I chatted to him, telling him how much I loved him , asking hin if he slept ok and would come to stop over again (I’m not the only one who does this right??)

 

We walked to the field and on the way we worked on some training. He was encouraged to walk next to me, without pulling. We stopped and he sat at every curb.

 

A bike cycled past us, and he didn’t react in anyway.

 

We got to the field, and after a quick scout for other dogs he was let loose to run and chase his ball. We worked on fetch.  The size of the smile on his face made my heart smile! Half way through the walk BD lay on his side and indicated he wanted his tummy tickling. So I crouched down on the floor and gave him a good tickle, and stroke while checking him over for anything I need to worry about or tell the ex about. I also told him he was waising valuable ball chasing time by lying there, but he didn’t seem to mind so I didn’t.

 

We saw other dogs on the field (5 – I counted) and we ignored them all.

 

On the way back we practiced sitting to have the lead put back on. Again we stopped, and he sat, at all the curbs. We worked on ignoring the cat who was outside enjoying the sun. We worked on not sticking our nose through the gate with a hole in – he does it every time we work past and as I can’t see into the garden until I am level with the gate I always worry one day something bad will happen. I yet again told him “If you stick your nose where it doesn’t belong and it gets bitten you’ve only yourself to blame!” Yes, I am slowly turning into my mother!!

 

BD chased a bug. Together we took a detour to avoid a dog which BD got a little too excited by. BD peed and sniffed anything we wanted to and we ended our walk by playing  ‘guess which door we live at’ which I invented to try and encourage BD to identify ‘home’ but generally ends up with me worrying about him wanting to move into a neighbours house.

 

In those 20 minutes I was totally focused on BD. Yes we didn’t walk as far as he needed and in that aspect I failed him, but I am sure he will go on some sort of hike or run tonight with the ex so he will get his ‘exercise’.

 

However I can’t help but feel that was anything but a bad walk!

I have changed

So when I was having a sort of heart to heart with the ex the other day he made a comment which got me thinking. He said “Do not change”.

Um. No.

I have changed and I am continuing to change. How could I not?

Gone is that ideal view of the world. I no longer feel that love is enough and will get you through anything.

I am cautious about meeting someone new. Worried about the next ‘Mr Right’ walking away with the same ease.

I wonder what it will take for me to once again trust someone; what will it take for me to make a commitment. Whether I will give over the whole of my heart willingly, or will he have to work hard to break down walls that I have built up – will someone even bother? And that’s before I even start considering the idea that one day someone may want to live with me and they will either move into or I will have to move out of my little house!!

But not all the changes have been negative.

I’ve learnt that I am so much more capable than I give myself credit for. Hello, I have taken apart and rebuilt my little house (almost) single handedly. I have learnt how to put the drill bit into my electric drill, hell I’ve learnt that it is called a drill bit! I can tile, and plumb and saw and drill and build and take apart and carry and mend. I have had chances that I would not have had had this relationship continued, I have even felt sorry for my friends who (i hope) will never have to experience this as they moved from parents houses directly in with a fella.

I have spent hours agonising over wallpaper and paint samples. Worried that it won’t look right, or that I will mess it up. But you know what, although I haven’t finished yet it is finally coming together, and it looks bloody amazing!!

I have had friends step up - I now know who my go to girls are. I know which friends haven’t stepped up. I know which are the friendships to nurture and work at and which to stop trying to revive.

I have spent a night in my house alone.

I have bought a house. Me. By myself. It is all mine and no-one (excluding the bank) can take that away from me. It is mine.

I have grown plants, I have killed plants. I have re-potted at 8am in the morning and gone out at 11pm to water the garden.

I have been liberated.

To anyone dealing with a break up I would say embrace and learn from it. Learn from your experiences. Don’t change to fit in with anyones expectations, but don’t be worried about changing either.

I have had my heart broken, and it has changed me. But I’m ok, hell I’m more than ok with that!!

 

I’m back (as promised!)

Well that was an eye opening few days. It has involved some good laughs, a few eye opening moments, quite a few tears (mine) another deep and meaningful with the ex (which he kinda started) and a couple of irate phone calls to yet another crappy energy company. And after all of that I feel like I’m in quite a good place at the moment.

Having my friend come to stay was a mixed blessing. He is such a sweet lovely guy…….. and yet a little bit of me was relieved to see him go. In a weird (and slightly cruel)  twist of fate living with this guy for a week made me realise how good I had it with the ex. My friends heart was very much in the right place and we did have some good times, but I struggled with finding stuff for us to do, struggled to find things that he would eat and in all honesty, although I appreciated that he has spent a lot of money on tickets to come and see me, started to resent that he didn’t offer to financial contribute to anything when he was here.

On the first evening we hit the supermarket to sort food for the week. Everything in the basket was to feed us both for the week, and then he grabbed a few additional bits for himself. He paid for the few items he had selected. I paid for the rest. I wouldn’t have taken any money from him, he was my guest, but I would have appreciated the offer.

Unfortunately this shopping trip set the tone for the week.

We went somewhere. I drove. I paid for parking. We had pre-booked ticket to the theater, I ended up paying for them both. He nipped into the shop to buy a few additional items and grabbed a baking tray for me (cost £3) he asked for the £3 back.

Not once did he offer to pay for anything. No offer to pay for the food I was eating, no offer to pay my entrance fee for the places we visited and when he went he took the ‘additional items’ he had bought back with him.

I have to admit this changed my attitude and my usual generous nature started to vanish. I became withdrawn and moody. I felt so guilty and grumpy.

Add to that my friend seemed to spend a lot of time playing on his phone and at times I was about ready to snap.

Another slight problem was his answer to the question “what do you want to do?”. The response ‘I don’t mind’ although considerate, leads to you both sitting in front of the tv for hours on end watching nothing, achieving nothing…… until one of you starts playing on your phone again!!

This lead to my heart to heart with the ex. I was worried that some of the traits I was seeing in my friend were the traits that had lead to the split.  I have been known on occasion to answer ‘I don’t mind’ when asked what I want to do, and I know the ex often put his hand in his pocket when we went out (although this was partly due to his wage packet being larger than mine!) At times I was feeling less than appreciated but my friend didn’t seem to realise. I am sure had I said something to him he would have been mortified but I didn’t want to raise it and part of me thought, maybe tomorrow he is planning on doing something. It made me wonder if this is how the ex used to feel? Was I as clueless as my friend? Had I without realising it made him feel half as bad as I did?

So I sent the ex a message. I said if I had ever made him feel like this I was sorry, I had not realised and it was not my intention. This lead to a longer conversation and truth be told I feel better for clearing the air.

I don’t know if it was him telling me he isn’t coming back (despite everything I still hope…. sometimes) if it was just the fact that for the first time in months we were having a proper conversation or if it is just the sun shining through the window and me going home to my lovely little house tonight, but today I am looking forward and feeling positive.

 

 

I will be back

So I am taking a few days off, and that means a few days without any internet connection.

I didn’t want to leave you like this, I have posts half written, Ok I have the title but still that’s more than nothing but I don’t have time to get them finished and so they will have to wait.

I wanted to make you all laugh with sharing news with you of my uninvited guests. First night in the house I had to evict a woodlouse, a daddy long legs and have stern words with the spider which was last seen scuttling off underneath my very lovely new settee!

But instead I’m running around like a woman possessed (did I hear you say nothing new there?!) and so I will just have to love you and leave you.

Have a lovely few days xx

I’m slowly moving in

I can’t quite believe it but I have sort of begun the process of moving into my new house. I am both thrilled and terrified.

I never wanted to live alone and so this is going to be a challenge for me. I have always struggled with homesickness and I am very close to my parents. I have become settled into my new routine (which is something I didn’t want to happen) and another shake up, which leads to me being alone, is a big hurdle for me. I worry about being lonely, being a lone. I am perfectly contented being by myself, but I am scared that moving half and hour away from friends and family was a pretty stupid move.

I know friends will come visit, I know family will come and stay, I know I can easily manage the commute from friends or families houses to work, I’ve been doing it for the last few months, so I am trying to let go of the stress and play it by ear.

When I moved in with the ex I remember thinking ‘this is it’. I am never going to live with my parents again. Well we all know how well that worked out. I think sometimes by myself, or society putting expectations onto a person we make a situation worse for the people involved.

For example I struggled to cope with University. I missed my folks, many of my friends had taken a year out and so would be having nights out without me, I had started a new relationship and didn’t want to be ‘on the pull’ with the rest of my room mates and having had my drink spiked only a few months before I went I didn’t want to drink or be in a strange bar with people I didn’t know. I’ll admit the first year of Uni was pretty horrid, and I struggled to fit in with women so different from me. So I went home. Every weekend I would go home and drive back to Uni late Sunday night (usually in tears!). I felt like a failure. I wasn’t having the usual Uni experience and it made me feel worse. However, the important thing is that I kept going back, until I graduated with a 2.1 in Forensic Science (I am massively proud of that!)

It won’t surprise you to learn that my folks were amazing throughout this experience. But they had to put up with some comments from friends and family members who thought they were being to soft with me. Comments included ‘I shouldn’t have been allowed to come home’ that ‘all I needed was a little while longer and I’d have been over it’. That may have been true but there is as great a chance that I would have left, never to return, without my 2.1 in Forensic Science.

And so with this move I am doing it differently. I have a friend coming to stay with me this week and so I stop in my new house for a week until tonight on wards. I am yet to decide what will happen when my friend leaves.

My house still isn’t finished, I need to do more decorating, I need to install a kitchen but it is now habitable. I have packed clothes into a bag for the week and then I have decided I will see how I feel.

I am not putting any extra pressure on me or setting a deadline for when I need to be out. I am going to take each day as it comes. I know that slowly this will lead to me moving out and living alone. I don’t know when that will officially happen, it could be next week, it could be next month, hell it could be next year. For the first time I am going to try not to worry about it and just wait and see!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really can’t catch a break.

90 quid. That’s how much I was quoted to install a tv aerial into my new house. 90 quid I could afford. It was all booked for last Monday and I crossed another task off my to-do list.

 

Monday afternoon I received a phone call “I’m sorry but our fitter got caught on a longer job, can we come later this week?” I said it wasn’t a problem and asked if they could come Friday afternoon. We agreed on 3pm.

 

3pm came and went. No fitter. I rang the office. No reply. I sent an email. No reply. I called the office again….you get the picture. Finally over an hour later the phone was answered in the office and I was assured that my fitter would be on his way. I told them I needed them there that day, as I have a guy coming to fit cable this week. I was assured they would arrive.

 

4.30pm came and went.

 

5pm came and went. I started ringing again. This time the phone was answered and I told the gentleman on the other end I expected his fitter to turn up and that I would wait in the house until they arrived. He apologised, told me he would call me back with a time and that the fitter would turn up. No worries.

 

5.30pm came and went. I once again dialled their number and after 5 attempts got through. I enquired as to the location of my fitter and the phone call I was promised. They assured me he would be on his way and they would once again call me back once after making some enquiries.

 

6pm came and went. No fitter, no phone call.

 

7pm came and went.

 

8pm came and went.

 

9pm came and went.

 

10pm came and went.

 

11pm came and went.

 

I gave up and headed home.

 

9am this morning I started calling their office. 11am and I have written them off as a bad job so I found and rang a second company.

 

They can fit me in.

 

They can do it tomorrow.

 

They can do it for £180 minimum.

 

I queried the price, they said they do a good job and aren’t cowboys.

 

So that’s £180. £180 I haven’t budgeted for, and as this is move in week and I need to buy food, tv licence and have a friend coming to stay it’s £180 I just can’t afford.