The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

First new steps

DSCN7404Danny has been back for a few days to sift through his stuff. It’s always good to see him. He brings me tea and perches on the end of my bed and we chat about our old points of contact on the Internet. The CSH forum, the blog and eBay. At the end of the day he returns to his new place in Ipswitch.

He’s getting fit. Walking, walking and walking. He’s even invested in a pair of hiking shoes – attractive trainers. He is looking good.

I remember that before I met him that this was his pattern.
“I want to get into shape.” He explained. “I love walking. And Galaxy chocolate.”
He’d left a failed relationship in America. Couldn’t get his green card so had traveled to England to start a new life.
I wonder if he’ll say the same to another lady, sometime down the line.

Back then I was delighted to be part of his new life – happily welcomed him with open arms. Now I wonder what really happened in America.

It’s important to remember that we had so many good times. Cuddling in front of the fire, indulging each other and just being a bit wild. Once in a fit of rage I throw D’s shoes onto the fire. They burst into flames in an instant. Perhaps this is a good recycling tip? The same evening Danny ripped his shirt open. It was a new one that I’d just given him.
“I’ve always wanted to do that”, he explained.
I found small white pearl buttons for months after when I was doing the cleaning.

We had fun times too. Like the occasion when we invited over a hundred people to a combined birthday party in our garden. A week before we lost our nerve and, concerned that loads of people wouldn’t come, we invested in ten ‘lifesized’ inflatable martians from the pound shop down in the town down south where D was working at the time. Perhaps the martians would bulk out the numbers a bit?

The night before the party D and I tested our lung capacity inflating these martians. As far as I can remember we managed to give buoyancy to the fist eight and shoved them into the kitchen. D pegged the final two of half inflated ones on the circular washing line. What on earth does a martian look like anyway?

The party was a success. Guests fought over who was going to leave with an arm round a martian.

Last week my sister pulled out a crumpled grey thing from under D’s desk in the Rat Room. When she unfurled it I recognised that it was the last surviving martian from that party. The plastic had deteriorated – there were holes in one shoulder and when we smoothed him out on the carpet the creases cracked open.

Today I spent the day alone. No visit from D – just the Min Pins for company.

I felt happy  to my core for the first time in years.


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  1. Michelle from Oregon

    Glad you are getting your feet back under you…(((hugs))) :)

    • Fiona Nevile

      I miss both of you and often think about you! Special people.

      • Michelle from Oregon

        There is a little, tiny box that sits on my nightstand…;)
        Thank you for letting me call you friend!

      • Fiona Nevile

        Dear Michelle

        I wept when I read your comment. You of all people deserve the gift of friendship.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Yes today was special. Need to hold it close to my heart through the bad times :)

  2. veronica

    Hugs! Glad to see you posting — I think you need to write again. And I hope that not living together means that you and Danny can be friends without stress.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Veronica

      Thank you. We’ll be ‘friends’ for a while anyway.

      Danny likes to move on without any baggage.

  3. Patricia Ellingford (blog name Pattypan)

    Hi Fiona

    [hugs] Moving on is always bitter sweet, but as one door closes another one always opens there will be good days there will be bad days just take one day at a time when things are not so good. You will get there Glad you and D are still friends and that you are regaining your equilibrium and happiness. Take care love and light and little steps



    • Fiona Nevile

      Oh so true… Thank you.

      I thought that I’d had it whipped but now crying again.

      Perhaps someone one day will find this blog useful vis a vie now!

      A big hug to you. Wise woman.

      With all best wishes


      • Patricia Ellingford (blog name Pattypan)

        Let it out Fiona, its quite normal it is a grieving process better out than in and besides a little cry now and then never hurt anyone. Besides I know you will get there

        [major hugs]



  4. Make yourself a list of all the things you hated about D and all the little things that used to make you want to throttle him. Everytime you feel like crying read it aloud to yourself until you feel like patting yourself on the back for being shot of him instead of sad and alone without him xxx

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mandi

    Good to hear from you.

    In a way you are right. It was angry, nasty comment about me being fat that made me give up on D. It’s the little things that count in the end.

    Good idea though! Thanks for your support.

  6. In my previous life as a theatre sister I saw women who were having breast augmentation in an effort to save a relationship. Can you imagine a relationship built on breast size!!! Some times life takes you down an unexpected road but who knows what delights are waiting for you!!!!

  7. Sounds like you are “cleaning out your closet” :)

  8. I have 2 memory boxes, the first is only small but the second is hugh because it contains all of the good things in life. When something in our life happens at the time it seems as though there is no answer, no clear road to follow and sometimes no purpose, but as the days, weeks and months go by our life is taken up with new things new experiances and new people come in to our life pushing out those bad memories. This will happen to you Fiona, yes time is a healer and you have your min pins and no doubt the garden will be taking up a lot of your time as well, i wish you well xx

  9. KathyinLondon

    Hi Fiona.
    We have never met but I do enjoy your blog and it feels very poignant right now. I have been where you are and I remember feeling very raw some days and others quite enjoying the feeling of coping. It is the little things that help and a few wee treats as something to look forward to. Remember why you aren’t together and it will strengthen you when you are feeling weak.
    Take care

  10. thinking of the days

    Oh Fiona! First of all I’m so glad to see you posting again…I’ve really missed you!

    Secondly, those first steps are always difficult aren’t they? Baby steps…tkae it gently, adn I agree with others…treat yourself well …since someone else hasn’t, it seems.

    So, a victory for feeling happy yesterday…and cherish each new step forward and little victory – and you have an army of followers who will be cheering you on!

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