The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

A quick update on me

Wyandotte hen named Hope

My favourite hen named Hope

I sat down and worked out that for at least half of my adult life – having passed the magical ‘adult’ age of 21 – I’ve spent exactly half of my adult life living alone.

That’s actually 19 years. So I’m not a stranger to that solo state. There are benefits. At home you can be horrifyingly selfish. Watch trashy TV. Eat sandwiches for every meal. Never have to get that resigned nod when you want to buy something. Not brush your hair unless you’re going out.

And of course there’s the flip side. No longer part of a team when two people to work out the best course of action. No one to say that I’m being ridiculous when I actually was being a bit silly. No one to eat with when I’ve pulled out all the stops to make a great meal. No hugs.

There’s the rub. Hugs are really important.

Your virtual hugs have given me so much solace. The stories that some people have shared have made me weep. Why are some people so cruel?

Danny is a good guy. I’m fond of him. He is still clearing out his stuff so we meet regularly. We chat on the phone. He is building a life way outside the boundaries of my life. Of course I’m curious. Long distant friendships are deceptively easy.

It’s when he backs his new (to him) car into the drive that I quail a bit inside. For the first few minutes I hate him.

Within half and hour I’m enjoying the fact that we are now just friends.

Our exclusive one to one relationship had run out of steam. I must admit, I do mourn that. We both tried valiantly to keep it going.

Since he left the tears that used to dominate my day have gradually dispersed. They’re still there and their return always surprises me. Yesterday, in the supermarket car park, I was knocked back by unexpected tears. Thank god I’d done my shopping and was sitting in my car. So I just let go and sobbed – hoping that no one that I knew would spot my car and approach with an encouraging smile. People are frightened by upsets and avoid disasters, so it was unlikely.

Of course I feel very low sometimes.

I’ve joined the gaggle of single businessmen looking for a tempting evening meal for one in the local supermarket. Gradually I’ve stopped overbuying food that I just can’t consume – Danny always ate for at least two.

I’m now feeling so much better than I’ve done for years. A very long time ago I used to feel a tingling in my feet – it made me think that I was charged with some sort of super energy.

Last night when I was relaxing Min Pins on lap, my feet tingled.


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  1. maggie L

    I do hope all has improved with you Fiona – I am afraid the site is not as interesting without your presence. Come on, let us know you are doing ok – or let us know how you ARE even if, God forbid, it is NOT ok. At least we can sympathise….and offer our virtual shoulders.

  2. Belinda

    Fiona… It’s been a whole since your last update now…. I’m wondering how you are going? It’s Autumn here in Australia so I’m here following your preserving adventures once more. I love your blog – a true treasure trove. Thank you.

  3. Dee Hawkins

    Hi Fiona, I stumbled across the cottage smallholder and really enjoy your blogs, recipes etc.
    I empathise entirely with your personal situation and am experiencing something sinilar myself. It would appear that the weaknesses of human nature and the legal systems can and do make people homeless at the end of a relationship, which is happening to me.
    I am having to begin again in all ways.
    You must be thankful to be able to retain continuity in your homelife and the importance of that security is only recognisable when you are faced with losing it.
    I wish you well and will belooking forward to readi g your blogs.
    Bset wishes and warm hugs, Dee.

  4. Hi Fiona. Lovely to see you back and sounding positive. I’ve had a year a bit like yours with your Mum with both my in-laws at once so wasn’t checking the blog as regularly hence the delayed reply. Hope you continue to blog when you feel able. We do all miss it.

  5. Happy New Year Fiona,
    I do hope things are getting better for you. We miss you a lot but we keep hoping you will return to blogging.
    Huge hugs for a good 2014.

  6. Merry Christmas Fiona but i have a feeling this is one Christmas you would like to see come and gone, my love and thoughts are with you and may you have the strength and will power to carry on. We never know just what is around that corner but to find out you can`t lock yourself away. I myself have found that if i put effort in to moving on in my life then believe me it really is worth while.
    BIG HUG for you not only for now but for a better 2014, Regards Jon xxx

  7. Hi Fiona
    It’s great to see you back. I have been inspired by your blog so much that I have finally set up one of my own. It’s nowhere near good enough to crow about but I am working on it. Thank you and good luck for the future with your tingling feet.

  8. Fiona I wish you a vey happy Christmas and all the best for the new year. Love and hugs ;D

  9. Call us when you are ready…………..

  10. So glad you are ok Fiona. Wishing you and the min pins a very happy Christmas! May the New Year fulfil all your hopes and desires.
    Love Heidi xx

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