The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

A quick update on me

The cottage in the snow

The cottage in the snow

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 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. Feeling a failure. 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 do some people need to be 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 but don’t want to pry. A long distance relationship with an ex can be so deceptively easy.

It’s when he backs his car, new to him,  into the drive that I quail a bit inside. For the first few minutes I hate him. Want to prove that it was right to split up. Long for the dogs to growl and snap when he reaches out a hand to .them. In fact I’m beastly on the inside as I offer D a cup of coffe.

Within half and hour I’m enjoying the fact that we are now just two people with a lot of good things in common.

Our exclusive one to one relationship had run out of steam. I must admit, I do mourn that, more than I can say. 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. Often returns are  unexpected and  surprising. Yesterday, in the supermarket car park, I was knocked back by 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 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. After fifteen years it’s hard to trim my shopping list.

Apart from the sobs, 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. With tears of relief, I cried.


  Leave a reply


  1. Warm hugs, Fiona
    One of the things I craved after suddenly becoming a singleton after 20 yrs of marriage, was simple human touch. While I could no longer have loving hugs, I found it extremely helpful to go for weekly massage therapy. Just having another human touching me in a caring manner helped tremendously. May sound odd, but it helped for me.

    All the best to you as you traverse this gauntlet. Be assured, you WILL come out the other side.

  2. Hugs Fiona,
    You are coming along nicely…..just relax & enjoy your life with the dogs, chickens & bees, & the tingling will happen more often. As to the sandwiches, I wouldn’t worry too much….I am sure your desire to cook will come back to you. I cook quite elaborate treats for myself, freezing the extra portions for the days I have no desire to cook. I love the fact that I can suddenly pull something very tasty out & heat it up in the middle of the night or have it for breakfast, without someone tut-tutting !! Just think , not every meal has to contain potatoes anymore :-)) I often enjoy a week of only Japanese food, a real treat for me.
    More hugs, Nadine (aka Hattie)

  3. Veronica

    Please don’t eat sandwiches for every meal 🙂 Eat all the things that you like and Danny doesn’t! I’m glad things are looking up. Of course there will be highs and lows, but you are resilient and independent. I can’t think of much else to say, so have another virtual hug!

  4. I wish you more evenings of tingling feet Fiona, you can do this. My friend is a year on from you and still having ups and downs but planning a holiday of a lifetime and doing well. I’m sure you will build a great new single life for yourself.

  5. Rock on, Fiona, Rock on!

  6. Anne Wilson

    It sounds as though you are making good progress,now is your time, pamper yourself a little, cook your favourite meal, the one that you would have liked to have had more often. Pamper yourself at bathtime, you can take as long as you like now. Make time for yourself. Hugs and am thinking of you.

  7. Great to read, apart from the sandwiches bit!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello Linda, Patty, Kate and Shereen

      Really appreciate all of your kind words and support.

      Thank you so much


  8. Patricia Ellingford (blog name Pattypan)

    Hi Fi

    [hugs] Always more important than anything else. Please allow yourself time to simply be and I am glad you are realising that life goes on, just different to what you know it as. Its like taking your first steps as a toddler it takes you right out of your comfort zone and puts you in positions you would rather it would not. After such a long relationship there always has to be a grieving period usually about two years. You have had 15 good years but the best is yet to come. Be brave you have us all as your comfort blanket when things get too stressy and you can always use us a sounding board. But you really are being given an opportunity take the emotions and the highs and lows as they come one day at a time some days you will cope better than others and thank goodness for the Min Pins unconditional love of the highest order it will help you heal and open new doors and let go of the tears little by little then one day without realising it you will not remember when you cried last. You are pretty special Fi you can remake yourself. Have you thought about a book it would keep you occupied and pass on so many of the recipes and tips you have shared with us over the years and it would be doing something that you loved.

    Take care sweetheart dry the tears, pick yourself up and start all over again. After all its not what happens to us in this life that is the important thing its how we deal with it.




  9. Good to hear you are ‘re-aligning’ and feeling positive.X

  10. Oh hooray for signs of progress and returning energy. Onwards and upwards, Fiona x

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