It does feel a little bit like the summer holidays over here even though Charlotte will still be going to nursery for four more weeks. We have fun things planned for our Friday’s off (Fun Friday’s if you will), we have all our weekends together booked up with people to see and places to go and a few days spare to still enjoy the sun which will hopefully decide to stick around a bit longer. (It is however raining as I write this!)
For our first Fun Friday of then summer we decided to go and see Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory movie. It was released today so the cinema was busy but we went to the early showing so still had enough room to move (well I could have if Charlotte hadn’t insisted on sitting on my lap throughout). Click here for the link to the trailer.
I was was looking forward to a light, hilarious caper with a small amount of mild peril as per the previous film Finding Nemo, which I may or may not have owned before Charlotte was even a twinkle in the postmans eye (not really if my ex reads my blog!). We’ve recently seen The Secret Life of Pets and before that Zootropolis which we both loved.
…oh how wrong I was though. For a U rating this had some really adult themes and I’m actually quite shocked. I’ve always loved Disney/Pixar collaborations for the great mix of children’s humour with a smattering of ‘over the kids heads’ jokes for the poor parents having to watch yet another U or PG rated film, but this was severely lacking in the humour. Yes, there was some funny seals for about four minutes. There was a crazy bird. An octopus gets splatted a couple of times but the rest just felt a bit angsty.
I won’t spoil the story for you in case you decide to see it but the vague gist is that Dory is on a quest to find her long lost parents. Cue flashbacks of cute baby Dory with parents, flashbacks of baby Dory trying to make friends but failing. Cue tears from me (although I cry at everything nowadays) and a very confused, emotional four year old.
I have to say I was quite disappointed with the film after waiting so long for the sequel to one of my most favourite kid’s films. So maybe save the £20 for another film or something else that won’t leave you having to console your child and secretly having to find the tissues too. We went to our free art gallery after the film which Charlotte seemed much more enthralled about.
James seemed like a good guy and good to chat to, I wasn’t sure if I actually fancied him though. His profile picture on Plenty of Fish didn’t really help and when I asked for a couple more they were group shots and I still couldn’t work out what he looked like. He was one for fairly loaded innuendos or changing the conversation path so we ended up talking about something a bit risqué but it was fun and not necessarily a bad thing, so I just went with it.
He had his son 50% of the time and had him over Christmas, as I had had Charlotte so the earliest time we both had available was Boxing Day afternoon/evening and we decided to meet for coffee.
When he walked in he was much taller than I’d thought and was quite good looking. He’d just come from a family lunch so was wearing the obligatory Christmas jumper and cords which gave him a boyish look like his mum had told him what to wear. He also had a very cheeky twinkle in his eye. I don’t think I’ve come across them before but these were definitely ‘bedroom eyes’. I was wearing lots of layers and had also got rained on on the walk to the coffee shop so Lord knows what he thought about me! Although it couldn’t have been that bad…
We had our coffee and talked easily about our families and work and moving houses etc (he was about to after living with his parents for a year and I wanted to) but all along he was looking at me with those eyes making me go a bit mushy. I couldn’t concentrate and, despite it being cold, I could feel my cheeks flushing and before I knew it we were kissing on my bed! I can’t even blame any alcohol!
Now, I didn’t know whether I should write this, but sometimes this is what happens on dates and I’m really not good at lying (and it would have been quite difficult to end the story if I hadn’t!). I’m also not entirely sure who suggested changing the venue but it didn’t feel odd or too fast just that it was the right thing to happen next. I didn’t question it and something in me (no pun intended) decided that I deserved a belated Christmas present and this was the best sort of present to receive.
So we had some – read ‘a lot’ – of fun. We chatted a bit more about the everyday things and then arranged to see each other soon and he left. A little bit different from the turkey curry buffets you’d normally find yourself at on Boxing Day!
We have messaged each other quite often since then and although he’s adamant he does want a relationship and not just sex, his messages aren’t necessarily saying the same thing. We haven’t managed to meet again just through lack of time and mutual availability but I’m not sure if we will. I don’t regret sleeping with James but it has definitely made me realise that, despite everything you’ve just read, I am actually looking for a relationship and for someone I can spend time with, out of the bedroom, as well as in.
Last week I received one of these through the post…and it was a fat one.
For those of you who don’t know this is a letter from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and they don’t generally like to send out letters saying “you’ve paid us too much, here have a cheque for £1000” No. They like to send scary letters. Aggressive, scary letters containing phrases like ‘suspension of payments’ and ‘if I do not comply…’.
Since I have been separated I have been entitled to a small amount of Tax Credits that are meant to help with Charlotte’s childcare. It does help but it all goes in the bigger pot and gets used up on necessities as soon as it comes in weekly. I hate the fact that I am someone who has to rely on benefits to help her through her month but I also have a job and have been paying my taxes for ten or so years now so it’s not like I’m not putting anything back into the pot. (In fact if they taxed me less I would have to take less out of the pot but that’s a futile conversation!)
So they sent me a letter saying they think they have my payments wrong. Now, I’ve told them all the correct info, I gave them all my incoming figures, I haven’t lied anywhere but I’m petrified. If, for some reason they take these away from me or reduce the payments drastically I will be – to use a well known phrase – up shit creek without a paddle. The bank of mum and dad are paying for my solicitors fees which I desperately want to pay back at some point, my mortgage and nursery fees pretty much leave me with no way near enough to cover bills, petrol, food and any sort of extras that are needed. Tight, to say the very least! The tax credits and the payments (however minimal) from my ex’s child maintenance help me to just about keep my head above water so the fact this may change has scared me to death.
My ex had lots of problems with debt and when we split I vowed I would be good with my money as I hadn’t had the chance to control it before but no matter how good you are if you don’t have enough, you don’t have enough.
I’m maybe seeing the worst in HMRC and after collecting my hundreds of bits of evidence they have asked for they may say that actually they owe ME money but I’m not holding out much hope.
Who needs anything more than beans on toast for tea five nights a week anyway?
I love art. One of my favourite things is to walk around a quiet gallery taking in all the different interpretations of art and feeling calmed by the beauty someone can create just by putting brush to canvas, or pencil to paper, or fingers to clay etc however…
My daughter goes to nursery three days a week and generally comes home with 3 or 4 papers with scribbles on or painting on or stickers on or sand glued on. I have just worked out this is approximately 567 bits of paper I now have floating around my house! This doesn’t count the painting and sticking we do whilst at home. Add another 100 pieces over time at least!
My fridge is covered in the better pieces. I have put a few in frames, I have some of the ‘sculptures’ in her room and some paintings and cutouts are Blu-tacked to her wall. I have piles in my car from when I haven’t had enough hands to carry them up the stairs, I have piles in the hall that it haven’t sorted yet and I have piles in a box in one of my cupboards. I have felt bad with every A4 bit of paper with a random scribble on that gets put in the recycling because it has been trampled on or adorned with muddy boot prints and I’ve felt bad for every decorated toilet roll that has accidentally got soggy or most of the bits have fallen off on the way home but I also have no idea what the protocol is with children’s artwork?! There is so much stuff that I surely can’t be expected to keep it all but does that make me a bad mummy? What on earth does everyone else do with their little darlings creative outlets?! There must be a good business idea in here somewhere but what on earth it could be I’m not sure.