Still together, still happy, constantly pinching ourselves. Not living any closer to each other, maintaining separate households, but managing to meet up at least twice a week, occasionally on our own although more often with young ‘uns in tow. We managed to have a couple of holidays abroad – Paris in spring, Kiev in August and Sofia to come. Bristol again this weekend after dropping tiddlers off at their grandmother’s.
We’re together as often as we can without neglecting our dependents and it’s neither too much nor too little time that we spend in each other’s company.
I may have it all I find – a happy love life, a good enough job, a home, children who love me, a faithful dog and a few friends. Everything is in balance.
It’s been six months. We’re still hot for each other. Things have changed slightly though and we see each other twice a week, sometimes three, young children are nearly always around, although occasionally we get to go to the theatre or do grown up things on our own but more and more we now try and integrate the children on both sides into each other’s weekends.
He told me it’s hard being a full-time dad. I’ll bet it is. It’s relentless, the washing, the cooking, the feeding, the tears, refereeing sibling rivalry, packing school lunches, going to work after walking sleepy children to school breakfast clubs, checking trains to pick up from after-school clubs on time, having to find out about 11-plus exams, helping them cope with anxieties over the changes to their routines – going to work is probably a walk in the park. Wondering how the heck I got here on my own. I don’t know the half of it as I’ve never ever had to be a full time single parent myself.
And of course sometimes it’s downright depressing and he says he gets really angry at the ex. I can only imagine that must be hard because blaming someone else is not what he does normally. I’m on his side totally. I am amazed when he makes excuses for her unreliability.
The one chink of positivity is that now he calls the shots as far as how he wants to parent. He can be the role model for his children and besides the stability and normality that he gives them he can also show them what it’s like to try new things. There’s strength in being able to ask for help or even hire help. I agree with him that to be a sane and normal father he deserves some time out occasionally. But setting all these thints up takes time and patience.
I’m full of admiration for this man and his optimism. I’d be an idiot not to stick around.
Another weekend away, but a first in other ways. This time we drove the girls to grandma Catherine’s who had tea ready for them and fish pie for us. It had been raining heavily in the last hour of the journey but we stopped off to get some wine and flowers. The little one came into the shop with me while Alexander stayed in the car with the other. When we arrived the children had their tea before us so that we could have ours later. We stayed up with Cathy having drunk about two and a half bottles of first a white, and then a fizzy rosé from the Test valley and finally a blended red of merlot and cab sauv. It was another convivial evening with tales of happier times as well as those unfortunate dates who have been consigned to the past but occasionally crop up to remind us why they had been unsuitable.
In the morning Ella came into our bed and it felt sweet and cosy to be playing happy families once again with tiddlers. Later when we were getting ready to leave for some grownup time, A’s older girl, Sasha gave me a hug and it felt warm and happy. The young things have accepted me into their lives and I am so grateful for their unquestioning and unreserved welcome. A’s mother has been lovely too in this and offering to have his children.
We drove on quiet country lanes passing beautiful rolling pasture. The Wiltshire landscape is not spoken about much even though it holds its own next to its better-known sisters, with a fair few stunning moments when sun, sky and cloud played their parts.
We had gone to Bristol just to be on our own for a bit, watch Othello at the Factory Theatre, have meals at places with as few children as possible. I asked him if he would consider getting a tattoo with me. We giggled over getting ones with stoats. On Sunday morning we did a few touristy things and had a pub lunch at Clifton. It had been another successful outing.
I remember Max’s email enquiry as to our secret to happy coupling. I want to tell him that it comes mainly from confidence in one’s ability to select the right partner and having found him/her to continue with the knowledge that we wanted the same happy outcomes. Is it really as simple as that? It has yet to sink in and so I leave the reply for another time.
There’s nothing like fellow bloggers asking nicely how things are after a short hiatus to bring one back to blogging and I return briefly to report that Amy and Alexander are the happiest of stoats in their garden oasis. Some of the firsts Ellenbest was curious about have already happened and been chronicled here without much fanfare as I hadn’t been conscious of their significance, for example, our first date had occurred not long after our messaging howd’yedos. I hadn’t accorded it much importance because then we had yet to know how strongly our affections for each other would develop. A mere drink at a pub in town had gone on to become dinner at a Chinese followed by more drinks at another pub that same evening until the witching hour arrived and we still wanted more of each other. Feeling quite bold after so many drinks and having shared fairly intimate details of ourselves with each other as people like us tend to do, I invited him back to mine and he accepted with pleasing alacrity.
After that we spent all the free evenings we had with each other, discovering much commonality and enjoying the new each introduced to the other. He met my family first and eventually I his.
There was the weekend when his mother visited and I was treated to lunch and a walk around the area she’d lived when Alexander was a wee thing. It was lovely to observe the warm and easy relationship mother and son shared. She seemed really happy for her son to have me in his life and being single herself too, we exchanged notes on dating.
There was another weekend when it was his turn to have his young children and the meeting with them too had been equally pleasant.
Until now we have yet to experience any tension in the relationship. One day in the future we might live nearer each other or even possibly together, but that is still a long way away.
It’s been just over eight weeks since we first met but we’re already incredibly and overwhelmingly in love with each other. Neither of us can quite believe our sheer fortune at sharing the same intensity of emotion.
We are so mad about each other that anyone else eavesdropping on our WhatsApp conversations would be treated to a sugar overload. He tells me I am lovely, amazing and beautiful. In unoriginal fashion I tell him that he too is lovely, amazing and wonderful, in all his six foot five gorgeousness. We make an incongruous pair – he is long-limbed and fair with dreamy, grey eyes whereas I am a short (five foot), dark Asian woman. On escalators, he is still taller than me despite my being a step up. In bed, the height difference is inconsequential. When we’re not together there is not a single moment we’re not thinking of the other. I wonder how long this phase will last. I told him that I love everything about him. I am truly smitten.
We have both stopped seeing anyone else and so perhaps it’s time I took a break from this dating blog and consider a life of joyful monogamy.