The Elusive Baby

Yet again, a postponement on the birth of baby Gracie Mae. My niece is now allegedly, 42 weeks pregnant having been due, finally, on September 5th. This pregnancy has been memorable for my family only because of the amount of changes of due date and odd excuses for the lack of baby’s appearance.

My niece sadly miscarried last August at 18 weeks of pregnancy. It was her first pregnancy and they knew the baby was a girl. Within six weeks, it was announced that she was pregnant again and that due to her history of gynae issues eg. Ovarian cysts, fallopian tube infection, cervical cancer, she would be having a premature birth to save the baby around the six months mark.

In early March, we were informed she was having another girl and would be induced on March 28th. Then the date changed to April 28th. By May, no baby appeared and so we asked how Mum was doing.? She seemed happy and healthy and said the hospital had decided it was safe for her to go a few more months under observation. Her due date was then amended to July 4th.

On June 21st her plug dislodged and passed and excitement rose in expectation of the impending birth. On June 24th contractions were reported to have started naturally. Those contractions turned out to be Braxton Hicks and she was allowed home. By July 4th there was still no baby. My brother reported that my niece would be going into hospital on July 31st.

By August 5th still nothing so again we enquired as to Mum’s health. Still fine, still allegedly pregnant. By August 29th we were told the baby was due the first week of September. Mum herself confirmed she was due to go in for a C-section on September 1st. It didn’t happen. On September 2nd she was admitted to the hospital and put on a saline drip with Pitocin in, so that her labour came on a little more naturally to try to keep the baby safe.

Nothing happened and on September 4th she was told she’d be having a C-section the next day. That night contractions started. On September 5th, we were told the C-section would now be on September 9th. On September 8th, we got a message from Mum saying her partner was showing signs of Covid-19 infection so she wouldn’t be going into hospital the next day after all. Maybe on the 10th.

Since then, we’ve heard nothing and it’s now September 17th. By my estimation my niece is now 52.5 weeks pregnant, which of course is impossible, but it means that when she told everyone she was pregnant again last year she probably wasn’t. Either way, I’m very dubious as to the validity of her claims to be on the verge of giving birth in light of all the excuses, stalling and outright impossibility that she can still be pregnant.

But I’m still waiting….

Puppy Intelligence, Equity Transfer and A Dying Dad

The nutso puppy completed his introduction to Puppy Training course last week and received a certificate, having proved that he can sit, stay, come when called, touch his nose to our hands and eat his way through an intelligence test, rather than eat the treats as he was meant to. In his defence all the other puppies had been sniffing, licking at and chewing on the tests before him and the remnant smells of doggy treats must have been alluring because he managed to complete not a single intelligence test and chewed on every one of them.!

Some he didn’t even bother looking for the hidden treat, he just started chewing on the test instead. He made a good effort with one that was shaped like a large puzzle piece that had to be opened in the centre to reach the treat… he managed to separate the two sides, ignored the offered treats and chewed on both sides of the puzzle piece. The fleece tie blanket that you hide treats in and the dog has to sniff them out, just got chewed on. Not a good ending to the course for him, but at least he got a participation certificate, so Bear felt good about it all.

My ex- has re-started the process of the equity transfer with a completely new solicitor, after the initial contact he made with the first one resulted in a total lack of communication. They said at first that they could help me, then decided they couldn’t because I lived in the Netherlands. Then stopped communicating with my ex- completely. Total lack of professionalism and my review of their company will reflect that.

This new solicitor seems to have more than a passing clue and responded to my initial contact with a long list of document requirements and a breakdown of all the costs involved. I like him already. I have a questionnaire to fill out and to send back asap. Now I have to find a solicitor here in the Netherlands, who speaks almost fluent English and knows what the hell to do with all these documents I have to acquire. Already, this is starting to get on my nerves.

I had hoped it was a simple case of flashing my passport, providing my name change document and signing a piece of paper… but it’s not. I have to prove who I am, who I was, that I live where I live and that Bear owns the property, and that we are a couple and have been for the length of tenancy that I have reported. Gee whizz! Seriously.?!! I know this is going to stress me the fuck out before it’s done and I shall be only too happy to block my asshole ex- again as soon as it’s completed.

This weekend he’s down in the south of England, after being informed of his father’s hospital admission and impending demise, should he refuse a life-saving operation he needs. Which is highly likely. His father is 81, has lived alone for the past 15 years and is as cantankerous and hard to shift as granite when he decides something is what he says it is. He’s spent all of lockdown alone at home, having his papers delivered and his groceries brought by his eldest son and left on the doorstep.

He used to go walking for an hour a day every day to keep fit, but due to lockdown hasn’t done any exercise for five months. Meaning he’s been sat on his butt at home watching TV and barely eating because he didn’t want to gain any weight, he’s barely even pushing 9 stone (126lbs), so it was assumed he’d been suffering from starvation and malnutrition. Far worse than that is that for the past almost year he’s had a hernia and didn’t tell anyone, so it’s become twisted around his bowel and pretty much stopped it working, sealing the lower half of his colon so that it filled up and filled up and then burst, poisoning him with his own waste.

Still he didn’t tell anyone, despite the pain he must have been in, until it was noticed that the old fool was going grey in the face and slurring his words. Fearing a stroke, his eldest son calls an ambulance and he’s rushed into the A&E and immediately sent up to the emergency ward and put in for an operation on his bowel. The problem is the operation will leave the old man with a tube fitted to the outside of his abdomen that will go to a waste bag that he has to carry around with him and both his son’s (and I) know that he will not agree to that.

He might be 81 but his vanity level is far higher and carrying around a bag of his own waste outside his body and having a care assistant come to his house twice a day to empty his bag and help take care of the hole in his tummy is too undignified to be considered. This is a man who would rather die than suffer any form of personal humiliation even if it means prolonging his life long enough for him to sort out his affairs.

Note: As yet, still no baby…

Shopping List, Heatwave & Trying Again

Tonight I made Taco-Corn Chilli for dinner. It’s a mild chilli (because the boy child doesn’t do spice) made with taco seasoning and eaten with corn tortilla chips. Except we had to have it with rice because Bear forgot the tortilla chips when he went shopping yesterday. The whole forgetting thing seems to be becoming a trend with him. Last week he forgot the eggs, so no-one got a fried egg on their burger and the week before it was cream, so I had to make stroganoff with milk, which made it far less creamy than it should have been. 😦

It’s starting to piss me off to be honest, I’m constantly having to have a back-up plan for at least one meal every week because Bear will always forget something, usually a major ingredient. It takes me a few hours every Sunday to formulate the week’s menu, find recipes and list all the necessary ingredients for each meal plus anything we need that is a staple, for Bear to forget something, and throw everything into disarray because now I have to find a different recipe, or change the recipe to accommodate the missing item, or just fall back on chippies (if we have potatoes) because I just can’t be assed to solve the problem I didn’t cause.

I am SO done with this heatwave… it’s been over 30C every day for the past week and it’s scheduled to be so for the next week… I’m finding it very difficult to cope with being hot, sweaty, sticky and uncomfortable for so long, even with the fan on full and am getting irritable, frustrated and pissy as all hell. I’m just as hot and sweaty after a shower as I was before it and the only time I actually manage to cool off is after midnight, when I go to bed in the cellar. Thank fuck for cellars in most European houses. They’re big, cool and a necessity in this insane heat.

If we didn’t have a cellar to sleep in there would be a whole ton of dead people in my neighbourhood and the corona virus couldn’t be blamed. Only the other night, one of our neighbours decided to have a pool party after 11pm for a whole load of teenagers who were screaming, yelling and whooping it up past 1 am… Bear called the police… it was a better solution than allowing me to go around there to tell them to shut the fuck up… or else… I’d have no problem throwing my toaster in their pool.

I’m trying for the 20 something’th time to get on with my birth mother. Our relationship has always been rocky and distant, she’s well known for being a liar and an attention seeker, in the worst ways, so I’m taking it slowly and carefully and trying very hard not to let past events taint what we’re trying to build. She’s not an easy person to get along with, but then, neither am I and we’ve both been kinda circling each other keeping our backs to the wall and making sure we have something to defend ourselves with. Only time will tell how well we do…

The Very Crappy Day

This morning started well, with an unexpected period of physical affection. Bear was probably hoping the attention would improve my mood after yesterday’s words and his attempt at persuading me to go today. Despite being late getting up, we still managed to get everything done and grab a shower each and leave at just gone 10am. Pup was his usual unimpressed self with the whole car journey and spent it dribbling like a rusty tap all over the back of the car, me, his blanket etc. and rushing from one side of the car to the other to check that all the traffic was behaving itself and the sun wasn’t creeping up on him unawares.

We made it in good time and arrived in The Hague at 12.32pm. Twenty-eight minutes early. Which was a blessing considering that at 12.31pm pup decided to upchuck his breakfast all over me and the hastily grabbed blanket I shoved under his face as he urged. Thanks dog, just what I needed… dog vomit all down my front. It’s a good thing I decided to take two blankets for him as well as a bag full of cleaning things, extra food, treats and other detritus necessary when you have a puppy, so I was able to bag the puked on blanket and try to clean myself up with a little dignity. Pup wasn’t allowed in the art studio because the artist has a dog of his own and his dog would not appreciate our dog being in his house.

Fair enough. So doggo and I went back to the car to air out the vomit smell, while Bear went up to collect Captain Picard and pay the man. From there we headed to the doggy beach which is surprisingly wide and very long and was occupied by every variety of doggy you could think of. Pup was quite impressed with the sand and all the eye candy, while I wondered why the sun had suddenly decided to make an appearance when I had been promised clouds, rain and cool winds. What I got was a bloody sunburn from sitting in 25°C heat with a restless pup waiting for Bear’s bubble buddy to turn up with her husband and kids, who were 20 minutes late.

We said hi and were introduced and that was about the extent of my interaction with them… Again I wondered why the hell I’d bothered coming. So I took pup to investigate the sea water puddles, while bubble buddy’s husband took their kids off to swim in the sea. Pup was not that impressed with the water once he found it became deeper than 2-3 inches the further he went in, so he came out and wouldn’t go in it again. Then he got accosted by a yappy little fluffy thing that seemed determined to mount him, one way or another and ran for his life as far as the extendable lead allowed him, before racing in circles trying to shake off the amorous attention.

Yappy thing’s owner finally managed to grab it and took it away and pup decided Bear was the only protection he was likely to get from unwanted attention, so headed back determinedly up the beach to his Papa, avoiding making eye contact with every and all canine interested parties. Once we’d had some lunch and said goodbye, we headed back to the car and tried to get pup to use his potty pad, to no avail… Why on earth would he want to pee on the potty pad when he can wait five minutes until he’s back in the car and pee all over me.?! Which he did, spectacularly.

Bear asked if I still wanted to walk around the city centre, but with vomit all over my chest, urine all over my abdomen and lap and slobbery sand smeared in my hair, I really wasn’t in the best mood (or state) to be wandering around in public, stinking and pretending all was fine. I was pissed off and upset that despite accepting the change of plans because of Bear’s lack of consideration, the whole day was a washout because the damned dog couldn’t just pee where he knew damned well he was supposed to, just for bloody once.! I told Bear to head home. There was little point in continuing when things were going from crappy to really crappy.

Finally, pup decided to settle down on his clean blanket, and with a potty pad under him, just in case, he slept through the entire journey home. Why the hell he couldn’t have been that docile on the way in I don’t know. Just to top the whole day off while he was sleeping he peed, luckily most of it went on the potty pad, but somehow he managed to get it on the back seat too… so my left thigh was also covered in pee by the time we made it back home at 18.45pm. You’d think my first stop would be the shower… but pup was cleaned off first and then the bathroom had to be cleaned up from all his escape attempts, and then I got to shower.

I shall be sure to remember this little adventure the next time Bear comes up with some grand plan to go on a long journey involving the dog, and next time stay the hell at home.!

Change Of Plans, The Elusive Baby & An Old ‘Flame’.

Tomorrow we’re supposed to be going to The Hague, to pick up the Patrick Stewart picture and take a leisurely, touristy stroll around the main city with the pup before heading to the dog-friendly beach for a paddle in the sea. That was the plan. Then Bear decided to make arrangements to meet up with some of his Twitter bubble pals for lunch and not say anything until this afternoon, when he casually mentions the new plans as part of his route planning. Needless to say I was not one bit impressed and decided I was no longer going on the trip, which was supposed to be a ‘family’ deal, not a hangout with total strangers he swaps messages with online.!

The fact it takes three hours to get there, so three hours to get back, and Bear wants to be there for 1pm and home by dinner-time leaves us with maybe 2 hours to wander, paddle and enjoy the sights. Lunch with his bubble buddies means one of those hours is taken up with mindless chit chat, and I’m none too pleased about it, or the fact that I’ll be expected to be sociable with people I have no clue about while trying to keep a restless, excitable puppy under control. Bear of course, is annoyed that I’m refusing to go while he also understands that I’m pissed at him for making arrangements for me, without talking to me about it first.

Something he’s constantly doing. He knows it bugs the shit out of me, but he does it anyway. Typically, despite us having had words about it, he’s carrying on as though I’m going, telling me about all these architectural places we were going to be seeing together and telling me of the layby’s he’s planned to stop at so the dog can stretch his legs.

My niece has, as far as I can tell, still not had her baby. There is a real mystery about this child, as originally we were told she was due on March 28th, then April 28th, then July 4th… I’m at a complete loss. On June 24th there were contractions, and my niece lost the ‘plug’ that usually is followed by labour. Since then… nothing.! I’m watching her Fb religiously waiting for news that the elusive Gracie Mae has finally made an appearance. I’ll keep you posted… 😕

Last Thursday I received a Messenger message from a guy I used to know (and dated for a few weeks) back in the days of my lost youth. He used to be a friend of my brother’s who ingratiated himself into my stepmother’s affections and so he became a family friend. He’s been very polite and friendly so far, informing me that his life has been a real struggle the past few months and that he’s hitting the bottle a little harder than he perhaps should. Then he asked where I lived and was a little nonplussed, going by his reaction, to discover I no longer lived in the UK. He had planned to ask if I wanted to meet up for a drink but that obviously was not going to happen.

Now, I probably wrongly, get the distinct impression he has no idea who I am, because if he did he wouldn’t have messaged me. Our last meeting, when he was 17 and I was 14 wasn’t a pleasant one, resulting in him losing a front tooth and me gaining a hairline fracture in my pinkie knuckle. I’m not sure whether I should mention my family members to give him a few seconds to figure it out for himself, or just go for the jugular and tell him who I am. What do you think.? It’s at times like this I wish I wasn’t so paranoid about webcam’s, because I’d love to see the look on his face when he realises. 😄

A New Laptop, Bear’s Female Colleagues & A Clever Pup

I got a really nice surprise present on Wednesday of last week. A new laptop. Completely out of the blue. The boy child received the Chromebook he’d wanted for his birthday and was perfectly happy all Sunday afternoon sorting it out and adding all his apps. I meanwhile have been struggling to get anything to work on my ancient Acer for over a year. It has to sit on a freezer block because the fan no longer works well enough to cool the CPU and other components and it’s RAM is only about 2 GB, so it barely manages to keep two tabs accessible and Chrome is a nightmare. Snails are faster. It has to be hard wired to the WiFi modem because it won’t connect otherwise and permanently plugged into the power because the battery is dead and won’t charge.

So when I got a knock on the door and handed a package addressed to me, I was somewhat taken aback. I hadn’t ordered anything and Bear hadn’t said anything about expecting a package. When I opened it I found a refurbished Dell laptop with Windows 10 and 4GB of RAM. Obviously I had to message Bear to find out what it was all about and was responded to with “You’re welcome.!” Okay. A sudden self-initiated flash of consideration from Bear. Far more surprising than the actual gift if I’m honest. So I’ve been, for the past 10 days, slowly figuring out how things work and getting used to the smaller screen, less compact keyboard and the positioning of some of the keys and trying to figure out why in the hell I went and deleted all my bookmarks from Chrome on my old laptop. Stupid.!

The Beer-tasting last Saturday went fairly well, but taking the pup was a complete pain in the ass. The colleague who hosted the beer-tasting lives in a tiny first-floor apartment that you couldn’t swing a kitten in, never mind host 5 people and an energetic puppy. So we all sat outside in the community area and had to attach the pup’s lead to a length of rope, which is turn was attached to a huge wooden column, so we weren’t constantly being dragged out of our chairs. Pup spent the entire afternoon, evening and night happily ripping the grass up by the roots, chewing on it and leaving huge clods all over the lawn, barking his ass off at anything that moved and trying to jump on all of us at opportune moments to steal food.

All Bear’s work colleagues were women, which kind of explains why he took me with him. Had there been any men among the beer-tasting colleagues, he wouldn’t have felt the need to invite me because he would have mentioned that there were men going. The fact that he didn’t made me realise they were all women, which doesn’t bother me at all. What bothers me is that he doesn’t mention that they’re all women. When there’s men involved in any of his work socials, he mentions them by name, when there isn’t, he calls them colleagues. It’s almost like he thinks there’s something wrong in spending time with his female work colleagues, so he doesn’t mention them as female. Like I might have an issue with it.

One of them was 23, another in her early thirties and the host is 50. All of them are beer drinkers, all of them his friends on Untappd and none of them remotely interested in a romantic capacity in Bear. They were more interested in me than him, having known him for a decade and heard all about me, but never having met me. It was an interesting evening, when we weren’t jumping up to rescue some poor wandering individual from the attentions of the nutso pup, who alternately treated people like friends and then enemies. We finally packed up at 2am and headed for bed, which for me was in the eaves of a tiny bedroom that you could only just get a double bed and the pup’s crate in. My nose was 3 inches from the ceiling, which for a claustrophobe is not at all fun.

I spent the night lying awake, listening to Bear snore and the pup fart, keeping an eye on that damned ceiling and waiting for the dawn to come, which it did at 4.30am with the usual morning chorus and traffic, which was surprisingly closer than I’d realised. Of course with so much light coming in the pup was awake and so was Bear, none too pleased to see the time… so as quietly as possible (in an apartment that creaks and squeaks and squeals at every turn), we got dressed and made our way outside with the dog to wait 4-5 hours for everyone else to get up before making breakfast. Pup slept like the dead for the rest of Sunday and most of Monday We slept really well on Sunday night too.

Puppy Training has been going okay’ish so far, with socially acceptable behaviour consisting of looking into our eyes and touching our hands with his nose, when told to. All things he’s been doing since we got him. He’s half Border Collie so he has an intense stare and he always touches our hands with his nose when he wants something, a trait in Toller’s apparently. Until this week I’ve seen little point in going to the lessons that only make pup anxious and over-excited. This week we’ve been teaching him to stay when he’s sat down and to lie down from a sitting position. We’ve decided to train him in Dutch from now on. Although he’ll still have the known English instruction at home, as he already understands that.

It’s getting too frustrating for Bear that the dog listens only to me because I’m the only one he spends an extended amount of time with every day. Bear’s trying to teach him in Dutch and the dog’s ignoring him, but when I command him in English, he does as he’s told straight away. So I agreed that the dog should be trained in Dutch and that I would practice his Dutch training at home too. He’s a damned clever little pup, already he lies down when told and stays sat down until told to come, even if Bear has walked to the bottom of the patio. As long as he can’t see the treat he’s going to get as we walk away, he’ll stay put. He’s also becoming a lot more affectionate. He comes to us for cuddles and tummy rubs and when I sit down in the evenings to watch TV, he comes and sits next to me and settles down to sleep.

A marked change from the racing around like a lunatic, bouncing off of us on his route around the living/dining/patio area. He only does that once a day now, instead of four/five times a day.

Teething, Beer Tasting & A Birthday

Our poor little doggo is teething and not having a very good time with it. He’s lost 4 teeth in two days that we know of and the discomfort is causing him to chew on everything he can get near his mouth, including us. He’s been through carrots, ice cubes and his Nylabone has taken quite the battering. He had some blood on his rope toy, so I’ve been keeping an eye on him, but other than a loss of appetite and being more tired than usual he seems okay. He hasn’t eaten properly for a few days, only accepting food when it’s offered from our hands and he’s been avoiding his water bowl too, hence the ice cubes to try and keep him hydrated.

His front teeth seemed to change quickly, but his back teeth are taking their sweet time. He was sick on Friday after losing two teeth in ten minutes and his breath has been vile ever since. I gave him some banana this morning to make up for the kibble he didn’t bother with at breakfast and he seemed to perk up a bit, enough to eat the kibble two hours later.

Bear has arranged a beer-tasting evening with a few of his work colleagues next weekend. I’m not sure about going to be honest because I don’t know the colleagues, having never met anyone Bear has worked with, except the tattoo artist. I’m not good at socialising and total strangers in a strange place, mixed with alcohol is maybe not a good idea. Especially as we’re taking the pup with us as we’ll be away all night. Bear says we’ll only be discussing the beer, but as they’re all work colleagues, work is going to find a way into the conversation and I’ll be playing gooseberry for the evening. Which I hate.

It’s bad enough I don’t understand enough Dutch to join in with these conversations thanks to Bear refusing to teach me his native language, but when they know I can’t speak Dutch they presume I have no idea what they’re saying and just carry on around me, when in fact Bear knows I understand a lot more than I can pronounce and do get the gist of the conversation. Plus most Dutch people can speak English fluently.

Today is the boy child’s 14th birthday and we’re off to The Mommy’s for a late lunch/early dinner. She’s made her speciality cake which everyone loves and looks forward to. The boy child will be receiving the new Hewlett Packard laptop he requested as a present, because he’s managed yet again to completely wreck the one he’s only had for 3 years, after wrecking the previous one after only 18 months. He’s been warned about screwing with the factory settings on this new one or the next one he’s buying himself.

We ordered in Chinese for dinner last night for him, as it’s his favourite and Bear played Monopoly with them until the boy child said he was just too tired to continue. They’d been playing for nearly two and a half hours and to be fair Bear was probably winning. I passed on playing as it gets too stressful with Bear whinging about not being able to do anything and getting stroppy if someone buys a property he had his eye on, meaning he’s not going to have any leverage at all and is only playing to support all of us… right up until he kicks our asses and makes out it was such a surprise that he won… again.! It’s no fun.

Puppy Training, Time Rifts & Genealogy

Last night was lesson 1 of Puppy Training, where we learned that pup was to be taught socially acceptable behaviour using treats and was not being taught to understand commands, as other trainer’s do. The first task was getting pup to make eye contact with us using the word ‘look’, which sounds a lot like a command to me. Anyway, once pup has made eye contact he gets a treat. The issue here is pup is well aware there are more treats, so he’s not going to continue sitting and making eye contact when there are a shitload of treats to be had and seven other dogs in the group. Instead he took to running excitedly around our legs, still attached to his harness and lead, barking madly, like there was a cat in the field, demanding more treats. Which of course he did not get.

Any chance of him paying any attention to us, the trainers or anything other than the other dogs was just not going to happen. Too much to see, sniff, bark at and eat, with regards all the lushly green grass the field was covered in. His attention span was nil. He sniffed the tiny King Charles spaniel next to him, who cowered and moved around behind his owner’s legs and cowered and hid behind Bear’s legs when the Bernese Mountain puppy lolloped over to growl and bark at him in greeting. It’s funny how he becomes all scared and submissive when a dog the same size as him and just as belligerent wants to play with him, but doesn’t understand why the tinier puppies whimper and cry and try to hide from him when he wants to play with them. His lack of socialisation is clearly visible.

On the plus side, he’s starting to enjoy the car rides now that he sits on the back seat (with me) and can have the window open to look out of. He ends up sitting on my lap, with his paws up on the window edge and his head and shoulders out of the window while I hang on to the handle on the back of his harness and loop the lead around my arm. He likes the smells and feel of the wind in his fur as we do 90 kph up the dual carriageway. He doesn’t drool very much at all and the stress yawning has stopped. Still not a fan of actually getting into the car, but once in he’s good.

I’ve noticed recently that there is a huge time difference in the time it takes Bear to get to work and the time it takes him to get home. When he goes to work, he leaves 15 minutes before his shift starts which is ample time to drive the 9 minutes it takes to get to work. When he finishes work, he doesn’t arrive home for more than 30 minutes after the end of his shift, sometimes more than an hour. Every time I’ve asked what time he finished work, he tells me ‘the normal time’… so somewhere between him finishing his shift and leaving work, and arriving home there is some kind of temporal rift in the space continuum that hasn’t yet been discovered by Elon Musk, NASA or the crazy sci-fi geek fan-boys, which is of some concern.

Time rifts in space are a dangerous thing when in the wrong hands and Bear’s hands are not the safest for spacial anomalies, especially as he barely pays attention to anything that’s not Twitter related. Aliens will get no joy from him when it comes to being taken to our planetary leaders. Unless they have an address that he can find on Google maps. Talking of aliens, I was contacted by a second cousin in New Zealand on Monday. She’s been delving into our ancestral history and found my name all over our family genealogy on however many sites she dared set foot, so decided to make contact. It seems her knowledge of our family is decidedly sketchy, lucky woman, and she was interested in the rest of the clan and the many offspring that she knows nothing about having immigrated with her parents in the mid-1950’s to Australia, and on to New Zealand.

I, in turn, don’t know a hell of a lot about her family after her parents divorce in the early 1970’s. I have only the information my grandfather provided up to 2007, when there were a few offspring from his sister’s son and a second marriage, but no names, dates, locations etc… and genealogy sites for recent Australian/NZ BMD data are dire. I managed to find my second cousin’s stepfather only by birth date… there is nothing after that. I’ve been looking for help with the brick wall I already have to try and climb over with my own great grandfather on my mother’s side. My mother’s parents were first cousins and as such were disowned by both families when they married. My grandfather’s parents were not married, although his mother used his father’s surname.

His father used so many names that no-one has a clue which name was real, as there are no birth records, marital records or death records for any of the names he is known to have used. So, he is basically non-existent legally. He was charged in 1932 of a road traffic offence but no record is now available. He is on the 1939 directory, but under a name that has already been confirmed to be fake. There is no-one left alive who might know something about him. His last three children were registered by their mother, who used a different maiden name. Trying to find even a crack in that wall is impossible, but I’m still working at it.

Drawing The Line, Coming Out & Doing A Nice Thing

Last night, when the kids were going to bed I mentioned the morning issues with the boy child to Bear, only to have the girl child chime in that Bear had told them about a year ago now that they COULD come downstairs before 8am if they wanted to. News to me.! So I gave Bear ‘The Look’ and was informed that it was possible that he had, and then asked what difference it made anyway. So I told him of the insolent bullshit I was met with that morning, which seemed to be more of an issue than the fact that yet again he hadn’t bothered to tell me of his change in the rules and has not only made me look stupid in front of his kids, but yet again has undermined my authority.

It’s no wonder the little shits barely listen to a word I say until they’re teetering on the edge of physical violence.! This is not the first, or even the fiftieth time Bear has over-ruled or under-mined me when it comes to his kids and yet he still expects me to look after them for him while he buggers off to work or to do his own thing. This is where I’m drawing the line. Tomorrow he has an early shift. It’ll be the last one he has with his kids here. I’ve had enough of his crap.

Since the debacle with my dear (not.!) father, I’ve decided to change Facebook profiles. My family are not speaking to me, the debates that are happening over the current BLM protests are just getting bloody stupid… 90% of people bitching and whining about their own white privileged rights have no clue what they’re talking about and things are getting nasty and when things get nasty I get very sarcastic and calmly but savagely honest. It’s a flaw, I know and one that becomes a compulsion when faced with dumb asses who think they know what they’re talking about and waffle off facts and statistics they read on some obscure bullshit website that itself hasn’t the first clue either.

Since I can’t block my family members nor remove them from my Facebook without exacerbating the issues further, I felt it was time to just walk away and leave them to it. So I’ve moved to my BDSM one, which believe me has been a whole world of fun, because in moving over to that profile, I’ve added a whole load of friends who have no idea about my BDSM past and have had to spend hours removing or hiding the 12 years of BDSM and sex related statuses, photos and URL links to relevant pages and websites that had been added.

While I haven’t hidden my interest in BDSM (I refuse to be someone I’m not), it’s going to be a case of slowly, slowly, catchy monkey for my (new) friends to get their heads around my interest in kink and the alternative lifestyle. Something I’ve kept well hidden for the past 10 years for Bear’s sake. So yet again I’m going to be ‘coming out’ and facing the consequences of being real to people who thought they already knew me while trying to keep Bear out of it. Still better than forcing myself not to respond to the whining of my white privileged snowflake family.

My ex- again contacted me via Messenger requesting my address, email and a contact number for his solicitors. I’m not dumb enough to believe he wanted those details strictly for his solicitors because the guy never does anything without an ulterior motive. He then messages me this afternoon to let me know that he’s asked our sons if it’s okay with them for him to send me old pictures and new of them, with our grandson that he’s taken. Now, you might think that’s a sweet thing for him to do, even for him to think of doing, but remember the ulterior motive, because there ALWAYS is one.

He’s doing the picture thing to make himself look like a precious little prince for his wife and the boys, because they all know he’s a massive asshole, and he probably has a ton load of shit to make up for and also because at some point he’ll expect something from me. Tit for tat always with him. Unfortunately that tat is going to hit a brick wall, because if there’s one thing the past ten years has taught me, it’s that humouring his manipulative bullshit is a no-no. The more he gets, the more he demands, the more manipulative he becomes.

He wants to be buddies again, so he has someone else to talk shit to when things aren’t going his way, which if you believe a word he says, is always. He wants to paint himself as the hero in everyone’s lives, the guy with the heart of gold who’ll do anything for anyone (for a price) purely out of kindness. What he fails to grasp is that I have a VERY long memory and an unforgiving nature, which he should, having been with me for 22 years and fighting with me for the past ten, have figured out by now.

Feeling Better, Teenage Attitude & Waiting On Baby

This morning pup is better. He’s eating, drinking and pooping normally. Bear and I have breathed a massive sigh of relief, after seeing blood in his mucus-y stool yesterday. I was envisioning a vet visit today and a whole battery of tests, but thankfully, all seems to be back to normal, although we’ll be keeping a close eye on him. We have the number and address of an emergency vet should we need one today. When we see our vet early next month for pup’s rabies shot, I’ll mention it and see if there’s anything we can give him in case it ever happens again.

The boy child has again decided to start pushing his luck with me. It’s already pretty tenuous and if he continues to mouth back at me, he’ll find out very quickly just how intolerant I am of bullshit teenage attitudes. The rule has always been that the kids don’t come downstairs until after 8am. I was up at 7.30am with the dog and was quite enjoying the peace and quiet until the boy child arrived at 7.53am. When told it wasn’t 8am yet, he responds with a sullen “So.! Are we going to make an issue out of seven minutes.?!” Yes, you stroppy, whiny little brat, we are.!! The rule is 8am, it’s not 8am yet.

They seem to take it in turns, although the girl child has learnt that there is no limit to the punishments I can come up with that her father is happy to use. She makes sure to keep me sweet. The boy child will come to learn the same thing, especially if he wants to continue watching Netflix on his phone all day long. I put up with enough of that crap with my own two boys. I draw the line at dealing with theirs. This is why I don’t want them here if Bear isn’t around to keep them in line. I don’t need their crap and I have no tolerance for the typical teenage angst that enters my front door every other weekend and sits on it’s ass doing nothing.

My niece is still in labour… as yet there has been no sign of baby Gracie making an appearance and my niece is suffering intensely painful contractions every 25 minutes, which don’t appear to be doing much of anything except hurting. She’s not due for another week and hopes like hell the contractions won’t last that long. She is only 2cm dilated so far.

claytoonz

Nationally Syndicated Editorial Cartoonist

A Family History in Letters

Letters from the women in my family to their mothers from 1910-1980.

What I found

The art of losing

gingerale kitchen

My mission is to give the world a unique collection of recipes and inspiration

The Belfast Belter

The Life and Times of a retired Soldier, Boxer, Pilot, Husband, Father and Grandfather

Reading Between The Lies

tales of untruths

Shine My Way

My memoir. Where I cuss a lot.

CLEMENS P. SUTER

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