Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Episode 39 - Getting back to normal?

I felt quite tearful this morning. I’m not sure why. It isn’t if I’m not used to seeing Martin going to London for the week, he used to do it all the time. But this is the first time he’s been back since his heart attack. All the logic in the world can tell me that he will be fine but let’s face it; I’m only human and can’t help worrying.
Although I’m not sure what I am really worrying about.

If I was a good wife, I would be able to tell you that I’m worried about him having another heart attack or at the very least that he will start working long hours again and stop eating properly. But if I’m honest, I’m probably more worried that these won’t be the only bad ways he will slip back into.

All the reasons he had the affair with that bitch Laura are still there. He will still need to work long hours at the office then go back home to an empty flat. The casinos and bars will still seem a better option than spending an evening alone.

As far as I can see nothing has changed, apart that is, from Martin. He keeps telling me that he’s different now. He swears that he loves me and the girls too much to ever risk loosing us. I’m sure that he means, now, but will he still be that strong when its winter time and he’s cold and lonely?

And what do I do in the meantime? Should I trust him, should I even believe him when he says that he’s changed? What was it my old Mum used to say, ‘a leopard never changes his spots’? Well what about Martin, are his spots past being changed?

If I’m not careful, all this introspection will send me crazy. I suppose now that he’s well again, its time for me to make my mind up what I really want from life. Do I carry on as before and hope that marriage and family is enough for Martin or do I cut my losses and leave him while I am still young enough to try and make a new life for myself. I think that what I’ve really got to ask myself is do I love him enough to accept him for what he is?

Well one thing I’m not going to do is sit around moping. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I’m going on holiday with my beautiful daughter soon, so I’m treating myself to a shopping trip for some new clothes.

There, that’s all I need, some retail therapy

I’m glad that I walked down to the village, its far too nice a day for driving and I might even treat myself to a long lunch at Maria’s after I finish shopping.

‘Hi Fliss, you’re looking very pleased with yourself.’

‘Oh hi Lizzie, I’m sorry I didn’t see you there I was miles away.’

‘All on your own? Where’s Martin?’

‘He’s back at work, in fact this is his first day. He flew back to London this morning.’

‘Oh you poor thing’ cried Lizzie ‘you must be worried sick.’

‘Just a little I suppose, but he’s fine now. The doctors are really pleased with him and given him a full bill of health.’

‘So what are you going to do with yourself today?’

‘Retail therapy’ I laugh

‘Fancy some company? I’ve got rid of Ken for the day. He’s off somewhere playing golf with Malcolm and few of the other old buggers down the coast, so I don’t expect I’ll see him again before bedtime. Well not sober at least. I swear Fliss those old men spend more time at the nineteenth hole than they do on the course.’

Lizzie’s fun is so infectious I can think of nothing nicer than spending the morning mooching around the shops with her.

‘How about we make a day of it and you join me for lunch? I was going to treat myself at Maria’s.’

‘I can see that this is going to be my kind of shopping trip.’ Laughs Lizzie. ‘If you don’t mind Fliss, do you think that I could invite Gloria for lunch too? I’m sure that she’s just sitting home on her own.’

‘Why not, the more the merrier. Tell her to meet us at Maria’s about 2 o’clock. I’m sure that that should give us enough time to find some pretty new dresses for my holidays.’

‘Oh that’s right. Gloria told me that you were having a girly holiday with Ella. You lucky sod, what I wouldn’t do for some time away from Ken. Don’t get me wrong, I love the bones of him, but dear god he’s a miserable bugger sometimes.’

‘Aren’t they all’ I laugh ‘aren’t they all’

After trying on nearly every summer dress in the village we are both exhausted as we arrive at Maria’s

‘Look there’s Gloria, she beaten us to it’ says Lizzie making her way to the shady table Gloria has found at the edge of the square

‘I wasn’t sure if you would want wine with your lunch so I thought that I would wait until I could ask you.’ Says Gloria sipping an aperitif

‘Well you don’t seem to have wasted much time getting started on the booze’ says Lizzie plonking her bags down under the table ‘Fliss and I are just going to have to catch you up. Hi Maria can we have a bottle of cold white wine and three glasses please.’

‘And the menu’ I add hurriedly

‘Oh yes and the menu’ laughs Lizzie ‘I suppose we will need some food to soak up the wine.’

‘Lizzie you are awful’ chokes Gloria ‘I’m only having a small sherry’

‘Not today your not. Today we are going to be ladies who lunch and sod the hangover.’


I’ve had a lovely day. Lizzie and I had a really productive shopping trip and I’m sure that I would never have bought half the clothes that I did if she hadn’t picked them out for me. And who would have imagined that Gloria could be so much fun. I’ve always thought that she was such a quiet little mouse but after a couple of sherries she really let her hair down, bless her.

I was tempted to get a cab home but I’m glad that I decided to walk back. It’s been so long since I’ve been walking at this time of day that I’d forgotten just how lovely the hills look in the early evening sunshine.

‘Hello stranger, I have missed you’

‘Paolo, I wondered if you would be in the fields.’

Paolo walked towards me, enveloped me in his strong bare arms and whispered ‘I have missed you so much’