That Guy (On 9 Years)

I have to write a post about it because I do every year.

Even though I don’t particularly feel like writing it this year.

But nine years ago today I married this guy. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Dancing on a rainbow. Sunshine in my eyes. He felt like the luckiest guy in the world too. He better have. He is still the luckiest guy in the world.

But yes.

Begrudgingly I say it today, I am very lucky still to be married to this guy. Who drives me up the wall, but in the same breath makes me so joyful. If anybody on earth can make me laugh when I am in a bad mood, it’s him.

My daughter has his smile.

She smiles with her entire face. Her dimples dance in and out of her gorgeous cheeks and her eyes could light the entire world. Her teeth flash in a way that is so unique to her, to him, and I promise you, when she smiles, your heart will move an inch to the right.

I see it all the time. Even strangers are not immune to her smile.

And she gets it from her Dad.

When we first began ‘courting’, I wasn’t too sure about this guy. I was impressed by his biceps, I will admit that. He smelled so good too. But I knew it would take more than an attractive body and face to make a relationship strong.

And one day he sat on the sofa adjacent to me, and we were talking about this that and the other. I said something. And he smiled. It was a small smile at first, but then his entire face lit up. I saw dimples where I had never seen them before. His eyes drew me right in. It moved me in ways I had never been moved before.

That smile could move mountains, I thought.

It’s a special smile, I can only get it out of him rarely, and not many people can coax that particular smile from him.

Our daughter, though? She graces me with his special smile every day, multiple times a day.

So I am thankful for the gift of him, his smile, and the joy that he has passed on to the next generation.

Even though, right now, he is THAT guy to me, because I am upset with him. (I say this with a smile, marriage is full of ups and downs. I still love THAT guy.)

Image Credit

Love Letters #33


She was standing in the middle of the road, when he first set eyes on her. A light, silken shirt was all that draped her small shoulders in the icy January air. The road was wet with perspiration, and the branches bare, and the drizzle drifted gently down. Her face was pale, her eyes bright, and her hair a cloud of golden silky curls, bouncing as she danced this way and that, her feet turning in all directions and her arms moving side to side, up and down.

He noticed her first because she was dancing, but dancing is the usual sight in this vibrant city of theirs. He did his double take because of her smile. When she smiled, her eyebrows rose, and she looked almost… surprised. And her chin grew pointy, and the tops of her cheeks pointed outwards too.

He thought, if you really stood back and thought about it, she did have quite a sharp little face. But it was so dear and sweet and her eyes sparkled with life and crinkled with joy.

Man, he thought, she really does love to dance. Somebody was standing in front of her, another friend he thought, and the other friend was laughing away but in an awkward way, certainly not joining in.

Cars drove right past her, on both sides. Motorbikes weaved their way around her and people glanced at her then glanced away. Did she make them uncomfortable? He really didn’t see how they could do that. She made him so happy. He stood from his safe distance on the pavement, as the sky drizzled gently around him and slowly soaked him through. And he watched her dance away and laugh.

Presently she noticed him watching her. She kept glancing at him, and then she directed her smile at him, giving him his own little dance show. She was waving him over. Her mouth was miming,

Come join me!

He shook his head, smiling widely. She laughed, and he heard the tinkling giggle over the traffic.

Come on!

He didn’t want to. He knew his arms would be too thick and his body wouldn’t listen to him. He was content to just watch her rhythm, the way life seemed to happen around her, draw her in its flowing current. He was one of those who stood on the fringe of things, while life swept her up in its energetic arms and took her whichever way it chose to run.


A heart shape with her ever moving fingers, and then, as quickly as she had moulded her hands, she was twirling in another direction.

His feet moved against his will, then. Weaving through the traffic, until he was on the same island she stood on, the white painted thick divide in the traffic, separating one directional flow from the other. The no man’s land of the high street.

She laughed, waved at her friend, and took his arms, moving them this way and that, until he, too, felt part of the current of life. He felt it first in his fingertips, a tingling that spread through his body all the way down to his toes, a small spitfire of energy, moving his limbs without direction from his brain. He closed his eyes, feeling the cold, gentle spray on his face, and let the rhythm of the world take him.


And that, is how I met my wife.

Physical Relief

Had a terribly busy week. I was travelling since Saturday, when I drove two hours to go to a party, where I burned 600 calories dancing, according to my fitness tracker. I then drove to the in-laws’, where I stayed for the next three days to get to work. I walked to work daily and it took a good forty minutes, and helped my mother move house, worked till 2am  preparing lesson plans and studying for my first assignment.

On Thursday I went to work as usual, carrying a pile of heavy books.

‘Want to add more to that pile, Mrs Sparrow?’ one of the teachers muttered as he walked past, then offered to help but I declined. After work I went to my mum’s and slipped on my stilettos, then my brother dropped me off to the train station and we had a massive argument because he can be an arrogant overly sensitive jerk sometimes, and he refuses to listen to me and he kept speeding on second because I told him to put the car in third gear, even though it was a HIRED car, and he has never had practise driving while I have had a good year and a half on my belt. He is so stubborn it is maddening.

I got out of the car in tears, and caught the train to Birmingham where I went to the loos to slap makeup on my face for another party, this time more sophisticated and in a restaurant.

Then I caught another train all the way back home to my husband.

I hadn’t seen him for a good three days while I was at work. The minute I set eyes on him, waiting by the exit doors with hands in his pockets, my heels aching from my stilettos, and my shoulders heavy with bags, a wave of fatigue washed over me and I sank into his fresh perfume scent and the cold of his heavy leather jacket.

I don’t understand this phenomenon.

It was as though the mere sight of him took my stress away and my body began to really feel the duress I put it under. As though my brain subconsciously knew it didn’t have to hold on anymore because he was there and he could take care of me.

My throat felt scratchy and as he took my bags from me, lifting them as though they weighed nothing, my head started to pound, and tears prickled the back of my eyes. I hugged him for ages before I got in the car, just letting the feeling of home wash over me.

I had never experienced anything like this. A second ago on the train I had been perfectly fine!

All day today I have been in bed feeling ridiculously lousy.



Jealous Rage

There is NOTHING wrong with jealousy.

If I fall in love with someone, it is only natural to get insanely jealous when somebody blatantly hits on them. Um. HELLO. This man belongs to ME. He is not his own person. He is my person.

Don’t come near him. Don’t speak to him. Don’t look at him. Don’t even breathe in his direction.

And if HE looks at you then I am going to rage and storm because exCUSE me sir you belong to me what are you doing looking at other things that are not me I am HERE thank you VERY much indeed. Sir. Good day. You are welcome.

Today a woman did just that. And I found myself seething from across the room. SEETHING I tell you. I elbowed my way across and glared so hard at the back of her glossy head and when she turned, I felt insanely threatened, but I smiled sweetly and took off my sunglasses and perched them on the top of my head and fixed my husband with my most deathly stare and, still smiling, I said in the softest voice I could muster,

‘Are you ready to go, sweetheart?’

And I will THANK you NOT to touch my husband. On his ARM. That ARM. is MINE.

Well. That was remarkably dramatic. Phew. Nobody got even a whiff of my inner broil. Not a scorched thumb. I contained it very well I must say.

When we walked away I let go of his arm and I marched on ahead and he said, all wounded, ‘What’s wrong? Did I do something?’

Um yes you did you let that woman touch your arm and LAUGH with you like you did not have a WIFE – an actual real WIFE – so no you did nothing wrong. Of course you did not. Please do not touch me until I have cooled off because right now I could kill a man. Or woman.

Disclaimer: In case it did not translate in the text, this was (mostly) a joke. I am joking. But also very serious. I am seriously in jest. I am mirthfully furious. I am smiling. But also – do not touch my husband.


Burned Husband

Hey yooo my husband’s back and he is all red like a branding iron. Sunburned to the max. Can’t move his skin without wincing. I need to buy him some aloe vera.

Great timing, husband. Now how am I going to smother you with hugs, hey?

I didn’t miss him. I didn’t miss him like I thought I would. Maybe its the heat, I don’t know. When he returned it was like he had just gone to work like usual.

Am I… am I getting USED to his absence? Why didn’t I miss him?

Heck, I know I did.But not as much as I could have. And when he came back, I didn’t. Maybe because he was all red and sore. I don’t know.


Maybe because we are both exhausted?

He bought me lipstick. He said, ‘I know you like ‘nude’ lipstick, right? Do you like it?’

It’s a Mac matte lipstick. Bless his heart, you know what he did? He remembered I like Mac, he remembered I wear a lot of nude colours, so he looked for the most expensive Mac nude colour and got that. Most expensive. Not to show off, not to make out like he’s some kind of kingly benefactor, but to show me that he cares.

You see this guy. How could I say I didn’t miss him. I missed the heck out of him. I am so goddamn happy he’s back. If he goes again I shall cry. He is going again. So am I. In three days. For a whole month.

I won’t cry, of course. I will just be mad and sad and insecure and worry about all the beautiful women he might be working with and all the hours he won’t miss me in and how he might get used to being away from me and then we will be used to being away from each other and that will be awful.

I don’t want to be used to being away from him, y’know? Does it last forever or just for a short while. We need to get our own place already.


1040 Miles Away

1040 miles away.

Have we ever been that far apart?

Oh yes. Twice, I think. Once for two weeks. Once for a day.

It’s been two days.

Next week, I will be the one to get on a plane. For three weeks. THAT will be the longest. I will enjoy myself, I know, but I will also be aching to get back to you.

I seem to be spending all my time waiting. That isn’t how one should live life.

Embrace the moment, they say. I don’t want to live my moments without you, though. I feel as though a part of me is missing and if I am left to my own devices too long, it haunts me and creates a lump in my throat.

So I am keeping very busy. Not that I have a choice, of course. In the small moments before my eyes close at night, I feel alone and empty. No warmth to snuggle up to. Nobody to put my arm around in the pitch blackness because I am afraid of the dark.

I sleep on his pillow, because it smells of him, of course. I close my eyes and bury my face in it, pretending it is his T-shirt. He isn’t so squishy though.

When you come back, I am going to cover your face in kisses. Please come home safely.

Why do you get up in the morning?

Or don’t you like getting up in the morning at all?

I get up in the morning every day at 5:40am because my husband has to get up that early for his commute to work. I sluggishly make breakfast on the go and lunches for both me and him for the day, while he rushes about grabbing last minute things and having a shower. When he leaves I clean up our mess and fold clothes away and put a wash on and pack my bags for the day before picking my brothers up and dropping them off to school.

After that I go to the gym for two hours, have a shower, and then lesson prep for my afternoon lessons. Once my lessons are over at 2:30 I pick my brothers up from school, drop them home, and then have one hour free in which to prepare for my afternoon lessons, which last from 4pm through till 7pm.

By 7pm, my husband is returning home from work, so I go back home and say hello. Sometimes he lets me kiss him and other times he is distracted and exhausted, his hazel eyes two alien orbs sunken into his pale face, the dark circles under his eyes stark against his colourless cheeks.

But wait, I am not done yet, because although I want to just sit next to my husband and watch his shows with him, switching off as he does, I cannot. I must prepare for the next day, and study, and write, because those books won’t get written by themselves, and my degree won’t obtain itself either.

When I finally get into bed, at around 12am, my husband is as still as a log, in the deep sleep only one who is exhausted can experience. I, too, will experience it.. just… as .. soon.. as my head .. hits… that … pillow.

I get up in the morning because I have a day to conquer, a living to make, and a career to create. I get up in the morning because it is the only time I will get to see my husband, albeit for a few minutes, and give him a hug in private. I get up in the morning because I am obligated to by duty, and no, I am not always happy about it. In fact I can be despicably moody about it and drive around town with a perpetual frown on my face drawn on by constant exhaustion.

I like getting up so early in the morning, though. You see? I like it. I might not always show that I like it, I might hit that snooze button and then be half an hour late for everything all day, but I like that I can have an entire day, nineteen hours, in which to do all I have to do and complete my goals.

I don’t always complete all my goals, of course, and some days I am so sluggish I can barely think, but the weekend always beckons me, with bright sunshine and promise.

It doesn’t always fulfil that promise, though, but it does let me have a lie in with my husband in the mornings. It’s sad, but I look forward to that the most all week. Just a few extra hours, to talk about what’s happened all week, or have a laugh about something, or plan for the days when we can be together properly, without family in the way, without other obligations, without being in a hurry or being too exhausted to speak.

I look forward to those days, and I guess, that is really why I like getting up in the morning.

Why do you get up in the morning?


Oleg Riabchuck


A Saturday Thought

One thing I have learned about life is that you have to have a lot of faith, and have to be a lot content with your lot in this world. You have to have faith in yourself, to pull you up and keep you going when times are rough. To wake you up in the mornings, and feed you and clothe you and take care of all your emotions.

You also have to have faith in other people, even though faith in them is sometimes thrown back in your face. You have to throw things to chance. You have to work hard, even though your heart is broken and your morale is low, and you have nothing going for you because eczema riddles your arms, your chest is wheezy, your hair loss has become so bad you can’t hide it anymore, you have extra fat and it’s putting you off looking pretty. You have to brush your hair and wash your face and wear a nice bra because you’re twenty two and even though you don’t feel like you look like regular gorgeous twenty two year olds, you still have to look good and feel good.

You have to fight even though your husband is being a moody git and denies it when questioned why. Even though both he and I know he is being a git.

You have to fight even though you feel so lonely and all your family is far away and there is so much work to do and so many things to plan for and you have barely started and you feel too ill and demotivated to start.

You have to have faith. You have to look at those below you because you have money in your bank account, a roof over your head, heating to warm your cold toes and a bloody good mattress. Plus you just ate a roast chicken for dinner and how many people can say they’ve had that?

That’s a blessing, folks. It’s a mighty blessing and all these complaints are trivial, and you have to have faith and hope and keep fighting for your hair and your marriage and your family and your friendships and your sanity.

And your faith.

I have a faith, folks. I don’t talk about my faith often, but my faith is what keeps me going, keeps me wondering at the majestic beauty of the world and the meticulous science behind everything. I have a faith, and I need to keep it alive.

That was my Saturday thought. Adieu! Have a great weekend.



How to Treat Yourself

You: Hello, how are you doing?

You: I’m fine, thank you.

You: Have you eaten today?

You: Why, yes, thank you. I had a nice peanut butter banana and a mug of coffee.

You: Oh, jolly good. How is everything else?

You: Well my husband is being very cruel lately.

You: Oh, no. How so?

You: Well he isn’t giving me any hugs, and is being generally off with me. He comes home very late and goes straight on to his laptop and gets irritated when I try to talk to him. I think that’s rude and hurtful and unappreciative, and he can go do one.

You: Oh..

You: And I didn’t say goodbye to him this morning, but I did pack a lunch for him, and he didn’t say thank you, so I didn’t kiss him goodbye like a usually do, I didn’t tell him to drive safe, I didn’t ask him if he had his phone, keys, wallet. He didn’t care, though. He just walked out that door. I feel bad for not saying goodbye, in case he dies on the motorway, but he knows I love him, so I don’t feel that bad.

You: …

You: So I am done. He can come apologise when he is ready, but until then, I am not talking to him.

You: Yesterday he walked in at 10PM, (he left the house at 6AM) and went straight on his laptop didn’t even ask how I was. Didn’t even look at me, in fact. I came in to the living room and his mother asked me, “Is he ready to eat yet?”

IS HE READY TO EAT YET!??!?!? SOD THAT. His Lordship can get his own dinner.


You: Oh, lovey. Have a nice cup of coffee, get your cycling gear on, and cycle off to the country. Maybe visit Allie on your way back, have a chat, and then go to the uni to do your work. Don’t think too much about it. You did your bit, okay?

You: *sniff* Yeah, okay, that sounds really nice actually.

You: You deserve it, my dear. Now, off you pop.

You: Thank you.

You: You sturdy thing, you!

Treat yourselves good, folks, don’t wait for others to do it for you.