And so this is Christmas…or not

The thing about having most of your stuff in storage is that things like Christmas come around and there is no way you can reach your tree or decorations or anything.

Obviously this year is going to be quite strange, although I think my ex-husband and I will be spending the time together with extended family, I think this will be the last time as I just really want to move on.

Despite the lack of festive accoutrements in the house, I will source some ivy and green stuff from the garden and make a wreath for the door and I think the miniature umbrella tree has some nice orange berries on it somewhere, so at least the entrance to our home will feel a little Christmas-y

Something like this imgres

We’re not even celebrating on the right day! This year, for the first time, my brother is working, so we are all getting together for a late lunch on the 23rd- everything has been out of kilter this year, one more thing won’t make much of a difference… will it?!

The one (relatively recent) tradition I have kept is that I have made a new outfit for whatever day we have Christmas on, it is the Tulip Dress from Sew Different a free pattern that I liked various renditions of on the Net. The fabric is badly-behaved cotton poplin (some of the colour bled into the surrounding white, despite being washed by hand in cold water), but I do really like it. I lowered the neckline somewhat and raised the hem a little, but the modifications needed were minimal.

One of my friends (who is also a mad seamstress) asked me if I had a big yellow bag to go with it, my reply was, “No I don’t and I don’t have big, round, black ears and I don’t answer to Minnie either”!!!

Here it is fullsizerender-1

The shoes are reproduction Edwardian Louis heels(“Gilmour”) from American Duchess and the bag is the little Longchamps bag I treated myself when I was last in the Netherlands.

I hope you all have a lovely time over the next few weeks and I am looking forward to giving you good news about the house selling and me moving into my own place (please keep your collective fingers crossed for me!).

See you in 2017 🙂



..and so the end is near (and other musings)

It’s been a long time, I know…how are you all?

This year has given me a lot of opportunity to reflect on my past and contemplate my future, I try to do more of the latter because looking back leads to bitterness and regret and what is the point of that?

I guess I can consider myself a single woman now, although that is only just dawning on me. Thirty years is a long time to be with someone, to be in a couple, to be considered as “Jenn and Tony” instead of just “Jenn”; it is going to take some getting used to. I am not divorced yet, but all the legal financial stuff is completed and submitted, it took me some months to get to this point as I was hoping to get by without having to go down the legal route and the truth is, we have done this amicably and just done what is legally required, so no lawyers were involved; still, it took me a while to get to the point of wanting to do it.

The house is still on the market. No prizes to anyone who puts it down to a cautious buyers market, it is what it is, just a waiting game now. What it means though, is that we will still be in the the family home for Christmas and there is a part of me that wishes I was in my own place with just the children (and my extended family for the day), I don’t want to be having an awkward Christmas Day with my estranged husband, because, yes- we are still living in the same house together 😦

Contemplating the future, I am scared and excited in equal measure. For months I have thought I don’t ever want another relationship again, but time has mellowed my view. That is not to say I will be embarking on anything anytime soon, but I would be open to suggestion if the right person made it. I am however not being unrealistic here, I am not expecting anything much. Ageing apparently should be embraced and I am feeling good; I scrub up pretty well and I wear nice clothes; however I am not convinced that men my age have the same priorities, a well-groomed, fit-looking bloke will turn my head and unfortunately most of them seem to be quite a bit younger than me!!! So I think that “Singlehood” will be my future and that’s okay.

I sound vacuous I know. I know that attraction is so much more than looks and if the truth be told, I have never found conventionally handsome men attractive. I like quirkiness, a quick wit, an interest in lifelong learning and a need for new knowledge, a love of art, of the environment, of clean living, of silence… and the list goes on, I’m not fussy am I?!

Random thoughts while my marriage disintegrates

Why am I compelled to feed homeless people? I spent more on a meal for a beggar tonight than what we, as a family ate for dinner. What guilt am I assuaging?

My husband and I had a good day today. We spoke as friends, laughed at funny stuff and he thanked me for sharing his life for thirty years; I hope it stays like this.

I hope my daughter’s new boyfriend treats her with respect and takes things slowly.

I wish my son would stop smoking weed to get over the pain in his crook shoulder and the frustration he feels about it. Looking forward to the surgery which will hopefully fix it. Am I the only parent that says “Thankyou Pokemon Go!”? At least it gets him out of the house and walking kilometres with his friends 🙂

The house is looking good and is nearly ready to be put on the market- anybody interested?!

Looking forward to the next chapter in my life…

Best wishes everyone x


The exhaustion of grief

I would love to say that since my last post, my life has gone ahead in leaps and bounds, that I am blossoming as a strong, single woman and that all is good and rosy in Jennland.

Unfortunately, none of this is true and I have come to the conclusion that saying goodbye to a relationship of 30 years is just too damn sad.

That is not to say that I don’t look forward to my single future with a degree of excitement, I am just saying that the grief I am feeling has sucked the life out of me for the moment.

I look for inspiration from people I know who have survived and thrived following separation and divorce, but I also know that they have been through the toughest of times and have emerged out the other end. I am still in the tunnel and really, nothing is getting any easier, except perhaps my husband’s acceptance of the situation. I have found little joy lately in anything much, except good chats with my son and long walks on the beach with the dog and my daughter.

I was missing the things that helped me through the bad stuff. My younger brother is busy building a new career and looking after a wife and baby and although he is always receptive to a chat, I don’t feel it is right to burden him with my misery. My dear Mum is a ‘phone call away and I do feel better after talking with her, but is it fair to impose my own turmoil on an 86 year old? I think not. My big brother has his own stuff to deal with at the moment and he doesn’t need me to offload my stuff onto him as well.

I do count myself fortunate though, my dear husband has no family within cooee and he is suffering. Luckily, he is receiving support from some very dear friends and I am very grateful that they are there for him.

I had packed my sewing stuff away, thinking that moving would be sooner rather than later, but I was premature as the list of things that need doing to the house grows… so I went and unpacked my Pfaff and did a bit of stress-relief sewing. It felt good, even though it isn’t much to crow about

The Easter sewing for the Uthando Project resulted in these (mine is the one with the nearly invisible nose- that needs work!), she also has a baby hidden behind her back.dsc_05882.jpg.jpegInspired by this foray into doll-making I made this little one, she came printed on a square yard of fabric from Spoonflower. An easy make, she is still unfinished, but I was taken by her cuteness and call her “Delphy” short for Delphinium… I think she may go to my little niece when she is older  20160426_174440.jpg

Finally, my Mum gave me a lovely soft wool jumper last year. It had a couple of moth holes in it when I brought it out recently and the high crew neck made me feel as if I was choking. Now black is one of my least favourite colours, but the quality of the jumper meant it wasn’t going anywhere yet…so I made it into a cardigan 🙂 I added a trim down the front edges and a pleated collar in the same fabric (left over from my son’s shorts made previously). As I am troubled by gaping in garments with button fronts, I chose instead to secure this one with a simple red grossgrain ribbon tie. I like it 🙂


The happiness is always clouded by the other stuff that is happening in my life right now, but I know that the next few months will bring resolution and the opportunity for a start on the next phase of my life.

As I said in a previous post, watch this space 😉


heartache and a sewing hiatus ahead :(

So, I hinted that I may not be sewing or posting much in the near future.

This Easter, I am heading a group sewing dolls for the Uthando Project (, we will be making 10 dolls and the possibilities are endless, the project is really worthwhile and the idea of making a difference to a child’s life is appealing to me. 

After Easter, my sewing room is being dismantled and machines packed away, the room is being returned to it’s first use as a laundry. This is to make our house more attractive to buyers (the real estate agent says no-one wants a semi-detached laundry and no-one will believe my sewing room is actually a functional laundry either- bler). Over the next few weeks (or months if I can tolerate it), my partner and I will be decluttering and doing a bit of cosmetic work on the house to ready it for sale. Apart from getting rid of a whole lot of stuff, there isn’t an awful lot to do; a bit of painting, tidying the garden and replacing a section of perimeter fencing and we’re done.

What does the future hold? I am not sure, but I am looking forward to it.

It seems I am in a significant minority of women who are saying goodbye to partnerships of decades and going on to a future by themselves. I am not afraid, it is a mutual choice, but I am the one who has taken over the driving so-to-speak. There has been a lot of heartache, so please don’t think this is a step that has been taken on a whim, my husband is finding it very hard and is pessimistic about his future, but I hope he can eventually embrace the change and see it as an opportunity for positive things to happen.

Our children (17 and 22 years) are doing okay-ish (as am I), they see it as a positive step and are willing to embrace the future, but they worry about their father (as do I), they know that we love them and that they are always welcome to have a home with me (my daughter is coming with me, my son is looking at living independantly).

Being free to do as I wish, when I wish is looking very appealing; I have lived alone as a younger person and just loved it, my needs are few and I have enjoyed the challenge of living frugally at times in my past. I would like to buy another place, but realise that renting may have to be a stop-gap measure, rather than panic-buying and living with the regret.

I may get the opportunity to post at odd intervals, just to let you all know what is happening, but wish me luck and watch this space 🙂