Sunday, 30 April 2006

The Ex, the Dinner and the Dream

He arrived quite late so we launched right into dinner. I had already suggested to Mr Doris we may have to forgo Dr Who and watch the repeat instead as it would be a tad impolite to rush him through dinner just to fulfil my Dr Who fix!

It was worth it though as dinner was fun. Even daughter got into the swing of it and we ended up talking politics. You see, daughter has decided she is going to uni to do a degree in politics even though she never talks politics at home. It was interesting then to hear her drawn out and become vocal on the subject. She has scary views which I hope come down to her youth and will be tempered in time.

After dinner we retired to the parlour where ex, the kids and I played rummy until midnight. Admidst laughter and bluff and double bluff it was a fun time.

After son went to bed, ex told us about his dream. It was set in our house and consisted of my brother hauling my ex up against the wall and threatening him with a knife for daring to turn up and just waft in and out of our lives and how terrible he was. It was the dream that shook up ex and made him come visit immediately. Sounds to me like someone's guilty conscience getting the better of him!

Today we took a drive en famille and found a nice country pub for lunch. Home for a cuppa and then goodbyes. Ex gives son a tenner to which son looks as if the riches of the world have been bestowed upon him. Ho hum. Daughter was called down to say goodbye and the same was pressed into her hand. I guess that might be it for another year.

Original Comments:

Stegbeetle said...

Glad verything went well and you had fun.
Rather sad ending, though. £20 shouldn't absolve ex of his responsibilities but there, that's none of my business and maybe I'm speaking out of line. Sorry.

Sunday, April 30, 2006 8:21:00 PM

Cheryl said...

Great ending. Cordial, like a visit from an Uncle or family friend and if he has gone away happy that Mr Doris and the whole set up means that his kids are 'fixed', that there is no onus to fulfil responsibility and he can visit as a friend and not as a scorned child who let the world down, then I don't see how things could be better, under the circumstances. If future visits are spontaneous and based on wanting to see the kids rather than feeling that he ought to, or even if he dissappears for another couple of years because the guilt dreams stop now he knows you have a happy family, well either way, it sounds like the tension is gone?
Congrats to you & Mr for hosting so well.

I wish I could remember the whole poem, but the end bit goes:

"But you my love I'll always love, wherever you may be
So you may stay or go away, it doesn't worry me."

Monday, May 01, 2006 7:57:00 AM

ella m. said...

Here's hoping that guilty conscience will prod him to visit more often, the driting in and out of their lives must be hard on the kids.

Glad all is/went well otherwise.

Monday, May 01, 2006 7:28:00 PM

Ally said...

I'm glad it went well; it's such a civilised way to behave, a shame that it's quite rare for everyone to get on like that!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 4:05:00 PM

Neutron said...

I'm also glad and quite relieved it went well...phew...huh?

It reminds me of my brother who having been totally out of touch for 30 years suddenly appeared at my mother's 80th birthday...(well, she had found him after years of searching and put pressure on him to come). He also did a fair bit of tenners-into-hand-pressing but that has subsequently died out and I haven't heard from him for over 2 years...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 11:04:00 PM

MrsDoF said...

Here is a similar tale of an Ex

Random and Odd

I'm glad folks are able to get along.

Thursday, May 04, 2006 2:48:00 PM

The Ex and the Son

Some of the comments from my last post made me think how I had not for one moment made reference to my son in all this and how he felt. And in same ways it did stop me short, horrified, realising I was considering my own feelings but what about son.

If there was any chance that I felt my son was being mentally messed around with then I have no doubt I would put a stop to it. In fact, I always insisted on very high standards from ex when we were "together". Apart from a brief few months, we never lived together and so when he came to visit, it had to be by arrangement and promises (on the whole) were to be kept.

Yesterday I chatted with son specifically to get an update of how he was feeling. He really feels OK abut it all. A bit disappointed that his father didn't remember his 12th birthday earlier this year but that's about it. Anyway, he has his "Dad" - Mr Doris - who had a go at trying to fix the gears on his bike yesterday; who buys the shopping and gets treats and rewards for son; who makes dinners; who can be relied upon; who provides personal computers with whizzy lights; and (from my perspective) who welcomes son's father to stay.

I'll blog again later about last night - it was so much fun! After we've had our outing together today.

Original Comments:

Karen said...

Ex's suck - my ex missed out on seeing his daughter grow up - fool. I haven't gone just got P****d off with the ball and chain asking why I'd writen what I had.

Sunday, April 30, 2006 12:33:00 PM

Annie said...

I have an ex who once delayed his son's birthday presents for two months - when my son was living with him - despite other son having a birthday (and presents) in between times! He then bribed his brother not to tell him about his wedding. It says a lot for my son that he has forgiven this and still wants to, and does, see his Dad weekly. I am polite if I see him, but fortunately don't often have to. The divorce is long over and done with, but what that poor kid went through.... Hope your son isn't disappointed, and well done Mr Doris - does he have a brother?!

Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:07:00 PM

doris said...

Karen Fool is the word. Nice to see you :-)

Annie What despicable behaviour. I suppose we have gotten off lightly. Son is fine here and no, Mr Doris still doesn't have an available brother! :-P

Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:27:00 PM

Cheryl said...

I have read this twice but didn't know how to answer, simply as I never for a moment considered that you would do anything other than put the needs of you children first. Still the only real comment I can come up with is 'Of course.'

Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:38:00 PM

Friday, 28 April 2006

The Ex

We had a phone call out the blue late last night from son's biological father asking to come visit this weekend. What this means in practise is him coming up by train - because he drives all the time to work and thinks the drive to us is too much - and staying overnight. Which is absolutely fine with us and with Mr Doris.

Sadly, ex does very little to keep in contact with gorgeous son and nothing at all to help with any maintenance costs. He has good intentions but in the end it is his loss. He has missed out on son growing up. Ex was once an informally adoptive father to my daughter but he lost that honour ages ago when he decided he no longer needed to honour her birthday or give her presents. That was most cruel since he loved her very much once upon a time and used to make her feel special.

He is not a cruel person by nature but has ended up being quite thoughtless at times. I wonder about the true nature of his visit as he spoke to me last night with a real gentleness in his voice with almost a touching memory about stuff I had told him in the past such as about my long lost family recently found. I've warned Mr Doris we need to be cautious as I am sure that ex has no qualms on making a move on me even in my new home with my husband about!

Ex and I had an almost Romeo and Juliet passion and love that went on for about 13 years. Even before I managed to have my daughter by someone else. Which is why I affectionately call myself a slapper. And I'm still not telling the whole story. What amazes me is how much ex has managed to overcome his stupid masculine proudness. It was me that called it quits finally and he used to declare that there is no way he would have any contact with me or the kids once a man was in my life. His pride wouldn't allow it. It was Mr Doris who helped trick him into meeting and somehow ex overcame his prejudices and actually found a lot in common with Mr Doris and visited reasonably often when we lived nearer.

It is bizarre having civilised dinners round the table with my beloved Mr Doris and ex at the same table with perfectly affable behaviour from all. Ex has stayed with us before - I think the current rate is seeing his son about once a year - and that was OK. He said he would phone today to confirm his train times but he hasn't done that yet. I expect it will be another late call. Or heaven forbid he has cancelled because I've now told son. It wiil be an interesting and curious weekend.

Original Comments:

Jessica said...

Wow, it's good that time helped things change. I can't imagine ever doing that if my husband and I were to get divorced.

Friday, April 28, 2006 7:27:00 PM

Stegbeetle said...

Well, I'm glad that you and Mr Doris are on good terms with your ex but it sounds like a recipe for headaches to me!

Friday, April 28, 2006 8:30:00 PM

Joe said...

Well Doris I hope it goes well. It sounds like you have a pretty good relationship with ex, all things considered.

The thought of what it would be like to separated from my children and seeing them once a year is a horrid one for me. I couldn't go on without them in my life, or I guess if I did there would be this big aching hole. And yet most divorced men do loose touch with their children. I wonder why?

BTW - Why would he try to make a move on you? He must have figured that you have moved on completely. Or does he still hold a candle for you somehow?

Friday, April 28, 2006 11:33:00 PM

doris said...

LOL It is not hard to keep a candle burning for me!!! ;-) I may jest, but yes he still holds something to what we once had, whereas I don't. I did mention Romeo and Juliet didn't I? And the cheeky bugger has tried it on in the past.

As for him losing touch with his son that is really up to him and it would not have been for want of my (or Mr Doris') efforts or encouragement. He has another child elsewhere and he has finally lost contact with her. Sad. But he has other kids to keep him occupied!

Hi Jessica! It is good to have the cordiality and civility. Just a strange situation really.

No headaches here Steg. Except unless you count me overdoing the wine last night and needing water now in the middle of the night!

And the really cute thing is... our radio in the kitchen is on day and night (it gives nice vibes) and I just went in there to get water and they were playing "my song". Ahhh.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 3:29:00 AM

doris said...

Oh Jessica, I was just reading through some of your older blogs and the tempestuous husband you have. It seems more appropriate to comment back here .... I don't know how you do it and am not surprised you can't imagine him being OK if you divorced. I am not sure I can catch up on your life in one reading and hope that things are improving. ((Hugs))

Saturday, April 29, 2006 3:59:00 AM

Britmum said...

Doris good luck with your weekend. I hope it turns out well for the sake of your son. It must be hard on him but I expect he has an exceptional relationship with Mr Doris as you come across as a wonderful parents.

Take care xxx

Saturday, April 29, 2006 5:08:00 AM

Gerald Ford said...

Hi Doris,

Sorry to hear about your awkward dinner. Even though it went well, it's still agonizing to have to deal with that.

Either way, I feel worse over your son. He deserves better treatment.

Sunday, April 30, 2006 5:57:00 AM

jane said...

For some reason, sons really need/want to know they're loved by their biological dad. It sounds as though your ex was too hurt & couldn't bear to see another man in his shoes. But, what is now is what matters. I hope he shows up & that your son gets a very nice visit with him.
Thanks for your well wishes for Tarzan. He's almost perfectly better now.
Hey, you know our 1 year anniversary is coming up next month? WootWoot!

Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:15:00 AM

Monday, 24 April 2006

Doris @ 80th birthday bash

Security was lapse at the palace again

They tried not to look at the woman with 'the' hat

Doris always was a trendsetter

"Dahlinks, I lurve a good birthday bash"

HRH muttered, "She was only brought in to
liven things up and now she she's gorn
and stolen the damned show"

LOL on my 80th I'm going to invite everyone else who is born the same day and have a good laff at them too!

It's my party..... and I'll dress as I please

Make way, make way ...

Original Comments:

doris said...
Hats hide a multitude of sins.... the Duke of this, the Duchess of that....
Sunday, April 23, 2006 11:19:00 PM
Cheryl said...
So your true identity is Betty Boop?
Sunday, April 23, 2006 11:47:00 PM
Curly K said...
Luv the hat dahling, always knew you were part of the Bloggerati!
Monday, April 24, 2006 12:15:00 AM
Le laquet said...
God you look stunning ... can't those other nobodys get out of the way so we get a clear shot of you?
Monday, April 24, 2006 6:20:00 AM
Stegbeetle said...
Good to see someone adding a little colour to the scene.
What was the disco like? Or did they have a band?
Monday, April 24, 2006 7:12:00 AM
Britmum said...
OMG you have a figure to die for Doris and those eyes, I bet they hold a secret or two. (wink, wink).

Have a lovely week.

Monday, April 24, 2006 4:19:00 PM
Carol said...
Doris, you kill me. I hope you had a fabulous time, and that tiresome woman in blue didn't ruin your day!
Monday, April 24, 2006 8:46:00 PM
Milt Bogs said...
'You get rid of one Lady In Red and another one pops up out of the woodwork.'

I have a wonderful verification code - 'bzumumac'. Sounds like something that big women should wear when it's raining.
Monday, April 24, 2006 9:31:00 PM
MrsDoF said...
"And a good time was had by all in attendance"
I cannot remember where I read that phrase oh those many years ago, but it seems to fit that picture.

My birthday is the same date of the month as Prince Phillip's. I sent him a birthday card awhile back, but never have received an acknowledgement.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006 3:59:00 AM
Gerald Ford said...
Well *I* would rather celebrate the Queen Mum's birthday than G.W.Bush's.

So as far as I am concerned, God Save the Queen! :D
Wednesday, April 26, 2006 4:55:00 AM
Gerald Ford said...
My birthday is the same date of the month as Prince Phillip's. I sent him a birthday card awhile back, but never have received an acknowledgement.

Better that he didn't. I heard that he's not very tactful sometimes.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006 4:56:00 AM
Ally said...
I find it very difficult to understand why women who are rolling in cash have such poor taste where fashion is concerned.

*goes to change in to something more comfortable*
Wednesday, April 26, 2006 7:57:00 PM
Gerald Ford said...
I find it very difficult to understand why women who are rolling in cash have such poor taste where fashion is concerned.

Oh I don't know. I've seen plenty of women walking around who looked fantastic and clearly had more money than I. Presumably though, they were using someone else's money.

It's great having a wife who loves you even when you're broke and cheap. ;p
Thursday, April 27, 2006 4:39:00 AM
Badaunt said...
You know, just behind you there is apparently a hat with no head under it. Maybe the head got a headache at the last moment and the hat decided to attend on its own...?

I'm glad you attended, anyway. They needed SOMEBODY to brighten up the occasion, and you really did, didn't you!
Saturday, May 06, 2006 3:17:00 PM
rashbre said...
You missed me?
Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:35:00 PM
doris said...
LOL sorry I missed you Rashbre!
Sunday, May 07, 2006 4:58:00 PM
rashbre said...
You should spot me now!
Sunday, May 07, 2006 7:29:00 PM

Sunday, 23 April 2006

Magical Mystery Tour

It turned out not to be a day of tears but one of great fun and reflection and closeness. I picked up my cousin from where she was staying not telling anyone the plan I was unhatching and then once in the car offered up some destinations to my cousin, including Liverpool. It was an hour and half drive. I knew she wanted to see Penny Lane and so we did. That was disappointing but we still did the photos of her next to the street sign.

Nothing else was a disappointment. Neither of us had been to Liverpool before. To me it was about The Liver Birds and the song Ferry cross the Mersey. It was all that and more. The architecture is stunning and amazing and thoughtful and over the top. A real confection. In places it felt like a small New York with its art deco buildings.

We took lunch in a nice Italian place on the Albert Dock. Perfect food and I braved a last glass of red wine with my cousin even though I was going to be driving later. It was a time warp and several hours felt like twenty minutes. Seems we have plenty still to talk about.

Then it was onto a Duck Tour which was another first experience. So bizarre to be one minute travelling round doing the guided bus tour thing on the city roads and then the next driving full pelt into the water and having a guided boat tour of the docks and then back up to land. The guide had a corny repartee which was fun. But a cushion under the botty would have been nice as it felt like solid metal wheels beneath us.

By now it was getting late so in the absence of a proper map we used a souvenir tea towel map to drive to the Beatle's sites such as Penny Lane. Not a good idea as the map was not correct nor in proportion. Penny Lane was easy enough with the sat nav, once you know that Penny Lane is not in Liverpool but Woolton, but thankfully, with the assistance of Mr Doris at home on the internet he guided us to both Strawberry Field and to the grave of Eleanor Rigby. The former is wonderful - just an iron gate but such a fabulous feeling to be there knowing that many Beatles fans before us had been there; but the latter was very sad. I think it is a grave that coincidentally has the name "Eleanor Rigby" on it. She is listed along with a number of other family members - I can't imagine that this is the grave of "Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name. Nobody came". The church and grave yard are pretty, and there was confetti out the front, but terrible subsidence in the grave yard. Eeek! And the grave stone in front seems to have been smashed and laid down and one can't help wondering if it was intentional to get a better photo of the grave stone with Eleanor Rigby on it.

It was nearly 10.30pm when we finally parted. I still had an hour drive to get home and had planned this moment. I knew I needed to keep it together to drive safely and yes, there was a moment when I started to go into a sort of an impromptu speech. Or rather things I wanted to say but hadn't planned to say them and then started to waver with tears possibly pricking. So I stopped. We hugged again and left each other smiling. I must have smiled all the way home.

Of course it really isn't a good bye at all because we'll meet up again sometime. And we have the email. And we have all these wonderful new memories. Saturday, and the past fortnight, was a magical mystery tour for both of us.

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!!
Sunday, April 23, 2006 9:46:00 PM
Ally said...
Wonderful! So pleased! And you both must have been there in Liverpool this afternoon while I was looking across to the Liver Building as I walked on the beach!

If you both have broadband, have you come across 'Skype'? Very, very cheap way to make voice calls.
Sunday, April 23, 2006 9:51:00 PM
Britmum said...
Doris it sounds like you had a super wonderful day together. I am so glad for you.

I keep in touch with my family in England on MSN. Its marvelous and I love keeping in touch that way.

Take care xoxo
Sunday, April 23, 2006 10:18:00 PM
Astryngia said...
That brings back memories - an old pal o' mine I'm still in touch with lives in Woolton. I stayed with her for the Liverpool Garden Festival in the early 80s and yes, Penny Lane is...just a road. Went back for her wedding. She visits various bits of my county to go birdwatching with her beau but hasn't made it here yet - she got snowed in the last time she tried.

Glad you had such a wonderfully special time :-)
Monday, April 24, 2006 10:41:00 PM

Friday, 21 April 2006

Saturday's the day

Thank you to everyone for your fascinating contributions and comments on my previous post "Baptism at Easter". I'm afraid I am too distracted to respond with any depth or intelligence as I am thinking about tomorrow and preparing all sorts of family history documents to take with me to give to my cousin. She leaves the country on Sunday and I shan't see her until either she comes again in a matter of years or I have saved the dosh to get us all to Australia.

It will be emotional saying goodbye so it will have to be an Au revoir.

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...


Good luck tomorrow - what a bittersweet day you have ahead.

Huge hugs and support


Friday, April 21, 2006 11:59:00 PM

Stegbeetle said...

Indeed, hugs and support. Thinking of you, Doris.

Saturday, April 22, 2006 10:14:00 AM

Ally said...

Good luck and a big *hug* ...

Saturday, April 22, 2006 11:04:00 AM

Joe said...

Good luck tomorrow hon.

I'm sure you'll see her again Doris. (I know it doesn't make it less tearful etc but I have found that the net has made an immense difference in keeping up with friends/relatives etc who live in Aus/NZ, so I hope you can)

Enormous hugs x

Saturday, April 22, 2006 2:45:00 PM

Le laquet said...

Thinking of you all today!

Saturday, April 22, 2006 4:37:00 PM

Britmum said...

Lots of hugs to you Doris xoxo

Saturday, April 22, 2006 7:41:00 PM

Exquisite Chick said...

Saying goodbye is always the hardest part. Hope it goes/went well. Here's another hug coming your way!

Saturday, April 22, 2006 9:06:00 PM

Gerald Ford said...

Indeed, best of luck, Doris. :D

Sunday, April 23, 2006 2:14:00 AM

Badaunt said...

I hate saying goodbye, too. Unfortunately it happens a lot here. People don't stay forever.

Like Joe says, though, email has made things quite a bit easier. It doesn't replace the real thing, but still, you're in touch in a way that didn't used to be possible.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 1:13:00 PM

Pookie65 said...

Just read your post regarding the baptism and it really made me stop and think about the significance of it. Once again you offered up something to stimulate my worn out brain :-)

Enjoy the time with your friend, sweetie.


Sunday, April 23, 2006 2:26:00 PM

doris said...

Thank you so much - everyone. So lovely. I will write a follow-up post :-)

Sunday, April 23, 2006 8:12:00 PM

Monday, 17 April 2006

Baptism at Easter

A friend of mine was baptised yesterday, on Easter Sunday. It was a full body immersion in a pool under the stage at our local Baptist Church and I am glad I did not miss it.

My friend and I have sons who play together and that is how we met but other than that haven't had much time together lately. We had spoken a year or two before about Christianity and at that stage she wasn't Christian so I was curious to be there on her special day. I don't take these things lightly even though I am not a Christian as such, but I do admire any adult who makes a conscious decision to take on board a religion.

The words of the Baptism ceremony were interesting and the whole struck me as a device for any great psychological therapy that frees you from past pains or misdeeds and gives a psychological re-birth. A process that clears the past and gives you permission to move forward. Naturally, I can't wait until suitable time elapses and my friend and I chat again and I can find out how she feels and what impact the Baptism has had on her.

The Easter service continued and I felt a pang of wanting to join the kids as they filed out for activities elsewhere. It has been so long since I have been to such a Church service that I was concerned what us adults were going to be subject to but it was OK. Any of us not baptised were invited to consider it for ourselves and there was much talk about the family of the church. I'm afraid I can't help thinking of it as a club and it just depends which religious club manages to sign you up first.

This Service was all about Jesus which is not surprising considering it is Easter but that is what bothers me about many forms of Christianity, it is all about Jesus and the characters and less about the underlying message. I wonder if Jesus et al would have wanted to be idolised in this way and whether that is actually contrary to what he originally preached?

I spent most of the rest of Easter Sunday and night sleeping and reckon that I have slept for England. Or at least caught up on some sleep from the past week's travelling and meeting family. We managed to avoid all Easter egg purchases this year with not too much hassle from the kids. The kids get chocolate year round and the meaning of Easter is well and truly lost on the eggs. My daughter assured me she had mates who not only got eggs but presents too. Well, lucky them!

Original Comments:

Joe said...

Hi Doris...have emerged from jet lag hell...:-)

The Baptism thing is very powerful isn't it? And I'm sure that it symbolically contains all the themes you mention - very much a process of 'rebirth', as well as the religous/biblical meaning.

The community that the church offers is a very atractive thing, in our fragmented world. Personally, I went through a period of trying very very hard to be part of that world a few years ago after a sort 'epiphany'. I spent some months going to a Baptist church where I met some of the most enlightened, spiritual, thoughtful people I have ever met and bizarrely (and simultaneously), some of the most narrow minded and blinkered. I eventually left, pretty disenchanted...

I also did a course called 'Alpha' which is portrayed as a way to get to grips with some of the key issues of Christianity, which was ultimately ghastly - a bit like being drawn into a cult.

Though I'm not a Catholic, I learned the most from taking a course at Salisbury Cathedral with a man who had spent much of his life with Carmelite (I think) monks - a lay preacher of sorts. And reading work by the Jesuits.

On balance, for me...God yes. Religion no.

Monday, April 17, 2006 10:39:00 AM

doris said...

Welcome back Joe!

Interesting you mention the Carmelites.... the one Christian church I have ever felt a sense of something special is the Carmelite Church (Carmelite Nuns I believe) on Kensington Church Street in London. Every time I've walked in there I have felt a rush.

I never did the Alpha course but have been heavily persuaded by another "friend" in the past to do it but didn't.

In the 80s I was drawn into the Central London Church of Christ which was a most interesting experience. They tried so hard to convert me.... and I loved going for the singing!!!! But I kept arguing about this or that and even after they brought in the US heavies they still couldn't answer my questions and I still couldn't be persuaded. My position became untenable and I had to go.

As for the enlightened and the blinkered - I've met them too. That worries me so much that many are narrow-minded. It makes a mockery of religion, or reveals it for what it is.

Monday, April 17, 2006 1:31:00 PM

MattyD said...

I think if Jesus existed (which sadly he didn't as he's just the star of the world's #1 International best-selling novel, he'd be most disappointed with the way Easter is treated as some kind of big chocolate party.

Jesus Jumpers...please note, I'm not having a pop at you, I just don't believe the hype.

Monday, April 17, 2006 10:36:00 PM

Joe said...

Jesus jumpers?! Where can you buy them?!

Monday, April 17, 2006 10:52:00 PM

zandperl said...

Reminds me of something I've read about Judaism. According to Jewish tradition, if you're a Gentile (not Jewish), you only have to live a good life according to the Ten Commandments and you get into Heaven. If you're actually Jewish, either born so or converted, you have to follow hundreds of additional rules and if you break any you go to Hell.

Being the "Chosen People" is *NOT* a good thing. :-P

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:11:00 AM

MrsDoF said...

I'm one who goes to church for the social atmosphere of some pretty good people and the singing is the absolute best. The sermons and altar calls I just pick and choose. There's no pressure for Bible-thumping, but someone recently asked me to take a turn helping in the Nursery.

You might like the novel _The Monk Downstairs_ by Tim Farrington. The guy leaves the monastery, but has some great insights into religion. A Lutheran friend mentioned it, then I passed it on to a Catholic.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 4:02:00 AM

ChelseaFCChick said...

Another great post Doris.

Personally I don't have a religion. My husband is a Catholic 'on paper' and went to Catholic schools (although he doesn't go to church). I often ask my husband about his religous beliefs and so I found this post very interesting and pretty thought provoking!

As for Easter, well, in our house it is more of a spring celebration and a family tradition. We love our chocolate eggs but thats not what its about, its very much a family time for us.

Belated Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 6:09:00 PM

jane said...

I like that you're open-minded about your friend's baptism & went for the experience. Sadly, I think the church is not at all representative of the teachings of Jesus. He brought such a different message than the ones we now hear preached from the pulpit.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 5:27:00 PM

Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the blog administrator.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 5:30:00 PM

Annie said...

I was baptised in the sea about three years ago. I was going to a Vineyard church (very 'modern') at the time. I was brought up Methodist and had been christened and to Sunday School until I was into my teens. Both my parents are very active Christians but go to different churches. At the moment I don't go to church, but that's more due to health reasons rather than lack of faith. I read my Bible and pray every day, but I consider my faith to be a private thing and not something I want to make a big issue of, well not online anyway.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:32:00 AM

Cheryl said...

I got dunked too. Does that make me a Rich Tea?
My C of E Vicar said I was baptised already, but respected my need to do it, and even sent me a card. Then later when he christened my two eldest kids at ages 8 and 9 he gave up on just signing the cross on their heads and splattered them good & proper, bless him.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:38:00 PM

Anji said...

"I wonder if Jesus et al would have wanted to be idolised in this way", good point . We didn't go overboard with the chocolate this year either, but I do miss the easter egg hunts

Friday, April 21, 2006 3:15:00 PM

Gerald Ford said...

I spent some months going to a Baptist church where I met some of the most enlightened, spiritual, thoughtful people I have ever met and bizarrely (and simultaneously), some of the most narrow minded and blinkered.

Sounds like the folks at my Buddhist Temple. ;p We're big (200+ people), and you get the full spectrum.

Back when I experimented with Catholicism, I rather enjoyed the symbolism found there. My friend is a Catholic priest (Dominican), and my wife and I stayed at his priory in California once. It was a great experience, and really spiritual besides.

Still, for my wife and I, we didn't find the answers we were looking for, so we ended up in Shin Buddhism. My wife was raised that way (she's Japanese), but for me it was discovering something new.

Either way, experimentation with Catholicism was quite nice and worth every minute. ;P

P.S. The Buddha's Birthday happened to fall a week before Easter this year. Kind of a funny coincidence I think.

Friday, April 21, 2006 4:51:00 PM

Friday, 14 April 2006

Enchanted Gardens

We were young together once, my cousin and I. Thirty-three years later we have spent the past week together meeting relatives neither of us have ever met or some I haven't seen since a child. We have held hands and played and laughed and cried. There have been difficult parts with truly horrible rellies but these have been far outweighed by the lovely ones. Most of all has been the incredible relationship and love my cousin and I share. There is too much to say in one go so I am not going to attempt it.

This past week or so has been like we are together again in an enchanted garden. Reminding me of my cousin's enchanted garden which her father - my beloved uncle - created for his family. A real and beautiful garden with nooks and crannies; waves of colour and the greenest grass. He created a wonderful childhood for his children and it is one I was priveleged to share for a brief while. In the garden us cousins would play, round hidden paths, up the cubby house or down the end of the garden to the creek and the bridge he made to go over it. It was the only house with a bridge in the neighbourhood and it was much appreciated by the local kids. We'd play in the trickling water amongst the pebbles. Uncle would give us helicoptor spins in the garden. His strong hands and arms, which carved the finest art and created the most beautiful gardens and built the strongest foundations, would hold us tight and we'd feel so safe and happy. In the hot summers he would helicoptor spin us through the sprinkler to screams of laughter and delight. It was an enchantment.

Then through the painfulness of his own memories he couldn't stay in this world anymore and I can't comprehend how his own children coped with losing the most wonderful father ever. And I feel a bit guilty for only ever thinking of my own loss and not theirs. However, we were all young children and that is how it was and death grabs you like that.

My lovely cousin might be writing her own blog in due course. I don't know but I hope so though she is away travelling for another couple of weeks. Maybe she might write down her own stories. And if it wasn't for her having no hesitation and every confidence in me then we wouldn't have met up so soon. She and my Aunt have travelled across the world and the hemispheres to be here. We've done it now and can now move forward to even better things together.

Whilst I was away on my travels and completely unbeknown to me my darling Mr Doris was creating our own enchanted garden in our back yard. He doesn't even know the significance of it all! He planned it before my departure and had it in place within four days. Astro turf on the concrete with fancy brick edgings; a mandala of stones with a sunburst design; white gravel; yard art fixed to the wooden part of the fence and painting of various features. He transformed a dull grey concrete yard (admittedly overhung with glorious trees from the park next door) into a wonderland of colour. Like a mini-golf fest. My cousin and Aunty and I saw it mid way through our travels and were bowled over. Me: I just love my Mr Doris for coping with me and everything over the last few months and for the things he does.

I'm exhausted and so I reckon I am not quite back yet. So many emails to catch up on and I need to find my feet again after this incredible whirlwind. Goodness knows how my cousin will manage as her journeys continue to see relative on her mother's side.

Lucky us that we get to meet up one more time, next Saturday, before she leaves the UK. I'm sure that is when the tears will flow and we'll have to be very brave.

Original Comments:

Stegbeetle said...
You move me, Doris. I'm so pleased for you that it all worked out well on the whole.
Bless you, lady, and your little patch of enchantment too!
Friday, April 14, 2006 10:48:00 AM
Ally said...
Yes, I am so happy for you. And you are so eloquent in the way that you share it. Have a happy week.
Friday, April 14, 2006 11:32:00 AM
Milly S said...

I'm not hre - I forgot my password, but had to say just that:
Friday, April 14, 2006 6:05:00 PM
Astryngia said...
A great sense of closure, doris. Gardens seem to be a theme in the blogs i'm reading just now and there's so much meaning in them. What a wonderful Mr Doris to create something so special and to know, intuitively, just what was needed.
Saturday, April 15, 2006 8:04:00 AM
Le laquet said...
SOunds wonderful, so glad that you got to spend precious time remembering together and good on Mr Doris for being so thoughtful too! Have a good Easter weekend
Sunday, April 16, 2006 10:09:00 AM
doris said...
Thanks all for your kind words wrapping me in hugs and making me feel comfortable to share these special times :-)
Monday, April 17, 2006 1:22:00 PM
jane said...
That was such a touching post, Doris. Isn't life interesting in that just as you're reflecting on the enchanted garden, Mr. Doris creates one for you? I'm so glad you & your cousin got to hold hands again, it's the simple things that matter the most.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 4:59:00 PM

Monday, 3 April 2006

A new chapter

In January of this year a door opened in my life. A door to the past that revolves around to I don't know where. Maybe back to where I am but I suspect I will come out someplace different. And since January I've been in this revolving door. Not trapped but on a journey of discovery that has bounced me and pushed me and shoved me onwards.

It's about my childhood. About the characters in my life. Who I am and how I operate. It's been exhilarating and mind blowing and yet I don't think I've changed that much but somewhere in me there is an essence that has been enriched.

Tomorrow begins a new chapter. Tomorrow I will be meeting family I have not known or seen since childhood. Somehow they seem to matter a lot to me and incredibly they have found the wherewithall to travel around the world to meet me and our family. I almost cry at the thought of how wonderful they are to have done this. For twenty five years my cousin has tried to find me and then gave it up as a lost cause about six years ago - just when I started looking for her family. This January one of her family found one of my messages on a genealogy board. That's when the door opened.

I may be gone a while!

Original Comments:

Britmum said...
Doris good luck to you. I am so happy for you and you deserve the best.

Take care

Monday, April 03, 2006 8:23:00 PM
Stegbeetle said...
Hope all goes well for you Doris!
Monday, April 03, 2006 10:59:00 PM
ChelseaFCChick said...
Good luck, as stegbeetle said I hope it all goes well for you!
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 10:02:00 AM
Ally said...
Good luck Doris, I hope it all goes well.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 11:48:00 AM
Cheryl said...
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 6:30:00 PM
doris said...
Thank you all (((Hugs)))

Day 1 Wow! Wow! Wow!

Driving there the sun was shining and the cherry blossom had blossomed. Tears pricked my eyes in anticipation. And then it was everything and more. A very long day and quite emotional in places. Only Day 1 and not a wasted moment :-)
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 11:35:00 PM
doris said...
Day 2 The never-ending wonderful day.

Family history chats; saunter into town; relaxing in a bar; chatting whilst cooking dinner; after dinner games with Mr Doris and the kids all hooting with laughter; bed at midnight. Bliss.
Thursday, April 06, 2006 7:00:00 AM
Cheryl said...
Came back to ask how it was going - I see the answers are here already!
Thursday, April 06, 2006 7:33:00 AM
Stegbeetle said...
Thursday, April 06, 2006 10:12:00 AM
Pookie65 said...
Wishing you a beautiful reunion! Can't wait to hear all about it.


Thursday, April 06, 2006 12:59:00 PM
doris said...
Thank you again. Thank you for caring :-)

Day 3 Emotions and depth.

Sightseeing and gadding about as a backdrop to the real business of chatting. Being together and sharing the tears of my cousin for her lost father and the words and memories so long unspoken. Acknowledging that we have so much in common as people and in what we like and how we are. Tomorrow we become a crowd as Aunty joins us. I reckon that'd be OK. Different but OK.

I just found out that my brother is to have an op to remove an unknown facial tumour. There is a small chance it is cancerous but it is a case of get it out and question it afterwards. I've been through the cancer scare thing with my brother before. I shan't start panicking this time.

Looks like the engine is in third gear and revving up. Seat belts are firmly on.
Thursday, April 06, 2006 10:52:00 PM
jane said...
I was here yesterday & tried to comment, but Blogger was screwy. I'm a firm believer that new doors open for reasons & this is a good example of that theory. I'm so jazzed for you that your cousin wanted to find you as much as you did she. Like Britmum says, you do deserve the best.

I just read your updates in comments & am glad things are going so well.
Thursday, April 06, 2006 11:10:00 PM
ella m. said...
Good luck (though it sounds like it will go excellently)!

I'll look forward to some joyous news upon your return. :D
Friday, April 07, 2006 2:26:00 PM
hellonheels said...
Good Luck I am wishing you the best and much happiness!
Friday, April 07, 2006 5:08:00 PM
doris said...
Day 4 And then Aunty came too.

Sightseeing and getting to know Aunty. All very nice indeed.

Today we set off and start with the challenging family - but I'm sure it will be brilliant.
Saturday, April 08, 2006 6:40:00 AM
marina said...
Be safe and all the best :)
Saturday, April 08, 2006 7:22:00 AM
Astryngia said...
Thinking of you. I love that way the baton was passed from cousin to you in order to finally bring the family together again. A field of energy at work which is greater than the sum of its parts. Magnificent.
Saturday, April 08, 2006 1:46:00 PM
Britmum said...
So glad that it is all being wonderful for you.

Take care

Saturday, April 08, 2006 2:58:00 PM
Astryngia said...
I hope it is all continuing to be wunnerful - no heartache, well - only the good kind.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006 7:02:00 PM
Curly K said...
Doris, delighted to hear things are going well. Enjoy the new found family and joys.

Will keep your brother and your family in my thoughts till the good news arrives. Been through scary times with my brother too, so know what it's like.

Sorry I haven't been logging on for a while; got a useless gallbladder our and now desperately trying to catch up with my fav six or seven blogs.
Friday, April 14, 2006 2:31:00 AM

Saturday, 1 April 2006

Mitre-ly fab

Just another one of those days when one does a bit of this and a bit of that. This afternoon I finally put up the border tiles in our kitchen. They are this shape but in a terracotta orange to match the reds and oranges of the multi-coloured tiles. I had hesitated to do them as they required a mitred edge on two corners and I feared not getting it right. Especially when I have a job lot of tiles at a bargain price but with just two extra tiles to allow for breakages. Which meant not much room for error.

With family descending upon us from Monday I just had to get on and to my delight I've pulled it off. I've yet to grout it all but the mitres look amazing. Professional even. It is surprising what we can do when we put our minds to it.

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...

Good for you!

Saturday, April 01, 2006 10:16:00 PM

Astryngia said...

Comes as no surprise - you have a real talent for this DIY lark. :-) Have a wonderful week with wonderful visitors. I hope they all behave!! ;-)

Saturday, April 01, 2006 11:07:00 PM

Britmum said...

Wow!! You are my hero Doris. I could never do it. I am afraid I am too much of a girl, plus Scrag End thinks he is all that when it comes to DIY so I let him do it. LOL. If you ever need a holiday in Phoenix? (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) I have some tiling that needs doing in the kitchen.

Take care


Sunday, April 02, 2006 1:25:00 AM

Le laquet said...

Well done! Mind you it's the grouting I hate most!

Sunday, April 02, 2006 6:59:00 AM