I have not yet had the courage to write a complete post about Ruth: for lots of different reasons, not wanting to upset people that may have known her and not known instances about her death, not wanting to share too much about me from a time where I was not that nice a person. Also though, because it still feels raw. It will always be raw. Anyone that has lost someone from their lives in an instant will know what I mean. There is no illness, no watching a body deplete, no time to question or fight, they are just there. And then they aren’t there. Death leaves us with enough guilt and questions as it is. Sudden death is really the cruellest way to leave anyone behind.I will never get over it. Never!

Ruth was absolutely everything that a best friend should be. She was vivacious and outgoing but, she was understanding and kind and she would give you every little bit of her if she loved you. I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of her love. We loved each other. Without limits.Never ever did we let each other down. Well, she let me down once and that was by dying.

God! She was so annoying when I first met her. She was a year younger than me but, her Mum was my riding instructor and the school dinner lady and her Uncle owned the primary school we both attended. She was always so smug they were ‘her’ horses and ‘her’ school and I thought she was a bit of a brat. By her own admission, she was actually! We did not have much to do with each other because we were in different years at school and of course, she was in a different league to me when it came to the riding. Usually, I would just clean some tack and then get shouted at because I had closed the wrong gate and all the ponies had escaped. Well, ok I only did that three times. I never was good at taking instructions.

I hated it really. I only went because my Mum had grown up in a stables and I wanted to make her proud of me. But, it was always cold and I had to wear too many pairs of socks which made my toes hurt. As I hated it so much, I only did it for about five years!!!! Anyway, not only was Ruth an amazing and accomplished horse rider but, she was also a hockey expert and general girl that you disliked just because you weren’t her. Oh, and she was blonde! Naturally blonde! When I left primary school, I did not have an actual friendship with her for nearly ten years. In those ten years, we had both done a lot of changing.

Apart from the jealousy and general annoyance, I did not know anything about Ruth in those early days. When I got to know her as we grew older, it was clear that her lifestyle had given her some ‘issues’ and she had turned against it and rebelled a little. Not majorly but, enough to be a lot wilder than you would have expected. As young adults we were both looking for love and attention for different reasons: it was this that made us absolutely perfect for each other! When I say I was not a nice person, I mean I was just angry (as you know!) I was not a slut in the true sense of the word but, I knew that I had a power with my sexuality and I used it to feel good. I needed to be reassured constantly and that I was special and if that meant making the most of it when it was obvious someone liked me, I did.

I always look for butterflies when I miss the ones I love.

My childhood boyfriend, whom I completely walked over, had told me that being with me was like emotional mountaineering and he was completely correct. I was utterly blinkered by anger over my Mum and I spent a few years mistreating people who did not deserve it. I have made my peace with that now and been punished in some way in return. We all make mistakes but, I definitely did learn from them and that is as much as you can hope.

I was really bored with working in a phone shop. My Dad was dying and I had finished studying and at home with him, just the two of us. The emotional mountaineering with my boyfriend was over and I was single. I am sure my Dad was looking to get rid of me on occasion so that I would stop making lists of things for him to do. I did not want him to stagnate in his wheelchair. Little did he know, when I got my new job, I would just leave the lists for him to complete whilst I was out. I even left him with a tick box. Ordinarily he just ticked the box and nothing else.

Anyway! I had tonsillitis for the millionth time and I had spent my bedridden hours looking for a new job. I did not really know what I wanted to do but, administration seemed like a realistic option and particularly the job advert I had seen as it was a two minute walk from my house. It would work perfectly with caring for my Dad and being available too (usually to bring him cream cakes!) As I only had one previous job, it had not taken me long to perfect a CV. When they called me for an interview the next day because someone I knew worked there, I had no idea who that someone was. It was actually Ruth. She was the one who told them they should interview me and they did. I got the job! I actually still work there . My boss is also my Brother in law now but, that is a story for another occasion. I expect he still finds me irritating.

Ruth and I had absolutely the best time from then on. We spent every single day and pretty much every hour together, not just at work but, in our lunch hour and after work, mostly every day. Ironically, she loved driving and we would go everywhere and anywhere we wanted together. She did not really drink much either but, loved going to the pub so it really was the best of times for me who did like to drink. Even the time we had to hide from a man who chased us out the pub because he was interested in my ‘symmetrical face’! It was only so funny because she was the one that commanded most of the attention. We were like Abba and I was the dark haired one (a more acquired taste)! One lunch hour we decided to drive out far enough to the next postal code area so we could post our Valentine cards with an extra element of incognito. We were so clever!!

She had terrible taste in men though.

She was always being taking advantage of or screwed over but, that was because, like me, she was always looking for love and would do anything for anyone, without one hint of a question. As her friend, I was just there for her and she always bounced back quickly. She never was single for long as she was so very beautiful. There was always that ‘one’, like we all had, that treated her like dirt but, had a certain hold over her. The day she got rid of him once and for all was a revelation for her. We were always together for all of it, without judgement of each other. Naturally I just told her she was too good for most of the population.

Our relationship was really so special because she had no other friends that were girls. She was a real tom boy and although she was gorgeous and borrowed all my clothes, she was happy having fun with the lads and not worrying what she looked like. Even when I got engaged and settled down more, we did not spend any less time together. She was however, super worried about being my bridesmaid because she regretted some of her tattoos and felt self conscious in her dress.I really had to convince her to do it but, there was no way I could get married without her there. She held me up in so very many ways.

As we worked in such a small office then, the prospect of a day with no bosses was exciting to say the least. Particularly as there was no chance of them coming back, being that they had gone to a special party miles away and were staying over. We had already planned to ensure we did all our work early so we could enjoy the freedom of the Friday afternoon. For the purpose of my boss whom is still my boss, we had actually done all our work! We really had! Our day had certainly not started as planned though because we had had an argument, an argument about work and it was so stupid. We were both massively loyal to our job because we had our own family unit within it and she had felt that in this instant, I was doing something at work that she should have done.

We had sat in silence for three hours until I had to pass her a file. I decided to chuck it at her and call her a rude name. Her laugh broke the tension and were back to where we should have been for that afternoon; eating pasties, chair racing and talking about boys. She had a boyfriend who was treating her right and so she was happy but, the day was tinged with a little sadness and had made us pensive because of a recent local tragedy. A boy our age had driven his car off a cliff and his funeral happened to be that Friday. As the town’s main church was opposite our office, we got to watch all the comings and goings of the sad event. Ruth always told me everything that was on her mind; she was sad that someone so young could leave the world like that and that if it were her funeral, I would be the only girl there. Most importantly, if I found myself ever at her funeral, could I make sure that I had removed any sex toys before her Mum went into her house. I didn’t!!!

She wanted me to come home with her that night and continue our conversations so that we could come back to town later and party. Of course, I said I would. The 20 minute drive to her house would mean that we could have a cigarette and listen to music like we always did. However, following a call to my Dad, it was clear he was having a bad day and I knew I should go home to him and meet her later. ‘Love you squirrel’, she always said as we left each other. I never did know why she called me that. She walked off to her car and turned round and shouted ‘Love you squirrel’. She was wearing a purple top.’Love you too’. She didn’t call me about meeting her later so I thought she had probably gone to see her boyfriend. He had been at that funeral earlier. I would call her tomorrow. See her tomorrow. Spend time with her tomorrow.

It was the first of October 2004. She was 23. Tomorrow, 14 years have passed and my heart will always be broken. 20 missed calls on my phone that morning from her Mum. I was still wiping sleep from my eyes whilst I sat in front of my Dad who told me my Ruth was gone. Where has she gone? What’s happened to her? I’ll just call her. I was watching this happen to someone else, sat on the same sofa that my Dad had told me my Mum wasn’t coming home. But, it must be happening to someone else. Not me. Not her.

Her car was on the wrong side of the road. She had hit a car with a Mum and her two children. It was her fault and we all wanted it to be her fault. It would have been hard enough than to hold someone else responsible. Then, just like that, she just wasn’t here any more. There any more. In that instant, she was gone. I wasn’t with her, I was supposed to be with her. She was gone from my life, just like that. I did not get that tomorrow. Tomorrow will be hard again. Be grateful for every tomorrow you have. Love you squirrel. I’ll love you forever.






Lavender candles, lovely warm bubble bath and a magical feeling of love and new life. This is not what childbirth is like in any stretch of the imagination. Even those annoying cow bags that pop out a baby in one hour and slip into their size six jeans for the post birth journey home would agree! However, if you are having your first baby, the minute you discover that the miracle of life is forming in your uterus, you cannot help but think that for you, it will probably be just like this. Let’s face it; Technically you are the first person to ever go through it and God Damn you are going to have the easiest birth since Copulation began!

Luckily, and unsurprisingly for me, the tranquillity and beautiful magnitude of my first ever pregnancy lasted for a whopping two days. Two days because no sooner had  I discovered I was pregnant than I was spending my days crawling round on all fours and sitting on the toilet for forty five minutes at a time. Just a little ‘nodule’ on the Ovary apparently. If that was a little one, I would have had to bite down on a whiskey soaked rag in the weeks that followed to cope with any bigger. Bugger, it really hurt! Any woman that has suffered with something on her Ovary or generally in her womanly bits will know that really, you just feel like you constantly want a giant poo but, it has taken the wrong turn! Still, it was better than the alternative we faced, as for a few days the doctor had told us to expect the worst and that this pregnancy may well be ectopic. Thankfully it was not but, in true spirit of Gynaecology departments all over, unless you were dead, you could wait a few days to find out for sure. (Although, my Gynaecologist rocks!! and looks like Louis Spence 🙂 )


I have used this picture before, but it is disgusting and I like it!

So, apart from the constant need for a poo, the daily navigation of a spiral staircase on all fours and the hourly requirement for grated cheese in a white roll, the rest of my pregnancy seemed to pootle along quite nicely. The determination of this as an in-utero pregnancy was discovered during an internal scan but, I feel the intricacies of this particular procedure may be too much for some. Ironically, they cover it in what looks like a giant condom first but, as I said…I must stop there!

The fun really began when it was realised that all those grated cheese rolls had ensured a very yummy environment for my daughter and she clearly did not want to budge from where she stayed. Even after two weeks, she was not in the mind set to make an appearance and all the things they tell you that will encourage labour are about as useful as the birth plan they tell you to write beforehand. What you should really write in your birth plan is: give birth. In whatever way works for you. Oh, and remember the time you said that whatever happened, there was no way you were having an Epidural….Ha Ha Ha…..that was a good one Monty Python!

If when overdue, you are fortunate enough to have a ‘Sweep’, you will have had a lovely little insight into what might be waiting round the corner for you. I have had five in total and its a wonder I don’t have lady bits that could safely house the car keys. To be fair, I have never actually tried! I have friends that are nervous to have a smear test. Us Mum’s will have a little giggle at that. Blimey! When you have had a child, you are pretty much willing to save time for future gynaecological appointments by going in your pants!!



To look at her now you would think she never caused me any trouble at all.

So…What happened for me the first time round?

As I have mentioned, my daughter Lani was two weeks overdue. Technically she was two weeks and ‘God knows how long in labour’ overdue but, lets not get pedantic! I had three sweeps (which incidentally is not a type of spring clean) and was booked in for an induction on the 14th day. Almost every Mum that has been induced kindly informed me of exactly how much more painful my whole experience would be with induction, which was kind! However, if I knew then what I know now, I would have demanded that Epidural from the car on the way in…Best invention ever!!…After wine.

I honestly can’t remember where I was or what I was doing when the contractions started. I do however, remember that I was wearing an orange top! I thought, ‘Well, this isn’t bad. Give it an hour or so and I shall be pushing my lovely (and tiny of course) baby into the world’. Well, on the second night…yes night..of these pains, I was ready to reach in and pull it out myself. The pain starts off like the feel of a fart collecting in your bottom region. Except, it doesn’t escape giving you immediate relief, it goes upwards where it shouldn’t. It swirls around your back passage and creeps up towards your tummy like ‘The Scream’ and the skin on your abdomen has become so tight that it would make Joan Rivers jealous. Encompassed with all this is the feeling that you must dispose of every fluid remaining in your body and you have the urge that you never thought possible to wee, poo and vomit all at the same time. Oh, and all those baby magazines you bought which suggested you have the special raspberry flavoured lip balm for this joyous occasion can stuff that lip balm right in their print press!

It starts off as a little trickle at first. I was watching Vicar of Dibley, the Christmas episode where she has to have several Christmas lunches and stuff sprouts into her mouth. I was thinking that I had to do just the opposite of that and feeling like it too. I also remember being really grateful at this point that I had a leather sofa (and that I was wearing my ex husbands trousers) but, it is not till you stand up that you realise the full fun of the ‘Gush’ that you are about to incur and the way that it actually feels, just that little bit satisfying…..

To be continued…. (because I realise I have not even got to the hospital yet and the fun increases by ten fold then) Oh and obviously Joan Rivers was alive when I had my first baby. RIP Joan (I know she wouldn’t mind)







Ready for ballet.

Talking Trees

Talking Trees

What a weird bloomin song: course they don’t listen to you and the stars most definitely never hear you. The trees i’m talking about! My Mum loved that song, she was always singing it. You probably have absolutely no clue what i’m talking about. It was a song that went ‘I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me, i talk to the stars but, they never hear me’ Weird!

My Mum loved music. Only recently i sold a whole box of eight tracks at a car boot sale. I always remember them snuggly fitting in the huge mahogany telly cupboard, right next to the big wooden globe that held all the alcohol. This included the Cherry Brandy i once managed to demolish at around 10 years old. Wouldn’t have been so bad but, i’m pretty sure it dated back to Prohibition. Years my parents dined out on that story, years! Make’s me a little green thinking of it now.

We had a Volvo. Don’t knock it, ruddy safe it was, that’s what my Dad always said. Bit ironic really when you think how proud he was about it’s safety. Did i really just say that?

Anyway, the Volvo had a cassette player (i know, all mod cons) and every Sunday when my Mum took me to the Riding stables we would listen to one or sometimes a mixture of the following: The Carpenters, Manhattan Transfer, Curiosity Killed the Cat, Lionel Ritchie or that song about some bloke that could have died in your arms tonight. I have a Deezer playlist of those songs now. They take me to a happy place. Funny really, as i never wanted to go riding much.It was always cold and if you wore more than one pair of socks, you could never feel your toes. Plus, if it was hot, never a more sweaty gusset you would get than in a pair of jodhpurs.

My Mum wanted me to love horses though, because of her history. I liked riding i guess, i was just never really that good at it. They always made me nervous and i think it was because i’m not good at taking direction.Controlling a horse is quite a responsibility I never really wanted to accept. I loved cleaning the tack and getting big stones out of hooves though.

Ballet i loved. I loved it but, i decided to give that up after several years because i was missing Knightmare and Fun House. A valid reason I stand by today. If only i knew that at the age of 34, there would be a specific channel that i could watch them all on now. Bugger!

Ready for ballet.

Ready for ballet.

My Dad never really listened to music, he just worked. He worked a lot. When he was dying he would like to borrow my CD player to try and pause some of the monotony of, well, dying (and the shame of luminous green wee). We knew it was luminous green because it was in a bag by his bed. When i asked him what he wanted to listen to he would always say ‘I love that band Erasure’ Shocking that was! Even when you’re dying: No excuse Dad!

I remember when he went to The Royal Albert Hall to see The Who. My brother took him (yes, we will get to him too: he requires his very own Terrabyte however) and he was so excited by the fact, that because he was in a wheelchair, he went to the very front and he got upgraded to first class on the train there, that he should have done the wheeled thing years ago. I gently pointed out that he would have been unlikely to obtain a wheelchair from the NHS when, even considering that he was paralysed from the waist down due to Prostate Cancer, that they still hadn’t managed to deliver two ramps in order for him to get out the house. One ramp they gave him, one! We just made our own in the end. The second ramp never came. Probably be delivered soon.

There was one good thing that came of riding and not just the hot orange squash in the winter as that was really a revelation. It was my friend Ruth. She was crazy good with the horses, especially the naughty ones: she just jumped on them and off she went, like something from a Thelwell painting . Her Mum owned the stables though so she had a head start.I loved her, I loved her a lot. I still do.She was my confident and she was the one person that when i was being an arse would say, ‘Shu, you’re being an arse’

My beautiful bessie mate

My beautiful bessie mate

The only problem i had with her was that when we were together, we were like the Abba of Devon. She was the beautiful blonde one that everyone wanted to talk to and i was the frumpy dark haired one that noone ever looked at. She was Agnetha and i was……see! Exactly! OK, i wasn’t exactly frumpy but in comparison to her i was.I still miss her, i miss her all the time. She was taken from me in a blink. Not like it was with my Mum and Dad. I never had the chance to say goodbye to her properly because she went out in her car and then she hit a tree. But you know what the last thing i said to her was and what she said to me? I love You.

That’s the God’s honest truth and that’s because we said this to each other every day. That’s the thing about losing someone so important so early, you always tell the people you love how you feel about them. This is one of the biggest lessons i have ever learnt and I’m happy that this is one of the most honest traits I have. I don’t care if it’s not reciprocated and neither should you. If you feel something, say it. You may not get another chance. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but, don’t let it be.

Me and my mate

I still surround myself with better looking blondes, when will i learn?

This is the main reason that i was so angry about my Mum’s death. She had ample opportunity and time that she knew was ebbing and yet,she didn’t make the most of it. I felt she didn’t. She never even left me a letter. This blog is my letter to her. And my apology.My apology for thinking that way.