Imperfect 10: A Love Letter To My Husband

Love is an act of endless forgiveness – Peter Ustinov

Ten years ago I met my husband for the first time. We’d agreed to meet outside Borders the bookstore in North Swindon, and drank coffee in the Starbucks above.

My first impressions were that he was impossibly handsome and way out of my league. He remarked that I was tall, and better looking that the photo he’d seen online (which he’d liked).

We talked and laughed easily together, and then agreed to go to a pub near my home in Old Town. When we arrived I asked him to parallel park my car – he knew early on, what he was getting into.

We ended up going back to mine to watch the final of X Factor and we did not kiss. He ‘phoned one of his best mates after that date, and told him he had met the one; I wondered if I would ever see him again.

We fell in love very quickly, but we also fell into arguments. I think it is because of the eldest/youngest child dynamic, he thinks this is horseshit.

I am a thinker, a ruminator – Damian is a man of action. He says I live in my head too much, I say he doesn’t ponder enough on my emotional needs.

If you think this is a sign that we are incompatible – then you do not know love.

The things that drive me insane with anger about Damian are perversely the things that also make me laugh (retrospectively) the most. Have you ever had an irate man lecture you on how to hang underpants on the washing line? Or how to fold a towel? Or shout because you messed up his car boot packing plan by dumping your shoes in the place least pleasing to him?

On the one hand, fucking do it yourself mate, if you can do it better (actual internal monologue, which sometimes bleeds into exterior shouting), and on the other – I’m in awe that someone can have a strong opinion on this, and stick to it resolutely. I am chaos; he is order.

Only yesterday he tripped over three things I’d left around the house including hand weights, some bath mats and towels that need to go to textile recycling and a parcel (for another house) that was on the stairs.

He is driven to distraction by my ability to catastrophise, my low self-esteem and my inability to look at operations during Holby. Apparently someone repeatedly saying ‘can I look yet?’ does interrupt the narrative flow.

There have been times over the last ten years when it would be easier to run than stay. We are human, and we are subject to the same disappointments and sadnesses as everyone else.

But through everything: highs, lows and the bits in between where you have a thirty minute discussion about shades of grout – there has always been love.

I could not live with another version of me; I irritate myself too much. But I can live with a man who I respect hugely, who makes me laugh, and does all of my ironing. The fact that I can now be endorsed for towel folding on LinkedIn is a bonus.

Damian: thank you for ten years of love, my love.

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19/09/2016: Saw Bridget Jones – v v good.

Dear Diary

I suppose you want me to say something fresh and exciting about Bridget; a hot take on singletons, fuckwits, smug marrieds, novelty jumpers, turkey curry buffets, or at the very least big pants.

Come the fuck on, Roo – anything?


2016 has taken away a lot of loved figures, and it is finally giving me someone back. This is about the simple joy of seeing an old friend after a long time. I sat for the first few minutes of the film with tears in my eyes at hearing that familiar voice and reconnecting with that world. Continue reading

When Doves Cry…

Clifford: The fact is, Mrs O, my life seems completely grey, bleak and pointless
Mrs Overall: Yes well, sometimes that’s God’s way of making you enjoy ‘Gardener’s World’

Victoria Wood

On a couple of consecutive days last month I lost two major influences in my life. I never knew either of them and yet that didn’t lessen the impact of their passing.

The death of the famous is a weird one. For every person who understands your sadness, there’s another who thinks you should just man up because they were strangers. If you’re in the latter camp, you should move along now and look at some cat GIFs. Continue reading

Five Point Turn

I can’t remember the last time a day passed and there wasn’t a story about the new series of Top Gear. It’s like trying to recall the last time DFS wasn’t having a sale – you know it must have happened but the details are hazy – you think you may have been playing Daley Thompson’s Decathlon on the ZX Spectrum whilst wearing snow wash jeans. Continue reading

Write, right now.

Apologies to anyone who tried to get a coherent conversation out of me during November – it was such a busy month, I’ve practically crawled into December. In my mental fog, I forgot to buy an Advent calendar, which in hindsight is a good thing, as I’ve not got the strength to open the doors without the help of two burly men.

I spent the thirty days writing fifty thousand words for National Novel Writing Month, known affectionately as NaNoWriMo. Continue reading