"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

Todd, sorted.

It wasn’t what I wanted, to be honest, but Todd has decided to live with his dad and PHT full-time. This doesn’t really mean that much as he only spends the weekends there and his dad is going slightly mental about the forthcoming holidays as Todd doesn’t want to come here at all. I feel sad but slightly relieved about Todd’s decision as the house is lovely and quiet without him slamming doors, playing ghastly music very loudly (parents aren’t supposed to like their children’s taste in music), shouting at his sisters and me, etc. On the other hand, I feel as though I have failed him as a mother, but hopefully, he’ll want to live here again for a bit before I have to move.

We’ve had our fair share of snow, amounting to about 10cms last Saturday until it started raining during the night and washed it all away. I haven’t seen so much of the white stuff fall in years and I really needed to get out last week so I did. During a snow blizzard. Dragging my granny trolley back from the shop was a bit of a nightmare and I ended up with a fucked back. I really should invest in some good gloves, too, as Tatiana lost my thick woollen ones last year.

Coralie has looked at her first apartment but apparently it was too expensive. At €700 per month, heating only included, I’m inclined to agree – especially as there was only one bedroom. And people wonder why I don’t want to rent – talk about throwing your money away. With whatever I get from the sale of this house – and I’m really hoping it will be slightly more than €100k as any less and I will end up living in the city and I have never lived in a city – I like trees and bees and things.

SAD hit me very early on this year and it’s getting worse so I am thinking of buying a SAD light. They look rather expensive so I will have to wait until I get a job which defeats the entire purpose of buying one as I’ll be old Miss Doom and Gloom in the corner of the office. These jobs are simply throwing themselves at me hard and fast – I can’t keep up. The temping job that I did last month had me sticking needles in my eyes as it was two solid days of listening to somebody talk into a dictaphone and then type up whatever he or she was saying. Fortunately we were fast and rather than stick it out for 4 days, we got it done in 2. Less money, but I felt less suicidal at the end, as well.

I also have an interview on Friday, although all the interviews I’ve been to so far have been far from fruitful, so no fingers need be crossed. If I get it, I get it.

Right, time for a cuppa and start emptying a cupboard.


  1. Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Good luck with the interview

  2. Anonymous, too
    Posted Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    Glad to see you’re back, and that Todd has been sorted for the moment. I know you love the (not so) little monster, but don’t let him spoil your holidays.

    Try a child’s sled, plastic toboggan, or snow saucer instead of the granny cart. Besides, you’re not a granny yet!

  3. Posted Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    If by SAD light you mean one of those alarm clocks that wakes you up with light I can tell you they are great. I have one and it got me through all of last winter and this one so far.

    Not sure if I should say sorry or congratulations about Todd.

  4. Z
    Posted Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Zoë, I’m so sorry if you find me rude, but you’ve always come across as a strong and wonderful woman – except in your attitude to your children. Todd has behaved disgracefully and, I’m afraid, quite hatefully, over and again, and you just hope he’ll want to live with you again. And Tatiana lost your gloves and didn’t replace them? That is mean and completely thoughtless. Dearest, love should be two-way. And if it isn’t naturally, you have to tell them what to do. Please, please, stand up for yourself. Don’t get angry, just tell them, and stick to it.

  5. Posted Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Z, that wasn’t rude.

    You can’t stop loving a child, though – can you? Maybe I live in too much hope with regards Todd, but we’ll see. He does have a lovely side to him although I don’t often see it.

    Yes, Tatiana lost my gloves. She did replace them with a couple of really thin pairs from H&M that are useless – but she tried. I should have mentioned that in the post – I apologise as that is unfair to Tatiana. I hope to buy some really warm gloves next week – we’ll see.

  6. Ms McDermott
    Posted Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Zoe, take Vitamin D. It (allegedly) helps with SAD.

  7. Posted Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see you’re back too. Normally Todd will grow out of this current crisis and you will build a new and nice relationship. Long story short, my elder son went to live with his father when he was 11 after a one year war, I was heartbroken, but actually all the hardest teenager’s years were spent at his father’s place and I had only the best role. Now he is 27 and we get along fine. It is true that we cannot stop loving them.
    Fingers crossed for your interview and wishing you the best for the holidays and the future in general.
    (and lost gloves are not the end of the world)

  8. Posted Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Vitamin D. If not a SAD light get lots of any light. Full spectrum light, light in your face. Stretch out on the couch with your eyes closed and a bright light shining in your face for twenty minutes. During the day get out for walks in the daylight. Exercise of any kind is helpful.

  9. Posted Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    I, like you, suffer from SAD. It’s made worse by the fact that I live alone and some days in the winter when I can’t get out I never see a living soul from dark dawn until dark evening! I bought a lightbox (10,000 lumens)costing €93, but it didn’t seem to work. All the time it was on I worried about the cost of running it and that made me even more depressed.

    I sold it on eBay in the end.

    Todd? Pffft!

    Off topic – The “Merrie Monk” has closed and poor John G is inconsolable. Pop over to his blog and and give him your condolences.

  10. Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Good to see you back, Zoe.

  11. Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    I really like it. Thanks for your post.

  12. Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Now Todd’s father will have to deal with Todd’s anger. And as Viviane says…

  13. Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Give up the guilt trip re Todd and enjoy the respite.
    Your Christmas list is sorted: a Sad light and warm gloves.

  14. Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I had suffered terribly from SAD. Then I moved to the permanent sunshine. Which isn’t really a solution for you, I know. Anyway Uganda has a different sort of SAD doesn’t it?

  15. Sewmouse
    Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Before you invest in a SAD light, try purchasing an inexpensive “timer” – one of those things that plugs into the wall, and turns a lamp on and off. They’re really really cheap here, and I find that using one to turn on a lamp in the bedroom about 1/2 an hour before I want to wake up makes a huge difference for me.

    (I also have one downstairs that turns on a lamp about an hour before I get home so that I never come home to a dark house.)

  16. tricia
    Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Glad to hear you have a peaceful home again. I know it’s hard & hurtful but take heart from Viviane’s experience. I bet when Todd is 27 he will look back in horror at the way he behaved & you will both have a chuckle about it.
    I have been thinking about a SAD light too – I can put up with the cold but the short days are sooo depressing.

  17. Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I hope it all works out for you and for Todd = I know what you mean – it’s so difficult when they have the choice of two homes to live – must be very tempting to think about the grass being greener. …. I agree the appeal is not insignificant, but then neither is losing your child before they are ready to leave. Just pretend he’s at boarding school Lx

  18. Posted Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Hey, comments far too often accurately reflect their own author’s less redeeming characteristics. Fortunately, I know I’m not a cunt.

  19. Posted Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    So, when I asked how you are I thought why not read it myself, she’ll still have this blog, right?

    So, as to SAD light – it’s not a bad idea to get one at all. Esther has had one for a couple years now and it does help.
    What helps even better is her new job – she is now a postman (eh, women) for a few hours every day. Which means that she finally gets the daylight she needs in winter. For me it wouldn’t work – I’m fine with the dark but not with working outside in the rain, personally.

    Todd-wise, I’m sorry to read things had to go this way. I’m in no right to make any further comment about it since I know nothing about the situation but reading what you are writing here I have a feeling chances are your relation will eventually be better if you’re not around each other for a while.

    Selling the house, are you? 100K, are you serious? If a house like yours (still the one I was in once eons ago?) was available for 100K in this area, I would buy it today. Unfortunately we can’t find anything decent under 200K, and we can’t even afford 200K, so we keep renting, which is way cheaper in our case. Good luck finding something good!


  20. Posted Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Erik – I only own 1/3 of the house. The Ex really got a bargain out of me.