Saturday, 13 September 2008

Page 98

Everyone was shocked when I got home and told them about Lesley. I rang the hospital at 5.00pm and they said the operation went well and she was sleeping the effects of the anaesthetic off and would probably not be awake until morning. I asked if we could visit this evening but was told no, the earliest I could see her was 2.00pm tomorrow afternoon.

Sheila and Steve wanted to go so they would have to have the afternoon off school. It was a really bad time for Lesley to be off school as she was doing her CSE`s. I rang the school and explained the situation and they said they would do all they could to enable her to just go in for the exams if she was out of hospital in time.

We went to visit her the next day and she looked really sorry for herself as they had made her walk and it really hurt her she said, it was probably more fear than pain. She was in a really nice ward with younger children. She said she had been reading to them. The nurse said she had been a big help to them by keeping the children occupied.

We saw the doctor and he said she would have to stay in hospital until she had her stitches out which would probably be the following Monday or Tuesday. The exams started on the Wednesday so it was going to be doubtful if she could sit them, we would have to play it by ear.

We had a show on Sunday so couldn’t visit Lesley but she understood I said if we got home in time I would ring her. We had a brilliant day Sheila again did really well and we came home with loads of rosettes again. Trina was at the show and invited us to her cottage for a cup of tea Mike said yes but I really wanted to ring the hospital to make sure Lesley was ok. We stayed about an hour and by this time it was about 4.00pm. I rang the hospital and spoke to Lesley she said she had been ringing all afternoon as they had told her she could come home that morning. I apologised but we had no way of knowing this was before mobile phones. I spoke to the sister and asked if I could fetch her now, she moaned a bit but said yes.

Mike took Sheila and Outlaw to the stables and Steve and I went to collect Lesley. I was in such a panic I forgot to take her outdoor clothes and didn’t realise until I got there so she had to go home in her nightdress and dressing gown. What a shambles but she didn’t care she just wanted to be home. It was good really to come home early as she stood a good chance of being able to go to school on Wednesday to do an exam.
With a bit of luck Mike would be able to drop her at school and collect her when she had finished. The school was very good.

Once more chaos reigned, dinner to be cooked, children to bath, clothes to be ironed, beds to be changed. Sheila had to clean her tack …no rest for the wicked and while all this was going on Mike would be sat watching TV demanding a cup of tea or whatever. and ordering the kids to be quiet.

Lesley made it to her exams but was exhausted when she got home. Steve’s foot was much better but he was still in pain but no where near as much as before he had the new medication and insert. The doctor was really pleased with his progress.

I was getting really fed up of Mike’s behaviour although he was good with Sheila and Outlaw he still made no contribution to the running of the house i.e. bills etc….He had now bought a six feet tank for specialist fish, seahorses etc… he sometimes bought them paying around £60 and by the time he got it home it was dead, this happened on several occasions. We had whatever was left after he had got everything he wanted. Sometimes he would buy fish when the children needed shoes. It led to so many arguments but no violence since he came back to live with us, maybe because I had said and he new I meant it, that one more incidence of violence and he would be out. The house was still in my name and I had no intention of changing that. It was my security.

I began to think about mine and Mike’s future together and realised our marriage went wrong the very first time he was violent, which was when I was pregnant with Lesley , by rights I should have left then but it wasn’t possible. I decided I would stick it out until Steve and Sheila reached 16yrs as Sheila needed him for the horse shows and the small amount of money he did contribute. Without him Sheila would have to stop the shows and I didn’t know if I could still afford to keep Outlaw so I had to stick it out.

I decided to get prepared for that day, at the moment we had a large four bedroom house which was expensive to run, we could manage with three bedrooms by the girls sharing. I went to the council and filled in an exchange form and thought I would try to get somewhere closer to the stables at Potten End. This would mean possibly Warners End or Gadebridge it would also be a bonus as we would be much nearer to my Dad at Gadebridge.

Lesley had got herself a new boyfriend, Ian he was a really nice kid. He lived in Gadebridge not far from my Dad. The odd thing was they had both gone to the same primary school but did not know each other. Ian had a really nice motor bike a Motor Morini 350 I think . I was a bit worried about Lesley on the bike because of the things Mike and I got up to on our AJS 650cc but she loved it.

They seemed to be getting on really well. They were out and about most of the time.

I didn’t tell anyone about what I had done as I thought I would see what happened, I had told Mike that we would go our separate ways when Steve and Sheila left school he didn’t like it much but tough. It had taken me long enough to get some backbone. A lot of this was due to my boss where I worked who was also my friend she asked why we were together when we couldn’t stand each other. I realised she was right, so hence my plans. From now on it was me and the kids he could do as he pleased if he didn’t like it he had a choice stay or go, no-one would miss him only his temper.

Sheila went from strength to strength with Outlaw they were real buddies, he would try anything Sheila asked of him. All three children were now in Secondary school {Mountbatten) they were 12yrs and 15yrs respectively. Lesley had a part-time job as a waitress and made quite a lot of money. She really surprised me as she was really quite shy.

I had been at my present job at B.S.I. for 8 yrs and was getting a bit tired of it and really fancied a change, I had worked my way up from a clerical assistant to Office Supervisor and there was no where else to go, I could do the job without really thinking about it and I needed to be challenged. I left without getting another job as in my mind I thought if I wasn’t working then Mike would have to pay all the bills he definitely earned enough. Before I left I was able to recommend Lesley for a job as filing clerk there. She got the job and soon got promotion to progress clerk.

How stupid was I to think Mike would pay the bills, two months later I was job hunting, I must have been out of my mind to even think he would , very soon we owed money again he just would not part with his money . Why should he when he had a fool like me to pick up the pieces. He was well aware that I would soon stop the rot. I realised that my plan to get away from him was the right thing to do for me and the kids.

I decided I would go job hunting the next day and the first agency I went to had a job at a place called Sidal Aluminium that was for what they called a progress chaser in the Sales Dept.. The job entailed chasing orders on outside suppliers also from the mother factory in Belgium.I also would have to keep updated a manual database of all our supplier and customer addresses. This was in the day before computers. There was also trays of different sizes and thicknesses of all stock we held in the warehouse these had to be kept in good condition as constant use by the sales people meant they soon got dog eared. This sounded right up my street I loved working with figures.

The girl in the agency rang them, told them a bit about me and arranged an appointment for that afternoon. I had to dash home, get changed and dash to Maylands Avenue, funnily it was in the same building(Sunley House) as I worked in for B.S.I..

I had to see a Miss Williamson the Sales Office Manager she seemed a nice lady. After a long chat she said the job was mine if I wanted it. It was agreed that I would start the following Monday. Mike and the kids were surprised I had got a job but as I told Mike if I hadn’t, we would have been back where we were when he walked out on us , up for eviction and owing a lot of money and I was not prepared to let this happen again.

I started my new job and loved it. It was quite a small office with a good sized warehouse attached. All the office departments like the accounts, shipping and sales were in the same large office. It was a bit cramped but Kay the sales office manager told me they were in negotiations for much larger premises.

Time passed Lesley had left school and was working at B.S.I Sheila was doing brilliantly with the Show Jumping and Steve was also much better he was now able to go out and play with his mates and get up to allsorts of mischief, like putting on a frying pan to cook something and then going out to play. The lady who lived next door saw the smoke puthering out of the kitchen door and ran round to see what was happening and she was confronted with a smoke filled kitchen and both dogs barking their heads off. She turned off the cooker and got the dogs out and waited for Steve or Sheila to come back. When Steve saw what he had done he was shocked and he thanked the neighbour and waited for me to come home. He said he was hoping I was the first home or else his Dad would have hit him first then asked what had happened.

Lucky for him it was me. The kitchen was in a terrible state, still we were insured and Steve had had the scare of his life, I don’t think he would do that again. If my neighbour hadn’t seen it it could have been catastrophic. Mike eventually arrived home and couldn’t believe his eyes and we all got stuck in to try and get rid of the soot it had covered everywhere in the kitchen.

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