The lights have been out on this blog for over a year, but now, at last, I return. I do so to remember what creative writing is like and unlock the key to my imagination. Where else better to do that than here, where my journey began 14 years ago.
So, with a glass of gin in hand, let me begin.
So first, there are two subjects to cover. Although I shall probably only cover them briefly here, it is almost impossible not to mention them. They are Covid 19 and my divorce. No doubt I will return to them again in due course.
Fortunately, my immediate and extended family and I have been unaffected by Covid except in small, recoverable doses. But, regrettably, a number of my friends and acquaintances have lost relatives, and my former brother-in-law was hospitalised in intensive care. So, if you have lost relatives or perhaps are now suffering long covid, I offer you my sincerest condolences.
Secondly, on August 27th this year, I finally received my Decree Absolute. Almost 5 years since my separation. And now - sit back - my legal fees were a staggering £55,000. That's around $74,000. Those costs came out of my divorce settlement, which I had to fight for until almost the bitter end. It is a ridiculous amount of money to spend over a relatively tiny pot of cash, but when one party fails to cooperate, if you want a vaguely fair resolution, then you have to fight for it.
I have learnt quite a lot about family law, especially how it fails to protect the weaker party, and I am not impressed. I will be elaborating on this at a future date. It's possible I may get some of my costs back as I have an ongoing case being investigated by the Legal Ombudsmen for negligence against my first legal team. Their mishandling of my papers meant I had to secure other legal representation, which proved vastly more expensive. However, ultimately, those extraordinary costs were incurred because my former husband did not want to give me a fair settlement and consistently delayed proceedings by not producing his paperwork so that my solicitor had to undertake more work in pursuit of them.
I would say he adopted the same attitude to the divorce proceedings as he did throughout our marriage on any matter of importance, and that is a total unwillingness to discuss any topic of significance. Ultimately, he has stripped me of the ability to give our sons the support I could have done. As the mother of his children, he should have known that I would always put our sons' wellbeing before my own, but the fact he didn't even want to give me a fair settlement speaks volumes of just how little he cared for me but for our sons too. In the end, he couldn't rise above his own disinterest and bitterness to do the right thing.
I have not talked about my divorce at length in the past for fear of upsetting my children, but they are all adults now, and they have not only been a witness to my trials they too have first-hand experience of the hardship and financial struggles we have endured these last 5 years. My youngest son especially has suffered far too much, which simultaneously makes me extraordinarily sad and enrages me. He was a staggeringly good tennis player with national titles, but through lack of finances, I was unable to salvage his tennis career. His academics were seriously affected, and last year he was diagnosed with a rare illness called erythromelalgia.
Through a financial contribution from my brother-in-law, I was able to salvage his elder brother's tennis career. Subsequently, because of his tennis achievement in the US college league, where he became a top 10 NAIA player, reached the nationals and achieved All American status, he is now studying for an MBA in the US on a full scholarship. I often wonder how my younger son must feel knowing he was the better player. I can say that too without offending his brother, who would often say that his younger brother was more talented. Luckily, all I can say is that my youngest son was born with my sense of humour and he is very resilient. I am pretty sure the majority of children would not have taken so many kicks in the teeth as well. I am more proud of him and my other sons now than I have ever been.
So, at this point in time, I have moved way up North in the UK and have bought a cheap nondescript terrace where I can live with minimal costs. I am currently not working in a conventional 9-5 sense as my health is shot to pieces, and it is now time to look after myself.
So, where do I go from here? Is there any laughter left in the former Mrs T?
Luckily my sense of humour has never totally deserted me, but it has been very hard at times to find it when the odds have been against me. However, to fully unlock the key to my comedy writing, I have signed up for a brand new MA course. It's the only one of its kind in the UK. It is being run by a well-known comedy producer with all the right connections to get me up and running again. So, I need to start writing. I need to break through the barrier of silence, and this is why I have returned now to The Witty Ways of a Wayward Woman.
So I have a vast amount to talk about. I have missed commentating on so much these last five years: Brexit, Trump, Johnson, Covid 19, the rise of wokeism (ugh)...even tiny Tom Cruise and Kim Kardashian's arse!
But of course, my experiences mean I also have a lot to say about other matters, especially feminism, the legal system, ageism, women's careers, sexism and so on.
So I have plenty to say. Yes indeed. And in my own particular style.
So join me here on The Witty Ways of a Wayward Woman as finally I move forward and unleash, once more, my verbal assaults upon the world!