4

Day 737 – Men Who Kill Their Wives

I haven’t written in a while.

I’m not entirely sure why.

Perhaps because I haven’t felt the need to lay bare all my innermost thoughts.

Perhaps because life has just been ticking on.

I don’t know why.

Today however, I feel compelled to write by the news that the partner of the writer Helen Bailey has been found guilty of her murder. This news has shocked me to the core and it is so very sad that this lady, who thought she had found her happy ending, after the 2011 death of her husband while they were on holiday in Barbados, will be so tragically killed by the widower she had met through her grief, for what seems to be for financial gain.

I read Helen’s story thinking, there but for the grace of God go I…

there-goes-i

Last week, I finally watched a TV drama I had recorded last year, called the Secret.

This is based on the true story of the deeply religious Irish dentist, Colin Howell, who in 1991, together with the married woman he was having an affair with, Hazel Stewart, another church member, conspired to kill both of their spouses, his wife Lesley, and mother of his four children, including a nine month old baby, and Trevor, the father of his lover’s two children, a boy and a girl.

They believed killing their spouses would allow them to live happily ever after.

They were wrong.

Colin and Hazel literally got away with murder as the police and coroners bought into their faked joint suicides for their spouses. Their sordid affair lasted a couple more years, before being ended by his lover. Such was her guilt after the deaths, that they would even have consensual sex with her gassed on his dentist’s chair, so that he could have his way with her, without her being consumed with guilt.

10 years after the murders, this dentist, confessed to his second wife, a mother of two, with whom he went on to have five more children, about the murders. She chose to keep quiet and went on to have four more children with this murderer, to add to the one child they had together at the time.

Nearly 20 years after the murders, Colin voluntarily confessed to the police after believing that God was punishing him following the death of his first son Matt, and being swindled out of around £350,000. He had previously had “signs” that had convinced him that God had forgiven him for the murders.

He had admitted being haunted by his wife calling the name of 5 year old Matt as he strangled her.

He also voluntarily confessed to sexually assaulting several patients while they were under anaesthetics.

He was sentenced to 21 years in prison after pleading guilty to the murders.

But for his confessions, these murders would never have been discovered.

His lover Hazel who pleaded not guilty, was later found guilty of both murders and sentenced to 18 years.

His second wife who had chosen to keep quiet about her murderous husband, escaped prosecution. She moved back to the US, where she was originally from.

Some men kill.

Some men kill their wives. 

Women kill too.

And while I admit that this post might seem like possibly the biggest admission that I have made in this blog, I firmly believe that I could easily have joined the statistics of the many women (and men) who have been killed by their supposedly loving spouses or partners, who found the idea of murder, more palatable than divorce or merely ending a relationship.

As my marriage disintegrated in 2015, my ex husband would make countless comments about killing me.

I was distressed by these comments and he would say he was merely “joking”.

He said on three occasions that it was a shame I was on a diet as he was no longer cooking for me and therefore, could not poison me.

At the last minute, he changed travel plans on our last holiday over Easter 2015 to Milan, supposedly to work on our marriage when unbeknown to me, he was sending his lover £70 flowers and expensive chocolates. He chose to drive to the airport, instead of taking a taxi, and when I queried why, given as we would always take taxis to airports, he referred to a story about a man who had killed his wife by carefully crashing their car, having removed her seatbelt, just beforehand. He insisted he was joking.

His several “jokes” about killing me and how my death would be easier than divorce, were such that before travelling to Milan, I had written a long email to my sister referencing all his comments and the dates they were made, and giving her our travel details, something I had never done before. I wrote that if anything happened to me in Milan, she should hand my email over to the police.

I had felt very unsafe with this man and I was resolved, like I said in that email, that after Milan, I would have to decide whether my marriage was worth saving given all the “jokes” about my death.

The seriousness of my email to my sister was such that she expected me to be checking in with my family frequently, during that trip. On one occasion when she hadn’t heard from me for a few hours, because I was out and about and didn’t have internet or whatsapp access, she had been worried enough to have rung my hotel several times, leaving messages for me to make urgent contact, as well as shared her concerns with another sister.

In Milan, my ex husband would “joke” about pushing me from the top of the Duomo Cathedral. He refused to climb to the top on his own, when I was unable to explore with him which was unusual as he wouldn’t normally object to exploring on his own.

Perhaps more telling was the one night in Milan, when I was violently sick all night, throwing up and with serious diarrhoea, while my ex husband slept very peacefully beside me. This happened the only time I had eaten or drunk anything bought solely by my ex in my absence. That night, he had brought some latte back to the hotel for both of us and yet, I was the only one who had been so violently ill.

I have no doubt whatsoever that my ex had tried to poison me on that day.

As our marriage crumbled during that holiday, my ex insisted on taking me out shopping, going from street to street, all very carefully mapped out by him.

It was a most bizarre day when he insisted on buying anything I as much as looked at. Several handbags including an expensive Prada bag, several sandals and shoes including Jimmy Choo shoes, expensive Jo Malone perfumes, expensive Acqua di Parma toiletries and all sorts of unneeded vulgar spending.

I have no doubt whatsoever as I took photos of the ridiculous shopping bags through my tears, that these were my ex’s defence of how could I have killed my wife? I love my wife. Can’t you see all the things that I bought her?

Four days after our return from Milan, on a Sunday, my ex insisted that Sunday morning on visiting the seaside, instead of a hike he had planned. He “joked” several times about pushing me from the pier into the sea to drown given that I can’t really swim.

After he left our former home, I would find a knife inside my ex husband’s drawer on his side of the beside table, of the bed we slept together.

When I asked him what a knife was doing inside his bedside table, and sent him a picture of the knife, he lied and insisted that he had never had a knife in the drawer that he used exclusively at the time.

This is a long post with all sorts of serious comments but my aim isn’t to depress myself and all my readers.

I describe my ex husband as “evil”. That ugly word is not a word I use lightly.

I do not believe that this man has always been “evil”.

I still believe that he went through and might still be going through, some sort of mental breakdown.

But the person who I strongly believed wanted to kill me and who did all the heartbreaking things during our divorce is an “evil” man capable of anything, including cold blooded murder.

I am not without blame as I should have gotten him out of my life the very first time he “joked” about killing me, let alone the countless references and the seemingly well thought out scenariors he painted, as to how he might have killed me.

I should have reported his comments immediately to the police.

I should have immediately gone to the police and been tested on return to the UK or even in Milan, on the night I firmly believe he tried to poison me.

But to be fair to myself, at the time, I was not aware of the lengths this man could go through, or just how evil, he truly is/was.

When I read these stories of men and women, who haven’t survived being murdered by their nearest, closest and most trusted spouses, I thank God that I came out of my marriage with my life.

I thank God that my mum and siblings do not have to spend their lives mourning me and wondering whether my death was really an accident, as described, or murder.

I thank God for the gift of life.

May Helen and all the men and women like her, murdered by their spouses and partners, rest in perfect peace.

This is still a diet blog, and as such, I should really write about my diet.

This year has been full of ups and downs on the diet front but right now, I am on it. I’m not stressing about the fact that I wasn’t on it last week.

I fail, I restart and I keep going.

2

Day 623 – Thank You to Good Friends…We Are Yet to Meet.

I don’t care if it takes me a trillion days, a billion fails and a million restarts.

I owe it to myself and to every single person who reads this blog and who cares about my journey, to keep chipping away at my fat, until I reach goal.

So….I’m back on the diet wagon.

I want to say a massive thank you to all of you who have followed my journey and those of you who have become my friends on Facebook through this blog, and who have extended a real and genuine hand of friendship.

thank you

Although we have not met face to face…yet, your friendship and support are tremendously important and hugely appreciated by me.

Let’s face it, you know my innermost thoughts, which 99% of people closest to me in the “real world”, whatever that is, are not privy to. 

You are all very important to me as real and virtual lives merge in our world.

The comment below on my Facebook following my last post, from an incredible lady who I have not met…yet, but who I greatly admire and very much care about, like I do my closest “real life” friends, moved me more than I can express.

And so, I say, thank you.

“You are so brave! What a journey you’ve been on! I remember a year ago telling you it would get easier….and I stand by that….it does, but I too, after 8 years of being divorced received a letter from my ex last week…and it still hurts. In my experience the pain dulls, but it never leaves entirely.

But that discomfort mustn’t stop you moving forward with your life and pursuing your own happiness every moment of every day!

This may not be the outcome you’d have chosen but it is a new page, a clean sheet for you to put your mark on, and knowing you lovely one, it’ll be beautiful!!! Big Love xxxx”

4

Day 610 – From the mouth of babes….

Yesterday, I spent nearly 5 hours in the company of two delightful boys, one is 7 and the other is 5.

We baked shortbread biscuits and a two layered vanilla birthday cake, with buttercup frosting, complete with birthday messages and candles, after which we invited their parents and 5 month old brother to join our little tea party.

I did not even have a teeny weeny piece of cake.

This is a first.

Ever.

There is hope for me yet.

birthday-cake

At one point, the 5 year old declared that I was his best “Belle.” His mum tells me this is the height of his compliments.

At another point, he said:

“Mummy said you’re separated from your husband and you are no longer friends. You have two new friends, X and Y.” He proclaimed, naming his brother and himself.

That comment nearly moved me to tears. I gave both of them a high five, a kiss and a cuddle.

He also declared that I had the nicest kitchen in the whole wide world.

mouth-of-babes

Isn’t it just amazing how kids can make everything seem so easy and uncomplicated?

not-complicated

Since the last time that I wrote, the transfer of equity of my beautiful home into my sole name has completed. I looked at the title deed with my full name on it, with tears of joy, so much pride and immense gratitude that I have come out of my nightmare with a clean break and with my home as mine.

Just over a week ago, I finally deleted my ex ‘s phone numbers and that of his mum and sister from my contact list. The time was right and it felt good to have that firm closure.

But…things are not completely over.

My ex is still continuing with his ridiculous and crazy stance of taking me to court to fight over a previously jointly used mac computer which is over three years old and which I have been using alone since he left in April 2015.

The fact that this man is going ahead with this utterly ridiculous case tells me that his madness has not waned. His ludicrous barrister, with over 20 years experience, had demanded half a day of a busy Central London court, the busiest family court in the country, to talk shit about this computer.

The court has allocated 5 minutes instead of the demanded half a day.

Oh and for this laughable case, we are both required to prepare like a real case, exchange witness statements, evidence and all sorts.

I have been told to be prepared to be totally lambasted by an angry judge for this stupid matter coming to court but so be it. 

I look forward to a fun trip to Central London after which I will meet a friend for dinner and have a laugh.

crazy

In other news, I am still doing well in my diet.

I am also using my gym and in the last couple of weeks, have decided to weigh once a week instead of my previous obsession of weighing two or three times daily.

2

Week One, Day 572 – My Journey…Is Right on Time

A planned day off my diet, ended up being a week off my diet.

And so, on Saturday, I had yet another restart and so far, I’ve been 100% on my diet.

I am beginning to worry whether I will fail in this diet quest.

I obviously do not want to fail.

I am currently at a weight that is comfortable for me and I have never really managed to get below this sort of weight in any diet that I have been on.

Ever.

I have been on a quest to lose weight since age 9. I am 43 years old. 34 years of excessive fat is a long history to overcome. Even if I think of my weight struggles as an adult, since the age of 18, that means 25 years old of history. That’s a lot of years.

It is easy to give up.

It is easy to say that I have failed at every attempt to get to a healthy weight all my life and why should this time and this diet be any different.

It is easy to say that my history is very much against me.

It is easy to accept that maybe I’m just not meant to ever be a size 6.

It is easy to let the negativity get to me.

But self-love is about telling yourself the truth and being brutally honest with yourself.

Self-love is about admitting that there are all sorts of plans I have for my future that will never happen if I remain obese.

Self-love is about being the best version of myself that I can be.

Self-love is about reminding myself that I have survived 17 months of pure hell. That girl that thought that she didn’t want to live because her marriage ended, that girl who would cry herself to sleep over the heartbreak of the end of her marriage, survived that pure hell.

If I can survive 17 months of pure hell, surely I can control what goes from my hands to my mouth and therefore whether I remain obese forever or have a better life at a healthy weight.

I am channelling the me that  achieved ambitions way beyond all limitations even when I’m told by those who should know better to lower my expectations and ambitions.

I am channelling the me that achieved first class honours degree, distinction in post graduate studies, who won every single academic prize available and ended up  working in one of the top companies in the world in my professional field, before illness caused me to stop work.

own-hero

I am channelling the me that has a can do attitude that means that no is never the answer and who uses intelligence and creativity to create solutions for every problem that presents itself.

I am channelling the me that may have been dealt with a few bad hands by fate but is still standing and still finds reasons to smile.

I know the me above is still very much around, because that person is the only reason I could have survived my 17 months of hell.

That person can get to the end of this weight loss quest.

And so, I pledge that I do not care how often I fall down on this quest to break a weight problem of a lifetime, I will get up whenever I fail and I will carry on.

mirror-mirror

I do not care that every body else on the internet is losing all their excess weight in a few short months and my journey is taking forever. We are all different and we all have our own lives and quests to overcome.

This is my journey and it will take as long as it takes.

I do not care that my body doesn’t lose as much weight as everyone seem to do on the Cambridge diet, I will keep going.

I do not care that my body frustrates the hell out of me by often ceasing to lose weight when I am doing everything right, I will keep going until I reach my destination.

now-is-right-on-time

And so, here I am again, promising myself and everyone who has followed my weight loss quest that I will keep going until I hit a healthy weight or at least a weight that I have never achieved before given that I have no idea whether an NHS prescribed BMI friendly weight would look good on this 43 year old who has never been a healthy weight.

I am on yet another self-imposed 28 days challenge to lose a stone. The plan is to stay strictly on my diet except for one meal when a very good friend is taking me out to a very fancy restaurant for lunch. Yes, there is something like a free lunch…

And yes, it will be one lunch that will not be 100% on plan, but this time, it will stop at only one meal and not one week.

Week One, Day 572’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.1 kg, week’s weight loss 3.6 kg (7.9 pounds); total weight loss;  33.7 kg; 74.1 pounds; 5 stones 4 pounds

 

4

Week Two, Day 558: Let Them Eat…Salad

It’s been a frustrating week on the weight front.

I have done my bit by staying on my diet 100% and my body has simply refused to play ball. I was 89.8 kg on Saturday, and since then, it’s been ups and downs, mostly ups and today, I am 90.6 kg. 

The weather in London has been very hot all week, and my consultant Mandy thinks it could be water retention which would of course make sense even though I’m very good with water, drinking around 3600ml or more of water daily.

It could also be hormonal. For the first time in years, my period is over 10 days later.

And no, there is zero per cent chance of me being pregnant.

On the Cambridge diet, I am allowed 80g in total of specific vegetables daily. This week, I have been craving big bowls of salad, the sort of salad I used to have when I was low carbing. A big bowl full of goodness. A bowl of mixed green salads (allowed on Cambridge diet as part of 80g daily allowance), black olives (not allowed), cucumber (allowed), salad onions (allowed), sweetcorn (not allowed), carrots (not allowed), assorted peppers (only green pepper allowed), chick peas (allowed as part of daily protein allowance)

A voice in my head is constantly asking what sort of stupid diet means that I cannot have a big bowl of salad if I fancy one?

C’mon, no one has ever gained weight by eating just salad.

I tell that voice that this is the smallest I’ve been in years.

chopped salad

OK, screw all that. 

If I still don’t lose any weight tomorrow, I’m having roast lamb, sweet potatoes and a big bowl of salad this weekend.

There are worst crimes against dieting.

It’s not like I’m planning to eat pizzas and cakes…

And who knows, a departure from the norm might shock my body and kickstart weight loss once again.

Week Two, Day 558’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.6 kg, week’s weight loss 0.1 kg gain (0.22 pounds); total weight loss;  33.2 kg; 73.04 pounds; 5 stones 3 pounds

7

Week One, Day 550: Make the Rest of My Life…the Best of My Life

I haven’t posted for over a month even though I have a hell of a lot to report.

I’m not exactly sure why, other than perhaps I have been a little overwhelmed by the last few weeks and the reality that this is it, the rest of my life.

Let me explain…

Five weeks ago, my ex and I spent a very very very long day in court, as in went into court at 10 am and we were in and out to see the judge several times until we were finally thrown out just after 5 pm.

For anyone who has been following my diary, I am super thrilled to announce that the end result, is that I got the only thing that I had told my ex from Day 1 of the nightmare was non-negotiable; I get to live in my beautiful home where I have lived for over 12 years, and lovingly extended and refurbished in a 9 months from hell, which only ended a month before I found out about my ex ‘s affair.

No-Place-Like-Home-750x330

I am enormously relieved that I will not be forced out of my home or be forced to sell, something my ex had been pushing for even, in that second court hearing, including once giving me a 5 day ultimatum at some point, to agree to immediately sell my home.

My home will not be sold.

I can stay here for the rest of my life, should I choose to do so and in exactly 5 weeks time, my ex will transfer his share of the equity to my sole name.

I had not realised that I had psychologically stopped myself from enjoying my lovely home because of the uncertainties of whether or not I could stay here.

For the first time in 16 months, I can exhale.

I still find myself going around various rooms in my four bedroom home and my garden, enjoying various things, as if seeing them for the first time.

These roses and the rosemary bushes under the umbrella (in the pictures below) had been planted at a time when my fate seemed so uncertain; there is something to be said about the power of positive thinking.

garden august 2016garden roses august 2016

The saddest part of the settlement is the fact that in return for his share of his house, I will pay my ex, a figure that is exactly what I had instructed my lawyers to offer him in September 2015.

Instead of making a counter-offer and entering negotiations for settlement, my ex had refused the offer, refused to counter-offer and instead, we got heartbreaking crap like him asking for proof of serious illnesses he had witnessed first hand for 14.5 years and comments saying my desire to stay in my home of over 12 years was “aspirational.

Had my ex chosen to negotiate, this matter would have easily ended last year without the need for two court hearings, unbearable stress or both of us spending well in excess of £50,000 on legal fees.

litigation-only-makes-lawyers-fat-quote-1

The settlement reached by my ex and I was a clean break which means that any maintenance payments were consolidated into me having the lion share of the capital in my home, something I am very happy with as I am certain if there had been a maintenance order, my ex would have done anything to wiggle out of paying, including moving to another country, which he could easily do with his current bank job.

My lawyers had been opposed to a clean break which my ex had insisted upon.

In the end, following a very long day where my ex and his lawyers had behaved so badly, my solicitor and barrister had declared they had never dealt with such pettiness and unpleasantness.

In what was a most difficult day, I saw my lawyers transform from young, highly intelligent professionals, to human observers, giving me hugs, back and shoulder rubs, a few loud out loud explicit descriptions of the other side that most certainly helped to ease the tension, plus laughter and humour from the three of us on a very difficult day.

One of them summed up the day by saying.

“I am so happy you got your clean break and won’t have anything to do with this unpleasant man who would have wiggled out of any maintenance anyway. No amount of money would have compensated for having this nasty, little man in your life.”

I am extremely grateful to God for the deal reached at this second court hearing, which was massively better than what I would have gotten on a final hearing, especially when my barrister indicated that I would have had a 10% chance of keeping my beautiful home, if we had gone to a final hearing. 

i-have-so-much-to-be-thankful-for

Three weeks ago, my ex came to my home to collect the remainder of his things. I got the chance to ask him a few questions including why he asked for evidence of my illnesses or why his lawyer, who is in the same law firm as the sister of the woman he had an affair with, chose to email me on our wedding anniversary to say he wanted a divorce.

His answers to all were that he was “acting under legal advice.”

It’s called legal ADVICE for a reason.

Someone advises, and you, a thinking, intelligent, human being with free will, who isn’t a brainless, dead, zombie, will choose which advice to accept or/and modify, like any decent human being would do.

Asking for evidence of genuine illnesses you experienced first hand over 14.5 years and even attended various hospital appointments with me, or coming late by over 2 and a half hours without a mail, a text, a WhatsApp or anything to indicate your lateness but instead, bring along a locksmith to break into my home, is the act of a callous, heartless cad.

I also asked my ex why he has been so angry with me and what had caused him to behave as badly as he’s done. He said he wasn’t angry with me. He insisted he hadn’t behaved badly at all and all he had done was under “legal advisement

I do not need an apology from my ex to move on with my life but perhaps one day, if his madness ever clears, he might realise the devastation his behaviour has caused not just me, but my family, who did nothing but love him.

But what’s done is done and I have moved on.

The last few weeks have been full of activities, including raising a mortgage to pay for my ex’s share of my home. I have also managed to revert to my maiden name in most of my documents even though the decree absolute is still pending.

I have had a week of horrible back pains and the joys of the olympics, staying awake two nights to watch the incredible Usain Bolt win 100m and 200m gold medals.

I am very happy that this nightmare is finally over except for the extraordinary matter of my ex taking me to a very busy family court to fight over a 3 year old Mac Computer we shared when we lived together and which I have been using alone for the last 16 months that I have been on my own, even though he bought himself a new mac last year and is very much aware of the fact that I have continued to use this mac.

But that is a pathetic story for another day! Sadly, for him, one that shows that my ex remains mentally unstable, still in the middle of his mid-life crisis and completely disengaged from the real world.

I am a little overwhelmed that I now have the rest of my life to lead and it is down to me, no one else but me to make a success of it and to make it a fulfilled and happy life.

It is down to me to make the rest of my life, the best of my life

responsible for my own happiness

This is still primarily, a weight loss diary. So I must talk about that.

I have had weeks, months of ups and downs on the Cambridge diet. Lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, gain weight but it is finally time to concentrate, focus and stick with the diet. I worry whether I will ever get to the finish line but that will never happen, if I keep messing around.

And so, this Monday, after a crap week and a weekend where I purposely ate crap in other to effect a whoosh for a restart, I have once again, for the million times, restarted the Cambridge Diet.

I am on a personal challenge to lose 1 stone (6.4kg) in 28 days.

It is only Day 5 and I have already lost 5.1kg (11 pounds) and I am already 79.7% to the target of losing a stone by 12th September. 

I pledge to revert to reporting my weight every week. Perhaps that will help keep me on the diet.

73 loss

Week One, Day 550’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.5 kg, week’s weight loss 5.1 kg (11.22 pounds); total weight loss;  33.3 kg; 73.3 pounds; 5 stones 3 pounds

4

Day 507 – Variety is the Spice of Life

Today is Day 15 of my 21 day challenge to stay 100% on my diet and I am thrilled to report that I have managed to stay on track every single day of the challenge.

Daily weight fluctuations meant a slight weight increase (o.3kg) today but I’m not overly concerned as I was 100% yesterday and the increase might have been spiked by unexpected hard exercising yesterday – I was late for an appointment and so I basically sprinted My body doesn’t like hard intensity.

Anyways, as of yesterday, I ha”d lost 5.9 kg in 13 days.

I have been experimenting with different foods. I tried to create a recipe for cauliflower cake, looked great, horrible texture and straight into the bin…

More successful is my black eyed beans savoury cake which I have made steamed or baked. This feels like a treat and not a diet.

Ingredients

80g black eyed beans – dried weight – soak for at least three hours

16 g of onions

Salt

Black pepper

Ground dried crayfish or prawns (optional)

1 boiled egg (optional)

Ground nutmeg

Spray light coconut oil spray

Cayenne pepper (a little)

Scotch bonnet pepper (a little) 

Seasoning cube of your choice. I use 1 teaspoon of Cambridge golden vegetable seasoning

 

Method

  1. Soak the black eyed beans for at least 3 hours or overnight if you can.
  2. Hard boil one egg. *Note for Step 2 Cambridge, the egg means excess of the protein allowance. Fine for Step 3.
  3. Cover the beans with water to cover the beans and add the beans and water to a blender and blend for about 3 minutes.
  4. To the beans mixture in the blender, add the onions, crayfish (optional), black pepper, cayenne pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, nutmeg, seasoning cube, and sprays of coconut oil.
  5. Blend all for another 3 minutes.
  6. Taste for salt. If you can taste salt, you’ve used too much. Add a little salt, if necessary. Remember you already have stock seasoning.
  7. Blend for another 1 minute and transfer to container.
  8. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into containers, adding sliced eggs on top.
  9. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes depending on consistency of the mixture and depth of baking container.
  10. Use a toothpick to check if cooked. It should be dry when you get the toothpick out.
  11. Alternatively, place covered foil container in a steamer for 30 minutes. If steaming, ensure the water is boiling before you place the container to the steaming pot.\\\
  12. Enjoy\