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Guest Blog: The Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club

*****Guest Blog*****

The Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club

My divorce was a tsunami of grief and insurmountable changes. I had to either swim or sink into an abyss of darkness. I wouldn’t wish the pain I experienced on my worst enemy. Nearly three years on, of course I still have dark days, but they are getting fewer and fewer and I have chosen to concentrate on moving on in a positive and optimistic manner instead of remaining bitter about the past.

I set up the private Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club to expand my social circle with likeminded people in similar circumstances as me, divorced and childless; a Group to have fun and to laugh again.

sunflower

Please join me and the 17 brave men and women who are already part of this brand new private Meetup Group.

Being brave enough to put yourself out there, meet new people and make new friends is extremely difficult, I know because setting up this Group is totally outside my comfort zone. Please join me on Saturday 7th April at 6.45pm for a small knit dinner for four people at the fabulous One Michelin Star Hakkasan Mayfair taking positive steps to meet new people and change something about our lives. You can find all details of the dinner meetup, including menu, by clicking the link below and joining the Group.

I have kept the Group events to a maximum of 4 because I want everyone to be comfortable and I want to foster a real opportunity for friendships instead of anyone being lost in a large groups.

Dinner at Hakkasan Mayfair (One Michelin star) A La Carte Menu, 6.45pm – 9pm

Saturday, Apr 7, 2018, 6:45 PM

2 Discerners Attending

Check out this Meetup →

Please read more about the Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club below.

**There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met – William Butler Yeats**

Are you divorced/widowed/single, currently childless (not by choice) or childfree (by choice or separated from your children or for whatever reason), aged around 30 to 60, discerning and seeking new, platonic, long lasting friends and companions, to enjoy the best of London and the world?

Perhaps your children have flown the nest or for whatever reason you feel an affinity to this Group, please feel free to join. This is an inclusive and non-judgemental Group.

Do you need an injection of fun, laughter, adventure and happiness in your life after the end of a marriage, relationship or bereavement?

Do you enjoy eating in fine restaurants (in an affordable manner), travelling in affordable 5 star luxury or hosting/attending sumptuous dinner parties full of fun, laughter, music and dancing?

Are you interested in learning savvy new ways to make your reduced post-divorce income stretch a little bit more?

If so, this might be the Group for you.

Why I Started this Group

Nearly three years after the unexpected end of my long marriage, as I continue to rebuild my life in a positive manner, most books and articles tell us to seek comfort and joy in our children.

But what about people like me who are childless (not by choice) or childfree, and find ourselves in our 40s, divorced, widowed or single, and completely alone, in a coupled-up/family focused world, having been part of a close twosome that was supposed to last forever?

How do we fill our evenings and weekends when friends are married, with families and doing their own thing?

What do we do when the social invitations have dried up because they tend to revolve around friends’ children, who deem it fit to only invite those with children?

What do we do when good friends are scattered around the world or we’ve simply lost contact or drifted away?

How do we make new friends in our 30s, 40s or 50s when the traditional ways of making lasting friendships in school, university and new jobs, are a distance past?

How do we make new friends when we cannot meet new people at the school gate, children’s sleepovers, children’s parties, PTA meetings, school fairs, school trips, school fundraising events and all the new avenues open to parents?

How do we embrace our changed circumstances and still make a fulfilling, happy life for ourselves, full of genuine, platonic friendships and fun, without embarking on new and perhaps unsuitable romantic relationships?

Even if we choose to have new romantic relationships or even go on to have children, how do we avoid the mistakes of the past, by ensuring we still maintain genuine, close platonic, fun friendships, outside of our new twosome or family life?

My Aims for this Group

This Group is about moving on from the pain and hurt of divorce or loss, and concentrating our energies in a positive, constructive and optimistic manner.

It is about bringing together likeminded people who have a taste for the finer things in life, but we accept that for some of us, our financial circumstances have been vastly reduced by divorce. However, we have learnt to be savvy and clever with money – let’s explore cheaper ways of dining in the finest Michelin restaurants, 5 star luxury travel, sumptuous dinner parties and continuing to enjoy all the finest things in life, in an affordable manner.

It is about accepting that being single and childless might not be the life plan but it is the life we currently have, taking control and embracing a positive Plan B.

This Group is about saying a big fat NO to spending countless weekends completely alone – let’s start with monthly activities and take these new friendships, offline, into the real world.

It is about finding genuine friends to go out to dinner to that new Michelin restaurant on a Saturday night, hosting or attending dinner parties, exploring that trendy new cocktail bar, going to theatre, cinema, opera, West End musical, without feeling like a Billy no mates.

Let’s find a travel buddy to go on exotic holidays, without being the odd one out in a world full of couples and families.

Rules

We’ve all had enough traumas in our lives and do not want a Group with a long list of rules. However, if these prove necessary, they will be added.

For now, please be respectful, supportive, non-judgmental and considerate of everyone. If you RSVP for an event, please attend or cancel as soon as possible to enable someone else to attend. Please take personal responsibility for your own safety.

 

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This Divorced and Childless Woman’s Mother’s Day

Life is a funny old one.

What do you do on Mother’s Day when you are divorced/single and childless, and the whole world seem hell bent on celebrating their children?

This year, like I do most years, I decided to concentrate on the positive fact that I am lucky enough to have a wonderful mother who is still alive. I think of my friends who have lost their mums and I reach out to them to show some love. The day would usually pass without much drama or sadness. It is what it is.

This Mother’s Day, I had gone to bed late on Saturday night or should I say Sunday morning (2.48am bad, bad, bad, bad girl!) and around 9am on Sunday morning, in that dreamy/wakey/confused state, my door bell rang. I sleepily went to the video intercom and I could see a lady.

“I’ve got flowers.” With my eyes half closed, I couldn’t really make out the figure on the video screen.

“Flowers?” I answered sleepily as if she had just declared that she was dropping an alien from outer space on my doorstep.

“I’ve got flowers for xxxx xxxx.” My local florist said, saying my full name.

My scrabbled brain tried to decipher what on earth she was on about. My brain worked overtime trying to figure out who on earth could be sending me flowers. Various names flashed through my head and just as quickly, I discarded them. Could it have been the man I went on the date on Friday who I did not intend to see again? But he didn’t know my full name. And why on earth would he be sending me flowers? Stalker alert. Who on earth could it be from? I knew no one. I had no one. There was no one. This is odd.

“Could you please leave it on the porch?” I informed the florist whose van I could see on my video screen.

I sleepily went downstairs to the porch with the gait of a special agent about to solve the crime of the century. I would have to be extremely careful with this package. It clearly wasn’t some sort of assassination attempt as I recognised both the florist and her van. Then again it could be.

And there it was.

The most beautiful bunch of flowers I have received in longer than I can remember.

Flowers 2018

I reached for the card attached to the side. It read:

Happy Mother’s Day to our second mum.

Thank you for always being there for us.

We love you.

X Y and Z.

The flowers were from my nephews (aged 16 and 18) and my niece (aged 13)

Flower card 2018

These precious, most adorable, super awesome, generous, kind, sweetest kids have spent money they don’t have to send their auntie, a most gorgeous hand tied, bunch of flowers, timed to be hand delivered on Mother’s Day, with the increased premium.

The overwhelming gratitude and love I feel for these kids, and to my sister for raising such generous, kind, thoughtful kids, is more than I can express on this post.

I am very blessed indeed.

If you are single/divorced/widowed and childless/childfree/separated from your kids or whatever your circumstances may be, if you are interested in widening your social circle, meeting likeminded people for fun, laughter, friendship and to get your mojo back, you may consider joining this brand new Meetup Group called The Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club.

You can join the ladies already confirmed for the Group’s first meetup this Saturday, a reasonably priced gorgeous three course dinner and cocktail, at the fabulous one Michelin Star restaurant Hakkasan Mayfair.

Coming soon: guest blog from the Founder of the The Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club

 

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Day 169: Glamour Me Oh Ancient Vampire

I’ve had a very sad weekend.

I can’t escape my head.

I am heartbroken.

I am the first person to tell myself; get over it and I will…

I just don’t know how long it’ll take.

The end of any marriage is very tough, no matter what I tell myself and it’s reassuring to read that even conscious uncoupling Gwyneth Paltrow has admitted that she’s finding things tough. Phew. She’s human after all.

The shock that my marriage has ended still hits me daily. The shock of the secrets, lies, betrayal, dashed hopes, shattered dreams, a derailed path in life, twosome becoming solo; knowing that I had wasted 14 precious years of my life with someone who is a complete stranger to me.

I feel the sort of drained emptiness I would usually feel after a long IVF cycle turns negative.

All that wasted time, money, mental and physical energy…

Only this is a million times worse.

Today is my ex’s 45th birthday. I get the mid-life crisis. I get the panic that if he lives to be as old as his dad when he died, he only has 25 years old left on planet earth, and even less, if he takes after his grandfather.

I get the panic of is this all there is to life? I get the whole cliched mid-life crisis.

But the truth is, if my ex had spent a little more time remembering and appreciating some of the good things in his life, instead of the idiocy of chasing greener grasses, if he had watered his own grass even a little bit, he might have appreciated some of the things in his life more.

The if onlys are pointless thoughts and wasted energy, I know that.

The reality that still astounds me to this day is that prior to my discovery of his affair, in all 14 years we were together, my ex never for one single day ever said that he was unhappy about anything in our lives.

Not a single word. Absolutely Nada.

My thoughts have been filled with birthdays gone; the surprise birthday cakes I would have delivered to his work as he was usually working very long hours on his birthday. The surprise big 40th birthday party in 2010 that took me 8 months to plan with military precision and secrecy, where I managed to get all his friends and family from all over the country and he didn’t have a clue. In 2011, I lovingly made him roasted duck with all the trimmings. In 2012, I cooked black cod a la Nobu and then planned a fun Olympic themed birthday party. In 2013, I got a Michelin restaurant to give him a little birthday surprise, followed by a birthday party a few days later with the most gorgeous cake. In 2014, another Michelin restaurant, my all time favourite London restaurant Hakkasan Mayfair, where we used to go at least once a month, and where he would admit taking his mistress, also gave him a little birthday surprise, complete with a candle.

I wonder whether his birthday wishes were to finally find a way out of his marriage?

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I guess after tomorrow, the next big occasion to survive would be Christmas.

Christmas has always been my favourite holiday. This year, the thought of it depresses the fuck out of me. For 15 years, I spent every single Christmas with my ex who would lavish me with gifts; I was always overwhelmed by his generosity when we were together.

I think about going away to some beach somewhere over Christmas but the thoughts of being surrounded by happy families/couples depress the fuck out of me, that is, assuming I don’t spend all my money fighting my ex in court.

The idea of staying at home for Christmas also depresses the fuck out of me.

The emptiness of Christmases trees compared to the bulging Christmas tree of last year; lovingly typed Christmas menus, meticulous planning, all depress the fuck out of me.

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Perhaps, I would do something I’ve always thought of but have never done.

Perhaps this Christmas, I will forget all about myself and my broken heart and spend Christmas volunteering at Crisis, the homeless people’s shelter.

I don’t know, we’ll see.

I don’t want to wish away my life but I do wish that like in the drama True Blood, some ancient vampire could help me take away my sadness and my heartbreak; help take away my hurt.

I wish some vampire would glamour me and erase every single memory of my ex and our life together.

RIP Cilla Black. Legend. xxx