Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

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Hit the north

We drove up yesterday morning. After I did the rounds at 6am.

The last heifer to calve had a pair of monstrous feet protruding.

I moved them in the dark, and went back to the barn, to get my calving chains. This was probably gonna be a vet job. I no longer own a calving pulley.

I was right.

Lovely girly walked quietly from my furthest paddock to my wee portable set of yards. I called the vet, who had a half hour drive to mine. I fed and prepped for the vet’s arrival with a cup of tea.

I had a nail appointment at 7.30am, but called my friend, the nail tech, and let her know not to leave early from her home in a nearby town, I wasn’t going to make it, and we needed to hit the road by 9am.

The lovely vet who synchronised these heifers was on call. She gave a quick epidural and was thrilled when the calf was born alive. Said she’d had a shit week dragging out dead calves.

Wee, new mumma was up nicely, licking him clean. These girls are lovely and quiet, I scratch them every day in the paddock, and she was able to give her a jab of butocin a few minutes later, standing freely in the yard. Good girl. Calf got a steroid jab to help his swelling subside.

I was worried about leaving, knowing his head and tongue were swollen. Hoping he’d be able to latch on soon. I left my inexperienced brother in charge! He worked from home in the afternoon, checking on them, ensuring he had a feed. So grateful. I got pictures and updates of him, his slightly dripping navel, the heifer’s sucked udder, all day, postpartum care, second to none! He’s up at at ’em this morning, slightly retracted in one front leg, but walking, clean, warm and full tummy.

Only my 4 year old cow to calve. The maiden heifers all safe and sound. Phew! Later that afternoon, my cow, Edwina, popped a beautiful heifer out, that was leaping around only an hour later!

Anyway, we got on the road at 9.15am, which was awesome. With the new expressway, we were in South Auckland (Takanini off ramp) only an hour later!

We had a pretty good run with traffic, stopping at Wellsford for a bite to eat, and arriving in Kerikeri around 2.15pm. I did a bit of new business admin while BG drove. A beautiful day to drive to the sunny north!

We checked into our accommodation, rehydrated and stretched our legs with a wee bushwalk, the track behind our cute and cosy studio unit. Then we headed into the town centre to BG’s friends’ Mandy and Paul’s new clinic.

It’s utterly gorgeous. Inside and out.

They’ve been in operation just over a year, and we came up to pick their brains about fitout, etc. Mandy is a new star in the franchise. A flight attendant her whole career, she made the decision at the beginning of the pandemic to find another source of income. They sold their home, their rental property, and moved up here. They threw everything they have at this, and are renting a lovely place by the sea with their two teenage girls. Paul has backed her all the way.

Just as BG is backing me. It was him that insisted on us coming up here this weekend.

We did a thorough clinic tour, talked about how much autonomy you’re allowed (not much, but more than we first thought) and where we can save money, and still get a great result (moulded skirting boards, anyone?)

Then, we headed down to a bar and restaurant by The Stone Store. Had one too many wines and a bar snack, back here to bed! My head is a little dusty this morning. Anyway, Mandy wants to take me on a hike to one of the local waterfalls soon. Boys are playing golf. I’m heading out to the must visit local chocolate factory to purchase a few treats, and some nearby local olive oil and visit the wee factory nearby that makes a really good line of natural skincare, before I meet up with her. Oh! And the fabulous markets!

What lovely people. And how damn lucky am I that BG has friends in this business, to help me on this journey?

Will try to remember to take some pictures!

All this time, my wee girl is sending me gorgeous Snapchat’s from Iceland. What a lovely life we have.

And Roger chose to throw this fabulous future away, for his beige mouse. She better be worth it!


I’m out

Resignation tendered today.

Such a relief. Seventeen years.

Time to fly.

Even if there is an enormous amount of work to do!

Speaking of flying, my baby flew out on her long awaited trip to Europe! When we have been locked in our country since March 2020, and she was booked for June 2020, this has been a long time coming. I’ve got immense FOMO! So damn excited for her.

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We ooooooohn

Just looked at temporary business premises.

And it works. Shiiiiiiiit!

I’m resigning Monday, and the lease will start 1 Sep.

When I am out of the country!

Operational last week of Sep.

Faaaaark! Shit finally just got real.

Shaking. A bit overwhelmed, and wishing I had my old life back, and could share this with Rog.

There is so much to do! Daunting.

.. and, on my way home just now, Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days Are Over – the inspiration for my username – came on the radio.

Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink
The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run
Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive
The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
‘Cause here they come
And I never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had and what was left after that too, oh
Happiness hit her like a bullet in the back
Struck from a great height by someone who should know better than that
The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
‘Cause here they come
Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive
The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
‘Cause here they come
The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run


Just when you thought you couldn’t hold any more…

Arrived home early this morning to carnage.

A small tornado tore through my property.

Road frontage. Fallen olive trees.

This was my first hint.


A giant, very beautiful melia tree uprooted on my lawn was the second clue.

Then, as I walked down the orchard, seven mature olive trees, uprooted…

Also, a window blown in in my bedroom.

I’ve got a heavy cold, so went to work to do the basics, when the power went out there, I came home to light a fire. Spent an hour on the chainsaw, between showers and blasts of thunder. Am wiped out now.

Have called my insurance broker, an arborist, and a glazier. After taping plastic to the window to keep the rain out.

(Try and find plastic in your house these days!)

Cold. Wet. Need to sleep.

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The fourth year

We are at friends up the peninsula.

A lovely dinner out, drinks and shooting pool afterwards. The boys jumped in the spa pool late, I went to bed, snuggled down and tried to sleep.

This is such a great life. I am so damn lucky.

Yesterday, BG drove an elderly man to the neighbouring town, so he could catch the bus to visit family. He does this. Random acts of kindness. Looking out for those who need some assistance. During our lockdowns, he organised a community check in system, for some vulnerable people. Once we moved to level 3, he had the club’s kitchen make meals for those who may need them. Vacuum packed and contactless pick up or delivery. It is a part of his charm!

Anyway, I had a quieter day, just some stock work, some small DIY tasks to address, and a trip to the city, to pick up some pre-ordered door hardware and drop some boots of BG’s off, to re-sole.

He messaged. “Lunch at the FR? 1.30?”

A gorgeous wee restaurant, set in a small forest, on my way to his place. I went straight over after driving past the building site where my business is going to be, to check on progress.

So, that was a lovely start to the weekend.

Home to his. Then he packed a bag, and we headed up here.

On the way, he was chatty.

His work is – as always – very stressful. Not enough staff. It is concerning him. One young, valued member, was hospitalised yesterday. She has some ongoing chronic health condition. And it’s awful to hear she is sick again.

But, another one out sick as well, it puts a lot of pressure on the under-resourced team. He constantly worries the good staff will leave, if they are not supported by the rest of the team. If they don’t get decent time off, etc.

This talk always leads to “I should just resign, come live with you.”

Then he said,”but only if you still want me.”

Hmmm. This gets old. “Why would I be sitting in your car, if I don’t want to be with you, darling?”

Then, some of his well guarded vulnerability slipped out. Something I hadn’t considered.

“Well, because it’s year four. It always goes pear-shaped in year four. My work obsession, the negativity, that’s what happens.”

I smiled at him. “Then don’t let it. Let’s not do that. Let’s choose differently.

And what’s ‘always?’ You mean once.


Chrissy left around the four year mark. Who else?”

No one. I knew that. But I got, “maybe Colleen?”

I replied, “no, nowhere near four years. And she didn’t leave you. You both decided that you are better friends (internally my brain repeated, friends-with-benefits) than being in a relationship with each other. So that doesn’t count. Who else?”

The truth is, other than Linda, who is the mother of the kids – now adults – he still cares about, and financially and emotionally is still there for, no one was four years. Linda was over a decade. But they were off and on. They never lived together. He really only kept a connection with her because he cared about her and the kids struggling. He was honest with her. He never loved her. He cared about them all, as they were vulnerable. Under-educated single mum, a drug addicted ex, two vulnerable kids living in a town with big social problems. He tried to protect them, provide a buffer, and some kind of stability, without over promising to her.

So. Four years. This is the scary fourth year.

That he has constructed a weird discourse about.

I thought he’d been a bit weird since our anniversary.

It makes sense now. He’s nervous. He has rarely had a relationship come this far. He’s never had a joint bank account. He’s never worked towards moving to a partner, moving in with her. Instead of her moving to, and in with him. He’s only once considered changing careers/jobs for a woman, and it never happened anyway.

He’s in that nervous waiting room. He’s been sitting on 99 not out, ever since, almost too scared to play a shot. All of the shots played are defensive.

What am I going to do with him?! 🤣

I just held his hand, and said, “I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. We’ll talk again when we get to thirty years, and you are leaving me for another woman.” Winked at him and in return he flashed his dimples and rolled his eyes, “fuck, thirty years, I’ll be dead and buried by then!”

We all have our shit. Sometimes, it seeps over the edge of the pretty box we built to try to contain it. The stench of that shit can upend the rest of the pretty stuff you have worked to surround it with.

If you let it.

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It’s unanimous

Being cheated on sucks.

It’s the worst.

We are not allowed to compare to losing someone when they die.

But, I hear it a lot within the betrayed community. Couldn’t agree more. Death is easier.

This, posted yesterday on a support board.

See, it’s not just me…I read because I relate, and feel that I’m not alone. This is as bad as I feel it. I’m not making things up. Etc.

“Yep… death of a loved one is so much less painful than this! At least when a loved one dies you know they loved you and want the best for you. This is INTENTIONAL pain betrayal abandonment and so much more on THEIR part! No one brings flowers cards or casseroles when we get shit on!”

I had a wonderful weekend, catching up with my former very best friend (who has never “got it”) and some of her seven siblings, 5 girls, 3 boys all together. A family I grew up with. Some of whom have experienced this, and do get it. So very lovely. I’m an honorary 6th daughter…

BG drove over to the beach house of the eldest’s, and I introduced him. He slotted right on in, and had links. This is a large, Irish Catholic family. BG went to our largest catholic boarding school with friends who are interwoven/shared. I love this. My life, interlocking with his.

I hadn’t seen the family for a long time. Thanks infidelity (I hid after Roger’s cheating was exposed, the shame was too much for me, so I retreated.) And Covid.

I wasn’t invited by my friend, but her little brother. It was a chili themed night. We made smoked chilis. Chutney. Masala paste. Sambal. Ate Mexican food with slow cooked meat.

And of course, chili margaritas!

Hence BG. He was my sober driver. Sweet man. He rescued me really! We were home, tucked up in bed by about 11pm. They kicked on until 4am! When we went back to collect my car the next day, the hangovers were immense!

Back at BG’s he was excited over something really stupid. I brought him some of my ham and barley soup. “Yum! I love pearl barley!” But cautiously asked, “no peas in here, right? Not pea and ham soup?”

“I’ll never trick you into eating peas, darling. Not even by hiding them in soup. I promise, lol.”


It’s soup. Not a Michelin starred dinner!

Last night, back after having a wine with his bestie and his wife, I heated soup for our dinner, adding fresh spinach, heating sourdough, making herby butter, we talked. Addressed my concern. He knew he’d messed up. And I felt awful. Not because I was wrong. But because I struggle with asking for what I need, and holding boundaries. I told him this. That I HATE asking for anything. And that forcing myself to do it, then that request not really being heard, well, that is devastating. I am really low maintenance, but damned if I will be used and abused because of that, again!

He held me, apologised. Said he didn’t realise he’d hurt me. But would do better. Agreed that we both had “stuff” clashing here. He’d been directed to do so much, did it, still got shat on. I’d made my needs small, asking for the bare basics is hard, we came at this with our baggage swinging!

Let’s see.

I’ve been promised better before…

It was a good talk though. I have been worried about his stress levels. And identified that I may have inadvertently added to them.

Without me, he was going through the motions. Decent job. Nice location. Close friends and family.

Now he wants to come and live with me, combine our lives. But he is scared. He needs a similar income. They aren’t always easy to find. I know he is worried. I have the economic power. What if we split up, and he’s moved his life, for nothing.

I get it. So, we talked. He eventually admitted he is struggling with change. He wants it, but is fearful that this dream might crumble, and he’ll have gone backwards. Backwards at a time in life where he needs to solidify and ensure he can live on what he has earned. There’s not a huge nest egg, for retirement. There’s some. But not really enough. He worries he’ll be a burden.

I just said it’s okay. I’m in no hurry. We can keep doing this for longer. The distance. The commute. As I have said before, there is some upside. Sure, you miss them. But that can be exciting. And I have my life. Not wrapped up in someone else.

I slept the best I have in a very long time last night. Curled up in his arms. He got up when I woke, at 5.30pm, for more cuddles, to help me pack my car. Held me tightly, smothering me in tiny kisses. “I miss you already. Don’t want to go back to bed without you.”

He’s not usually like this. I know he is letting some very carefully constructed and fortified walls down lately. Taking big risks with me.

I’m very flattered. And love him for trusting me enough to do so.

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I’ve had a day.

No power. No water.

A tornado through my town, a poor eldery lady was crushed by a falling tree and died. Truly terrible.

My stuff was tiny.

Nevertheless, part of my life.

I realised last night I had partial power in the house. Blank spots. Garage and laundry were also out. I checked the fuse box, all okay, but my water pump was also off. I found one wall of the barn had no power. I ran a lead from another wall to the pump and turned it back on.

Then it wouldn’t cut out when it hit max pressure. 🤦‍♀️

I shut it down.

Pondered….this might be a network problem…

No shower for two days. Ewww.

Tonight, after fitting in my car service in the nearby city, a manicure, a brow tidy up, a laser treatment (all three things in different places, what a vain old woman I have become!) a Zoom meeting with the franchisor, and booking an electrician and water pump specialist, along with contacting the electricity network to fix the pole phase fuse…nailed it!


On top of this, the builder and his team turned up to finish some tidy up jobs, and pick up the last of their gear.

He came in as I was chopping veggies for soup.

And my 60 something year old, hipster-ish builder said, I quote, “thank you, Paula. Thank you for your patience. For paying so promptly, every bill. I just want to say, this has been my favourite renovation I’ve ever done. I know it’s been long. And a big challenge with timing and supplies. But I hope you like it. I love it, it’s the most stylish bathroom I’ve had the pleasure of doing. Made me want to get to the job in the mornings. I see your plans for the next phase, I see your home, and LOVE your new carpet. You should be a designer, the ideas are just great. When you get to the subdivision stage, just get me to build houses on this land. I love this property so much.” He laughed.

I know he’s ensuring I call him again when I have the funds to finish this job…the main bathroom.

But he’s good.

I was flattered.

And I told him I love it! And thanked him for doing a totally brilliant job of finishing this project to the highest standard.

The longer this goes on, the more I feel like I am starting to do life right.

A drive past the business location when taking the loan car back to the car dealer to pick mine up, and progress on the build is happening. Phew!

A quick email fired off to the franchise build guy, outlining some electrical requirements I have thought of, to go in before the slab is poured….




Dog snuggles.

A horse racing in the nearby city tomorrow, then off to a chili and margaritas night with some old family friends, down the coast from BG’s.

I have no idea what he’s up to. He kinda messed up again, re: anniversary. Not big. Just sick of asking someone to consider my needs. And it’s okay. I’m just sailing my own ship here.

It’s a hell of a launch! 🚢

And I pondered my recent dream. Imagine if Rog and his Trinket didn’t work out? That would mean he threw out his family, sold our business and means of making a living, and moved to a region he purported to dislike, for no decent reason, other than chasing tail!



The second half

I’m not in any way a religious person. Can’t decide if I’m agnostic or atheist.

Probably the latter.

But, I get that some people find comfort in it. Religion, whilst seeming to me like wishing on the sky fairy, is personal. I hate when people use religion to hate difference. But if it helps you navigate and make sense of the world, with empathy and tolerance, more power to you.

Therefore, I do follow some people who identify their religion and refer differently to me. Mentioning God casually, so not my thing, but I may still like their point of view. Or take some part of their ethos on board. The likes of Glennon Doyle, who I might not agree with on everything, but enjoy her challenges to straight, white, Christian people’s thinking.

Her “We Can Do Hard Things,’ as a mantra, got me through the worst period in my life!

Mature women, talking about their loves. Chelsea Handler and Jokoy. Whoda thunk she’d be all loved up? And at this age? 😱😜🤣

I like this Instagram post from Jen Hatmaker. A bit younger than me, but similar circumstance. A probably cheating ex husband. I’ve never looked too deeply into it, but it seems that is what happened.

And she’s repartnered relatively recently, and talks about that.

This post broke my heart, but gave me hope.

Who will ever know me like Rog knew me? That kills me. It really does. Absolutely. I still have daily moments where I want to share something with him. An anecdote or wee aside that only he would get. About a thing that happened. Or something he’d love. Or would get why I chuckled. Something on my property. About my cattle. Or dogs. Something someone said to me, that only he would get. Those lifetime sharings.

That are lost.

That now have nowhere to go. That I carry alone. Usually – like right now – sitting painfully in the space between my chest, and my throat.

If you look for thoughts about this loss, it is usually expressed about death.

The “respectable” way to lose the love of your life.

Never them leaving you, for someone else. Because really? If they did that, then they never loved you, you must have done something bad, and grief is not yours to feel.

You are not allowed those shared, deep, loving memories of a special bond. That is reserved only for those widowed! Stop with the “special bond” bullshit.

But, the opportunity for better is immense.

And, BG also drinks his hot drinks black, doesn’t drink milk.

But always ensures there’s milk in his fridge for me.

It’s a start.

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Another anniversary. This is getting confusing! ðŸ˜œ

It’s BG’s and my anniversary.

Um, which is weird. Because we went on two very chaste dates nine months earlier 🤣

He left his phone charger at work last night, so I sent him an email, to his work, this morning…

His reply was super cute. And x-rated (after the cute part!)

Basically saying how much he appreciates me, and that he can’t believe he finally found someone to share his life with, who he yearns to be with every day.

We are idiots. And it’s so nice to be appreciated by another similar idiot!

Happy anniversary us. We are so very, very lucky 💕👍

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And so, it begins?

After my cervical cancer surgery and treatment, I was supposed to be thrown into menopause.

It’s almost four years now. This time four years ago, I was a couple of months post surgical and halfway through my course of follow up radiotherapy.

Instead of the expected menopause, I ended up having the first mostly regular periods of my life! I even downloaded a period tracking app! Reasonably regular, last one ended just over a month ago. My oncologist is flummoxed.

Previous to the cancer, I could count on my fingers how many periods I had over this lifetime. Mostly while I was fully breastfeeding my babies. Especially the youngest. PCOS is a bit of a strange beast.

I realised today, that it may have finally begun. A couple of hot flushes at work. I had some yesterday, and thought maybe Covid had finally found me.

But no. Still symptomless, RAT negative, and the only “weird” was the brief heating. A few times. Just gentle, prickly waves.

Lying in bed now, another one has warmed me, weirdly.

Lucky me, right? Mid 50s, bring the built in winter warmer on, 🔥😜🤣

Just the ticket. BG will laugh. He’s been waiting for this. Getting old is fun, huh???