Obsessive love and now obsessive guilt – neither are going to lead me to a good place. So tonight, driving back from the seaside, I changed my focus.

I live in a tiny house and if you’ve read my previous blogs will know, that it has felt temporary for a while. When I moved in, I took a five year mortgage so must have intended to stay, but that was only two year’s ago. Granted, the last year has been spent obsessively mooning over another life entirely, wherein I saw a big house which all of our children might spend time in – somewhere between his family and mine. That now feels like a particularly stupid pipe dream.

I moved for the excellent local school – and it has been a very good move from that point of view. But I miss entertaining. and my tiny dining room, tiny lounge and tiny kitchen feel claustrophobic when there are more than three of us in the house – and it is certainly more cluttered, messier and less alluring than when I bought it with my piles of books, kitchen equipment, plethora of candles….

If I’m going to move, there is no ideal solution. My parents – north east, my daughter’s dad – south west and there really isn’t much available in this most expensive of suburbs of the three bedroom variety below a million pounds. I started to think of solutions. I didn’t find one, but just thinking about it made me feel better.

I think this one could take me a while to think through – and whilst I need to do it within the next two years, before my daughter starts secondary school, I don’t intend to rush into it this time.

I wondered how it would be if I could recapture some of the reason I bought this house in the first place – at least temporarily. I resolved to make my current house into a haven. My dining table, now 20 years old, is water damaged and ugly. The carpets are stained. The books slide off the shelves and there are piles of them along the wall. Tonight, coming home, I tidied out my daughter’s wardrobe and gave a bag of old clothes to her dad for his girlfriend’s smaller child. I then took a bath with my big gold duck, in the very large roll top bath which, when you open the sash window, overlooks the courtyard with an olive tree, fig and a palm.

I’m inspired by this project and oddly enough, it has removed the guilty feelings. I now see “him” as having spent a year with a foot in two camps – with that not even having stopped once he recommitted to his marriage and left me. I remembered the note I wrote her which I’m proud of – which supported him and her. I’m not all bad.


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