An equal pound of your fair flesh …
I’m conscious that one moment I was here in this place and the next, just like that, I was gone. Vanished, and rudely, with no explanation. I don’t want to labour on about me – I never have in the past and I see no sense nor value in changing that practice now. I simply have never found ‘me’ to be a particularly interesting subject and can’t think of a single compelling reason why anyone else would. However, I do want to provide some explanation for my evaporation before I start posting my customary drivel once more.
Exactly two years ago, this very day, I drove away from Grenoble, knowing that I would be flying to the US of almighty A to settle for the foreseeable future with my Husband (he of the lauded, virtually vaunted by me, two brains). It was what I had fervently wished for, wished with all my aching heart and now it was becoming a reality. But niggling my soaring spirits, was a looming disquiet caused by a spate of blogging friends receiving a poisonous mail from a woman who I could, but will choose not to, unmask. Suffice to say that her actions quite literally unhinged me over the course of the following months and although I tried to write, tried to whistle while I worked out my new￼ and longed-for life, increasingly paranoia crept over me, self-doubt and self-loathing wrapped me as a strait-jacket and I shrivelled under the resultant and suffocating weight of what felt like the heftiest, most immovable shroud.
There were other factors – that ocean and the time difference conspire to make one feel very far away; this place is far more foreign to me than France ever was; loneliness a familiar but never welcome guest. But the gaping abyss into which I stared and felt helpless to tackle, was caused by a malicious woman whom I have never met. I am a forgiving soul. This made it harder. I choose to live by the words ‘Primum non Nocere’ or ‘first, do no harm’ and I don’t understand enmity. Many would, indeed have and probably still do, call me naive. I prefer it that way. I prefer to believe in the good, in the positive, in the decent, in the lovely. But it does mean that when caught unawares by the actions of a spiteful and vindictive person, I was entirely ill-equipped to deal with it. I know who you are.
But I, being the richest poor girl on the block am fortunate that I had the unerring and may I say remarkable love of a good man to support me as I first lay thrashing at the bottom of, and then climbed slowly out of, often slipping back and disturbing yet more toxic shale, the mineshaft I had tumbled into; that I found a wonderful and talented psychoanalyst to guide me through what turned out to be a mire of influences from the very beginnings of my tenure on this earth, the bevvy of issues, unresolved and packed in trunks to languish under the stairs, which every so often lurched out and knocked me sideways, the noxious flotsam and pernicious jetsam from my own clumsy attempts at living a decent life and a need to find the Me clamouring to breath the clean fresh air of a guilt free existence and to love Me so that I could, in turn, be loveable. It turned out that I had sorely neglected Little Miss Me, Me, Me and it was time to give her a spit and polish, a hug and a caress and to reassure her that I can be proud of who she is. That bit is a struggle but I repeat my mantra daily. Oh. And dogs. In a moment of what most would call low-level insanity, we adopted three dogs to join The ineffable Bean on the same weekend about eighteen months ago. I believe and The Bean has proved more than once in her life, that dogs are the greatest therapy to humans and, the need being great, the cure surely had to be plentiful. We don’t profess to be sensible, we understand it might be construed as excessive to increase the poundage of a canine entourage from 7.5lb to nearly 150lb overnight. But we aren’t hurting a soul and we have saved three harmless souls from a fate far worse than having to reside with us in perpetuity.
Now that I have dealt with it all, I am comfortable that, I am, as they say here, all set. Reset if you will. And what I emphatically know is that in order to be the person I am, the content version of her, that I have to write again. I have to do what comes naturally to me – plague the world with nonsense. And you, you if you choose to, can read it and your opinion will be valued, whatever it is.
Join me as I start spinning stories once more. I’m rather excited. I just couldn’t bring myself to enter the room, blinking wildly, mane on end like a wholly deranged, if recovering, nag. Well I could, but it didn’t seem decorous and I might as well at least pretend for a tiny while that I can be teeny bit refined.
PS. Because there must always be a PS: The title is taken from Shakespeare. Shylock to Antonio, striking his bargain as he lends him needed funds in his desire to win the hand of Portia. The woman I speak of hurt me mightily. I am not vengeful but a pound of flesh taken without the spillage of a drop of blood appeals. Pens and swords, eh?
So pleased and excited to have you back.
I love the fact that you adopted 3 doggies.
I am a big believer in the power of animals to
help heal us humans.
You are kind, Nadia. I’m glad you are a believer in healing by dog too 😊 Gros bisous à toi même 😘
So glad you have returned. You have been missed, it’s not possible, two years. Where has the time gone…
If I would live close by, I would come by to hug you, but I also would give you a book to read.
“The four agreements,” it changed my life, it made me understand people most of all, it made me understand ME.
– No one person’s opinion will ever again have the power to limit what I can do
– No one group’s opinion will ever again have the power to limit what I can do
– No one has a clear idea of who or what I am, not even me!
– When people talk, they are telling stories. I don’t have to argue. I don’t have to fight. I simply have to listen.
– I cannot comprehend another person’s dream. I can’t mind read. I can’t assume. I know nothing of their inner workings.
– Even scary, aggressive people are just telling stories.
– I no longer have to feel ashamed about who I am or what I’ve done or where I’m going. It’s not my job to assign a story to my life, or a judgment.
– I no longer have to pretend to be something or hustle to gain love. I just need to love who is willing to love back. It’s so simple.
– I take all gurus, religions, indictments and gossip with quite a high level of benevolent skepticism, which allows me to be free from the fear that goes along with these stories.
– I don’t take myself as seriously as I used to.
You are so lovely! The hug would, of course be very welcome (though we would have to just wave from the approved 2M for now 😉) but the book I will track down. I take your recommendation very seriously and the précis of who you are now is exactly what I am working on being and that has to be the most vital thing we can do in this life. To understand who we are and to accept others. I had lived that notion all my life but it turned out that when someone turned out to be really unkind I was ill-equipped because what I had been wearing was a suit of armour to protect who I was rather than actually acknowledging and embracing my self. Thank you for your wonderful comment and thank you for being such a supportive friend 💫
That sounds like a great and helpful book.
….and then, all of a sudden, you are back.
Wees welkom !
Thank you! Yes, all of a sudden, here I am! And delighted to see you, might I add 💫
As you know, I am pleased to see you back, Osyth. Thank you for this in-depth explanation.
Thank you, Derrick – I wanted to get it out and now I can continue business as usual and leave behind the reason for the hiatus.
It’s wonderful to have you back, I for one was quite concerned. It sounds like you’ve been through such a rough time, but there is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog to help and well, you now have four! Fabulous! I’m looking forward to hearing their stories and reading your beautiful writing.
Exactement – I have four times the dog support and it has certainly contributed to rejigging my equilibrium and resetting my content. Thank you for being concerned … it means rather a lot that people were. The dogs insist that they get to hog the blog from time to time – I don’t think you can have too much dog, to be honest. Thank you for your kind words about my writing … I’ll endeavour not to disappoint!
Drivel on !
PS…having had 4 dogs ( now down to 2), they provide massive amounts of therapeutic, unconditional love. Rescues especially.
Thanks Ray – I intend to!!
Welcome back!You have been missed. I am so sorry that I was not there for you–I have always known what a special person you are! Much love.
Marcia, dear Marcia – that brought tears. I’ll email you but thank you so much for the welcome and kind words. Much love to you and yours – stay safe. Above all things, that xx
Fiona…so glad you’re back! I”ve missed you and have thought of you often my long lost friend. I have been dismiss of writing of late on WordPress. Been dealing with a lot of things of late and really need to clean up my old photos WordPress as I have no more space to post new ones..just pure procrastination. Read your blog quickly..but my assumption is that you’re in Boston area right now? Let chat on the phone sometime this week if you’re able. Love to catch up! Gary
On Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 7:14 AM Half Baked In Paradise wrote:
> Osyth posted: “I’m conscious that one moment I was here in this place and > the next, just like that, I was gone. Vanished, and rudely, with no > explanation. I don’t want to labour on about me – I never have in the past > and I see no sense nor value in changing that&n” >
Gary! I AM in Boston. I will ring you. Probably Thursday or Friday if that works for you? I send you much love from up the coast and a plea that you stay safe and well X
I am so happy to see you back here as I have been concerned. Four dogs, how wonderful. Does the Bean like having siblings? They look adorable! Look forward to your posts. Sending hugs.
Darlene, you are too sweet and kind. The dogs were a game changer and my saviours in many ways. The Bean has been remarkably tolerant and flexible in adjusting to so much dog to share her castle with. And there is no doubt that she is the pack leader 😉. Hugs back to you and a plea that you stay safe and well. It’s good to be back among friends 💫
Oh wow, soul-destroying to realise how much damage a malicious person can do. I’m gobsmacked that someone, anyone, felt the need to swoop on you. I’m relieved you have a wonderful man at your side and a capable psychoanalyst to help you find your way back to everyone who appreciates you so fully. And, yeah, dogs help too. Woof, woof in abundance.
The combination of Two Brains and The Shrink have really gotten me back to full fettle and indeed probably fettler than I was before. Sometimes it takes breaking something to make it stronger. Soul-destroying it was for quite some time but I look back and see that it was needed. So in the end, the foul pest did me a favour. I do know who she is and I expect I should be sad that she has such a twisted mind. I am not but it is bewildering that she should feel the need to do what she did when in fact I have never done her any harm but rather the opposite. I do want to stress though that she is not a blogger. She contacted bloggers who followed me and sent her poison by email. One kind soul, who is still following me, alerted me to what was going on. Quite bizarre and surely the stuff of a novel or a play if I can get a grip on my technique and write it 😉 Gosh, it’s good to be back!!!
OMG, I didn’t realise it was to that extent. Nothing stranger than “man”. Why oh why do us humans have the capacity to deal out evil. Luckily, many of us are just averagely ‘normal’, or it not a bit quirky that will always brighten up the world 🙂
It’s why I can only identify as an atheist. No God could possibly create the depths of human depravity and downright indecency, malice and monstrous meanness. But I do believe that the vast majority are decent and kind and quirkiness is very essential to my world and I think the world in general. Long may you ride, Suzanne 💫
Quite bizarre indeed. I wish she’d sent something to me. I’d have swooped back in return.
That I would have delighted in seeing!
Oh! Oh! Oh! I’m so sorry that you’ve had such a horror of a time. I didn’t know, but then, I didn’t ask and for that I’m so very sorry. What a rubbish friend I’ve been … But now you’re back and for that I’m absolutely delighted! More dogs mean more happiness … if we could have one here I’d get one in a flash! In the meantime, I am making do with doggy sitting four times a week with a 20 week old Pomeranian puppy who is full of beans and a ball of white fluff. She has a tendency to look at me with her head cocked to one side and her tongue sticking out as though she forgot to put it away. Then with a little yap that surprises us both she charges around the apartment like a mad thing, skidding on the wooden floors and sliding around the corners. Yes, dogs bring us smiles. I’m so happy you’re feeling better … stay in touch and I’m very, very glad you’re back. Katie XX
Absolute rubbish friend 😂. The thing is, I closed down completely and even if you had reached out, I probably would have ignored you or trotted out some platitudes because that is where I was for some while before the seismic fissure which I couldn’t ignore and then the help came. I was SO fortunate (I’m local to Harvard so getting a world class shrink and having great healthcare to pay for it was easy …. I know it is not the same in the UK, for example and I truly count my blessings). That Pom Pup sounds adorable. Utterly gorgeous and I am glad you have some canine input to your weeks. Ours are motley to say the least. But a great source of support and inspiration. I am so happy to be back. It was time. And the fact that I have made a quick sketch in words of what happened has literally pressed reset this morning. All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well …. my positive mojo is back and stronger than ever! Yeehah and much love xx
I’m so pleased! Stay well and keep safe ❤️❤️
I think I’ve said before that I have a friend with a zapper. He’s very amenable and there is no charge for friends. If ever you need an “item” disposed of just give me a shout. (For the CIA reading – Just joking – honest!) Great to see you back – hugs.
Tempting. So tempting!! Big hugs back to you and a plea that you stay safe and well. I know things are now in the hands of the gauleiters in Blighty to ensure appropriate behaviour and from what my daughters have been telling me, I am glad for it.
Oh sweetheart. First of all WELCOME BACK, WELCOME BACK, BIENVENUE IN OUR LAND OF VIRTUAL (AND REAL) LIVING!!!! You are loved, you are greatly appreciated and we have dealt with witches and poor deranged and hateful humans before but the good always wins – in the end! I tended to think that I feel sorry for vicious souls because they must be deeply unhappy in their life to bring such misery on others. And Karma is a great ‘healer’….
On the other hand, I’ve always perceived you as a strong, independent and quite forceful human being, so I am a bit puzzled at either your artistic gift of acting or (even more worrying) at my lack of psychological skills. But then it has to be said that I didn’t know you for long – just a few months at the most, before you went awol.
Anyway, you chose the very, very best therapeutic healers: DOGS, and not just one additional pet, but three. Hurrah! They look gorgeous, all four together. But say, is Bean still the leader of this quite important pack?
Mustn’t ‘drivel’ on myself too much, I’m sure the whole internet community wants to welcome you back with wide open arms and you must have red eyes from all that reading you’ll have to do – and maybe from crying for all the love pouring out towards you.
Have a BIG hug, and very fond thoughts and many wishes for strength, love, health and happiness. Je t’embrasse très fort.
Kiki, I have your email and will send you a note that explains your puzzlement. I am just so grateful to be back and overwhelmed by the welcome. I do want to stress that the woman in question is not a blogger. She targeted people that followed me and sent a ghastly email to them. One blogger contacted me and blew the whistle. I contacted all the people who had dropped away (and there had been a downturn in my numbers). Some ignored me, of course and some told me they wanted nothing to do with a harridan like me. Perfectly bizarre but I’m sure there’s a book in it 😉 Now, with the help I have had not least from my pooch pack, I am honestly stronger than I have ever been. And in answer to your most important question – The Bean rules the pack bien sur! She really does. And to you I send my warmest wishes and my plea that you and all those you cherish are staying safe and well at this strange, dark time in the world’s history. Take good care and take a massive hug from me 😘
So very sorry that this woman has been able to wreak such havoc in your life – and so delighted that your own resilience, with human and canine help, has enabled you to overcome it. Roll out the’ nonsense’…we’ve been waiting a long time!
Rancid old bag is how I refer to her now! It was awful but with the right help (and the canines represent a huge dollop of that) I am honestly stronger than ever. Positive mojo intact and ticketyboo and all present and correct to commence the peddling of rubbish once more. I think it may be timely given the state of the world at war with the disease that I am calling ‘Revenge of the Pangolin’ on account of reading that some believe it was originally brought to the live market in Wuhan by a Pangolin. Who could blame it for reeking such havoc if that is true. They are the worlds most endangered species. And cute as pie! So good to be back and thank you for being around FaceBook when I ventured a toe there from time to time when things felt bleak.
It was good to see your photographs on FB…but even better to see you back on the blogging trail.
I’ll carry on posting the odd photo on FB but writing is much more exciting!
I had no idea you’d been cyberbullied, not the exact term but I suppose it comes down to the same thing. I’d murder anyone who spewed venom, I think. The world is full of nasty vindictive people and the internet gives the cowardly feckers the anonymity they need. Glad you’re back anyway, and I’m also glad you have kept the pack. Some don’t. I’ve just been laughing at an annonce posted on our community noticeboard.
Dog found, Braque Allemand (or some such hunting dog) at present at home (address) if not claimed by the end of the confinement will be sold to a circus.
The thing was, she targeted people who followed my blog and wrote to them by email. I was alerted by someone who got such an email and then tracked back and realised I had been losing followers. I contacted a couple of them and asked them directly and they admitted that what she had said had put them off me. I won’t go into detail here but it was pretty nasty. Ten years ago, I had to remove my youngest daughter from her secondary school for cyber bullying. The school and LEA would do nothing because it was happening off school premises. Debatable actually but that was their shield. My eldest daughter very nearly did kill the perpetrator. Fortunately I was strong enough to hold her back. She is 5’2” but I have seen her fell a girl who was taunting her some years previously with a poetic upper cut!!! I’m very happy to be back and it is behind me now. Sometimes these things have to happen and it has honestly left me stronger and with a greater understanding of self. I’ll take that dog …. my daughters always said I would end up as an eccentric old woman living in the middle of no-where with hundreds of dogs. And that when I die the dogs will eat my rotting corpse leaving them no funeral expense 😂
Don’t get me onto the sainted teaching profession. They refuse to see what’s under their own noses because they don’t want to get involved, never see bullying, never see bruises, symptoms of child abuse, everything’s always hunky dory, happy child, no problems.
I’m glad you’re over it. What a weirdo! I must say though that the idea of unfollowing someone on the strength of an anonymous email is just feeble. People have no sense.
I could go down the lane at the end of the confinement and see if they still have the dog if you like 🙂
Honestly, if I thought that we would be back in France in the foreseeable (plans laid by mice and men now rather akimbo by dint of the Pandemic) as we want to be then I’d say go get it and I’ll swing by to collect him. This might cause a fissure in my marriage, by the way but I do hope he finds himself home. I have several stories of dogs abandoned in rural France and several more of moronic French people losing their dogs because they don’t want to limit their freedom …. Yes, you and I are on exactly the same page vis a vis teaching. Enough said. And those that unfollowed – well none were loyal and most probably looking to unfollow anyway. I was used to that but there was flurry. What a weirdo indeed.
We had a funny experience one evening about 11pm at the beginning of the hunting season passing the first house after us on the lane, about 500 metres along. A dog started barking outside the front door. These people don’t have a dog. They have several cars and a petanque pit, but no dog. Finbar started to go wild, the door to the house opened, a man appeared with a broom and swiped the hound that the light revealed lying on the doormat. The poor thing bounded towards us, not aggressively, just looking for a home. It picked the wrong doorstep. If we hadn’t had Finbar, I’d have taken him. If he’d turned up on our doorstep I’d have attempted some kind of entente between them. He just slunk away into the night.
Le pauvre 😔 But it wasn’t meant to be is the thing. Finbar probably subliminally ensured that (The Bean did for years and years) mind you
Getting bitten by the Bean is possibly not of the same magnitude as getting Finbar’s jaws around your throat…
She only has half her tooth including one snaggle so pretty innocuous but did manage to pierce Juno’s breast early on costing us a wholesome fortune at the vet.
I take it all back. Actually it’s a long time (almost a year) since Finbar has mauled another dog. Not seriously and only because it was a staffy pit cross that bowled across the field straight at him. ‘Just to play’ according to its dimwit owner. I probably got more hurt than either of them as I was at the end of Finbar’s lead. He pulled me off my feet. I weigh about 15k more than he does but I only have two legs and his back legs are more suited to a kangaroo than a dog.
I sympathise. We have such owners in abundance here. Absolutely zero understanding of dogs and their lores, behaviours, sensibilities and often fears. I liken it to driving. Just because you are being careful doesn’t mean everyone else is. So just because your dog loves to play, don’t let it run up to all the rest who may be more reluctant or downright fearful. Drives me nuts and when the girls or indeed they boy respond with teeth THEY are branded aggressive (which feeds my anxiety because if people report a dog twice here, they are ordered to be destroyed)
There was a couple in Bordeaux adopted a great dane puppy from a woman (housebound) who had bought two. I don’t know what it was finally kicked some grain of sense into her thick head, but she decided when they were six months old that they were going to be more than a wheelchair bound middle aged woman could cope with.
The couple who adopted Olaf insisted that Olaf was very friendly and loved to play. Except that Olaf weighed 80kilos before he was a year old and he was uncastrated. His idea of ‘playing’ with another male dog was sodomy. Finbar would put up with a lot but he has always drawn the line at being sodomised.
Olaf was too big for the smaller of the two guys to handle so he used to let him off his lead. The last time we crossed Olaf’s path, Olaf was alone, on the razzle and I had to let Finbar off his lead to run away. I ended up chasing the brute to beat him off with the lead. Just so bloody inconscient!
All I can say is that I am glad you are not in Bordeaux any more. What a pair of morons. Poor Finbar …. how horrible for him. Darwin sympathises and Mallory is very afraid of a Dane that a witless woman allows to just chase her and doesn’t seem to understand that a dog running with it’s tail between it’s legs and hackles up is terrified. And when she barks she is not being agressive but merely trying to fend off what she perceives as an aggressor.
I feel so sorry for those dogs. Olaf was still growing when that happened, and Finbar was already a ‘senior’, but Olaf will now be four years old, middle aged, and by the time he’s six he’ll be dead and Finbar will still be racing around this meadow. Well, maybe not racing. he took another several tumbles today taking bends too sharply. I’m trying to discourage the White City syndrome.
I’m certain people only get Great Dane’s because they are so unnaturally huge. Yet they seem not to understand that a dog that size (and weight) cannot ‘play’ with other dogs. They can’t run anyway, they lollop. Poor overbred things.
I bet Mallory and Darwin could do a few circuits with the best of them.
I’m with you on all of that. Great Danes are tragic figures born of humans need to prove themselves by what they wear, drive, live in and ‘own’. Finbar definitely has the good life though sharp cornering does seem to need curtailing now that he is moving toward his dotage. Mine are a sight to behold when they shift gear – Darwin is smaller than the girls (long nosed, long legged and definitely sight hound crosses) but is an obstinate sod with a proud soul and he keeps up every time. Dogs. There is no better spirit and I weep for those that fall into foolish human hands
Finbar hasn’t heard of gears. I don’t think Galgos have them.
I imagine not given his purpose!
WOW, all those comments already – I have to say, I did start earlier but then life came in between and I only finished it now, in the reader as well…. so I couldn’t see the avalanche of welcome back notes you had already!
I knew you would return one day – well, you did tell me as such! – and it’s wonderful to see you here again. You’ve clearly been through a lot, and I won’t dwell on that except to say I find some people’s behaviour inexcusable and inexplicable. I had CBT at my low point and it worked for me, so I’m pleased to see you’ve also felt therapeutic benefits. You will quickly find, I’m sure, that there are many here who will be delighted to see you back – I’m far from being the only one. That, and the love of two brains and four mutts, should hopefully tell you that you’re worth it! xx
Inexcusable and she is vicious and mad. I do know who she is and have never done anything untoward to her. For the avoidance of doubt, she is not a blogger but targeted people who followed me and sent them this ghastly email. A lovely and loyal follower alerted me privately and I reached out to people who had dropped away. One or two said they wanted nothing to do with me in light of what she alleged. Good riddance to them, I felt. Interestingly, with the exception of the lady who blew the whistle, none of the people she had targeted were regular followers like you. But she certainly knew my Achilles heel. Foul pest. But behind me now. I had CBT as part of the therapy I received and I count my blessings that I am here. My therapist was a Harvard Lecturer and we have excellent healthcare. I am only too acutely aware that it is not the same everywhere, including the UK. I am quite overwhelmed by the wonderful welcome I have had and I can’t tell you how good it is to be back. Back and with positive mojo at Mach 3!!! Xx
I really can’t understand why anyone would do that, unprompted and to someone they don’t know. If I’d got the email I think I might have been fairly blunt in my response to her. What did she expect to gain by doing it? All very strange – she needs help but would probably be the last to realise or accept that. I’m glad you’ve had help in overcoming it, and the welcome back that you’ve received must tell you a lot. It’s great to have you back here again xx
I do know why. But I won’t share that publicly. I like to think (in fact I’m sure I know) that both you and I would have given the email short shrift if even bothering to grace it with a reply. I will write to you privately though not tonight, the great thing is that yet again, I have been fortunate to have reason to know that the vast majority of people are decent, kind, compassionate and tolerant. How on earth we manage to elect the leaders we do is beyond me when I am certain that the real majority are virtuous and good. Sing hallelujah and pass the tambourine for that, say I!!
No worries, do it whenever you like – or not at all if you’d prefer. I’ll message you my email address if that would be an easier way for you to do it. And I completely agree with you that the majority of people are decent, albeit stupid when it comes to elections.
Arms wide open welcome back!! Old you, new you, whatever “you” you want to be – I can’t wait to read more of what “you” write. It has always been witty, original, and entertaining. I’m giddy with excitement! PS – Shakespeare would be so proud! 🙂
What a gloriously generous comment. Thank you so much …. I’m beyond delighted to be back. As for Old Will …. you are far too kind. Maybe it’s because you are giddy?! 💫
So so so so SO glad to see you back and writing.
Sally Hotdogs!!! I am beyond delighted to be back …. now that pesky black dog is off my back my positive mojo is fully restored. I’ll email you 😉
I was beginning to feel like a stalker leaving messages to see what happened to you. As I’ve mentioned before I’m very pleased you’re back into the light and we have back a shining star blogger. Kia Kaha, Oysth
Thank you, Suzanne. I’m sorry to have caused you to feel you were stalking – never a fetching look 😂. I am so happy to be back and I love that Maori expression and promise you that I will as you must promise me that you and your old man and all those you cherish are keeping safe and well in your homeland 💫
Yes, it not’s a good look to stalk 🙂 🙂 Anyway, all is good as can be here in NZ. There are wide streets and footpaths to release my energy thankfully. Les has to be more cautious and will get most of his sunshine and fresh air on the balcony. Take care and keep smiling 🙂
It’s just a matter of sense. Les sounds like a friend’s husband in Tuscan who is staying at home as she does the walking, talking, shopping for necessities etc. We will overcome. Of this I am sure. And now that I’m smiling no one will strip me of it again! 😃
Good to hear. Les has bone marrow cancer so his immune system is comprised by chemo and a terminal cancer.
Suzanne, I didn’t know. I am so, so sorry. I send you my warmest thoughts, my greatest strength (and remember that mojo is right back on Mach) and all my love to you both. It doesn’t matter that we have never met. You have been a wonderful part of my life and I really do wish you both the best in this fight. Which I do understand is a fight to an inevitable and unpalatable end. X
Thanks Osyth X
I think I can hear the cheers echoing through the blogosphere on your return. See how you were missed. Welcome back. The world has changed since you went away but your voice will, I have no doubt, help us all through whatever lies ahead. “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer”…by your return 🙂
Oh Andrew! What a wonderful comment. I am rather overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness everyone is showing. But why would I be surprised? This is a wonderful community and I am so fortunate to be part of it. And your crib of Shakespeare … well now, kind sire, that makes a maiden (give me some poetic licence here) blush crimson! 💫
Dogs are The Best. I second nonsmokingladybug’s book recommendation. Also Byron Katie’s “Loving What Is”. Extraordinarily useful and powerful stuff.
Going into the third week of self-quarantine in this year of the plague, it seems to me poetic justice that you have returned just now with lucid prose and sense of optimism. We will make it through these dark days, yes we will, and I will refrain (for now) from comment on some of the more egregious of public figures.
You can’t have too much dog! I’ll check out that book. Thank you. I hope you are coping with your quarantine. I have no idea what forces are at play, if any, but I do feel it fortunate to be feeling sort and fettle at this moment. Optimism and positivity have long been my personal wax seal and an open heart. Whether or not I’m lucid is debatable…. 😉 As for certain public figures – there will be a reckoning, I’m certain of that
Update …. I’ve ordered the book. Thank you 😊
Really glad to see you back and really sorry to hear that you had such a tough time. I have missed your stories and will look forward to reading them again. Take good care of yourself and stay away from the virus. It seems to be hitting the US quite a lot. (Suzanne)
How lovely to see you, Suzanne. It’s been tough but it is past and I feel stronger and more positive than before. Silver linings. And the greatest of silver linings, gilded even, to receive such a warm and wonderful welcome from ‘old friends’. We are on a stay at home advisory with all non essential business closed and asked to only leave home for food, medicine and exercise and always keeping our social distance of 2 meters. Massachusetts is quite a small State and so far the Governor and the Mayor of Boston seem to be succeeding in getting people to do as Biden. The alternative will surely be a lock down and the news elsewhere (and close by) is grave. We have to keep calm and behave sensibly and be cautious and mindful . I send my warmest wishes to you and to Pierre and a plea that you two and all those you care about are safe and well.
We are keeping healthy and following all of the recommendations of our government. We actually came back last week two weeks early from our 2-month winter travel and we were among the lucky ones who were able to get back easily without having to pay huge amount of money. We hope to start posting soon on our recent travel. Stay well.
I’ll be looking out for your wonderful photos and am very glad you got back safely if earlier than planned
Oh lady, I hate to lose my cool image (you did imagine me “cool”, didn’t you?) but when I saw your post in my email, I squealed with delight.
I am so very glad you are blogging again, though saddened by the reason you left. It has always baffled me why people choose to be hateful and vindictive. It’s so senseless and only exacerbates their own misery. Good for you having the strength to survive. And good for us!
Uber cool to be precise! Thank you for cracking your veneer and squealing and thank you most of all for that lovely message. In the end the rancid old bag did me a favour because it turned out I had strength tucked away and bags of positive that just needed coaxing and cajoling our of the place they’d got jammed in and now I’m Mojo-Mach 3 and rising. Let the ride commence. So happy to see you!!!!
To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else,
it will feed my revenge.
Act 3, Scene 1
Perfect. Thank you, Tom …. that is the perfect line
It is lovely to have you back. What a horrible, horrible thing to experience and have to come back from. I’m glad that you have love and support and that this miserable experience is in the past. Sending hugs and much aroha.
It’s lovely to be back and especially now. It was horrid but I’ve had the opportunity to unearth so much more strength and so much more positivity than I thought I had so in the end the foul pest has done me a favour – last laughs and all that 😉. Thank you for the aroha (how I love the Maori words …. so musical, so evocative) and I send you just the same back – much love!
Ah, sweet lady, so good to see you triumph over evil. I admit i smiled so much when i saw your name in my comments. Welcome home. There is more i could say, but i am introverting a lot lately and words are hard, but know i am pleased, so pleased you climbed that mountain.
I feel your words and I don’t need them written or spoken. Burrow well, sweet introvert. I understand. I send you love 💕
It is terrific to see you back among us again. You will gladden many a heart. I am so sorry you were targeted so viciously. I have been a victim of malicious gossip in the past, and it took the feet from under me. It has taken me a long time to work through it, but I am stronger for the lesson.
It was horrible and it was a long process to find the light again but I have to say the silver lining IS the greater strength I have now. I just bought a copy of your book for a lady who I meet walking dogs. She was knocked flying by two labs and I helped her to a bench to get her wind back. Asked where it hurt and she said ‘all over, all the time – I have fibromyalgia’. The book was my gift to her and I know she will get huge value from both your story and your advice. 💫
I am so glad you have reached the silver lining. Thank you for gifting my book. I hope she finds benefit from reading it.
She will, I have no doubt and I hope she will then find your on social media and here too. Your lessons in slow living continue to inspire
WTF!!!! Why in the world would someone go to the trouble to harass someone who writes such wonderful, harmless posts? You laud worthy people, expound on beautiful places, call our attention to small beauties. Hardly controversial.
Some things I will never understand. But I have heard from many and you are not alone. Glad you’re back!!!
One day, when we are in France together I will buy you coffee or something stronger and explain. There is no explanation in any reasonable person but this is an extremely angry, vindictive and somewhat deranged woman who unfortunately I am given no choice but to have in my orbit. Not actually related to me but in that underbelly of people one can’t entirely be rid of. But the silver lining honestly is that I am back and better than ever. I won’t succumb again even if she tries. And it is great to be here!!
Great to have you back. I, like so many, am so, so sorry you have had a difficult time.
Love you, love the dogs.
Arby – you are a kind soul. I’m well now and I hope that I can help others through the power of the pen. After all, what’s the good of suffering if you can’t use the experience to the greater good.
Let me just echo others here and say how overjoyed I am to have you back among us! Quickly followed by how sorry that you had to go through the ordeal of being bullied. I am nowhere near as literary as you but I do like this quote: “Living well is the best revenge.” You’ve certainly succeeded at doing that, despite the challenges of upping sticks and moving to Trumpland. I’ve enjoyed your pictures from afar about your canine tribe and your posts have radiated joy in small things. I am more than happy to read your drivel, as you insist on calling it. Welcome back!!!
What a lovely note! And I do love that quote. And I am determined to radiate that good life going forward. I know how fortunate I am to be alive, to be living what for many is an enviable life and I intend to share the good, the inspiring and the levelling as I strove to do in the past. And what happened is now in the past. It’s a curious thing that the act of writing that post has acted as catharsis and I can honestly say that I feel stronger and ready to smile in the face of whatever comes my way. Which, given the crisis we are collectively living through, is fortunate indeed. Moving here was never going to be easy particularly at this point in history, but it is only that – a moment and I have absolute faith that the future can be better for us all if only we learn some lessons from this shocking time. Wiser, more compassionate, kinder, more decent and tolerant humans would be a great memorial to those that don’t make it through. And to the courageous frontliners risking their own health in order to try to heal those who are sick. Take the best care of you and yours, lovely lady 💫
Breathing a sigh of relief as my one and only friend has clawed her way back from the brink, just as we all have at least once in our lives, to bless me a knew with her Witt and wisdom. I missed you very much but I never gave up on you.
Absolutely rubbish friend I’ve been! I’m proud that you class me as that and I promise that as we pick our way through the mess we are all in right now, I am back and I am right there for you. You never gave up on me – your messages have meant so much and have been part of what galvanised me and called me on. Now, having written that post I feel catharsis and I am honestly stronger and more positive than ever. And as for the perpetrator – the thing that will make her sickest is to see me thrive. So let’s get on with the next chapter and journey along together as we did before. Stay safe in that Jeep with Brandy at your side and I WILL see you on the other side. That, my good friend, is my promise and circuitous as my routes may be, I do always keep my promises. 💫
I look forward to that coffee date!
I am late to the party, and most anything of worth and value has already been said in the cavalcade of commentary before me. (Revel in that. So many people have missed and you so many people are thrilled that you have resurfaced.)
I have never understood the random maliciousness of some humans, and I never will. I also understand the desire for revenge, however weightless it may prove to be. I have said and done what I should not have said and done, motivated by, in the end, pointless retribution. Some dark souls have become so quagmired in their own dissatisfaction that they will never acknowledge any light you might shine. Let them be, let the quicksand do its duty. Rise above.
Welcome back, ma cherie. Nous vaincrons et survivrons.
Brian! That is such a wonderful comment. You may be late but your value is incalculable. I don’t understand some humans … and in the end it is futile to try. Strangely, but perfectly, the writing of that post has provided catharsis – I feel quite certain that I need do nothing more. Just look ahead – no more rear view except to remind self from time to time of how far I have come. You have been an inspiration before and you are already are again. As for the foul pest …. the very best way of vanquishing that one is for me to delight in life, to write the stories and to rise elegantly above at all times. And now I feel I can. Thank you for the welcome and particularly thank you for the French 😊 Stay safe,stay well and stay you – a true treasure ….long may you ride!
Pen and swords for sure. Your time will come. In the meantime, it’s so good to have you back and I’m sorry you were away because of the words of someone who should always remain insignificant. Stay positive and plan your next move carefully and with a certain degree of joy..:)
George! How lovely to ‘see’ you and thank you for that comment. Every word resonates and I do know that perspective is all. Insignificant they will remain in perpetuity and I feel so much better for writing the post. Catharsis you might say. Your last line particularly resonates. I am going to write it on the front of my notebook as a reminder 😊. And you – I send you and all those you care about my warm wishes and the plea to stay safe and stay well.
long story, short: welcome back, young lady! 🙂 stay healthy, optimistic, safe, please!
* * *
@”Pens and swords, eh?” – yep, both… 😉
P.S. I wrote this to a friend several years ago, after she went thru a very similar situation; she’d kept it and just emailed it back to me… 🙂
we’ve all faced bad-mouthing or resentment – at least once during our lifetime… from people who can’t stand that others are happy to live, able to face the problems or issues of our existence with serenity; they often believe that we’ve “stolen” their life, thus, they adopt a hostile, intolerant, negative, even hateful behavior – their lack of security and self-confidence may turn into verbal aggressiveness… according to psychologists, these are frustrated, envious, jealous and “complexed” people, with a heavy past – during their childhood and/or their adolescence thay might’ve been deprived of parental attention and affection… in fact, they badly need to be loved by someone who has rejected them, but actually, an envious people hate themselves and tend to take revenge on the first human who is within reach, alas… in our “civilized world”, antipathy or hostility can be hidden within fake smiles and kind words… it’s better and healthier to avoid such negative and toxic folks… last but not least: NO revenge, as it would be like shooting an ambulance(French expression!), because only the “weak ones” feel the need for it, while the strong and sane ones have no intention or spirit of revenge – they simply ignore them and move on… 🙂
love, hugs and bisous, Mel B 🙂
Thank you for that. You were right then and you are right now. I realised, during the process I went through to rid myself of the darkness, that it was the positivity, the kindness, the optimism that this person (and she is someone who, though not family in the strict sense, like family I can’t actually escape her) perceives in me that has brought out the malicious. She is a limited soul and whether that was caused or is part of who she was from birth is not mine to ponder. Mine is to be me, to delight in who I am and to be forgiving. Revenge is not sweet it is futile. I send you so much love and the warmest embrace from here and the hope that you and all of your family (i remember your daughter is in CA) are safe and well
Thank you, dear Melanie. I’m well now and I will stay so. My optimism is restored and I do promise that safe is always the way chez moi. Your last sentence made me smile 😊
It was most heartening to reconnect with you via my blog, and now to read that you became a target of such injustice, malice and nastiness that would unmoor most of us, deepens my respect for your strength in finding your way up and out of the mineshaft that you so eloquently describe. The support from your husband and The Bean, and from your therapist and the attainment of your hard won reclaimed sense of self will sustain you, and additionally the life-affirming adoption of three dogs with their clear eyes and open hearts.
Thank you for this post and how lovely to see the affection and friendship evident in the comments from your friends and followers. I too am very pleased to see you back and look forward to reading your always interesting and perceptive posts.
We have a saying in England (often chanted by children) ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’. I succumbed to the malice but now I am honestly stronger than I have ever been and I am grateful for the support I have had and absolutely astounded at the kindness I have received here. Writing that piece has proved cathartic. I honestly know that the person concerned cannot effect me again. And that is a wonderful feeling. I’m eyes forward, no rear view mirror except to see how far down the road I have come and delighted to be interacting with people, like you, that I hold in such high esteem. Thank you so much for your lovely words. I really and truly appreciate them.
Thank you Osyth. Your kindness has always been so apparent, and it is only fair that kindness is reflecting back to you now. Take care and best wishes to you and all you hold dear.
Pens and swords! Look at the number of people who have been waiting for you to emerge, Osyth. Does that not feel heartening? I cannot say, forget the malicious nonsense that comes your way, but it is easier said than done. Time is our only friend in such times — and our loved ones.
Though I missed you incredibly, I am just happy you are back (yippee!). I have often wondered. I did not want to be nosy by writing to you again. I was in Boston for my birthday last November and thought of you while I was roaming the streets there with Adi. We found this amazing small place where we brunched and how my senses soaked up the pleasure of tearing into the most fabulous bread I have had in a long time. Makes me drool to think of it now!
On another note, I am sorry you have been feeling displaced. I still get those pangs, but they are easier to deal with now. Habit is a strange friend. Are you feeling more “at home” now?
P.S.: The new three family members are adorable. The four must be reason enough to cheer up? x
I knew you were back from your miraculous appearance in my comments, for which I was so grateful. But now you are properly back, blogging again, and I look forward to reading you again. I almost missed this one, as a matter of fact, but caught it when I scrolled down the Reader. I’m so sorry that someone was malignant and poisonous enough to make your life miserable, but your climb out of that dark place has given you the victory. Welcome back to the sunlit uplands.
It’s all behind me now and writing this piece has proved cathartic. I really do feel better than I have in years. I am very fortunate living here to have great healthcare and living so close to the venerable institutions of Harvard amongst others, to world class specialists. It’s a little like being in Oxford, in fact! I am acutely aware that many are not so fortunate and that mental health care is the poor relation in most hospital systems …. it’s humbling to face the fact that so many go without any help or support by dint of geography and demographics. The sunlit uplands beckon and I am delighted to be here! And when I’m back in France, no more procrastinating we ARE going to spend time together chewing the fat, you and I!
I look forward to it!
Oh, Fiona! The moment I read your blog title I knew something awful was going to appear on the screen (The Merchant is one of my favorite plays), and to read about your horrendous experience brings tears to my eyes. I am so very sorry you had to go through this, and I wish I#d known and could – feeble as it is – helped you from afar. I realize now how inappropriate it was of me to think, to hope that your life was brimming full with happiness and joy and that blogging simply hadn’t any space in it anymore, and I was happy to accept that, knowing/assuming all was well, and I was happy for you. And now this… But I’m so very glad to hear that your husband, your quadrupled pack and your psychoanalyst all helped you back into a life that was warm and welcoming, and I’m even more happy to see you back here, and look very much forward to read you once again! If it weren’t for the sad news involved, I would feel just perfect at the moment, nibbling on a fresh croissant, drinking tea and reading you – there’s not much that’s more lovely on a Saturday early afternoon! Much love and many hugs! Welcome back, dear friend! xxx
I can rely on you, dear Sarah to understand the references I make. You are such a kindred soul. The Merchant is a masterly work amongst the greatest bodies of work from one who could be regarded as a master, methinks! It WAS awful, I did curl up and shrink away and I did think I would never feel right again but here I am, honestly better than ever, so grateful for the support and help I had and the fact that I had access to them by dint of great healthcare (many are not so fortunate) and being close to Harvard which provided me with the ideal and extremely brilliant woman to help me navigate the maze and mire. This time that we find ourselves in, this tragedy unfolding and the desperate attempts to slow it if not squash it, make it doubly important that we do take those times to drink in what we do have. And even if we can’t get a beautiful buttery croissant to nibble with tea we can at least imagine it. And that is the greatest thing of all and which you have in abundance – imagination. For eventually, the imaginings will become reality again. I’m sending you my most special hugs and the plea that you take the greatest care of you and those you love at this fragile time. We will get to the other side. My hope is that the many not the few are unscathed. Xxx
Your return here is one of the happiest things, dear Fiona, and your timing couldn’t be better – these days we need all the friendship and support we can get to keep going and hoping for a better future. I#m so glad you found the help you needed in your black time, and that you’ve come out of it again, shining like a star. I look so much forward to all your future posts and am sending you my most special hugs too! Take good care! xxx
I was fortunate. Ironically given the fact that I was so at odds with being here and just wanted to run home to France and lock the door, the healthcare we have and the fact that we live in Harvard territory meant that I was able to get world class help. I am acutely conscious that for most that is not the case and I think I have never been so grateful. The extraordinary thing is that I feel better than I have in so long. And I am able to accept who I am with love. I love your hugs and I send you mine straight back. One day we will be able to squeeze the living daylights out of one another when we meet for tea and pastry somewhere in the world. This I know. Xxx
I look forward to it!! xxx
I haven’t been following up on my follower’s posts for a while now. And, as you know, I post far less and only really about the house because so many are interested. Very flattering for me!
So, I knew you had other distractions and tough times and we have fallen out of touch but I would like to hear the full tale if you can bear to tell it.
Three possible suspects came to mind rather uncharitably, when I heard your story of bullying by default.
I am not in any way making light of your experience, but I confess that I am now officially agog!
I’ve emailed you. Good to see you here … really good!
So sorry that you fell victim to what sounds like a very sick and spiteful person. It sounds as if she needs counselling, or a bullet through the head. 🙂
Anyway, you have bounced back, well done, onwards and upwards. 🙂
Susie, how wonderful to hear from you! I have bounced and I feel all the stronger for the experience so the rancid old bag has actually done me a favour. However, the bullet is extremely tempting – to put us all out of our misery. I hope all is as well as can be expected in your corner. It would be lovely to get news. I think your blog is private these days so I have no idea where or what you are doing but have no doubt that you are being sensible and taking great care I just hope you are able to laugh a little too. Warm wishes from across the pond 😊