Sunday, 13 February 2011

Ups and downs

It’s been a turbulent fortnight.
First, David was promised a position that would keep us here for at least a couple of years, but it had to be proved that he was the only person suitable.
He was not deemed so.
Second, he then received notice of a position down south, near Basingstoke.
This was pants. It meant a return to shifts, regular trips abroad to unpleasant climes and few visits home, once every other month if lucky for the next three years. The travel connections meant nearly a twenty hour journey to get home which, with the return trip, would waste most of the weekend. Because of the point the children have reached in their education (we’re at the point of exams every year for the next eight years now!) it is not acceptable to move them into a different education system, so the children and I have to stay here, which goes against my promise to follow David to the ends of the earth. It would also make a mess of David’s plans for the future. For the past ten years he’s been studying (on and off) towards his degree with a view to becoming a teacher when he’s leaves his current employment. This would be impossible to continue and the sacrifice of family time and money wasted. It was also his negative preference (if there is such a thing) which was also unfair at this point, with less than four years to go.
I know this was the life chosen, but at this stage in his career it was an insult to 26 years of totally loyal commitment. I was distraught, angry, frustrated and disappointed (for David). For a couple of days there were sleepless nights and my daily quick walk was spoilt, I kept finding myself with tears streaming down my face, and usually my walks are my self medication. This was not a good place to be.
By the end of this week, things had changed, (although we are still waiting for the piece of paper…) and he is now going to a place near Wolverhampton. No shifts, time abroad possible, but less often, half the travel time with a train connection on his doorstep and plenty of time to study. This all makes a massive difference and I feel much more relaxed with the prospect.

We went for a walk yesterday, one that David had planned to practice my navigation skills. It turned out that because of the avalanche risk (!!!!!) the intended route was not so feasible, so there was a change of plan and we were to walk up towards Ben Macdui from the ski centre, but turn off towards Cairn Lochan then on to Cairn Gorm and back down via the Ptarmigan. Sadly, the lower car park was full and instead of waiting in a queue for a bus, we walked up to the ski centre. This added 1.35 miles and 411ft ascent and I think that’s why certain people with little legs (we had three of our little treasures with us) were beginning to struggle before we reached the path split. The walk leader (rather grumpily) made the call to turn about and we returned to the car. I suppose this counts as a failure and we were a little disappointed, but I did think someone was being a little over ambitious, considering it is the middle of winter and wading through snow at times was a little wearing.
5.2 miles
1.5 average mph (uphill)
1148ft ascent
A little less turbulence in the next few weeks would be appreciated.


Laura said...

You're having such a rotten time of it.....

Here's a big cyber-hug for you!

Louise said...

Thank you Laura. It's been a bit pants, I have to say!
I married into this so I don't desereve sympathy, but it never occurred to me that we would have to face anything quite like this. I expected to follow him to where ever, because that's what I'd chosen and for a few days I felt so out of control because all the decisions were being taken away from me. Me, a control freak?!
I'm feeling a bit better now.
On the bright side, I won't have to confine walking with you to a weekend!

Phreerunner said...

Oh dear, the trials and tribulations....
hope things improve for you.

Louise said...

That's 'deserve' and 'wherever', of course. It was early and pre-cup of tea!

Louise said...

Thank you Martin, I'm hope so too. Things are a little more promising at the minute, we might even have a roof over our heads for a year or so too, if we're lucky.

Gayle said...

Boo Hiss to turbulence - and fingers crossed for smoothness going forwards.

(And, in my opinion, your walk wasn't a failure, you merely did something a bit different to the original plan.)

Louise said...

Thanks Gayle.
(And I agree, we didn't achieve what the leader wanted, but it was a lovely day and a nice walk!)

Alan Sloman said...

I have found in recent years that life sometimes throws wildly curving balls that somehow you have to deal with. Happily you do find ways to cope with it and it doesn't turn out to be impossible after all. Good friends are vital and I have been extraordinarily lucky in that respect.

I do hope that things pan out for you both in the end - it sounds like things might improve for you.

And, there's no such thing as "failure" on a walk! It's just a different sort of outcome and still a lovely thing to do together as a family.

Louise said...

Thank you Alan, and you are quite right, it'll all come out in the wash.
I think it's recovering from the initial shock that's the hardest bit and then you find your balance and find a way. Good friends are most definitely the key to survival and as soon as I'd made my mind up that I needed to talk it through with them, I began to make more sense of things and feel better.
Funnily, I don't mind a 'change of plans en route', but David was a little miffed. He got a new pair of boots in Aviemore, that cheered him up. I got an early birthday present, my long-awaited Tilley hat, sigh!

Colin Ibbotson said...

Hello Louise. A difficult 2 weeks. I’m in the same position of uncertainty as I work for the same employer as David… in fact I have worked with him for the last few years!

Welcome to the TGO challenge! Shame David won’t be able to be there but you will still have a great time. If you need any help preparing then I would be happy to help.

Louise said...

Hi Colin!
You would not believe the conversation David and I had just a few months ago about a chap who made his own kit, and now he tells me you're a friend. Typical!

It's a really pants time for all of you, I'm so desperately sorry/disappointed for you all. I hope you get something half decent.

Thanks for the offer Colin, that's really kind of you, I'll send a copy of my kit list with David for you to have a laugh at and any help would be very appreciated.

I'm so looking forward to taking part, the contacts I've made already have all been so friendly and enthusiastic, it's all very infectious! Not long now, perhaps ought to do a bit of walking...