Are you all well? I do hope so. Thanks for all yor wonderful comments about my story of the table. It's very encouraging. I have been very busy trying to sort the house. I do say trying as so far I have managed to make it worse that when I started, seriously!!!!!!!
We have lived here since 1996 and I am beginning to think that I never once sorted out ANYTHING. It seems to me that over the years we have just shoe horned more and more crap into this teeny tiny house. Where did all this junk come from.
Moving house will actually be a great way of pairing everything down. I use to be a minimalist and was well organised. So much so that my friends referred to me as Monica, from friends and if they needed help to sort and organise they would naturally call me.
Oh well onwards and upwards, I am about to get beyond ruthless and fire-bomb the whole house, wait to see what's left and move......well it sounded like a plan to me.
When I use to go to work, I would leave very early in the morning and even at weekends could not actually sleep passed about 6am. These days the mornings are like a whole different life to me. But I still tend to wake up early, well by 7am most mornings and as you know pain is my enemy and none more so than in the mornings. In order to start the day I have to take pain meds. Then lie around waiting for them to do their thing. I use to read in the mornings, but found that some days I couldn't concentrate because of the pain.
While waiting for the pain to become manageable I now normally turn on the tv in my bedroom, but soon found the news and other stuff terribly boring. To the rescue came Channel 4 in the shape of their morning of comedy, that consists of Will and Grace, Frasier and my new favourite Everybody Loves Raymond. Channel 4 screen two episodes Monday to Friday and although it has been on over here before I have never had the time to watch it.
I have come to the conclusion that comedy is far and a above the best way to start the day, but today Everybody Loves Raymond very nearly put me in hospital. I don't think I have laughed for so long and so hard in a long time. I just had to put the clip up for you all to see how I start the day.
And; then again there is always Nutty, who sent me this today in an e-mail click HERE Laughter is indeed the best medicine and I intend to keep overdosing myself in it.
At first the table was at odds within it's new surrounding.
The peace, quiet and daily routine of Vera and Bert's home was beginning to become a distant memory. Now the table found itself surrounded by noise, hustle and bustle. Clearly life had taken on a new meaning for the table. More often than not now, the table found that both it's fold away flaps were extended out and actually left out.
The table found itself in almost constant use these days and had began to realise that this was perhaps it's sole purpose. To be busy, busy, busy. The table was happy with the new woman, she lavished love and attention on the tale and that made the table feel comfortable. But the best thing was that Vera still came to visit and clearly these two women were the very best of friends.
The women were often to be found at the table, mostly due to the fact that the table now lived in a huge kitchen. While the table was still used for high days and holidays it had a more general purpose now. The new family was large and noisy and brought their friends to sit, talk and eat at the table. But it was when the two women sat at the table and chatted while making clothes for the numerous children, knitting, sewing and all manner of crafts, that the table was most content.
Thelma made the most lovely lace and was more than happy to teach her friend. Over the years the two women, chopped veg, made jams, marmalades, cakes, bread, prepared meals and feasts at the table. They polished it to such a high shine that it could almost blind a person when the sun shone upon it.
On high days a holidays the table would be laid with the best crisp white linens and silver and fresh flower., The table was soar away happy and couldn't fathom out what it had done to deserve such wonderful people and events to share it's time with.
One day some new people arrived, there was a big happy reunion and lots of chatter about how big all the children had become. The table had long concluded that children were nothing like tables. Children were noisy, grew at an alarming rate and were never still. Tables were quite, never grew, and stayed very very still.
The room at the reunion was full to bursting with children, but the tables attention was drawn to the smallest of the children. A tiny little girl with blonde curly hair and wide eyes, she seemed shy and had ventured under the table. The tiny girl sat very very still and she unnerved the table in her quiet stillness.
Her mother kept calling her to come out from underneath, but she steadfastly sat there staring into space completely ignoring her mother. It turned out that the family who had come for the reunion had in fact known Thelma and Robbie for a number of years and had faced adversity together during the second world war. The family of the little girl were in deep trouble and the parents of the tiny girl were facing prison and need to keep the children safe or they would all be put into care. There were alot of children in the tiny girls family and it would mean that there would all be separated.
All the adults decided that it would e for the best if the children were to stay with Thelma and Vera and their husbands. After much talking Thelma and Robbie took in the boys. Vera and Bert suddenly found themselves with a house full of girls. They rose to the challenge and soon their house ran out to the sound of squealing girls giggling a way when ever Bert came home from the docks as he chased them around the house with his big dirty working hands threatening to ruin their clothes.
Every weekend Thelma, Vera, their husbands and the children would gather around the table for Friday night prayers, then they would eat. On Saturdays the families would get together and play board games at the table, laugh and eat. On Sundays they would all squash a round the table again after church and have Sunday lunch.
The table helped them to celebrate birthdays and spent weekends, holidays and high days with this large and extended family. The new children rarely saw their parents and after a few years they stopped coming all together and the table never saw them again. Some times the tiny little girl would sit under the table and be completely still, quiet, just staring off into space. Sometimes she fell asleep under the table which the table liked.
The tiny girl grew up into a lovely young girl, although still tiny and rather quiet. She had a laugh like falling rain and the table loved to hear her laugh, then one day she was gone. In fact all the children had grown and left.
The house became very quiet and only sometimes did they all get together.
The table stood there groaning under the weight of the food laid out upon it's surface. It wasn't the first time in it's long and illustrious life that a feast had been laid on it's surface and the table seriously doubted it would be the last. In fact it knew it wouldn't be.
The table wondered who would be present at this feast today. It could hear the chatter of the woman, whose house he now occupied. How many women had there been now?
There was the very first women back in the 1930's when the table was first conceived. She was a lovely tiny woman called Vera, who was the aunt, but not a real one to the woman who he lived with today.
Vera her name was and a newly married Irish Catholic girl, who had lived in Southampton with her docker husband for a little over 6months when she first came across the table. Bert had been born and bred in Southampton and had followed his Father into the docks, in a long held tradition of Father and Son dock workers.
Vera, had found the table in the city centre sitting in the window of a swanky shop. It had been love at first site for the both of them and Vera had brought her husband Bert along to the shop in order to introduce them.
Bert and the table had soon got the measure of each other. Bert had ran his large shovel like, honest rough, working man's hands over the top of the table. Had sat at the head of the table, murmured that with the two flaps that could be pulled out, this was certainly a table a man and his family could grow into. Bert very much liked the clean masculine lines of the table, the beautiful oak and dark stain of the table. Bert nodded his approval to Vera of the table and declared that this table would be a piece of furniture a man could be proud to have in his home and break bread with his sons and daughters to come.
Vera smiled, patted the table and whispered," I'm so going to love you, you'll see." The table knew this to be true and could see the days of feasts and family and fun to come. Vera, could see white linen table clothes and napkins, her mother's silver and her Grandmother's white crockery. She could see the table heaving with food and surrounded by her sons and daughters to.
On the way home Vera and Bert stopped outside the shop and stared into the window at the table. The table for it's part took in the measure of the young couple, it had, had grander ideas of where it would eventually find a home, but there was something about this tiny Irish Catholic girl and her big rough docker husband who had hands like a shovel. She had a sweet nature and he had a steely gruff nature, but they complimented each other so perfectly, that they put the table in mind of salt and pepper shakers, "you can't have one with out the other" the table thought and it was content to be going home with the young couple.
The table happily lived with the couple, they often had friends and Bert's family over for meals and feasts and although all three of them were happy living side by side and enjoying each others company there was a shadow hanging over their happiness. Despite the years and the physical love between the couple, no children had emerged from their union.
The Second World War came along and there were times because they lived so close to the docks, when the bombs rained down from above and on the odd occasion the couple had to hide under the table, as there hadn't been enough warning for them to make it to the bomb shelters. The table stood fast, silently vowing to protect the couple he had come to be so fond of.
One day the table found itself being carried out of the house and away from the couple it had come to think of as friends and was fond of. It felt confused and could not understand what was going on around it. Suddenly it was thrust into a noisy home with lots of people, children and ways that the table at first couldn't understand.
I heard this line below while watching the telly today and it got me thinking about how inter-related the two states of being are.
LOVE IS BIGGER THAN HAPPINESS?
You see, I got to thinking, can you have love with out happiness? Or can you have happiness with out love?
Let me explain....I have thought that I was deeply truly madly in love with my husband (Adrian) and yet happiness was not a friend to me while with him. There was always the shadow of the misery he could inflict.
My next partner (Tony) I knew I would never be "in love" with him, but I thought (in fact he did know and said he wanted to take the chance that I would grow to love him and in a way I did, but as a sister would love a brother) . I never once said I loved him and in more ways than one that did more damage to me. He certainly cost me a small fortune and in fact in order to get him out of my house, the final bill was 72 thousand pounds. My experience is not, that the women gets everything when relationship end. I was happy for awhile with Tony, but not in love with him...ever.
Adrian to his credit, finally walked away from me and said he wanted nothing from our marriage and that he wanted me to have it all, as I would be raising the kids alone, so needed it far more than he did. For this I can respect him, that and the fact that his only other wish was that the children knew peace within their own home. Adrian was indeed an arse-hole, but he wasn't always full of shit and in the end, it was the right thing to do for all of us. We had met when I was 17 and were together until I was 31/32.
Tony came along a few years later, had all the manners of a gentleman, was very pleasant and everyone around me got on with him well. We dated once a week for months and he never met my kids until we had been together for 6months. He was a school teacher very high up in his feild and an F.A football couch. He was every ones darling. My brothers adored him and thought the sun shone from his backside. It wasn't till years later that I realised why the sun shone from his arse...because even the devil didn't want that one kept in the dark, the World needed a warning sign.
I brought the house, he wanted to moved in, even though I was reluctant.....everyone told me he was good for me, good for the kids, they all liked him. So instead of listening to my own misgivings and having had the most god darn terrible last relationship I bowed to my family and friends thoughts and despite my own misgivings in he moved. I was happpy for a little while. Well, I tried to be. The kids certainly were and in turn seeing them happy made me so.
Turned out he was deep in debt, I bailed him out and a year later had to do the same again. He was spending money like it was growing on trees...turn out it was my money. We had been living together for two years when I couldn't do it any more, so ended the relationship. He cried like a baby said he didn't want me to take the kids from him "After all Lia, they have already had their father leave them, it isn't fair on them". He had a plan, we would buy a sofa bed and he would sleep there, we could carry on living as a family, it would be better for the kids in the long run.
I spoke to family mine and Tony's (he has a wonderful family, and in truth I miss them more than I ever have Tony) I spoke to friends and asked the kids what they wanted. Everyone with out exception said it was a good thing and even congratulated us on our mature and positive approach to our break up. The kids were happy with it as well.
It worked and it worked well for awhile. But I wasn't happy, in fact I hadn't been happy since he moved in, when I really think about it now. I knew he loved me deeply, that was never in question. He loved me the way I had loved Adrian and I felt really sad for him. Then I felt it was all too much for me and I asked him to leave.
That's when I found myself in court and a bill for 72 thousand pounds. Tony hasn't seen the kids for 4yrs now, yet he loved them, didn't want to leave them ever, they needed him, he needed them. Last time he saw the kids they all rowed with him and told him that he had treated their mothers house as his own personal ATM machine. That their mother had been his banker and he had played foot loose and fancy free with their inheritance, while speaking in platitudes about love and family values.
So back to the question! Is love bigger than happiness.
My own life has taught me that the answer is NO. Love is not bigger than happiness, but neither is happiness bigger than love. The two are inter-woven, you simply can't have one without the other. You can't be happy without love and you can't love without happiness.
Love by it's very being is joy. You can be deeply passionate about someone and something, and it will give you joy. Most of the time.
Take a look for instance at how men are deeply passionate about their favoured team, now at times it will make them sad, but the love never wavers . A woman can love a pair of shoes, even if at times they cripple her feet. But both will go back to their teams or wear their crippling shoes, because they love them and they bring them happiness.
Love can hurt you and tear you apart, but happiness never will. I know what love and happiness is now... it took Francis to show me that.
I have never loved or been this happy in love with anyone my whole life. Excluding the kids, 'cos they are just love and joy to me by being in my life. Francis is a whole new ball game to me, but with out doubt love is not bigger than happiness to me, they are as one.