A friend suggested I should keep a diary. She says she keeps one and it helps her to get her head round things when she feels life's running away.

So, I'm giving it a try....

Dear Diary,

Please would you help me get my head round a few things right now.

Yours sincerely


Saturday, 31 July 2010

But then

But then she said she’d decided not to stay.  She said that she had realised that I was going to need her more than ever now: having a baby.  She asked me if I was going to marry John and whether I’d thought about any names yet.  I told her it was early days and that we’d think about those things all in good time, together, the three of us.
I asked her what she thought her dad would say about her not going to live with him.  She said he’d be cool about it.  He was cool about everything. 
I’m so happy, I could cry.  Must be the hormones.

So here I am

Well here I am in Croyde, on the beautiful North Devon coast.  It is a lovely day.  There’s a light breeze frothing up the waves and the sea is dotted with surfers.  Katie and I have just been for a long walk up the coastal path as far as Baggy Point. We talked. Now she’s gone off to the surf school to help Simon sort out the wetsuits.  The three of us are meeting up tonight for a meal at The Thatch.
Katie said that she’d had a long talk with her dad.  Her dad had said that it was fine for her to move in with him, and they talked about the schools, and other practical things like how she would get to school, whether she was going to carry on with her dancing, whether she would want to spend some weekends with me, or part of the holidays. They’d talked about money and Simon had told her that they would have to be a bit careful, because his work was seasonal and so the money he earned in the summer had to last him through the winter as well.  She didn’t mention the cattle trucks.  She said she’d offered to try and get a Saturday job and Simon had said he could always use more help at the surf school. 

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Just me now

I didn’t say anything about it to Katie this morning and she didn’t mention it either.  I just gave her a book of stamps so she could send some postcards to her friends and gave her an extra tenner on top of her allowance.  We did have a big hug at the station and she’s going to meet me at the little cafĂ© in two weeks.  We always meet there.


That didn’t exactly go well.  In fact, anything that could go wrong did.  Katie missed her bus home from school because everyone was saying goodbye to the leavers. Then when she got home it was major panic because she couldn’t find her iPod and she hadn’t got any credit on her phone.  So by the time we sorted that out and got all her stuff into the car we had fifteen minutes to get to the station.  There was a mile long queue of traffic because a skateboarder had got knocked over at the lights, so we got to the station just as the train was pulling away.
The romantic dinner for two at which I was going to break the news to John turned out to be a rather fraught dinner for three at which Katie blurted out to John that I was pregnant. I snapped at Katie for telling him, so she sulked off to her room, leaving John and me rowing about why I hadn’t had the decency to tell him myself that he was going to be a father.  What a great start.
Anyway, Katie got the train this morning, and John’s gone off to play golf.  We did eventually calm down and have a proper discussion and he actually said that he was delighted and that he hoped I was too. I told him I was nervous. I said that I didn’t want to force him into a long term relationship that he wasn’t happy with, and he asked me why on earth I thought he wouldn’t be happy.  We’d been happy for six months. Why would that change? Then I told him what Katie had said.
This morning John brought me breakfast in bed and said that the main thing was that we should be able to tell each other anything and not worry about how the other one is going to react.  He’s right, I know.  I should have told him sooner.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Then there’s John.I haven’t told him yet. Not the most sensible course of action, I know. But I just haven’t had the right moment.If I don’t tell him soon then Katie’s dad will know before John even knows.

I know I’m not being fair on him.

 I am going to sort it out.I’ve asked him round for supper on Friday and I’ll tell him then.

You see...

You see, Katie says she wants to go and live with her dad.  She says I don’t need her anymore, now that I’m going to have a baby of my own.
I guess I can’t stop her.  It wouldn’t be right.  He is her Dad.  She spends a couple of weeks with him every summer and the odd weekend here and there.
Simon is good to her.  He treats her well.  I know she has a great time there.  But isn’t it different when it is forever?  Would he cope?  Would she cope?
Simon lives in Croyde, in North Devon.  He’s a surf instructor.  Well in the summer months anyway.  In the winter he drives for a haulage company.  We haven’t really talked about it much but I think he mainly drives cattle trucks.  How would Katie cope with that?  She’s a vegetarian. 
Anyway Katie is going to stay with her dad for two weeks from this Friday.  She’s going down on the train, but I’m driving down there to pick her up. So if she’s serious about it, she will talk to her dad and then we can discuss it when I get there.


Firstly there’s Katie.  She’s been living with me for three years now and I absolutely love her to bits.  She’s my world, my whole world.  In fact there are times when I think it was her who gave me the strength to carry on.  Sometimes I found it hard after Sam died.  Life had no meaning.  But then along came Katie and she’s the only meaning I need.
We’ve had some good times, me and Katie.  We have a laugh, together.  I think we’re friends.  She grew up so much when she started secondary school: it was such a change.  But it is so lovely to see, and to be there for her as she discovers life in a new way.  I call it the pre-teens phase.  I love the pre-teens phase where children blossom into young people, take shape, experiment with their identity.  It’s been fun. 
Now we’ve got the teenage years to deal with.  Well, at least I pray to God we can deal with them together.

So what now?

Sorry, yes, I know I’m evading the question. Well, the thing is John, “the father”, is my boyfriend of some six months now. We met at a friend’s party. John knew Sam years ago and I guess that’s how we got talking. He’s a nice bloke: I do really like him. Everything was going pretty well, in fact.

It is just that I’m not sure I’m quite ready; it hadn’t even occurred to me that we might be in it for the long haul.

So now what?

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

So who’s the father?

So who’s the father? I hear you ask. Well Katie’s father is a man named Simon. He’s a nice man. They weren’t married, Katie’s mum and Katie’s dad. In fact we didn’t find out about Katie’s dad until after her mum died.

Katie’s mum was called Sally. She had Katie when she was seventeen, she’d have been thirty now if she were still with us.

Heroine overdose.

She hadn’t even been a user when she was younger; it had only been a few months. Fell in with the wrong crowd. So sad.


I’m Louise, thirty-six years old, single – well, widowed I believe is the correct term, but that makes me sound so old. Besides, Sam made me promise never to use that word. He said it wasn’t sexy. He thought I was.

Sam died six years ago, from a brain tumour. He was a lovely man and I was privileged to be his wife for three short years. Six months to the day he was diagnosed – from our wedding day, that is. And though we battled, both of us, he gave up the fight a week before my thirtieth birthday – a month after his, telling me to go out into the world, meet someone nice and have children. He would have made a wonderful father.

So here I am at the age of 36, single, foster mother of Katie, 13, and OMG, I can’t believe I’m saying this –