Welcome to my online journal, which I started in December 2002 after several very persuasive hints from friends. Although I obviously don't write about everything that happens in my life here, I hope it'll provide an insight into who I am and what's happening in my life - whether good, bad, happy or sad.

Visiting a friend from across the water

Posted by Anna at 22:47 on Monday, March 31, 2003
Yesterday was amazing. I left here at about 8:15am for the drive up to Norfolk, and finally got there (after the obligatory stop for cappuccino on the way up) about 4 hours later. It's a tiring drive, made worse by my unfamiliarity with the route and a couple of sets of roadworks on the M11. They bit pretty hard on the way back as I was that much more tired by then.

Leni is staying in a beautiful (and huge!) cottage in a little village called Sedgeford about 20 miles North East of Kings Lynn. It's so tranquil there. I loved it!

We had a lovely day - a lot of chatting, and a meal out in Huntanston. It was wonderful to be able to chat face to face at last! I was my usual highly emotional self and at times I was in tears as I talked about the last year, my family and friends and my hopes and dreams.

When the time came to leave I was in tears, which by now I expect. I finally left at 9pm (two hours later than I really should have, but sometimes leaving is so hard, isn't it?). With traffic and a 45 minute break to wake myself up a little I didn't get back until 1:30am.

Fortunately, I was working at home today (nude coding!) as I had a hospital appointment for voice therapy this afternoon so I didn't have to get up quite as early as I normally would.

The appointment went very well (my therapist is really happy with my progress), and we've agreed to give it a break for a while now to see how I get on. I'll get a call in 6 months or so to ask if I think I need any follow-up consultations.

This evening it all caught up with me and I crashed for a couple of hours after tea. I'm slowly waking up now.

Knackered - but unfortunately not from partying

Posted by Anna at 19:46 on Thursday, March 27, 2003
I'm knackered. Not from partying (sadly) but just from day to day routine I think. Work is pretty busy at the moment which doesn't help, though at least it pays the bills!

Last night I was at the local Beaumont gathering in Reading catching up with friends - something I always look forward to. If you know me at all well you'll know how much friends mean to me, and there are a couple I know there who are very, very special to me. Although I do feel very lonely at times, I certainly don't feel alone.

That's something to give thanks for.

I don't like Mondays...does anyone?

Posted by Anna at 20:04 on Monday, March 24, 2003
It's Monday.

I don't really need to say any more than that, do I?


Trans-Curry...Windsor style

Posted by Anna at 13:29 on Sunday, March 23, 2003
Last night certainly lived up to expectations.

We met up at a hotel in Slough before heading into Windsor, and as it turned out there were six of us rather than the five we were expecting.

After arriving in Windsor we walked from the car park to the High Street (itself an achievement for me, considering the boots I was wearing) and went to a wonderful Indian restaurant on the High Street. There was a moment of hillarity when we arrived at the restaurant as the kitchen staff came out to have a look (let's face it - 6 TS girls out together is a sight you don't see everyday in Windsor. ). It was flattering in a way!

We had a wonderful (if way too short) evening, and when the time came to say goodbye I felt rather sad, but very glad to have had the oppotunity to meet them all. As only three of us live locally, sadly it's not likely we'll be able to repeat the experience for a while.

Finally, I should say that I got a real kick out of going into Windsor. It's the sort of place you just have to try not to fit in - and I certainly didn't last night...

Some good signs

Posted by Anna at 20:38 on Friday, March 21, 2003
Well the week's over, and I'm actually feeling pretty good. There's certainly no sign of the depression that totally floored me last weekend.

Last night I was planning to go to the Mayflower gathering in Totton, but instead my friend Helen came over for a chat (we've only talked online before), as a result of which it looks like I'm off for a night in Windsor on Saturday night. I think there's 5 of us going, so it should be a lot of fun.

I had a brief chat to my ex-wife tonight, and she was pretty happy which was lovely to hear. I had a big smile on my face after the call.

Tomorrow afternoon I have the kids coming over and I'm really looking forward to that too. Hopefully this weekend will be a good one.

One day at a time

Posted by Anna at 23:00 on Tuesday, March 18, 2003
I'm glad to say that this afternoon I finally stopped feeling tearful and depressed. Although I still miss my ex-wife as much as ever, I'm not distraught about it the way I was. I guess this cycle of alternating normality and depression is something I should be used to by now, but sadly that's far from the case.

One day at a time.

Grieving for the love we've lost

Posted by Anna at 23:05 on Sunday, March 16, 2003
It's been an awful day for me. When I dropped off the kids at my ex-wife's house yesterday afternoon she was her old self - the girl I love. I was in tears as I drove away, and I haven't stopped since.

Today's been a day I'd like to forget. This morning I went to Church, but despite their friendliness to me I do feel like a bit of an outsider (I've no real peers there, so that's understandable) and when I'm low that doesn't help. Today was no exception. After Church I came home and I spent the rest of the day in my room - which is a real waste as it's been lovely outside today. I just couldn't bring myself to go anywhere.

I think I'm grieving for the love we've lost. All day I've been bursting into tears thinking of us. This afternoon I cried myself to sleep because it was the only way I could stop myself thinking about it.

Right now talking to friends is keeping me sane. Thank you so much - you know who you are.

Goodbye my love...and good luck

Posted by Anna at 22:09 on Saturday, March 15, 2003
Karen, my love. I just wanted to say that although everything went wrong for us I hope you'll be able to find the happiness I couldn't give you.

I miss you.

Laser, laser everywhere

Posted by Anna at 21:10 on Thursday, March 13, 2003
It's been a quiet week (and very boring if I'm honest). The only break from the routine was yesterday when I went up to London for laser treatment again - the 5th treatment on my chest (at Hairaway in Shaftesbury Avenue) and the 12th on my face (at Christianos in Earls Court). Both treatments went well, although the really cold ice packs Christianos use make my feet twitch every time! It turns out that the number of shots I'm having now on my face is just over half what I was having around Christmas, which confirms my feeling that I'm getting there.

It turned into a longer day than I expected, as I bumped into a friend at Christianos (she had the appointment after me) and we ended up wandering around Oxford St for a bit then going for a meal. I think I got back home at about 10pm, and boy could I feel it today - I've been ready to curl up and fall asleep at my desk all day. I don't know what it is about walking around London that always makes me so tired - maybe it's dodging all those people on Oxford Street?

Today the skin on my face feels pretty grotty (that's normal, unfortunately), and I've got little red marks all over my chest. It should all have settled down in a week or so.

Pretty soon I'll have to start looking into genital hair removal in preparation for surgery next year. That's gonna hurt, and I'm not looking forward to it one bit.

I think a shower and early night is called for tonight, but I'm not sure whether I'll be able to settle particularly well as I'm feeling a bit lonely again. My friends have been fantastic, but so few of them are nearby - I think what I really need is to find some new friends nearby as well.

I don't even know where to start at the moment, but I have to do something.

A birthday bash to remember

Posted by Anna at 21:47 on Sunday, March 09, 2003
Last night was fun. It was a birthday bash for my friend (and colleague) Martin, and ironically happened at a pub less than 100 yards away from my old house (and still only 2 miles from where I am now). It's a small world, isn't it?

It was an interesting evening as more quite a few work colleagues were there (including two of the other girls, so I wasn't totally outnumbered for a change) and as Martin and his wife Helen are rather musical the evening's entertainment was one long jam session with rotating musicians. It was pretty funny at times!

Why am I writing? I guess because it was something different (and a little special) - an occasion where I was quite obviously accepted as myself by people who knew my past, but one where (perhaps as a result of the people around me) I felt like I didn't have to discard it. The conversation drifted from topic to topic (as these things do) and yet I felt I could quite happily chat about my former life and the experiences I had as well as who I am and where I'm going. It also reinforced that there are things I used to enjoy that I still can. Who knows what the future will bring?

When the time came to leave I was offered a lift which saved me the hassle of finding a cab at midnight. I'm still overawed at how wonderful everyone at work has been. My social life may be embryonic, but the potential feels amazing.

Fantastic news!

Posted by Anna at 10:43 on Saturday, March 01, 2003
I have some fantastic news!

Despite my foreboding, the Divorce Hearing went far better than I expected and we came away with an agreed settlement. Basically, the house is being signed over to my ex in return for a lump sum payment from her, and my pensions, savings etc. are being left alone.

Had a settlement not been agreed, there would probably have been a further two Hearings - each of which could have easily cost me �500 as this one did. It was also have put a pretty effective brake on me saving up as anything I saved would be up for grabs.

As it is, I'll pretty soon have the money for surgery and the rest of my treatment, so right now I am definitely celebrating!!

I need to do some serious thinking about dates now. As I won't get a referral until early January, I think early Spring might be a good time. Before then though, I've got a lot of paperwork to sort out - notably the mortgage endowment (which I keep under the terms of the Court Order) and getting my name taken off the deeds to the house. I've also got to apply for a new passport.

Once all that's done I'll write to the clinic and make some preliminary enquiries. To reserve a date for surgery I'll have to put down a 10% deposit so I need to talk to them beforehand to work out exactly what I want on the FFS front.

You wouldn't believe how many letters I've written this year already, and it's far from over yet!