A handful of me

(c)Married to an Alcoholic

I’ve been writing this blog for more than a year now, and it occurred to me today that you good folks out there know a lot about the awful shit that’s happened to me over the last several months, but not much more about who I am. Continue reading



On Monday, I was interviewed for an internal post. As you all know, the roles in my team were made redundant earlier this month as part of an organisational re-structure. And as part of that exercise, all of us had to go through the ignominy of re-applying for our posts. Many of my colleagues took the redundancy package instead.

My package is comparatively small, so I opted for re-deployment, and on Monday, found myself sitting before a panel of three, two of whom know me well enough, and I gave an adrenaline-soaked performance that left me shivering and high by the end. Continue reading

Stumbledown summer

Flock of starlings over Brighton pier. source: guardian.co.uk

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in London, it’s torrid. In the day time, the sun is a fearsome pugilist, pummelling you until you run quivering into the shade. Or, if you’re like me, stuck inside an office all day, it’s more like a bully boy bouncer hulking over you, stilling the movement of air until you spend the rest of the day inhaling and exhaling the same breath.

It was a summer much like this one – 17 years ago – that I first met Ben. Continue reading

Soft return

This is a story in pictures – Rosie’s. They’re all family portraits of sorts, drawn between the ages of 3 and 5, spanning Ben’s descent into the morass of drink and his slow resurrection – his soft return to her.

Daddy (©Rosie, aged 3)

Daddy (©Rosie, aged 3). Early days – shortly after I discovered that Ben was drinking while Rosie was in his care. I stopped leaving her with him. He was shaking miserably back then, in constant withdrawal, by turns vomiting and sipping beer through a straw, because he couldn’t keep still enough to drink it directly from the can.

Continue reading

Delayed reaction

image may be subject to copyright


Rosie’s school sports day. Our great leader David Cameron makes a brief appearance on the school playing fields. He’s there because his government has just released its plans for a new curriculum that will teach fractions and basic computer programming to 5-year-olds… from September 2014. Much as I have a deep dislike for Michael Gove, the human worm and current education secretary, I’m not entirely dismissive of his proposed changes to the national curriculum. I find something reassuring in the focus on maths and science. (I’ve only had the briefest of glances at the proposals, so I may yet change my mind.)

Oh yes, this is also the day when I finally – after two years of waiting – receive notice from my employers. Continue reading

“An enclosed basin”

source: featurepics.com

And so to Middlemarch, which I have been dawdling in like some self-obsessed flâneur for several weeks now.  Friends say to me that all life is found in it, and they are not wrong.

George Eliot writes with such acuity about relationships and character, that it is, at times, cringe making. Every few pages I find some observation that is so piercing, so redolent of my own relationship with Ben, that I feel myself sighing with recognition and wonder.  Continue reading