Quick nod to Number Eleven!


Those of you know me, knew us, know how much we love Ed Sheeran. He was such a big part of our relationship, but he’s had a year off in 2016 and now he’s back!

So, after seeing the Facebook announcement, I was on it on Friday, excited for new music. Both releases, as expected, are awesome. Shape Of You I heard on the radio in the car. But I didn’t get to Castle On The Hill until I got home.

And, as suggested in tip #11, I cried. Not because it reminded me of Beanie in any particular way. It actually made me think of Nunu. It make me think of her growing up in this wonderful town we call home. The friends she’ll make and loose, the trouble they’ll create (don’t look at the lyrics too closely A, I’m sure Nu and E won’t get up to anything as antisocial as Friday night snogging, under age drinking and speeding on country lanes!).

But, this will always be home. And I hope that she’ll always look forward to coming back home, and have nothing but fantastic memories of being here, of growing up here and always want to come home.

And of course, as well as memories, her Daddy will always be there, at the Castle on the hill. 15259512_10100979612668022_8904637425534120510_o

So welcome back Ed, you’ve been missed!

Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill


Number Eighty Six: Stinking, steaming shit with sprinkles.

As the final weeks of 2016 tick by, I thought it was worth a bit of a reflect.

Fuck me, it’s shit.

After the hellish emotional roller coaster of November, I genuinely didn’t know what to expect of December. No more, this time last years….because this time last year I was this time last yearing. But you know what, that’s ok! That’s a good thing! The dates slipping further back in my mind don’t make me question how much I love my Bean. It’s just as simple as the fact that the world keeps turning, I keep living and things just aren’t as raw anymore. My fried egg is hardening, but the yoke is still there. And that’s fine.

But then December comes. December. The royal headfuck of the calendar. I used to love Christmas. We used to love Christmas. We created our own traditions whilst accommodating our separate families odd quirks. Well, mainly Beanie putting up with my families instance of rice with Christmas dinner (the potatoes are there too, never fear! Double carb!) and him accepting the fact that Dr Who was not a family viewing moment. We did through the ‘is it too soon to do this?’ phase, to the ‘I want to be with you, not go to work’ phase, to ‘this time next year, we could have our own family’ phase.


December 2013. That was the last good one. The last actual Merry Little Christmas.

I will forever be grateful for the memories we have, and words cannot describe how grateful I was that we had one Christmas together as a family of 3. Even though we’d received his diagnosis 2 days before hand, and we had absolutely no idea what the future held, we had a good day. A great day! But something definitely died in me that day.


So, as I approach my 3rd Christmas with Nunu, my second without him, I hear you mutter why so shit? Why worth a blog? The truth is, it’s not remembering what we had and wanting that back. Because that wouldn’t involve Nunu, Sausage or Stitch and that would just be very strange indeed. It’s looking forward and my heart breaking for what he’s missing.

Every year, Nunu gets older. More fun, bonkers, more aware….


And he’s missing it. He doesn’t get to see her reaction of terror to Santa. He doesn’t get her running around Southbank all excited by the people and the Coca-Cola trucks. He doesn’t see how much she loves a Christmas tree. He doesn’t get to listen to her sing jingle bells with her best friend, or in the bath to her bath toys.

And as the years go on, he’ll never get to see her excited face in the morning when ‘he’s been!’. He won’t get to see her debate that actually, he might not have actually been, as Mummy and Daddy get lazier when it comes to swapping the types of wrapping paper.

He won’t get to experience the first time she brings home a boyfriend, or the time she leaves to spend Christmas else where. He won’t get to enjoy his first Christmas as a Grandad.

He won’t get to experience anything. And because every year is new, and every year she’ll have changed so much, it’s not something that will ever get any easier. The wound never gets to fully heal, so 12 months later when the knife plunges in, it hurts just as much, if not more, as it did the 12 months before.

But the people around you move on. Their own lives progress, and they start to build the memories and traditions that me and Beanie started back in 2009. And so they should!

There are those that just choose to cope by ignoring it. Ignoring us, as we are a living reminder of what used to be. And, well, I have my own views on that, as I’m sure they do too. It is what it is.

And then there’s those of us who are stuck. There’s a select group of people who get to experience this Christmas ground hog day hell; young widows and bereaved parents. Controversial as it is, I do believe this. And I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

So, December sucks. There’s no way of escaping it. Head down, crack on, do your best for your kids and hope January brings better things. Because if I didn’t have Nu, I’d stay in bed for a month, order in take away and eat my way through the holidays in a drunken haze.

But I do. So on I go. And so do so many others I know. Through every second of heartache.

Fucking December, you stinking pile of steaming shit. 13 days till its all over.



Number Eighty Five: Fuck you 2016! 2017, bring it.

So, the last few weeks have been shit. No other word for it really. I struggled more than I ever thought I would with the death day anniversary, which resulted in some time off work and relying quite heavily on people around me. Each and every one of you are awesome, and I love you more than any of you will ever know.

As predicted, the lead up to the 19th was worse than the actual day. The day was good, and although the day was a bit hectic and quite rushed, the evening was pretty perfect (burgers, pub, Beanie banter, standard fayre!).

The night before, I had the ultimate distraction; a Frank Turner gig in Sailsbury. TDW (who for some unknown reason is still putting up with me!), is a little obsessed with this dude and so we’re lined up for 4 shows. This was my first. And it was good, really good! He puts on a good show Mr Turner and even had me bouncing up and down to songs I’d never even heard before.

But, it was like watching TV to distract yourself from the fact that the dog bed in the corner is on fire. As soon as there was any type of break, the fire gets your full attention. And so my unhelpful technicolour memory kicks in. My conversation with the night nurse about how much he’d changed in the last 12 hours. When he stopped drinking. When he stopped talking…….

So we drive home, TDW goes and I fall apart.

But, I’m through it. We’re on the other side. And its a different place to the whole this time last year thing. You just can’t stay there. This time last year, he was gone. And it was the beginning so there were minimal positives. And so you find yourself standing on the edge of this cavern you’ve just spent the last 12 months battling through. And the question you’re faced is; do you standing there for the next 12 going over every bit of how the hell you got through it, so tied to the past you’re not sure where or if you’re living anymore?

Or, do you scream at the fucking cavern, grabbing it by the collar and nutting it in the face for even daring to materialise itself in your path, and turn your back on it, spin round in your tattered converse, and walk away from it. Walk forward, being proud of each and every scar that hideous cavern has given you and how that’s made you the awesome person you are today? Yup, you guessed it. And if you haven’t, go back to tip #1, read from the beginning and then email me an apology as to why you’d think I’d ever consider option one 😉

2017 is all about me doing more than simply surviving. I’m not just going to get back to work, I’m going to get back into work and start really developing my role. I’m going to stop filling my face with shit and sitting on my arse and I’m going to loose weight. I’m going to improve my fitness. I’m going to do fun things with my daughter. I’m going to do fun things without her. We’re gonna have an awesome life that Beanie can check on every now and again from his TARDIS and say ‘bloody hell, my girls are doing good’.

So, my sound track to this walk away? Get Better by Frank Turner. This song is so fitting that it deserves the lyrics to be displayed, special ones highlighted and the video posted alongside it.

Because while you’re alive, there’s always hope for things to get better. You’re not dead yet. Live, laugh, love. And enjoy every fucking second you can. So thanks Frank. Thanks for getting me to jump around. Thanks for the word, thanks for the song and thanks for the kick up the arse.

“I got me a shovel
And I’m digging a ditch
And I’m going to fight for this four square feet of land like a mean old son of a bitch
I got me a future
I’m not stuck on the past
I got no new tricks, yeah I’m up on bricks but me
I’m a machine and I was built to last

I’m trying to get better because I haven’t been my best
She took a plain black marker, started writing on my chest
She drew a line across the middle of my broken heart
And said, come on now, let’s fix this mess
We could get better
Because we’re not dead yet

They threw me a whirlwind
And I spat back the sea
I took a battering but I’ve got thicker skin and the best people
I know looking out for me
So I’m taking the high road
My engines running high and fine
May I always see the road rising up to meet me
And my enemies defeated in the mirror behind

I’m trying to get better because I haven’t been my best
She took a plain black marker, started writing on my chest
She drew a line across the middle of my broken heart,
And said: “Come on now, let’s fix this mess”
We could get better
Because we’re not dead yet

It’s just a knot in the small of your back
You could work it out with your fingers
It’s just a tune that got stuck in your head
You could work it out with your fingers
It’s just some numbers tangled up in your sums
You could work it out with your fingers
It’s just a simple braille mission from the person you miss
A reminder you could always be
A little bit better than this

So try and get better and don’t ever accept less
Take a plain black marker and write this on your chest
Draw a line underneath all of this unhappiness
Come on now, let’s fix this mess
We could get better
Because we’re not dead yet
We could get better
Because we’re not dead yet

Frank Turner: Get Better


Number Eighty Four: A Blog for Beanie.

Hello you, how goes it? You good? Yeah, I’m good. Well actually, no. No I’m not good. But I guess you knew that which is why I’m writing.

So, I know you’ve never been brilliant with dates, but I think even you can remember this one. November 19th. The day time froze until you boarded your TARDIS and left for your next adventure. AKA death day.

There hasn’t been a day in the last year I haven’t thought about you at some point, but you’ve been on my mind intrusively recently. I remember when you first got diagnosed with the tashy bastard tumours and your started Googling, and as much as I nagged, and Angie nagged, you wouldn’t stop?! I’ve kind of been doing the same, but looking up the past. I know, I know, it’s not healthy. But I just can’t help it. I look back at our WhatsApp messages, Facebook posts, blog posts. I read back on our WhatsApp messages from when you were in hospital, I can hear your voice in my head reading them. Asking if your new found relationship with milk was like cheating on me, making demands as to what drinks I should bring up, talking about the relationships you hope I’d have with your friends (FYI – Mr and Mrs B and the Ice Cream family will always be my nearest and dearest), and how much we loved each other. How much we enjoyed just being together. How we regretted wasted evenings at home, hidden behind technology. It’s almost like it sucks me into a world where you’re still here. And then I pull my head up and reality smacks me in the face. Or Nunu. Or the dog licks it.

Looking back, I’m amazed at our positivity. Sometimes I’m angry with it. Angry how positive we were in such shitty shitty shitty times, and the blissful ignorance at what lay ahead of us, and ahead of me and Nu.

2016 has been a bit of a shockingly shit year over all. I’ve had discussions with people that we’re actually living in a parallel universe with all the fucked up stuff that’s happened this year. So I’ve been lucky to have good times, amazing times! With some amazing people, old and new.

But sat here, this week, remembering last year as if it happened last week, I feel like I’ve gone back to square one. I know I haven’t. I know I’m doing really well and that’s reflected back to me in Nunu. I mean, she’s amazing. She really is! She’s so funny, cheeky and loving. She’s also a complete cow, stroppy, stubborn and belligerent (wonder where she gets that from eh?). And I look at her, and all I see is you. I see your weird toes that she uses to pick up her dummy, the fact that she can eat like a horse and she’s still as thin a twiglet, the fact that she goes to bed at night tucked up with Mickey Mouse and a TARDIS….she’s you. She’s us. And she always will be. And that gives me so much joy but breaks my heart all at the same time.

But at the same time, for all the good, there will always be bad. That you’re not here. And you should be. You were 37 years old. 37! We’d just got married, our baby was just 1, we had our house, we both had great jobs lined up. Life was good. So good. And then bastard Cancer fucked it all up. Like it has done for so many others. And it just makes me so angry. So angry and so unbelievably sad. To the point that sometimes I still go to bed, silent tears running down my face, muttering the words ‘you should be here’. Because you should.

So I think on the amazing 6 years, 3 months we had together. Bali. Hawaii. Florida. Southampton. Guildford. Roast potatoes. The Edge. Lightbulbs. France. Fat Friday. Movies. Soho drinking. Batchelor. Rose. Cocktails. Sofa. Dr Who. Bed at 20.45. Super king size beds. And every single minute of it puts a smile on my face.

I watched our wedding video recently, and the line ‘she gets me, I get her’ still stays with me. I don’t think anyone will ever understand me as much as you did. You knew how to make me happy. You knew what to do when I was sad. You knew exactly how to make me happy. And you loved me. And I loved you. And that meant everything, it always will.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense. It’s certainly my most articulate blog.

So where do we go from here? What happens after the 19th? Does time reset and you get a shiny fresh new perspective on things? Who knows. But I know you’ll always be with me, in some way or another. If I’m honest, I still find it difficult to fully process the fact that I will never see you again. That hurts.

2017 will be better. I’m sure it will. Have decided to give Christmas my full on appreciation again (although still no where near as excited as I used to be) and try and pass on that magic feeling to Nu. 2017 will echo 2013; filled with amazing holidays, good memories and good times.

It will always suck that you’re not hear. And I’m going to carry that with me for the rest of my life. But, life is for living not for mourning the past. The past won’t be forgotten, it will inform the joy and adventure today. So, I’ll forever hold Nunu closer, try not to hide behind technology and will carry on. Because I have to, and because I want to.

Forever safe in the knowledge that you and your TARDIS won’t ever be floating too far away.

All my love, for always gorgeous man.




Number Eighty Three: A Repeated Tip and a Turned Corner.

If I was ever going to repeat a tip, it was always gonna be #33. At least I always hoped it would be one that was repeated. So when TDW asks if I wanna go and see Bears Den (yes, no one knows who they are, but you will….) in Brixton, at the academy, it was a bit of a no brainer!

So, an extended stay at Granny’s was arranged for the toddler monster, dog sitters for the mops and I woke up on Tuesday morning with nothing or no one to sort but myself. Now, as you’ll see from #33, that in itself was a novelty. If I’m honest, there’s still a big part of me that is adjusting to not having someone else to look after more often than not. If Nunu’s gone for any period of time, there is this urge to rush to make sure I’m back for…….no idea!

So leisurely get up involving egg and mushroom sarnie, apple juice and Frasier. Eventually, I get myself onto a train with a large cup of tea, The Gunslinger on kindle, fully charged head phones and head in the direction of Canary Wharf. Meet my usual Canary Wharf to enjoy her lunch break with her, and then headed west to Sloane Square. I meet up with TDW and we go for a mooch around the Christmas shop in Peter Jones and for the first time in a couple of years, I feel the flutter of excitement that only Christmas can bring. Welcome back spirit! You were missed.

And as the day ticks along, we head back to the familiar comfort of the South East and park up in Brixton. And there it is, Brixton Academy. One of my favourite buildings in all the world. All lit up in green lights. Magic.

So, in the spirit of repeating steps, we head to no other place than Chicken Liquor in Brixton Market. Still just as amazing as I remember. Chicken wings are my soul food, my happy place. Especially when they are covered in buffalo sauce and come with a blue cheese dip! Nom! It went down well, definitely not a first date venue.

Tummy full with chickenie goodness, we walk it off around the streets of Brixton. No purpose, aside from killing time till doors open.

The time comes and in we go. And, to reflect the new stage of life, we head up stairs to the circle. Yes that’s right, SEATS! Me and Beanie always said that the next gig we went too, we’d have to get seats to prevent longer term back moaning. So I grab myself a beer and settle in my seat for the evening.

And then it starts. This gig. This gig of a band that I’d heard on the radio a couple of times, but couldn’t tell you more than one of their songs. But it blew my mind. Completely.

These hairy faced men standing on stage, who you could tell were truly living their childhood dream, sang songs of such sadness, it touched the depths of my soul. Some of their songs were so sad. Songs of loss, songs of grief, songs of heartache. Songs of love. And as always happens in Brixton Academy, the music just washes over you and some how penetrates the deepest part of your soul. Magic.

And there I sit, in my seat, with these flawless harmonies washing over me and I take a few minutes to reflect on life. How much has changed since the last time I was here. That how much I’ve changed. For better and worse.

I think of all the hurt. The hairy man on stage singing about the loss of his Mum. The man sat next to me, holding my hand with tears running down his face because his Mum was stolen by Cancer. I think of my Nunu, who could be sat in this very seat in 30 years time, listening to her own fave band sing their own songs of sorrow and her thinking about her own loss. And I think about the 100s of strangers around us who have their own mad thoughts when they hear these songs.

And I grip his hand a bit tighter, wrap my other arm round his and place my head on his shoulder. He squeezes back and leans his head on mine. I breathe in, breathe out. And I listen to the beautiful, sad lyrics of this wonderful song. With a man that makes me happy. In a building that moves my soul. Change isn’t always good. Change isn’t always bad. But follow your gut, eat chicken and listen to music. Someone out there, in wibbly wobbly timey winey, would want you too.

Bear’s Den – Above the Clouds of Pompeii


Number Eighty Two: Song for Beanie.

Latest music discovery has been a lovely chap called Frank Hamilton. I love him! I truly do! He spent all of 2012 writing one song a week and made it into an album. It’s a pretty good project!

Talking through this album, I’ve been asked if any of the songs remind me of Beanie. And they don’t, aside one of the obvious one titled ‘if I die tomorrow’. But his new albums just been released, and now there’s a song that does. Songs to fall asleep to. First line, its obvious why. But it’s almost like it acknowledges where we’re at now. That he’s gone, and I’ll never be able to look him in the eyes again. But that’s ok, I don’t need too. Not anymore. Doesn’t mean I don’t love him. I always will in some way. And when we were in the hospice listening to Even If and Thinking Out Loud, they were the songs he fell asleep too. I like that.

So here it is, a song for Beanie. And I know he’ll love it…..including the first line.

Frank Hamilton – Songs To Fall Asleep To.

Number Eighty One: Don’t assume anything, you donkey!

It’s a well known Social Work saying that to assume makes an ass out of you. Over the last 12 months, I’ve made many assumptions. I assumed Beanie wouldn’t have Cancer, that kind of thing just didn’t happen to people like us. I assumed he’d be cured. I assumed he’d see Nu grow up, I assumed we’d be married for at least a month. Just call me Dominic….

Since Beanie died, the assumptions have continued. I assumed I’d always be on my own. I assumed that for me, he was the one I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with, and that the 6 years we were together would be enough for the rest of my life.

I had also assumed that although my fried egg of grief would have more surrounding it, that actually as the grief was the same size, the second year would be just the same as the first. Up and down, hard and probably crappy. Maybe not as crappy, but still crappy.

But, in the depths of summer blues, a wise and wonderful once told me (whilst sat in her garden over a cup of tea and chocolate biscuits), that the success of the second year depends on what you did with the first. At the time, I didn’t really get it and assumed it wouldn’t be something that applied to me.

But, I pondered, like I do with a lot of things this wise woman says. And I then I realised, holy shit, I have achieved LOADS this year! Highlights include:

  1. I’ve survived.
  2. Not only have I survived, but he toddler, 2 dogs and 2 rabbits have also made it (soz Juno, we still miss you!).
  3. I’ve gone back to work. Not just back to work though. Back to work in a new job, new role, new team, new local authority. And I’ve survived probation. And, dare I say it, I’m pretty good at my job.
  4. I’ve redecorated.
  5. I’ve planned the extention that Beanie wanted.

But most importantly, I’ve started to develop a life of my own. Not as Leah White, or as Beanie’s girlfriend/wife/widow. But as Leah Cox. Who likes cake, long walks with dogs, who has a wonderfully crazy toddler who will forever bring light to the darkest of days.

And I’ve realised that there are certain things I’ve missed over the last few years (oi, keep it clean, you filthy minded people!). Kisses and cuddles, feeling wanted, all that stuff. But also, walking the dogs with someone else! I’ve never done that! Beanie came along a few times, but actually, on the whole he was too poorly to walk Stitch with me. And so all these beautiful places I’ve been too, with wonderful breath taking views, I’ve been on my own. And as much as I love Nunu, her conversation isn’t great!

Thinking about what to wear when I go out, planning dates, enjoying new things. All good, all really good.

And so, the months of dread approach. Hospital stays, IV antibiotics, bulging stomach of tashy bastard tumours, terminal, engagement, wedding, hospital admission, hospice, then end. And I’m going to deal with that. I wouldn’t want to escape it completely. Have to go through it to come through the other side and all that usual bollocks.

But, I’m also planning on autumn dog walks, sitting in front of the fire with someone, rather than being on my own. Excited for seeing the colours change at Winkworth Arboretum, 2nd birthdays, Christmas and chai tea in red cups. I’m excited for more live music, trips to London, big fat roast dinners out in the countryside.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Mrs Cox is still an independent woman, as independent as she has ever been! I’ll enjoy autumn/winter 2016 and beat down the past memories regardless of who’s standing by my side. Because I’m one of those immensely lucky people in life that I have friends that I know will always stand by my side.

But, if this autumn, the person standing by my side is a new friend….possibly more than a friend…who is capable of enjoying the beautiful view of the dog walk, as well as admiring my beautiful bum as I walk slightly in front of him in nicely fitted jeans, there’s nothing wrong with that right? Nah, I don’t think so.

And I know the man in the TARDIS is pleased someone else is staring at my arse too. He’s also thinking he’s not that fussed, as he was more of a boob man anyway. And he’s realised that inbetween checking in on me and Nunu, he can spend the rest of the time making sure Mila Klunis  is also ok. He was just that kind of guy!






Number Eighty: Can’t sleep? Track me!

So, tonight’s the night! Shine walk night!

Toddler dropped with granny.

Dog care arranged.

Afternoon nap – yeah, failed that one. Gonna regret that….

Bag packed.

Aswad downloaded.

So, if you can’t sleep whilst I’m plodding around London, feel free to check and see where I am! If you see me as a dot floating down the Thames towards Kent….send help!

Shine Walk Tracking!

Participant number: 21122

Chip number: 0879

Not sure what you’ll need, so have it all!



Number Seventy Nine: Good Grief.

Not a new expression, or one of my random new phrases. That new Bastille song. Do you remember that Co-Op a couple of years ago? It was for BBQ food or something during the summer, but it used Christmas music. Messed with my brain! Christmas music in June?! Not ok.

So I’m a fan of Bastille, have been since Laura Palmer. It was one of those that I used to listen too on repeat in the car and the odd song would trigger the usual M25 teary moment. So when Bastille were back on the radio again, the song was turned up and I passively listened to it.

It took a while before I realised it was called ‘Good Grief’ which prompted a Google search of the lyrics. Shit, that’s a sad song. That’s a really sad song! But the melody, the beat, it’s all so upbeat! Someone once told me that the expression on your face is neither here nor there. If you’re smiling you’ll see it in the eyes. This song is that idea personified.

“Watching through my fingers, watching through my fingers
Caught off guard by your favourite song
Oh I’ll be dancing at a funeral, dancing at a funeral
Sleeping in the clothes you love
It’s such a shame we had to see them burn, shame we had to see them burn

“What’s gonna be left of the world if you’re not in it?
What’s gonna be left of the world, oh

Every minute and every hour
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more
Every stumble and each misfire
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more”

Throughout the last couple of years, in amongst all the shit and bollocks, there have always been these lightbulb moments. When things have just, you know, clicked. One was having lunch with my lovely friend J, whist her son was pooping in the soft play area, that actually things might get easier rather than harder! Another was when I had the conversation with our colorectal nurse, that made me realise my Beanie was dying. Then there was one when I realised I was ready to go back to work. And then there was the one I had at the end of August.

I’m 31 years old. Widowed. Mum of a 2 year old. And I’m having a relationship, a marriage with a memory. And as strong as my memories are, one day, they will fade. What holding his hand feels like will be harder to recall. The way his ribs used to feel on my cheek when I was lying on his chest will fade. His laugh, his smile, the sound of his snoring will all become fuzzy. And he will forever be 37. Do I really want to be in my 50s, with Nunu gone off to live her life, and me, sitting in my house, trying to recall enough of a memory to make me feel like I’m still close to him?

Fuck. That.

Beanie wouldn’t want that. In fact, I know he didn’t want that. Because he told me. He told me he didn’t want me to be on my own. That he liked the idea of me finding someone special. He wanted me to live the life we planned. But we didn’t plan Cancer. We didn’t plan me living on my own.

So, light bulb moment – I think I’m ready to try dating again.

Old friends will know that I’ve never been very good at dating. I’ve been dumped too many times than I care to remember for being too ‘nice’ (I’m not NICE!). So, with an extra 7 years, an extra 2 dress sizes, an extra dogs and of course the ‘single parent’ label, am I really ready to put myself out there? Well, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?!

So, ran the idea past some of my dearest and dearest – zero judgement or concerns expressed. One in fact reminded me, why would I care what other people think? Beanie wouldn’t care what other people thought, it would be about doing what’s right for me.

And you know what I want? I want a laugh! I want to have fun! I want to sit on the sofa and watch crap TV with someone who doesn’t resemble a mop (although I still love my mops with all my heart). I might even want to leave the house every now and again? Go out for dinner with someone who doesn’t demand spag bol and peas, or has a tantrum if I don’t let them run around the restaurant.

So, I did it. Put myself out there. And there were the usual weirdos asking you to drive over to theirs at 2am. Or feeling that ‘you’re fit, wanna meet?’ is an acceptable introduction?! Erm no! What about ‘hi, my name is…!’.

But then amongst all the usual shite (that of course gets send over to B for lolz, as it did 7 years ago…), there’s the odd one. The odd one that looks vaguely normal. That seems to have a friendly face. And dogs. And seems to like burgers. I like burgers. I like dogs. So you send him a message, he sends you one back. A bit slow at first, but then it picks up. And you find myself smiling when the msg pops up. And laughing at jokes. And just simply enjoying talking to someone who wants to get to know you. And doesn’t see you as a mum, or a widow, but as Leah. Who he seems quite interested to get to know. Who brings another dimension to the day. Something else to look forward too. Another thing to think. Another thing to feel.

And how do I feel? Well, I’m fucking terrified aren’t I?! Scared, nervous, terrified, excited, happy, content…..note the absence of guilty or regretful. Simply because they’re not there. Which makes me think, maybe I am ready for something new? Something different? What’s the worst that could happen?

So, first date planned. Second date discussions and he says ‘do you like Bastille?’.

Course he does. Good grief. Bring it on.