Tag Archives: Husbands

30 Reasons To Stay Married

1 Jun



  • The dogs wouldn’t like it if we split up.
  • The kids wouldn’t like it if we split up.
  • The record collection wouldn’t like it if we split up.  Apart from Meat Loaf (mine) and The Sex Pistols (his), they’ve been one big, happy family for too long for a separation to work.
  • The Hub wouldn’t like it if we split up.  He thinks thirty years of fights, kids, pets, fights, moving, troubles, fights, problems, woes and fights should mean something.  What a nitpicker.
  • He strokes my hair when I can’t sleep.
  • I pull his hair when he annoys me.  Whose hair would I pull if I didn’t have the Hub?
  • He still thinks I’m beautiful.
  • Poor, misguided fools are my thing.
  • He doesn’t mind that I spend all of our money on books.  Well, he does; but he doesn’t complain about it.
  • He found it perfectly reasonably that I wanted our wedding song to be one written by a country singer about leaving her famous married lover which I discovered in a movie about a whorehouse.

  • He buys the most thoughtful gifts: Presidential balls; trips to the Globe, the ballet, the theatre; long socks; Maltesers.
  • He knows me inside out – watching a group on last week’s Britain’s Got Talent, he said he knew which one I found the most attractive.  He was right.  Then he said he knew which one I found next-most attractive.  He did.  And so on, through all five of them.  The man’s a freak.
  • He can fix anything.  He can take an appliance apart, put it back together, throw the leftover screws (there are always leftover screws when he repairs something) in the recycling box and the machine works like new.  It’s scary.  And saves us a fortune (next point refers).
  • He only sighs when my techneptitudinal brain breaks appliances by mere confused glances.
  • He makes me laugh.
  • He lets me make fun of him on my blog; which means he makes you lot laugh, too.
  • He’s a know-it-all but, what’s worse, is that he’s not often wrong.  It’s annoying.  I include it as a reason to stay married, however, because I need the challenge of pointing out his errors.  It’s what gets me through the day since I gave up Sudoku.
  • He’s as hard as nails on the outside but a big, soppy mare over animals.  Which is why we have, in the course of thirty years, owned seven gerbils, three cockatiels, three budgies, five cats, four dogs and several thousand fish.  Why do you think I read so much?  I can’t find him in the zoo and I need to pass the time somehow.
  • He gave me two beautiful children.  And seven gerbils, three cockatiels, three budgies, five cats, four dogs and several thousand fish.
  • He sews up a storm.  Our kids always had the best costumes at school events. 

  • He accepts that I am not romantic and all of my love poems to him tend to poke fun at his own wild romanticism.
  • He cooks like a Michelin-starred chef.  He gathers together interesting ingredients and voilà! a three course meal for brunch.  It does my head in that he’s not well enough to cook anymore.  How selfish of him to get ill like that.
  • He can really drive.  I mean really.  His parallel parking is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.
  • He’s the boss.  He says we have to stay married.  You know I’m an obedient wife who never disagrees with him, so staying married it is.
  • He doesn’t like poetry and complains that I should be writing a runaway bestseller to support us.  He totally believes I’m capable of it.  To shut him up, I had a go at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – the aim of which is to write 50,000 words in a month).  I managed 12,000 words of a dull romance in which my hero was a traffic warden.  Need I say more?
  • Back to the not liking poetry – he complains that it won’t make us any money and then ferries me around from one free/unpaid gig/workshop/event to another, leaving me with a kiss and collecting me later with another kiss.
  • He has no patience and a short fuse.  This might not seem like a reason to stay married to him; and you’re right: it’s not.  But I have to remind myself as I’m writing this list that he’s not perfect by any means, despite his great husbandness; otherwise, I might start appreciating him.
  • He’ll read this list and write thirty reasons why he should stay married to me, and I guarantee it’ll be all soppy and nice and make me all gooey inside.  He’s really annoying sometimes.
  • To prove the scoffers wrong.  Lots of people predicted that we would break up within a year when we got married.  I don’t know why; it’s not like I broke off our engagement three times or anything…oh, wait…
  • Love.

Happy 30th anniversary, darling.  Love you. x




Why I’ll Never Leave The Hub

20 Feb

I went out to visit a friend this afternoon; I found this hidden in my laptop when I got back:

Photo by Best DSC!

Photo by Best DSC!

It was a song I’d never heard before.  Read the lyrics when you listen:

What woman in her right mind would willingly give up such a romantic?  

Not me, that’s for sure.

That Was The Week That Was (II)

22 Aug
The Hub in pre-rabbit days

The Hub before he was brutally savaged by a rabbit

The story so far: one broken husband and one disdainful rabbit combine to make one weary of constant Ow-ow-ows from the Hub.


Monday 11 August

My monthly visit to Write Out Loud at the art gallery, an open mic poetry night.

The Hub refused to go to A&E.


Tuesday 12 August

Tea and toast with Friend Pam at Olive Café in Edgeley, a joint-church venture which is doing remarkable well.

The Hub refused to go to A&E between his groans.  I began to feel a tad irritated.


Wednesday 13 August

The Hub refused to at least visit the doctor but had me feel up his swollen shoulder.  I began to plot ways of making his suffering even worse.

Spud went out to a pre-results party with his friends so they could all be nervous together instead of in their separate homes.

DSCF1367The Hub and I went to church. 

Yes, you did that read that right – the arch-atheist Hub and I went to church.  New Chapel in Denton where, the Hub had discovered via the magic that is the internet, his great-uncle John Ellor, who died in Egypt in 1918, had his name on the Sunday School Roll of Honour for those who died during the Great War.

A wonderful couple – she works as the church secretary – called Christine and Barry pulled out all of the old records and we found lots of relatives from the Hub’s father’s side – and his grandparents’ 1927 marriage certificate.  To actually touch their signatures was emotional even for me, who has no blood connection.  It’s the first time the Hub has had a good time in church since he married me 29 years ago.

Ah!  Just realised why he’s never been back…

2:15 a.m.

I woke up to hear the Hub creeping downstairs…on his way to A&E to get his swelling checked out.  He was in agony and unable to sleep.  It was worth going in the middle of the night to avoid the I-told-you-sos, and because it took less than an hour for the Hub to be checked over, x-rayed and told that his scapula might be broken but he was so badly bruised that it was impossible to tell.  Take ibuprofen and try not to be too smug in your wife’s face or you might end up back here with  a definite broken scapula.


Thursday 14 August


Made with love

Made with love

Results day.  Spud arrived home exhausted but too excited to sleep; and starving.  He had a breakfast of 2 eggs and 3 toast followed by 6 lots of cheese and crackers.

Spud slept all day.


Spud’s friends arrived for drinks-before-the-real-boozing-starts-in-town (Manchester) celebration.  We have known most of the boys for the last seven years and they are a lovely lot, so we cracked open a bottle of champagne with them, drinking from paper cups because Spud insisted.  Then we went off to bed and they went out about ten p.m.


Pre-drinks before the real drinks

Pre-drinks before the real drinks

Friday 15 August

6:05 a.m.

Spud crept in.  Spud slept all day.

9:15 a.m.  I went out for the day to Llandudno, on the church charabanc. 

I went on a boat!  A three-year old girl loved it; her older brother screamed the whole time. 

I went on the beach as the tide came in.  So I wasn’t on the beach for long.

A beautiful Welsh beach

A beautiful Welsh beach

I went on the country’s longest pier – a mile and a half, I think. 

I went on the tuppeny slots, just like I did on Welsh holidays as a child. 

I discovered you can’t slice a scone without a knife but it tastes just as good when buttered, creamed and jammed with a spoon. 

I got home at six-thirty and I was in bed thirty minutes later.*

If I'd had the money, I would have bought the boys - all three of them - one each of these onesies

If I’d had the money, I would have bought the boys – all three of them – one each of these onesies

Saturday 16 August

Tory Boy phoned: I’m at the hospital with suspected appendicitis.


Come back soon for the final, exciting instalment – is Tory Boy fit to burst?


That Was The Week That Was (I)

19 Aug


Such a good looking boy...

Such a good looking boy…

Hello Readers.

I don’t know if you remember me – I used to blog.  I’ve been so busy lately, however, I haven’t had a chance – well, we’ve had a couple of weeks here at Tilly Bud Towers!  A bruised scapula from chasing a rabbit; a septic appendix; and a hysterical teenager.  Not to mention exam results and poetry readings.  I’ll break it down into diary form or it will take up a third of the page just to repeat, ‘…and on Suchaday we…’  It will probably take a couple of days to regale you – you know I can never make a long story less than Lord of the Rings length.

Saturday 9 August

In the week prior to a week-last-Saturday, First World War anniversary fever hit me hard.  The Hub, Spud and I attended a candlelit walk around the park on Monday 4th, along with several hundred others, following a piper and six flag-wielding WWII veterans.  A short service followed before the Last Post was played, and all candles were extinguished at eleven p.m., to signal the moment one hundred years ago when Britain began to be at war with Germany.  It was incredibly moving.

I don’t know if my non-Brit readers know the story of Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, but it is worth repeating:

A friend came to see me on one of the evenings of the last week […]. We were standing at a window of my room in the Foreign Office. It was getting dusk, and the lamps were being lit in the space below on which we were looking. My friend recalls that I remarked on this with the words: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

From Grey’s memoir, published in 1925

DSCF1354To commemorate the start of the war, my church held an open morning with the theme, The Lamps Are Going Out.  As I was one of two people organising it, I spent the whole week working with my friend Pam The Great Administrator (she’s amazing and must only be spoken of in capital letters in my hearing) to collect artefacts, set up a slide show, arrange for costumes, rehearse poems and heavily promote the event.  The last bit worked especially well because we more than quadrupled our usual Saturday morning numbers.  Actually, it was even more than that, only I don’t know the correct term for ‘five times as many people came into church than is usual’.

We expected two tables of old bits on display but we had six.  Some people brought a table’s worth alone, and stayed with their stuff to chat to visitors and explain the (fascinating) history.

Pam baked delicious Anzac biscuits.  The children decorated glass candle holders.  We had period music playing in the background.  And Spud and I gave two readings of poems written between 1914-1919.  The whole event was a huge success, not least because it reminded us of what was sacrificed, at home and abroad.  Spud remarked to me that, as he was just eighteen, if he’d been born a hundred years ago he would probably have been off to war with all of his pals.  A sobering thought.DSCN3284

Sunday 10 August


Church followed by Stockport Writers.  It was my turn to chair.  I wanted to take the August meeting so I could use the theme, The Start of the War.  I hadn’t considered, three months earlier when I put down my name, that it came back-to-back with yesterday’s event and I woke up in a cold sweat in the middle of Thursday night, realising that I had nothing prepared.  Two hours and one irritable Molly later, it was done: I pared fictional and actual events down to their bare essentials – e.g. the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand became An angry teenager with a gun – and used them as prompts.


I had been in five minutes and had just poured boiling water into three mugs when there was a knock at the door.  A neighbour had seen a runaway rabbit and called at my house because I was on the corner and therefore would probably know who it belonged to.  With logic like that, it’s hard to believe we can win a raffle, never mind two world wars.

Still, I’m a sucker for a scared pie filling so I went out to help, calling for my pretty assistant the Hub to come along: animals love him and if anyone could catch it, it would be him.

Turns out anyone couldn’t catch it, including the Hub – it sat in a shrubbery patch, snaffling the carrots we used to entice it and ignoring the umbrella-thrashing we gave the bushes in an attempt to frighten it out.  The last we heard, it had eloped with a runaway pig and they had set up home in Tamworth.

The poor Hub didn’t have such a lucky escape: it was raining and he slipped on some cobbles, landing flat – hard! – on his back and breaking his watch, to the amusement of those neighbours who had come out to watch us chase the rabbit but felt no need to join in.  Or to help him up.

When I got him back inside, Spud was in a spin: having had a late night, he had only just got up.  He came downstairs to find half-made tea, still warm; the car in the drive; the back door unlocked; but no parents.  He tried calling us but our phones rang inside the house…he was creeped out like only a half-asleep teen with a vivid imagination can be.  The Hub would have laughed if it hadn’t hurt so much; but he refused to go to the hospital.

The Hub wasting away because of my neglect

The Hub wasting away because of my neglect


Tune in again – date to be determined because the excitement is still ongoing.

Coming soon: A day trip to Wales








One Part Prompt/Two Parts Silly

28 May


Click on the image for source

If you were one part human, two parts something else — another animal, a plant, an inanimate object — what would the other two parts be?

Before I started my weight loss programme (not a diet; I don’t do diets), I was one part human/two parts Maltesers.  Now, I am mostly one part human/two parts hungry.

The Hub says I am one part human/two parts vampire i.e. sucked the life right out of him.

Scratch that, he didn’t say anything of the sort.  But he did offer to slice me open to find out.  Consider me one part grateful/two parts terrified.


Here’s a prompt response I found in my drafts folder:

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT! What’s your favorite way to spend Saturday night?

A movie, a large packet of cheese & onion crisps and a glass or three of JC Le Roux’s La Chanson.

I’m writing this post at seven-thirty on Saturday night, in bed with a hot water bottle.  No, the Hub is not giving me the cold shoulder because I was mean about him one too many times (like there’s a limit…); I sneezed today and put out my back.  The power of snot.

Talking of my favourite wine, Number One Son bought me a bottle for Mother’s Day.  Then helped me drink it.

Now he’s Number Two Son.


Think about an object, an activity, or a cultural phenomenon you really don’t like. Now write a post (tongue in cheek or not — your call!) about why it’s the best thing ever.

Writing responses to WordPress prompts is the best thing ever because it allows me to make fun of the most off-the-wall people on the planet.

No, really.  They are as much fun as dieting.


Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?

I think I’d buy the invisibility helmet.  I like the idea of walking around scaring people when they see a headless body.

And think of how much weight loss that adds to my non-diet…  No one can call me fathead any more!


The friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial you run into outside your house is asking you to recommend the one book, movie, or song that explains what humans are all about. What do you pick?

Of course, it would be an alien that spoke to my headless body, wouldn’t it? Because it wouldn’t know I was weird.

And the book – as you regular readers must surely know – would have to be Ender’s Game, in which we earthlings kick some alien butt.

Damn aliens, coming over here and stealing all our humanity.


When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?

I prefer to be safe in my bedroom, not jumping off or on to platforms, thank you very much.

You are all welcome to crowd in, of course; but I get the window side of the bed.


You’ve been given the superpower to change one law of nature. How do you use it?

Crisps and Maltesers would be one of my five-a-day.

Do you not know me at all, WordPress?


What’s the one guilty pleasure you have that’s so good, you no longer feel guilty about it?

Tormenting WordPress Prompters.

Oh, and breaking wind…there’s no smell, now I eat properly.

What?  Nobody comes here for the dainty English refinement – you know that, right?

More On Doors

5 Mar

I remember another time a doorway exchange caused some confusion.

We were living in South Africa and we had a dog who had given birth to five puppies but who had no interest in caring for them.  She escaped at every opportunity and the Hub was at his wits’ end (admittedly, he didn’t have far to go), trying to persuade her to feed her pups.  

One warm Saturday morning (so, any Saturday morning; this was South Africa), Scamp sneaked out again and the Hub, watering the garden, spotted her doing her snake impression across the kitchen threshold.

We had new neighbours.  Their first impression of the kind of people we are – misogynistic husband; downtrodden wife – came when next door’s wife heard my husband scream, ‘Get in the house and look after your babies, you stupid b****.’

Warning: This Blog Is About To Get All Soppy*

14 Feb

*Which is so out of character, I seriously considered starting yet another blog, for my weak days.

Today is St Valentine’s Day.  The Hub and I never celebrate it.  He’s thoughtful of and caring towards me.  He gives me love notes, flowers and little gifts all year round.   You’ve heard me boast about it.  He can also be a great big jerk sometimes, but that’s marriage for you.

The Hub doesn’t believe in St Valentine’s Day.  He thinks that people shouldn’t need a special day  to show their love; they should show it all the time.

That puts me in a bit of pickle: I’m not a romantic like the Hub and my way of showing my love is not spitting in his dinner when I’m mad at him.  He doesn’t think that’s particularly in my favour.

So, I did what I always do when I’m confronted with an emotional conundrum: I wrote a poem. Enjoy, and don’t think too badly of me.


What’s Love?

For Paul, the love of my life


What’s love?
It’s your hand holding the sick bowl, wiping my face.
It’s crying for someone who gave you a lifetime of grief;
because I loved her and you love me. It’s letting me hate you in
hormonal periods. It’s sitting, sweating in your undies
because I’m cold and won the fight over the central heating.
It’s playing taxi. It’s calming me on kitchen days. It’s buying
takeaways when the wallet can’t take it but soothing failed.
It’s tolerating my beliefs, so crazy to you. It’s your gift of two
beloved boys, knowing they displaced you, and not caring.
It’s golf balls at Christmas and Shakespeare at fifty.
It’s doing what I ask when you really don’t want to.
It’s putting me first.
It’s time, not money.
Sometimes, it’s money.
It’s the everyday ordinary and the occasionally sublime.
It’s blaming the world for my setbacks, when you know it’s
really me. It’s sending me to South Africa, France, Widnes.
It’s love notes in my laptop, my diary, the fridge.
It’s accepting my fat. It’s rejoicing when I’m slim.
It’s rocking a colicky baby all night then working all day.
It’s no sleep. It’s sore feet.
It’s working too hard, too long, too far away.
It’s coming home again. It’s trust. It’s not eating burgers
because there’s steak at home. It’s knowing what matters.
It’s hard times, unhappy times, tragic times.
It’s staying together.
It’s you and me, two kids and thirty years.
It’s you.
That’s love.



That’s got to pay off at least a year’s supply of hearts written on milk bottles, hasn’t it?

Vivinfrance's Blog

mainly poetry, also quilts, pictures, life-writing and the occasional short story.


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notices and reflections in ministry

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