A weekend of LEGO building

Kylo Ren's command shuttle and Poe Dameron's X-wing fighter
Kylo Ren’s command shuttle and Poe Dameron’s X-Wing fighter

Reuben and Joshua have spent the weekend building LEGO models they received for their eighth birthdays.

Reuben built Poe’s X-Wing Fighter (75102) while Joshua built Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle (75104). And so that Isaac wouldn’t feel left out he received a wee silver Captain Phasma stormtrooper minifigure.

It took them pretty much all day, finishing just before bedtime.

And so the divorce proceedings begin…

Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon cover, showing a prism

Tomorrow morning marks the formal beginning of divorce proceedings.

At 10:00 in Dundee, Jane and I will meet with two mediators (one also a solicitor) from Relationships Scotland to begin ‘All Issues Mediation’. The end result will be a document, a Mediation Summary, that sets out (I presume in legal-ese) the terms of our proposed agreements resulting from the mediation which we then take to our own solicitors and ask them to process it, to make it legal.

This evening I had to fill in a 10 page document ahead of tomorrow’s meeting that lays out my full financial situation as of the formal date of our separation: Saturday 14 November 2015. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be, although I am still a little confused about pensions and insurance/assurance, and all that other serious grown-up stuff.

The last six months have given me some perspective on the whole thing, especially my last four months living in hall as the warden. While I miss my children desperately, I do otherwise feel happier than I have felt in a long, long time. I feel more like my old self, but a little wiser and more experienced old self. And that is a good place to be to go into these pre-divorce proceedings.

I don’t feel angry with Jane, I don’t even feel sad now. I know that we tried our best—I certainly know that I tried my very best to make things work. We just couldn’t make it work—we simply couldn’t communicate on the same wavelength. We were like two magnets pushing against one another. Or like when coloured lights come together they produce white: together we lost our identities, our uniqueness, our vibrancy. There is no point in me holding on, or resenting, or feeling hurt. That’s not the road to healing or wholeness.

I have said from the start that I want our divorce to be carried out in a kind and caring way, with grace and respect. I want to model to the boys the kind of behaviour that demonstrates that even though our marriage relationship came to an end it can be ended in a way that allows us both to walk away with dignity.

I will try to blog what I can about the process in the hope that it helps others going through a similar situation.

Gardening, stamina and Joshua’s chalk drawings

Our back garden in a state of order
Our back garden in a state of order

One of the delights of this past weekend — apart from almost seeing the blood moon eclipse last night (there was too much cloud cover at 03:47 when I peered out of my south-westwards facing study window) — was getting the back garden tidied up.

Of course, the front garden still looks like a jungle. (Sorry neighbours!) But the back garden looks splendid and neat. The secret to tidy-looking gardens, I believe, is simply in defining straight lines and borders. It’s a bit like web design. But without the benefits of flexbox.

What is frustrating, though, is that my stamina still hasn’t returned after last year’s headache.

It’s been over a year now since I was in hospital. When I got out my GP said that I shouldn’t expect to begin to get my energy back until January or February; it was more like April when I began to feel that I was making some improvement.

But then in July the headaches began again. I know I was pushing myself too hard: cycling every couple of days, staying up too late, and I need to get my eyes tested again (appointment booked for Monday).

Time to reel myself in a bit and be a bit more sensible and disciplined.

Still, in the meantime at least the shed is tidy. And who doesn’t love a tidy potting shed?

Look! You can now walk in through the door and not tread on something.
Look! You can now walk in through the door and not tread on something.

And I think I may have discovered that Joshua is the secret identity of Banksie.

I love this cheerful drawing of a man and... a thing.
I love this cheerful drawing of a man and… a thing.

Seemingly to the right of the cheerful man is his thought bubble. I need to ask Joshua again what he’s thinking. Because I seem to recall that it was something random. Like a pie.

Robin and Carol’s wedding

Robin and Carol emerging from Kelso Registry Office
Robin and Carol emerging from Kelso registry office

Yesterday morning we drove to Kelso, in the Scottish Borders, for my first cousin Robin’s wedding.

They were married in Kelso registry office — my first ever attendance at a registry wedding — and then held their reception in the village hall in nearby Smailholm.

The highlight of the day, as far as the boys were concerned, was the bouncy castle in the hall grounds.

I spent most of the afternoon supervising our three. Isaac, especially, was really tired so every half hour or so he and I trotted across the grass to our car parked opposite the bouncy castle so that he could have a lie down in the temporary bed that I’d created for him in the boot of our Citroën Grand C4 Picasso.

It was a day of love and family and laughter… and a lot of bouncing.

Isaac and duck

Isaac waves to his new friends.
Isaac waves to his new friends.

At lunchtime today Jane had a lunch appointment with a friend, so Isaac and I first went to Greggs to get him a sausage roll and a bottle of summer fruits juice.

“I’ll get points for that,” he said, gesturing towards the bottle.

And he was right: the boys get bonus points if they try something new.

We had a lovely time, sitting beside the Kinnessburn watching the ducks, some of whom came up to say hello. Then we took a walk along the stream to find more ducks, before heading up the hill towards my office.

We took a shortcut through the grounds of Dyer’s Brae, one of the School of Biology buildings,and popped up on Queen’s Terrace, opposite the Bute building where I work.

“Wow!” said Isaac, recognising where we were. “It’s like we teleported here!”

Well, we didn’t teleport again up to the office—instead, we took the lift.

Isaac, at my desk wearing headphones, watching YouTube.
Isaac, at my desk wearing headphones, watching YouTube.

And there he sat at my desk and we did some pair programming.

Well, I say ‘pair programming’. Isaac watched a Batman video on YouTube while I analysed our projects boards to determine where our business-as-usual, portfolio, project and consultancy tasks are all tracked.

Until mummy arrived.

What fun! I love that boy.