Mixtape Monday

A peek at my musical tastes

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I remember the day I met you like it was yesterday.

I had just moved into a flat after living in a hostel for nine months. It was a few short months after my Mum had died and at 21 years old, the staff at the hostel felt I had finally got my act together, that I was ready to move on, into one of the "satellite" flats. Where support staff turned up once a week to collect the service charge and rent and to go over any issues. I was nervous because in a block of five flats, I was to become the only female. I wasn't sure if I was ready to be around so many men. I had never really had any male friends, much less live with a man.

Our first meeting was brief but you made an impression. You were lying on your sofa in one your flat when we were introduced and you just glanced at me, smiled and said hello. I didn't see you for a few weeks after that between my working and partying, staying out late, leaving early. I learned later that you often dropped by to see my flat mate but it was an excuse to try to catch me at home.

The next time I saw you was on my return from a family break in Hope Cove. I was exhausted, the car journey home had felt like it had taken an age and it was raining. It was late evening and when I walked in my flat you were there. You and most of the men that lived in the building, all drinking and listening to music. It was unexpected and I felt vulnerable, uneasy. Once I'd bundled my stuff into my bedroom you offered me a drink and I said I didn't drink lager. So you asked what I did drink and merrily went to the off licence, in the storm, returning with three bottles of wine.

Later, as the party dwindled, I made my excuses and went to bed. You soon followed, knocking on my bedroom door, insisting you wanted to come in and talk to me some more. I protested, my bedroom looked like a bomb had gone off in it and I just wanted to get myself ready for bed and sleep. You wore me down and I let you in. We sat on my bed, talking and the next thing I knew, I'd woken up and you had gone to work.

That night was ten years ago today. Much of our early relationship was allegedly casual, yet there was no one else for either of us. I even ran away for a bit, confused as I was at the depth of my feelings. I visited family, only telling work I needed some time off for a few a days. The day after my return, I got back from work and you had remembered a conversation during which I said one of my favourite flowers was pink roses, that I thought a single rose was more romantic and thoughtful than a bunch and you'd left one for me outside my bedroom door, with a note asking to meet me at a local bar. Some point that night, this was played on the juke box and you attempted to sing it to me, told me that you loved me and knew you had from that night in my flat.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Clara Unravelled

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There has been something of a change, several changes I guess, within myself in recent months. I have felt lighter, more free. I have accepted that there are things I have done in the past that I can make amendments for, other things I know I cannot. I have been in a place where I have felt more content than ever.

I haven't always been the person I strive to be. The kind, loving, emphatic person I want to be. I know there have been times when I have felt more "woe is me" than strictly necessarily, or indeed acceptable to others, when I have felt I have been treated unfairly. The trials and tribulations of my own life, the insecurity and stress does not (and should not) negate that of others.

I know people have taken things I have said or done the wrong way and they have been hurt as a consequence; that I regret but I have learned from it and I truly believe that. I imagine the same is true in reverse.

I have also learned that I cannot continue to mentally beat myself up when there has been wrong on my side; sometimes I have been hurt too but I can let that go and I have. It's a continual process and I am lucky enough to have a lot of people around me to help me with that.

Free. That's what I feel at the moment.

Clara Unravelled

 

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*Warning* This may be an overly soppy edition of Mixtape Monday for some.

Five months, three months. Neither seem like a long time yet both can feel like an eternity.

Five months ago, I thought my world was going to fall apart. The husband and I semi-seperated in that he slept on the sofa and we kept ourselves to ourselves, leading independent lives, as much as is possible when still living together, only talking to discuss arrangements with Harry. If we had the money, or friends locally he would have moved out. Neither of us wore our wedding rings for the duration, we saved whatever small amount of money we could (to fund him moving out) and this all went on for almost four weeks before we were finally in a place where we could talk without feelings of anger and hurt surfacing in an overly volatile way.

Three months ago and we found ourselves in a situation which made us realise that if we didn't make certain changes, our little family would end as we know it. With a lot of love and support we made those changes and we have never been closer. We are enjoying life as a family more, growing in more love than I thought possible.

None of us can look into the future, we can only hope to learn from the past and take each day as it comes. We can hope that we continue to create a loving, safe and secure environment for Harry and ourselves but who knows what tomorrow will bring?

The thing is, the husband and I have been through so much. Homelessness, allegations of varying degrees, health problems, depression, all sorts and yet these two things earlier in the year are the only ones that made us wonder if we could make it, nothing has tested us or our love for each other in quite the same way. Yet somehow, we undoubtedly knew we did still love each other, very much. Perhaps the toll and stress of the last couple of years finally caught up with us?

During these times, I did what I often do and listened to music. Music that allowed me to cry, music that reminded me of happier times, music that allowed me to hope. One such song was this.

Clara Unravelled

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I picked a song for this week's Mixtape Monday a couple of days ago. A song that I had heard every day in the few days earlier, if not more. The trouble is, once I decided that I had to share that particular song, I obviously couldn't remember and hadn't written it down anywhere. D'oh!

Luckily for YOU my dear reader I happened to come across one of those quizzes that pop up on an hourly daily basis on various social media channels. Namely "Which song was written for you?". According to this oh so scientific quiz, it was James Blunt's "You're Beautiful".

Personally, I am a bit "meh" when it comes to Mr Blunt. I can take him or leave him and generally I have no opinion either way. I mean, I can listen to his songs, I wouldn't skip them if they come up on Spotify but nor would I actually choose to listen.

So, if you happen to like him, or don't know what I am talking about, I shall leave you with this. Also, if you click here, you can take the quiz for yourself. Do let me know what answer you get.

Clara Unravelled

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It has been a wonderfully sunny few days, filled with trips to the park after nursery and long days in the sunshine with family. Smiles and sunshine and sunscreen. A late nap on Sunday afternoon when it all got a bit too much. Brilliant blue skies and stunning sunsets. With sun kissed cheeks and grazed knees while trying to keep up with children who can run so much faster.  Not a tear or tantrum in sight made for a weekend that will not be forgotten in a hurry. A hopeful sign of the Summer to come.

Whenever the radio was on, this was blasted out. In a former life it would have been drunkenly danced to in nightclubs.

Clara Unravelled

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Last week, this song, along with some small family moments, got me through the week. I found out that someone, somewhere felt a need to report us to social services. I won't go into any more details but all I will say is that the matter was resolved quickly and both the social worker and indeed Harry's nursery have no cause for concern.

I won't lie. It made me angry and upset for a while. My little family are happy, people have noticed a positive change in recent months and this report made me wonder why we had bothered. But that is it, isn't it? Is it because we are happy and content now?

I still have no idea who made the false allegation, much less why. But that no longer matters to me. What does matter is our happiness as a family. On that note, for today's Mixtape Monday, I shall leave you with this.

Clara Unravelled

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I realise I will be shot down for sharing this for this week's Mixtape Monday but did you know that in July this year it will have been 18 years since it was released? 18?!?! That makes me feel old! Since I shall probably forget this little bit of pointless trivia by the time the anniversary comes around, I decided to share it now, because I am nice like that. Enjoy!

Clara Unravelled