Thursday, September 25, 2008

NI OUI NI NON

There is a game they play here called Ni Oui ni Non. Niether Yes nor No. You have to answers questions and you are not allowed say yes or no? Do you understand? Ah see I win!
I feel that is what is happening in my desire to have my son more with us.

Today my lawyer called while I was in middle of something important in work.
I had to move quickly outside. I answered, closing my eyes dreading this moment.
I had no idea if I should prepare to jump for joy or to sink to the ground and yet neither response would have been correct anyway.
Even if it was the perfect result the right response would have been perhaps a sage nod of the head, a satisfied smile, maybe a secretly clenched fist of joy. Nothing more than that or it would not have been right.

For the moment my ex has my son, I get to see him every second weekend offically. I stop paying for his Canteen and his schooling and I stop buying him clothes and I pay her 200 euro a month.
In the meantime there will be a social inquest in how Lover and I live in our home. We agreed to that before I had to go to court.
My lawyer explained this is the first step in the Shared parenting. If the result of this inquest is positive then there is no court that can refuse the Shared parenting. So I suppose all in all it's a good result, it could have been worse. There is still light. I am just not able to cut that rope that binds me yet and that honestly irritates the hell out of me. I have a desire for finality.

My body is getting better. I have changed physio's by accident almost. The new physio and I have become friends. The other one was brilliant and so is this one. But this one gives me more. Will strengthen my body. I will be healed soon. I will be back on track.


So I guess the result of today is neither no, nor yes. Change or no change or waiting or slow change. I will know more when I meet my Lawyer soon who will explain the ruling in detail.

But I have had a lot of support from my readers, and for that I am very grateful. So this is the news you have been waiting on. Sorry it's not more conclusive.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Change expected no change

Been to the doctor, not fixed yet, can do some stationary bike and swimming will be soon, absolutely no running.

Tomorrow someone who knows nothing about us, makes a judgement as to if my son and I can legally spend more time together.

My parents arrive tommorow. They are 80. My mother is probably a manic depressive.


I suppose I was going to write that I feel anxious, stressed out my bucking oak tree would be more accurate but perhaps not as nice. . . . .

change and no change...... life is different everyminute and yet we stress over what the next second will bring knowing I can make bugger all difference in the end to what the day brings. I can only deal with what arrives.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

There you go, 41 today. The life plan is not where I thought it would be. It never is, that's the wonderful side of life. This week is a biggie. My parents arrive on Tuesday. I find out what will happen with Boy the same day. Life will continue either way.
I had some friends over, much less than before. This time instead of wild groups I boiled it down to about 10 and 7 arrived.
My new physio from Romania and her boyfriend. They are just a lovely couple. JN a good guy from work who is dad to two little kids, he is the french me in many ways. We even look a little alike I think.
The italians and the banker and her man who are I suppose long standing friends, came for dinner. We had Pasta with Sepp, Beef in Warriors special sauce, with green beans, individual baked alaska, lots of wine and champagne and I started my day with a good old hangover.
Now the weather is like home....Talk about a month of change... I am smiling.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hanging Out For The Weekend.

He met me from school and looked really pleased in that timid way he does. We chatted a lot in the car, I noticed how quickly that changes, how quickly he evolves. He asked about the divorce and when it was going to happen. I told him we had seen the judge already, that she was to decide if he got more time with me or as his mam wanted. He was silent. Then 'That's a bit silly really'. I agreed. I explained he was a lucky boy, many kids don't have anyone to care for them and he had two adults fighting over him.'I have 3' he said. 'How? ' 'I have Lover too'. Yes indeed he does. Lucky boy.
Later when he saw her, he was so all over her, her eyes looked at me questioning, her lack of confidence wondering why he was so interested. My tears welled up, I cried. She has yet to really learn to be loved by him and that is okay, and he is just crazy about her, and that is just fine.
We had a good weekend but he was weepy. Sometimes crying for no reason. Wanting me to sit with him when I was cooking dinner. Lover took him through his homework and washed floors and did Ironing, I took him through his games, tidying his room and cooking the dinners, and got him to help cleaning the kitchen. I told him to remember that no matter what happened I won't abondon him, he knows, but there was some weird news item on about kidnapped people so I thought it was a good opportunity to remind him.
We took in a film WALL E or whatever it is called, we all enjoyed it. He was tired and hungry by the time it was over. I teased him a little bit for moaning so much, and he did that laugh and cry that kids do when they are so tired.
Baby is growing well and we all sat with the book and saw the pics and got the measurements.
Sunday I asked him if he wanted to go back to his Mams, 'OH No, I want to stay till tomorow', and that was just the finest thing I heard all weekend.
I am still getting physio but I have much less pain than before, I am still on antibiotics. It's okay this life. We can only hope it works out.
My 80 year old parents come over the day I am due to hear the Judges Decision. I am anxious. We love each other a lot but my mother and I tend to rub each other up the wrong way. But hey she is 80 you can't teach an old dog new tricks. If your dog is pissing on your shoe you need to teach it young that it is not okay.
Honestly I am looking forward to it. My Dad is delighted to be coming , I can hear it in his voice. I am just anxious about their health, about boy and about the future.
All we can do is turn our face to path ahead of us and march onwards.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Red Palace

I was nervous as hell. I missed the bus. I missed the second and third bus too. I got the one to the tram, the one that does five circles of 4km each to travel just 4 km. Not good for the stress. I borded the tram and Sat with my back to the direction it was going. I realised I was heading backwards through practically every street that had some importance in my five years here. I wondered about it. I remember the flings, the short time friends, the girls I was keen on, the teachers, the rides on my scooter. It all came back. My Arrival, how I had come to this point in time. I thought perhaps it was fitting that on this auspicious day, it was an accident of timing that I should make this journey in this fashion. Would my outlook have been different if I had been facing the other way? Would I have thought that I moving forward into a new future? I don't know but I travelled as I did. I am on a joruney to find out which face life is watching me with, truly believing my son will be better off seeing more of me, knowing I will be better off if this right, which is ours, is bestowed on us by strangers.


Le Palais Rusca is opposite the Palais de Justice in Nice. It is a low red pinkish building. The security is airport like in appearance but ineffective. It crosses my mind if I was a disgruntled citizen it would be fairly simple to run amok and cause damage. Luckily I am not the type.
The floor is laid out in shiny grey squares surrounded by pinkish borders... it's a modern place. The toilet seat is broken. People come and go from the bathroom complaining about no paper. No one notices the 50 or so rolls stacked up against the wall. The place is bustling with people. My ex sees me and comes towards me. I say hi. She says Hi. We can't keep eye contact. She sits beside me and crosses her leg toward me. I wonder if she still has feelings for me, for I don't understand why she is any way near me. She gets up and goes to look around and see what room we are to be in. She comes back to tell me. I am hyper stressed, palms sweating, I don't want to say anything in case I say the wrong thing and make it all worse. What if I make a plea for her to think of boy and what he wants? What if I ask her the point of all this?

My lawyer arrives she is calm, she looks pleased at my appearance. I have taken out the studs in my ear, I am wearing my teaching outfit, pressed shirt, razor crease trousers, shiny shoes. We don't recognise each other now and then we do. She tells me it will be fine. She asks is my ex here, I say yes. She goes to introduce herself and find out if her opposite number is around. Apparently not yet. He arrives late. He sees me and acknowledges me before he knows who I am. I knew who he was straight away, don't ask how, I saw him come in, I saw him walk down the hall, before he saw me I knew him.

My ex goes into a room I wait outside. She is out in no time. I go in. There are two women sitting at a long table. It's a modern office, not what I was expecting. One of the women is thin and grey. I didn't register her face, she was a grey as the computer in front of her her hair glasses, skin, everything blended into the machinery and the formica covered table. The other lady is big. Younger than I she hasn't washed in a few days. She is very heavy she starts talking to me. I am looking for the Judge. I assume he will come in the door over to my right. I sit on the office chairs, they are beige with more pink cushions worn down from how many couples clenching their ass cheeks over the future of their kids?

The big lady is talking....I realise she is the Judge.

She is asking me if I am who am. If I am the guy who married my ex on Jun 29th and that my son Boy born on 13 April 2000 is he as well. I state yes to Boy Born on April 13th. The date of the marriage is wrong, is it a trap? Too late to say anything, there is another question.

Are you in agreement for Divorce? Yes, I reply. I have re made my life, I am going to have a child, my son is delighted to be a brother finally and no longer be alone, we want more time together.........She notes something down. "Are you in agreement for divorce?
" Yes Madame I agree to divorce! "

Why is it your ex epouse who has submitted the petition?"
"Actually I went to see a lawyer who was not efficient in his job. I thought I was doing the right thing telling her. I had to change lawyers. She managed to get her petition in on her terms first." She notes something down.
I am looking at a huge welt of body fat on her arm, I am taking in her dirty hair. I am not struggling at all in French but I am not present to my words or her aura, I can see everything between us, we are the universe.
"Thank you sir you may call in the other people".

I rise and go back to the door behind my left I open it and hold it for the others to come through. Will she see at least I am polite?
There is hesitation, we are supposed to sit in the middle, the lawyers somehow endup being sheppherded by the couple who take the outside chairs.

He starts to talk. Their argument is that it has always been like that. Why should it change now. The fear for the psychology of the child. They don't want his free time activities to suffer. My claim for Alternative minding is a retribution for their demand for 200 euros a month. If I drop my claim over my son and agree to every second weekend and half of school holidays they will drop their demand for money. I start to tear up. I am disgusted. The nervous girl who I met in the hall way, now has a cast of hate and determination to her face. They would stoop so low those who know so little of the love between a father and son. I am more than disgusted and the last vestiges of affection fall away like dried moth wings at sunrise through the open window.

She starts to talk. She is nervous, she looses her train of thought, she mentions boy, the age of reason, why I waited till now, it's all a crock but it might work, she mentions we live in a expensive area purposely to be very close to him. It's true, that's why we pay more than we should and we live 3km away from his house 5km from his school. So I could be close to him. His name again. The fact I am willing even with the shared care to still contribute to pay for his schooling. How could I not do that?

There is more to say I am too nervous. It's too late, it's done. The deliberation will be give on September 23rd the day my parents arrive. 2 days after my birthday. I sign blindly without reading the divorce agreement. My lawyer signed it before me. She hands it to her right, ( I am on her left) Her lawyer signs it, I see his signature even though he is two people away from me. He writes with a carefully meditated flourish, too carefull that spoils the flourish effect. She signs it.

I notice all he has said to me is hello nothing else.

I notice Virginie my lawyer took the time out to be civil.

I notice the Judge knows none of this.

We are dismissed. I am the only one to voice thank you, and immediately I wonder,would that small thing make a difference.

I am shook.

There is a sea of people outside the door. I can't see Virginie my lawyer. I wait till my ex and her lawyer go. Virginie is there in front of me. She beckons to me as a mother to a lost boy, we walk down the hall, I see my ex outside her law guy talking to her. Now as I write I wonder was he angry? I don't know why that would be? Maybe I am clutching at straws. I didn't think it at the time.

Virgine is nervous, 'Look it won't be any worse than what you have now, at least you will know what days you are going to get your son and that can't be changed' This is true. 'Go have a drink'.... I laugh , one? We make eye contact. What was that I ask? I am disgusted. That was disgraceful they tried to buy me off for 200 euros. She shakes her head, no that wont work it's why I didn't even ask you. Go and relax.....I put my hand on her knee, 'You are coming to eat in my house when this over I tell her! She laughs. I think this person is genuine and I know it means absolutely nothing.

I walk off in a daze. I know she is behind me somewhere, is she trying to reach out? Or is she trying to burn holes in my spine with her lazer vision?

The bar is not open till 12 and anyway I know no one there now. I have no friends there to talk to. I go to the Grain de Cafe on Felix Faure. This place that has been a constant for me. The men kiss me in greeting and they have no idea how grateful I have been to them down the years for their humanity. Coffe and pain au chocolate. I write some notes for myself and for boy. For the future.

I call a few people, I get a few calls. I update people. I am destroyed. I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I can't sleep I am too exhausted. Lover finally comes home I tell her about my day, I am very calm but so destroyed. I find it difficult to concentrate on her news. I apologise and she understands. She knows the Red Palace, she has been there herself. She has lived through this.

Now as I write I am emotional. My future relationship with my son lies in the hands of a woman who is younger than I. Fatter than I. Greasier than I. More Qualified that I in a educational sense. I have to have faith in this person and this is a challenge. All 5 of us in that room, because my son was there in spirit, All 5 of us in front of her are complete strangers. What will she base her decision on. Papers with figures, appearances? Finances? Manners? A strange name of a lovely boy whom she will never meet? What is this thing we call Justice? How have we allowed ourselves to evolve to this moment in time?

The Red Palace, is red, Is it for the blood spilled or the love broken, or do they even know the cruel mockery of it's heart when they send the ex lovers, the parents of those conceived in passion who separate in anger, who fight cruel games through priveledged educated white kids, over the future of their own fragile children whose interests and desires should be our only focus?
The Red Palace, no matter the result in the month of ripening fruit, will live in my soul till my days are over. I need to let its colour be a positive sign of things finally bearing fruit. Of change that comes perennially in September.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A life changing moment

So tomorrow I stand before my ex, and a Judge and lawyers.
I should find out if I get to have my son, who lives 3.5 minutes away from us, who is delighted to be a brother soon, who follows me everywhere when he is here as if I am going to dissappear out his life, with me more often than every 1st 3rd and 5th weekend of our lives. No matter how it turns out, it will change our lives because at least something will be written in law and no longer at the whim of his Mammy. Et Voila!
Wish us luck!
I just hope her lawyer father wasn't able to pull strings he should be keeping his hands off anyway.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Hello September



It's not like me to leave it so long. So hello September, the month where my life changes. It's easy. It's my birthday month, it was Autumn at home, things coming to fruition, leaves turning and long cold sleep setting in soon, September is the preparing for bed of the year where I come from. Here its still late evening.

I have been sick as a dog. I have had my best friend visiting. I am very lucky that Lover and she get on so well.




To all you perverts out there, she is a friend. That is it. I put great store in my friends. I have two life long friends, she and He. They get to see me as often as possible as besides, it's nice to have pal who lives in nice place.

I have spent great time with Boy. Lover is doing very well and baby is starting to kick so all is good there. Everytime Boy is here he is kissing the belly, feeling for movement. Everytime he is on the phone he wants to know how big Lovers Belly is and how many pumpkins it is. He is really excited to be a brother finally.
I have been in touch with my lawyer. I am very anxious. The other side as she calls them, the opposition, the other party, are maintaining Boy is traumatised by the birth. They maintain that the reason not to have shared custody is because we never had it.
They maintain that the expenses paid by my son's grandfather are paid by his mother. The truth of it is, even though she has given up her job (apparently) and Boy says she hasn't, that she is still working but from home, she still has more income than I, and doesn't understand the Judge won't award her money for herself. It's all about boy.
I wonder what they would have done had I put in claim for being thrown out on the street in a foreign country with no contacts or assistance?
Anyway that is probably the bitterness rising. It's difficult to stay calm. I hope for his sake that they will sense but I know they won't. The are not intelligent enough and they have been nothing but dishonest.
Perhaps it's good for me to vent but perhaps I am saying too much here in this public space. While I don't always manage, honesty and honour are two of my principles. I understand I live in a world where those two principles are not worth the paper they are written on but I would still like to have a world where giving your word means something. I gave my word to my son. I gave my word to myself. I gave it to my Lover. Hell I even gave my word to my ex. Now I have to careful that I don't allow myself to get trodden into the mud.

Maybe this is why I have not blogged in so long. So apart from being sick...is it the stress? I have been trying to have a great time. here are some shots of places and things and peeps :-)





But of course, I had to show you all this one too.

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