Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Accidental Damage by: Alice May! Read below for an excerpt, and be sure to visit the other bloggers hosting the tour.
If you think the normal school run on a Monday is entertaining, you should try doing it from a tent in your back garden surrounded by the jumbled-up contents of your entire home. It is vastly more diverting.
Our heroine has survived the sudden collapse of her home – or has she?
Certain events two and a half years ago, led her to deliberately destroy an important piece of herself, hiding away all remaining evidence that it ever existed. What happens when she decides to go looking for it?
Does she really deserve to be whole again?
Inspired by a true story, this is an account of one woman’s secret guilt and her journey in search of forgiveness!
Sometime later I noticed a steaming hot cup of tea and a small plate piled high with chocolate chip cookies which had magically materialised on the table to my left. Could this be a peace offering to appease the painting spirits?
It’s more likely to be my daughter’s attempt to remind me that I have to eat. Logic is nearly 18 and is the second oldest in our tribe. As her nick-name suggests she is blessed with common sense, rationality and sound judgement. In short she is incredibly sensible, or might she only appear so when compared to her siblings? (I couldn’t possibly comment.)
She is also the one of my off-spring that resembles me the most in looks. Poor child! In other words she is short and dark. I have no idea how her older sister got to be so tall or so naturally blonde, it must therefore be Beloved Husband’s fault.
When faced with a situation she can’t control Logic resorts to calories. I don’t mean that she eats them (although she is perfectly capable of demolishing her own body weight in chocolate if she feels like it, I’ve seen her) I mean that if someone has a problem she can’t fix for them then her solution is to produce food. A trait she has inherited from me.
Once I realised that cute little babies turned into uncivilised little savages, I accepted that I might have bitten off more than I could chew. Beloved Husband and I had foolishly outnumbered ourselves by initially having three of the little monsters in fairly quick succession, so we set about working out how to contain the situation, swiftly establishing the fact that feeding them on a regular basis kept them relatively content and made them less likely to tear the place and each other (not to mention us) apart.
Having instigated a degree of control over the first three, Beloved Husband and I, lulled into a false sense of security, then decided to have number four a few years later. We thought that it really couldn’t have been that bad before.
Then we remembered.
Four was definitely our limit. Luckily a regular input of food tamed this last arrival as well. To a point anyway!
Thus over the years whenever one of my small hooligans has approached me with an issue, my first act is to open the biscuit tin, place it between them and me and then stand well back.
Over the years a degree of civilisation has been established within our little band. In fact a peace treaty, successfully negotiated between the grown-ups and the Barbarians, is currently flourishing.
This agreement involves basic things such as the production of relatively adequate grades at school, not swearing in front of grandparents and the use of rudimentary table manners in exchange for an unlimited supply of food (including fruit and vegetables), donations of cash on occasion and lifts to their mates’ houses when needed. After all we do live in the middle of nowhere.
On the whole a happy medium has been achieved and the Barbarians cannot in truth be referred to as Barbarians any longer. (But that’s not going to stop me. Who said life was fair?)
Anyway where was I? Oh yes I was drinking my tea in the study and chomping contentedly away on cookies. I studied the large canvas before me with a degree of bemused surprise. It was now sporting a selection of gigantic bluebells. Rather different from my old style, a bit outlandish maybe, but definitely quite relaxed and free.
While I looked at it I was surprised to experience an emotion that I struggled to identify. It was so long since I had felt anything like it, but could I possibly be relaxing just a little bit? I wasn’t really sure, but thought I’d better paint a bit more and find out. (Any excuse!)
Now that I was starting to feel a bit better about myself I decided that it was high time I examined the events of two and a half years ago to try and work out at exactly what point the old ‘me’ had become broken and why.
Concluding that I rather liked the bluebells, I leaned in to sign my name at the bottom, before reaching for a fresh blank canvas and casting my mind back.
At forty-five-years old, I am a multi-tasking mother with four not-so-small children and I am fortunate enough to be married to (probably) the most patient man on the planet. We live in, what used to be, a ramshackle old cottage in the country.
My conservatory is always festooned with wet washing and my kitchen full of cake.
Following several years exhibiting as a mixed media artist, I decided that 2016 was the year I would start writing. Inspired by true-life events and fuelled by some really frantic painting sessions ‘Accidental Damage’ wouldn’t leave me alone until it was written. I really hope you enjoy it.