As regular readers will know, my parents are locked in a bloody divorce battle. I can’t argue the rights and wrongs of the case but my father’s 22 (yup, TWENTY TWO) & counting ex-marital affairs – including my mother’s sister-in-law, her best friend of thirty-five years and many of our so-called family friends, his point blank refusal to make full disclosure of his fiscal assets, his denial in court that he was in a relationship with one of the uglier & more raddled of his current mistresses, his failure to make any future fiscal provision for my disabled sister whilst spending tens of thousands of pounds on taking his mistresses on countless foreign holidays, his refusal to pay my mother any maintenance this year claiming he had no money (whilst continuing to drive his many high performance sports cars – massively undervalued in the court papers, of course), and his outright repudiation in court of my sister’s disability in order to deny part of my mother’s claims for support aren’t exactly endearing him to me right now.
As it happens, bar Christmas Day, I haven’t spoken to him since November. I saw him once, for precisely a minute, a fortnight ago en route to the airport when I dropped his car off, and it breaks my heart. It’s not because of the divorce, but because I wrote him a long, heartfelt letter, asking him to understand why I was so distraught about various things I can’t write here, to please take what I do for a living seriously and to lay out my business plans for 2010. (This was after he told me that my work portfolio website was all very well, but ‘darling aren’t you showing off?’)
He never bothered to reply.
I did get a birthday card & cheque by mail a few days later in December with a picture of a fish on the front. On the inside he had scrawled, “To a small fish in a big (internet) pond.”
He told me last year he didn’t read my blog, so he’ll probably not see this – not least because he has buggered off to Tanzania on a charity trip for three weeks, right in the middle of the divorce settlement negotiations.
Sometimes people really do forget that charity begins at home.
Photo: Purple poppy by LLG