Believing, like TS Elliot,“ last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice” my New Year’s resolution has been one of mindful determination to mark 2012 with a new and audible voice of my own. Sadly, my adversaries have neither new voices nor new words for this brand New Year and instead have chosen to sing the same old song.Determined not to let their repetitive monotones colour my New Year spirit I have started my first child free week of 2012 by replying to yet more unsolicited and largely meaningless correspondence.
· Explained to Egg I find selling my husband’s debt to a collection agency all but two years after advising me of their intentions not to pursue him both an unusual and unsatisfactory way of illustrating their compassion.
· Explained to my very supportive MP that I wish to take my Warmfront complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman in the hope I will eventually secure the heating survey I was promised in December 2008.
· Explained, again, to the Financial Ombudsman’s adjudicator, who has clearly taken umbrage at my fourteen page letter asking her to follow the FOS guidelines, that I wish to be informed of her reasons for seeking HBOS’s permission to escalate my complaint to a formal enquiry more than eighteen months after she first took my case.
Satisfied all wolves are once again deterred from any temptation to darken my door or my doorstep, I have been able to set aside fears of damage to my children’s sense of well being and turn my attention to the duties of house and home. The task in pole position involves venturing into each unruly but now vacant child’s bedroom while the occupants are at school in an effort to reclaim some floor space and restore some kind of order.
While I remain amazed, but no longer surprised, at the quantity of dirty washing and empty sweet wrappers that can harmoniously cohabit within a teenager’s bedroom if left unchecked, I can still be caught unawares with the discovery of an academic award received but not mentioned or, as on one occasion, an MI5 recruiting brochure abandoned on a bedside table. However, in spite of more than thirty four years of parenting I was totally unprepared for what I read on the fly leaf of an old but otherwise blank diary I was about to throw away in the name of de-cluttering.
“Dear 2007 diary,
I have kept you because 2007 was a year of no troubles and my life was perfect.
Time flies and it is now February 24th 2011. I have moved house, moved schools and left the village I have always lived in. Now I have more school work, more home work and have been having a really hard time.
I have kept this diary even though it has nothing it because I wish I could turn back time.”
This simple but heartfelt statement written by my thirteen year old daughter almost a year ago saddens me immensely. Not least because, unbeknown to me and in spite of my best efforts to keep our persecution at the hands of HBOS completely seperate from family life, my daughter has still suffered its consequences in silence and kept an old and empty diary purely because it represents the last year she remembers being wholly untroubled.
Aware that HBOS has stolen my health, my financial future and, so far, three and a half years of my own life, it did not occurred to me, until the discovery of this very unwelcome New Year’s revelation in the words of a child, HBOS has also stolen three and a half years of my daughter’s childhood and this, for me, is nothing short of heartbreaking.