Dawn of regret

•October 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Fuzzy head. Annoying finger keeps prodding – something you did or said last night will come back to haunt you today.

And its not till you sit down at the laptop that it all comes seeping back in the paracetamol tinged morning light. I had too much to drink last night and I made the mistake of sitting at my laptop creating communications.

Oh shit. Who did I email last night (or more like the small hours of this morning)? I shakily scan through sent messages and find that the mother-in-law was the lucky recipient of god knows what drivel. It’s OK, things are not that bad – I did actually have a reason to email her and I pretty much stuck to the matter in hand and just would have come across as a bit ‘chatty’. That’s ok then.

Oh but it’s been worse in the past.

Alcohol fuelled Skype chat (typing not voice) where I somehow struck up a conversation with some American bloke who I was probably fairly rude to since I do believe that Americans are dangerously naive on the whole. I then had absolutely no recollection of this discussion about Iraq, George W. Bush and the total lack of international news available to Americans until the next evening he popped up via Skype and asked me if I wanted to continue our chat !! My hang-over, by then almost gone, suddenly turned into nausea as it dawned on me that this had all happened. But what had I written ? Luckily there was no saved history and I quickly declined his offer – thankfully its that easy to block someone from contacting you. What a prat. Me not him.

On another occasion, and this is the worst site to frequent when you’re pissed, I was mouthy on Friends Reunited !

I actually thought that I was being witty when I told an ex-boyfriend that he was an arse and totally full of himself. Only to have him reply a few days later. Again that nausea came bowling back but worse as I’d enjoyed 2 days of innocent obliviousness. His reply was actually quite nice and he didn’t ask the all important question, “Why have you emailed me now?” I’d feel so bad saying “because I was pissed and if I’d been sober I’d continue to think that you were not worth bothering with.”

None of this is too bad – I could have got myself into a lot of trouble on Friends Reunited but even with alcohol I still have this self-preservation thing going on. So I didn’t send abuse to my arch enemy telling her she’s really fat now and still as ugly as she was when we were 15. Imagine the fallout from that.

Sexy Back

•October 4, 2007 • Leave a Comment

So I haven’t listened to Justin Timberlake before but the pressure was on since Robbie had endorsed him in all seriousness – so I listened…

I’m bringing Sexy Back

and then my ‘sexy bringer back’ got out of bed in his off-white underpants and his half asleep screwed up, squinty-eye face and stubbed his toe on the way to the toilet.

Sexy back – Yeah.

#5 Bye Bye Baby. Baby Bye Bye.

•September 28, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Robert decided to put his house on the market and there followed a roller coaster ride of activity: lots of agents, I must sell it as soon as possible and total apathy about even having a for sale board outside. I think these ups and downs corresponded with his credit card bills needing to be paid.

A low profile summed up Robert in the first 8 months of 2007. There was no talk of Jocelyn, no talk of money and by now the family were pretty bloody disgusted with him and so didn’t even bother asking him for the truth.

In May he had his 63rd birthday and as we called round to see him he mentioned all innocent and bright that he’d just had a call from Jocelyn from Brazil wishing him a Happy Birthday. No-one heard this except for me – I made a mental note filing it under ‘House Sale’.

In august of this year a buyer appeared and the house sale looks to be going through at the end of september. Now what else had I filed under ‘House sale’? I’d been spot on – Robert had, since May, been talking regularly with Jocelyn (Yes I know I know – all this despite what has gone on before) He could not keep it to himself about having a buyer for his house and of course the meerest sniff of money and she’s back. Robert welcomed her back into his home at around September 5th at which time we told him that we would not be visiting while she was there. That if he wanted to see his grandson he should call around without her and that there was no way we would do the nice kissy-kissy, hello how are you, with her. We would not condone her presence and he was an idiot to let her back into his life.

Our son started school two weeks ago and granddad has not called round once to find out how things are going for him. I can only guess that he’s allowed his life to be completely over-run by Jocelyn. He did get a visit from friends to whom he said that his family had abandoned him. Obviously they reported back to us and were told the full story. They’d had their suspicions about Jocelyn but had no idea about Robert’s financial situation.

Two days ago Robert was invited over to ours whilst his best friend was here and we all wanted to find out from him what his plans are now that it looks like his house sale is going through.

All I can say in his favour is “at least he’s consistent.” So he confirmed that Jocelyn was with him and that they were sticking together. He said that when he sells he will go to Brazil with her. She’s pulling her old trick of bringing over extra insurance in the shape of her 14 year old daughter this time. It was her son last time.

And when Robert was reminded of the circumstances in which he left Brazil last time he waved it aside, he didn’t attempt to answer. He eventually told us that Jocelyn was to put her property in Brazil jointly into his and her names. Whether he has made this up for our benefit or whether she made it up for his benefit one thing is certain – it will not happen. It’s certainly one of the things that Robert is clinging to to justify his decision to go. He said that he wanted to rent here or buy if he found something suitable but again he said that for whose benefit?

How can a grown man with a lifetimes experience be so blind? As soon as he disappears off to Brazil he can wave goodbye to his money because she will help him spend every penny.

And that is where we are up to. The house sale is taking place this morning and there is no rental property arranged. The money will soon be burning a hole in his bank account.

#4 Credit me with some sense.

•September 24, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Now this behaviour is typical of Robert. Absolutely no regard for anyone else; it did not dawn on him that his call from Brazil would cause major concern and that there was absolutely nothing that we could do for him. He told us that they (her and her family) had threatened to take his tickets and his passport so that he couldn’t leave.

How could we help? We told him to get in a taxi and go to the British embassy. We looked up the address on the internet for him. He didn’t think that was necessary ! Hmmmmm can’t be that serious then. When he was questioned about the money he said that Jocelyn had taken his credit card and used it. Hmmmmm and how did she have your PIN number? It might have been given to her.

At this end of the phone we put our brains into gear and instructed Robert to make a police record of it if he was to stand any chance of getting this money back via his credit card company. I had been in a similar situation where a temporary lodger of mine had gone through my banking documents and taken a card and Pin number. How they got the pin was immaterial to the credit card company as soon as I had a crime number and I was subsequently reimbursed without question.

Robert then did something even more stupid. However intimidated he felt at that point was nothing to the fear he felt when he told Jocelyn that we’d told him to go to the police ! She screamed and shouted at him so that we could hear she was totally losing it. What an idiot. I can talk flippantly about it now but at the time we feared that Robert would soon become a statistic in a body bag !

Jocelyn was quite rightly scared of the police. Her movements between Spain and Brazil would come under scrutiny. Her status in Spain would also be threatened and that seems to be the place where she makes her money – more European Ex-pat targets.

The resolving of Roberts immediate situation was done by him – I think it may have included a lot of calming and promising to not contact the police. I don’t think for a second that he would have involved the police anyway as he knew that it was his error of judgement that resulted in Jocelyn having the PIN.

The truth was that she didn’t steal anything from him, she had just helped him spend it. Robert had got carried away again with her help. When he’s in Brazil he seems to spend beyond his resources – he lives the high life and when his money runs out he hits the ground and tries to make his escape. At least this time he tried to blame it on someone else; at least this time he displayed an understanding for how stupid he’d been and at least tried to hide it by blaming it on someone stealing from him ! Which incidentally we saw straight through immediately.

So a couple of days later he returned to Spain from Brazil and was picked up from the airport by his best friend (over from the UK specially) and his son (my partner) They fully intended to grill him in the car on the journey home but Robert was not prepared to talk. Just let me get my head straight, let me get home and we’ll talk about this in the coming days.

He didn’t.

He did however borrow £6,000 from one of his brothers. The same brother who had lent him around £25,000 the first time he limped home from Brazil. It was at this point that I looked at the pension emails and discovered just how much he had blown. £67,000. Astonishing.

#3 Sucker for Punishment.

•September 23, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The next financial year came upon us and low and behold Robert could draw down from his pension a large sum of money… which he did. Just short of £70,000. He was stupid enough to chase this transaction by email using my laptop. Do you think I should justify peeking at emails addressed to someone else? Well I could try. In his own interest. Can’t help him without knowing the facts.

Whilst he was arranging his next cash flow injection he was arranging his flight to Brazil ! I don’t actually recall the family getting particularly animated about this but my partner did attempt to talk to Robert about his intentions. To no avail – Robert said that there were plans to sell the restaurant in Brazil and he’d be paid back and all would be well deny deny deny.

The cold facts were just not figuring in Roberts head. She was a prostitute who had seen him coming a mile off. It’s so clichéd it makes me laugh. He is her meal ticket but not just her (and I have to respect her for this) she is going about her business for her family. She has found a lonely man who has cash that he agrees to spend on her and her family and she will continue to be what he wants her to be, at the very least a companion, until his money runs out OR he realizes he’s drowning in Egypt !!

September 2006 and Robert went off to Brazil to rent an apartment and spend time with Jocelyn. Things were pretty quiet, as in he was consistent and didn’t keep in touch with anyone. Christmas came and went and then early in the new year we got a phone call from Brazil from a very panicked Robert claiming that “She has done it again. She has stolen all my money.”

#2 If we don’t talk about it – does it exist?

•September 22, 2007 • Leave a Comment

There was a flurry of phone conversations between Robert and family members, amounts were borrowed €3,000 here, £25,000 there until he took a mortgage out on his house so that things quietened down. Personally at the time I was incredibly frustrated by the fact that an almighty family force hadn’t come down on Robert and forced him to come clean about what had gone on in Brazil and what his financial plans were from then on.

What little confrontation there was Robert saw coming and avoided or simply got up and left whenever anything like the subject of his stupidity was mentioned. Head well and truly in the sand.

Astonishingly he allowed Jocelyn back into his life, back into his house along with her son for a short period. Life carried on for him as if nothing had happened.

As family we knew that we should rise above all of this and keep Robert close. Unfortunately this meant that Jocelyn was included in activities and this condoned her presence. Robert looked no further than this and appeared to be at home with everything.

Totally flabberghasting – I am sitting here thinking about this and I am finding it quite unbelievable how stupid someone can be. Well stick with it because we’ve not even scratched the surface yet!

His finances had come under scrutiny when he’d initially returned from Brazil. His best friend had flown from the UK to Spain to try and help him with this whole sorry situation. It was discovered just how much he’d ‘blown’ in Brazil including a £30,000 payment to Jocelyn’s family restaurant ! Oh the big I AM.

#1 There’s this river in Egypt…

•September 21, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I suppose everyone at sometime in their life, experience being in denial about something. Whilst you are there you cannot realize it but once you have realized it you cannot be there any longer.

Are men more prone to being in this place and if so does this mean that women are more realistic about people and life? Here’s a for instance that if you are a woman you will not believe the stupidity of this man and if you are a man you may cringe in recognition or be thankful for never having experienced this extreme denial.

The reason why any of this has happened could be as silly as mid-life crisis or as sad as loneliness but having spent nearly two years in a new country without making any effort to socialise this retired man of 58 found himself in a club where lap-dancers and prostitutes were making their money freely. It was an innocent evening out; our gentleman had no ties or loyalties where as the chap he was with, whose idea this had been, was married and holidaying without his wife. Needless to say whatever ‘exchanges’ took place that evening have never since been mentioned.

At this point I should tell you what connection I have with this retired man; he is the father of my partner and now the grand-daddy to my son. We shall call him Robert, ex-company director.

He lives not far (as I write this he is selling his house – the reason shall become clear) and we would visit at least once a week to make sure he was OK and to show him his grandson. Robert was and still is notoriously bad at keeping in touch with friends and family. On this one occasion we called by and luckily for Robert we knocked on the front door. (I say luckily as every other time we would walk to the rear of the house and on to the terrace and enter by the patio doors into the lounge.) Robert opened the front door and was clearly flustered and was not welcoming us in. He’s not known for his day to day hospitality; we have often sat on his sofa for ten minutes before asking him if HE wants a cup of tea!

“Bit embarrassing, I have someone here so would you mind if I call you later?”

We left a little perplexed and then joked about the prostitute that must have been tied to the dining table as we’d rung the door bell…

And so it turns out that we were ‘on the money’ the someone who was visiting, possibly indisposed on the dining table, was a prostitute, had seen Robert a few times at the club and he was now inviting her to spend time at his house.

A period of time went by, lets say a year, and this working girl (Lets call her Jocelyn) had moved in to Robert’s house and had assumed the role of partner with his consent. Mid-life crisis or loneliness ?

Being a polite lot, we, the family, carried on as if nothing was odd or ridiculous about this situation. “If that’s his choice then fine. He’s happier because he’s not lonely” We all rationalised this because this was how Robert chose to live his life.

Apart from the fact that she spoke Portuguese and he only spoke English. Apart from the fact that she was younger than his daughter-in-law. These facts were lived with and family visited without, surprisingly, Robert having to answer too many questions about where they had met and what business she was in.

It seemed as though my partner and I had become the keepers of the truth and were protecting Robert and his honour from his family and friends. I’m positive that they all had their suspicions.

Then came the announcement that Robert and Jocelyn would be travelling to Brazil (her home) for a lengthy holiday at which point we took Robert aside and told him to keep his wits about him. That, as if being in a strange country and not speaking the language was not difficult enough, he was choosing to go to a district that had a rather scary reputation with a woman who’s business it was to know unsavoury characters. I think the phrase ‘Sugar daddy’ was mentioned more than once. But this was all conjecture and we were accused of being against her. Perhaps we were wrong, we admitted to that and simply impressed upon him the need to stay alert.

And so when he returned from Brazil by himself a few months later and proceeded to ask to borrow money from family members it was obvious that his wits had not even gone to Brazil…