“Why do we go to Altrincham, Daddy? Why can’t we do the Parkrun here?” he asked.
I was stumped for a moment, but eventually opted for honesty. I told him that it was Susie who’d persuaded me to begin jogging and that I liked training with her. I dreaded him asking me whether his mum and Cliff could jog with us, but his attention had moved to the ice cream man’s van.
When Helen picked him up that evening, I confirmed with her the arrangements for Paul’s sleepover on Friday.
More legal legwork
As promised, I did some online trawling to find best-fit, best-buy software companies who could provide the types of third-party software we needed. There were more than I’d expected. I made notes and compiled spreadsheets to compare the offerings. I read reviews and, once I’d whittled my list down to just three of each type, I bookmarked them as favourites on my laptop to show Susie. I phoned her and she invited me to come to her house on Thursday afternoon and to bring my running gear so that we could look at the offerings together and then go to the park after tea. She said that she’d do something for us to eat.
Once I’d finished the online research and my phone call to Susie, it was lunchtime. I made myself a sandwich and added a banana which I ate while re-reading the interview invitation. Only an hour before I’d need to leave to get there on time.
I decided to go by train: it would save time finding a parking space in case there were no visitor parking slots at the company, and it would give me more time to prepare mentally. In the event, the interview seemed to go quite well. The interviewer was the Director of Finance, a woman who was still probably in her twenties. Her probing was friendly but thorough and testing. Nevertheless, I felt that I’d answered all her questions fully, and she appeared to be someone whom I could be happy to work for and with. She promised that she’d write within the next few days to let me know how I’d got on. From what I gathered there were only six of us being interviewed – I didn’t meet any of them.
The following morning, I had another email from my solicitor. He was still getting correspondence from Helen’s solicitor about the financial agreement. He attached a draft of a reply he was proposing to send and asked for my approval. His letter seemed to be a plea for sense.
In the email, he argued that I was jobless and almost broke; Helen, on the other hand did, at least, have a regular part-time job. He noted that I’d been scrupulous in making childcare payments and that it would be wrong for me to face the risk of having to sell the house if that were necessary in order to divide our assets. He justified this conclusion on the grounds that Paul would need somewhere suitable to stay with me whenever it should become necessary, preferably close to my present home. He added that the current custody arrangements did not provide for emergencies. He pointed out that if I were forced to sell my house, I’d have to rent somewhere to live, with no guarantee that I’d be able to afford accommodation nearby or suitable for Paul to stay. He cautioned that I’d, almost certainly, be unable to afford a mortgage to buy another property in my present circumstances. He further stated that there was not much equity in the house, substantial card debt from the marriage and considerable legal bills still to come. He concluded that, given the state of my finances, and that Helen had already taken with her half of the savings account balance, the division of assets as it stands should stand unchanged so as to enable both parties to move on without undue debt.
I had no idea whether his letter would persuade Helen, but I agreed that it was worth a try and I emailed him by return to give my approval.
Today my featured photo is another from Sefton Park Liverpool, this time showing the bandstand.
The Exif data are as follows: Pentax K-1 36 MP full frame camera and 15-30 mm f/2.8 lens @ 30 mm and f/11. Shutter speed was 1/50 secs and the ISO 400. The shot was taken handheld and post processed in Lightroom Classic.