We were so thrilled when Jane Gordon, well-known journalist and novelist, offered to write an article for us about being a Country-ex-wife! She has been a huge supporter and friend to The CountryWives and we love her column, Mum and Me, in Stella magazine. She regularly writes about her ‘BFF Belle’ who is actually Annabel. They often go dog walking with their dogs, Zorro and Kobi. During those walks they ‘put the world to rights’ and they always laugh a lot, mostly at themselves. So when Jane suggested she write about not being a Country Wife but still loving our online magazine we said, ‘Yes please’. As always she writes with such great style and humour and so we thank her for, once again, supporting us.
The one thing that worried me when I discovered Annabel and Grace’s wonderful CountryWives site was whether or not I would be allowed to subscribe. Because while their on-line magazine ticked all the boxes for me – I am a woman / I am over 50 / I live in the country – I had this nagging concern that I didn’t tick the most important one of their boxes. I am, you see, a Country EX-WIFE.
Would this unavoidable fact somehow exclude me from joining the CW community? Does my miserable status as a DIVORCEE not only stigmatise me in the eyes of the world but also in the eyes of Annabel and Grace? Did you have to produce a valid marriage licence in order to partake of the wit and wisdom they dispense every week? Was it absolutely necessary to bring a man with you in order to take part in the conversation posed most weeks by the irrepressible (but surely very much married) Poppy Patmore? Could life really be that unfair to those of us who don’t have an OH?
After all it isn’t as if we Country Ex-wives and Country Widows (and even those of us who are simply Country Singles) don’t do most of the things that cosy, dare-I-say smug Country Wives do. I mean we love a good recipe, a great pair of shoes and a trick or two about holding back the years. In fact it could be said that we need CountryWives more than Country Wives do. If we are ever to have the chance of finding love again – or merely to be relevant in the world around us – we need the CountryWives magazines help to enable us to make the best of ourselves. We need to be informed about the latest food, fashion and wellbeing trends and given exactly the same inspirational guidance on everything from popular culture to politics.
Because ex-wives who live in rural parts are often socially isolated in a way that CountryWives might not understand. We may well be welcomed at women-only book clubs, ladies lunches and coffee mornings but we are rarely seen out after dark (except for the very occasional Girls Night Out). And while, for some of us, this is absolutely fine, there are others of us that hanker after an invitation to one of those bastions of married life – The CountryWives Dinner Party. Sadly, though, the married sisterhood tends to be just a little wary of warming to divorcees or indeed any remotely attractive single woman who gets anywhere near the citadel of coupledom (dinners with their OH’s)
And this, I am afraid, is the crux of the Country Wives/Country Ex-Wives division. Maybe some of us do harbour a few lingering fantasy thoughts about the possibility of a prince turning up one day but we definitely don’t covet YOUR prince. We are not your enemy and we long to win your trust and take our place at the table in the wonderful world of The CountryWives.
So, Annabel and Grace, can I – as one of a substantial band of Country Ex-wives, Widows and Singles – please subscribe to your fantastic award-winning online magazine?
“Yes! Of course you can Jane. Everyone is welcome at The CountryWives.” Love Annabel & Grace xx