I’m joined by Ruby Fiction author, Claire Sheldon, as she tells us about the changes in her life since she encouraged her husband to follow his dream on 1 January 2017. Over to Claire …
January 1st 2017 I encouraged my husband (Andrew) to fill out an application form to become a retained fire fighter for Nottinghamshire fire and rescue. Little did I know that, that year was going to become one hell of a roller coaster ride as my husband started his training. My work holidays that year were now days when he was at training, mostly Fridays and Mondays and then a full week in August when he did some intense BA (Breathing Apparatus) training.
My oldest, Alex was in school full time and my youngest Melanie was in nursery and I would be lying if I say it wasn’t a challenge! I will freely admit that I am not the most patient person in the world but I was now at home when I wasn’t working with two kids, long weekend stints when I didn’t know when Andrew would be coming home. I remember one time him coming home and finding me crying on the sofa, having spent the day watching TV because the kids had wound me up so much. I had put my daughter on my computer and my son was on his and neither of them cared about me. I also couldn’t partake in Parkruns anymore. ☹
Andrew would get stressed about revision he needed to do for the exams, or when he had done something wrong on the course. For instance, once when they were doing a ladder drill, he forgot to put his foot on the ladder which meant he had failed that section. Who knew how important a foot on the bottom of the ladder would be.
Andrew had always said he wanted to be a fire fighter but had been put off at a younger age because he had asthma, but now he was “living the dream.”
He passed out with his cohort, including his now friend Gavin, who he had been training with and would go on to work with at Stapleford Fire station. On a cold wet November evening in front of me and the kids and no doubt others who were looking down on him as pleased and as proud as I was.
But the fun didn’t stop there, as once you’ve done basic (!!???) training there is now on-the-job training. Out all day and all night at the bonfire display Stapleford fire station were part of. Then someone set fire to Nottingham train station!
It was a Monday in January and I remember it being dark when the pager went off! Once the kids were at school and I made it to work slightly more panicked than normal. I then spent the day searching the local newspaper website wanting to know Andrew was okay and what was happening, as I hadn’t heard anything from him since he told me it was happening. Then a picture of him came up queuing for food so I knew there was no need to worry.
Being married to a retained fire fighter has been endless fun… Especially when that bloody pager goes off in the middle of the night or some other inconvenient time! Living life around him maybe having to go out so I need to take one child with me because she isn’t old enough to stay on her own. Having to return home from work early to pick the kids up because he is out at some incident and then spending the rest of the evening trying to do what I had left earlier at work.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way! Andrew has supported me through so much and continues to this day. So the fact he is now doing something that he has always wanted to do it my way of giving back…
About Claire Sheldon
Claire lives in Nottingham with her family, a cat called Whiskers and a dog called Podrick. She suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and as a result of the disease had to reduce her hours working in insurance for an Insolvency Insurer. This spare time enabled her to study a creative writing course which inspired her to write her debut, Perfect Lie.
When Claire isn’t working she enjoys reading crime novels and listening to music – the band Jimmy Eat World is her biggest muse! Claire is also an avid reader and book blogger. The inspiration for her novels comes from the hours spent watching The Bill with her grandparents and auntie; then later, Spooks and other detective programmes like Morse, A Touch of Frost and Midsummer Murders.
To keep in touch with Claire you can use the following links:-
Twitter – @ClaireEESheldon
Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/clairesheldonauthor
About Perfect Lie
What is ‘perfect’ trying to hide?
Jen Garner tries her best to be ‘wife and mother of the year’. She helps organise school plays and accompanies her husband to company dinners, all with a big smile on her face.
But Jen has started to receive strange gifts in the post … first flowers, then a sympathy card.
It could just be a joke; that’s what she tells herself. But then the final ‘gift’ arrives, and Jen has to question why somebody is so intent on shattering her life into pieces …
To buy Perfect Lie you can use the following links:-
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3dj40WZ
Barnes Noble: https://bit.ly/3gAeT8V
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Claire. I hope that your debut novel for Ruby Fiction is very successful. 😄