Last day: sharks, pirates, boats, planes, control, fear, rebirth and more…

I’m having such a fab time if it wasn’t for the children I would find it difficult to leave but tomorrow that is what we shall be doing, leaving ūüė¶

I’m so looking forward to seeing them again and hearing about their adventures and to heading on our little camping trip together which is going to be a whole world away from this experience in many ways but in others it will be similar, especially in a ‘bringing me closer back to nature’ kind of way. Perhaps more so as we are not camping in any parks but out in the wilds so we’re going right back to basics.

Setting the scene
Setting the scene

But back to where we are now. The past two days we spent on a hired yacht, well 24 hours from lunch time to lunch time yesterday but what a delightful 24 hours they were aboard our borrowed 70 foot floating villa. In some ways challenging as I’m so full of energy right now and being cooped up in a relatively small space is not good when you’re bursting with energy but I found ways to cope.

We swam. I finally laid my fear of shark attacks in open water aside and enjoyed it although tentatively at first. ¬†I did an aerobic workout to some music on the deck and we did some middle of nowhere Tai-Chi twice. Once in the pitch dark and once as the sun was rising. We ate dinner out in the middle of a dark ocean. If you’ve never tried it it’s a bit scary I’ll tell you. You hear things, like splashes and can only wonder what made the noise and you see the odd light but nothing much else. We weren’t too distant from shore but distant enough for it to be a far off strip of light.

I wished I’d never watched Captain Phillips¬†as I developed a sure and certain conviction that we were going to be boarded by pirates even though the modest crew assured¬†us that was not going to happen.

It’s rather a primitive state of existence out there, it’s like someone switched the responsiveness of your senses around. You suddenly hear things you wouldn’t normally detect¬†and you see things you really don’t notice… like the stars. Oh wow, the stars are something else when it’s pitch black on Earth. Electric lighting has robbed us of a veritable nocturnal spectacular for sure. I’ve not seen a sky like that in so long, maybe back when I plodded my way around bits of Africa.

I think focusing on the night sky finally enabled me to lay my fears and anxieties aside. We’ve done some snuggled down night sky gazing from our accommodation and from the beach but the spectacular really revealed itself out there that night with no light contamination from anywhere. I realised lying there that my irrational anxieties about being boarded by pirates, fear of¬†what was swimming around us in the darkness, my feeling of helplessness on the sea were all born of my need to be in control. If you can’t see, if you don’t know where you’re going, if there’s nothing to listen to, if there’s no point of reference for much, then control is taken away from you. There’s not a lot left for you to actually take charge of, other than yourself.

I kind of had the beginnings of this epiphany while we were flying over to Miami, I hate flying and that is simply because I have no control, I can’t see where I’m going so I feel very much at the mercy of someone else. Realising this helped me to relax and enjoy the flight so much more. It was easier to this as the way we flew meant I did feel closer to the seat of control, ¬†perhaps more influential, although in real terms of course I had no control at all. Just thinking of those things helped me to understand my fear, rationalise it and enjoy it taking a back seat for a change. It wasn’t gone but it wasn’t at the forefront of the flying experience like it normally is.

Back to the boat…I had nothing to do and no part to play in where I was going, I couldn’t see much and couldn’t hear anything familiar and it was beautiful but unnerving to the point where the beauty was in danger of evading me. It was only when I was made to look up, in fact I didn’t need to look up, the sky came down to meet us, but when I was made to look at it, it was only then that I really appreciated my insignificance in terms of time and space and I realised that I’m not really in control of anything anyway. I asked myself what do I control at the end of the day and do I need to be in control of anything at all? Does holding the reins really make me feel any better, does it serve any advantage or is it actually detrimental to my enjoyment of life? I’ve had a good chat with myself if nothing else.

I had a lovely talk with Nick about this too, about how much of what happens to us happens anyway and will happen anyway and so we may as well just yield to it and go with it, not fight it, not try to control it. It’s a place he’s already in and has been for some time and he laughed as I joined him there. ¬†I thought about how I could see the stars but if there had been anyone near one of them they wouldn’t be able to see me, I’d just be lost in the darkness, nothing, invisible, unseen. I wondered if trying to control anything was not only pointless but put us in danger of enjoying the real delights the world has to offer which can only truly be enjoyed when we lay ourselves open, bare and without the shackles of what we think of as essential for life.

I realised eating disorders are all about control, I don’t have control issues because I have an eating disorder, I have an eating disorder because I have control issues. I’ve always felt like the world was against me, like I had to fight something for what I wanted, like I had to prove myself, like there was an invisible or even visible enemy always trying to thwart my attempts to achieve anything. That battle’s been going on since I was a cute little girl, it’s why I’m so feisty and always have been, I’ve been fighting my whole life for acceptance and I finally see that I only have to accept myself, I can’t control what anyone else does or thinks, I don’t have to influence their actions, it’s not my fault if other people are unkind, unhappy, uncaring, unloving, all of those ‘uns’. It’s not my fault and I don’t have to try to change them. All I need do is be myself and concentrate on making me happy. Funny thing is, the less I try the easier being happy gets.

I don’t know it all got very deep out there in more ways than one. I just felt an even more profound sense of relaxation on a whole other level. In short… I’m so insignificant nothing really matters, that could sound pretty morbid but it’s not, it’s far from it.

I’m going through some kind of awakening. I really feel that I’ve been in a mid life crisis for the past 5 years or so and this is my emergence as an ‘elder’. I feel like I’m shedding my youth skin and growing a new mature layer which is richer, more flexible, more comfortable to live in. I’m feeling very much as if I’m on about my fourth phase of life and that I have more phases yet to experience.

I think that I was unwittingly mourning my youth, mourning the woman I’d lost sight of, floudering in a world where I didn’t fit, I didn’t want to fit and I wasn’t sure of my place or what I could bring with me, but now it’s all clear, I know who I am and what I’m bringing, I know where I’m going and I know what there is for me to do there and I’m relaxed and happy to be on the journey, I’m not fighting anymore, I’m not worried about pirates coming to rob me, I’m not worried about nasty people coming to hurt me, I’m not worried about anyone taking anything from me, I’m not letting a fear of shark attack stop me from enjoying the freedom of swimming in the ocean, I’m opening up my doors and not worrying about who is going to come in, I’m just grateful for the light and air that can make its way through now.

It’s a great feeling. When I started out I saw this as a caterpillar to butterfly like journey and I thought that it was all about my weight and my ¬†health but it has turned out to be about a catharsis so much more deep and meaningful than that, it’s been about my transition through the final part of the middle phase of my existence it’s been like a rebirth, like I was being prepared and this last bit is the squeeze through the canal into my ¬†new life and I feel like I’m about crowning now and on the cusp of something wonderful, something I had feared and fought and didn’t feel I’d earned the right to yet and that is a relaxed, self indulgent, worry free middle age. I don’t need to be a kid to be happy. I don’t need to feel old to be a¬†grown up. I’m a vibrant, beautiful, happy woman who has achieved so much and has so much yet to achieve.

I might not feel like that in the next couple of days out on the cold Welsh hills in a tent with a tin of beans but I’m going with it and whatever happens, happens, it’s a new experience and I get to do it with the people I love the most, my amazing¬†children… something I undoubtedly did well in my life and have not celebrated anywhere near enough.

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BMI

We had some friends over yesterday…I know that’s bizarre that we’re all the way over here and have had friends over but it just so happened that a really good friend of mine, Jan and her husband are over here on holiday too with their family so they were happy to take a couple of hours away from the grandchildren and come join us in our tranquil setting and meet Nick. We’re going over to the hotel where they are staying tonight¬†for their Caribbean beach party so that will be fun. It’s been raining intermittently, quite lightly too not orgasmic pounding rain, just the drizzly dribbly kind, so hopefully it will be clear tonight and if not who cares?

Jan’s had weight issues throughout her life ranging from childhood obesity to anorexia in her teens through to twenties, a period of normality and then an injury leaving her inactive and eventually obese which she’s struggled 20 years to recover from but¬†finally achieved last year with the help of a gastric band. So weight and losing it is always a big talking point for us, we’ve joined many a slimming club and gym together. Due to us both being busy and away and whatever we’ve not seen each other since Christmas. Crazy that we live 2 miles from each other and yet we’ve had our first proper catch up thousands of miles away. Anyway… she was shocked to see the difference in me. It’s great when someone sees you who hasn’t seen you for a while and they are visibly surprised by the change. It’s a real boost. She commented that not only did I look thinner but that I looked so healthy and vibrant which to me matters more nowadays. So among all the catching up we got to talking about BMI.

I’m not a big fan of BMI measurements because they don’t work for everyone. However, love it or hate it, it is a measure that is used by the medical profession and it is a measure used by others like my employer’s medical assessment team and so I have to accept that I will be held up against this chart from time to time and ¬†will have to accept what it says about me.

She asked if I’d been measuring my progress against my BMI which I haven’t and told me how elated she had been when finally she was no longer ‘Obese’ on the GP’s chart and how it had been a huge turning point in her life. So that led to us bringing up a chart and having a look and what I found is noted on a copy of that chart below. The red star to the right being starting point and the red star on the left being where I am now ish. I am so pleased that I have transitioned a whole phase of the chart. That’s got to be good right? Same again and I will be obese no more and that will be official. Talking to Jan and thinking about it I guess I can appreciate that I will be so happy to be simply ‘over weight’. It’s kind of good to know that I’m not so far off no longer being morbidly obese too, I guess in some terms or other that means I have less chance of dying sooner now than I did four months ago which to me is the absolute best kind of¬†progress.

The other thing I noticed was that although I have a long road to travel still, I have done this first chunk with ease so I know I can do it again and then, when I’m bordering on Obese and over-weight, look at the short final push to being in a healthy weight for the first time in forever. This chart has inspired me further and made me really, truly believe I can do this and more than that it’s really made me want to be in that healthy weight zone even if I’m at the very top of it, when I get there, I’m staying there for sure and I really believe that I can do that no matter how long it takes. I’m never going to see that Morbidly or Super Morbidly Obese again and that is worth a bottle of bubbly so I’m going to have one… well at least a glass from one.

BMI-Graph

Holiday exercise and eating

I’ve been thinking… we all know that’s dangerous. Why when we come on holiday do we feel the need to stuff our faces and why do we not take advantage of all of the opportunities to exercise that present themselves? I just think I’ve become programmed to associate good times with bad food and the two have become inextricably linked when it really doesn’t have to be that way. I think I’ve had another mental/emotional/habitual food link severed.

I can’t believe that I usually put weight on when I’m on holiday especially somewhere like this where there is so much fab fresh produce on offer, delicious fresh from the sea food, fresh from the tree food, fresh from the ground food! I’m filling up on this stuff like you would not believe and savouring the tastes and flavours, storing them in the memory bank as I know that when I get home all that imported preserved stuff will not taste anything like this.

I’ve practiced sun rise Tai-Chi every morning, ran on the deep soft sandy beach, swam in the sea and made the most of this empty pool, doing 50 lengths of its 13 meters (1500 meters in total) 3 times a day. We’ve played badminton on the beach (or a version of it), we’ve made up our own aqua aerobics work out, we’ve played and laughed and walked miles and danced, had night time sea swimming sessions and it feels like I’ve spent more time exercising than usual.

I feel free and relaxed and healthy and I’ve been in public places in my swimsuit and nobody has gawped at me, not that I’ve noticed, I think I’m so immersed in my own feel good that I wouldn’t notice any looks anyway. I feel like I’ve been here a month, we’ve packed so much in.

I think this holiday has taught me a valuable lesson: ¬†I don’t have to see every happy or celebratory event in life as an excuse to stuff my face and be a sloath. I can enjoy a break even more by¬†taking a healthy approach.

When I get back I’m taking the kids camping for a few days and I’m going to see how easy it is to eat healthy and exercise whilst on that kind of break, something tells me that might be a little more challenging.

Quickest of Posts…for me at least.

Arrived in true style via Miami and I can’t begin to tell how we got there I must be a true princess that’s all I can say.

Weather’s good humid, warm, sunny with pretty clouds dappling the sky… clouds make the sky more interesting when what you’re mostly doing is lying on your back looking at it. Relaxation by the bucket load!

We’re in a private serviced villa so no need to move or lift a finger, jacuzzi and pool out the back and beach a very short walk beyond. Everything’s been tested out and all meets with my approval.

Laid on lilos in the pool last night holding hands watching the stars listening to the waves on the beach, some creatures chirruping away and this (among other ‘songs with a message to chill out to’ prepared by my companion) playing softly in the background… bliss.¬†

Can’t even describe how relaxed I feel, how lucky I am, how last year seems a million miles away, how healthy I feel and how happy I am that I started to make the changes in my life that were so necessary. I wouldn’t have done this, I wouldn’t have been here, I wouldn’t have felt this if I hadn’t taken that ¬†little step in April all I can think about now is how much more awesome is next summer going to be.

Heart’s full to brimming with good stuff for a change, head is clear for the first time ever, nothing matters, nothing. All is good, I can’t change the world but I can change the way I live and enjoy my time on it. My dad’s last words to me were “Don’t cry for me, I had a good life, I’m leaving with a smile on my face, just promise me that when it’s your time to go you will leave it laughing” … I feel like I’m going to be able to do that for him now. Not because of Nick, I know people will be thinking this is because I’ve got a lovely man who is treating me like a queen, it’s not that at all, that’s an aside and is something which could easily change, it’s beyond my control to stay with Nick or for him to always be this amazing that is something that I just have to enjoy and let happen… sail with it and what will be will be. No, it’s the way I feel about me and my life as me, Michelle, the mother of my children, that’s what has changed, that’s what has brought me to this feeling, just me and the changes I’ve made to turn how I view myself inside and out.

Today: letting go

Well that’s me and Darren done until I get back from hols. Today was harsh, my hips are aching, he had me kicking him and punching him and chasing him all around the big group class room. Gosh I was exhausted. He’s big but he’s fast. At one point he was throwing tennis balls around the room and I had to run and pick them up and get them back into a box… how simple yet how effective. I was knackered I’ll tell you and then the git started pelting them AT¬†me! It was such fun trying to dodge them and jump them.

He’s done something amazing for me this guy and I need to get him a special gift because he’s really pulled my insecurities out and laid them bare and he’s made me get angry, he’s seen into my soul I think just from the few chats we’ve had, he’s seen how hurt I am or was inside, or maybe he just knows that it’s a pretty safe bet that most obese people have issues. He’s had me punching and kicking every sucker who ever made me feel any sadness or pain or who lowered my self esteem or shattered my confidence, I’ve battered people I didn’t even remember until I started letting it all go and yesterday he made me attack myself… I am not blameless and this is true.

Seriously I wind up crying every session but in a very healthy let it all go kind of way. Darren is not just a personal trainer, he is a counsellor, not officially but that’s what he is. Everyone should have one. He’s called me names, he’s teased me, he’s brought so much anger out of me that I didn’t even know I could feel. Then the clever bugger has converted that anger into energy and strength but I don’t just feel stronger in my body, I feel stronger in my mind. Seriously I have shed some nasty crap that was clogging up my head, it hasn’t been easy, at least three times he’s had to forcibly drag me back into the room when I’ve told him to F off and started to walk out eyes stinging. I think it helps me knowing some of his back story and how messed up he was and some of the bad things which have happened to him, he knows how these things eat away at us.

I had a steam and lounge in the hydrotherapy pool afterwards which he joined me for so that was nice to have him to chat to and then I had to go into work for a meeting. Hang on, I have to say that Darren is fit as fooohooook (excuse my inner teenager appearing there) but Darren in his swim shorts and nothing else… salivation was not the word ladies let me tell you! It was slightly embarrassing being less clothed than I usually am with him around but hey, he doesn’t see me as a fat middle aged lady, he sees me as a work in progress and had me turning around and flexing like Arnie in the 80’s. He said he wants us to make a point of going in the spa together once a month so he can keep an eye on progress. He can do what he likes I am not averse to sitting sweating or bubbling with him for mental stimulation at all. What am I like? Oh well, men have been doing it for years, it’s time we middle aged ladies got to do some of the same… at least we see it for the fun it is and don’t go leaving our wives and kids and thinking they want us for anything more than influence or money.

I wasn’t looking my usual professional self at work as I went in casual clothes and had no make up on and my hair all scraped back but I’m heading to have some pre holiday pampering this afternoon so there was no point in doing much to myself. I have my mani and pedi and waxing and respray and my hair appointment which will keep me busy much of the afternoon. My son’s helping my mum with her garden today so he’s been there since the crack of dawn and won’t be back until he’s eaten her out of house and home. Lucky thing, my mother is a seriously good baker and she will have prepared him a feast for sure. In spite of my poor relationship with my mother she adores my son, not my daughter please note I think they’ve barely uttered 100 words to each other in her life, but my son and her have a special bond which I’m not about to come between. Odd that her most despised child produced her most beloved grandchild.

Nick’s meeting me at my daughter’s tomorrow lunch time, I’m heading off there in the morning with my son and we’re going to have some fun time together doing whatever they have planned for me and then as far as I’m aware we are going to fly to Barbados on Saturday from London I think. All I have been given is instructions to get to my daughter’s for 12 tomorrow with my son and to take an overnight bag and my packed holiday luggage and my passport. Everything else is a surprise.

I am not good at surprises and normally have to organise everything but I’ve let go now, I’m quite liking someone else being in control and someone else making the arrangements and panicking about the detail. I did ask a question about insurance and was told that I have dangerous sports cover… that was a side swipe, I had imagined this was going to be about lying on beds and cocktails. I have wondered where my car’s going and how I’m getting it back and if we’re both driving down to London or if Nick’s meeting me at my daughter’s on the train but I stopped thinking and am just doing as I’m told.

So I have my holiday luggage packed and my over night bag for tomorrow night, I’m going to drive down smart casual and have packed a nice dress in case we go out tomorrow night.

I’m excited for my birthday not just because I’ve promised myself I can have a small piece of cake if anyone buys me one but because I’m happy that for a change I’m looking forward to it, it has been pretty much a non event for a while now, my 40th was perhaps the last time I celebrated in style and actually enjoyed my day. I’m thinner, happier and more confident than last year and I can only imagine what I will be typing here on this date next year, the world is still my oyster, even fast approaching 47 there is still so much to live for.

I’m down 4lbs already this week which is amazing but not a surprise after the work I’ve put in and the little I’ve been able to eat. Darren wanted to weigh me to get a before and after holiday reading otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered until I get back. I think that he was pyschologically getting me to prepare for my holiday so that I do not come back with a gain. I won’t, I know I won’t. I’m well into the zone with this thing, I’m not going backwards, no way. This is my life now and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Holiday destination revealed plus some fat holiday fashion ramblings

So… first things first Wooooooaaaa we’re going to Barbados, back to the palm trees! ¬†Heehee, squeal and shriek, I didn’t see that one coming, I was thinking Scotland, Spain maybe, France but nah, I’m going to the Caribbean where I’m assured I won’t have to wear my swimsuit in front of anyone and I will still be able to swim but that is my only clue about accommodation and exact location. Now I’m hoping that we’re not booked into a naturist resort I’m not quite ready for that yet ūüėõ I know it’s probably going to be a bit rainy this time of year but as long as we have no hurricanes I am happy to make my fun whatever the weather.w866xh649-luxury-vacations-to-barbados-2012-blue-lagoon

I’ve been to Barbados twice, once with friends when I was younger when we island hopped for a couple of months mainly in search of ganga, rum and reggae and once with my kids a few years ago¬†both were this time of year both times it was hot, hot, hot.¬†My kids like holidays but they don’t like sand, they don’t like being in the sun too much and they like being active on holiday and trekking around museums and ruins and places of historic interest as well as water sports and whatever else is on offer, skiing, climbing, court sports, dangling from parachutes towed by speedboats and floating down on a giant kite from the nearest high ground. When we do the beach type holiday they exhaust themselves in the daytime, eat seafood at night and then pass out on floors, sofas, wherever they drop. What I’m saying is, you don’t get to lounge around, floating on an inflatable reading a book with a good cocktail with them around let me put it that way, so I’m looking forward to this adult kid free holiday very much.

So we’re going for my birthday (well actually leaving the day after but it’s close enough) so that gives me less than two weeks to think of what to pack, to shop, primp and lose another fifty pounds! I’ve got this ūüėÄ

I’m a light traveler from years of experience. If I can avoid hold luggage I do so at all costs as I hate waiting around carousels. My philosophy is that I can buy most things advice-luggage_2318792bwhere I’m going and I like to spend some of my GB pounds in places I visit. I like to inject my own tiny bit into their economy rather than feed the tour operator giants who would keep you all to themselves with their unauthentic far from traditional wares and I know most of it is far from locally sourced and even if it is at what cost?

I prefer to get out amongst the local people, patronise their markets and shops and huts and shacks and try the food they eat and the drinks they enjoy and wear the clothes they find comfortable… I’m a real culture immerser (probably made another new word up 69529_518637231499358_1423404193_nthere) and that’s the absolute best way to travel for me.

I have been known to sleep in fields and bushes and huts and whatever but I do have to sell out when it comes to hotels these days, I don’t need luxury but I do like to feel safe. I wonder that there is not more tourist crime as we visit ever more remote and exotic places, small island economies where sadly all too often poverty amongst locals is rife and they have to see plane loads of tourists fly in and out spending crazy amounts of money in a week, money that would probably feed their family for a year. ¬†I don’t wonder that tourists are sometimes in danger and I don’t ever condone crime of any kind but I do get it and I’m surprised at the restraint some people show to be honest, that in itself probably comes from a desire not to damage the tourist trade.

I do try to book locally or rent locally owned homes where I can and avoid tour operators where I possibly can. I know how much they rip off hotel owners in popular holiday destinations, not to mention as I said fence off their guests in compounds and complexes and even import their staff… what good they do the local economy is questionable and where the local economy is in dire need of a boost I find that very distasteful indeed. So I do try to do my little bit. I get out there and try to make a difference if only for one person and I love, love, love that when I take the kids on holiday they first thing they do is research the local area and find out what they can do help out and always find a project to spend at least a day on. I do like to see them giving something back.

Now my problem is, can I find suitable clothes for me that I will be comfortable in or is it best to take my own… I figure on this occasion it is best to take my own so I need to 3529910016ccc003de77shop. I have a few maxi dresses that I can take, nice and cool they are too. There is no wonder why ladies (and gents) from hot countries wear long cotton garments, that ¬†micro climate in there is fabulously refreshing.

I’m thinking, do I go monochrome chic or all out colour splash frenzy? Maybe a mix of the two. We’re there for a week so I can plan this out I think with some mix and matching and imagination and not overload the suitcase. I’ve shrunk into a couple of swimsuits from yesteryear now which is good. I’m going to get a re-spray, just a light bronzing to take away the blue whiteness of this upper thigh and body flesh that has not seen the light of day for some time now. I had one the day after Nick arrived and it made me feel so much more confident. Brown fat looks so much better than pasty blue veined fat any day of the week.

images (2)
I remember being around this size and thinking I was grotesquely huge and used to cry myself to sleep and hide. Gosh our minds have a lot to answer for.
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I remember being around this size when I first thought I was hideously massive and started my first adult diet aka road to obesity

When it comes to swimsuits for the larger lady, you can not go wrong with a Tankini in my opinion, they are a whole world more flattering than a one piece and cover up the bits a bikini doesn’t. If you don’t know what one is it’s bikini briefs with a top made of the same type of material which is like a tight cami and often they have built in bust support and some even have a full bra built in which is hugely flattering to the rest of your figure if you can keep the puppies hoisted up. They just prevent the sausage effect of a one piece and also allow you to be a bit more daring if you fancy and pull up your top to get a belly tan or to take it off altogether and lie face down for a full back tan, or if you’re really daring face up if you’re into bronzing the boobage as we Europeaimages (1)n ladies most definitely are. ¬†Although I must say I am far more discreet these days, I do care about the mental well being of young folk on the beach. You can get some fab ones now too, with a whole variety of style options for the briefs, shorts, tie side, high leg, high waist, suck in control ones whatever. I have a lovely leopard print one (of course) which has a control panel built into the top so it sucks everything in a bit and it fits me again! Wahoo! ¬† Also with tankinis you can do a bit of mix and matching with some plain and patterned pieces and make it look like you have more sets than you really have which reduces cost of buying but also luggage space required. Oh and just a last point, if you get the right size (which can be up to a couple of sizes smaller than your normal dress size for extra suck in) they don’t ride up or embarrass you while swimming.

So excited! I’m usually a bit of a control freak, only because I don’t trust anyone, but I’m actually liking this ‘being led’ for once in my life. I think it’s all part of my letting go of the old me and just feeling more free. It’s exciting to not have details and somehow 83b6d47fa8353ccb86c0d15d34088c0bliberating. I think my daughter was right this morning when she said to me that I’ve spent way too long doing things for other people and I need to now understand how it feels to have things done for me, maybe then, she said, I’d realise how much everything I do is appreciated. ¬†Now that girl has a point… anyone would think she’d been raised by a really wise, reasonable mother ūüėõ

Wahoo! I’m going to Barbados.. back to the palm trees, whooo! By the way, no children will be neglected in the making of this holiday, my kids are positively bubbling over at the thought of me being alive again and my daughter has my son’s supervision under control and I’m just letting them get on with it, I have shopping to do and weight to lose!

Home again, home again…

So currently enjoying the thrills of being a passenger on a long drive* north along the A1, slightly more scenic than the M1 and we’re far more likely to find a nice watering hole along the way that hasn’t been consumed by KFC or Macdonalds. It gives me time to catch up on emails, ¬†phone the kids, blog and read some news and blogs (I much prefer the latter, they’re far more honest and far more uplifting).

*In the UK for most people anything of more than an hour’s duration is considered a ‘long drive’ and a journey of more than 100 miles is an epic adventure.¬†

Yesterday was beautiful, the dining experience all I imagined it would be. It was almost ten thirty when we finally ate but that didn’t matter as we had some fantastic company in our friends who I hadn’t seen for years and years. The guy was originally from Nigeria and we calculated it must have been 20 ¬†years since I’d seen him as he was a law student at that time who wanted to go into corporate law and has long since been a London barrister specialising in Human Rights cases. His wife was at that time his new girlfriend, in fact I reminded everyone that the night Nick and I came to an ugly close in our romantic¬†relationship I had spent most of it with her and she had been my key witness in the whole unfortunate saga that caused us to part ways. She was back then a young traveller spending a couple of months in the UK fresh from New Zealand who had no intention to settle let alone marry, have children and live most of her life in London. How naive we are to think that we have our lives all sussed out?

We had a bit of a laugh about the disaster which led to our break up and I felt good to once again be vindicated by witnesses… it never grows old that ūüėÄ I’ve always hated being accused of something I have not done and that frustrated feeling of not being able to prove it. I think it stems from my siblings blaming me for things and my mother always believing them or from her always assuming it was me who had done something bad and getting punished for it before any investigation had been carried out.

I love London and am a bit biased in using this quote but I do agree. london-travel-quoteI would love to live there again but I feel that for an old person living in London can be pretty tough unless you are extremely wealthy (the Queen seems to cope with it well but then even she has to get out of it as often as possible). I think it’s a great place for a young person who has energy and vitality and doesn’t mind the hustle and bustle and who wants entertainment day and night and choices and options and experience upon experience and who can manage to work long enough hours to earn enough money to live there and have some left for fun and who can cope with flat sharing or living in a tiny space… or again, if you are wealthy.

Nick lives, as I used to, in the suburbs, still within the Tube network so it’s easy to access the centre of town and all its delights and far cheaper to buy a property but even so his property is worth a staggering five times more than mine and is decidedly smaller. I still have a stake on a house in London from the deterioration of my marriage but that’s something for the children not something I think of as mine at all and certainly nothing I would ever claim or return to or want to cash in.

I mentioned that when I was ¬†young and in London I used to love being driven home after a night out clubbing or partying, the summer air, window open, those beautiful moments before dawn, the city lights, the near empty streets, some good music on, the headiness of having drank or smoked¬†a toxic substance or two, perhaps filled with Metrocab-night-London-600x400the¬†excitement of a young romance or even a one night stand (I never professed to being an angel). So when we’d finished in the restaurant and we’d been to a night club (didn’t feel old at all, there were all ages there and we had a fabulous time) Nick sorted out a mini cab rather than a black taxi and he asked the driver to put on an oldies radio channel (which now play 80’s and early 90’s as their oldies [groan]) and was at that time playing old clubbing chill out anthems (couldn’t have chosen better myself) and we snuggled up in the back while the delighted driver drove around the city for an hour before taking us home. It’s good to tread the boards of your youth now and again.

I swear we deluded ourselves into thinking we were in our early twenties again, we certainly acted like we were! I felt so carefree. I think we’re both at ¬†that point in life imageswhere we can be carefree again, that sweet spot where your kids are not as dependent as they were and are virtually grown, where you have money to spare, time and freedom, where you’re still young enough to enjoy being spontaneous and adventurous again, where you’re not too old to feel too out of place doing some of the things young people do. I just think that the timings are all perfect for both of us to be enjoying this interlude, in every respect. In some senses we’re doing what we should have carried on doing way back then. We’ve got a second chance and are both like minded enough to grab it and do it all again with even more gusto. What a blessing and what a tonic!

So now we’re on the road again back to my home. I was supposed to be going back on the train but Nick’s insisted on driving me staying one last night and driving back tomorrow. He must be enjoying my company ūüėČ I’ve no idea when or if we’ll hook up again but I would like to think we will, it’s not something we’ve discussed…living for the moment and all that.

I have my closest female friend coming to stay from Wednesday through to Saturday with her daughter and granddaughter and then as they leave Saturday my daughter’s bringing my son home and staying the weekend and then on Monday my niece is coming to stay with her¬†kids¬†for a week. So it’s pretty busy, I’ve got to go into work a couple of days too… mustn’t forget that.

Life’s good, the kids are happy, I’m happy and I’m going to jump on the scales tomorrow and see what a week of eating out and indulgence has done for me when it comes to the numbers. But whatever it’s done, nothing could take me down from this high at the moment and regardless of my weight I’m floating on air ūüėÄ

We did some Tai Chi this morning which I’m really enjoying for the feel good in my ¬†head more than anything and we’re going to have to get active when we get back to mine otherwise today will have been a little bit sluggish. I’m hoping the weather’s good and we can go for a ride maybe, my bum’s recovered enough now from last time to cope or failing that there is the treadmill and Shaun T to fall back on ūüėÄ