Bumpy times, Good Times ahead…….

Its been a while, how are you all? Well I hope. I know a lot of you have had bugs as I do now, hope all of you are recovered.

So, where do I start? Its been a total whirlwind since going back to work. I think I managed to go back at the most hectic time! I wont bore you with the details, but its been tough, there’s no denying that.  It’s like that purely because I am not back up to speed yet, thats proving a real problem for me and my pride! I had forgotten how tiring getting on a train is, how that twenty minute walk from the station adds onto your day, and how tiring interacting with other humans is!
My job is full on, high tempo, all a bit barking mad really.  But I love it.  So, I decided to just go for it, throwing myself straight back in at the deep end.  Sink or swim.  I’ve sunk.
I have made sure I get my butt into the gym with my old trainer who is tough on me but its what I need.  But, I have let it slip, because I’m involved in so many things at the moment.  Let me update you all!
I have found a beautiful seaside retreat in Tankerton, and have had my offer accepted.  It all happened so quickly, I saw the house at 10am on a Saturday morning, my offer was accepted 2 hours later, surveys are being done this week, mortgages are all in place and ready to go – great.  Then came the mountain of paperwork, phone calls, decision making – normally my strength but at the moment my organisation skills leave a LOT to be desired.  That frustrates the living hell out of me and I get behind, the more frustrated I get, the less I get done.  I feel sorry for myself, either go to bed or eat or drink = a grumpy unhealthy Al, which is not a pretty sight or a joy to be around!  (It’s ok all, I know, and apologise for those moments!).  So I have given myself a bloody good talking to, cancelled meetings, blocked out times to go and train.  It keeps my stress levels down and makes me feel great – not rocket science I know!
The house will make life so much easier.  On a Thursday night I will get on the train no later than 7pm (no direct trains after that) and be in my Tankerton heaven by 9pm with a takeaway picked up on my way from the station.  Everything I need is there, a little shop to grab some milk, Chinese for my Sweet & Sour Prawn Chow Mein, ten minute walk to my house and Im immediately relaxed and happy.  I can’t quite describe how it makes me feel – I can only compare it to when you get into a big, soft duvet and snuggle up when the weather is rubbish outside!! (especially if there’s someone with you!)
 I am lucky enough to be allowed to work from home on a Friday once I’ve had breakfast in my favourite cafe with all my gluten free treats, shopped for fresh veg, meat and fish for the weekend entertaining (you are ALL invited!), logging off at 4pm and thats it until Monday!
The weekends will be spent seeing friends and family, day trips,  seaside walks and a 5km park run on a Saturday morning every week.  Total escape from the madness of City life.  Roll on February, book your spaces now.  Al’s Place Du Rose will be open soon……..
Work – well, its pretty full on at this time of the year.  ITs also pretty full on as I am pushing my skills, learning new things, mapping out my next 5 years.  That takes up a lot of brain power.  Luckily I have the most amazing team around me as well as some wonderful colleagues who are true friends.  Their help and advice recently has really kept me going.  I was lucky enough to go on a course at Henley Business School.  Totally non Insurance related, it took me totally out of my comfort zone, but opened up my eyes to a whole new way of thinking about being successful, and how to do it.  That really knocked the stuffing out of me, as its sent me on a whole new track – which is exciting but challenging, but has really re-lit my professional fire!  watch out all….
Spain – Finally I have sold it for the asking price!! Yay.  A massive relief, shock and the end of a sad, sad chapter.  Thats a good thing, but it does churn up some emotions & brings it all back to me, especially with Christmas coming up.  But the good thing is in Spain you must give a deposit immediately when you make an offer, helps weed out the idiots!  The couple buying it are lovely which gives me a lot of comfort, they live in Spain already and want to be in by end of November – its perfect.  The process there is so much easier, so I shall be popping over for 8 hours before then just to finalise the house.
As for the dating, I am sorry I haven’t any funny stories this time been feeling sorry for myself on that front, but I promise to get looking again, off to re register with a few sites!! So if any of you have any single friends that are fairly sane, let me know!!!!!  God help me……….
I guess I need to give myself a break.  Dad’s only been gone 9 months.  I’m buying a house and selling one.  I’m changing up my Career to the next level.  I’m relocating my main life, and I am starting to think about having a base in town to make my work life easier.  As you can see my blonde brain has a lot going on, and it will and it is all come together in a relatively short time span and it will be fabulous.  In less than 3 months this will all be finalised and I can’t wait! I also need to remember that doing all this on your own is quite a bloody achievement! Go me..
So please bare with me if I am a bit stressed or down, give me a hug if you see me, or make me a cuppa sometime – that always makes this girl smile!
See you all in a few weeks…….  Grumpy xxxxx