Week 2-Hens, healthy, honesty & health.

Wow what a feeling. I woke up to natural sunlight, not the alarm… What a calming thing that is instead of being jolted awake by Tinie Tempahs song Frisky (although ‘would you risk it for a chocolate biscuit’ is the best lyric of all time).  Its amazing how quickly the hours go just pottering around, going for a run, having a leisurely breakfast & its 1pm already. Aaarrrgghhh I have a appointment at 1.30-& now I’m back to running around… I guess i need to balance this relaxing stuff with normal life!!

After a fab Friday night catching up with a great bunch of friends over a huge G&T, its time to pack and sleep before the event of the week- HEN WEEKEND TIME!! With the car loaded with tunes & two of my amazing friends its off to Bristol we go!

After a leisurely drive down its cocktail making time. The Hen was the star of the show, it seems she is a natural! Shaking away, pulling off party tricks for a shot train (yes you heard me correctly), the girl did us all proud-its great to have a man free giggle every now and then.  As the evening progressed the games continued-Mr & Mrs, guess the object (for adults only) & a game called never ever have I which was certainly an eye opener……

The evening progressed with more fun & games, with some fabulous dancing & strong drinking capabilities from the gang-my kind of night away!

After a nights sleep in concrete heaven lying next to Lenny Henry (a picture not the real one), its time for a large leisurely breakfast then the drive home. Thanks for the invite Hen, and thanks to all your friends for making it such fun!!

So its the start of my first week at home. Nothing in the diary. Zilch. Nada. No alarm clock, no timetable, no meetings or anything. My brain is beginning to relax very slowly, & its learning to love me again.

Despite that there are a few goals this week-watch a lot of tennis & world cup games, detox for 3 days on a juice only cleanse, join the local gym, change the broken lightbulbs, tidy the garden….. Phew!

The Detox starts well-6 bottles of juice a day. All delicious. So off I trot to the best hairdresser in West London to make me feel good-as always. The result is a very blonde & short cut this time strangely at my request. My hairdresser couldn’t believe it either when i said “cut it shorter, up to you”. I am such a control freak normally!!

Im learning slowly that a lot of my attitude is down to having to be in control. The irony is that makes me not in control! I guess because Ive been knocked down a few times, but the main factor is being an only child, your defences kick in a lot quicker-you are just used to doing things yourself, being in your own company, amusing yourself. When it goes wrong you take it on the chin & move on. So being a single female &  also an only child is a double defence delight!!

Maybe thats one of the reasons I haven’t settled down. I have some great male friends, who always look out for me & some close ones – but I always just accept any situation, good or bad, & walk away not wanting to confront anyone. I let it bug me for ages. I don’t like confrontation until its too late, then I just take the blame, apologise & get on with it. Very English as i am told…That has to stop.

Guess Ive just not yet met the one who will tell me not to worry, give me a big hug & take the stress away whilst making me feel Like a princess.  One day.

Day 2 of the detox & the headaches kick in, with the sore throat & aching. Here we go, you slow down & the germs invade…

I push on and go to join a new gym. Its amazeballs. I get a nutritionist, trainer, physio & access to any other specialist I need. Im a great believer in calling in the experts every once in a while-we do it in our homes so why not in our lives??

A few years ago I had CBT-Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I wish everyone would do it! It gives you the skills to deal with stress, anxiety (I was having horrible anxiety attacks which were crippling me) and negativity. The brain is 70% negative as it is your bodies protector, so it over analise every thought-especially in females! I could never have got through the last 3 years without it, and im not ashamed to say I did it-best training I ever did.

Day 3 of detox done, gym done, playing with a 1 year old for a few hours done, so its off to bed. I sleep for 10 uninterrupted hours-bliss and the first one in a long long time.

So now its back to food-still healthy and being delivered so I don’t stray. The big weigh in. 5lbs off since last week Wooohoooo.  So chuffed. Im feeling good, still a long way to go.

This week I got some sad news. Another special person lost to cancer too early. My heart goes out to you all, its the worst time. But all I can say is let it out-scream, shout, cry, laugh, but most of all remember they aren’t suffering anymore. Find a picture of them smiling and happy-look at it every day & smile back. Thats what they would want.  Lots of tears today, i’m even sobbing watching Dolly at Glastonbury!! She was awesome btw! Guess its just time to let it all out, now where are my sunglasses……

MOT time-all my vital statistics taken. My body fat is 24%- 3 years ago it was 31%. Awful.  My hips are too large I KNOW THAT! So a long way to go for the magic 20% body fat & correct waist to hip ratio but ive never felt more determined. The bad news is i have high cholesterol, so I have to cut out cheese. NO CHEESE. Surely thats against the law…..Wish me luck!!

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Its time to get ready for the holibobs of a lifetime. Im off to a 5 star spa hotel in Italy to be revived, restored and recharged. Cant wait to tell you all about it.

I may come back a very different person, & who knows who I will meet. Its where George Clooney has a home so you never know….

Speak to you all in a fortnight!!

Week 1, the tough stuff, Wimbledon & relax……

Week 1.

Spain.
The tough stuff. Lets get this done in one hit.
All the way there I’m in a daze and i feel so empty. It’s the worst feeling ever, & i know it too well. All the toxic & anxious feelings come flooding back as I get off the plane. However, the moment I walk through the front door I’m all of a sudden calm, the Calmest I’ve been in weeks. Why – because Mum & Dad are here, waiting for me to take them home. Don’t worry, not literally (even im not that weird i hate taxidermy!), but it’s time to take their ashes home back where they belong.  This time the house feels like we are all ready to move back home, confirming my plan to sell the place; anyone want a pretty well-loved Spanish Villa?! We’ve had some bloody good laughs here, a LOT of Cava, Chorizo & crisps (CCC as it is known in my world – Insurance peeps listen & learn), lots of love, laughter and fond memories (mainly when drinking & eating CCC).
Of course we have also had some of the worst times here, but this time the bad stuff seem to pale into another world & my tiny blonde brain can only focus on the fun ones – and my god were they fun!
We were so blessed to have met so many wonderful people here over the years who now are always looking out for me. As always I’ve had a lovely few days & I have been totally spoilt, but as much as I love them its time.
I’m ready.  With valuables wrapped, ashes checked in – apparently then they don’t need to be drug tested (Mum liked a vodka, but never that!). I am flying BA business as they only deserve the best.  Its time to say Adios to Spain, & welcome home to Hertford. Oh, & French air control thanks for delaying me, but BA will not be beaten!!
NB- BA-DO NOT LOSE, THROW OR DROP MY PARENTS!! (Its got an only fools & horses sketch written all over it….)
Well we made it home. BA were amazeballs as always, and I can’t thank them enough for their kindness. Especially Michael Clarke the steward (same name as my Dad, you couldn’t make it up!) who upon my sobbing at him announcing his name sat with me, chatted & plied me with champagne, a lovely South african Pinotage, tea & sympathy whilst making me laugh with stories of passengers trying badly to enter the mile high club-absolute filth, but brilliant.
I trotted off home, driven home by my magnificent cabbie Chris still chuckling, back to new beginnings in my sanctuary i call home. Tears, music, champagne & laughter is there any better therapy??
I walk through my front door, sigh with relief, but now the dilemma is-where do i put them? Cant be visible, im not that strange,  no offence but there are certain things I don’t want them to see!! I spent a good hour moving them around, chatting away, but I celebrate with a cup of tea & toast, then off to bed knowing they are home.  Funnily enough its the best nights sleep ive had since Mum died.
Wednesday Wimbledon – HAPPY STUFF!! Thank god hey! Stick with me…
I’m up at the crack of dawn like an excited child on Xmas day. I have Centre Court tickets for Wimbledon due to my totes amazeballs job.
I’m blessed to have a great career, yes its hard work & high pressure, but i genuinely love my job. For those who do not know, I work in the City in the world of Insurance, I know some of you think we are all mean evil people, but I beg to differ.
We maybe guilty of being hard & getting the job done, but I have met some of the most genuine, kind & warm people in my career & some I consider close friends-but after nearly 20 years in this environment I think that’s pretty special.
So its off to Centre Court with two of those such friends. Ladies, let’s have some fun….
Wimbledon really is a magical place. It looks beautiful in the sunshine, and is everything I love. It is so English, so polite, smart & friendly. A lesson to be had there….
After a stunning 3 course lunch with champagne & rose, its off to Centre Court. We take our seats, and what fabulous ones they were right behind the Royal Box where Camilla & the Duke of Kent were sitting. Unfortunately so is Ken Livingstone, but you can’t have it all.
After watching the hottie that is a Dimitrov (good rear view) we stop for afternoon tea-one of the finest I’ve had.
Then its the biggie, no not Boris Becker (B you need to take up some form of sport not just doing rude things in broom cupboards), but Novak Djokovic vs Radek Stephanek. What a game. What a character Radek is. Drama, amazing tennis, sighs & gasps, tantrums and joy, but the main man Novak won. Centre Court is the most amazing venue and it has been one day I will not forget. Thank you to all who joined me, it was just the fabulous day I needed.
So Thursday has been my first true day at home.   Sun is shining early and I am off to the dentist for a clean up. It’s a bit of an effort as an hour with my mouth open- NO COMMENTS, but I managed……
Now where do the hours go? The day flew by.  I spent a lovely few of them with one of my closest friends who just makes me feel like I can be myself-no pretending, no need to smile, I can say it like it is which is invaluable to me. Added bonus is her gorgeous little lad who melts my heart every time I see him.
But the best and most striking thing about today was time. Time to walk into town for a coffee. Time to cook a nice meal. Time to moisturise properly (ladies you understand), Time to breath.
If this is how my days are going to be, it will be so much fun. Fandabidoze.
See you next week!!

So here we go….

So here we are. D day. Time to hand back the computer, finish my expenses, see some friends, and then 4 months of me time. Meternity as I am calling it.
I know everyone thinks ‘Lucky Al’. But this isnt a holiday. Its time to draw a deep breath, pull out a blank sheet of paper, & rebuild life from almost scratch.

Why? Well, i am 39 years of age, an orphan, single & I have not been lucky enough to have children yet.
I have a fantastic set of friends, and an amazeballs career. So its not all doom and gloom.
But im absolutely bloody terrified of whats going to happen over the next 4 months. I have to face up to a few things-losing my parents, the two most precious people in my life who made me everything I am. I also have to take a good look at me and face a few home truths, never easy, & as you know I can be quite stubborn…

So I hope you can all join me through this blog, laugh & cry with me & at me, but where its going to end up who flippin well knows. Lets find out!! Now wheres my passport…..