Jiving on Regardless

{May 31, 2007}   1 sleep to go!!!!!!!!

So, my count down is nearly to its end and I have just one more restless nights sleep to endure before I can submit to my excitement and embark on my weekend of dance and lots of fun!

As predicted my excitement is currently at new heights and I am feeling knackered and ill as a result – I am such a child 🙂 Last night I woke up frequently, each time thinking about something to do with the weekend. The best one, I feel, was waking up in a cold sweat because it had crossed my mind that I ought to have some mint imperials – mint imperials! I ask you, what is my brain on?  Of all the things it could be concerned about   it chooses to worry about bloody mint imperials – I am fast concluding that I have issues!

To highlight the ridiculousness of this mid night anxiety attack even more, I actually went into town this morning and purchased a bag of said mint imperials. I have never bought a bag of mint imperials in my life so at least it was a first! I now have more mint imperials than I could possibly eat (particularly as mints don’t really agree with me) so I shall be the mint master over the weekend and be handing the damn things out to all and sundry.  I am already well known in some circles for my stash of jelly babies so now I can add mint imperials to my fast growing reputation as ‘the one with the sweets’!

Apart from packing my mints I have also been packing everything else.  I was quite impressed with the fact that I have managed to pack just one large sports bag but then I looked at the fact that I also had five separate dresses on hangers (save me creasing them), four bags of food and booze (there’s a supermarket there but it pays to be prepared) and my additional dance bag, which is in fact a rather large sports bag in itself, absolutely essential for the three pairs of dance shoes, numerous pairs of foot socks and enough deodorant and perfume to sweetly fragrance an army, oh, and of course my growing stash of sweets – I am ready!

My chariot is collecting me at 11.00am.  This is somewhat early but my Brother in Law/Chauffeur doesn’t like to be in his house after 9am, he has three boys under 5 and a heavily pregnant wife, and so to escape the chaos, much to my sisters chagrin, he is insisting he collect me early and we stop on the way for a long lunch.  On the basis that my excitement will be at peak levels come tomorrow morning and I too will be itching to go, I had know problem agreeing to this.

So, I shall now get some lunch and perhaps indulge in some quiet meditation to ease my anxiety, relax my mind and body and quiet my spirit.  Yeah right! More like I am about to unpack everything I have packed, pack it again, play with the kids and then un pack and pack again 🙂

Mmmmmmm, the word neurotic springs to mind.

Till Tuesday….


{May 30, 2007}   2 sleeps to go!

2 sleeps to go! Last night I went dancing as usual and had a fantastic night, a great precursor to Southport on Friday.  It’s funny how some weeks can be mind blowingly good and other weeks can be crap. This week the music was brilliant and my regular dance partners who are just ace were all there (four of them).  Two of the dancers particularly I could dance all night with given half a chance but as per social dancing etiquette we don’t.  I tend to dance two dances in a row with each and dance with them every 4th/5th song, which is definitely hogging but when you get a buzz from dancing together and you know you can guarantee a good dance to an excellent track it is hard to resist. Last night there were over 200 people there and the place was heaving like I have never seen it before.  Me and one of my favourite partners and another favourite with another lady decided that we couldn’t face going up and down the five very long lines for the intermediate routine so we stayed as fixed partners.   I have never done this before as it is important to dance with lots of people, especially when just starting out, but last night it felt sensible.  It was great actually, I am starting to realise the benefits of having a dance partner.  The routine we did was the hardest I have done at Ceroc yet and in my opinion is not easily practised with any dancer as you need to have a reciprocal rhythm to get it right.  For this reason it worked really well, especially as the guy I dance with is always up for practising new moves so it means I get to learn it comfortably and well.

One of the problems I have found recently is that I attend workshops and learn new moves i.e recently I learnt a Tango routine, but am then never given the opportunity to use it again as it is pot luck as to whether I get to dance with someone who knows Tango (or whatever).  Even the guys who attend the workshops with me seem reluctant to then give the moves a go when out dancing.  I have decided that such workshops are a waste of money for me right now until my husband is good enough to do them too as then I shall be able to practise and use them regularly.  Fortunately my other half is doing very, very well with dancing so I am sure it won’t be long until we’re pulling out a good Tango on the floor 🙂

Anyone reading this who doesn’t Modern Jive really ought to give it a go.  There are local classes in most towns so no excuse.  I have only ever found classes welcoming and very good to beginners – go on, be brave.
I think last night was so busy because a lot of people were out for a pre Southport warm up.  There seem to be lots of people going from this area.  I know of 40 going from my Sunday night class and at least the same again are going from my Ceroc  group.  Although I intend to make the most of being in the company of dancers from all over the country and thus experiencing new levels of dance it is also good to know that some of my regular favourites are going to be there to have a giggle with.

My new dance shoes turned up this morning which is a huge relief (my toes came through my others on Sunday).  I have two pairs which I wore last night but they are not black so I needed a new pair.  I ordered them yesterday and they arrived today which is excellent – how did we manage before the Internet?  The only prob is they are not worn in which could be a problem at Southport, the last place I want to suffer with blisters.  I am now wearing them around the house to help them give a bit as the  leather is dead stiff – I look a right state in a bright red tracksuit (having a lazy, stay in doors day) and my heels!

I think I have waffled on enough about dancing today – still on a rush from last night 🙂

Nothing else to report. Feeling good, feeling excited and ready for the challenges of this weekend – bring it on.

{May 29, 2007}   3 Sleeps to go!

Despite the continuous rain, this weekend hasn’t been a complete wash out, it has actually been very nice.  Sunday we just pottered round the house doing stuff which should have been done ages ago so it was a very satisfying day – I like ‘doing’! Sunday evening we went dancing.  I had been really looking forward to it because I hadn’t danced all weekend but it was a bit of a disappointment. There weren’t that many people there and my stomach decided to be a pain.  By 10’o’clock I couldn’t dance anymore.  I hope to God that this doesn’t happen during Southport.  I think I will be okay as I think it was down to having had a large Sunday dinner with my in-laws earlier that day. I shall definitely have to eat little and often at Southport to keep myself ticking over okay.

Talking of Southport, only three sleeps to go! I am so excited although this is mixed with a little apprehension as I don’t really know what to expect and I am nervous that my UC will play me up.  Everything is generally good in that department but it still isn’t ‘normal’, not that I truly remember what ‘normal’ is.  It is still uncomfortable at times and when I have to go I have to go and I get stuck for a longer than ‘normal’ people  because it is still painful and uncomfortable, however this is far less frequent than it has ever been so I am not complaining.  I am just slightly nervous about sharing a chalet with three strangers who may wonder why I spend so much time in the bathroom at times! However, I am determined to go out of my comfort zone and deal with this. At the end of the day, they aren’t going to ask me or comment on it and even if they do I shall just have to explain what I can.  I sometimes wonder why it is such a big deal but I know why really, it is all about social niceties and they are hard to escape no matter how open minded and accepting we believe ourselves and others to be.

Anyway, moving on – yesterday my sister and her clan came over and I managed to persuade my brother-in-law to come to Southport. This is all really weird as my BIL and I don’t normally get on too well, however a few months ago I persuaded him that Modern Jive was for him and he started lessons.  He now absolutely loves it and having something in common seems to have eased the tension between us.  Anyhow, it is a very brave move for me to consider spending a weekend with him although I doubt I shall see him that much.  One bonus is that he is now driving me up there and he has a flash BMW with every upgrade going – i’m gonna ride in style, which is a huge bonus on a four hour journey. It also means that I don’t have to worry about the amount I pack  – I can now definitely get those 10 dresses and six pairs of shoes in with no worries 😉

All in all it is very exciting to be heading away alone for a weekend.  It is not something I have done since a teenager! This is probably very sad but I am especially excited as Joseph and Sadie are doing some teaching there.  I watched them on a TV programme about two years ago and watching them made me desperately, desperately want to dance.  At the time I was pregnant and then became too ill to contemplate dancing but it feels destined that I now have a chance to take a couple of classes with them – very cool!

My BIL has also recently taken up photography and is exceptionally good at people shots and candid moments.  He took some amazing photographs of my boys and me at a recent family party.  I am so un-photogenic that I avoid cameras like the plague but he actually took some really nice ones although as he pointed out I was very sunglasses and a hat! 🙂

Anyway, he has been taking some modeling shots of women and wants to experiment photographing people who are not comfortable in front of the camera so I have agreed to give it ago. I shall be very nervous about it but also intrigued as to whether he can take good photos of me.  I am going to have a shoot done in a couple of weeks – bikini shots too which is gonna definitely take a few glasses of wine and a lot of encouragement.  However, I am all for pushing out of my comfort zone at the moment so this is just yet another little challenge for me.

This week is half term so I am writing this whilst my baby boy is in bed and my older boy is indulging in some marathon TV watching.  I felt guilty about allowing him to stick his head in the TV all morning for ooooooooh, at least five seconds and then I thought ‘Bonus, I can get on without him whining in my ear all morning’ – such a good Mom!

We are going to my best mates today where her two can amuse my two and I can indulge in some serious chat. It’s ages since I have seen her so lots to catch up on. I reckon I might raid her wardrobe for some more stuff for this weekend.  Saying that she is nearly 6ft and I am a weany 5ft4 so this is often a disappointing exercise.

Anyhow, I had better encourage my son away from the TV, out of his PJ’s and into some clothes – here will ensue our regular morning argument – he will want to wear one of his football tops (Ireland, Liverpool, England or Brazil), I will beg and plead with him to please, please not wear a football top AGAIN (especially when I have recently replenished his wardrobe with some lovely, stylish stuff) and he will whinge, whine and beg me to let him wear one.  Me being the weak mother that I am will give in and allow him to go out looking less than the stylish child he could look – however, he still looks damn good ’cause he is, afterall, my son 🙂

{May 26, 2007}   Learning

Things I have learnt today:

  • A pair of exfoliating gloves (£2.50 from Boots) are excellent a) to keep your skin  smooth and b) to prepare skin for fake tan – a new discovery for me in itself.  And there you were expecting something profound 😉
  • Fake tan for blondes – L’oreals Shimmer for legs is excellent and easy to use and Nivea daily tanning moisturiser is brilliant to take away that pasty porcelain look without looking like you have been tango’d. However, when you shave your legs it leaves them streaky  so important to exfoliate afterwards and start again. A slight aside, why do people apply fake tan that is then all streaky and then dare to venture out in public? The number of streaky legs and feet I saw in town today was shocking – they’d be better off pale. (Miaowww)
  • The head of a school is a Principal not a Principle.  Okay, I already knew this but had my worst blonde moment in a while yesterday.  There I am filling out an application form to be a teaching assistant and I go and address it to the ‘Principle’.  I didn’t even register this stupid mistake until this afternoon when I am driving through Cambridge and see a sign next to a house saying “Principals House”.  The realisation hit and I feel mortified. I now have to tell my Mum, who works at the school, to tell her boss ‘the Principal’ that I do know how to spell really.  I am mortified.  Even more so because my husband was quite taken aback that for the first time ever I hadn’t asked him to read through the app – that’ll teach me 🙂
  • Park and ride is excellent – saves loads of time, is cheaper than paying in town parking and is even feasible with a double pushchair.  I am becoming very environmentally friendly so this also eases my conscience about adding to congestion, using fuel blah, blah, blah
  • I ought to put some effort into making my blog look more interesting, i.e photos and the like. My mate has a lovely blog with lots of photos which always make me smile.
  • Okay, I did learn something profound today – ready? – A family is the most important thing in the world and must always be looked after, nurtured, loved and fought for. They will always be worth it.

So, there you have it – that’s me learned out 🙂 Till tomorrow…

{May 25, 2007}   Anticipating June

Time has been short this week, hence no regular posts. I seem to have been dashing here, there and everywhere and from now until next weekend it is even worse.

Next week is half term so I have two children to entertain all day.  Mind you, with it being a bank holiday I am looking forward to some quality time for the four of us. We were hoping to head to the beach but supposedly the weather is now going to be a bit pants so I don’t think that will be happening – I have now developed a firm love of the beach since our trip to Newquay.

Have only been dancing once this week, on Tuesday, but it was great.  I am now feeling the very desperate need to dance again but can’t until Sunday.  It is weird as I find that if I don’t dance for a few days I start climbing the walls with pent up energy and it makes me quite moody. I guess it is the lack of adrenaline.  I know it is quite common for people that exercise regularly but this is all a very new experience and I am not used to it.  It’s kind of nice but frustrating.

7 more days ’till Southport.  I am actually pretty much bouncing off the walls with excitement already.  I am like a child. I can guarantee that come next Friday I will have exhausted myself with excitement and then be incapable of putting the hours of dancing in. I am really trying to retain some calm so that I don’t do that. When I was a kid and I got an invite to a child’s birthday party I used to get so excited before I got there that by the time I got there I had some party food and promptly threw it up.  Absolutely disgusting. The weird thing is that this happened every time and they still invited me year on year 🙂

I am slightly better as an adult – I don’t throw up!

Plans are afoot and I have various emails bouncing back and forth clarify arrangements and generally full of excitement. As it is my first time I can’t get over the fact that I will be able to dance as much as I damn well please – bloody fantastic!

Fortunately the UC is good at the minute (although my excitement may well set it off). I am sharing a chalet with four women I don’t know, which is very brave of me but I am sure it will be fine. I don’t intend to be there a lot.  ( a slight aside  whilst on the UC topic, for anyone interested – supposedly their is a manufacturing issue with 100mg Neoral capsules. How they can have a problem providing a drug which if people are on it it is dangerous to miss a dose I have no idea.  I have got into the habit of getting my repeats early but it isn’t always possible).

Had a productive week this week. Yesterday I spent the day completing a job application form.  I have no idea what my chances are of getting it are but I really hope to.  Regardless I am on the look out for opportunities now.  It is a daunting change but I am definitely okay to go back to work and definitely need the stimulation (and money!).  The job I have applied for is completely different to anything I have done in the past but is definitely something that interests me a lot.  Fingers crossed I get an interview.

I have also been a busy bee planning mine/our social life.  I have set up reciprocal babysitting agreements with a couple of mates. I can’t believe I have never done this before.  Actually, thinking about it I can believe it as before I never had the energy to go out.  However, it is a great thing to do and should work out really well.  Basically I babysit for a friend one night and in return they babysit for me.  I have agreed once a month with each which means that I can dance regularly without having to worry about finding a sitter and covering the cost.  This month it is really handy as we have a rammed month full of social events.  It is my 31st birthday on June 10th and my husbands 33rd on June 8th so June is always a busy one with various things to celebrate.

All  in all I am heading into a busy but fun month – I love June!

{May 21, 2007}   The pitfalls of Remission

Last week was a bit of a rough one hence I haven’t been blogging.  I haven’t even danced for nearly a week.  Mainly for reasons that I am not going to go into too much detail about on here but in a nutshell my husband and I are having problems and working very, very hard to overcome them.  I think we will get there with some effort and time although we have cut it fine recently. However, we have ten years behind us so we are not willing to throw the towel in despite the slog we are part of at the moment. It sucks that this is happening to us though.

My illness has a lot to answer for.  You don’t realise how much chronic illness takes away from you until things get to a critical point, such as in relationships.  I am finding that in some ways the hardest part is being in remission.  This is the longest period of remission I have ever had and being re-energised and full of life is putting pressure on all sorts of areas of my life.

Everyone, including my husband and family had got used to me being ill.  Used to me looking rough, over weight and having barely enough energy to get down the stairs.  They have got used to me never going out, planning things and then cancelling, being in and out of hospital, helping me with the children, sheltering me from stuff going on around them as ‘she has enough to cope with’, fussing around me in an effort to make me better, or help me cope better. My friends have got used to me speaking to them rarely and visiting them even less.  All in all people are shocked and confused to see me as I am now.  They forgot me.

That’s how I feel.  I feel like everyone forgot me, who I really am and I became my colitis.  Prior to my diagnosis I always took care of my appearance.  I loved new clothes and accessorising.  I always had manicured nails, my hair was always well looked after, I was always a slim size eight/ten.  I looked normal, and I now realise, I looked good. I also had bags of confidence, I was fun,silly, a little bit wild in unexpected ways.  I loved to shock people and do the unexpected , in a harmless way. I read loads, watched loads of movies, knew lots about music, was continuously on the go doing, doing, doing. I had a fantastic career having slogged my way up as I hadn’t been to University.  All in all, I was full of life, vitality, self assured and fun.  I was well, and I was alive and living.

Over a period of years I became too ill to do anything.  I hadn’t the energy to take care of my appearance quite as I had done. I could rarely venture out to the hairdressers, although I often tried.  I couldn’t work, and I definitely stopped having fun.  I piled on the weight because of the steroids and my face changed to be unrecognisable as me because of the ‘moon face’ effect and amongst all of this I also became a Mum which has it’s own pressures and obstacles to deal with. I stopped being me.

What is so hard right now is that I never forgot me.  I was always shocked when I looked in a mirror and this stranger stared me in the face.  I still held all the same wants, needs and desires but just couldn’t carry them out.  I was still there, screaming to be let out but the damned illness wouldn’t let me until now.

Now I am back, and I am, most definitely – back. People around me, including my husband are finding it difficult.  I completely understand why.  However, my additional problem right now is that although I am back and I intend to be for a while the fact is that Ulcerative Colitis is chronic, permanent, and will most definitely hit me again at some point.  Non of us know what the future holds but I am aware of this more than the average healthy person and I know that at any time, what I have now in terms of my health and energy and vitality could be taken away from me within days and could be gone for a long time.

I haven’t got time to dwell on this.

That doesn’t mean I have become hedonistic and purely living in the moment.  I just want to live life like other people do.  Live it as though I haven’t got a shadow over me.  Live it as I am right this minute:  A young, relatively healthy, energetic, fun women.  A Mum of two  young beautiful boys and hopefully a wife in a happy relationship, my whole life spanning out in front of me with good things to look forward to.

Is that too much to ask?

Sometimes, I just wish life and its shit would let me be.

Okay, so there you have it, my little whimper of self pity.  It so annoys me thinking like this but I figured that I am probably not alone and maybe, perhaps if someone else is reading this in a similar position they will get the help from me which right now I don’t have from anyone.  As they say, you are never alone – even if it feels like it at times. I try very hard not to do self pity but I am beginning to realise that perhaps it is time to feel it in order to let it go.

Better go and switch my happy switch back on as boys to play with and keep entertained for the afternoon – thank God for kids, they really do keep me going.

{May 14, 2007}   Humiliation

Now back from holiday and back into the daily grind of normal life 😦

It is actually great to be back and see the kids as I had missed them so much but at the same time going back into the whole childcare routine isn’t quite as nice as being on holidays 🙂

The second part of my holiday was taken up less by surfing and more by dancing. By Wednesday my body had completely given up on me from the waist up.  I could barely move my arms to the point where my husband was having to help me with my coat (it is amazing what muscles you use to just put a coat on – enitrely unnoticeable normally)  and am certain I was on the boundary of suffering from hypothermia – I have never been so cold in all my life! As a reaction to the stress I have put my body under in terms of physical activity recently I think my UC is flaring up again but more about that later.

Having given up on surfing I concentrated on dragging my husband out dancing.  Bless him, he completely threw himself into this despite surfing all day without me – he must have been so tired.  However, we had a great time surfing with the Newquay Jive lot.  They were good fun and very welcoming.

This weekend was awesome in terms of dance.  We came back from hols on Saturday and headed out straight to a freestyle Mariachi night.  A great dancer, CJ, delivered a fantastic set of music which I have not heard in a dance venue before. We were dancing to tracks including Guns n Roses and Bon Jovi! Every piece of music was so danceable but in a much more expressive and musical way than other sets.  I completely enjoyed it, in fact I don’t think I missed a dance, until the near the end – my UC story comes in here – not for the squeamish. In addition there were some amazing dances going on on the floor, some really inspirational stuff bought on by the music – great to watch.

I have been symptomatic again for a few days, as mentioned before probably down to extreme physical tiredness and cold! It’s been okay though, not very painful and I have just got on with it.  On Saturday night I had stomach ache all night but was just determined to enjoy myself and get on with it.  At about 1am I started a dance and within a couple of minutes knew I didn’t have much time to get to the loo (nice!). As sods law would have it the track we were dancing to was a Meatloaf track (can’t remember which one as my mind was elsewhere at the time) and it went on, and on, and on, and on.  I couldn’t just dash off the dance-floor as it would have looked really odd.  It is amazing how long you can hold things if you really, really have to 🙂

Anyway, I promptly removed myself from hold and dashed to the nearest loo which was right outside the venue door – a disabled single loo.  Within a couple of minutes I could hear people queuing outside so just knew I had to get out of there or suffer the embarrassment of being in the loo for a long, long, long time!. I knew I couldn’t move very easily and that I needed to find another loo. Knowing there were ladies loos downstairs I managed to get up and out of there (deep breaths through the pain, you know how it is).  I get downstairs only to be told by the doddery old caretaker that the toilets are locked.  I explained that there was a queue upstairs and that he had to open them.  I knew I couldn’t go back upstairs a) because it would have been humiliating to stand needing the loo again with people who had just seen me leave and b) because I didn’t actually have the time to queue. So off the old fella goes at the pace of a snail to get he keys.  It was the longest five minutes.  I finally hear keys jangling when I have spent the past five minutes wondering where the hell I go if he doesn’t get his arse down those stairs quickly as it is 1am and nowhere else is open; my husband and stuff are in the dance floor and if I suffer the humiliation of incontinence how the hell do I get him to come out – nightmare.  Anyway, the doddery old fella finally gets downstairs only to take far too long trying to establish which key on the ring of many was the correct one.  He then couldn’t get the key in the lock.  I am a passive person but at this point I wanted to snatch the damn keys and knock him out of the way. Finally after what seems an eternity I get myself to the loo.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, however you might view these things, I a just bleeding – profusely, it has to be said but it meant that I didn’t need to spend ages on the loo (with the old bloke waiting to lock up again) and I could just sort myself out, get my husband out of the hall and get home.  Needless to say my night ended quite abruptly but only 20 minutes before everyone elses so it wasn’t too bad.

My UC has been ok since so I am sure it was just a reaction to overdoing it.  At the time it was very stressful but now  I just put it down to one of those comedic toilet moments me and other UC sufferers find ourselves in.

I did still venture out dancing last night and had a fantastic night as ever.  Every one at my dance class dances so well, even the new people, including my husband, who seem to pick it up so quickly.  I had some fantastic dances again including some very funny ones.

Another embarrassing moment although not UC related: I was dancing with a guy I dance with a lot.  He is great fun and we experiment with lots of silly moves.  All That Jazz by Liza Minnelli came on and we just had to camp it up and be silly. Half way through a ridiculous number of spins a glob of snot just flew out of my nose bypassing his face by an inch!  Seriously – can you imagine the humiliation?  Fortunately he is a good laugh and we just cracked up and struggled to dance afterwards for our laughing.  I should have been mortified and am going red writing this but it was just one of those unfortunate body moments that I had no control over.  Had I known I had a snotty nose I would have blown it 🙂 It will be interesting to see if dances with me again next week 🙂

All in all a weekend of humiliation but I am steadily getting used to this and managing to take it with good humour 🙂

Looking forward to this week.  I am having lunch with one of my bestest mates tomorrow.  I haven’t seem him for two years but we talk all the time on the phone and email.  He is fantastic and is bound to lift my somewhat ailing spirits. In addition I have my counselling app and reflexology app so this week is all about me – how lovely!

Two more weekends and then Southport – I so can’t wait – that is my next focus.

{May 8, 2007}   Holidays

I am now sat in Newquay Library – I am weirdly excited at the fact that I am bothering to write my blog whilst on holiday.  I have a feeling that this is an incredibly sad thing to do but I don’t care – lovin’ it!

So, we came down on Saturday and it took us eight hours.  Now most people would hate an eight hour car journey (well, we spent about two hours in various places throughout the journey) but I loved it.  It was brilliant to have so much time to just sit, think, listen to music and chat to my husband.  It was real ‘get your head together’ time, time I haven’t had since before the kids were born so it was much appreciated.

On the way down it dawned on me that it would be brilliant to take the kind of holiday where you jump in the car and then stop wherever you fancy whilst driving to destination unknown.  This thought was triggered by a Pick Your Own Strawberry Farm.  Yep, you heard right, my excitement and search for adventure was based on PYO.  Doesn’t that just show the extent of excitement I have had since being diagnosed! Anyway, I was promptly redeemed as within 30 seconds of me making this profound statement to my husband I took the car over the brow of a hill to be confronted by the awesome sight of Stonehenge. This completely bowled me over (as you can imagine if PYO was so exciting to me!).  I had no idea that we would be passing this having never driven to Newquay before and I have always wanted to see it.  I am fascinated by Paganism so Stonehenge has always been on my list of must sees. Needless to say we stopped and indulged my need to explore. It’s really quite incredible to see it up close.  My husband reckons I came over all spiritual but it’s hard not to.

Anyway, that was the pinacle of our journey down which was punctuated by many other exciting moments but only for me – it doesn’t take much 🙂

On sunday we commenced our week of surf school.  The weather wasn’t too bad and it started off well.  By the middle of the second session I was excited to be finally standing on the board and surfing (well, you know, kinda surfing!).  The only problem was it was completely exhausting and by the end of the day FREEZING. I have never ever been so cold in all my life, but I loved it and was looking forward to more the next day.

The next day I woke up and seriously could barely move.  My God, you have no idea how fit and strong these surfers are. It is seriously hard work on your upper body and my upper body felt like it had been battered.  However, I trundled down to the beach on a cold, wet Monday morning and with my motivation at about a 2 started the lesson.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, as I am now viewing it) I damaged my knee on the first day.  This wasn’t apparent until the next morning when I tried to ‘pop up’ and it hurt like hell.  My arms and shoulders hurt like hell too but I could tell that was just pathetic muscle strain from being weedy.  My knee felt different and what shot through my mind most was “I don’t want to bugger my knee as I have to dance this weekend” – priorities you know?!  So, I tried but failed to carry on attempting to surf and quit the lesson half way through. I had yesterday afternoon off and have had today off.  Mind you, regardless of a knee injury I would never, ever have managed to do all of the sessions since as it is so exhausting.  still, I  have four more days in which to refine my newfound surfing skills so I should make it back for more.

It is so cold that I am beginning to wonder what possessed us to try this in Newquay and not somewhere hot.  It seemed logical at the time but the kids are fine and I am now dreaming of surfing somewhere where I don’t have to freeze to near death in order to experience it.

However, despite the cold being on holiday is amazing.  I have not felt so chilled out for years and the days seem soooooooo long without the kids, it is brilliant.  I have five more days left and it feels like an eternity in front of me.  I definitely needed this time. It has been great to have time to think and talk properly about the future and how to focus my time and energy now I am in remission.

When I really think about the fact that I am sat in Newquay and have already spent 6 hours surfing I can’t believe it.  A year ago I honestly wondered if I would ever leave the house to do so much as a supermarket trip again.  To have spent a whole day at the beach with no UC issues is incredible and makes me feel great. I also feel so proud that I have managed to get my fitness to a level where I can even attempt this.  It is killing me, it has to be said but 7 months ago I couldn’t even walk down the stairs let alone stand and balance on a surf board – life is pretty cool right now 🙂

I feel quite reborn and am now looking forward to the rest of my holiday and becoming the surf babe I have always been inside (yeah right!).  Dancing on Thursday night which will be brilliant as despite enjoying my hol I am missing dancing desperately, I am kind of counting the days until Saturday.

Anyway, my time is up on the computer so I have to end this now. I love blogging, it is great to write stuff down and have something to refer back to.  It allows me to see how far I have come in such a short time.

Off to the pub…………….

 Can’t believe I just said that, let alone am going to do it – I feel all young and carefree again.  I am definitely going to enjoy this short lived week.

{May 4, 2007}   Getting it right

I had nothing to write yesterday and I didn’t have anything to write about today until a minute ago.

On logging on to check my blog I re-read the first paragraph of my last blog entry and realised that I had written ‘write’ instead of ‘right’ (now changed!).  I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to writing although it has to be said I am more slack when blogging.  However, I was feeling a bit mortified that I had made such a dense mistake.  Of all the things in the world I could be concerned with right now this minor error has put me in more of a tizz than anything.  So, I have a conversation with my husband about it telling him off for not telling me the mistake was there.  He then points out that it doesn’t really matter and that nobody really cares and that ultimately everyone makes such mistakes at times.  Okay, so I have over reacted- about a spelling mistake – on a blog – that doesn’t have a huge audience anyway – that I only really write for one person – me – Hmmmmmm, clearly I have stumbled on another issue that if I had time and energy I might want to sort out but as no one else really cares anyway I guess there is not much point!

Apart from whittling about spelling mistakes I have had a very productive day so far.  This morning was spent in a whirl of school runs, shopping and doing my regular blood tests.  Every other week I have to go for my blood tests which include a Cyclosporin level.  In order to have an accurate cyclosporin level it is important not to take your medication that morning until after the test.  Of course, taking my medication in the morning is all part of my morning routine and it would appear that my brain has hell of a time getting itself around the idea that I shouldn’t take them at 8am every other Friday morning.  As a result I always do take them and then get a bollocking from my consultant for the useless tests.  Yes, I made the mistake yet again this morning.

Apart from that my day is going fairly well.  I have managed to do everything I needed to do and am now going to spend the afternoon packing for my holiday tomorrow, unpacking my Tesco delivery for the in-laws for next week and dropping my children off for the start of their holiday with the grandparents.  I still can’t quite get my head around the fact I shall not see them for a week but am kind of excited about not having to do baths, washes, meal times, school runs, getting them dressed and all of the other things that get fairly mind numbing.

I will miss them though – a lot.

Anyway, important decisions to made like do I really need to take 5 pairs of shoes with me?  Is it imperative that I take the same dress in three colours and will I need more shorts than trousers or more trousers than shorts? – oh, the life of a women going on holiday. All this and I shall be surfing (well, attempting to) for most of the week and probably sleeping for the rest as a result of being far too knackered from it all – there we go, decision made, 3 swimming costumes, a pair of jeans, T-Shirt and a night dress – sorted  (yeah right!).

Off now to empty my wardrobe onto my bed………….

{May 2, 2007}   Empty Drawers

Two things today, drawers (the type you open not the type you wear!) and guitar.

Just had one of my lengthy weekly chats with my Mother. She cracks me up, she is dizzy as but at the same time dead switched on. Over the last few years she has been training to be a counsellor and as a result is even better at analysing stuff than she was previously. We often have lots of interesting chats as between my parents and my seven siblings we have a fair few mental health issues which are always open game for analysis. Today it was my turn. Supposedly it says a lot about me that in my house there are empty drawers! That is right, in my sons room there are empty drawers and there are often empty drawers in other rooms too. Mum thinks that this is just entirely odd and that it says a lot about me and my attitude to life. She couldn’t put into words what this was. I got the feeling she didn’t really want to as whatever the issue is considering she is my mother she is probably the one to blame for it 🙂

Anyway, I have empty drawers. If anyone reading this can enlighten me as to what this means I would be grateful. The obvious theory that springs to mind is an emptiness in my life, which is perhaps, at times true but not so fundamental that it is a major issue.

Anyway, this got me thinking ( I like thinking). I have been on a bit of a mission to make my life more interesting lately and have succeeded, mainly through dancing. The problem with dancing is that it actually costs a lot of money to be as addicted as I am and also a lot of time which with a husband and two young children I just don’t have. Therefore I have been giving more thought as to how I can constructively and interestingly fill my time without much cost.

Guitar. I have thought about it before. I already have an acoustic guitar which will do to start with and I know I could teach myself. I have been taught a fair bit in the past so shall just work from there. I come from a really musical family and for many years during my childhood I played the clarinet which I was actually really good at. The trouble was my Dad got obsessed with my ability and pushed me too far causing me to rebel and give it up as a teenager. This I have always regretted as I did love it. I could go back to it and have tried at various times but actually I don’t find it expressive enough. I would have been better off learning the Sax which I just find mesmerising but my Uncle and Aunty are professional saxophonists and on a level that I would have felt to much pressure to be like – thus I have always been a bit put off.

I have realised that since having the kids I have let music slip from my life. Since dancing I have re-engaged myself with music of all genres and started to indulge my passion again but listening doesn’t take away the need to create. Therefore I reckon it has to be the guitar. It is an instrument I have always loved. I spent much of my teenage years in jamming sessions with guitarists and drummers (I sang – albeit not mind blowingly well unfortunately). It always attracted me and at various times I have had a go. Recently my 21 year old brother has taught himself and he is great and in the last 4 months my 13 year old brother has taught him self bass guitar very impressively, so I reckon I can do it.

Now, time will tell whether I actually get off my arse and start this or not but I don’t normally come up with these ideas without following through. Mmmm, I am already looking forward to entertaining myself with this. I like a good challenge.

First things first though, I have to learn to surf next week. I am getting a tad nervous about this now as beginning to worry that I might actually hate it and then have to spend six days doing it. I hope not. Everyone assures me that it is fun – I hope they are right.

Went out dancing last night and had an amazing time. I am having one of my up weeks as far as dancing is concerned as I am now getting good enough that the better dancers actually approach me for dances rather than me having to chase them round the room or sniff them out from corners! However, I know I am coming up to a bad week cause I am setting myself a learning curve again which always puts me on a mild downer. I am not happy with my spins. They are okay but they are not as good or as controlled as they could be and I am particularly bad on my left foot. This is beginning to really, really bug me so I am on a mission to improve. It doesn’t help that a lot of the men I dance with are brilliant at spinning and put me to shame. So, this is my next challenge, to spin better. I am also still on a mission to improve my posture. It is still not great. Improved but not good enough. However, I have learnt some excellent new moves recently and found local dancers who can help put me through my paces with them in order for me to practise which is great.

Had an amazing dance to a boogie woogie track last night. I love old style jive and would actually like to do more of it. I am seriously thinking about swapping one of my jive nights and going to a Lindy Hop class instead. Sort of think it is too soon to start learning another type of dance but then it isn’t dissimilar to learning the variant interpretations within Modern Jive such as Blues, Tango, Cha Cha etc which I have started to learn.

Well, there we are, my life at the moment. Well, my more interesting side of my life at the moment. As you can tell I am focused on reintroducing fun and ‘me time’ as well as ‘couple time’ with my husband into my life at the moment. This is not to say that I am not having a whale of a time with my kids in my day job as stay at home Mum but that is second nature and hugely routine so I don’t feel the need to write about it at the moment.

Although… talking of my kids in the context of music, my oldest cracked me up this week. We were listening to Chris Moyles on Radio 1 and he played an INXS track. B pipes up from his car seat “I like this rock music Mum it’s wicked!” – I couldn’t believe he knew what type of music it was as it’s not as if we listen to a lot, if any INXS at home. This is an addition to a recent theme of interest with him. The other day I was in the kitchen listening to Jazz FM and he comes in and tells me “this is nice Jazz Mum”. On the train down to London to watch the marathon he sat with his uncle whilst I sat further down the train with my youngest. When I asked him if he had enjoyed the journey (his first memorable trip on a train) he replied “yeah, I have been listening to some ‘awsome’ music on Uncle D’s I-Pod.” Needless to say that this cracked a number of fellow passengers up. You see I have clearly taught him his musical knowledge well (my husband used to freak that I would dance around soothing him to sleep as a newborn to Barbara Streisand – he felt it just wasn’t right! I have eclectic taste!). My boy clearly has an ear for music. Ahhhhh, so proud 🙂

Anyway it is now the incredibly late time of 9pm and my bed is shouting at me very loudly to get in it and go to sleep so I must obey – what the bed says goes! Night.

et cetera