I’ve hardly updated this blog for the last few months – not because I don’t know what to write about, but because what’s been going on hasn’t been my story to write – and the people that I love don’t need to read about their lives through my eyes on these pages. But those same people need distractions and so I’m back, by parental demand.
In a nutshell, I’ve still been buying shoes (including the shiny happy sparkly boots that arrived in a big parcel of happiness yesterday), I’ve still been going to the gym (well, not quite so much as I should have been) and I’m still enjoying a glass of wine or two.
Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits and I have bought bicycles (electric bikes with power assisted pedalling – so that we can race each other uphill), and well, we’re growing middle-aged disgracefully. I bought a sensible-ish folding one, but he went for a mountain bike with suspension, just because he could. His bike looks as cool as all hell but my one is way quicker from a standing start (as we discovered doing a mini grand prix in our local supermarket car park).
I’ve been to summer barbecues, wedding receptions, and have been camping in the Cotswolds. I’ve laughed and cried like no other time in my life and endeavour to be a better person, to let the people I love and who love me, know that they are always in my thoughts.
Life is way too short, but enjoy it in every way you can. Now, I’m off to ride my byocycle, I’m off to ride my bike…
MrShoeThatAlwaysFits was with me on a recent shopping trip to find the perfect pair of zebra print shoes.
He, of course, not understanding that I would never sleep again if I didn’t buy them, balked at the price. I didn’t bat an eye telling him that I would wear them so often that the underlying cost per wear would in fact be pennies. I’ve worn them pretty much constantly since.
The reason they had to be zebra print in the first place was this:
My reward for finally wearing a bikini on a recent trip to Portugal. OBB is still work in progress but a 17 year absence from bikini babe-dom has been eliminated – and if that ‘s not worth some celebratory zebra prints then I don’t know what is !
It’s not the light start and end to the days, the cherry blossom on the trees or the fact that I’m trying to get my feet sandal fit that marks the onset of a new season for me. It’s the itchy eyes, the sneezing and the bulk purchase of the strongest antihistamines that money can buy.
I didn’t even suffer from hay fever well into my twenties; I spent a blissful childhood running through fields, throwing myself into mounds of grass cuttings and picking wild flowers. I’ll be forever grateful for that at least. It was a mild irritation when we lived in Scotland rarely flaring up for more than a few days at a time, but it became debilitating when we moved to the southwest of England. It’s hard to maintain a professional facade when your client starts handing you tissues when your eyes won’t stop running.
It’s easy enough to prevent though, which is just as well or I’d spend my spring and summer time in a barren landscape. I also have trouble with orchids and christmas trees, so whenever I visit my parents I need to bring industrial strength drugs with me.
I wouldn’t change it for the world though. There is no other season that makes me feel as alive as I do in spring – it’s as though I’m awakening from a dark, muted sleep and open my eyes to a sea of colour. We held a ‘yellow’ day in the office last week in support of a local charity and decorated the office with daffodils. Neither we, nor the office, have ever looked brighter or healthier. They call it mellow yellow for a reason.
Post virus and snot-fest OBB (Operation Bikini Bod) is still on track – I’m down another dress size which means that the charity shops are getting an influx of donations, and the credit card is taking a serious hit.
This, of course, makes me very happy indeed. But my work-wear wardrobe is shrinking at an alarming rate. It was already pretty much a capsule wardrobe, and it’s getting more compact and bijoux by the day. I’m so close to my end goal that I could almost strip off and dance around in the itsy bitsy teeny weeny pistol panties bikini that has been my nemesis for a year now.
I’m not body dysmorphic, I did a victory lap around the flat with my t-shirt over my head and arms in the air premier league footballer style when I zipped myself into a fitted UK size 10 shift dress. It was a truly epic moment and has taken me many many cardio miles, pyramids of doom, and body-quivering planking sessions to get this far. The end is nigh – but I still need to shift a few pounds of fat and tone up the peary bits of my pear shaped body.
I look and feel better than I have for years – and I want to keep that up. I’ll soon be moving from my ‘losing’ phase to a maintenance based one. In a way I’ll miss the slow but steady sense of achievement on losing those unwanted inches. I like the way I feel now, I feel healthy. I still have the odd splurge, I don’t deny myself anything major, but I do keep a daily eye on my calorie intake and exercise a minimum of 3 days a week.
I didn’t think that I’d stick with it, it seemed insurmountable in the beginning, but like the hare and the tortoise, slow and steady wins the day.
I’ve been absent without leave from the blogosphere, which means that I’ve been busy. And when I say busy, I mean sleep-deprived busy. As has Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits.
Which is why we were stunned, dazed and confused when our schedules combined within a 2.5 mile radius in London on Monday. We were in the same place at the same time. In the 10 years we’ve lived south of the border, this is unheard of.
I quickly booked a hotel for us in Kensington for Sunday night – this meant that we could get up slowly on Sunday and head through to the big smoke for the day. We could shop, we could enjoy a glass of wine or two, and then we could shop. Between us we bought three pairs of shoes, two for me one for him. This is a normal and healthy ratio for a female:male shoe-off. Although, I haven’t seen my new shoes since then. Hmm, I may be the victim of a hostage situation – he may actually be holding me to the ‘one pair in, one pair out rule’. I don’t remember that discussion over late night gin in a tin.
We did all that and more and headed off our separate ways on Monday morning. My conference was less than a 30 minute tube ride away, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits was a 15 minute drive away so I left for work later than I do every day I’m in the office – a brilliant start to a Monday I find. He finished filming 30 minutes earlier than I did and came to collect me so that we could drive home together. My own windswept and interesting chauffeur – all I had to do was keep a steady supply of coffee and chewing gum flowing on the journey home.
I’m still in a state of shock, and no matter what this week has since thrown at me, I remain well and truly inside my happy bubble.
Thus, our once in a decade day will be remembered as happily as eating warm apple strudel in the restaurant at the top of Grossglockner.
A rather unexpected day in fact – with highs and lows.
a) Mission Dinner Jacket or Die (MDJoD) is complete
b) I had time for a manicure in my lunch hour
c) I successfully completed Day 17 of the Plank Challenge – all 120 painful seconds
d) I didn’t lose my temper at work when I was totally and utterly justified in doing so
a) I was soaked to the skin on the walk home by passing cars after successful completion of MDJoD
b) I’m going to have to come up with a damage limitation strategy for (d) above
On the bizarre front, here’s a photo of some sparkly (borderline stripper shoes) that Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits mum sent me to cheer me up.