The Big Birthday has passed amidst great celebrations that lasted over a month! Guess what – I feel so lucky still and mysteriously the same person inside as I did at 69! Maybe a bit wiser!!
Food played a huge part as I dined in “different countries” from Spain, France, Mexico, America as well as Britain. Cuisine I mean of course. I’ve eaten fish, tapas, burritos, vegetarian, pizza, pasta and delicious deserts. I have tasted some wonderful wines, cocktails and gins. Now back to reality, lose extra weight and think about the next decade.
Moving on is necessary for many reasons. One year on from my breast cancer I had my first check up and all seems well thank goodness. I have had time to reflect on the events of last year helped by a week house sitting in Bristol, which remains one of my favourite cities. Peter stayed at home so I had lots of time to think and work out what next. I made a list of priorities which I hope to tick off as I put them into practice. Number one is to use what time I have left (who knows what time any of has?) to live my life to the full but in ways that may not seem to be achieving all the time. Small things like walking, seeing friends, yoga, my choir and my family are valuable experiences in my tapestry that I weave and expand daily. Some of you might wonder why I talk about these as achievements but it is easy to take things for granted so I plan to improve therefore achieve. I realise I was in danger of being in a rut. Fatigue is a lasting side effect of radiotherapy and it has become easier at times to say to myself I feel so tired I can’t be bothered but when I try I always feel better – small steps maybe but good. Not great achievements but an important lesson. Learn to value what one has particularly oneself.
So in Bristol I did some things I have wanted to do for a while. I took a trip around the Docks in the sunshine and viewed the city from a different angle. The Matthew replica of John Cabot’s ship that sailed the Atlantic in the 15th century and “discovered” Newfoundland, now part of Canada, was especially interesting from water level. The Docks, many converted to museums, galleries, cafes and apartments echo with the bustling commercial wealth the city. Now technology rules but a sense of community was essential for daily life and is part of the area just different. The SS Great Britain, one of Brunel’s great developments, is now a museum but it was huge when viewed from water level. An interesting commentary was provided by a young man in charge of the boat which brought past events and people to life. One thing that was pleasing about the trip was the number of different nationalities just in a short hour who shared the experience with me. Despite some of the awful events over past weeks we all enjoyed being together sharing a good time. I revisited Bristol Gallery to see a few of my favourite paintings, also the Red Lodge parts of which are Tudor with a replica knot garden. I walked back through the city streets, multicultural, busy, varied and interesting. A fascinating cityscape.
One guilty secret of my time: I “binge read” a series of crime books by Peter May known as the Enzo Files, 6 books! Home now I look forward to the challenges ahead.