I have been back in the UK since Thursday morning and life officially sucks – I now have to cook for myself and I am stuck in the same place with no future of moving on anytime soon! The rain has been vial, the house is flea-d up to the nines, I am overdrawn at the bank (oops!) and had nothing but bills to open when I got home. Back to reality with rather a large bump I say!!!
My 5 days with Juliet and Uncle Ant were pure bliss. It was so lovely to spend quality time with them both. We did nothing exciting but it was just what I wanted. Juliet took me to an amazing Bird of Prey Sanctuary on the edge of Pietermaritzburg on one day, a place that she is very fond of – and I can so see why. The birds are all unable to live in the wild for one reason or another and they are in beautiful, huge cages that are meticulously cleaned. I was most impressed. It was lovely to see some of these amazing birds so close up and really appreciate their beauty. We watched a fabulous display as well and we were SO close to the birds it was unreal. The only place that is similar that I can think of is the Hawk Conservancy place near Andover that we used to go to as children – I don’t remember them being kept in such good condition though. I also went out with Juliet to lunch at her friend Rosalie’s where we had a delicious lunch with some delicious cake that I have the recipe for and am going to try and make – it sounds easy – knowing me I will cock it up however!!! They played bridge and (as old and decrepid as it sounds) I did some cross stitch.
It saddens me that the only family that actually give any appearance of giving a hoot about me live so far away. It just reminded me again that if I ever get married one day (in the VERY distant future)- the guest list is going to be piss easy as I won’t have to bother with family. They didn’t even have the common curtosy to reply to my 30th party would you believe? (I hasten to add that they are all WELL into their 40’s bar one who is 38) so why would I bother inviting them to a wedding??!!! At this rate – I think that the price of not having the others would actually pay for Juliet and Uncle Ant’s tickets!!! (Hmmnn now there IS a thought!!). I felt so comfortable in their company – as one should with family. SO alien a feeling compared to those back in the UK who don’t really bother to take the time to get to know me as a person, something I have found so very hard to deal with over the years and a major factor of why I utterly DETEST Christmas and why I am a year or two off buggering off on my own for the whole period to a country that does not ‘do’ it. It’s why time with them is SO precious, to remind me of what relatives are actually like (apart from M,D & H of course) and get my ‘fill’ of it before heading back to the dry desert of family back in the UK.
From Juliet and Uncle Ant I moved on to see Lauren which was just wonderful. Juliet sweetly dropped me off at Knowles Spa in Pinetown where La picked me up and we headed up to the Northern Drakensburg 15 km from Clarens in the Free State not far from the boarder with Lesotho. I swear we both had a case of the verbals the entire journey up which was great. Made me realise even more just how much I ruddy miss her. Why is it that 2 of my closest friends (Ile in Romania) live so god damned far away and another is buggering off in August? I am not really helping myself am I?! We had shed loads of brandy and Coke when we got there in the most beautiful of places with stunning scenery all around, bright blue sky and sunshine. We knew however that it was going to get pretty bloody cold at night. It took us bloody ages to get the fire going – I say us but really I mean Lauren! And we sat like old fricking ladies outside in front of the fire with hotties shoved up our fronts and about 3 jumpers on wrapped in a blanket each!!
Carlos and Bob joined us that evening – Lauren’s ‘friend’ (for want of a better word!!) and a friend of his. I had heard quite a lot about him and how they are very similar and so suited and blah blah blah. To be fair, yes – yes they are. I felt really quite honoured that La wanted me to meet him. I was shattered for most of the weekend and FREEZING. The reality of having to head back to the mundane shite that I have back in the UK was really starting to make me feel incredibly apprehensive about returning home. Would things be better permanently this time or would it all be just like getting back from Egypt all over again? I had to head back to the diet, the SAD light, the fricking herbal teas at night, the daily bursts of exercise, the no beer, the therapy sessions starting, the thought of no rugby with Rach, the general pants feeling and not knowing why and the fact that the excitement of a holiday ALWAYS has the flat point after when you wish you were still there – but mine is 10 times worse. I was quite glad to be left all alone on the Sunday late morning for a while to have an opportunity to gather my thoughts as I also typed up bits of the blog from the last couple of days from the trip. I convinced myself to ignore those feelings and not to let them get in the way of enjoying the valuable time with La. Looking back I feel really bad as I know that I was not the usual chirpy Em for the time we had left in Durban once back from the Berg. I think at one point I would have done ANYTHING to have stayed away from the UK for another week or so.
Saying goodbye to La was hard. I was bloody good in body but in mind I was falling to pieces. About saying goodbye, about the fact that the next time I see her will be on Skype (I officially love you whoever invented that) about the fact that this was it. The holiday EVERYONE is now officially sick of hearing about is at an end and I have not got another booked (yet!) to starting looking forward to. I had tear or two in my eye as I walked through security and was fine on the first flight as I headed up to Jo’berg. It was as we started to taxi down the runway in Jo’burg that I friggin lost it. I was trying to cry quietly – you’ve probably tried it at one point yourself, but my head was having none of it this was no few tears this was full on bawling. I couldn’t bloody stop. The oriental dude sat one away from me passed a tissue, bless, and I think I managed to make out – saying good bye to friends for him to understand whilst hiding behind Bunny and the sobs. What a pathetic mess I must have looked.
It got worse though. I was doing fine until I watched Bride Wars – please, really don’t bother it is utter crap. One of the brides no longer has any family left and so no father to walk her down the aisle and this was something that La and I were talking about over a 5l box of wine – this is us we are talking about we met over the garden fence and shared a bottle of wine each on our first meeting!!! We had made pinkie promises about a number of things and this set me off once more. Never something I have talked about before – must have been the sodding wine damn it. And I was supposedly off my face on 4 glasses at a wedding earlier this year – hmmnn I think not people – something else a foot there! I will remember that evening in front of the fire in minus degrees red faced from the red wine, sides splitting from La’s Hyperthermia in a bra moment – a true classic.
It was a brave choice to go on my own – Gulliver’s I mean. But I always knew it was absolutely the right thing for me to do. I saw it as a making of (with hopefully less of the breaking moment) in my recent bout of black cloud and whilst it has not even been a week since my return I am optimistic. I received an evaluation form from Gulliver’s in the post this morning with a reminder that the 2013 Lions in Australia Trip is now open for advanced registration. . . . now there is a thought!!!!