So after a long morning today getting radiotherapy ready, I head back into work to attend an afternoon tea for Inspiring Women across the larger organisation that my work feeds into. Someone I know, someone cheeky but gorgeous nominated me as an inspiring woman. They went out of their way to submit an nomination with me in mind. I can’t even describe how that makes me feel. How someone who is remaining anonymous (I’ve made some guesses!),has gone out of their way to make me feel wonderful. God, some people are absolutely gorgeous. Humanity can seem a bit crackers at the moment but my belief is restored sometimes. I had a lovely day – I mean I felt like the most noticeable person in the room for the first ten minutes (the only bald, ill looking person) but then I had a wonderful afternoon tea and sat with another wonderful friend from work and I enjoyed my time. I really did. So thank you my little angel!
I have pulled it off!! I have nailed a surprise weekend away without giving it away. Absolutely nailed and feeling a little smug!
So yesterday I fibbed that I needed the car as I had meetings across town and it would be easier for me! So after dumping cub at breakfast club, man cub at work and arriving at work myself I threw myself into a half day and ended it with a lovely lunch date with my first walker sign up (remember that 26 miler I’m doing in July?!). Madness. We made a few arrangements and I then hurtled home to pack for three of us for a weekend away and that is where I came unstuck. I am absolutely not one of those people who packs clothes for their other halves. Never have been, and never will be. He is very particular about what he wears (to me they’re all shades of a t-shirt!). He is very much his own person and wardrobe and I never get involved with that. So I stood like a bloody dithering idiot and picked a good ten outfits to pack (for two nights!!!!!!!!) just in case. The cub and I were easier to pack for!
I picked her up from school, after letting her in on the secret on the walk in to breakfast club, we flew home to get changed then set off to pick up her daddy. Slight problem with traffic, and when he rang to ask where I was, she was covering her mouth in the back of the car so the in-car speaker didn’t pick her up! While I fibbed again about where I actually was.
As we pulled into his workplace, the sun visor on the cubs window actually hid her from view and as he opened the boot, she yelled ‘surprise’……… And there was silence. Before he questioned what was going on! I had done it. He was surprised. We were escaping the doldrums of appointments, hospital waiting rooms, illness, our own four walls that were starting to become tighter – and we were going to live as a family for the weekend. Forgetting the cancer cloud that overshadowed everything we did. We were going to be free………
A short hour later, we reached a wonderful little holiday site and were introduced to our lodge (for those of us of a certain age – this is actually a static caravan, but a lot nicer than the ones we stayed in as kids, and now referred to as a ‘lodge’ so sounding much more attractive but way more gorgeous than a static) and welcomed by Karen, the lovely manager (possibly?) of the venue. She took us over to our home for the next fe nights, showed us how the oven worked (won’t be using that this weekend!), heating functioned (might use it – we are in middle UK in March!) and if we had any problems we could give her a knock in the site office or give her a call.
This offer led to much hilarity within the next few hours that Karen would never be privy too, but the man cub and I have recounted as the weekend has gone on. Within 10mins of Karen leaving and while him and I emptied the car of clothing, food supplies, alcohol and games to keep us entertained, we made the final journey into the lodge to find the cub pulling her wellies on and declaring she was off to see Karen. When asked why, she exclaimed that there was no bath to be found in the lodge and while two showers in the en-suites was lovely, this was a ‘problem’ as she needed a bath on a Friday and Karen had said to go to her with any problems!!!! After much discussion, we managed to talk the cub down off the edge and realise that the problem wasn’t something that Karen would be able to solve.
Some couple of hours later, after getting truly settled, fish and chip takeaway, and a good glug of drink from us adults we made moves to put the cub to bed. As the man cub asked where I had packed the PJ’s for the cub, I had a sinking feeling and realisation that I had forgotten this significant bit off clothing in my haste to pack for three people. Within seconds the cub was back at the door, wellies on, declaring she was off to see Karen again as this was a problem and Karen had said she would solve them.
By this point I was no more good.
It took another good twenty minutes of negotiations with a headstrong five year old that again, Karen wasn’t going to be able to solve the issue of PJ’s being missing, and maybe one of mama bears t-shirts would make do for two nights away!
Tonight we have laughed harder than we have done in a long time. Karen has no idea that she has made our night, which is all the more sweeter. We are spoiling ourselves, taking time as a family to recoup before the next stage of this journey and making sweet memories. I didn’t realise how much I had needed this, but now I have done it I recognise how valuable it has been to escape. For all of us. I mean Karen has actually made the holiday without realising, but we have also escaped reality for a few days. And that is beyond priceless.
I will return to the journey I know, but for now I am living my best life with my favourite people. I have them in my pocket always.