There is no singular event that can be as life changing as a holiday. Blessed with the privilege of fulfilling a lifelong dream of my mother’s as well as catching up with two very dear friends we embarked on our journey. It was all we had hoped for and more. The gift of being able to take my 89 year old Mum’s picture in front of her mother’s ancestral home of well over a hundred years ago was priceless to my heart. It stood proudly in the center of the village perfectly preserved and cared for all these years. Even with her staunch English background, I could detect the emotion in her voice when our eyes finally rested on the name plate still set into the stone hedge after all these years.
Yes it was a holiday I shall always remember. We talked, we drove many a mile, had cream teas and fish and chips by the seaside. I would spend the evenings catching up with my friends after Mum had gone to bed and we silly young things ate and drank and ate and drank. Having such a penchant for good cheese and wine I took advantage of being able to acquire both easily through the grocery store. It was quite a novelty for a Canadian who doesn’t have that ability. Each day I managed to consume a good ration of cheeses I would never be able to afford in that quantity here in Canada washed down with a selection of wines.
Upon arriving home and subsequently going through the un-packing etc. it occurred to me I had brought more of my holiday home than I realized. I seemed to be sitting on a lot of cheese and wine! I was feeling tired and lazy and blaming it on the time change. How long does it take to get over that anyway…two weeks…three weeks? Where had this heartburn come from? Could it be the change of weather? Had I picked up a stomach ailment on the plane trip home?
Of course I was only kidding myself. My clothes were sending me messages I was choosing to ignore and my usual perky self was missing. Finally as the “rubber hit the road” I dragged out my bathroom scale and gingerly stepped on. Wowsa!! My conscience could hear my lonely running shoes in the closet weeping from each little eyelet. I knew the time had come. I knew it was now or never. I was on the slippery slope we all find ourselves standing on at one time or another. Was it time to “rock and roll”, or time to sit down and ponder my next action over a glass of wine and a tasting of cheese?
I pulled open the closet door and there they sat… all pretty and purple. They matched my iPod and my running jacket. I had forgotten how snazzy they looked. Reluctantly I gave myself a push and after what seemed like hours I was ready to go out for my walk. It looked like rain a little bit (well not really).
I switched on my tunes and Highway to Hell was the first to pour itself into my waiting ears. How appropriate! Off I went, each song building on the last. I could feel myself starting to get into the swing of things. Motivated by the rhythms my spirits lifted higher and higher pushing my feet to walk faster and faster.
Ten kilometers later, my body felt invigorated, my sneakers were doing the happy dance and my cheese and wine addiction had faded being replaced the natural high of stepping away from that dangerous slope.
The battle continues with each passing day. The bathroom scales are no longer hidden in a cupboard. I look forward to stepping on them and receiving the reward of watching the numbers go down each week. There will always be an England and I love you dear England. I shall return and no doubt indulge in all that you offer, however it’s also nice to know I can count on myself to “keep calm and carry on” when I return.