Where do I begin, it's been a busy one yet again. I absolutely love getting out and enjoying life, please believe me when I say I never take any of this for granted for many different reasons. One reason being for far too long before I was diagnosed with Cancer, (and believing I had IBS) I kept my world small, trapped in a cycle of only going out where I knew the toilets were 'safe' (meaning I'd be prepared to use them rather than any hazardous issue). It left me with limited options and often missing out on days out with my boys.
So having a colostomy, far from preventing me from going out and enjoying myself it has actually enabled me to - with bells on! Admittedly just before I had my op I was convinced I'd never go out again and never see any of our friends again. (I am rather prone to melodramatics hahahahaha). Nothing could be further from the truth. I love life, I yearn for new places and new experiences, I don't often turn down an opportunity, that said I wouldn't be up for anything unpleasant, Marathons, mud runs, mountaineering, basically anything you can't wear a pair of Jimmy Choo's to! hahahahahahahaha, but offer me a night up town and I'm your girl!
Friday night Chris and I decided to book into a hotel in London, mainly because the boys had invited a load of friends over to the house (it's a bit of a weird way round I realise. Most times teens arrange parties for when the parents are away...we had to book a night away as they had arranged a party! hahahahahahahah). They're good lads and usually we would have stayed home but we had a very early start the next day so we decided to get into London in preparation for Saturday morning's early start. As it turned out it wasn't a great hotel, although it was 4 star and had a great view over Hyde park, the lobby reeked of industrial strength air fresheners (never a great sign, what are they trying to mask?), the room was too small to get a cat in let alone swing it...and then to top it off we'd only been in our room about 30 seconds when another family entered...shock ensued on both sides. They didn't speak English but you don't need a common language to read facial expressions to know they didn't expect to be sharing their room with another couple. The hotel receptionist sorted out the mix up with the keys, she did offer us an alternative room but we decided to stay as long as they promised to rehouse our German visitors hahahahahahahaha...she also kept offering us alcohol to make up for the upset, when I explained we don't drink she replied "perhaps you'd like one when you get back tipsy tonight" I gave it one last shot and explained that that wouldn't be happening as NEITHER of us drink alcohol...she looked very perplexed and said "do you want an orange juice?" ....Hallelujah! and no thank you but thanks for the offer. :)
We took a cab to New Bond Street, I had a bit of birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, so I had a browse, I bought a little bracelet but couldn't see anything else I liked so we headed to one of our favourite places to go in London for cocktails...yes, virgin cocktails. They are delicious in Quaglino's. Then we headed to another of our favorite places to go for a curry in town Chutney Mary's is amazing, I would totally recommend if you're ever passing there.
Mocktails in Quaglino's. Top from Anthropologie, Jean's Joni's from Topshop.
And then the big day arrived! My special birthday treat from Chris. At 7.50am we were standing outside waiting to go into Chelsea Flower Show. I've always wanted to go, Chris hasn't ever wanted to but as a gift to me he booked us tickets into Raymond Blanc's Jardin Blanc, it's a hospitality area within Chelsea Flower Show, and like no other I've ever been to. We get to go out to a lot of fancy functions through Chris's work but this was extra special. Raymond did a very inspiring cookery demonstration, it actually made me want to go home and cook (that's a feat in itself). Having the hospitality area available all day meant we could go out and wander the flower show but come back for respite when we'd had enough of the crowds.
I had looked forward to going to Chelsea all week, and rather predictably for me the excitement lead to me getting rather constipated and uncomfortable, not sure why but any excitement or stress can lead to my bowel to either over or under perform, I've never known such an over emotional organ in all my life ;)
To try and alleviate the issue, I kept up my fluid intake and fruit, and wore dresses all week to allow free flow of waste. I had many compliments on my lovely summery frocks all week, I accepted the compliments with grace rather than explaining I'm desperately trying to coax out poo before my bowels rupture (see, I told you I was prone to melodramatics!).
It didn't work particularly well but the last thing I'd want to wear the whole time with a crampy belly is tight clothes. I finally wore a pair of jeans Friday night when I felt a tad more comfortable.
Chelsea Flower Show was fantastic! I had a horrible feeling I was going to come home despondent and dissatisfied with my garden but as it turns out the fashion these days isn't the prim and proper gardens of yore. The fashion is natural looking, unstructured and interspaced with some grasses. Beautiful without being overly primped and preened....and quite honestly exactly what I have at home. I came back feeling energised and enthusiastic about my garden. Mainly due to my amazing gardener who has managed to bring it back from the brink of overgrown and unmanageable, I can't thank him enough.
Dress from Oliver Bonas, Shoes from Salvatore Ferragamo, bag from Chanel. These shoes are so old but the most comfortable ones I own. For days out with a lot of walking one really should choose comfort over design, I'm getting sensible in my old age.
A lot of people wore clothing with flowers on, even the chaps. I had considered it but decided it was a bit too obvious. I went for something relaxed and cool. It was an unusually warm day.
Chris and I with the great man himself.
Some glorious garden ideas, I'm renergised into developing my garden. :)
Sunday was spent with my lovely mum and dad for a delicious BBQ at ours cooked by our eldest. Then monday was a Bank holiday, which was lovely. We had a very chilled out morning pottering in our newly appreciated garden and then Chris had been asked to make a blood donation due to having to cancel his previous appointment because of a chest infection a few weeks back. Blood donation is extremely important to me. I can't donate as I have had cancer. In the uk it prevents you from giving blood. But I nearly didn't make it through my AP resection as I hemorrhaged and therefore I'm only here today because someone was kind enough to donate to save me. Our son also had to have a blood transfusion due to his chemotherapy. Chris bless him is having to give for the pair of us. Giving blood is one very important way that us everyday normal people can be heroes! If you've ever donated I thank you for your generosity, and if you're considering it (please please do)...you get a cup of tea and a biscuit at the end, can't say fairer than that.
Then straight from blood giving we went to a friends for their birthday dinner. I dressed purposefully casual as Di really does love to dress casually...I turn up to find her dressed in a rather stunning dress. In fairness she has a great figure so she could wear a bin bag and look amazing. I chose jeans and a new top I bought last week. It's so nice, a bit quirky but very cute. When I tried it on I thought the two half zips at the back were just for decoration, it was a little shapeless. I took it off a tad disappointed and then looked and realised they were actually a proper zip. I tried it back on with the zip done up and loved it! I very much follow my mantra if the front's a mess accentuate the back.
Top from Finery, Jean's from Topshop, Trainers (running shoes) from Jimmy Choo.
Raymond inspired soup making. I've grown asparagus in my garden for years, I have a very large vegetable plot but have very little inclination to tend to it. I went out and picked the asparagus and 25 minutes later I had made a delicious soup. I also went out and bought some veg to grow, I'm now tending to 2 pumpkin and an eggplant plants...baby steps baby steps.
*Ps.my friend Kim has gone into hospital to be induced this morning, so fingers crossed by tonight we will have two beautiful baby girls to play with!!..or at least by tomorrow night. No pressure Kim but please hurry!