Last week is something of a blur now. It was such a busy one (you know what I mean...my busy not actual busy). Amongst other things we were very lucky to have another year at Henley Regatta, our 4th year running.
Is there anything more quintessentially British than a day at Henley? I have to admit, I'm a philistine, I don't know anything about rowing. I'm actually no good on water at all. That said, I used to enjoy kayaking but that had to end because my hernia is greatly aggravated by it. But other than kayaking I get incredibly sea sick. Very sea sick. But that doesn't prevent me from having a lovely day by a river bank watching other people row. Although this year the weather wasn't up to much, it was a bit overcast, which meant we pretty much stayed in the marquee.
It's so relaxing, it's wonderful for people watching and we get fed lunch and afternoon tea, what could be more perfect, well more cream on the scones maybe but you know what, we managed.
I have to say I was a little anxious about this year's event, as this is my first sober summer. It's actually not been too bad so far. It's a choice I've made, I'm happy I made it. But an afternoon by a river bank watching the world go by is rather a temptation to plough through gallons of bubbles and Pimms.
Temptation resisted I made do with sticky virgin cocktails and lemonade....yummzer! ;)
I was also in two minds about what size bag to wear, normally I would just straight away opt for a large bag, just to be on the safe side, but as our car was parked in the field next to the marquee I decided on a smaller bag. There's always a risk with using a small bag that it could over fill, but I felt confident should that happen that I would just go back to the car and change it there. I know some people wouldn't be comfortable to do that and one woman who phoned into a radio show I was on thought it was highly unpalatable and most unacceptable but for me it works, I'm happy to do it, I'd rather change it in my car that in a public loo any day. There can be a slight hint of judgement once you exit a toilet cubicle from a bag change, I get that it's a bit stinky but it's a loo for god's sake, what do people think they're for.
The proper stoma air fresheners are brilliant for emergency public loo visits. Although, due to NHS cut backs I was told when I rang up to order my colostomy supplies last week they are no longer available. I did find that a little distressing as they give you a little more dignity than a supermarket air freshener, they are designed for ostomites and work a treat. I count myself lucky and blessed that I get all of my other colostomy needs met by the NHS though, thank god.
Dress from Hobbs, Shoes from Manolo Blahnik, Bag from Aspinal of London.
I bought this dress from Hobbs a couple of weeks ago. I really love the design, with the lengths of material coming from the shoulders and tying a multitude of ways. For obvious reasons I chose to tie mine at the front to the left. I find hiding behind a bow very much like a security blanket. :) No, I'm not ashamed of my stoma or bag, quite the opposite in fact, but I don't want the outline to of my bag to ruin what I'm wearing.
The shop assistant said the dress matched my eyes...to which I responded 'What? bloodshot?!' hahahahahahahahaha, sad but true, oh to get some sleep and have lovely fresh sparkly eyes.
Part of the corporate package at Henley Regatta is a river boat trip, along the Thames. I wasn't going to go due to my aforementioned seasickness (it includes any body of water and all boats to be honest). But I thought no come on pull yourself together woman, so I boarded the boat at 2.15pm....I exited said boat at 2.18pm...it would appear the sea sickness has not abated ;)
But at least I gave it a go....hahahahahahahah for all of 3 minutes.
The irony is not lost on me that my eldest son is a very qualified and accomplished sailor. He really doesn't get his ability and passion or sailing from me, that's for sure. Who knows where it comes from, Chris isn't terribly keen on boats and Ben is no fan either.
While I was avoiding boats at Henley my eldest, Sam was on a yacht off the coast of The Isle of Wight practicing for very prestigious yacht race.
This is the boat my boy was crewing on, if you zoom in you'd be able to see him. The Ellen Macarthur Cancer Trust is very special to him and us. Sam was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer in 2009. (He had Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, an incredibly rare cancer here in the western world for an adult, let alone a 13 year old boy. He was diagnosed 6 months before I was and he is probably the reason that I dealt with having cancer as well as I did, He was bold and courageous throughout his battle so I could hardly be a jibbering wreck after witnessing that). Once he completed most of his treatment he was offered the chance to join an EMCT trip...and that's where he found his calling. He now volunteers for them as much as he can, in fact all his holiday allowance bar 5 days is spent volunteering for the trust. He donates his time and in return the trust have trained him up to now be part of the crew that take more youngsters fighting cancer on amazing trips. I couldn't be more proud of either of my sons. I love that by chance Sam discovered his talents for sailing, even if it's a passion we can not share. :)
The rest of my week last week was spent helping my friend Kim with her little bundles...I'm not sure if dragging her out for lunches and afternoon tea is helpful to her but I'm certainly enjoying all the baby cuddles.
Auntie Suzie teaching Isobel and Megan how to be ladies that lunch...
Dress from Michael Kors, Shoes from ferragamo.
I had the most perfect Sunday, I spent the morning watching Kim's Husband run in a 5k obstacle course followed by getting together with the gang for a rather lazy and long Sunday lunch (minus Sam who was sailing and Chris and Ben who were at Goodwood Festival of Speed.)