I’m lucky enough to get to spend a lot time with the amazing people in my life, I am aware I have a very nice life and I’m very grateful for it.
I headed to Kew Gardens with my best friend for our joint birthday day out. We usually go for a dinner or an afternoon tea somewhere but we decided a day at Kew was right on the money.
We’ve both decided to make an effort with our gardens this year...and by that I mean possibly watering the plants we buy before they keel over and die as they would usually do... that is my usual trick. Buy plants, plant plants, ignore plants and assume they’ll look after themselves, cry as the needy little suckers wither away. It’s a cycle I’ve played out year after year. BUT this year it’s all going to be different....hahahahaha
Anyway it was an amazing day, the weather was spectacular. It is quite a trek from Braintree to Kew but well worth the effort. It’s a long journey but couldn’t be easier. Braintree to Stratford by train. Stratford to Kew Gardens via The Overground line. Simple as that.
Being so far from home means I have to go prepared. I took a ruck sack (a nice one, I’m not suggesting anyone need take one the size of a Duke of Edinburgh weekend hike with them) full of spares.
Going out for the day and not having the car with me does tend to be a little nerve racking. I like the comfort of having the car full of spares, plus I find it a safe and comforting place to change my bag should I need to. This idea is horrifying to many ostomites but it suits me. I much prefer it to the thought of changing in a public convenience.
Anyway, with my trusty spares in my back pack we made our way to beautiful Kew.
It really is absolutely stunning. The Temperate House has just had a 5 year, 5 million pound renovation. And once the plants are established it will be incredible.
Dress Tommy Hilfiger, Shoes Hermes
I love this dress, it just looks happy, and it’s so soft and comfortable you can’t fail to be happy in it.
There was absolutely no way I’d risk tight jeans and especially on such a hot day. The risk of leaks or sweat causing problems with the sticky pad on the bag just wasn’t worth the risk.
The key is to find ways to make going out for days do-able and easier. I would hate to miss out on anything through fear of what could happen. Difficult though that is. I feel I have to try.
Beautiful beautiful Kew.
The day went without a hitch or hinderance...although Michelle was crying laughing at my fear on the treetop walk (I thought I did it last year ok but for some reason my fear of heights was back with a vengeance and I was freaking out the walk way was breaking, much to Michelle’s delight as I screamed, squealed and hyperventilated my way round. Hahahah, it’s possible I did this last year too but as I was on my own there was no one there to notice hahahahaha).
Then Thursday last week I met up with a new friend in London, we decided on The Ivy Garden over in Chelsea for lunch. It was the perfect place and we had such a lovely time chatting, the time went so quickly, they had to ask us to vacate the table in the end. :)
What a glorious place the restaurant is. So beautifully decorated it’s a real treat to look at.
It was going to be another long day as I was meeting my friend for lunch but I was then going to meet Chris for dinner after he finished work. Yes, I am aware I eat an awful lot of food, but food is life and as long as I’m careful I’m still able to eat loads and lose weight. I do feel sorry for my stoma, the poor thing has its work cut out bless it! Hahahahaha, let’s just hope they don’t have a maximum amount of uses.
For this day out I took a spare pair of jeans with me (white is a tricky colour for Ostomites anyway, add to that that I’m terribly clumsy and was using public transport all day it just made sense to take a spare pair) I also took a spare pair of shoes, to glam up my outfit just a tad for meeting up with Chris for dinner.
(*Just on a side note, one of my lovely Gladrags readers let me know I had given her the confidence to give white jeans a go. They really are a summer staple. She looked fabulous in them too!).
The Ivy Garden, Chelsea. Stunning to look at and incredible food.
After a wonderful meal I said my goodbyes to my friend and headed back into town for a bit of shopping. I love London. I even love the Underground...baring in mind I was wearing white jeans, which is just asking for trouble as I am a muck magnate at the best of times. (Wednesday I had to change my trousers 3 times and I was at home at the time!! Yogurt, strawberry jam and compost, I’m like a living advert for washing powders!).
Top from Micheal Kors, Jeans - Joni’s from Topshop, Shoes from Tods.
The need to be comfortable was overwhelming, I didn’t know how far the restaurant was from the tube station. As it turns out it was only a 10 minute walk, but at least my feet were nice and cosy.
Miraculously I didn’t spill a drop of my lunch or get any dirty marks on me from the Tube so I didn’t need my spare jeans after all but better safe than sorry.
I took myself off to one of my favourite streets in London to window shop. Whilst sitting trying shoes on in one particular shop Chris was confusing me by replying to my texts in an odd manor, I was sending him photos of my feet in many and various shoes and I was asking which ones he liked and he was replying things like “the middle ones” or “the ones on the left”. I hadn’t got a clue what he was on about till I realised he was standing behind me, looking over my shoulder at all the shoes laid out in front of me! Silly arse that he is! Apparently his meeting finished earlier than I assumed it would and he tracked me down via my photos to him. :)
He very kindly made the final decision for me as I had about 8 pairs laid out with no clue which ones to choose. I had only planned window shopping but shopping with Chris is much more agreeable. ;)
While I was in that shop I changed into the shoes I took with me (I didn’t know I would be getting new shoes, and besides, they’re for my birthday, so I can’t have them till tomorrow).
(If you’re wondering, yes, I do have a shoe fetish, well, not fetish, I just love beautiful shoes, I’m too short and too fat and have the addition of my bag for most beautiful clothes but shoes and bags, well they fit all shapes and sizes. I’m not sure why but some people can assume you are shallow for collecting shoes, but if I were a stamp collector or a ceramic pig collector no one would bat an eye lid! They wouldn’t say “what do you need them for you’ve got loads!” I cherish my shoes like some would their ceramic pigs and therefore shall continue merrily with my obsession, I mean collection hahahahaha).
Shoes from Chloé, and unbelievably comfy too, not all day traipsing round London comfy possibly but certainly all evening.
We headed over to Chutney Mary, it’s one of our all time favourites. Little tip, if you just don’t order the rice you can fit so much more food in! Apply this to any Carb at any meal and you’re good to go! ;)
Bar none Chris is the most wonderful, incredible and amazing human being I have EVER come across on the planet...and what’s more incredible he loves me back too! Nearly 25 years together and it just gets better every single day...and no, I’m not just saying that because he bought me the new shoes!
A whole day and night of eating and not a drop spilled and not a bag leak either. You really do have to cherish days like this hahahahaha.
This is Mental health awareness week, I think it’s so important to be open and honest about our mental health.
I just want to say something about my youngest son. His strength of character and his courage has always astounded me but more so in the last week. He has been through so much since the age of 11.
I myself suffered with dark thoughts and self destructive behaviour as a teenager. And I didn’t have half the crap he has had to deal with. Thankfully, I haven’t had those thoughts since I was 20 years old when I met Chris...coincidence...I think not. I’m so lucky and thankful.
Ben is now determined to help others give a voice to their distress before it’s too late. I think it’s so incredibly brave to put yourself out there and expose your deepest vulnerabilities, but it’s so important that people, young or old speak up.
Ben can now make the journey back to health, he will be getting the best help available. Now that he has said “I need help with this” he is on course to make a full recovery. What ever that may look like.
*This is a Facebook post from my 19 year old son. He had a rough weekend and basically it was the straw that broke this very brave young man’s back.
From the age of 11 he has been through so much trauma.
They say children can handle anything and that is true, but sadly that distress can build up and try to break us when we’re adults.
He is a phenomenal human being, he is my utter hero, through Sam’s ill health and mine he comforted me, he reassured me, he willed me on...and recently he consoled me when I lost an entire suitcase of shoes at the airport 🙄.
Too many of our young men and women are battling hidden wars within themselves.
Ben will rebuild and come back stronger than ever. He is my absolute star, my rock, my universe. I’ve been blessed with 2 beautiful children who inspire me every single day. And I’m sure Ben with his honesty and courage (because that’s what it takes to expose your raw pain like this - courage) will inspire others to seek help and mend themselves too.
Ben you are amazing. I love you. 💜
My gorgeous, brave boy. I’m so incredibly blessed with amazing sons. If I achieve nothing else in this lifetime I know I brought these two incredible men here.