Suzie two balls...

I took myself off for another adventure last week. No, not Venice or Copenhagen for lunch this time.

I decided to use the railways of England, nothing bold or even slightly adventurous in that you may well think but rail journeys in England are ridiculously overpriced and long. For example it cost me £25 return to fly to Venice for the day. It costs me £37 from my local station to London return. I live 50 miles from London, it was also quicker to fly to Venice than it was on the train to Hampshire.
A few weeks ago Sam said he had used the app train line.com to book tickets and got them cheap by booking in advance.
I had a look and found train tickets from my local station to Whitchurch in Hampshire for £16 one way, over 2 hours of travelling for £16! (Chris had some meetings down that way so I didn’t need a return ticket as he joined us in the evening for dinner). Chris upgraded me to first class which only took it to £26.

I felt very daring and on that note I decided to wear jeans. I can and do wear them often, but not usually for long days out. It’s a risk. Jeans look great but being so tight means the risk of pancaking is very high. Pancaking is when faeces gets under the adhesive pad instead of into the hole, into the bag and begins to lift it from your skin. The waste matter (look at me trying to use every word but the p word! A bit weird on a blog about colostomy’s Hahahahaha) then leaks out from under the pad. It’s extremely unpleasant. It’s happened a number of times to me and it does leave me with a sense of anxiety about it happening again.

I have to put it into perspective though, is it ideal that I have the embarrassment of leaks? No, hell no, it’s horrendous and mortifying.
But I’m alive, I’m healthy, I’m able to get out and get on with my life. So what’s a leaked poo going to do?!? It certainly isn’t going to stop me from squeezing the pips out of life.

Jacket from Belstaff, Scarf from Longchamp, Jeans - Joni’s from Topshop, Boots from Dubarry

Jacket from Belstaff, Scarf from Longchamp, Jeans - Joni’s from Topshop, Boots from Dubarry

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Heading off from Braintree station is a little bit like stepping back in time, it’s still run on an hourly service, hourly!?!
It’s the one thing I have never gotten used to about living here. We moved to Braintree over 20 years ago from Romford. I just assumed that the train service would get better with time but sadly it never did.

I went dressed for a day in the countryside, because that’s where my son and his girlfriend and their baby live, in a beautiful village in Hampshire.
After my epic rail journey, I was greeted at the station by Milly and Zak, what a wonderful sight!
We had such a lovely day, a pub lunch, a walk to feed the ducks, and a trip to the playground which he absolutely loves.
I think you can tell I’m a very proud grandma. He is so sweet, and because they live so far away I don’t want to miss out on seeing him.
Train travel is the way forward…yes, I’m aware it’s not the 1800’s and I have a rather beautiful car I could drive down there in but I’m just not a confident driver.
That said, potential colostomy leaks wise it would probably be more sensible.

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We had a great day, the village they have just moved to is so friendly. It’s the perfect place to bring up a baby.

I got home from their house about 10.30 that night to find Ben, my youngest son and 7 of his friends pumpkin carving…8 twenty somethings sticking to the same routine they’ve had since childhood is adorable. It really does warm the heart.

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Friday night was unusual in so much as we were off to another charity ball. Haven’t been to one all year and then two come along at once.
I bought this dress a few months back with this ball in mind.
Come the night of the do though I just wasn’t feeling this dress. It’s not a horrible dress or anything like that, I just think lasts weeks dress felt so good that this one was a tiny bit of a let down, or maybe I just felt different inside.
It was nice enough, but it didn’t feel special.
That said, there is the bonus with a fit and flare dress that you don’t need Spanx on with it, so if you don’t fancy a night in Spanx then fit and flare is the dress for you!
(If and when I wear Spanx I cut a hole in them for my bag to poke through, yes it reduces the effectiveness of them around the belly (ironically where I need to be held in the most) but it does the job on the hips, thighs and bum so can’t really complain).
Friday night at the ball it was a Spanx free zone for me. Which meant I could eat my meal in peace, I’m so glad I live in this time because I’d have been screwed if I was alive with all those corsets and crinolines. Hahahahaha

I really hope the charity of the night raised a lot of money, it’s a very worthy cause.

The chosen charity was Shai’s Smile;

At Shai’s Smile their aim is to provide support and much needed funding to local organisations, groups and charities that help seriously unwell children and teenagers who live with life limiting, life threatening illnesses that affect their everyday lives. www.shaissmile.co.uk

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Dress from Tommy Hilfiger, Shoes from Christian Dior, Bag £6 from ASOS.

Dress from Tommy Hilfiger, Shoes from Christian Dior, Bag £6 from ASOS.

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On Saturday Chris, Ben and I went over to the Wembly Ikea at the crack of dawn, (it’s a bit of luck I gave up drinking years ago) they had the launch or as the kids these days say the “drop” of a collaboration between Ikea and Virgil Abloh (creative director at Louis Vuitton menswear, Supreme and Off White).
Ben and I were lucky enough to be able to get tickets for the launch. We waited outside in the torrential rain and high winds only to find that rather than it being 1 item per person up to 5 items like we thought, they had let people use their 5 items quota on multiples, so some people were buying 5 clocks etc. Which by the time we got in they had sold out. That was very disappointing.
We did get a few bits, so it wasn’t a total waste of two hours queuing, besides I got to spend time with my baby boy.

Dress from Dorothy Perkins, tights from Tesco, Boots from Kurt Geiger and bag from Goyard.

Dress from Dorothy Perkins, tights from Tesco, Boots from Kurt Geiger and bag from Goyard.

After our epic queuing, Ben headed off to Nottingham to see friends and Chris and I drove into central London for a bit of a mooch and food.

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Our stomachs led us to Chutney Mary, it really is one of our favourite places in England. We were in for an unexpected surprise too, we have never been to Chutney Mary for brunch before…it turns out that they serve Chole! Chole is a chickpea curry dish with puffed deep friend bread. We’ve only ever had it in India, it’s a traditional breakfast dish, and Indian restaurants don’t tend to open at breakfast time in the U.K.

It’s absolute heaven. I was addicted to it in India, which is why I ended up so constipated, but it was worth it I can assure you. Hahahahaha

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We ordered our meal, ate our meal, then reordered our meal again. Hahahahaha  We’re such greedy pigs but we just didn’t want it to end.

We ordered our meal, ate our meal, then reordered our meal again. Hahahahaha

We’re such greedy pigs but we just didn’t want it to end.

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We had such a lovely time in there that we decided to commit to saving up and going back to India for our 25th wedding anniversary ~ Feb 14th 2021, yes, it’s a long way off but it will come round very quickly, especially when you have to pay for it. :)

We had a lovely day just roaming about with nowhere in particular to be.
We did go to have a look at the newly opened Louis Vuitton store in Bond Street. It’s nice enough but I really thought the art work on the side was going to be illuminated, which is why I left it till last to look at…

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…turns out it isn’t. Hahahahaha, but it’s very striking any way.

Sunday we had a pretty chilled morning and then went out for a roast. I love roasts, I loathe cooking it but I very much enjoy eating it. :)

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Top from M&S, Skirt from Tommy Hilfiger, Tights from Tesco, Boots from Christian Dior

Top from M&S, Skirt from Tommy Hilfiger, Tights from Tesco, Boots from Christian Dior

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We came home from the roast…followed by apple and blackberry crumble, changed straight in to our pj’s and slobbed out watching Toy Story 4. Absolute bliss.

Was I a bit over dressed for a pub lunch? It’s entirely possible yes. Do I care? Absolutely not!
Move to the beat of your own drum I say. Wear what makes you happy.
My dress sense isn’t to everyone’s taste or anyone’s possibly, why would it be.
I think I developed more of a sense of self when I was poorly.
It made me feel very differently about life for sure, even down to inconsequential things like dressing.
I’ve never been a follower of fashion as such, I’ve always focused more on style, a far better idea to my mind, as fashion means following the style set out for you. A fair amount of the time I don’t have the right body shape for “fashion”.
Even when I used to starve myself down to six and a half stone (not done that since cancer I can assure you!) I still wasn’t waif like, I‘d still have big boobs and a massive arse! Hahahahaha

Cancer is an absolute arsehole, it’s stolen too many good people that I care about.
But for me personally the experience of cancer has changed my future for the better in some ways, there has to be some positives come from it.

I didn’t fly for 8 years prior to diagnosis, I had a terrible phobia of flying, also I cared way too much about what people thought of me and I’d starve myself with the aim of being accepted (tragically by people unworthy of my time and efforts), I worried about everything. Cancer cured all that.
The unfortunate flip side is I don’t worry about silly things anymore, and people that are not worth my energies have fallen by the way side and that’s great but I do very much live in fear of cancer and it’s shadow.
My friend passing away the other day has set off some health anxiety that I need to work on and I will. I’ve been struggling a bit since I found out that she’d passed.
I’ve been here too many times in the past sadly, it isn’t right, it certainly isn’t fair. I appreciate life isn’t but that doesn’t really help in situations like now. I’m so desperately sad for her family and friends.
I have heightened senses at the moment, both positively and negatively but I am determined to enjoy every moment and every opportunity given to me because I’m lucky enough to still be here.
Long may that last, it’s a huge privilege not afforded to some. xxx