Well the end of last week certainly beat the beginning!
My cold and vertigo dissipated and I was back to rude health.
On Friday last week I headed into London for a meeting…I know, get me hey, all fancy and attending meetings like a grown up. Hahahahaha
I had put my name down some time ago to become part of a patient panel assisting NBOCA (The National Bowel Cancer Audit) and Friday was the first panel meeting.
I was beyond nervous about it, so far beyond nervous that I came out the other side and was almost blasé. I was concerned I wouldn’t be of any help to them and fretful that I’d make a fool of myself. But then I just kept thinking “really, how bad could it be?!?” and it calmed my nerves, sort of.
I have never had a job that requires meetings. Professionally I was a Nanny (about a hundred years ago), I gave up work 2 weeks before my eldest son was born (which was 23 years ago on Sunday just gone (happy birthday Sam!) and I never went back to work.
I don’t do absolutely nothing, but pretty much. I work a couple of hours a week now posting the social media for the Neptune store in Colchester (a furniture and lifestyle shop that I’m not only working for but obsessed with as my home can testify).
So the meeting in London for NBOCA was completely out of my comfort zone, but like most things in life the build up and anxiety are far worse than the actual event itself.
I chose my outfit for the day wisely, it was going to be a longish day in London and therefore I wanted to feel comfortable and more importantly confident that I had done everything I could to prevent bag leakage or *pancaking.
I bought this dress a few weeks ago. It’s absolutely perfect on every level.
It has plenty of stretch, which means it’s super cosy and comfortable, it’s patterned and therefore bag and contents are disguised, and it’s got touches of mustard, which is very strong on the high street right now.
I left home feeling a little apprehensive but actually quite excited and positive.
I arrived in London far too early.
So I sent Chris a photo of me outside the Royal College of Surgeons, where the meeting was being held…
…and then continued to send him selfies of my locations round London.
I decided as I was quite a bit early I’d occupy myself by heading over to The Savoy to the jewellers in there. I’m quite friendly with one of the staff so I thought if she was at work she’d definitely have time for a cuppa and a chat, and I was right, I had a lovely cup of tea whilst trying on my Christmas wish list. ;)
I’m going to admit something quite shocking now, I have never hailed a black cab in my life…I have never traveled in a black cab on my own in my life! I know!! I’m 46 and completely useless…or so I thought, but no, crazy as it may seem I very easily managed to travel round London in a lovely shiny London taxi. Who knew it was so easy (apart from most people on the planet). Hahahahaha
I got back with plenty of time to spare so I walked round Lincoln’s Inn Fields green, it was a hive of activity, so much so it looked like a film set. There was Tai Chi, boxing training, business men eating their packed lunches, artists with easels, people playing tennis, some homeless people gathered around a bbq. It looked like it was a movie set to be honest, it felt very peaceful. I walked round plenty just in case it was a movie set and I’d be ‘discovered’. Hahahahaha
I then headed over for the meeting. Long story short, it went fantastically well. And although I did feel incredibly self conscious that I was the thickest person in the room it turns out I had plenty to add, despite this fact.
A few of us went for drinks after. Can I just mention that I have never in my life done that. When I was a Nanny, I went to work and then straight home after every night as I didn’t have any work colleagues.
I felt bloody fabulous on Friday night. I had a much needed hot chocolate as I hadn’t eaten anything but a banana all day as I didn’t want my stoma to make noise…useless idea that was, I was starving hungry and my stoma was very vocal.
Best laid plans and all that. Eating makes my stoma active and noisy, but as it happens, not eating makes it windy and noisy anyway.
Thankfully I was sitting next to Lesley from B&CR, who was very sympathetic to my very loud belly, which put me at ease.
What a fabulous day, fantastic meeting and brilliant way for me to feel like I’m doing something useful with my continued existence on this rather lovely planet.
On Saturday morning Chris and I were at a bit of a loose end, this is what happens when your children fly the nest.
Sam’s moved to Hampshire with his darling little family and Ben’s leaving home next month as he’s bought a flat in Braintree.
So it’s just us now. I can’t say I love it, oh god that’s sounds bad. I love spending time with Chris but I feel a bit lost now all my mothering duties are done. Hahahahaha
We headed out for a day and night date adventure.
I love Autumn, actually I love all the seasons equally but I never fail to get excited about the up coming change of seasons.
I heard a great ‘fashion’ term the other day. “Trans-seasonal” I’m assuming it means finding pieces that work for multiple seasons…I’m no expert of course so that could be complete tosh.
I love my orange bag, Chris bought it for me for Christmas actually but orange is a fantastic summer colour, working well with navy and whites.
But orange certainly does cross over into autumn very very well. Who doesn’t love a little splash of colour here and there.
Our first stop of our day date was to Audley End House, it’s an English heritage site and as we bought membership last week we thought we’d get out and use it.
They happened to have a little food fair on so we decided to partake. I ordered a vegan sausage roll, I don’t know why I do this to myself, I know I’m not fancy on the inside. It was a little too mature for my palate. I love the vegan sausage rolls from Gregg’s, that’s my tastes buds level.
This one however was filled with apple, celery and walnuts, it’s making me feel a bit nauseous to think about it now! Hahahahaha
It didn’t dampen our trip though. Audley End House is spectacular. We’ve been many times before but there were new parts of the tour open and it was really lovely.
Then we drove round the country side for a bit and then headed for a night time visit to Colchester Zoo.
Very occasionally they’ll do a night opening event, so you can see the zoo in the dark.
They do open in the dark over Halloween but as much as I love Halloween I don’t like spooky nights, with people jumping out on me, it really does bring out a violently self protective, quite sweary side of me that no one needs to see (or hear come to that on what is ostensibly a children’s fun experience).
But just a night opening, with no scary theme, now that’s just up my alley.
Seeing animals at night is rather lovely. It’s just not something we get to do very often here.
We had such a good time. It was so cute seeing all the little children with their torches exploring in the dark. How exciting must it have been for them. I was pretty excited myself! :)
Sunday morning Chris, Ben, Kaitlyn and I headed up to London for a trip to the museums…well, one museum and then a trip to Harrods and John Lewis as it turned out.
Ok, so all black can be a bit Morticia Adams but sometimes it just feels right, and the cute see through panels on the sleeves broke the plainness up a bit.
I wore these leggings, which can restrict stoma flow a little but as my output was quite slow it seemed worth the risk. I was also very bold with my choice of handbag.
I couldn’t be bothered carrying a bit bag all day. Sometimes it feels like a bit of a chore, in spite of the fact I own some incredible bags, it can feel a bit of a burden to carry what is essentially a nappy changing bag round all day.
So I streamlined my colostomy supplies to the bare essentials and off I went with my little bum bag attached (fanny pack for my overseas visitors).
Hands free sightseeing and shopping. Absolute heaven.
We had a brilliant visit…and more importantly free, as most museums in London are!
We got lost on the way to Shoe Heaven in Harrods and ended up in the nursery section where I felt very out giraffed by this giant cuddly creature, my one is only four foot. :(
I fell in love with this beautiful unicorn too and had to be dragged away. Hahahahaha
Chris bought me some beautiful perfume, a vital part of an ostomites routine in my opinion. I douse myself in the stuff.
And then we headed over to Oxford Street for Ben to do his flat shopping.
We headed over to Holborn after Ben had literally shopped till we all dropped in John Lewis, kitting his up coming flat out with his birthday gift vouchers.
We got to our final stop of the day where I made us all trek up numerous flights of stairs to see the birds at the Rosewood Hotel. I’m obsessed with these cages and finches. I really fancy getting some but cannot find cages like these anywhere.
Then we headed over the courtyard to The Holborn Dining room, where a small disaster occurred in that our lactose intolerant son ended up eating a lactose containing starter…thankfully he’s not anaphylactic-ally allergic to dairy but it does make him incredibly unwell. So we had to stay there until Ben felt confident enough to get on the tube (London underground) for our decidedly precarious journey home.
It’s at times like these that I’m very glad of my colostomy. A bit more vigilance by the staff obviously wouldn’t have gone amiss of course.
They very kindly (I say this with sarcasm intended) didn’t charge us for Ben’s starter…or his main course, which we had cancelled due to him being ill in the loos.
It had been one of my favourite places to eat but it’s fair to say I/we won’t be rushing back.
Apart from the whole lactose poisoning incident we had a great day.
I’m now ready for this week ahead. I’ve got exciting plans for this one!
I’d like to add a very happy birthday wish to my son Sam, who spent the day being spoilt rotten by his son (and Milly of course, who helped Zak make such a smashing cake for his daddy).
Happy first birthday as a dad Sam. xxx
*pancaking is a term used by ostomites when feacses builds up under the sticky pad part of the bag, forcing it off the skin.