Break’s Over!

Apologies are in order. I’ve been back home for just about a week now and I have been more or less hibernating since I arrived. I apologize to all who have been waiting for responses or feedback since I got back. Truth is, I think I just needed a little break.

So in case there is any concern, I am fine and feeling good. I went in for my latest round of scans on Wednesday however, we won’t get the results for another week or so. It’s not always easy but I feel like the less weight I give to the results the easier it is to just go about my days. Now that I have all this healing mojo running through my system the usual stress seems to be gone or at least drastically reduced. It doesn’t make the wait any more pleasurable but it definitely blunts the stress.

One thing that is exciting is that I have officially started the new meds. My doctor seems quite excited about it, so I, therefore, am also excited. As usual though, we won’t see any real results for at least another 2 weeks so all in all, we are in a little bit of a holding pattern for the time being.

I was really looking forward to being able to report some news to you all regarding the overall state of affairs but alas, we wait.

In the meantime, let me tell you a little bit about my trip to England.

After leaving Nice, I flew straight to London and tried to meet up with some Canadian ex-pat friends living there but was foiled again by my complete and total lack of planning. Sometimes it is great to be free of schedules and appointments. Other times it can result in a frantic search for food, shelter and a cold pint.  Luckily, these things can all be found in abundance in London.

Priorities being what they are in times of minor crisis, I closed my eyes, turned around a couple of times, pointed my finger and found a lovely pub (with wifi no less) right around the corner from Victoria station. From there I managed to book a room, figure out where and how to get to the right train station the next day to meet up with my uncle in Essex. Crisis averted. Thirst (eventually) quenched.

The following 4 days were just so lovely and enjoyable that I am still glowing a little I think. There is something about being able to bond with or just be around family that can really fill your soul with so much goodness. Being an only child and generally being either 3 hours drive or 8 hours flight away from any family other than my mom, it has always been a slightly awkward process (for me anyway) to suddenly be in the presence of people who love you unconditionally yet barely know you as a person…and vice versa.

The older we all get, the easier it is to get past the initial awkwardness and jump right into the appreciation and embrace of being with loved ones.

So, my uncle Bruce and his lovely wife Sue picked me up at the train station and in no time  I felt perfectly at home and grounded in the land of my ancestors. Something to be said about that too.

After that first night which consisted of a lovely dinner and a pint at the Blue Boar Pub (If ever you find yourself in Maldon, Essex, do yourself a favour and check this place out) and then just relaxing at home with Bruce and Sue, every day after that was spent visiting different family members. All of which live far enough away that it required, more or less, a full day to drive there, hang out a bit and drive back. It was a perfect system for the amount of time I had there.

I realize that reading about other people’s family get togethers is not necessarily the most exciting topic and as much as I enjoy writing, I certainly don’t think I have the skills to keep you fine people riveted for a fully detailed account of every day so I will keep it brief. 

Ultimately, I was able to see where my cousins, Colin and Marie live and spent a day with each of them and their respective partners Shirley and Scotty. I also saw my fathers cousin Marion which was amazing.

Colin lives in or next to Clavering in an amazing little 400 year old cottage (man I love Europe!) which is just down the road from the Cricketers, which is the pub owned by Jamie Oliver’s parents and occasionally visited by the Naked Chef himself. I just love these old English pubs! Being 6’1″ it can be a little tricky walking around without scalping or concussing yourself on a low beam but I learned to just place my hand, palm out, on my forehead and used that as my little meat helmet. Not surprisingly, the food was incredible and we all had a great time.

It was great just being able to spend time with Colin who is one of the few male cousins close to my age that I have. There is a love and kinship there that I truly appreciate and I look forward to seeing him again soon.

Marion, who is my Dad and Bruce’s cousin and we figured out, my second cousin was our next visit. She too lives in an incredible 400 + year old, thatched roof cottage (can’t remember the name of the village though) and for all intents and purposes, I was meeting her for the first time. I was 2 or 3 maybe, the last time I saw her and have no real recollection of her from that time so it was really touching and gratifying to finally meet her as an adult.

My dad passed away when I was 11 years old and there are very few people left in the world (that I know personally) that were close to him and Marion is one of them. So meeting her and her husband Don was a double bonus because they are just wonderful, kind, interesting people and we were able to share stories about my dad and ourselves and it was all effortless and natural. So once again we all went out for dinner and shared stories over dinner and drinks and I am richer, once again, for the experience.

Finally, on the 4th day we went to see my cousin Marie and her partner Scotty. They live in the same town that I used to visit as a young lad and where both Colin and Marie grew up.

They just moved in to a beautiful new house right next to an old mill and a river. Very nice indeed.
So once again we sat around, chatted for a bit then went to grab a bite. Afterwards we went a couple of doors down the street to grab a drink in… another 400 year old pub! Amazing!
It sounds repetitive but I could honestly do that sort of thing over and over again. Each one of these old places has it’s own character and soul. They all tend to have these grande old fireplaces as well so it smells like firewood and history and well, beer of course.
Let me just say, I realize there are quite a few references to drinking on this trip but I feel I must add that this was all done in moderation and not a hang over was had the whole time.
Uncle Bruce and I did however make it a point to have a little night cap together every night which is one of my most cherished memories now and I feel no need to justify that one bit.
Five years ago however, I might have been telling a different story.
Back to the point, it was lovely to see Marie and Scotty and to see them doing so well and happy together.
It was all very short and sweet (unlike this update) but it could not have gone better given the fact that I had to fly back to Vancouver for my tests and pick up my new meds. Basically, I managed to squeeze in what would normally take a week or two into 4 days. It was a little exhausting but I would do it again and again. In a heartbeat!

Now I just need to coax them all to come over to Canada for a visit.

Thank you all for your patience (assuming you’ve gotten this far) and once again, please accept my apologies for dropping out for a little while there.

Sending you all love from the depths of my being.

Alistair

Bruce, me, Colin

Bruce, me, Colin

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Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Break’s Over!

  1. Happy you had a lovely time as you certainly deserved it.
    Praying and sending only good your way

  2. Susan Dempsey

    When this is all over you should look into a career in writing…

    Your dispatches are very interesting…

    Keeping our fingers crossed…

    Susan

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