An Oasis.

KM finally made it down for his visit. We chose to stay at a charming local hotel for a couple of nights, and I’d bought The Game of Life for us to play seen as we have rediscovered our love of board games.

I took nothing Uni related with me, which is actually quite unusual.

We enjoyed dinner together on Friday night at the hotel restaurant and I sat there feeling like a proper grownup on a proper date. You can tell it was posh as everyone was talking in hushed voices, our wine came in a wine bucket and the waiter called me madam plus it passed KM’s “fancy place test.” His hypothesis: if you pay before you eat = not so posh. Whereas if you pay after you eat then it must be classy.  I looked across the table at KM and it really hit me how much I miss just going out to dinner with him for a nice meal and some conversation. We talked about KM’s business and some projects he’s working on. We talked about our flat (where KM is still currently living) and how much we miss THE best cat ever: Benji, who is sadly no longer with us. I realised how much I miss this.  We’ve been together going on 12 years. Yes, there have been a few ups and downs along the way and even a couple of break ups, but I love the guy to bits (thankfully – seen as I’m marrying him.)  Now that we are living at other ends of the country and only seeing each other every couple of weeks, I feel sometimes like I haven’t got a clue what’s going on in his life.  I don’t mean to sound controlling, but I like coming home at the end of each day and getting a little report on the days happenings, cooking together and snuggling up in bed. When that report happens by phone or in our case more often than not by Skype text…well it’s just not the same.

Not only that, but my brain totally can’t keep track of all the things I need/want to share with him or worse: I assume I told him about something only to find out I didn’t and he has no clue what I’m talking about.

This weekend was like a little oasis in the desert – 2 precious days of time together.  It was wonderful. We didn’t do anything particularly special. There were no grand adventures or days out, in fact we didn’t even leave Salisbury. Sometimes the simple things in life can bring as much pleasure as the grandest of adventures. We enjoyed some great food together, shopped at the weekly market for my groceries and caught a film. On Sunday afternoon I found myself sat in our room knitting and enjoying my new drink of choice: peppermint tea. KM was taking a nap. During this couple of hours peaceful contemplation two strange and delightful thoughts struck me…

First I really do feel more peaceful when KM is nearby, I relax better, feel safer and happier within myself. Even when he’s not doing anything to directly affect the way I feel (at this point he was lightly snoring but I’m sure he wasn’t doing it for my benefit). This is love to me; grand romantic gestures are all well and good and I’m not going to fool anybody if I try to claim I don’t enjoy them, but it’s this calm quiet unassuming love that endures. I don’t believe in the popular analogy where two become one through marriage, it’s simple maths to me … I will not become less than I currently am through marriage, nor do I expect KM to stop wishing I would do the dishes more often, or scale down my shoe collection, I expect we will continue to have the same fiery, bickering relationship we have always had as each of us walks the line between the person we are currently and the person we wish to be. I see the union more as a bonding of a complimentary pair. Each remaining separate, but reinforced and strengthened by the presence of the other. KM’s love for me enables me to go out into the big wide scary world and be more myself knowing that I have a safe haven at home with him in our KM-ALI bubble. It’s easier to stand tall on your own two feet when you know someone is willing to catch you when you fall. We won’t always get it right, but our intentions are true. I really believe I’m marrying an amazing man, though after nearly 12 years I’m far from setting either of us on a pedestal of being perfect or even perfect for each other. It’s not inconceivable to me that on the surface of planet Earth there might not be a woman who is a better match for my KM… somewhere… (Hopefully far, far away where he will never meet her :P) But KM has given me his piece of his heart, and it’s the most valuable thing I own.

Second, it was truly odd to me to find myself mindlessly knitting for a couple of hours without once feeling guilty about the huge mountain of Uni work waiting for me when I get home (by 3 hours the guilt was back in full force) I actually found myself thinking wow this is what a real day off feels like? It was bizarre for my fried brain to realise that a day will actually come when I will actually have days off. Whole days… no guilt included… what an amazing luxury. 2 years and counting… Keep swimming, Ali, Keep swimming.

I have to admit to feeling mentally stretched to my limit right now, between missing KM, learning to drive, trying to change my exercise and diet habits, planning a Wedding, and year 2 of my training… I’m left reminded of the women I look after in labour who are often brought to the point where they believe they can’t go on anymore only to find somewhere within themselves the strength to endure a little more… a little more… a little more … pushed to their very limits the strength of women amazes me almost daily, I find myself looking for that same power somewhere within myself, not to birth a child but to build the life I want for myself.

I could do with a compassionate midwife figure to support and guide me at times hehe

Ali xX

Over the Moon

Hawaii 2

We booked our Honeymoon!!

Well actually KM told me: “I’m letting you take care of the moon, but I express a preference for Hawaii.”

So really I booked the Honeymoon haha

I considered a few suggestions: Grand Tetons national park, Boston, Florida and the Caribbean, but in the end I also decided to go with KM’s preference. So 2 weeks in Hawaii it is!

I decided to just go for it – in the middle of this cold spell I was freezing and wanted some tropical trip to look forward to.

I was a little hesitant to go with the Hawaii choice as I just went last year BUT we have solved the problem by doing a split location trip: we will spend a week on Maui – an island I haven’t actually been to before, and then a week at the same resort in Waikiki on Oahu where I stayed last year.

I can’t wait!! I’ve been so excited thinking of all the things for last summer that I want to share with my love. I can taste the Waikiki Cosmo now… ahhhh.

Wedding in Chicago, Honeymoon in Hawaii. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

Ali xX

The Macdonalds

A cynic sat among the cathedral congregation: the music gently plays… men in kilts, fancy dresses… Mother dressed in pink, father oh so proud, a woman whose smile sparkles more than her stunning white dress, A handsome kilted man waits…

“Do you take this man ….?  I do”   The first of my two closest high school friends becomes someone’s Mrs. One of our trilogy is Married. Even the cynic wipes a subtle tear from her cheek believing for this moment that a wedding makes all the sense in the world. Musical Miss kissed her groom to the sound of popping champagne corks and shall hence forth be known as Musical Mrs.

Wonderful sunshine, good food, great friends… It truly was a beautiful wedding. Running like clockwork, no stress, no awkward standing around and even reasonably priced drinks at the bar but these physical details are tiny compared to the joy written on the happy couples faces all day long.  A truly loving union of families it was wonderful to watch. And who could help but cheer at the news that Dad’s aging old Jaguar had made it to the church on time, or at the appearance of the childhood friend Soft the teddy bear, testament we were told to the bride’s loving nature and proof that she would love her fiends not for a short time but until they are literally falling apart.  There was perhaps only a slight hint of jealously as the many talents of family and friends were displayed: a song written for the happy couple, a violin tune so lilting and lovingly played by a young girl whose skill leaves many adult fiddlers in her shadow. Even their own Scottish reel “The Merry Macdonald” created by friends and danced into the late hours of the festivities.

Yes, it was a soppy overflow of love with a sprinkling of the usual wedding traditions but in no way did this day feel cliché. It seemed to flow as a natural celebration of my friend and her man.  I truly am grateful I was able to share it with them.

Maybe this wedding thing isn’t so bad…

Much love luck health and happiness to you both and I do hope we continue to be friends until we are falling apart.

All my love

Ali xx

Rings & things.

Fasting is no fun. I woke up too late today to really have proper meals before my fast began.  As a result, I only actually ate a yogurt and two slices of toast before embarking on my 14 HOURS food free. OK ok make that 1 raspberry flavored yogurt, 2 slices of toast  and as many M&M’S as I could crunch up and swallow in the 5 minute count down to zero hour – a number which is lower than you might think seen as I was laughing the whole time which makes actually chewing kind of hard.  It only actually registered after it was pointed out to me that actually this is food and drink free.  Water is my only option which really sucks because I find it so hard to drink water.  I really don’t like it; couple that with the fact that I’m the most stubborn and contrary person I know. As soon as you tell me I can’t so something of course it’s the only thing I can think about.  I never realized until this evening how much FOOD is advertised on TV AND it all looks GREAT… even the stuff I never would have considered eating… if it hadn’t been for the fact that the activity is prohibited. Each advert had me lusting Homer Simpson style:  Mmmm popcorn… mmm cream cheese…  oooo pasta…  marmite… wait I HATE marmite…  actually that looks good (its not the smell alone makes me gag )…  meat… chocolate… awwwww chocolate… such fond memories you’d have though I was never going to eat the stuff again. The only thing that failed to inspire my deprived taste buds was the Arby’s advert.  I don’t know what it is about that place but their food SCARES ME… and usually it has to be said advert food is way more appetizing than the actual object in reality, so Arby’s…. I’m thinking no…. the cheese on these things looks unnatural.  It’s the food of my nightmares. Just thinking about it I’m starting to break a sweat.. Yeah I’m an Arby’sophobe can you get therapy for that?!

My stomach won’t stop growling at me. I think it’s angry. The noise I don’t mind so much but the ache of I’m hungry feed me… FEED ME… that just takes the piss. Where are you every other day when I struggle to eat my meals or just plain forget to eat altogether?  Hunger – you never show up then do ya!? Bastard.

Moving quickly on to good news… no, GREAT news.  I found out tonight that one of my friends got ENGAGED last Tuesday. We’ll call her Musical Miss because of her crazy violin-piano-singing passion and talent. Now usually I’d be all cynical.  I’m not a great advocate for the institution of marriage it has to be said. Well, OK, that’s not quite true. I’m a hopeless romantic in theory. I’d like to believe that everybody has a soul mate out there and I do believe in true love. Its just I have some issues with the whole idea of monogamy, which lets face it, is kind of key to the traditional marriage service.  Yes yes I KNOW… this view is going to make me REALLY unpopular and may even lead to some name calling or unfavorable judgments about me and my morals or standards. So be it. Live and let live, I say I’m not saying a monogamous relationship is wrong for anyone else at all.  At the end of the day, be in the relationship that makes you happy. That’s most important.

Musical Miss and her man are utterly happy and what’s more they are so well matched and cute together. It has cynical people like me calling for a bucket and grinning from ear to ear.  My friend has been there for me the whole time as I was growing up.  I totally admire her pragmatic practical attitude. The amount of different passions and commitments she juggles is staggering and she’s had more then her fair share of heart ache too. I’m so so thrilled that she has found a sweet, caring and funny guy who recognizes her for the amazing woman she is. From what I’ve seen, being with him only makes her stronger. I wish them every blinking happiness in the whole world. To me, they are the real deal and so I find myself in rather unusual position of being thrilled and excited by the prospect of a wedding. Actually its pretty damn awesome that I’ve had to add a congratulations card to my shopping list.

Ali xX

K.S.: My girlfriends getting married … bring on the hen night woohoo!