It’s been a while since I have blogged, so I am penning this on a flight to Canada. Six months has raced past. My dear dad was very poorly, and we thought we were going to lose him in March. Complications from the radiotherapy to treat a second bout of prostate cancer seemed insurmountable but at the ripe old age of 84 a miracle happened. Dr Al Khadi stepped up and removed his bladder which has given him a new lease of life. The NHS takes some flack, but I will be forever grateful to the folks at the Norfolk and Norwich for keeping my dear dad alive. There was a fair bit of doom and sadness around this time, and it is hard to draw positives. However, I spent some lovely 1 on 1 time with mum which has not happened for a long time.
We had our first Christmas in the UK in 4 years which was nice to spend it with the family, but deep-down Fran and I would have rather been opening stockings on the beach. Fran and I made it to Dubai on our first trip in 13 years without the kids. It was nice to have a chilled week with not much to do and it was just about warm enough in January to get some sun. It was nice to stop and truly realise why I love Fran so much as we got to spend some quality time together.
The girls are on great form. Isla is nearly 13 and turning into a teenager. It’s all about Tik Tok and snapchat and how many hours she can get on her phone. I laugh as she has a Stussy T shirt and cargo pants which I was wearing at 15. She starts a new school (Bedes) in September which is exciting. There is an exam she must take but not pass so I have been dusting off my 35-year-old maths skills with some past papers to try and give her a moral boosting pass. Pie r squared anyone? Summer term is all about cricket and I have managed to watch them all once which is an absolute joy as well as getting to Hove to watch Sussex. They all swim and Fran gets very excited at the galas and they can hold their own on the running track.
I decided to stop my therapy/counselling as it is an expensive pursuit but one that has been well worth it. I have gained some much-needed perspective on life and learnt a bit about myself. I am currently in the zone of pushing my body to the max. Weekly pickle ball or padel is a treat but I limp off the court after an hour. I am getting stronger with my pilates and started lifting weights which I thought I would never do. I feel like improved upper body strength will serve me well when my legs eventually give out. We have been doing a fair bit of gardening of late and I can just about still mow the lawn and do some rather wobbly strimming. Getting a bit more social in Hastings with some rugby meet ups with Toby at the angling club and a monthly men’s group.
My boss Rupert quit to retire in January. I have been waiting a while to step up so this is my chance. I have filled some gaps in his absence but the formal recruitment process will not start till the summer so I have to bide my time. I had a great trip to Whistler for some sit ski before Christmas. I took 40 travel agents out to Toronto and Niagara in April followed by 4 days planning meetings in Paris. I am currently en route to Quebec City for our annual trade show Rendez-vous.