Thursday, 1 September 2011

After the four days...

It’s hard sometimes coming back to work after a Bank Holiday weekend. I took an extra day off this time, which gave me four days to flop. The problem is that that’s enough time to begin to relax, but not really to recharge; one needs a few days to get right down the hill, as it were, before one can begin to come up again. So I came back to London yesterday thoroughly relaxed but not much recouped.

The gynae problems took advantage of my relaxing to come on again, and I ended up having to talk to my mother about them before I had planned to (I’ve learned over the years that presenting Mum with a problem without also having a solution in place is simply inviting her to worry, and then work herself into a state of misery trying to find a solution and force one to implement it). I think when my GP gets to the bottom of it (pun not intended, sorry!) the issue is probably going to come down to my age and my hormones; but as I’d feared, Mum is now convincing herself that it’s going to be cancer or coronary heart disease or some other horror. I’ve provided various samples to my doctor and have another appointment next week, at which I fully expect to be told that A) I have had a bacterial infection and B) my oestrogen levels are down. We’ll see, anyway.

It was still good to chill out at Mum’s and do very little.

My brother Steve collected me from work on Friday evening, in the middle of a dramatic thunderstorm. Strangely, despite the atrocious weather and the fact it was the eve of a bank holiday weekend, we had a very smooth easy drive down to Kent. This time last year, trying to do the same journey, the traffic heading south through Richmond and Kingston was barely crawling; after leaving Kew by 5.15 we found ourselves just outside Banstead at about 9.00pm, and parked up for a while in the large Asda supermarket there to get a sandwich and a drink, use the loo, and stretch our legs, before embarking on another two hours drive to Canterbury. Kew to Banstead, about fifteen miles, had taken us over 3 ½ hours - we could have walked it quicker. So this year we set off with a certain frisson of dread, and the speed and ease of the journey was all the more wonderful for it.

Saturday – what did we all do on Saturday? Lie in, lazy breakfast, bit of light gardening, lazy lunch, walk by the sea, tea and cake, large G&T, supper with a bottle of wine. Sunday? The same, with a giant crossword thrown in. Monday, which was Mum’s birthday, same again, only with Stephen and me doing all the cooking. And Tuesday?- still more laziness and another walk by the sea, and for me another G&T (Steve was driving). Then the drive back to London, which again went off smoothly and in excellent time.

Now I’m back at work, and the weather is okay, and I was able to spend my lunch break today sitting in the sun eating rice cakes and melitzanosalata among the magnificent semi-hardy tropical flowers of the Duke’s Garden. The taste of melitzanosalata takes me back with a lovely sensual swoop of memory to Greece, and reminds me that in ten days I’ll be flying out to Thassos for a week. The weather in Kavala (nearest weather station the BBC link up with) at the moment is hot and dry – averaging 28 degrees with about 30% humidity and clear skies. The place I’m staying is five minutes’ walk from the magnificent beach of Chrisi Amoudia. I will swim and read and paint watercolours, and sit at beachside cafés, and relax again… for a whole week… and I can hardly wait.

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