77 - Arrivals

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Five hours late, flight delayed. Late night arrival.

The thick feeling of different air and smells, a new and heavy kind of heat.

Passport control, move on, one by one through a wall with doors to unknown territory.

Watching the luggage carousel, wondering whether our belongings have made other plans. There is a surge forward to make a claim on possessions, we check everything is present and correct, no more, no less.

We wander out in to the middle of the night, the culture shock hits us like a truck sideways on.

The taxi takes us through avenues of palm trees that tower over and above us. We can see someone watching TV, their apartment wall is missing. Many are.

I feel we are not in the proverbial Kansas anymore Toto, our adventure is just beginning...


February 2006 we travelled to Cuba for our honeymoon. Our first long-haul, a life changer.

Our eyes were opened to the difference in geographic locations in the world which we had not before truly experienced.  The kindness of people (challenging our own suspicions).  We learnt always to travel with hand sanitiser and that if something looks funny, don't eat it.  That you will never truly believe the colour of the sea or the trillions of stars visible at night in certain parts of the world.  The sadness of a sunburnt dog so bitten by fleas it has no fur left to shade it from the scorching sun. The smell of a petrol refinery that turns every scorched hot pavement day back in England in to an early morning in Cuba.  The feel of communism and politics so prolific, it is everywhere - especially in the Russian plane that takes us from an island back to the mainland in the depths of night to a disused airport where we feared we might come to an untimely end...

Those first days as a married pair set the tone for the next ten years... sickness and health. Bitter/sweet. Shocking. Life changing. Sad. Exciting. Tiring. Awesome. Wondrous. Challenging. Inspiring.

The adventures we have had, the things we have seen, the sorrow and joy we have experienced.
It all makes us. Every day.

Here's to the next ten years...

76 - The Daily Lie.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I have done the unthinkable... some time ago now I said no to early starts for vanity's sake and yes to an extra half an hour in bed.

I used to find the pressure to look good on the school run quite panic inducing and crippling, the need to look perfectly put together and like I have all my sh*t together before 8.30am causing an almost daily meltdown. I am a night owl and definitely not a morning person, so getting my kids in to school before the proverbial bell rings is a miracle in itself, let alone doing it in perfectly applied war paint. I asked myself who the make up was for, it certainly wasn't me, so what was the point?

I no longer wear makeup unless I want to (there are times it just feels good to look super pampered and preened and like a team of stylists have been at me) or my face will be recorded in some form other than by memory (wedding photos for example). Just because you can, doesn't mean you should, right? I got sick of what felt like a daily lie, for me, a feeling of having to say "look at me with my perfect skin and no dark circles under my eyes from burning the midnight oil", when underneath the primer, foundation, concealer and powder (and seriously - do you realise you what you are putting on your face - look at and decode your make up's ingredient list for something far more frightening than any horror flick you'll ever see) lay the truth. My skin could be better, so what? Do you really care? I didn't think so...

For more information on the make up thing - http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/ makes for an interesting read.  I don't claim this to be the authority on the matter but it might spark your interest for further research, just because you aren't physically eating your make up, doesn't mean it doesn't wind up in your system - be smart, don't just look it!

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