Kittens and Chili Peppers

More sunshine in Londinium today and unlike the normal kind which, when it happens, seems to cloud over by early afternoon, the weather forecast seems to suggest today will remain sunny. Yippie! I’m so ready for spring now. Usually I get to each season thinking “oh, THIS is my favourite” and just enjoy them as they come and go, but this year I’m really aching for spring to arrive. Winter just seemed a bit too long, that’s all. After a sunny morning yesterday the afternoon only brought rain, but then the sky was a little clearer again in the evening and hubby came out with me for a walk in the park. It was quite magical, actually (well, apart from the deer-whispering lady), walking through it just as nightfall began to engulf us. In the end it was a bit over 8 kilometres we’d walked and I can really tell now after a few weeks of this that I’m reaping the benefits – I could quite easily have walked the same loop another time whereas two-three weeks ago I could really feel it after similar distances. Perhaps now is the right time to start the running again – it is my favourite kind of relaxation, after all, nothing can set me right like my feet pounding the ground and the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers pounding my ear drums.

Speaking of exercise, I’m toying with the idea of yoga. I told hubby this and his facial expression can only be described as bemused.

That doesn’t sound like you,” he offered.

I think it’d be really good! Get me all zen, calm and centered!” I told him enthusiastically as I tried to imagine myself as all those things and failed.

You’re already calm.

I am WHAT??” I stared at him given that there are countless ways to describe me and ‘calm’ definitely isn’t one of them.

OK, not calm, it’s not the right word…” he searched for the right term but struggled.

Fabulous?” I smiled.

Yes, of course,” he lied, the sod, to humour my grandiose self image.

Hubby never found the word he was grasping for so I don’t know what he meant but will bring it up again as I’m quite curious to know. But I do get his surprise at me expressing that I not only want to attend a yoga class but also don’t expect to throttle anyone in it. I know, I know – it’s the last thing I thought I’d hear me say, too. Weirdly, the things that never appealed about it now do a little bit. I like the idea of focusing on my breathing, shifting my thoughts and doing my body some good in the process. Worth a shot, I think. There is of course not just A chance but a BIG, FAT chance I’ll immediately hate it and struggle to contain my contempt but nothing ventured and all that. I like the IDEA of it despite that it’s all in direct odds with who I am – I like the IDEA of rolling out my yoga mat and going into positions called stuff like Killing Kittens and Whipping Whales to greet a new day at dawn. As I picture this, I’m imagining our balcony in Lipari and obviously in this image I have the body of a 22-yearold Playboy model. But even with my not-Playmate-of-the-year-material arse and thunder thighs I like it and Sweaty Betty clothing goes up to a comfortable L so we’re all good. Plus I reckon sunrise on a seaview balcony in Lipari will be really good (and forgiving) lighting for me regardless. Yep, my 42-yearold non-model self will be just fine.

Drinking. Back to that. It’s what this blog is meant to be about, after all. So where are we? Two and a half months. Can’t say it’s been tough, nor have I struggled. There was the night of dragons when I thought I’d drink but didn’t. There was Easter when the little monster tapped me on the shoulder and got me in a bad mood but not drunk. I’m sure there’ll be other times – I hope I’ll have a long life and it’d just be weird if I never had any urge to have a glass of wine. Jeez, come on – even my non-drinking mother can exclaim after a stressful day at work that she needs a stiff drink. OK, it’s never serious, only a joke, so she never does have one and I can’t see it happening in the future either, but it shows what the illusion of alcohol is and how it’s part of the minds of most of us in the parts of the world where it isn’t forbidden for whatever reason. Even my straight laced mum sees it as something you do to chill out for God’s sake!

Will I ever drink again? I don’t know. I hope not, given I’m an alcoholic and would therefore get sucked in and dragged down in a way that isn’t what you see in the adverts for Tia Maria. But who knows. I’d like to think the rest of my life will continue like this, with my mind clear and my body feeling good. Drinking did NOT feel good. It changed how I felt mentally and physically and it was completely, thoroughly, devastatingly AWFUL. Who knows though. Just because I’ve settled in nicely up here on my Pink Cloud doesn’t mean I’ll always stay here. It’s just the nature of the beast and I know it’ll never attack me when I expect it but lunge at me when I don’t. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? Alcoholism isn’t your typical battle. Alcoholism is like guerilla war – you never know where it’ll come from or when. That’s it’s strength. Unfortunately.

Today, however, is a beautiful day. Another day of my life I am utterly grateful for. And so, today I will not drink.

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