D-Day – Otherwise Known as Tuesday 21st November 2017
It was never going to be a conventional departure. As in get up, get dressed and just go. That would have been far too normal.
We’d known for the past couple of months that My Gorgeous Man’s mother needed to attend a dermatological appointment with her consultant (nothing life threatening) on the morning of the Tuesday 21st November… so we’d always geared our departure around being able to take her to that. She’s in the early stages of dementia and what might seem like a simple appointment to Joe Bloggs brings on huge proportions of anxiety and confusion. We knew what to expect, and it was important that she knew that we were there for her.
We were also having to factor in that our friends in France who we were pit stopping with, were going away on 25th and not having seen them since their wedding a couple of years ago… we wanted at least a couple of wild nights with them. And we absolutely HAD to be back in Spain by Sunday 26th as our rent is due to be paid on the morning of the 27th in the agency office. So all in all, it was a bit of a logistical, organising dream come true for MGM.
So, on the morning of Tuesday 21st November, we were up at 6am (but again, awake long before that) to totally empty our flat, do a last hoover round and dispose of Sir Maxelot’s ripped up and destuffed duvets that definitely weren’t coming with us. And of course, pack the last remaining bags into the car… which had mysteriously multiplied into making it very full car indeed.
We said a final thank you to the flat that had become our haven during our unplanned 2 year stay in Scotland, and pulled the door closed on that chapter of our lives.
This was it!
We were off to a new life in Spain… or more immediately… off to MGM’s mother in Musselburgh.
What we didn’t anticipate was a drama and confusion over the central heating when we arrived. But MGM being the knight in shining armour that he is, checked, clarified, double checked, triple checked back with his brother, wrote out instructions… and then drove his mother into the Edinburgh hospital, along with the whole of our life in the back of the car.
Sir Maxelot and I stayed in the comforts of her living room and had bit of a power nap and love in…. with lots of Reiki, which he loves. It helps him with his anxiety. Let’s face it. His normal routine had already been blown to bits and he is an emotionally sensitive, grumpy old bugger who likes his structure, home comforts and… alone time. Lots of patience, love and strong space would need to be held for him throughout the week’s journey and transition to Spain.
MGM and his mother ended up being away for a good couple of hours and had been told that a day surgery procedure would go ahead in December. It made our ‘Adios’ a bit easier and more difficult at the same time as it was already looking like MGM would have to come back to the UK after just 3 weeks.
Hugs and ‘Adios’s’ all round… and we finally hit the road… again.
And went straight to the nearby Asda to get in some unhealthy but very welcome chocolate, crisps and fizzy drink for Driver Number One ie. MGM… (he’d gone waaaay past the healthy wheatgrass smoothies by this point)… and I wanted to get some last minute fluffy pjs for my friend J who was still down in Spain waiting for us at our new home. Apparently the temperature had dropped quite a bit since I left after running the first two Channelling Love retreats.
So… it wasn’t until after midday that we finally left Edinburgh… and to be honest we were both a bit shellshocked and numb. We had booked the 0123 Eurotunnel because it was the cheapest time, but it also gave us a massive 12 hours for the 9 hours drive, and with the hope that we could try and blag an earlier shuttle if needed.
The next few hours were spent, funnily enough, driving down the A1.
My friend J had Whatsapped us some ‘you’re doing great and keep going’ motivational photos from our awaiting Spanish garden… with the morning sun rising above the mountains, and it most definitely helped spur us on.
The weather for our first day’s driving was dark grey, rainy and particularly shite.
One thing became very apparent during the first 5 hours of our drive. It’s not until you spend 5 hours continually cooped up in the car with your beloved dog that you realise how much gas he actually expels… it was acrid. Sir Maxelot was totally oblivious to our streaming eyes, distress and rapid window opening…he was laid out in the palatial boot on his specially purchased memory foam mattress and favourite fleece rugs. Our boy knows how to travel. And we know how to spoil him.
But it felt like frikking FOR-EVAAAAH to even get down to Leeds.
We were feeling totally fried and we were only just half way. You may remember that I’m not the best of passengers … so I spent a lot of time with my head in my brand new phone.
The day before, after having had lunch with my mother and moved though another emotionally charged “Adios” …. (she had put on a very brave front but I could feel what she was feeling and it was tough on both of us,) MGM and I followed our guts and made a mad dash to upgrade and up level my phone tech.
It had been very obvious while I’d been in Spain that my phone and network weren’t going to cut it. My livestreams had massively pixelated and my much anticipated LIVE interview with the inspirational cancer warrior Fi Munro had fallen flat as my phone didn’t have the capacity to hold the connection. Gutted. And embarrassed. Not going to happen again. Nope.
Seeing as our new life in Spain is based upon my work as a channel… it was a no brainer to invest in the foundations for our future. It had to be done. So we did it. I’m now the proud owner of a snazzy powerful iPhone that does things I‘d never even dreamed of and have no idea how to work.
But the eyestrain became too much as the greyness turned into blackness. It was now just a long drive in the dark. And in the rain. Yuk.
We made pitstops every couple of hours to clear our heads and to give Sir Maxelot a stretch. He was way more chilled out than us. And he peed and poo’d according to his usual structure and routine… and we gave him his first outdoor dinner in a services carpark somewhere in the midlands… I think. And he ate it… which meant he was doing a-ok.
MGM, not so much.
He needed to power nap… not even lucozade was helping. So I went into the services and blanched at the price of a latte while he instantly fell asleep. I came back after about 20 minutes to find him totally sparko, leaning at an awkward angle with his mouth wide open and looking absolutely gorgeous. I do love My Hunky Handsome Hero. So I went back into the services and loitered around the M&S food store. The only thing that grabbed my attention was the prossecco… and nope, I didn’t. In hindsight, I wish I had.
Things became a bit blurry after about 8pm. We were on autopilot. The Google Be-atch took us on a detour off the motorway which perplexed us and drastically lowered our stress tolerance, but after about 30 minutes of “For F*cks saking” we were reunited with the M20. The last hour felt like it would never end. One last pitstop for Max to release (in accordance with his night time schedule of 10.30pm) and then we realised that we were practically right next to the Channel Tunnel after all.
We had to pull over for a bit of rapid, tense “Where the F*ck is it??!” delving in a bag on the back seat to dig out passports… and just before we got to the kiosk, we were strangely asked to reverse back out of the queue and up between the concrete bollards to pull in to the neighbouring kiosk which looked deserted.
All passports glanced at… including Max’s and we were sent on to the French border kiosk, which was as similarly disinterested in any of us.
It turned out that our hope of hitching an earlier ride to France was impossible. We’d not long missed boarding for the 2320 shuttle… and the next one wasn’t till our booked one at 0123. All we could do was park up and wait. And I went into the terminal to get a bit of space. MGM and I were frazzled and trying not to snap… although he did a better job at holding it together than me. So I left ‘ma boyz’ alone for a bit and went for a cuppa and watched the shenanigans of 5 grown men up ladders trying to put up the central ceiling Christmas lights and decorations. I quickly got bored and went back to the car to try and show my appreciation and gratitude for all MGM’s driving.
I was actually so discombobulated that I couldn’t even be arsed to start panicking about the Eurotunnel.
I’m claustrophobic, so going underground, let alone underwater was something that I would avidly avoid in normal circumstances. But I’d had to pull on my big, brave pants because even worse than being underground, was the thought of leaving Sir Maxelot alone in the car on a ferry’s lower decks. So when we were finally waved into the shuttle train and the sides began to close in on me, I listened intently to the safety announcement like a good girl and thought happy thoughts that didn’t include leaks or sea water.
It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
I chose to ignore my changing ear pressure that marked our descent under the sea… but Max was loving his ride… he had the car behind him to check out… and we could see the guys taking photos of his handsomeness peeking out of the back window at them.
We arrived in France at 2am… except it was now 3am with the time change. The Google Be-atch thankfully led us straight to our budget Ibis 10 minutes away and we finally pulled into the carpark at 0333… another master number!
For a while during the journey we’d had the double master number of 22.22 as our predicted arrival time at the Eurotunnel… so we’d felt very Universally supported and protected! I do love the Divine signs of the Universe.
We pulled out our overnight bags… woke Sir Maxelot from his comfy bed… and headed to the automated check in machine and thankfully all that worked too. A slip of paper was printed out with our room number and a code to get in the door.
It was like walking into a plastic prison cell and Sir Maxelot was not best pleased… hardly any room to turn his longness around and he stood steadfastly looking at the door. So much so, that MGM thought he might be asking to go out… so he took him out again. But all he did was go mental at a giant rabbit that appeared from nowhere. His old training and instinct as a hunting breed and ex-racer was still very much alive. Back in the room, I took the top single bunk… and the boys happily took the double bed below. There was no space to bring his mattress in at all. And we all said goodnight.
Max slept well. We both heard him excitedly chasing that rabbit while we tried to count sheep. And at about 8 am we surfaced from a half uncomfy sleep into semi conscious action. It was time to just hit the road again. Sir Maxelot had breakfast served in the car park and then he happily jumped back into this fleecy palace. We took deep breaths, set up google Be-atch and headed into the unknown.
An hour in and we stopped for french pain au chocolate… and 2 hours in, we hit Paris.
As I’ve been writing, and you’ve been reading, My Gorgeous Hero of a Man has masterfully navigated the jammed packed roads filled with pushy, Parisian tailgating drivers who know very well where they are going. He managed to drive us through all the turn offs, verge lefts, rights and whatever else was needed to keep us going south.
It was extremely intense.
He’s a much, much happier A1 Driver when I don’t ‘help’… and I’m a much, much happier passenger when I don’t see red brake lights lighting up in front of me. We make a fab team. I heard the call from the Universe to write this blog post now, with my laptop on my lap and my head and my heart in the blogging world of Namaste This… and it meant that MGM and I could remain friends and in lurv after all.
So there you have it… we’re a day and a half into our transition into a new life. We’ve another 6 hours or so to go until we’re in the Mid Pyrenees where we’re staying for 3 nights with one of my dearest friends. We met way back in the early 1990’s flying for BA and oh boy… we had some great times in the good ole days… which was affectionally known as Beach Fleet… i.e.. Gatwick Base in the 1990’s. Despite the distance and the passing years… we’ve always been there for each other. It’s a true friendship… we just pick up where we left off.
The only blip on this French horizon is that they have an excitable Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy… and as gorgeous as she is… we’re praying and asking Sir Maxelot to love her too. As with some ex-racing greyhounds, he’s not that keen on other breeds of dogs… but combined with his preference for sleeping and alone time, it’s going to be an interesting couple of days for sure.
I’ll keep you very much posted.
PS. The Benefits of Breathing Deeply
One of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce increasing stress and anxiety (either in the moment or longterm) is to take some long, slow deep breaths. Generally, we don’t use the full capacity of our lungs when we breathe… and this means that there isn’t the maximum amount of oxygen in our blood cells to fuel our body.
The Benefits of:
- Lowers stress
- Lowers anxiety
- Lowers blood pressure
- Promotes blood flow
- Promotes clear thinking
- Releases toxins from the body
- Strengthens abdominal and intestinal muscles
- Natural pain relief
- Increased energy
- Increased self awareness
Try it and see!
For a count of 5 – Breathe in through your nose, and down into your belly
Hold for a count of 2
For a count of 5 – Breathe out through your mouth
Repeat 5 times
Build up the repetitions!
Start bringing this very simple and basic exercise into your daily practise and whenever you feel any anxiety building up.