So, what's happening with you?

posted on: Thursday, 26 August 2010

I had this strange sensation when I was away that I wanted to write, but had promised myself I wouldn't as it was designed to be time away from everything normal. I noticed it has become 'normal' to write now, which is notable, all things considered. In some ways I spent my time away thinking, but then in other ways I realised I made a concerted effort to think of nothing whatsoever.

I said there were some things afoot in our family. When we were away my husband got a job offer; the kind that has life-changing implications for us, so we spent days considering, pondering, reasoning, punctuated by swims in the pool and beach visits. I find sand between your toes helps in any decision-making process...

the view from the end of my sun lounger...
Meanwhile on other matters:

Every second morning I ran. Early, first thing, before the heat really took hold, I got up and went running, on a deserted farm track that hugged the golf course near where we stayed. Noticing olive, fig and citrus trees as I ran. Sometimes accompanied by stray Portuguese dogs (that made me run that little bit faster; fight or flight? Flight for me, all the way). So my husband and I ran alternate days; initially I beat his time running the same track, eventually he beat my time. I figured unfair: he has shorter legs! On those mornings when I returned and then swam in the pool, before everyone was up, I had moments of happiness that simply must be down to those exercise endorphins. I am not evangelical about many things but I have to say; running is the answer. It just makes you feel so good after. Not often during; but after.

The Boos were great fun. They excelled at late, balmy nights, 'midnight' swims, beach volley-ball at dusk, eclectic dinner menus (Piri-piri anyone?) and were altogether fantastic company. I realised, again and afresh, that babies grow into children who become the best people to chill with in my world. So many shared looks between their Daddy and I as we thought to ourselves 'we made these cool people!'

the view from my fave beach restaurant...
Tropical warm climates are happy-making. No question. To wake to sunshine every day is a gift and I wonder now, as I come home to torrential rain and cloud - why do we live here? England is beautiful but really, would it hurt to be sunny just a little bit more often?

We lived like sloths. Well more importantly, I did. No cleaning, no laundry, no having to be anywhere at any time and I wondered - how can I hold on to this feeling of freedom? Normally, I am a slave to housework. My 'part time' job takes up too much of my time. The tyranny of the school run effects every day of life in term-time. What to do? How to maintain the holiday vibe? Suggestions on a postcard please...

I marvelled daily on how my girl, in particular, is growing up. Is that a nine year old thing? This child, who this summer learned to do backwards dives, can use her body in a way that I can only faintly recall when I was that age. She is just so clever and beautiful. A marvel indeed to me.

Olympian 2016?
Is it wrong that I was back home for no more than a few hours before I started scanning the web for the next holiday? Live for holidays or live for life? Hmmm....

Back to the decision-making process; we mused the life-changes, we looked at every angle, and we decided yep let's go for it. That was in the summer sun of Portugal.

Now we are home, events are actually unfolding in ways that we didn't anticipate, so I am not sure whether it's a stay or go situation afterall as the present employer has a card to play...will keep you posted.

So, now...what's been happening with you?!


  1. That is why holidays are so special, because they renew your perspective on what is special and signficant and what really really doesn't matter (like housework). Oh to have that perspective and feeling all the time.

  2. It sounds like your summer was just about perfect, Lou. It doesn't get any better than sunshine and family. I don't think you can maintain the holiday feeling, though. Real life gets in the way, but that's just normal.

    I am so intrigued to find out about this life-changing decision!

    Glad you're back :)

  3. ok- i'm making breakfast for these kiddos- whilst trying to maintain my french-holiday-essence-within-my-normal-day-to-day... and am wondering if your holiday decision making has any link to the HUGE decision you know that we have made?

    be brave ...the world is there for living lovely lou...
    & your holiday abroad looks totally heavenly- just what it should be!
    p.s- awesome dive- that was from my water baby born & bred aussie gal...

    melissa xx

  4. lovely post.

    totally feel you on life changing decisions. can only imagine how hard they are when you have children. decisions are always made differently on holiday - but maybe that is a good thing? whatever y'all choose will be right for you.

  5. Beautiful post - looks like you had a divine holiday.

    I'm interested to hear what direction you head in terms of the life decision. Is that weird, since I don't actually know you? And yet you feel like a friend to me. Anyway...good luck. We're having similar conversations here actually. My husband is contemplating making a move career-wise, and it would mean (gasp!) more travel and more work. It would leave me here to juggle everything at home, and I already work full-time. There must be an easier arrangement. Starting to allow myself to think about the 'what-ifs'. Maybe some sort of part-time arrangement. Maybe at least I could ask for August off and pretend I'm European. Something to make life a little easier.

    Sorry for the rant - as you can tell, this topic is heavy on my mind right now as well. So glad to have you back!

  6. I love the pictures. The beach, sand and sun really works wonders for my mood. The sun makes me a happy person. Anyway, well I hope everything goes well with that decision making. Opportunity does knock once. =)

  7. Lou, so nice to have you back. Holidays are magical for families. I too think people are happier in sunny climates....I know my mood is hugely affected by sunshine.

    Interested in what transpires on the job front for your husband and your family.

  8. Welcome back, and thank you for bringing some sunshine into my dreary day!

  9. Wow! First off, your holiday sounds just perfect, and needed... just in time. You have to take time to relax, and what a beautiful place it is to enjoy. Your daughter must have been in heaven!

    Second, I hope this decision brings you many great opportunities and moments. Sometimes, changes are great, and though we might not know it, can be one of the best experiences of our lives. I wish you all the best with this new adventure...


  10. Wow Lou it all sounds so exciting - can't wait to hear more - every exciting decision always has a twist - makes the destination so much more enjoyable!

    For me well I have had the most incredible week with Sienna's party being featured on the "Oprah of Parties" Blog Amy Atlas - still dancing and smiling and enjoying the journey!

    Your holiday looks perfect!

  11. Paradise! I just love your fearless daughter. A backwards dive?! Those used to terrify me. The first photo is stunning! I alwasy take pictures like this too. And that sand is amazing. Can't wait to hear about your hubby's new job offer and the positive change that awaits!

    xo M

  12. Wonderful post Lou....I am DYING to hear your news!!!! Job offer...hmmmmm??!!

    Sounds like the perfect holiday....and well done on the running, fabulous.

    And that dive.....WOW!!


  13. It sounds like a fabulous time was had by all. We are so overdue for a vacation. Next year, we have got to go somewhere.

  14. Holidays in the sun are good for your soul!! Sounds like a perfect time was had by all. I am with you on the running, and hope all turns out the way you wish for your life changing decision. I have been away from blogland for too just moved up a gear and I couldn't keep up with everything! I am looking forward to the warm sunshiney days to head our way. It is always an adjustment getting back into 'normal' life..hope those grey skies clear and bring you lots of sunshine :)

  15. I envy you... My holidays are long ago (April...) and now I have to wait until next spring...I'm dreaming for a car-trip across Europe - From Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary until Croatia, Italy, France and back to Germany...