Can I just say that I posted a HUGE post yesterday and the sodding website has forgotten it? And now so have I and will have to start from scratch. Grrr
So, I'm back from my S themed holiday (that's Syria and Suffolk for the more dirty minded!). And actually there's another S that's the reason I'm typing this from home - that word is sh!t. (I'm so demure I can't even write it!). Yes, today is the 17th day of having diarrhoea. We pretty much all got the bug in Syria but I brought it back as a souvenir and added some delightful extra features such as constant stomach pain, ripping stomach pain when I need the loo and - look away now if you're squeamish - excretion of blood and mucus. So I went to the doctor yesterday (always a gargantuan task) and have been given enormous tablets to take, told to stay off work until at least Monday and told that I had to fast for 24 hours. He relented slightly at my look of horror and told me I could have juice and clear soup. My horror was caused (mostly) by a side effect of this bug which is to make me utterly ravenous. Seriously. I woke up yesterday morning at 4.30am to use the loo and couldn't get back to sleep as I was so hungry. Reader, I have managed it. Just. Yesterday I had a whole carton of V8, another of orange and peach juice, a Pepsi Max, a Diet Lilt and some homemade chicken soup a la Jewish penicillin. And 2 ice lollies - frozen drink, right? My stomach growled alarmingly all day - my mother says this is the bugs wanting food which makes me think of alien, eeek!
Today I think I am a little better - my stomach pain has subsided and my loo trips are less frequent! Although always accompanied with the pleasure that I'm no longer suspended awkwardly above a squat loo with my legs travelling rapidly away from me (and each other) on a wet floor, like Bambi on ice but less cute. And smellier. The loos were not the highlight of Syria - but that is as it should be! Actually it was a wonderful trip - we were in a small group of 8 and everyone was nice (except the lechy, stinky guide and he didn't lech over me). Highlights would be watching the sunset turn the desert Roman ruins of Palmyra rosy pink, gently removing a baby camel from nibbling my scarf and shirt whilst bf caught it on camera (we had to pay of course!) and a small Bedouin girl retying my headscarf for me, incredulous at the mess I'd made of it (she wanted money too). Actually, all that was at Palmyra and whilst it was my favourite place, Damascus and Aleppo were fascinating cities and Saladdin's castle was incredibly atmospheric - in fact there was only one duff day out of 9: we had climbed a horrifying and sweaty 340 steps up to a monastery with overnight packs (and then another c200 up to our rooms - twice, once in the pitch black) only to give up on ever getting anything to eat at 10pm as their religious services, conducted outside and in the dark, continued. Then we shared a muesli bar and some nuts in lieu of dinner on our thin mattresses on a dusty floor before trying unsuccessfully to sleep (no washing facilities and another 35 steps to the loo). It was uncomfortable, dull and mucky. Still, the rest of it was great, the group were great and we saw LOTS - we were on the go the whole time.
I have come home even more pallid than usual - swathed as I was in material the whole time, and with no access to fake tan to take the edge of my neon legs. Men are Weird, Part 2: on the first day, with me sporting an outfit which consisted of an ankle length skirt and long kaftan style shirt, bf said admiringly "You look great!" and proceeded to comment similarly for the next 3 days until the effect wore off ("But you don't look this smart for work"). Who would have thought that this outfit would appeal to him more than my usual knee length skirt and fitted, scoop neck top? Baffling. I think it may be that he likes shirts and now I've got so many of the flipping things (thanks, ebay) I may wear them - but with jeans, really just too voluminous to wear with a skirt. And if I can be bothered to enslave myself to an iron of course. One temperamental piece of equipment holding dominion over me is enough (yes, Scales of Doom, I'm looking at you. But I'm not getting on you yet, oh no. You stay away until Tuesday)
Actually, there's clearly something to be said for this look. One night our driver - a lovely man - turned to bf and said, shyly that I "look like flower" (to say to directly to me would be disrespectful). Thinking about it now, it would make more sense that I look like FLOUR, given my ghostly whiteness. But the Arabic for flower is Jumilla and it stuck a bit as a nickname. I'd keep it but don't want to misrepresent myself as a coltish young R&B starlet (which is what the name sounds like to me!)
Then Suffolk for 6 days. We did 2 x 9 mile walks and 2 x c4 mile walks. But I ate. A lot. (See bug effect above. And possibly greed). I ate a lot of chocolate, wine, cake and pudding. My clothes - whilst still fitting - feel tight. I'm hoping some of this is due to swollen stomach from the bug but... In Syria, I ate very healthily (apart from, uh, getting sick) but there was a lot of food. I never thought I'd say it, but I'm so over mezze. For now. But no puddings - just fruit. Although one of our party was visibly staggered at the amount of watermelon I can eat when I fancy it. I think it was the salad that made me ill. I'll leave that thought with you as a cautionery tale...!
We also had a lovely meal for bf's birthday in Suffolk. With expensive and delicious wine. We had been for a walk that day that we had had to cut short as the paths we wanted to take were shut! As we retraced our steps along the beach, he was taking arty photos, "We're getting married" he exclaimed in tones of amazement and - it has to be said - joy. "I should hope so" I laughed "You made me a promise". "You're wearing my promise" he said, kissing me. Ahhhhh.