I have just over an hour before I head to the airport, to spend a few days out of town over Christmas. Apparently there is no internet in the place I am going to. No internet at all. Hard to imagine when it has become such an integral part of our lives. So I am not even taking my laptop with me.
There are not so many signs of Christmas here (unsurprisingly) apart from festive lighting on various buildings, Christmas trees on sale in the supermarket and piped Christmas music in a couple of hotels.
I like being able to take the elements which are meaningful to me without the social pressure and commercial aspects of the season. And without wanting to put a label on my own spirituality I guess that I you could call me a “born again Buddhist” (I found that term irresistible 😉 ), respecting and recognising all faiths.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about my plan here, because the last time I did that Cyclone Giri disrupted that. However, I can say that I am going to a lesser visited part of the country, to an ancient city of jungle temples, waterways and tribal villages. I have pens, colouring pencils, a notebook and camera, mosquito repellent, pink toenail varnish and a straw hat. I also have a packet of festive Jaffa Cakes which my friend brought me. I plan to spend the days cycling among the temples, reflecting, appreciating and healing. I expect to have plenty to write about when I am back. And of course, plenty of photographs to share.
And on the topic of healing, I have good news. My upper chest is enormously improved. I still have some residual tenderness but I am back to my usual 800 metre morning swims instead of gentle half hour meanders in the pool. And this morning, with no need to time watch office hours, I put in a kilometre as the sun rose. And I can also say that I can see that swimming has a huge impact on my lymphodema. It was mild, but very painful and in the first few days of returning to swimming Twang Arm was squealing and yelping as I ploughed up and down the pool. Now I can feel it, but the pain has almost gone and it is much less perceptible. There is no pool where I am going so I need to keep an eye on it, but it is so good, psychologically as well as physically, to see how quickly a regular swim counteracts Twang Arms tricks.
So I am a much better space now. I am ready for another adventure, though I will be alert to the effects of adventures on this post chemoed-radiated-scarred and Tamoxifiex body. And ready for a festive season free of tinsel and tinternet!
I wish you all a special time, whether or not this is a festive season for you, with the things that are important to you.
Leaving you with a sneak preview of where I plan to be……