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A lie in again today, I ache so much from yesterday's toil, but I got it all done, and feel a sense of achievement.

Took the new bike out. Didn't do as much as I wanted, the saddle is a torture device! I literally have arse ache. It slowed me down so much, I had to keep getting off. But still, managed 3 hours.

Came home and had a luxurious soak in the bath, much needed.

Then put on sun dress and sat in the garden with the cats, indulging myself in my book.

A quiet day, but one I enjoyed.

Revelation

A few days ago, I finally applied to see my birth certificate, which I wasn't going to tell anybody about. I need to wait for an appointment to see a counsellor, by law, but I will find out who I am. And where I came from. This is actually very important to me. And absolutely no reflection on my parents, who are superb, better than I could wish for. I just need to know.

Chances are I am an unwanted pregnancy, maybe a teenager. All I have ever "known" is that I am from London and my name was Stephanie. I was adopted as a very young baby. My lovely parents have always been totally upfront about that,k mt bro is adopted too, from a different family. I had another brother before him, he was taken back. I still acutely remember that happening, although I can only have been 2.

I know for an absolute fact that all of this has affected my whole life. I have never once felt unaccepted by my parents, or unloved or unwanted. But I have never known who I am.

I have never taken both feet off the floor.

Rod, who is the love of my life, has proposed in spectacularly inept ways. Like saying I need to be a certain size, or agree to marry in a charity shop dress. I get where he's coming from, he just needs to fine tune his ideas a tad. So I never said yes. I have said yes to others, with not even the slightest intention of going through with it.

So I am at a very major milestone. I may not get any answers, other than what's on the paper. My birth mother may not wish to have me in her life, or aged 70+, may also be dead.

For sure I am not a Spanish Principessa. They tend not to be on AW or do the things I do.

So...............nature not nurture.

I have to give her thanks for my persistence, my solid belief in doing what's right. My honesty and integrity. My work ethic and ability to duck and dive. My sales acumen. My loyalty. My ability to get on with anybody in the room. My shiny. My smile, my eyes, my tits. My ability to turn on a sixpence. My empathy, my ability to deal with other people, languages, a love of history, curiosity and a cracking sense of humour. My sponge-like learning. My friends, compassion, generosity and kindness. A bloody marvellous constitution!


Maybe not so, my flamboyance, my hard-headedness, my red wine drinkingness, my fiery temper, complete inability to do maths, my daring, my confrontational attitude, my need to always better myself. My demanding of others to do better.

Absolutely not so, my hair, I hate it. Loving deeply has not served me well. My dodgy knees, my inability to say no to a good time, my love of bad boys, the forgiveness I dish out undeservedly. Technophobia.

I am sure of two things. Nix will be my long lost sister/daughter/friend. Always. ALWAYS. Rod, I don't know. We will never be separated, so my best friend in the world, or my husband. He's too uptight to let himself go, and has been all his life. I cannot envisage a life without either. They are my chosen people. I will find ways to love both better.

What I do know is it is now time for me to take both feet off the ground.

Having been sensible about such things my entire life, that's a scary proposition.

Expect The Unexpected

Last night I ended up on a date. It was fun, I stuck to gin n slim, but didn't eat.

On my way home on the train, I read the usual sorry stories of why so-called slaves can't do what they've said they're going to do. And so being somewhat merry, went on to the Argos website and bloody well ordered a 66cm hedge trimmer, which was delivered at 10am this morning. Excellent service!

And I had a lie-in until 9am, magnifique! Ebay going ker-ching woke me up, my hard-work fairies brought me 4 new bids. No rest for the wicked though, I have more to list.

FB memories showed that 10 years ago, and 10kg heavier I was pleased as punch at doing the Adidas 5km run. Which I was at the time. Now I'm lighter, and much, much fitter, which I've done all by myself. This is a vein in which I fully intend to continue. I've also booked 2 pilates classes at the gym next week, although I suspect I'll have to cancel 1 as I have a lot on.

So today I have been slashing at things with this most excellent weapon! The garden is significantly better. I just need to mow now. So about an hour of graft left to to. I can barely feel my wrists, they've been vibrated so much! But all in a good cause.

I nipped out to do a surprise for somebody, mission completed. And I was so happy on the way back, I could barely keep upright on Brunhilde for laughing!

I've also found what could be a very interesting source for kimonos.

Two more slaves to come, let's see what transpires with them. However, tomorrow I really do want to go for a ride the new bike Rod got me, it's sat there looking at me hopefully for a week now!

Useless house slave managed to ejaculate before I'd even started the stopwatch. Who needs time saving devices, hahahaha! If he could do more than an hour on Saturdays, he might even become useful. But I doubt it!

Woooooooooo!

It's only mid-afternoon, and I have had such a marvellous day already. Everything I touch turns to gold!

Every quote converted. Every outrageous proposition taken.

Put myself down for a more corporate adventure, Director said yes, and thank you. I expected a no.

Same Director relieved me of a very boring task, which all the other hotels have to do.

FOUR new pairs of completely and utterly fabulous Irregular Choice shoes.

The son at Cosmoba looked at me in my Monsoon floral dress and said I was the brightest thing in all of London.

A friend bravely named me as helping, coming out for her, when she was suicidal.

Found a good recipe for Pad Thai, Rod's was so lovely. I think i'll cook that on Sunday night as a treat. Tiff left some of the ingredients, so that's a win.

Slept like a log again, a quick gym after work methinks.

Sep. 5th, 2019

I have had to deal with a particularly repulsive guest tonight. Which I did in my own inimitable style. I doubt he'll get a hard on again this week/who cares. On that note, £2 a minute to listen to me washing up is fair, I am the veritable qween of multi-tasking, hahahaha!

I sat in the square behind work at lunchtime, coming to no conclusions, but enjoyed the dying embers of summer anyway. I still have dumpling burns on my right foot, sex bruises all over from Rod, a slight tan from our trip to Toulouse, and apparently, my right leg is half a kilo heavier than my left. Worse things have happened at sea, I'm sure. The sun is now too weak to tan. Adios summer, see you again soon I hope.

My lost tropical bikini top is in Rod's case, yay! It's only ASDA, but I really liked it, so happy it's been located. I am pushing my Fatties group hard, but leading from the front. I have had 2 nights of really good, solid sleep, happy days. On plan :)

Decided to gift Donna a vintage kimono in lieu of getting my dress for Sandie's wedding properly fitted. The wedding will be a blast, Oirish innit! She has reiterated a dress code of faaaabulous, we shan't let her down. I love her idea of a simple ceremony, a sit down dinner, and we've all already chosen, and a lot of dance n drink afterwards, it'll be a blast. She knows many alternative peeps too, a bonus :)

Naked Attraction is currently the pits of reality TV. Several series later, their success rate is ONE. One couple have stayed together. And quite frankly, if you are prepared to sit in judgement of others, based on looks and physique alone, you get what you pay for, nothing. |I will hold out for a deeper, more intimate connection, where lies are not needed. And at 53, we all deserve that.

Boris, Brexit and all that balls holds no interest. My Business Administration pack arrived today, that's far more pertinent.

22 at gym, and Still I rise.

Hup Hup!

A very solid day today. The rugrats are back at skool, so the corporate machine is back in full swing, and I had a very pleasurable eight hours today, very full on.

Sold 3 kimonos, minus Ebay commissions.

Took a bold step towards conquering another one of my self-induced phobias. After all, if I can manage to cycle in to the heart of central London alone, and around Toulouse, with the traffic going the wrong way, I feel pretty sure I can knock the next one on the head too. Watch this space.

If things hold, and I am holding my breath that they do, eschewing free tickets in lieu of getting things done should work out very nicely thank you.

Gymmed, swimmed and set myself a big target for the end of the month.

Let's do it!

Toulouse

So, post gas inspection and post finding out that travel was pretty much buggered each way, we set off in the car for Stansted. Blessedly short queues for the time of year. Easy flight, and a magnificent sunset to arrive to, short hop in an Uber to the hotel, et voila!

The Novotel is right next to the lovely Jardin Japonais. Not right in the centre, but Toulouse is a small town and we were close to bus stops, tram and metro stops and city bikes, and the area had lots of shops, bars and restaurants. The room was large, with a super-sized bed, sofa, free mini bar and an outdoor terrace the size of the room again. Separate loo, no bath though. £270 for 3 nights with a rather delicious breakfast, that doubled for lunch all 3 days, at staff rate, which was about half price, so happy with that.

Saturday morning we were up n at it early as the temperature was due to hit 34 in the afternoon. After a walk round the Japanese Gardens, small, but perfectly formed, we headed for the March aux Puces, via the cathedral, which was stunning, both inside and out. Himself naughty at the confessional. The flea market was buzzing, and really tons to see. Rod brought some vintage fetish books, a vintage cycling book, which had Tour de France newspapers from 1955 inside, a real treasure! And then his coup, 2 Campagnolo wheels for 3 euros the pair. I found a bag of fancy dress stuff by the bins, which he was delighted with. A good rummaging day! Almost 13 kms walked, my knee wasn’t overly delighted, but it held up! Plus some pool n tan time when we’d finished walking, all good! A lovely day.

Dinner at Mon Canard, which wasn’t where we were heading, but the food was good. Duck, as you would imagine. Chairs very uncomfortable though! Super aware of how much fois gras the French consume, yuk!
Himself not up for doing much Saturday night, so we sat on the terrace with our cheap Carrefour wine and enjoyed the balmy evening. Him naked, until the woman from the apartment above looked out!

Sunday was biking day. You get free half hours on the city bikes, which is cool. Canal du Midi. Two more cathedrals, some ancient alleys, modern shops, the gorgeous Jardin des Plantes, a whizz along the River Garonne, Pont Neuf, Espace EDF Bazacle and pretty much whatever took our fancy. A picnic lunch outside the Cathedral. There was also a Sunday market where the Saturday market was, however it was more artisan. I fell in love with a black baby pig who was being raffled off! Afterwards we found a little vintage Aladdin's cave, chock-full of treasure. 10kms walking and I guess 3+ hours on the bikes, so not bad going at all.

In the evening our Googled plans didn’t work out. We ended up in the lovely courtyard restaurant of the Crowne Plaza, but left when we didn’t get served. Defying all the odds, we ended up in an open air restaurant at Capitole. Now, usually, I’d say NEVE eat in such a touristy area, but the food was delicious, Rod seriously tucked in to his moules, and I loved my steak, the wine was good and drinkable, the service was good and the bill reasonable. So a complete win! Fantastic.

Against my better judgement, we pedalled off again to a gay bear bar. It was nice enough, but not exactly buzzing at 11pm on a Sunday. I did like the actual teddy bears all around the bar, and the fact that they brought sweeties round! Un peau of a fall out as himself decided (as in told me rather than ask me) that he was going to the dark rooms. I was fine, sat by myself with a glass of wine and my phone, not really an issue, but he was using his phone. I had already asked him more than once not to keep replying to Kate, I think that’s only fair. I don’t do it. He told me he hadn’t, which was fine with me. Outside, I wanted to get an Uber as we were quite a way from the hotel, it was dark and we’d been drinking since late afternoon. He just exploded, and said I didn’t believe him. I said I did. Now, TBH he lies pointlessly quite a lot, to anybody and everybody, that I’m not really sure how he expects to be believed, as he does it out of habit and when there’s no necessity. The boy cries wolf. It wasn’t that big an issue to me, but I did want to get an Uber back, at my own expense because it was midnight, dark, we’d had a lot to drink, my knee was painful and I thought it a lot safer than cycling. Fair enough? Not to Rod. I got a barrage of name calling, and he just marched off. Left me on the street outside the bar. Ok, I think, and call an Uber. Minutes later he barrels along on a bike demanding I cancel the car and get on a bike. So I had an unpleasant ride home on a bike, adding to the knee pain, which was pretty severe by this time. Back at the hotel, he decided to sit up watching the Vuelta. No apology for his bizarre outbursts.

Monday was another lovely, sunny day. The morning was taken up with packing and him trying to find ways to get the wheels home without paying extra. The afternoon we spent lying in the gorgeous sunshine around the pool and then in the park. Mozzie bites, arghhhhhh. Evening we went to a local Thai restaurant, which was very fresh and tasty. And then back to the airport and luckily, a tad under the 20 kilo allowance with the bike wheels strapped on to my case. No wine n cheese for me to bring home this visit, the weight was a close call, so maybe next time! A TdF/Toulouse visit a possibility next year. Toulouse has a lot to offer, and I like the lifestyle as well as the climate. All things being well, my French will have improved too. He haw he haw. Would like to ride out for a day along either of the canals of the river. They are very pretty.

Whilst away, I had a letter from my Pain Management consultant saying how well I’d done with my DIY physio and gym efforts, and recommending me for further pro physio. You might think no point if you’re going to get called a cripple in spite of walking and bike riding for several hours a day. And not just with back issues and osteoarthritis, but also 2 large and weeping burns on my right foot! I thought I’d done well. I don’t give a flying fuck what anybody who isn’t qualified thinks. Their medical opinions carry as much weight as their medical qualifications. Name calling is for children. And as the Art of Not Giving a Fuck apparently advises, it’s important NOT to be an arsehole, so perhaps that book needs to be re-read as that part seems to have been missed.

I also got my Lean Management qualification in the post. The funding arrived for my Business Administration course, so I’ll start that this week. I’m passionate about learning and continual improving. Never too old!

Back on my personal regime, which I also have a passion for. Onwards and upwards, albeit in walking sandals until the burns have healed. Curse those dumplings!

But first Batman, to the washing machine!

Aug. 30th, 2019

I am a bit grumpy! Woke up at 4am with knee pain, and couldn't get back to sleep. Since then it's improved, but I am SO fed up with this USELESS pootah! That's the next thing to replace. No idea why my knee was hurting, haven't done anything different, and it's been pretty good the last couple of weeks. Still, I have my triage appointment in a fortnight and we'll find out what's what.

Wednesday night turned in to gifting night! Rod gave me an utterly brilliant new bike, a much lighter weight Dutch stylee lady again, but moderne! I am delighted with her. So Brunhilde will continue to be my station chariot, but the new lady will be my riding bike. And I gave him a shiny gold suit, primarily for Sandie n Peter's wedding, but it's very him, so I hope it'll see a few outings.

France this weekend, and I found out earlier that I have a 20 kilo bag I didn't know about. So wine and cheese on the way home :)

I just decided today is gonna go well, and I've already un-grumped!

Aug. 27th, 2019

Well, I did it!

Originally I wanted to cycle from home to work. I planned a route that took me away from the traffic, big roundabouts et al. But sat in the blazing suinshine at the lock at Tottenham, sipping my coffee, I just decided to go for it. Mrs Spider had eaten some of her collected midges by this point, and it was imporant to me that she'd had a tasty meal before getting blown off downhill.

And so we pulled off the towpath into the traffic into the A1055, and I decided the best way to tackle this was like a Queen. So instead of being scared and wary, I sat as upright as I could, with the invisble thread running though my head, and sallied forth, majestically. I was a bit scared, but anyways, I made it all the way to work. I got off and pushed at the top of Stamford Hill (my bike had no gears) but stayed on for the Camden hills. The traffic lights are a massive pain, you simply annot get going really in London. And you can taste the pollution, the air really is vile. I won't be doing a lot of cycling in London, but I am on the way to improving my road skills. So phobia beaten.

Took the scorchio tube down to the Notting Hill Carnival. Loved watching the black girls bump n grind in their amazing outfits - and that was just the onlookers, not the procession! Very sexy. Ditto the buff black boys, stripped to the waist. Didn't stay too long as it was 32 degrees very bloody crowded, but enjoyed the fabulous spectacle.

Home on the train, Rod, for reasons unknown wanted to come round, bribing me with Magnums.

A lovely bath revealed that I do not have black eyes, just very dusty, dirty and sweaty!

Cooked myself something from the Italian cookbook. Yummy.

Went to bed, in bed. Woke up with knee not feeling so good. Hmmmmm. I wonder if the sofa is better for it than the bed? It's not painful, but it did take a while to get going. Annoying, as it really has been good as gold all weekend.