Posted by: purplediva | May 1, 2010

A Grand Day Out…..

I trudged around to the boot of the car with my small suitcase in one hand, hobbling on my walking stick with the other.  The similarities between Paddington Bear and myself were quite striking I thought.  Apart, that was, from the missing tag which declared ‘please look after this bear’ attached firmly to my coat…yellow, and not blue as in Paddington’s

Paddingtons grand day out

and my footwear of choice was more suited to a tart with a heart than a bear with a jar of marmalade.  Unthinkably high, gloriously red patent shoes and not his trademark red wellington boots.  Mine are pink and blue anyway.  I do have some, but they’ve never graced my little fat legs.  They have the wrong label on them………

I did feel like I should have had an obligatory tag of some sort, because I was in need of something, and a little TLC wouldn’t have gone amiss…It was, after all, what I was in search of.  Armed once again with my best Orla Kiely suitcase AND this time with my passport, I was prepared for a trip, and even darkest Peru was looking pretty enticing for an Easter Monday morning.

It’s not the first time I’ve left home.  I do it fairly frequently.  Well, I have done over the past few years.  But I’m not too successful at it:

I did once leave my first husband and make a dash for Cheltenham.  I thought it would be quite nice, and I’d never been there. But on reaching Bedford bus station, to my utter despair, found that the bus had already left, and the furthest I could go to was Oxford.  So Oxford it was!  I stayed in a very dingy B & B, which I think probably doubled as a house of ill repute.  There was certainly a lot of coming and goings in the night, and possibly hot bedding.  Similar I think to hot desking in office terms, only using beds…and women.  I stayed one night, sleeping fully clothed on the top of the bed and begged my husband to come and collect me.  I never tried leaving on a bus again.  Oh and he left me.  For good.

In an emotional state that had been building between R and I for some time, I once again left properly ‘ish’ a couple of years ago.  God knows what I thought I was going to do, or where I was actually going to go, but I arrived at Dover with a passport, my car and little else.  A telephone call from my sister whilst awaiting the arrival of the 7.00 am ferry to anywhere, halted my imminent departure for the other side of the World and no doubt an adventure with a hunky, mysterious Spanish bullfighter that I was going to meet on my travels.  This was of course prior to the French vineyard owner that was going to take pity on me and let me seek refuge in a beautiful, gite that he happened to have waiting for my imminent arrival at any time to suit me, along with a welcoming glass of chilled white wine, something fresh to nibble on that he might have just rustled up, along with his devilishly handsome smile…oh yes.  I had it all planned……… meticulously.    Sisters eh…love em…

So, once again I’m here, suitcase in hand.  I’m not sure what exactly the turmoil is about this time, but it’s been months since the last trauma so I’m due my turn now.  The only difference this time is that I am leaving slightly more prepared than the previous times. This time I am equipped with my Neuhaus chocolate Easter egg too.   Ooh, and morphine patches, and 2 walking sticks.  So, a quick recap on my previous escapes…..Oxford & Dover.  How far this time?  Harpenden.  Exactly 22 miles from my home.  Not that I didn’t plan to go further you understand, but I did need to stop for coffee and take stock of the situation and plan in meticulous detail.  I planned to go to the airport and take a flight BUT I didn’t want them to put my beautiful suitcase in the hold, nor did I want them to squash my egg.  Then it occurred to me that despite having a suitcase full of items (mainly toiletries) that I actually only had ONE ‘T’ shirt in there….AND I was wearing boots and a heavy coat.  If I got a flight to Spain I’d have to buy a new wardrobe on arrival….If I went to Glasgow, I’d still have to buy a new wardrobe on arrival.  Neither option filled me with joy.

After 4 hours of drinking coffee I thought it safer to drive to my chosen destination (Only I still hadn’t chosen).  So, made my way to the motorway, and turned south.  With the intention of heading for anywhere beginning with ‘B’ (seemed a good enough reason at the time…..I’m a woman!)  Brighton or Bournemouth were in my thoughts, not so much Brentwood or Bognor.

I didn’t much like the look of the road heading south, and after two junctions thought that maybe Glasgow was looking slightly better after all, and in my normal decisive style, turned off, did an about turn and headed north!  The wonderful Aussie man on my satellite navigation gizmo, informs me that it should take me approximately 5 ½ hours to complete the trip….oh yeah rite!!  If I had a blue light police escort maybe, but with the best will in the world I knew that this was more likely to be 9 hours minimum.  (‘Time’ and I are a phenomenon known and understood to only a few very close to me).  With 3 junctions down, reality kicked in, along with tiredness.  I had also forgotten to factor in the morphine factor.

Having been out of hospital after operation no.7 on dodgy knee, for no more than 2 weeks, perhaps this wasn’t really the ideal time to consider undertaking a journey of such magnitude, especially given that I was dosed up the eyeballs with morphine and other such powerful pain relieving drugs, and probably shouldn’t be in charge of a 70% cocoa solids Easter egg, let alone a 3.2 V6 Audi Quattro TT!

So once again I limped home, having been gone all day, in emotional turmoil….with my suitcase, laptop, AND Easter Egg.  To be greeted upon my return by the words uttered from ‘R’s lips……

“Have you had a nice day out?”


  1. Oh yes, I can SO sympathise with you … mind you, the furthest I ever get to leaving is entirely in my own head! So glad the laptop, Easter egg and your beautiful self were safe and I have to admire your other half’s comment on your return :o)

    Lots of love to you, my Diva friend x x

  2. Just found your blog, love it. How can I keep updated on your writing. I’d love not to miss out on any future words. Beeeautiful front pic too! xxxx

  3. Oops, just seen update boxes, have ticked them both. I’m definately a fan now xxx

    • Thank you so much Sir 🙂 I am just about to upload a new article that i’ve written for ‘’ so keep watching! I’m writing ALL day today, so there will be more here shortly. Would love to write so much more but life keeps getting in the way and interrupting me when i’m in my finest hour! She’s such a bitch at times….(life, not me!!)

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