I've been struggling with a bug this week so have spent several days laid up in bed feeling pretty sorry for myself. I'm not a good patient - I'm someone who likes juggling balls, plates, hats... regardless of the cliche, you get the idea, so to be poorly and confined to bed rest is my personal idea of hell. Especially when I've not had the energy to be able to read, write or knit (the latest hobby!) and I have instead been consigned to daytime TV. Is there a crueller fate? Thank goodness for Miss Marple re-runs on ITV3...
But I'm pleased to say I'm finally feeling more human - which is just as well as a week today the Boy and I head off to the big apple for an extra special holiday. The Boy works for one of the Virgin companies and therefore benefits from a tasty discount on their holiday packages - hence we have the luxury of six beautiful days in New York to celebrate five happy years together. Perhaps not that long in the grand scheme of him and me, but it is increasingly hard to remember a time before him. We're both really looking forward to our adventure together - although as a nervous flyer, I can feeling the beginnings of anxiety about the flights forming in the pit of my stomach. I know the trip will be more than worth the stress of the travel for me though.
I've been to New York before - the year before I met the Boy I actually won a competition run by a national pub chain, and my prize was a trip over there, with limousine transfers from the airport, a luxury hotel, a helicopter flight over the Statue of Liberty and tickets to see Burt Bacharach and Rufus Wainwright perform together in a small jazz cafe off Broadway - one of the most amazing gigs I have ever been to. That time I went in the summer and enjoyed a picnic in Central Park. This time we'll be packing our thermals! Although it probably won't be as cold as it has been in the UK this week... our venture into house-hunting in Kent last weekend left us almost snowed in at my parents house as the flakes slowed tumbled down overnight, covering everything in sight in crisp white powder.
The house-hunting was quite an experience. We saw seven houses in Otford and Kemsing - some so terrible I couldn't wait to escape from them, but some so lovely the Boy and I were mentally moving our furniture in and planning our lives in that house in the village together.
On the whole it was an inspiring day, and I'm confident that our finances will allow for us to make the move we want. It's exciting to think that for the same price as our three room one-bedroom flat in central London, we can afford a house with two receptions, three bedrooms, good-sized gardens and in some cases ensuite bathrooms and conservatories. The thought of owning a flight of stairs is almost beyond my comprehension having been in a flat for a decade. If we are lucky enough to get our first house I may just spend afternoons on end lying on the staircase in blissful happiness!
Our flat is now on the market with the housing association, so we have fingers and toes crossed that someone will snap it up, and we can revisit some of our preferred houses with a view to making an offer. It's a big step for us, but one - as always - we take together. I feel already that this year is going to be kinder to us than last year was. My cup is half-full once again. Cheers!