Sunday, 19 May 2013

Away and home

Well this last week has been nothing if not exhausting.

It started with a 5 am get up on Monday morning so that I could head out to my two days teaching in what I thought was going to be Ayr. Luckily I checked the name of the hotel that'd been booked before I left home. It was the Marine Hotel in Troon and not in Ayr at all!

The journey itself was ok, but I couldn't believe the amount of traffic on the roads so early in the morning. There were already queues on the Edinburgh Bypass and that was before 7. Then I hit snow and whiteout on the M8 going through Glasgow, but arrived in Troon at 8.24 in fairly good fettle.

It was blowing a gale in Troon, so much so it was quite hard to stay on my feet from the car park to the hotel, which I have to say was pretty fancy. I was given room 211 and told it was to the left of the lift on the 2nd floor. As I got out of the lift, directly ahead was room 210. I dutifully turned left to be met by an array of room numbers, which all seemed out of sequence. It turned out room 211 was next to room 215. I was pretty confused, but it was a lovely room. I know it isn't all that easy to see in the following photos as the corridor was too narrow to be able to get a clear pic of both doors, but hopefully you'll see.

The hotel itself had a swimming pool, but the guy who'd organised the teaching didn't tell me that. We're due back there next week, so I'm definitely putting my cozzie in. It was lovely to be somewhere so nice... very different from the NHS hospital premises that I usually train in. There are some perks to the hospitals in Ayrshire not having big enough training rooms! We were apparently given a very special rate and it proved to be wonderful from a teaching point of view as we had loads of room for group work. I'm pleased to say those two days went well and hopefully the last two will go as well and then we'll have 10 new trained Mindfulness teachers in Ayrshire to take the good work forward.

The weather stayed foul so it was nice to be inside in some ways, though I might have been tempted to walk along the beach if it had stopped raining and the gale force winds for long enough, but it didn't deter the golfers. I'm obviously soft!

Hardy golfers in the wind and rain

Wednesday saw me in Edinburgh. I had my poetry class and then had to scoot off to a meeting of the charity that I'm on the board of directors of. It doesn't usually finish much before 8.30 pm and is quite a long haul, so I was pretty tired on Wednesday night. Then I had enough time to do my washing, pack my bag for the next day and get to bed before my early start on Thursday to get the morning train to get to a meeting at 1.15 pm in London.

After the meeting I then went out for dinner with a friend, which was fun and on Friday I spent much of the day at work, but did finish in time to go to Harvey Nicks for a wander. I decided to have a manicure and, as I sat down, one of the extremely glamorous women next to me said she was sure she'd seen me before and was I an interior designer!

I took ages to decide what nail varnish I wanted on my very short nails. In the end I plumped for a colour that matched my rather fetching sparkly ankle wellies (well they've got to match something!), however, what I hadn't bargained for is the 'wow factor' these seemed to cause and I had quite a group of people around me by the end. It all felt a bit freaky being the centre of attention just because of the nail varnish I chose and I still don't know who I'm supposed to look like.

Matching nails and wellies

Then it was out to dinner with my cousin from the States and in the restaurant the waitress asked if she could feel my nails. I don't know what it is about them, but they certainly caused a stir. I even had a couple of people come up to me in a shop in Oxford Street on Saturday, when I was wandering about and ask me where I'd had them done!

Yesterday afternoon was spent at the Barocci exhibition at the National Gallery, which was remarkable. Just the way he played with light and shade was extraordinary. I loved it. My favourite was his self portrait, which he did when he was in his 60's. There was something about his eyes, which resonated pain that caught my attention. Mesmerising.

Barocci's self portrait

Then out for another dinner last night and up early today to get the train back.

It's quite a relief to be home and I shall look forward to a simple meal tonight and a day off tomorrow!


  1. They sure are! My current favourites... they're welly chelsea boots, as in not really very practical as wellies, but they sure are sparkly!