BESIDE THE SEASIDE
The dreadful journey was forgotten as soon as I had the keys to my new flat in my hand. The two lovely Polish chaps unloaded my furniture and everything fitted where I had planned for it to go. At last, as it was beginning to get dark, I shut my front door and was on my own. I walked around the flat as though in a dream for a while and then sat on my bed and cried like a baby. Why did I do that? I have no idea! I think my tears represented all the sleepless nights tossing and turning in my Harrow flat. There were more tears for my belongings which were rifled through and heckled over. Tears fell for each and every packing crate packed and yet more for the absolute terror I experienced on that one way journey from London to Dorset in a broken car in the snow. And finally, there were tears for me – I was utterly and overwhelmingly exhausted.
I would like to continue the story with wondrous tales of settling into my new surroundings and trips to the beach. I am sure, as my reader, you will expect me to be overjoyed at my good fortune and getting on with my new life, but, it did not quite happen like that. I hope that you will not think badly of me and that you will be patient. Better days were around the corner but to reach them I had to face up to life and take it on the chin!
On the surface, I managed to unpack and go about day to day tasks. I walked by the sea, fed the swans and even skimmed a few pebbles across shallow waters, but all was not well. Inside I felt decidedly odd. As is my pattern, I told no-one. I began to think that I was seriously ill, imagining brain tumours, stomach cancer and even Multiple Sclerosis. I suffered blinding headaches, nausea and dizziness and every bone in my body hurt. Two weeks went by and my health did not improve if anything I felt worse as the days wore on. I felt so angry with myself but yet could not pull myself together.
Christmas 2017 passed without event. I was alone, but I am not unused to that. I have spent five or six Christmas festivals alone over the last twelve years and although it is a bit bleak, it is quickly over and the New Year brings with it the excitement of Spring. I had many things to look forward to not least of which was my new membership at the local Bowls Club. There were adventures to be had and I was missing out. I trudged down to the sea one cold and windy morning between Christmas and New Year and made myself a promise. I would go to the Doctor and see what, if anything, was wrong with me. The surgery gave me an appointment the next day and I saw a lovely young Doctor who seemed to want to help. He listened, nodded a lot and took my blood pressure which was very high. This in part explained the headaches dizziness and nose bleeds I was having. Some blood tests were taken and I was told to come back in a few days.
It was amazing, just the fact of facing my demons and going to the Doctor and voicing my fears seemed to help enormously. The doubts and worries that had been lurking in my mind, like a dark shadow, were now out in the open which brought immediate relief. My blood tests showed that there was nothing seriously wrong with my health apart from the fact that my vitamin D levels were at rock bottom which can cause dizziness, nausea and aching bones and joints particularly for the over 60s. The Doctor told me that I must lose weight as a priority and felt that I should give myself a goal of shedding at least 4 stone. How much? Yes, 4 stone. I knew he was right, I had piled on the pounds whilst living in Harrow and shutting myself away in my flat had just made the situation worse.
My New Year’s Resolution was made. I would start my fitness regime straight away. After all, I had not been Principal of a full-time ballet school for nothing. If I didn’t know how to eat healthily and lose weight, it was a poor show!