reasons to celebrate

Things have been distinctly on the up over the past few days, with lots of things to smile about – at last!

I can happily report that Dom is slowly and surely on the mend and each day has brought more good news and little milestones. He has been walking about a little bit the last couple of days, and yesterday was able to leave the ward (in a wheelchair – we’re not talking miracles here) for the first time for a glamorous excursion to the Costa downstairs. His hospital stay coincided with the 65th anniversary of the NHS, which was timely of him: having seen its work at such close quarters, I have a whole new respect for everybody involved. They’ve really done some incredible work.

This weekend also brought some more sun, which was handy as we were all starting to look almost as pale and sickly as Dom. On Friday, my mum and I went on a walk around the lakes at the end of our road, which were looking particularly picturesque in the gorgeous sunshine, followed by an al fresco lunch at the village bistro. I think this was a much-needed little break. Now that the worst is over, it was a good chance to take stock and also to think of something other than what time we were going to the hospital and how many doctors my brother would be seeing that day.


The weekend’s guests of honour at the hospital bedside were my aunt, her husband and their three gorgeous kids, who provided some much needed light relief. The three of them dealt brilliantly with Dom’s new look – the sheepskin gilet was only improved by Daisy’s snapback.


In light of all the good news and all the good weather, I decided to go ahead with some plans we’d made back in Exeter and take (another) little break this weekend. As soon as visiting hours ended on Saturday, I jumped on a train to London to meet up with Sophie and Nicole, who’d been at the Mumford & Sons (and various others) concert at Olympic Park. What was supposed to be a chilled night with some cocktails and possibly some food turned into a very bizarre, hilarious night at Barfly in Camden, which was hosting a 60s/Northern Soul night (as you do). We encountered some classic characters, including what I firmly believe should be Latvia’s entry to Eurovision 2014, and met some of Nicole’s school friends which is always good fun.

Yesterday morning we woke up surprisingly bright and early to yet more gorgeous sunshine and, after a lazy morning in the flat, headed to Brick Lane for Feast. I’m going to do a full post about this, but for now I’m going to skip ahead to my final reason to celebrate this weekend, and I’m sure everybody already knows what it is: our Great British Hero, Andy Murray!


Rather naively, we had headed to Tower Bridge to “watch the tennis” when Murray was already a set up, and obviously got there to find that there were already at least 10 000 people with exactly the same idea. We ended up sitting pretty much side on to the big screen, so we couldn’t see much more than baseball caps and super slow mo replays, but it didn’t matter: the atmosphere was electric. We followed the match via my Wimbledon app and the noises of the crowd, people watching and eating tacos from one of 15 food trucks they had set up for all our foodie needs.


As I’m sure you can imagine, by the time we got to all those Championship points, the scene was not so sedate. Everybody on the hill was on their feet, chanting, and willing Murray to victory with every ounce of our beings – it was Olympic fever all over again. When he finally claimed that point and that championship, the whole hill erupted: there was not a person who wasn’t jumping up and down and screaming. It was the perfect pick me up, and not just to me, I imagine, but to people all over the country. Murray, you gorgeous thing, you are officially our hero.

I thought I might feel guilty for doing all these fun things this weekend, but actually it’s been quite the opposite. After what has been, let’s face it, a pretty awful week, all these little things – a man winning a tennis match, the sun coming out to play, Dom venturing to Costa in a wheelchair – have reminded me of the importance of celebrating when you have something to celebrate: of standing on Tower Hill with thousands of others and yelling and screaming because nothing is anywhere near as horrendous as it seemed this time last week and, honestly, it has never seemed more important to have something to smile about.


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