Blessed ...

Someone asked how I was this morning and, when I thought about it, I realised that I just feel blessed ...  by the people I have in my life, by the beautiful things that are happening.

I've never used that word before but perhaps I should use it more often.  Some magical things have been happening.  Simple things perhaps but they have been filling me with joy ... and joy is something I've been missing these last few months.  Maybe longer.

I'm walking a lot and losing weight like never before.  I'm so relieved to feel my body growing strong after a horrible time with bad anemia last year.  I really thought I was dying, as the palpitations were like nothing I had ever experienced before.  And I was so weak.  I only understand that now that I'm growing strong.

But one of the nicest things about the weight loss is that, back in Belgium at Christmas, I bought some black jeans that were the smallest I'd ever bought and I almost didn't because I wasn't sure I could carry them off however they were last pair of a style I loved.  These days, they're becoming loose on me.  I'm curious to see where this new way of living will take me, in terms of body strength and fitness, but I love that it's happening. It's long overdue.

My new desk arrived.  My 'new' secondhand '6 foot by 3 foot pine dining table' desk arrived.  I bought it via Preloved, from a lovely woman who was so patient as everything imaginable went wrong as I attempted to purchase it.  I'm so grateful to her for believing it would happen.

I knew I would need a big desk because there are multiple projects beginning.  Pictured is my first attempt at setting it up.  And, for the moment, the few books I have with me are there at the back.  At 1 pound per book, via the unimaginably superb secondhand bookshops here in England, there may a few more books on either side of my bed too...

Today I walked the 20 minutes into the village, to the place where the small community bus stops, and took a short ride to the next village where ... wonder of wonders, there is a Carluccio's restaurant.  I couldn't believe it when I first realised.

I pottered about in town, as I had business at the bank and then ... I ventured into Waitrose for the first time ever.  Ohmygoodness, what a place of wonder and delight.  I love Sainsburys but if you want something a little upmarket or special, then Waitrose is the place to go.  I picked up a jar of Jamie Oliver's tomato and red wine pasta sauce, and a bag of fresh pasta too.  That makes, at least, 2 meals these days and so it's cost effective, I told myself.

I've discovered a rather superb wine shop on the main street and had myself signed up for their newsletters.  A tasting might not be a bad idea, as ALL the wines I knew in Belgium and Italy are absent here in England and so I need to begin with finding a favourite (affordable) red wine again.

Then I quickly popped into Carluccio's ... just one espresso before racing off to search for a book or two.  As I was crossing the road I noticed the lovely woman I had met on the village bus last week.  She's 95 but you'd never guess.  I simply adored her.  I suspect everyone who meets her adores her though.

I sat down next to her and she was telling me that she had just cancelled her physiotherapy.  She told them that she's 95 and doesn't need poked and prodded about anymore.  She sparkles, really.

I had 11 minutes, before the bus arrived, to race into the shop and check the secondhand book selection.  As always, there was quite the marvelous selection.  Needing some fiction, while reading the big biography about Martha Gellhorn, I picked up Guernica by Dave Boling, and The Hours by Michael Cunningham (I've only seen the movie).

The bus driver ... there are two of them, was the lovely gentleman I had met last week.  He had shown his photographer wife my website and she had liked it.  And the other driver... it was good to see him again on the ride over, as his daughter had just arrived in New Zealand last week. I was curious to know how she was finding it.  Now she has a job as a dentist in Auckland and she seems to be enjoying 'my people'  :-)

I was gifted a dining table and 4 chairs by the loveliest family.  The second dining table has become my work bench and storage/display shelf, with one chair remaining at it in case I want to eat there, or have guests.  I'm using the second chair as my desk chair.  And chairs 3 and 4 are my 'bedside tables', holding books and the lamp. 

I still need a cupboard for my food and drawers for my clothes, and an armchair for reading in but nothing's vital now that I have my desk.  I'm as snug as a wee bug in my new place. And I get to spend my days with lovely people.   So yes, I'm feeling blessed. 

Actually, there are more stories but for another time:-)  I'm loving England.  Thanks to Kim for convincing me to come this way.  It was a good idea.

Later: apologies the massive edit required first time publishing.  I was all bouncy when I arrived home and wrote from a sparkly happy place.  Clearly not conducive to good writing  :-)