Well, just how quickly does it come round? One minute you’re booking the tickets on e-mail and wondering whether it really is too much money to be spending on three weeks away in a ridiculous clinic in the desert, being starved and having a nightly date with an anal pipe, and the next minute you’re packed and ready to go.
I am travelling light since the girl in reception said ‘No ma’m, (to rhyme with spam, just like Queen Betty), you don’t have to dress. It’s a casual code. Most folk wander round in sweat pants.’
And by that she meant jogging bottoms not undergarments drenched in perspiration.
So I have a big case full of tee shirts, trainers, one set of ‘sweat pants’ and a little case with my ‘Bose’ headphones (to keep out the noise), my ipod with Charlie Haydon playing sublime jazz, my cd player with Stevie Wonder and Donald Fagin, and my five year diary which goes everywhere with me.
I can only write about ten lines so it’s a lesson in brevity, but it is a good discipline and I need to remember what happens so I can tell you just exactly what it’s like to go from the sublime to the ridiculous.
On GFL I was eating the equivalent of 5 meals a day. At the OHI I will be eating the equivalent of 5 meals a year.
I have a small piece of hand luggage with my book, my pens, my notebook, my homeopathic remedy for jet-lag and all my money and tickets.
Jim and I have just eaten a slight lunch. We shared a salt-beef sandwich and tortilla. I had a wonderful herby tea that tasted of angelica and he had a Scottish beer from Edinburgh. Then I had some water and Jim had another Scottish beer from Edinburgh. Then we shared a lemon and blueberry cheesecake and because the restaurant has only been open for two days the owner struck up a conversation. She then brought three bottles of their house wine: one Merlot, one Cabinet Sauvignon and one from Spain. Jim tasted. I sniffed. He slurped. I sighed. He drunk. I moaned. And, before you could say ‘pass me the decree nisi’, we were back to our old selves. A little jab, a tiny uppercut and then a defiant roar.
We’re okay now because he’s on the balcony watching the birds through his binoculars – the feathered ones on the river – and I’m not.
So, dear readers, wish me luck as I fly over the pond. Think of me as I starve my way to fitness. Have a care for the old girl who is about to dump all her negativity on American soil and come back renewed, refreshed and utterly skint. May the worst of last week be the best of next, and perhaps we may meet in cyberspace. Cusooooooon.