Saturday 5 March 2016

What Clare did next!

This morning felt a little strange. I've already mentioned the ladies packing, and being rather sensitive to atmosphere, the natural tension was making me a little uncomfortable. I was happy to stay out of the way, sat perched in my becoming-usual spot by the window, whilst more and more of my floor was becoming visible. The number of bags were growing and clearly the moment of departure was imminent.

I've been wondering how I would feel at this moment. Vicky and I have shared a flat for a number of years and we have had good times. But we also had a reasonable amount of space in our flat to spend time apart, which is essential in any relationship, whether it's friendship, marriage, or whatever. We had also just had over a week in close proximity, driving, sharing a hotel room, and only finally getting anything like real life in the last place we stayed. My place here is perfect for one, fine for two quietly convivial types, but three is probably pushing it!

Needless to say I was having mixed feelings; guilty about needing my space amongst the bustle, but anxiously anticipating the oddness of finally being alone in my own place. As we walked up the hill to the car, I must admit to an element of dread.

What the heck am I doing?!

After the baggage was stowed, there were hugs and tears all round, and I set off back down my hill with the spare duvet and my own thoughts. The house was rather messy so I have thoroughly cleaned and tidied, making sure that the vacuum cleaner is out of sight - and knowing me - out of mind. So the pretty little alcove now contains just a vase of flowers. I toyed with the idea of moving my books there but...

I think I know what I'm doing. Clearly I'm becoming unhealthily obsessive.

The late night and cocktails had left me slightly weary so having arranged a bike ride for later in the afternoon, I made like a southern European and went for a nap. Thirty minutes conjugating Croatian verbs in my sleep - anxious much? - and a long hot shower I felt almost human. Entirely human would have demanded cackling of the flatmate variety. Still I dressed as appropriately as I could for cycling with professionals.

Which is why I was in my jeggings, hiking boots, with my handbag slung round me. Lycra schmyca.

I met my guide, and picked up my hired stead. It was comfortable and light, which given my bike of choice has been of the Boris variety over the last few years, doesn't really come as a surprise. Despite the running, I don't have the right muscle set for biking, and he'd already laughed at my rather amateur outfit, so with increasing trepidation, I wobbled off. And kept wobbling. Like my ability to sit still on a ferry, I weave back and forth across the road like a demented woman.

Of course it seems that I can cycle up hills as well as I can run up them but I won't be talking part in the Tour de France anytime soon. My aversion to wearing yellow lycra would probably be a disadvantage. Anyway I didn't disgrace myself in front of someone who clearly cycles 80km before breakfast. Without breaking a sweat. He admitted that I could beat many Croatian girls hands down - thank goodness the cycling one of the trio wasn't there to show me up!

There was much cackling as the wind made off with my mascara and ability to speak. Anyway, there were no mishaps coming down the hills - wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee - after an hour of meandering through my park, I dismounted and handed back the bike to the nice gentleman. As usual, I had kept someone waiting. It was a wobbly walk back home as my stunned legs were wondering what the heck just happened.

All I can say is that it's a good job all the naughty food has been eaten. I was reduced to whizzing up a fruit and nut smoothie on my return; and not only that, you can tell I'm now alone, evening sustenance subsisted of a chicken leg and salad leftovers eaten standing up, directly out of the fridge. Culinary standards have slipped already!

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