We’re back from our winter weekend away in lovely Lille in Northern France. We had such a nice weekend. Eurostar London to Lille is a breeze, our hotel was amazing and wandering around the Christmas market and the little cobbled streets of the old city was just wonderful. Yes wandering about – no being pushed in a wheelchair around here, yippeeee! We did lots of Christmas shopping, lots of eating, rode the Ferris wheel and made time for lots of relaxing in our gorgeous hotel room too. Overall a perfect weekend.
I even spoke French, I’m a little rusty to say the least – it is ten years since I lived in France during my Gap Year and ten years since I used French regularly. But I did manage to explain to the pompous French waiter that I couldn’t eat ‘farine de blé’ (wheat flour) when his English failed him – even though I spoke in French he insisted on responding in pigeon English – just let me speak French for goodness sake! Jess 1 pompous waiter 0. Tho when I then asked for the steak to not be cooked in butter and for it to be well done I got a horrified look from said waiter and the comment ‘it is not recommended’. Well that may be Mr French waiter man and I would love to eat a butter laden steak but my arteries wouldn’t thank me and more to the point, nor would my pesky digestive system. I compromised on the cooking of the meat to be ‘en pointe’ (medium: the max meat cooking level in France it would seem) in exchange for avoiding ‘le beurre’. French culinary hurdles navigated we enjoyed a very nice meal and my steak was perfectly cooked; it really was medium by both French and English redness levels. Parfait!
I did good energy and stamina all weekend. I am particularly proud of how much walking I managed. I did some myalgia towards the end of each day but in light of how much walking, shopping and sight seeing we did, I am very happy. I was careful not to do ‘busy busy busy’ manic Jess wanting to do everything all at once. On Friday after travelling and arriving in Lille we had a relaxing afternoon in our hotel room, me doing a Yoga Nidra relaxation and having a little nap and then a quiet evening of a hotel room picnic of lots of lovely French charcuterie meats (for us both) and cheeses (for Mr B) and a drink in the hotel bar. Both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, after a morning of market visiting, present shopping and people watching from the terraces of cafes in picturesque French squares, we relaxed back at the hotel making the most of the spa facilities and me making time for a relaxation track.
I am especially happy in light of the fact I was fighting off a cold virus all weekend. I had a sore throat off and on all weekend and was a bit sniffly. That’s nothing new for an ME/CFS pro like myself, but there is a difference between the constant ache of an ME/CFS sore throat and the acute sharp pain of a viral sore throat and this was definitely the latter. So not only did I go away for lovely long weekend and do everything that a ‘normal’ well person would do, I did it all whilst being a bit under the weather. The virus seems to have passed now. Thank Goodness. Monday and Tuesday I felt pretty rough. But again I could differentiate the achy muscles, hot/cold temperature swings and tiredness from ME/CFS exhaustion. The tiredness was more in my head and behind my eyes, you know the kind when you’re full of cold. But now I’m feeling much better, pretty much back to ‘normal’ – and not ME/CFS normal but the new doing wellness Jess normal.
And today I’m doing far better than my other half. Mr B is monumentally hungover today. It was his firm’s Christmas party last night and boy did he look rough this morning! He thinks he got home at 4 am, ish, but was none too sure, nor how he got home – which evokes a cosy warm safe feeling inside me…not! As I type this he is no doubt slumped in a steaming drunken / hungover state on his desk at work. And no doubt he is not the only one in that state with the Christmas party season in full swing! One advantage of being in recovery and rehabilitation from a chronic illness and intolerant to alcohol – no hangovers! Well no alcohol induced hangovers at any rate. If I’m not painstakingly careful with what food passes my lips then I do a pretty mean ‘food hangover’ the next day – hence the aforementioned French waiter showdown.
I was pretty sad to leave Lille when it became time on Monday to board our return Eurostar back to London. But no post holiday blues lingered for long as Christmas is nearly upon us and I LOVE CHRISTMAS! My sister will be home from the US in 6 days, that’s just 5 more sleeps!! I haven’t seen her since August and literally can not wait to see her and envelope her in a giant energy filled hug! And this year I especially LOVE CHRISTMAS cos I have the energy and wellness to fully take part and enjoy it for the first time in 3 years. It is going to be extra special simply for that reason. It is true what they say – that health should never be taken for granted, I didn’t realize its importance until I had lost it. Now I am on the road to full health and wellness I’m going to be sure to remember the value of good health and energy each and everyday. I am eternally grateful that I am doing better.