Tuesday, 17 October 2017

All cried out

Just when I thought it wasn't possible to cry any more than I have over the past 4 weeks, so I found myself in floods again this morning, and I am sure in the weeks to come I will find myself spontaneously spouting water from my eyes again. That's correct, I am human, and I have feelings and I am not afraid to cry - I don't like crying, in fact I was brought up in a house where crying was seen as a "sign-of-weakness" so when I do cry I end up frustrated at myself for being so "weak" however, I just can't stop. 

My dog is alive still - I have no idea for how much longer though, and that is the cause of my tears. She went back to the specialist yesterday, had more fluid drained from her heart; I've been told if it builds up again then surgery would be the best option (with a greater than 99% success rate that it will cure the issues and give her another 2, 3, 5 or even 7 years). I have no problem letting her have the surgery if that's the case, however, I may have to terminate her life (harsh words for a harsh reality) because I just don't have the money to pay for such an operation. I literally have no idea how I will live with myself if I have to have her put-to-sleep because I can't afford to pay to have her treated, because the op would see her back to full health, so I would in effect be murdering a perfectly 'healthy dog'. I have to hope and pray it doesn't come to that, but I've learned in my lifetime that no amount of praying works, no matter how much I believe it will at the time. This world proves on a daily basis how evil it is (I always believed good overcame evil - I was wrong about that too) so as much as I am hoping and praying it doesn't happen, I also fear the 'inevitable'.

I do have a small amount left on her insurance which I can put in a claim for but they are already quibbling paying for what she's had done thus far, and it wouldn't be enough anyway, so I have to somehow try and raise £7000 in the next few weeks or pay someone to murder my dog. 

I was brought up by amazing parents, who taught me that you have to earn respect, that you have to "abide by the rules" that you always display manners, and that you always make sure you have plans in place should the worst arise. They lived their lives that way (ish) I've always lived my life that way. We have done everything "Right" yet have always been shit on from great heights, while watching those around us who have never done a days work in their lives, who have taken as much as they can get, who have screwed over the system, who have conned and stolen their way through life, get away with everything. Those people would never find themselves in the situation I am in because life has treated them amazingly, whilst they have trampled over people and taken advantage at every single twist and turn. Maybe it is true - "God helps those who help themselves". Maybe that's why the scum of this earth get away with everything, get treated so much better, never have to find themselves in the situation I am in (my goodness I am so aware that I have it 1000 times better than many people - do not, for one second, think that I don't).

Anyway; I am here, now, wondering what life holds for me, wondering what the meaning of it all is, and wondering whether I should get to the doctors now for some pills to block out the pain, because if I have to have her murdered my brain will never be able to cope with such a thing. My only other option is a "Crowd Funding Page". I have set one up in the hope that someone, somewhere, may love their dog as much as I love mine and be able to help. I don't even want it as a donation - I am willing to pay back every single penny (it may just take me a few years to do so). 

If you can help, then please Click HERE. You could just change my mind about whether angels exist or not. 

The photo's below are copies of the Specialists Invoices - so far; there is also one from my own vets I've not included totalling £580. As you can see, I have already paid the "excess charge".

Friday, 13 October 2017


Maybe I expect too much, but for the amount of money the vet's and specialist have been charging me, I did expect them to be a little better in their communication.

I phoned the specialist on Tuesday because my dog wasn't "right". She'd been to my own vets on the previous Thursday for her 2 week check-up (where she was given an almost clean bill of health) and she got some more antibiotics; these were the same generic brand as the one's she'd been on, however, they were made by a different company and instead of being small and white, they were large and pink. Within 36 hours of taking them my dog had gone back downhill, quite dramatically, occasionally wandering around as if she was going to be sick and her bowel movements had changed. I assumed it was down to the pills and that they would sort themselves out. By Tuesday I'd had enough and was on the phone to the specialist to ask if I could have the ones they gave me previously as I was sure the new ones were the cause of my dog's downhill slide. I rang the specialist at 9am when they open. Again at 10, 11 and 1, each time being told the vet in charge of her was "just in a meeting" and would call me back. Finally, at 3.30pm I did receive a call. It took me a lot of explaining about how the pills were different, before she agreed to put me some of their pills up for her - she never asked me to take the dog along, which I thought odd!

She took her first of the new pills Tuesday evening. On Wednesday she was still not "right" but the new pills hadn't had a chance to work. She was also drinking a lot more than she would normally, so a few alarm bells began to ring in my head because she had also begun to bloat up a bit - the bloating was what led them to the heart fluid when she was first admitted. However, her heartrate which over the weekend had risen to anywhere between 26 - 30 (we've been told only to be concerned if it goes over 35) dropped back down again and is currently anywhere from 20 - 26, which is a perfectly acceptable range. She also seems more alert, is eating like a horse and yesterday her drinking was 'back-to-normal' too. What wasn't normal though was the bloating in her tummy and by yesterday teatime I was worried enough to ring the specialist about it; not only because of the size of it (have you ever seen how a pregnant horse's tummy bulges at the sides? That's what my dog's tummy was doing - still is, although not as bad) but also because she really didn't seem very enthusiastic about anything. 

My vet wasn't available so another looked at her notes, asked if the bloating had come on over the week, or just during the day and when told gradually said it wasn't an emergency, to ring the girl who's been dealing with her this morning, and she may want to see her, or may say to leave it until after the weekend. This put my mind at ease a wee bit, as I am sure if they thought it was a bad thing they'd have said to bring her straight in. 

As the evening wore on, little bits of my "usual" dog began creeping back in. For 4 days she would only lay on the floor, never being able to really settle. Last night she jumped up on the sofa next to me, stretched and didn't move until I made her go to bed. She has the same routine every night at bed. She goes out for a wee, has a piece of chicken for doing so (none of this shop bought high fat stuff for her these days) then she runs upstairs, waits on the landing for me, has another piece before leaping onto my Mum's bed for a bit more. This week she's plodded up the stairs and really had to think about how to get onto the beds - in fact until last night she'd made it up on my Mum's got down and laid on the landing. Last night, however, she was "normal". Once she'd had the bit on top of the stairs she took off and was sitting waiting for her next bit before I had chance to think. She then got off, snuffled around the landing a bit to see if she'd missed any, before heading in to me, jumping on my side of the bed. 

She wasn't completely settled during the night, but was better than she had been and this morning, aside from being so bloated you'd not look at her and think there was anything wrong. If she didn't have this big tummy I'd not be worried and there is every chance it is still to do with the antibiotics which didn't agree with her last week, but I don't know that for sure, so I got on the phone at 9 this morning to chat with her specialist. I called again at 10, 11 and 12, each time being told she was "on rounds" or "in a meeting" or "not at her desk" and would call me back. It's currently 2.05 pm and still nothing - it's a good job I'm not overly worried!!! As a result 10 minutes ago I phoned my usual vets, have an appointment for 9.45 tomorrow morning, just to get her heart and lungs listened to in the hope there is no murmur and the bloating is down to tummy issues; if it's not it would appear they have a better chance of getting through to the specialist than I do so maybe they'll get the call back I've still yet to receive.

I appreciate they are busy but they also need to understand I am not a vet, I have no idea what is going on inside my little fat bum, and I can only go by what they have told me to be on on the "lookout" for. 

Honestly can't say I am overly impressed with either of them right now.  I may not know much, but I do know an extended tummy and bloating in a dog can be life-threatening, and if I know that, they must know that too! 

Thursday, 12 October 2017


Isn't it amazing what a difference a good nights sleep can make? 

With all that has been going on in my life the past few weeks, sleep has been something which has not been a friend to me. If I've managed a whole hour without interuption I've considered it to be a good night. However, the night before last I got 4 hours in one go and last night I got 7. Seven whole hours. They weren't in one go - a woman of my age will often feel the need to pee during the night, yet I literally dragged myself from bed to bathroom and back again, whereupon my head hit the pillow and I was away the fairies (actually, I was away with a certain member of the male species, but there are somethings a 'laydee' doesn't share!!) 

As a result of these 2 exceptionally good nights (7 hours is a lot of me; I usually average 5/6) my productivity rate increased 10 fold. Yesterday I managed to get loads done, caught up on business paperwork, drew up draft letters for things I have coming up in the not-too-distant-future. I got some tidying and cleaning done (at work) and phoned all the people on the list I've been making, who I should really have phoned long before now. I've also come up with some good ideas to take my business forward, although as yet my brain hasn't quite worked out how it's going to put such things into practice - I'm sure I can bounce them off others and between us we'll make a plan. 

What has brought about this turn of events? In short, my dog. 

It would appear I was correct about the pills she was on being the cause of the stress and worry we've been experiencing with her since last Friday, for she has picked up considerably. This has also given me a bigger reason to hope, for I believe if it was, in fact, cancer, the pills would not have such an effect, for I am sure antibiotics do not fix cancer? I could be wrong, however, I know they can aid in the recovery of pneumonia. Until she has her next scan in a fortnight's time, I will be none-the-wiser and my hopes could all come crashing down on me again, but for now I will take whatever little glimmer I can get. Don't get me wrong, her tummy is still quite bloated which last time indicated the fluid in her heart, however the difference in her in just 24 hours since changing the pills has been immense. 

Maybe, just maybe, there is also something in this Reiki ! 

I'm a very sceptical, wannabe believer of all things spiritual. I want to believe in ghosts - am sure I've seen several - yet tell myself it's my imagination. I want to believe that the 'spirit guide' I am meant to have, is in fact real, but I just can't bring myself to believe it (I certainly didn't expect to be told once that Henry VIII is one of my guides - I know, go figure; I get a fat syphilitic despiser of women - hmmm... now that I think about it!!!) 

Had I not run out of the class I was taking which was for training mediums (I can't knock these things if I've not tried them) I would have progressed onto a healing course. One thing with my brother and I (him moreso than me) is that we always have hot hands. It is very rare for my hands to get cold (don't get me wrong in minus temperatures if I'm not wearing gloves my fingers can turn to ice) yet for the most part the palms of my hands are always warm. Because of this many people have told me I should turn to healing, yet to do so would mean I have to believe in it all, so I end up going round and round in circles. This week though, I decided that I have nothing left to lose when it comes to my dog. Anything I can try to help her, I will do, so I've had a chat with a Reiki master I know, scoured through some of the books I have that people have bought me on such things and I've given-it-a-go.

One of the hardest things for me when it comes to anything like Reiki, Mediumship, Healing, and Meditation is visualisation. I can have the most phenomenally realistic dreams, yet have never been able to visualise things in my waking mind. The whole "see yourself standing in a forest" or "on the edge of a river" or even "climbing down some steps" has never been something I find easy. Sometimes when I've tried, I might have been able to see the steps if I concentrate really hard, but I think my own doubting psyche tends to put a block on such things (it's why I can't be hypnotised). To be able to heal with one's hand, you have to be able to visualise. I tried on Monday night when I went to bed (the dog was snoring next to me) and while I felt that I was doing something, I couldn't visualise anything. I mentioned to my Mum that maybe she should try (she could definitely contact spirits and the like if there really is such a thing) and she said she'd give anything a go, even though she believes in it all less than I do. She's not tried yet (I asked her this morning) but last night I tried again, and oh my goodness, I was able to see light. 

Now, from what I've been told you should visualise a white light for healing, but I personally have always favoured a blue light, so when I was able to see both colours side-by-side I really felt as though something magical was happening. Even more so when later (this bit is going to sound totally crazy to some of you) I could see tiny little angels (which looked very alien-like) in the same white and blue light, dancing around inside my dog's heart and lungs, almost as if they were working on fixing her. I can only assume I'd fallen asleep for the notion it was real would mean I have quite possibly lost the plot (the lack of sleep in recent weeks could also have had something to do with it). Now though, my dog has perked up, and she'd only had 1 of the new pills by the time I saw the light, and she perked up, so my little pea-brain is beginning to question everything again, this time though, in a far more favourable light than before.

I'm sure there are some of you reading this now thinking "Poor, crazy, delusional woman" and you may well be right, but I will take whatever I can get right now, and put all my effort into believing between the pills and my trying alternative healing, I get to keep my dog in my life for another 3 years. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it :)

The world this morning is definitely a little brighter than it was yesterday. There is even a gorgeous blue sky out there today.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Oops 😂🤣😂😋😋

As a general rule I am not a malicious person (no, really). I rant and rave a lot, and have been known to spout my mouth off, but I don't have the really malicious streak within me - believe me when I say "sometimes I wish I did". 

I've allowed people in the past to walk (trample) all over me without saying a word (it's always seemed easier, because on the very rare occasions I have tried to do something about it, I've wasted my time for nobody has taken any notice of me anyway). What? Who said that? 😋

However, as those of you who 'come here often' will know, over the past few months there have been some gradual changes happening within me (no, still not a mid-life crisis 😋😋). Those changes have seen me standing up for myself a lot more than I ever have done in the past (the local councillor who tried to intimidate me in my shop on Saturday, over my objection to some plans the council want to go through, soon found out he was messing with the wrong person and left quite sheepishly). Then, with everything else I have going on in my life (I'm trying so hard to not keep talking about my dog) I've also seen a lot of people for who they really are (one who has surprised me while not at the same time) and I don't like what I am seeing. 

That person has been pissing me off for a while, however, these past few weeks have made me wise up to what he is really like, and so I made a decision earlier, that from this day forward I will no longer be doing him favours; of any kind. 

I did consider deleting all the social media bits I set up for him, however, they kind of benefit me (I am able to stick little links in to them to promote my fundraising efforts) so I've left them in place. What I have done though, is change the passwords to them all, so he no longer has access to them. He is more than welcome to ask me for access, at which point he will be asked to pay the money that was paid out by me to get them up and running, and he will be asked to compensate me for my time - how much do internet/social media companies charge? What is the going rate? £50/£60 per hour? He could basically owe me enough to pay the vets bills I have piling in (the insurance needn't think they are getting away with refusing to pay, that I can heartily guarantee you - I will take that as far as I can go, but that's an entry for another day. Nope, no more will I let people treat me the way they have been. "Soft touch, Sarah" no longer exists. Don't worry, I only changed the passwords on the bits I set up for him and allowed him access too (ooh; I can revoke his access to other bits of those too - he no longer deserves the right to be an author/admin on them). I'd never change the ones he owns and set up himself; I'm not that bad!! 

The crazy thing is, all this could have been avoided. All it would have taken would be the tiniest little piece of respect. It's funny, because my Mum mentioned him the other day (gotta love my Mum, she's nearly always bloody right about people - how I got to be so shit at choosing people when she's so savvy is beyond me). She pointed out he's never really been a friend to me, for I only ever hear from him when he has nobody else. I am his "Back-up plan" and to a point that's fine, I've been ok with it, but that was back when I didn't like myself, had no respect for myself, hadn't reached proper "middle age" (this is not, I repeat not, a mid-life crisis 😋😋). It's taken me 33 years to reach this point (yes, I am aware that's a big fat fib, and I don't care 😋😋😋). The next 33 really will be all about me and anyone who doesn't like it can kiss my big fat wobbly one. 

He did 'unfollow' me on facebook a while back (the shock, the horror) and last week he went as far as to delete me! I think that says a lot. 

Thankfully, there are still some people in my life who really are genuine, and who give as much as they take. Those people, I hope, will stay around until my days finally come to an end (not for at least another 50 years if I can help it). 

I guess the lesson for today and this entry is :- Don't piss me off if I know your passwords 😂🤣😂 

Having said that, my cousin has pissed me off a bit too. Since the beginning of time, him and I have watched the Star Wars movies (the first time) with each other. It's a tradition. Imagine my disappointment yesterday when his new girlfriend sent me a message saying "Got our tickets for the 19:30 showing - hurry up and get yours". They got themselves tickets and never bothered to order one for me. Actually, I'm not pissed off, I'm exceptionally disappointed. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Hollies

Over a year ago I saw that The Hollies were touring and would be playing at a venue an hour or so away from home. I know my Mum likes them, my Dad's favourite song was "The air that I breathe" so he liked them, and I was brought up on them, listening to them often, so I definitely like them. I decided the tickets would make a good Xmas gift for my Mum - with me tagging along, of course. 

With everything we've had going on with the dog I thought Mum would say she no longer wanted to go, so was quite surprised when she said "We're going; there's nothing more we can do for the dog this evening, she's fed, watered and is fine". We'd already made the decision earlier in the day to take her to the vets this morning - as it has transpired we've not needed to for her breathing during the night came back down to a proper level (yes, I have just pulled my 2nd 'all nighter' with her) the abdominal swelling we thought a sign of the heart issue has almost disappeared and at 6am this morning she begged for food, guzzling down a whole tin. When I left for work she was snoring her head off on the bed - one more thing to be hopeful for, although after the weekend we've had I'm not going to get too carried away. Anyway, Mum wanted to go, so off we headed.

The city they were playing in is a nightmare. I hate the place, and in the years I've been there (a couple of times a year for different things) I've never yet made it to my intended destination without getting lost. Road markings are useless (coming out of the hole last night I got into the correct lane only for it to take me off in a different direction - and I followed the road markings to-the-letter). Having said all of the above, for the first time, ever, I made it from my house, to my intended destination without taking a single wrong turn - go me. It has never happened before - didn't happen come out of the place either :) 

I've never felt as young as I did last night, when I looked around the theatre we were in. While I fitted in quite well with my few (ok, ok, there are many) grey hairs, I was still one of youngest people there (a couple of proper youngsters did appear later with some 'oldies'!!

Knowing the guy singing with them now, isn't the original guy who sang with them I was a bit dubious about how "good" they would be, and whether they would sound similar. I needn't have worried. Had I not known the guy wasn't the original then I would have thought he was. He sounded just as good, and my that man can hold a note? He is quite impressive. 

If you like 60's music and enjoy a night out, you can't go wrong with seeing The Hollies play - they really are very good.

One of the highlights of the evening for me though, was the woman who work in the theatre. The split second someone dared to get a phone out of their pocket, so one of them appeared - as if by magic. I've never seen so many people get told off. Even the singer looked over at one point as if to say "What's going on here then?". They were most entertaining. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Who needs sleep, anyway?

I do, I really do, however, last night it didn't (wasn't ever going to) happen.

My dog decided it has been 2 weeks since she last gave us a scare, and it so it was time to let us know who's in charge (not us, that's for sure). On Friday night she'd been a bit 'iffy' and at one point was acting as though she wanted to be sick. Multiple tummy rubs took place, trying to help her shift whatever was causing her an issue, all to no avail. Eventually she settled down for the night and was snoring loudly in bed when I went up. 

She'd started a new pack of antibiotics on Thursday - we had a checkup at her usual vets and she was given a good bill of health (all things considered). I was also told their was no sign of any heart murmur which would mean there was no further buildup of fluid in, or around, her heart; this gave me hope - although I am still aware the CT Scan at the end of the month could well still prove the lesion in her lung to be cancer, so I have hope, but don't want to get carried away. I had to get a repeat prescription for her pills and was given a different one - it has the same ingredients so I assumed all is ok with them. The vet said her heart rate was a little higher than she would have liked, however, the dog hates the car, hates the vets, so it was put down to stress. 

On Friday I realised I was out of the food she's been having since she got home (the same one the vet uses). I had it on order, not arriving until Saturday though. I still had some tins of food left from before so gave her half of one of those and a fresh chicken breast. I assumed the combination of food and pills were what had caused her sicky episode (she wasn't sick though).

Yesterday when I got home from work, she greeted me but nowhere near as excitedly as usual. Normally 5 minutes after getting home she is bouncing around waiting to go for her walk; when I grabbed her lead she very nonchalantly made her way to me. During her walk she was very disinterested, and this got alarm bells ringing, for the weekend before she ended up at the vets she behaved in the same way. Her tummy also looked bloated to me (another thing she had wrong). I then got myself bang on one it meant the fluid had built back up in her heart and I was going to have to whip her to the vets - I also got on one that I do not have the funds for her to have another heart drain put in. My Mum though, kept telling me "Not to worry". She'd do that anyway, even if she was worried herself. She also told me the dog was just "constipated". When I pointed out she told me the same thing last time, she soon began to also think something was wrong. Especially when the dog's breathing became a lot faster than it had been (we have an app the vet told us about to use for keeping track). 

I wanted to believe my Mum, but everything was telling me I was right and her heart had filled back up - I did find it odd it would happen so quickly and that if there was an issue the vet should have noticed something. I spent my whole evening checking her, working out where I was going to raise the funds, and wondering if I phone the vets when they open, or just turn up and be on their doorstep when they did?). I was awake all night, constantly checking her breathing, worrying, getting angrier by the second (I was so angry at the universe that it would put her through all she went through the other week, to then make her go through it again - sometimes, I hate how evil and wicked life can be). Several times during the night she went out for a wee - she'd not pooped since a tiny little pebble size one yesterday lunchtime - she normally poops 3/4 times a day. I wanted to believe my Mum was right, while knowing every single sign was the same as the other weekend. 

Then at 8, just as I stepped out the shower, Mum shouted up to me that the dog had just had a poop - I began to hope. By the time I got down, ready to harness her up, put her in the car and drive to the vet's she had perked up a bit. So-much-so I decided I'd give her another hour to see if there was any change. At 09:10 I moved her lead from the side where I'd popped it yesterday and before I knew what was going on she was there, waiting for me to slip her collar on and take her out, which is what I did. She then did another huge poop (the smell made me gag) and while she wasn't charging around like a loonie, she trotted along next to me for the whole walk. Upon arriving home she was plodding a bit (I have to remind myself she has either lung cancer or pneumonia) but she was still alert, and the bloating around her tummy had more than halved. The relief I feel is not explainable, for it would appear my Mum may have been correct after all, and it could have just been a bit of constipation - I so hope that is the case. Her breathing is still quite quick, and she needs to be steamed (this is done every day and helps with her breathing) but I definitely don't need to be whizzing her off to the vets, today. 

I don't want to get too carried away that she's ok, and possibly on-the-mend, because her breathing is still too shallow, but I certainly feel a lot happier about things now, than I did in the early hours of the morning. I honestly thought I would be having to have her put-to-sleep today and I am definitely not ready for that. 

I love her dearly and would not swap her for the world, but when her time finally comes (hopefully not for another 3/4 years) I will never have another dog. This stress and worry is too much to bear.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

On this day :)

3 years ago - some 1096 days (I've not got my maths wrong for last year was a leap year which gives the extra day) I was, at this time, at work, in the most excited/nervous/terrified state. I had a head all over the place trying to make sure I had covered every base that needed covering, checking that the girl who was going to be in charge of my shop for the next 17 days was going to be ok, while also making sure I remembered to breathe. 

What had me so excited? Knowing that in less than 24 hours time I would be at Heathrow Airport waiting to board a plane, taking me to Denver, CO. That's right; it was the day before I embarked  upon my whirlwind tour; the tour which never satisfied my desire to get-back-out-there. I don't normally wish to go backwards in life (for often it's not been a good place to revisit) however, what I wouldn't give for it to be this day in 2014 again, for I would dearly love to be heading back over the pond to visit all those amazing places. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have done a thing any different - except maybe the guided tour of Las Vegas which was meant to be in an air conditioned bus, yet was done on foot and was a diabolical shambles from the very beginning :) 

I know I should be grateful I was able to do it the first-time-around, and I truly am, for I know there are many people in this world who will never get the chance. However, I am also human and it wasn't enough; I needed more time at the places. Now, obviously with my dog being so poorly and the fact I may have to sell my car to pay her bills (and I really need my car - I've also not finished paying my Uncle back so it will be a real kick-in-the-teeth if I have to pay for something I no longer own) but that doesn't mean the draw to get back there, isn't as strong as it has always been. Yes, priorities have had to change slightly in the past few weeks, and they will remain changed for as long as they need to be, yet I am aware in 4/5 years time things will be different to how they are now, and if I have wait those 4/5 years to get back there, then so-be-it. I will still be young enough to enjoy and appreciate everything on offer. Of course, I'd love to be heading off there tomorrow - especially as several places have had snow in the past week. It is not to be (just yet) so I have realised I need to sit back, enjoy what I have, and remember if it's meant for me, then it doesn't matter what is currently going on, it will be. 

I am, and pretty much always have been, a very lucky person. There are times when I forget that, times when I have been pushed to my very limits (and beyond) yet at the end-of-the-day if I've wanted something bad enough, I have always got it. This will be no different. I will get back out there; heck I'll even get to visit some of the other places I dream of visiting too. I just have to wait until the universe decides the "time is right" for me. 

I never realised until just now, how much my life has changed since the day I picked up the phone, booked the trip and made the final payment - that's a blog entry for another day though. 

One thing I will say, to anyone out there right now who's contemplating whether to book the trip they've been thinking about, who's not sure if they should do or not, is "get on with it". If you have the funds in place and can get the time off then get yourself booked and get yourself out there. Life is too short to dilly dally about such things. Enjoy it while you can. If you don't think you can do it for yourself, do it for all of us who dream of being in the position you are of being able to book it and go. Get out there, explore. Make the most of every single second you can. You never know if you'll get the chance again. 

I think the rest of my entries for the next few days will be me reminiscing about my time when I was away, with some of my other 'usual crap' thrown in for good measure.

To anyone off on their own trip-of-a-lifetime in the next few days, I hope it brings you all you could dream of - and so much more.