Back amongst the soft green countryside of England, those big Oak, Beech and Ash trees look more majestic than ever and the lush green undergrowth seems to cascade everywhere. A few days of rain and now some sunshine and warmth there'll be no stopping this growth.
Our home away from home is there patiently waiting for us - now that's a ridiculous turn of phase but the mighty Fiat Punto is our about the closest thing to that. It soon became the best excuse in Morocco for no purchasing and has enabled us to keep focused on what's important about our travels and not get caught up in the buying of special peices from every country ( a lovely thought but just glorified souvenirs and 'stuff' to clutter both the car and the mind).
One of the major changes for us, that came out of being caught in the earthquake, was our change in attitude towards material possessions. Of course they are important, we'd never deny that, but at what cost? The way in which we live our lives is a choice and far too often we allow the opinions of others to influence us. The freedom this lifestyle has given us has been astounding . Not just physically, but it's been a bit like unshackling the chains, that are of course self imposed, and breaking free. Others might see it as running away but goodness knows, there's no right or wrong in these circumstances. All I know is that for us one of the major spin offs is that its made us feel young, confident, adventurous and full of the joys of life. Dave's health has stabilised, maybe even improved, perhaps thats the drugs, but I'm sure this lifestyle has contributed positively.
I suppose one could say that over the last three years we've invested in living life. Cash flow has decreased but is that such a bad thing as I'd hardly say that our standard of living or enjoyment of life has decreased. Many friends say 'don't you need to have our own home' and five years ago I think I would've been asking the same question. But it seems such a minor inconvenience these days, as home is really where you want it to be and technology has given us the freedom to communicate from anywhere.
Habits, good and bad, make us the people we are, and living this lifestyle means habits change constantly. Positively embracing change, because it's continual and happens whether we want it or not, is often uncomfortable, but keeps us fresh and open minded.
Last week in Morocco was really fascinating and then here we are the next day back in a stunning part of London leaning on a Bentley Sports and an Aston Martin, just two of the five cars parked up our driveway. There's a Polo tournament on in the park next door, the street's closed off and there's a constant stream of beautifully dressed supporters teetering along for a smart day out. The sun is shinning, the Pimms is flowing all day and night and I can't help but enjoy the contrasting environments.
We've now got a decision to make - as of tomorrow we've got almost two weeks with nothing happening. What shall we do ??
'Martins Money tips' has always said the 'last minute deals' are always worth checking out, especially ones like Thomas Cook because they run charter flights and of course want them full. So they'll really sharpen their pencils and cut the price of these holidays severely to make sure the flights are booked. So this time we've done presisely that - booked with Thomas Cook for a 10 day package holiday in Crete on Sunday afternoon and fly out Tuesday!!!
Dave loves the thrill of leaving it to the last minute and I detest it, but hate to admit that it has always worked out and am never disappointed. Isn't that the magic of a couple travelling together!
So we flew out Tuesday after spending a glorious free day in London, even strolling past Wimbledon Tennis courts on Monday morning as they were all frantically doing their last minute preparation for an onslaught of action in a couple of weeks time.
We left from Gatwick Terminal South and that was an experience of its own. I gather it's where most of the package holidays leave from and the majority of holiday makers were in party mode already or at least doing their best to relax in preparation for what the next few days would bring. For us the best surprise was the delicious meal served compliments of Thomas Cook - something good old Easyjet doesn't extend to. It had to be the tastiest light dinner I've ever had on a plane and I gather that's the result of James Martin, a well known UK chef, having a hand it there. The pudding was the most decadent, luxurious chocolate mouse I've ever tasted - oh golly it was so good there was a temptation to almost lick that bowl!!!
Then we find ourselves at the Frida Village Appartments just out of Hersonisoss, which we soon discover is one of the older party towns of Crete. But luckily we are far enough up the hill and well out of ears reach of whatever happens down there in the wee small hours of the day.
Accomodation is a welcoming, family run, clean, roomy apartment with a lovely balcony and everything needed for self catering. Two wonderful pools, one of which we have almost snaveled for ourselves as hardly anybody else knows about or uses it so that's a bonus.
The water is just glorious, swims more frequent than ever and if it's a snooze we need in the mid afternoon because it's just to hot, then so be it. This is total holiday mode and we intend to make the most of it.