For the Bromsgrovian’s reading this, that said retreat is actually Wychbold. But it’s close to home without actually having to move “home” for two months and sacrifice my independence. Not to mention, countryside retreat sounds far more glamorous. And so far a retreat is what it’s been.
It’s not lost on me how incredibly lucky I am to have called in a (rather big!) favour from a family friend. For two months I’m staying in one of their Airbnb houses, with full access to the leisure centre over the road and sessions lined up with one of their stroke specialist trainers.
I was a little apprehensive about leaving London, again! Given the choice, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to have a brain tumour surprisingly, nor be forced to move back home the first time around. I couldn’t wait to get back to my life in London; the life I loved and had created, and I rushed back to my independence after four short weeks.
But it wasn’t the same. Recovering in London is not the same as living in London. When my housemates were out, being young and sociable, it meant there were days that I would go without seeing or speaking to anybody. I had a massive fear of missing out, cried a lot (probably more than preparing for the surgery itself!) and quickly became bored of daytime TV.
As truly amazing as my home and friends in London are, there are only so many brunches you can break a day up with before they quickly break the bank at the same time. Not working or being paid full right now meant that I needed to swallow the saving pill. I signed up to volunteer at the local care home to chat to the elderly, experiencing the loneliness many of them feel first hand. But truthfully, I just craved a coffee with my own Nan and felt guilty for being so far away.
So after an emotional packing session, I said goodbye to the dream city for a little while and moved to Wychbold last Friday. When I do move back to London in January, I’ll be starting back at work and it will feel like a new job, new house and new city. I’m looking forward to the reset and that next chapter, but in the meantime I fully intend to enjoy this one.
During my first week back, I’ve been to yoga, pilates, walked for hours on the treadmill and lifted weights for the first time since before my surgery. I’ve eaten really well with a fridge full of fresh fruit, veg and immune boosting soups from my Mom. I’ve been waking to either Ferne Cotton’s or Kristina Karlsson’s podcasts, writing a little and reading in the evening when I’m not busy lapping up the time with my family or home girls.
Despite not wanting to make this move at first, I’m looking forward to the progress I’ll make in these next 7 weeks – 47 days left until 2020 and my goal of walking “normally” is well under way.