I had no idea where to start this blog, but after much thought decided the only place TO start was from the beginning. What contributed to making me the person I am today and why did I decide to set up ‘Cycling Tours of Yorkshire?’
Boxing Day 2015, floods of biblical proportions in Yorkshire and a particularly horrendous journey back from another sad Christmas Day at my Sister’s. Just the two of us singletons, my 81 year old Mother, and in the absence of my 16 year old Son (herein to be known as James) who had understandably opted to go to the Canaries with his father’s family, it wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs.
After abandoning my poor little car about 2 miles from home I finally got back and added to the rising waters with tears of loneliness, sadness and frustration at my apparent inability (not from lack of trying I assure you) to change my life for the better; another festive season on my own, little money, no other single friends to socialise with, all my married friends busy with their families and to add to the misery I couldn’t even get out on my bike to restore endorphin levels as most of the local roads were under water. I’m really not the kind of person to wallow in self-pity, but this was the final straw.
‘Right…that’s it!’ In a Basil Fawlty kind of way I declared that I was not going to spend another festive season in this country on my own EVER again.
On a working cycling holiday to the Pyrenees that year I had made some friends via Strava.com who lived and worked over there, one of whom had an accommodation agency/holiday business and I asked for her help to find an opportunity that would allow me to escape the UK, and at the time I really meant for good.
What did I have to lose? James had made the decision the previous Christmas to leave me to live with his father (not a time I care to dwell on very much, I was naturally devastated), and although our relationship was improving, there was still a feeling in my heart that he didn’t really care whether I was around or not.
I did of course receive tuts of disapproval from certain people – but that was inevitable. There were those who thought I’d completely lost the plot (I did wonder myself from time to time), but they hadn’t endured the nightmare I had, and in fact the support I received from friends was overwhelming. So undeterred, my newly released free spirit continued with making the drastic changes I hoped would lead to a better life.
It wasn’t long before I had found a summer job on a Yurt camp, booked my ferry ticket and was in the process of deciding what to do with all my ‘stuff’. I say ‘ALL’ loosely; I had moved several times since separating from James’ Father and downsized and cleared out on each occasion, so there wasn’t really much left to sort out. Just a few key pieces of furniture to store, and the rest was pretty much tip, charity shop or eBay material. Needless to say I’m pretty sure I shall regret this ruthlessness when it comes to opening up the boxes of what’s left!
Colander? What colander?!
I gave up the tenancy on my lovely home and went to stay with a friend closer to James for a couple of months before I left early June 2016. Excited, liberated and looking forward to my new life in France; it had to be better than the one I was leaving behind, hadn’t it?
Next time…A new life in the mountains?