I am less than forty-eight hours away from my flight home, readers. Thank you very much for the support: I was really touched by your messages of concern. You helped me accept that dying out here of some tropical malady was both avoidable and absurd. (NB one of my favourite ‘come home’ messages was via Twitter: “are you out of your f*cking MIND, you c*ck? Stop being a f*cking fanny and come home RIGHT NOW… YOU UTTER D*CK!”
So yes, I listened and agreed and at huge expense changed our flights home. The Man has – as usual – been amazing about everything and has gone out of his way to make sure I don’t feel guilty or crappy about forcing us to abandon our travels. I do not deserve The Man. I think he probably knows this.
Speaking of whom, the reason we are still here – rather than being at home already – is that we agreed we’d wait until our first anniversary had passed before flying home. After all, we met abroad. It seemed fitting that we celebrated our first year together in some strange city where no-one speaks our language, both of us operating out of a skeleton wardrobe and neither of us having anyone else to hang out with beyond each other. (My sartorial standards have slipped even further from last year when we met: at least then I had a pair of high heels and some tight jeans. For our anniversary dinner this year I have the choice of hiking trousers and boots or a summer skirt worn with black tights [ERROR] and dirty converse [ERROR.])
Said anniversary is tomorrow; we fly the next day.
So. Me and The Man are one year old. Hurrah! It happened! I got myself a well-fit bloke who properly loves me and doesn’t punch me/leave me/laugh at me when I act like a prick! He doesn’t mind if I belch out loud and he positively embraces the stranger aspects of my character that I think most men would be terrified of. He even admitted recently to having read the blogs from my dating days (god forbid!) and he still wants to be with me. It’s a bloody miracle. I feel like the luckiest girl alive.
I’m sitting in bed next to him, actually, stealing sly sideways glances at him and I still can’t believe it all happened. Remember the girl who started this blog? Remember the ridiculous Rules-centric approach she was going to apply to her search for a man? I cringe now to think that she honestly believed that some insane book would help her. Bless Lucy Robinson of September 2009. Oh, and remember how positive she became, a year after commencing her search, that she was doomed to permanent singledom?
She was wrong! She got lucky! She met The Man! Blow me down, if it can happen to me it can happen to everyone.
…. Oh, Robinson. Oh dear.
Since I wrote the above, our anniversary has passed and, with it, our biggest row to date. It was extreme: tears, shouting, gritted-teeth apologies; the works. It was quite amazing. Fortunately we made our way through it but still, I couldn’t help but laugh when I returned to my blog to finish it off and found all of the above gush and grossness. Bless me, sitting in my little romantic bubble. I think I had forgotten that we are both human beings. I’m just a minger full of parasites and bacteria and The Man is just a human being. (Although he is doing some excellent shower-singing right now. Sort of Welsh male voice choir stuff. Rousing.)
And so I now really am at the end of my trip. I’m sitting on a purple sofa and the window is open. I can see red tiled roofs and a sky that is blue at the top, brown and smoggy at the bottom. The smell of coffee is snaking up into my nostrils from the vast sack of it I bought yesterday and, wearing a big grey jumper that The Man bought in Ecuador I am nice and toasty. I had pancakes for breakfast and have lots of Christmas presents stuffed into my rucksack. There is a real whiff of end of term – or maybe end of an era about today. I have no idea when I’ll travel again; I’m off home to move in with my boyfriend and start a life in London again. Slowly but surely I hope my health will return to normal, Christmas will happen, Spring will come and I will turn 32. I might get another book deal, I might start another adventure. Who knows.
All I know is that the last eighteen months have been the most challenging, wonderful, maddening, scary, awesome, joyous and frankly crazy eighteen months I’ve ever had. My life has changed beyond recognition (mostly – although not totally – for the better: my colon just made a really disgusting noise to jolt me out of starry-eyed conclusions) and I have a bank of memories, photographs, friends and experiences that I could never have dreamed of before I left the UK. Oh and The Man, whose value to me is indescribable.
Wow. Even I want to vomit reading this. I’ll leave you alone and put my head back up my arse for my final few hours in South America.
Peace (or paz), bretheren.