Hi Everyone (she says gingerly)
Okay my whole world, as O'Casey brilliantly wrote, is in a state o' chassis. I'm officially drafting in the jaw wiring brigade and the self discipline detectives who are picking up the will power posse on their way by.
Lidl the well known supermarket have their full stock of chocolate stuff for Easter in store. I just did a quick drive by to pick up some of their pretzels which my children love (I can't eat them either - too much refined white flour which will sit in my stomach for a year). But as I was purposefully stepping away from the baked goods section, having resisted taking a bite out of the warm chocolate croissants, I came face to face with the large yellow stand of chocolate fare.
I know this supermarket is all about saving money but I'd like to quickly point out that myself and some of my very close friends - who will remain nameless due to the shame of it all - seem to find Lidl the opposite to cheap. I go in there with the intention of buying a lettuce and come out with a step ladder, drill, several tonnes of chocolate, fifty rolls of toilet paper with cute pink sheep stamped on, six bunches of flowers, a skip sized box of washing powder and a crate of pink champagne. It happens every time. I've tried to just buy the head of lettuce but the other random stuff is too alluring.
Anyway, I'm still off the dairy. It suits me and I feel better. There's a marked difference in how much better I feel so I know it's good for me personally. I never thought I would be able to live without chocolate. I dream in chocolate and would happily eat it instead of any other food on earth. I never feel sick after eating it and can down a phenomenal amount of it in one sitting.... Suffice it to say it hasn't been easy to turn my back on my old friend, but I've done it.
I was doing well and haven't fallen off the dairy wagon once. I know Easter is coming up and Saint Chocolate will be celebrated the world over. I'm mentally preparing myself to pretend that I prefer eating jellies and marshmallows (all lies nothing is like chocolate).
But I wasn't ready for the display just now. Friendly looking chocolate bunnies with bright eyes and long lashes all shiny and delicious. Gorgeous hens sitting on beautiful candy coloured miniature eggs in pretty baskets with bows and scrunchy cellophane wrapping. Then there's the tiny things. Packets of cute ladybirds, chocolate chickies and tiny rabbits the size of my thumb. Coloured cars, coins and decorations with strings to hang from a tree - all made of chocolate. The worst part is that it's all so cheap!
I know I can buy dairy free chocolate but the fact of the matter is that it tastes like mud. I know people will argue that fact and say it's really quite nice when you get used to it - but let's face it so is chemotherapy to a point, but I can't say I want any more of that EVER.
I will shut up now and stop moaning. I know in the greater scheme of things not being able to eat chocolate is minor. I've beaten cancer eight times - I'll manage the no chocolate thing. (Moan, complain, whine & grrr....)
On a more positive note, I had a wonderful Paddy's day. I was Grand Marshal in my local town of Bray this year! When I was asked at first I honestly wanted to hide under the bed and pretend I'd gone to live in Narnia for a gap year. But my children heard about the prospect of accompanying me in the open topped car and that was that.
'We have to do that Mum!' they shouted.
Knowing I was allowed bring Sacha and Kim clinched it for me. Cian my husband point blank refused to travel in the car with us. He did stand and take photos while pointing and laughing. I'm choosing to see that as his little way of showing his undying love and support for me... All jokes aside the parade was amazing. Really fantastic. The amount of local groups and organisations for everything from dancing and sports to special needs social groups blew me away. There were floats from a vast array of Ethnic cultures with song dance and wonderful colours. Once I'd travelled the entire route I was invited onto the viewing podium where the judges were marking each entry. I've never had a seat like that before, where I could see each group and be treated to their performance. It was stunning. From tiny little tots with fluffy hair and chubby legs to elderly people with twinkling currant-like eyes - it was magical. The amount of work that went into the event was mind-blowing too. People work tirelessly all year to provide the spectacle and I was so humbled to be involved. I did feel like a total fraud in one way. All I did was pitch up and clamber into a car and wave. Maybe next year I'll try and actually help a bit too.
I'm getting really excited about the book I'm currently writing. It's got a working title of 'Driving home for Christmas.' I've said many times before that writing helps to get me through lots of hard times in my life. I wrote my way through my eight cancer battles and I know it's one of the things that kept me sane. So I'm using 'Driving home for Christmas' as my chocolate therapy. Christmas is my favourite holiday (Easter is cancelled in my head for obvious reasons) so I decided to write a warm and cosy Christmas tale. I'm getting to grips with the characters now. We're friends. I know who they are and I'm eeking them into reality as I go. My next novel is 'Unconditional Love' and it hits the shops in July, but I hope to have something for you all to put in your Christmas stockings too. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for listening and for getting me through that very sticky chocolate melt down just now. I appreciate it. I hope you're all in fine fettle where ever you may be. If you're a chocolate fiend perhaps you'd gobble a few bars for me? I'm off to console myself with a piece of Turkish Delight. No I know it's not the same thing but it'll have to do.
Sending you all love light, health and a BIG cheek-bulging bite of a chocolate bar!
Emma x x