Without sleep, I am not a ray of sunshine. I have not slept, so draw your own conclusions re the mood this morning. I have been sitting here since dark o' clock reading, and wriggling about trying to get comfortable. Why, you may ask??? That man is a SADIST. The physio man. We need to strengthen the rest of your leg, he says. Oh joy. So he sticks his thumb into the base of my ligament which is either fully or partially ruptured, and I mention that it hurts a bit. I am the mistress of understatement. Don't worry, he says, increasing the pressure, it will go numb soon. He neglected to tell me that when the numbness wears off it will feel like the hounds of hell are gnawing on said knee. All night. This morning. And probably for eternity at this rate.
I said I was not a ray of sunshine.
I told him that my blood is confused. I have ice packs on the knee which the blood passes through, and then it gets to my foot, and it has a heat pack on, so it warms up, and then zooms up to the knee again, and freezes. It is a wonder I have not had a blood induced heart attack. I told him my foot is way colder than the other one. Hmmm, he says. I can feel it. The circulation is restricted by the swelling in the knee. Hello? Circulation? It should circulate. The blood. MY blood. Freely. I do not need my foot to drop off.
No sleep, remember.
Anyway, I have more hot coffee and some toast. Maybe I will feel a little more human and pleasant in a sec.
My favourite place.
On the surface, this is an easy one to answer. The little village in the Alps in Switzerland. It is a combination though, of the place, the scenery, and the fact that my sister lives there. Not to mention that I fell in love with Switzerland when I was 12 and that has never changed.
I love the mountains. But I also love the sea. I love walking in the forests on the mountains in Switzerland. I love the feeling of safety I have there. The beauty is self-evident, and the peace and silence is food for my soul. I love being there. I love walking with my son. I love walking alone. (Walking. Groan. That won't happen with this *^*&%^%$! knee this year.) I just love being there.
But maybe I love it in a special way now, because my family is there. Because I have been so many times to stay with my sister that I know it so well. But because she told me what to look for and where to go. And then I discovered the rest for myself. It is a place I always long to return to. My favourite place on earth.
Or is it?
I love New Zealand too. It is an amazingly beautiful place and I have just scratched the surface of it really. There is so much more to see. And so much sea to sit and watch too. One of my best things. But the most important thing is that it is where my daughter lives. My ONLY daughter. So does the fact that it is home to someone special in my family colour my view of it? Probably. It is more special because when I go there, I am spending time with someone I love. And being so happy to arrive somewhere because you are spending time with people you love makes the actual place very special too, by association.
This village has been home to me and my family for 18 years now. This week, in fact. I think. Diana??? You are the one who remembers these things! Is it special in and of itself? Maybe not. There are no mountains. And we could not live further from the sea if we tried. It is an ordinary English village. But the fact that it is home makes it special. Not for the place, but for the people associated with it. My family. My friends. And while my home is here, it is a favourite place too. But if I were to move my home, then that would change.
I have been to many places. I have seen many things. I love Scotland. I love Cornwall. I love France. I love Cape Town. I loved Austria when I was a child. There are many more places I would love to visit too. One day.
I like to think, though, that wherever I make my home, it will be my family's favourite place. It is the people who matter. Maybe, without my family in Switzerland, and the love and warmth I always find there, it would just be another place I love, and not my favourite place. Ditto for New Zealand.
Wherever they are, my sons and daughter, sister and mother - those are my favourite places on earth. The eyes can absorb the beauty of so many stunning places, but only the heart can absorb the love, and that, to me, is what makes my favourite places so special.