Bonjour! Hello and welcome to Bristol. I am at my hotel desk today listening to music from my iphone - terribly sophisticated. So where did I leave you? Oh yes in sunny Suffolk. A lot has changed since then. I have left two children with their grandma, driven back to the joyous SE23 and deposited Damian (or Dames which my mother has now abbreviated it to) with K and then carried on my journey to a slightly depressing business park on the outskirts of Bristol exotically named Aztec West. It took a bloody long time to get here and I was insistent (as was K) that I put Dames to bed first so I didn't leave til gone 7 and got here at an unholy time of the night. Still, after a bath and painting of nails I felt a lot better.
The day of departure itself was horrific and seemingly never ending as I was incredibly over emotional. I felt like I was saying goodbye to the children forever, not just for three days and four nights. I realised on the long drive that I have become totally institutionalised. That always makes me think of Morgan Freeman on Shawshank redemption - although obviously mine isn't as bad as being incarcerated in a maximum security prison - I do think I have become too frightened of life outside my own comfortable four walls. I spent most of Thursday in tears at the thought of leaving the children and going into the 'unknown'. It didn't help that Bea didn't feel well which made her quite clingy so she kept crying which set me off, but it also seems so extremely odd to not be with my children. Especially Ted, I have never left him for this length of time so I had convinced myself that he would assume I had abandoned him and in the end even he started to wonder why the water kept pouring from my eyes. He stopped eating and starting pointing to my face and then looking at K as if he was asking him what the hell was going on. That stopped the flow momentarily. K shrugged in answer. Ted accepted that. Men are an odd bunch.
Safe to say I did not die on the way down, as I had feared might happen (I had of course run through the obligatory Casualty scenario in my head numerous times pre-departure). I am here and well and so far all is going ok. I am not the social outcast I feared I might be with a stone still to lose as there seems to be a reassuring number of people who are not yet at their goal weight - although I was the first of our group to walk into the communal dining area for lunch and the waiter looked at me and immediately said 'Weight Watchers group' as if it was obvious which I thought was unnecessarily cruel. Anyhoo we are also in a smaller group than I had imagined. There are only 15 of us so we are all getting to know each other and getting on quite nicely. Having said that there are most definitely the swots of the group which grates slightly. I don't know why but I don't enjoy being organised when expected to be, so a part of me quite relishes being the only one in the room without all the proper paraphernalia expected whilst the other half is actually quite embarrassed and worried the Trainers might point me out as being useless. I don't even have a proper 'before' photo printed out. And I am most definitely the most lax at tracking my food. (I haven't told them my theory of food on holiday not actually counting - they made us do an hour of myth busting today which poured scorn on all my most fervent beliefs - party poopers).
On the positive side we are all women. K had managed to convince himself that me being 'free' and out of the house for three days would go straight to my head and I would fall into bed with the first man who smiled at me. This is quite a back handed compliment because whilst it assumes I am so ridiculously attractive that men naturally fall at my feet, it also assumes I am a whore which doesn't sound as flattering. For the record not one man has smiled at me so I think we're quite safe. Plus the food is actually really good - obviously being a raving food snob I had assumed the conference hotel on a business park on the outskirts of Bristol would have revolting food but I have been very pleasantly surprised - so I am far too full for any funny business. Actually, now I sit here in my comfy pyjamas after three courses of which one was a cheesecake (only ate half through embarrassment) I am wondering if the amount of food we were offered was part of a Biggest Loser style test and at the end of the three days they will announce the winner? Perhaps I shouldn't have had the cheesecake - there was also fruit salad as an option. That should have been a clue. I really don't think I am cut out for this. I had a KFC on the drive down. There were mitigating circumstances though - it was 9pm and I was starving. And I had a twister not a bucket. There are limits.
Sweet low fat dreams peeps - until tomorrow! xxxxx