My book Falling in Honey is, in some ways, about losing things. It’s about losing people you know to cancer; about losing relationships you thought were your future.
But on the flipside, it’s about how these things encouraged me to grasp life by its curly goatish horns. The universe was waving a big banner that said: ‘What are you waiting for?’
To give myself new, happy plans for my future, I came up with the Gifts to Self.
One thing guaranteed to make me happy was a Greek island. The combination of sun, sea and stunning landscapes always hit the spot. I wanted a month on a Greek island.
Work also had to change, to stop dominating my life. I did the figures and decided I could live on a four-day week for a while.
The third gift was making sure I didn’t fall in love again for a good while, so my heart couldn’t be broken anytime soon.
It was all possible; I did it, and the sky didn’t fall.
So I cooked up a plan: to move to Tilos.
It didn’t go smoothly.
But I now believed I had the power to make my life better. And two years later I came to live on a Greek island. I spend loads of time outdoors, walking with my dog and swimming in the sea.
This morning, around seven-thirty, from across the valley I heard the beautiful, soft, haunting sound of the priest’s voice singing a service. I checked my diary, which being a Greek diary handily lists the many saints’ days. Of course, the wondrous St Fanourios! Fanourios the Revealer, who helps you find what you’ve been looking for. It’s been a day for thanking him.
Lisa the pup, unfortunately, didn’t find what she was looking for this morning: her boyfriend, who had been on Eristos beach all summer and had taken the big boat back to Athens last night, which meant it was safe to take her to the kantina again. She kept looking towards where he should be, willing him to appear. 'He loves me, I know he'll come any minute now, I can smell him...' The poor angel. We all tried to console her – how to tell her he would have stayed and waited forever if he could?
But I've found two other things that I was looking for: a new house with my very own office (fingers crossed); and an energetic and social exercise class for the winter (still smiling from my very first zumba class tonight!).
Here's the tiny church of St Fanourios in the old town of Rhodes, and nearby...