Designer Diving or a Treat for Feet?

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Recently, I took some well needed time off from work and swapped my Manolos for a very different type of footwear, namely my fins, for a 2 week, all inclusive diving holiday to Egypt.

I first started scuba diving in 2008, after booking a holiday of a lifetime to the Maldives, Steve insisted that I couldn’t beat his 2nd love (rugby was his first) and so I either spent 2 weeks in paradise by myself, or I embraced the underwater world and he would teach me how to dive. After stupidly saying when we first met that diving was something I’d always wanted to do, I didn’t really have much of an option other than putting my money where my mouth was.

I was taught in the local diving quarry in North Wales, in a 13 year old wetsuit, that I had very little control over the movement of it. I literally hated every single minute of it, but continued with the promise of the cold and dark, murky water turning into a literal paradise and whole new world as soon as we touched down on the Sun Island Resort, Maldives.

Skip forward 172(ish) dives and its safe to say that I’m extremely glad that I persevered. Although it is fair to say that I absolutely love swapping my heels for fins in the tropical waters of the world, I must admit, cold water diving isn’t really my thing and these days, I do tend to stick to being more of a holiday diver. Having said that, I still manage to own multiple pairs of fins, one pink pair for warm water, a black pair for cold water (when I do venture out) another pink pair that are more suited for diving in a current, and a yellow snorkeling pair, for, well snorkeling! I mean, Marc Jacobs et al is seriously missing a trick here, designer fins is definitely where it should be at!

On the most recent diving holiday, we held awards at the end of the trip, and I am very proud to say that I won the ‘best worn neoprene’ award for my co-ordinated diving attired. The Captain of the Boat we go diving on referred to me for the whole week as ‘Pink Woman’ – I mean, a girls gotta co-ordinate, you never know who you might bump in to!

The one thing I do love about diving holidays is that (although I love my clothes, shoes and handbags as much as the next person) it is always nice to kick back and chill out with, well no shoes. We always go diving now with a company called Divers Lodge who are based in Hurghada. The dive guides are so friendly and knowledgeable and boat staff are amazing, literally the most helpful people in the world, and I cant talk about the diving without mentioning the lunch served on the boat and is the best you’ll find anywhere (no exaggeration!) and the dive sites are awesome. But the best part of it is all is my feet finally get a rest! From the minute you step foot on the boat you enter a no shoe zone, and that is it, for the whole day, my feet are free. Its the most amazing feeling in the world (along with the peace and quiet you get whilst diving with dolphins and turtles and every fish known to man, of course!)

For anyone out there who is in to diving, or wants to give it a try, I would thoroughly recommend Divers Lodge, Hurghada. Not only for an amazing experience, but for the treat for your feet! 🙂

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A Thursday Thought: Why mums really do know best

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I’ve been quiet for the last couple of weeks as I’ve been away on holiday and unfortunately the wifi was so poor in the hotel, there was no way of uploading any of my posts.

I did however, have a few typed and ready to go, so I will treat you all the the highlights of my holiday over the next few days. Today, however I want to give you my Thursday Thought which is, you should always listen to your mum, as she does know best.

And here’s why:

For the last 2 weeks I have been on holiday in Egypt. A group of 17 of us travelled out for a diving holiday in Hurghada. Unfortunately, one of the days was so windy we weren’t able to get out on the boat, so we spent the day  around the pool. A couple of the guys went kite surfing, and me not being too good at the whole wind and water based activity decided to sit it out and be an observer. An hour in, I got too hot so decided to go back to my room for a cool down via one of the other guys rooms to return their key. They were on the 4th floor so I decided to take the lift.

As I got in the lift and closed the doors, of course the inevitable happened. The lift stopped mid floor, the lights went out and I was trapped, alone, in the dark and nobody knew where I was. Frantically I searched for the phone but no one answered. I tried banging on the doors but no one could hear. I pressed as many buttons as I could find but all to no avail. This is it, this is how I was going to die, in a dark confined space, in Egypt all by myself. (Dramatic I know, but believe me at the time, it was a genuine fear.)

After an eternity of banging, pressing and dialling the phone, someone answered.

Me: (panicked) I’m trapped in the lift.

Receptionist: hello?

Me: IM TRAPPED IN THE LIFT!

Receptionist: Ok, don’t panic, can you press the button and see if you can make it work?

Me: Its pitch black, I can’t see a thing.

Receptionist: Ok, one moment…

Now what I really wanted to yell here was no, not one moment, get me out of this bloody lift. As it was, I was in no fit state to be yelling, I’ve seen the movies, I knew my only chance of survival was to conserve my oxygen.

Thankfully, the lights came on not long after this and I was able to frantically press all of the buttons in the lift whilst yelling, hello, hello into the phone. Well, lets just say, the receptionist still has me on hold now, so I’m not holding out much hope for the next poor soul who gets stuck.

After going up and down in the lift a few times, (the doors wouldn’t open and of course my rational mind continued to press every button imaginable) I decided to prise open the door myself and climb out onto solid ground – the lift at this point was still stuck between 2 floors.

Shaking, I made my way down to the bar and treated myself to a full fat coke and half a lager. Feeling grateful to be alive I managed to provide the humour for the rest of the group that evening.

The morale of this story, if your mum, like mine, insists on taking the stairs, no matter how many flights she has to climb, she probably has good reason, and after my experience here, I will always, from this moment on, do what my mum says, as she definitely knows best.

 

The one with the *slight detour

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When we first decided to go to New York, I organised every little detail – I researched which company was best to fly with, flight prices from various locations –all with the aim of  figuring out which was more economical and would give me the most money to invest in schools and handbags whilst we were there. In the end I made the decision to fly from London as the flights were with Virgin and I’d heard good things about them, and of course it worked out much cheaper.

It was Steve’s 30th Birthday the day we landed, so like any loving girlfriend I decided to plan a surprise 30th with his friend Brodie and his dad. Now this would have all been perfectly timed, had I not factored in the time difference, and the fact that by the time we landed at 8am that morning, we would have been up for almost 24 hours and still had to drive back to London. Fearful of Steve being grumpy, and less than impressed to return home to Wales, tired and sleep deprived to a house full of people, I decided that I would drive back most of the way so he could sleep, I’d arranged the party so I should be the one to suffer. I couldn’t tell him this as the whole point was that it was a surprise, so I just offered out of the goodness of my heart, claiming id caught a good few hours on the plane so I’ll be ok.

Steve drove us out of the airport; we stopped for a quick bite to eat at the Services and set on our way. I have never driven to or from London before, so I had clear instructions from him, follow the M4 signs towards the South/South-West, and then follow the signs for the M6 or the North.

Ok, I can do totally do this, M4, Southward bound, M6 Northwards, then I knew the way back to the M56 – what could go wrong?

Well, what went wrong was this… I followed the signs for the South and South-West as instructed, then signs for the M5 started to appear and the Midlands, but no signs for the North, so I continued going South/South West. The alarm bells started to ring when I saw signs for the Severn Bridge. I literally muttered to myself, could have sworn that bridge was near Cardiff. I kept on going, the slowly I realised I had definitely gone wrong somewhere; I was 20 miles from Cardiff.

I had no choice; I had to wake Steve up. He was actually going to kill me. To be honest, his reaction, although I would say it was the greatest, it could have been worse. I mean, he only yelled for like 3 minutes.

I managed to get us back on route, and we headed back up towards the midlands. I had to stop for coffee and also because I needed to inform the impending party that we may be a little later than anticipated (by 3 hours) due to the slight detour that we have taken.

Needless to say, it was not the best start to our engagement (Steve had proposed a couple of days before) or to his birthday. In fact, it was extremely difficult to provide a sensible argument against stopping overnight in the Travelodge in Birmingham as by that point we were both shattered.

Eventually we made it home, and once again Steve wanted to kill me when he walked through our door expecting peace and quiet, but in fact was greeted by shouts of ‘surprise’ and ‘happy birthday you old fart’.

With couple of glasses of diet coke and some cake down him; we filled our guests in on our adventure and engagement and celebrated his birthday (or what was left of it by this time). Come 7pm, we were both ready for bed, and Steve could almost, laugh about our *slight detour!