I'm busy packing my suitcase. I'm heading north to my boyfriend of one year's cottage. Let's call him Paco. He's tall, lanky, has a very good head of hair and an enormous heart. He has an ability to calm even my most ridiculous anxieties and fears. And he can cook.. He also has an incredibly large and very close family. They're a clan and they have welcomed me with open arms.
But of course being me, I'm anxious about being around too many people. I live like a monk most of the time. I can spend the day just pacing and adjusting pillows and making sure the flower vase is positioned exactly right. I read for hours and hours uninterrupted pretty much every day. I'm not used to having breakfast lunch and dinner with ten people. In fact I don't even eat breakfast. So this is kind of new territory for me. Part of me wants to run and hide but there's another part that truly wants to embrace it all. And that's what I plan to do. My house and my cushions will be here silently waiting for me when I return home. As well as a houseful of dog hair. I have house guests at the moment. My son and his hairy beast of a dog are staying while I'm away. Which is extra motivation to get in the car and hit the highway.
There will be wine and cocktails, mounds of food and board games and cards, which I totally suck at. There will be banter, laughter and music, and a dock and a lake. I'll get coffee in bed.. And then, when the whirlwind of a weekend is over I'll get Paco all to myself for more than a few days. Dating in your sixties comes with it's challenges. We've both lived a lot of life and have families and grandchildren. We have a lot of stories to swap and we're pretty clear on what we like and what we don't like. I'm very very happy he's not a pet person and that he is self deprecating as hell. And we've had the bowel conversation. Thank god for that. And it's a huge bonus he has four bathrooms.
The cottage is huge and although I probably shouldn't say this out loud, it needs a little bit of an update. So, if I get bored, I can just redecorate the entire cottage in my mind and no-one will ever know. Everybody will be happy. You don't mess with a family cottage that isn't yours. Even I know that.
So am I foolish to leave my quiet, perfectly ordered home for a bit of chaos? And a whole lot of love? Maybe, but I say bring it on. Wish me luck.