..I know….I know it’s been an age.Well if I’m honest I’ve not had time to scratch my backside let alone blog . However, a recent revelation has prompted me almost like a trigger to offload ……
to free up memory. Rather like a defrag or mass delete in my PC when it starts to get sluggish?
So here I am….this next part of my life journey is almost a repeat of the first..well almost…
You see, decisions are made and then we run with them and before we know it we are on another road to Discovery ….this time prompted by Hubby….
Remember him – solid, dependable, supportive, rational handsome hubby 😘
Let me take you back to where this new journey began.. January 2016.
As is his way, he had come up with an awesome Birthday surprise of a weekend away with a mystery concert. With no clue where we were going or who we were seeing I loved the ongoing intrigue. We arrived at Bristol airport lounge and were greeted by the pompous concierge..I never know why they act all posh..they know most folks use them to a) full their boots with excessive amounts of beer and wine over breakfast…..even at that cost it’s cheaper than the airport cafes and bars b) to be sure not to lose any of their party and c) to avoid people en masse. My pet hate at an airport is being jostled and knocked by wheelie cases! If folk in Asda had the same piss poor directional issues with a shopping trolley it would be absolute Carnage…ankles sliced open and Western style brawls..so why the hell aren’t people more mindful with a suitcase *stamps foot..
I digress..so we are signing in at the lounge and Pompous says..”Your flight to Gdansk boards at 12.45 Sir,enjoy your stay with us this morning..” Now, I’m ashamed to say that despite having visited my beloved Krakow many times..I was still non-the-wiser as to where we were going….So I said Fab…where’s that? Hubby laughed and reminded me of news reports that stuck in our minds of the Gdansk dock workers union battles in the 80s..Ahhh I now know where we are headed but not why!!!He tells me he couldn’t say as I would be straight onto my besties and they’d quickly Google to see what was on in Gdansk and the game would be up. He offers to tell me but I say “No, I’m enjoying the secret..but it better be worth it”..He assures me it will be.
We arrive to a below freezing climate but I’m wrapped up well in my fancy Desigual coat, a duty free gift from our last Birthday trip to Prague…the man is a saint isn’t he!? 😍
The hotel is beautiful, Five star with chrome fixtures and marble floors in the lobby. A small rotund man trots over to grab our cases before we even check in!! Bit like an over excited umpa-lumpa in a chauffeurs hat! Charming but strange to travel upwards in a lift with a dwarf attached to my little case..is there really any need? I’m guessing it is to obtain a tip but honestly we travel so light we could have managed..As a rule Hubby is a rucksack kind of guy, with two jeans, a handful of tee-shirts, couple of shirts and boxers for the number of days. I’m a zebra print wheelie case kind of girl with 17 outfits, 20 pairs of pants and as mainly toiletries as will fit in the remaining space..and all in a hand luggage size wheelie..Not bad huh!! seriously though it takes the piss to have to tip a Diddy man just for chaperone services with so little luggage but still…
Anyway, as is our individual habit, I throw myself on to the bed after putting on the kettle..he removes said kettle, washes it out thoroughly and proceeds to wash the remote control and strip the bed of everything apart from the essentials. His OCD theory being every possible bodily fluid that is invisible to the naked eye is on all of these items..from shite to semen, to drool. He is convinced that unless Alex Polizzi has inspected the place we are bound to catch all sorts of life threatening diseases… honestly he’s hilarious..I of course humour my lovely man, sip tea and await the plan for our first day.
The gig isn’t until the following evening so we have time to explore. By now snow is falling in thick flakes so we wrap up warm to venture out.
Hat, scarves, gloves and warm coats, tights under jeans …he did take some persuasion to put these on….only kidding..the tights was just me, not him! At last we’re ready.
He asks again if I want to know who we are seeing and I still say “Nope”. I’m still loving the fact I have no clue..Boy can this man keep a secret!!?? If I didn’t know him so well I would be suspicious of such a skill!
So on the white quiet streets of Gdansk we take in the local colour..well it’s white mainly but you know what I mean.The narrow streets are lined with Amber stalls and sweet hot chocolate and mulled spiced wine vendors. Roasted peanuts and polish sausages and all manner of delicious temptations to spoil your dinner. He treats me to a hot fresh donut and a promised mulled wine…for warmth, therefore medicinal really!? 😋
Walking hand in hand is sadly something couple’s only seem to do when away alone. It serves three real purposes..besides an easy and romantic reconnect as a unit it also stops me from wandering off into the underground cellar style shops selling Amber jewellery, silverware and general tourist junk…and it keeps at least one hand toasty warm …a win for each of us right there!
Next stop an Amber museum…sounds dull I know but actually was pretty fascinating. The huge chunks of the stuff with all kinds of flora and fauna unlucky enough to get trapped inside ..the look of shock on the face of a frog embedded in an Amber tomb is something to behold I tell you.. He didn’t see that coming when he was waiting for a snog from a hapless princess 🤗
So we hike the hundreds of steps to the top of towers, I insist on photos of me in gallows and with the frozen river behind me ..He reluctantly feeds my desire to load my photo file with Instagram worthy snaps…Being a hater of social media he fails to understand that addiction but humours me as I do him. It’s bastard cold in the wind so we decide to head underground for lunch..Cozy in our polish tavern we order local cuisine…dumplings for him, mushroom stroganoff for me. Lush and warming and washed down for him with beer and more spiced mulled for me..Just thawing out by the open fire is heavenly. I don’t want to move .We always marvel at how much fun we have together when away. Away from the everyday stresses of family and work life. He comments how we never fall out…🤔 *Mental note
Another hour flies by and we head back out into the white cold..trudging through the thick snow has a surreal romance to it.. especially as the Christmas decorations are still up. Different colored lights twinkling in the trees lining the quaint streets. Its truly magical…still bloody cold though and despite having the smallest nose of both of us I can no longer feel it. I complain about this fact and am told he lost feeling in his hours ago …
Passing surreal giant orbs and fairy-light covered wire reindeer, it feels like a fairy tale. Its late January yet Poland remains in Christmas mode….I repeat…really bloody cold but really beautiful.
Time for more mulled wine ..I need thawing again…fingers and toes numb now..It’s tea time so we grab a snack tea and head underground again into a Piano Bar..It’s a dark place but the best thing is you need to be hammered to even imagine the decor ….the walls are lined almost entirely by multicolored newsprint paper including the doors.Thus making a ‘Nip to the loo’ quite an adventure. Best to go before you’re desperate 😚In this climate your bladder shrinks to the size of a grape and freezes from the inside.
We settle ourselves in a booth with the intention of not moving until we have to amble back to the hotel.
Now, bear in mind we had an early start, a few sherbets in the airport lounge (rude not to, and a Pinot goes surprisingly lush with croissants). Coupled with the euphoria of just being alone and away to relax ,we were already pretty pissed.
Now as luck would have it a skimpy clad polish waitress struts up with a tray of shots of Jack Daniels Honey.We have never heard of it so accepted with some scepticism.Well, I kid you not, it was like Molton nectar! The heat of this first shot was a revelation…In fairness after calling her over four times we realised that was the last time we were going to get a freebie..Her screwy look made that blatantly clear.
I needed the loo. Not so incredible you might think. However, given the door to the loo was well hidden by the newsprint wall, this was actually quite a challenge.
As we discussed where the toilet door might be we noticed that my coat had also disappeared. Taken from me when we were seated I didn’t actually see where the waitress took it. Now if you know me personally, you will know I have something of an obsession for all things Desigual…so the realization that someone may have swiped my awesome and very expensive coat when it was minus ten outdoors was enough to sober me up..Well not quite but you know what I mean..I wasn’t best pleased…
So when I return from the loo I notice my beloved coat is on a hook opposite our booth and as perfectly camouflaged by the wall decor as a chameleon in a leafy tree. For what must be at least half an hour we are hysterical… posing with the coat on against the wall..he’s holding it open against the wall and we are basically acting Iike giggling children. All the while under the watchful and more than a little beady eyes of the JD Honey promo girl..I suspect she regrets allowing us four free shots now .We are pretty wasted to be fair 😂
So all of a sudden hubby goes quiet and looks oddly emotional. I am worried. He opens with “Ok so there has never been a good time to say this to you as we are always with the kids or busy ” *more worried.What the hell is the matter?
So he tells me he knows how I have always wanted more children of my own. Spent the previous year trying and even succumbed to some very unsympathetic treatment at the fertility clinic, which only served to produce the most painful injection induced ovulation ever..I mean EVER!!! I eventually threw in the towel, as the side effects far outweighed the minimal chance of the meds actually working. We had a meeting with our consultant, who had worse bedside manner than Cathy Bates in Misery. She explained that my age was the main factor and denied the Depo Jab had effected my fertility. I was in fact a dried up old shrew with eggs only good for scrambling..or words to that effect! She was a pleasure..a real gift of a Consultant. We felt blessed to be under her care….Not!
Anyway Hubby went on the explain that over the years he had felt increasingly guilty as he stuck to his argument that he was satisfied as he already had three children (my stepsons and my daughter), so didn’t feel the need or urge for anymore. He continues to say how his reaction to me wanting more failed to appreciate I actually only had one child and had never set out to just have one. Lucky for him our daughter was doted on by her big brothers but it didn’t change the fact she was my only child.
He was eyes welled up emotional now, as was I. I’m not gonna lie, I was also a little miffed….With hot JD Honey coursing through my veins I felt a wave of sorrow. Sorrow for my daughter who on every wish, be it birthday , Christmas or otherwise had yearned for a baby brother. Sorrow that she had gone through her 10 + years expecting and hoping for something that never came . Sorrow for me …for the ache that secondary infertility brings every time someone asks “Did you not want any more kids of your own”.The DID being the most painful of the words as it suggested it’s now too late. I DID and I DID fucking try. Also it DID fucking hurt. It just never happened.
He is genuinely regretful and says he wants another baby. He feels he has more parenting to do. He wants to give me the son I always thought I would have. He will do whatever it takes to make this happen. He is animated in his decision. I am speechless and wondering how long he has been trying to tell me all this..I have been home!!? 😂 No matter, it’s out there now. I said Adoption is pretty much the only way and obviously being adopted myself it is a no-brainer.We decide there and then to make an initial enquiry to the local council on our return .
Then the heady mix of alcohol and highly charged emotions turned the mood dramatically. Now I don’t know if I’ve told you but my Hubby has a deep seated dislike for pretty much all things “Social media”…I only share snippets of my life online but am open to my closest friends. He sees Face Book (affectionately known as Faeces Book) as the scurge of Satan. Somehow it came up in conversation, I expect he was telling me something I already saw on Facebook and he’d hoped to tell me as new news…Anyway he launched his attack..
Why is it that if I’m on a night out at a gig with mates, before I’m even home to tell u about my night, you already know where I’ve been,which pubs we’ve had shots in etc etc????
I explain that it’s because your mates are in my Facebook as are their wives and my news feed will fill with images and tagged posts of your movements as they post to show what fun they’re having..why what are you trying to hide? 😂
“Absolutely Nothing of course but be nice to relay my evening to my wife myself !!I hate Facebook, it’s Facebook’s fault that I can’t do that.
I respond with “It isn’t Facebook at fault ,it is your mates who use it to post their movements..you can’t blame the software for your mates sharing their personal stuff!”
“Yes I can, it’s fucking Facebook’s fault”
“No it fucking isn’t ,it’s the users fault for sharing their information!”
“Nope, I disagree, it’s down to Facebook”
“It’s not,you should blame your mates”
“If it wasn’t for Facebook he couldn’t do it!”
“True but it exists and so does his ability to type and share his whereabouts to his Facebook followers”
“No you’re wrong, it’s Facebook at fault ”
“For christsakes, have you heard yourself ?!!So let me get this straight…the same argument could be said as follows then….a driver of a school bus mows someone down on a zebra crossing..he doesn’t see them and ploughs over the person and squishes them dead… BUT he can’t be blamed as it was the Bus at fault!”
The argument raged on until we were both exhausted by it and pretty much forgot how it began so the evening ended with us passing out back to back in bed like grumpy bookends.
We missed breakfast
I thought I was gonna die
I also hated Facebook but not as much as I hated JD Honey
I was actually dying
I actually died ..
well for another few hours before we agreed to disagree and seek out something to cure our horrific hangovers…
I also agreed to put anyone in my Facebook who he was close to in Restricted so he was humoured.
He apologized for kicking off and we agreed to forget it….
Venturing out into the bleach white snow and dappled sunshine of the afternoon was a good start to clearing our heads.
We decided to wonder off the central map and visit the Solidarity Museum.I remembered news headlines about this revolution from my childhood.The moustached face and name Lech Wałęsa were evident and the exhibits showed the workers struggles for equal rights and pay etc. A few hours spent here and we were back to loving spending much needed quality time together..No more bickering and no more bloody JD…at least not until we were under carefully controlled conditions , ie at home where one or maybe two would undoubtedly put me to sleep!
We walk back out into the snow…it’s bloody cold now so next stop lunch and a drink. On the route back to the hotel we found a cute Asian fusion restaurant so heading in for noodles and glass of wine for me, beer for him. We chat amiably
That evening was my surprise concert! I was excited but still happy not to know who we were seeing. The taxi was booked for an hour before the start. We sat in traffic in heavy snow for an hour and 20 minutes 😦 We were to miss the start. Hubby was getting stressed as all this planning and secrecy and we were not there at the beginning.
Oddly travelling in the heavy snow and heavier traffic was interesting. I scanned the billboards on overhead bridges for posters giving me a clue. Nothing. I gaped into cars of others obviously stuck in the concert goer traffic .Looked for age profile clues. Nothing..it was a real mix of young, middle-aged and elderly. Still no clue who the famous face was to be. Obviously one of my favourites but I honestly couldn’t work it out.
We noticed people abandoning cars and taxis letting their passengers out to walk the last part of the journey. Really? In the snow? Er nope…saw no point of freezing my arse off and having to sit in wet clothes for this night of a lifetime. No, we would just have to hope we got there before we missed too much.
We finally pull up at the stadium. Still no clue! I have my glass water bottle confiscated and run to the loo before we go into the main auditorium. In the loo I still have no idea.
Then finally as we walk into the vast stadium I hear him. The velvet tenor tones of a master. My eyes well up as I hear him.
Andrea Bocelli is singing Vivo Per Lei “I live for her” Just for me of course!!
His amazing show had me in raptures, and tears. The discussions of the previous evening still ringing in my ears and my emotions were already in free-fall. For the duration I was literally grinning from ear to ear and utterly speechless. My absolute favourite. Such a beautiful and inclusive concert. With thousands of people entranced it was as if we knew this amazing brave and talented man. In the programme he was advertised as also playing in Warsaw that July. We vowed to book to see him again for our Anniversary. He is well worth it I promise.
I cant tell you how much I loved my Hubby for this fabulous treat..He would struggle to beat this one so I suggested he didn’t try. This topped them all and we both knew it.
So the last day in beautiful Gdansk was spent souvenir shopping and more mooching around the Amber shops. Warming up in between with mulled wine and polish snacks.
When we got home we wasted no time in putting our plan in motion. First stop ….make initial enquiries to the local authority…
The road to Adoption was ahead of us and would be no less rocky than the road to my Birth Mother.
Within this journey are many other dramas. As is typical people and circumstances get in the way of life….watch this space…
Thanks for Reading…
Lots of Love
Black Sheep xxx