Back in the day – post Art College and pre-houses, and children and responsibilities Andy and I spent a couple of years back-packing. We had a lot of time and hardly any money. We inched our way from Kenya to Zimbabwe, worked our way from Perth to Cairns, beach bummed our way round Thailand and took the slow boat down the Mekong through Laos, then topped it off with India. People either love India or hate it – we loved it. Its frustrating and filthy in places, and although there are lows, the highs make it all worthwhile.
We made friends with loads of lovely people, camped on desert islands, spent hours playing cards while we waited for buses and trains, avoided food poisoning as best we could, we got snobby about beaches and visited enough temples to get totally templed out, rifled through tat in markets, sent home parcels full of that tat, and generally had an amazing time. Life is good when the most pressing thing you need to do is decide on a cafe to hangout in.
Obviously things have changed a lot in the last 13/14 years. We are now six people instead of two, but although there are children, a house, jobs and businesses in the mix, there is still that urge to bugger off and live in a hut, somewhere hot and chaotic and full of colour or trail about and have an adventure. Last year we took ‘Team Best’ on tour and island hopped in Thailand – the kids did really well and coped brilliantly with sleeping in cargo boats and night trains, hopping in and out of pick-up trucks, and tuk tuking across towns to night markets.
So with that under their belts, this year we are doing it, while we all can. We are off to India at the beginning of February. At the moment I’m on the ‘up’ about it. In the ‘it will be fine zone’, but I swing from that to ‘oh no, what if… [insert something awful here] happens’. There will be horrible bits, and times when we are wondering what on earth made us think it was a good idea to take four kids there, I’m sure. Fingers crossed they will come back relatively unscathed, and perhaps when it’s time for them to go off on their Gap-Years they will be sick of all that, and want to go and brush up on their French in Burgundy, or something nice and sensible.
As far as Petal & Feast goes, its all sorted. Lovely Lizzles will be holding the fort – she’ll be on the email and is a whizz with everything, so you will all be very well looked after; but I thought you should all know what is afoot. So, we are desperately wrapping things up and tying off loose ends. We are pretty booked up for this year and just making sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. So, there we go. Wish us luck…. we will be back when the tulips are out.