Tuesday 8 March 2016


Back in November, when I was in the middle of he whole cancer thing, and it was still possible that I didn't have long to live, Mr SM asked me a question.

He said "SM, has this whole experience made you look at your life and wish you'd done anything differently?"

This was a bit of a shock to me. Mr SM is an Old Etonian. He thinks that asking if you take milk in your tea is getting too personal.

I thought for a while, then I said "You know what? I don't think I'd change anything apart from one little thing."

"What's that?" he asked.

"I haven't had enough room service." I replied.

(I am aware that this is going to make me sound terribly spoiled, but please bear in mind that at the time I thought I was dying).

It struck me that for the last twelve years (since #1 was born) we hadn't had one holiday without the children. Plus, every holiday we've had has been self catering, which means that I do all the cooking, washing and cleaning, as per usual. Different setting, same chores.

So, I said "If we manage to get through all of this, can we please book a week away, just us two, somewhere hot with a glorious beach, where I don't have to do anything but lie on a sun lounger and order mocktails?"

Usually this sort of request would be dismissed out of hand, but I had picked a moment when Mr SM was feeling weak, and he agreed. I made him book it, and persuaded my sainted mother to hold the fort at home, before he changed his mind.

So, this Friday we are going to Jamaica! And I am beside myself with excitement (mixed with equal measures of panic about how my parents will cope with the three children and dog while we are gone).

Preparing to go away is a nightmare of pulling favours, writing lists of instructions and trying to anticipate what might go wrong. But I know that the more stressful the build up, the more amazing the feeling when we get onto that plane and fasten our seatbelts (and isn't that a great metaphor for life?)

I confess that I've had a number of moments when I (accidentally) picture myself holding a glass of chilled white wine, or a cocktail - when we're on the plane, the welcome drink at the hotel, the cocktail at sunset my the beach - and I feel a pang of regret like a kick in the stomach.

But I remind myself that the last few holidays I've done sober are the best I've had in years.

We're only away for seven days, I may never get the opportunity again, and I do not want to waste one minute on a hangover, or all blurry. There's going to be enough to get high on...

Whoop! Whoop!

Love SM x


  1. Swimsuit shopping to show your healthy new figure will now hold no fear. No need for the industrial strength reinforcement of the tummy holding-in panels which you have to be practically cut out of. Not for our SM! Plus, you will be able to remember what you just read, where your room is, where you left your sunglasses, not fall asleep in the sun with a hangover and wake to look like a lobster, go out on a boat without feeling the need to be sick over the side (never good for the glamour index) and all manner of sober things. Enjoy it! Childless holidays are things of joy. xx

  2. Jamaica? I am jealous. Sob. I know you will have a fabulous, sober time, and will remember and appreciate every minute. Annie x

  3. I just came back from a long weekend in Miami…but with kids! I did it! No wine! And I'm so happy I did. Will Smith was staying at our hotel and we had breakfast next to him two days in a row. He even took his pic with our daughter and introduced us to his acting coach! He was so nice! If, I had been drinking, there would be NO WAY IN HELL that I would've been up for breakfast!!!! I would've stayed up drinking (I am an "all or nothing girl") and then would've slept the beautiful day away…and missed the opportunity to meet Will Smith! I am so excited for you SM! You will LOVE Jamaica! Go to Dunns River Falls…it's beautiful! (I think I like it because of all the pics of me in a bikini there…many moons ago!) When will this weight fall off???? Ugh! And, don't forget, your parents raised you…they know what to do! If someone misses a practice, game, club, etc. it's no biggie in the long run!!!! Don't stress (easy for me to say as a mom of 3..hahaha).

  4. Bon voyage! I can't wait to hear all about it!

  5. Saaaand!!! Graaaaand!!!
    Sun and snooze...who needs booze!!

    Happy for you!

  6. Oh have a fab time. We had our first holiday away sans children last summer (even when they're 15/16 you still have to put the suntan cream on) Oh there was nothing to do at all! no-one asking what's to eat (we always self cater) or where are we going or anything. Family hols are lovely but a holiday just for two is so relaxing. Enjoy every second, you deserve every bit of room service and luxury.

  7. I think you are going to have a great time. You deserve it. Xx

  8. WTG SM! And on you go too! You will love Jamaica! Dunn's River Falls do it!
    Boston Strong/Boston Sober

  9. Hope you have a fantastic holiday SM! You so deserve this. I am so happy for you. A x

  10. Wonderful, and bloody well deserved SM!! Just think you'll get to enjoy and be present in every moment! Mr Red and I had a child free week in St Lucia back in 2014. I nearly needed a new liver on my return, felt horrific. What a waste, and a huge regret. Just think how alive you'll feel though!!! Enjoy, I'll look forward to hearing about it on your return. Red xx

  11. Have an absolutely glorious time!!