Sunday, 1 May 2016

May the Force be with me.

I've always liked May. Two bank holidays, warmer weather (supposedly), flowers blooming all over the place - what's not to love? Growing up, it was also a time of school fairs and dancing round the maypole. I remember being in the local newspaper because I danced round one at Junior School, and somewhere I still have the competition-winning programme cover I designed for another year of the school's May celebrations. 

Since becoming ill, May has taken on another significance. It is M.E. Awareness month, which for obvious reasons is a cause of great importance to me. International M.E. Awareness Day itself falls on the 12th of May every year, so chosen because it is Florence Nightingale's birth date. How many of you knew that the Lady with the Lamp was severely affected by M.E. for a large proportion of her life? I certainly didn't until I became ill with it myself.

This year, I am as usual raising money as part of Team Princess by dressing as a princess for the day. You'll have to wait and see which princess I have chosen but I may drop a few clues over the next week or so. Two years ago - the first year I dressed up for Princess Day - just putting on my outfit and posting photos online was enough to use all my energy and leave me suffering the Post-Exertional Malaise that is characteristic of my illness. I am very pleased to report that since then, the gradual improvements I have been making mean that this time, I have a lot more to contend with than pretending to be Sleeping Beauty for the day. This time, May is going to be a month of milestones and I am going to need every ounce of luck and strategic planning to get through it. Still, I like a challenge. 

It starts off gently with a visit from the hairdresser tomorrow. I need to smarten myself up ready for all the gadding about I am planning to do. Then May the 4th is Star Wars day so I shall swan around in my Hannah Solo dress for the day, pretending my hairdryer is a blaster. The following week, the real business gets going. There's a birthday celebration for fellow princess Ali, so sparkle and glitter is compulsory. Then comes Princess Day on the 12th and the unveiling of this year's outfit. Normally that would be enough for one week, but foolishly perhaps, I have arranged my first trip to the dentist in several years for the following day. That's right. Friday the 13th. What could possibly go wrong?

Anyway, my teeth are in desperate need of a going over, and this is going to be a huge step for me, what with the traveling there, the unfamiliar surroundings, the bright lights and noises of the machinery. I'm tempted to say that if I raise enough money then I'll go dressed in my princess outfit. I'm going to look odd enough in my shades and ear defenders so I might as well go the extra mile of ridiculousness. Providing I survive the experience (debatable) then that gives me some much-needed time to recover before my next major milestone because at the end of the month, I am going on holiday. That's right. Mostly housebound mook will be on tour for the first time in about 4 years. I will be leaving the house for longer than a couple of hours. I will be staying somewhere that isn't my all-too-familiar boudoir. I am getting out into the big wide world and I can't wait! 

Now, before you get too excited, let me put a little perspective on this. I am still supremely ill. I manage so well day to day around the house because I don't push myself to go to places that will over-stimulate my highly sensitive brain and body. Hence, my 'holiday' involves travelling less than an hour away to Center Parcs, where I shall probably spend the next five days zonked out in a different, more expensive bed whilst the husband runs off into the forest to fire arrows and shoot pretend pigeons. It's hardly a grand world tour, and a whole world away from my last proper holiday, which was my honeymoon five years ago to the Dominican Republic. Still, for me and my poor little body, it is every bit as epic an adventure as an eight hour flight half-way around the world. It is going to cost me the high price of pain and suffering, probably whilst I am there, definitely when I return. Despite this, I am so very excited to even be able to contemplate going. I am more than happy to pay that price for a taste of freedom and a change of scenery, even if it is just the view from a very different bedroom window. Of course, I may need reminding of that fact afterwards, when the inevitable recovery time has me bedridden and bewildered, but even so, I will be happy. Happy but hurty, because I will have achieved something I thought I might never be well enough to do again. And then looking forward, once I have managed this trip, maybe I can plan to visit my parents by the end of the year? That would be nice. I haven't made it back home for several years. It would be nice to save mook ma and pa the car journey down to see me.

So yes, expect big things this May - but not so much for June, where I shall largely be wallowing in a pit of ow and ugh. I shall need the force to be with me every step of the way, and if you wish to m'aidez this May Day, you can sponsor me to become a princess and raise some money for local charity Action for ME. Even if you can only spare a pound or two, it is all so very much appreciated. If being ill has taught me one thing, it's that even the tiniest of steps is still a step forward. I'd love you to help me keep taking those tiny steps towards getting well.

You can visit my justgiving page to sponsor me or visit Team Princess' team page to choose one of the many other M.E. Charities we are supporting this year

And we are also raising money for the following charities that aren't yet available through justgiving.


  1. Mook on the loose this May! I nearly did a cry when I got to the holiday bit. That's epic! So chuffed for The Mooks. Happy May Charlzzz. Love Ray xx

    1. Love you too my little Butterlumps. Raycharlzzz day is going to happen one day!!!