Tag Archives: osteopathy

One year ago today

… my father drove me to the Airport (and we were delayed in traffic, what stress!) and said good bye… I was leaving on my trip, my Big Project.

A year later, I reflect on my departure, on what I learned during my 8 months away. My solo nearly round-the-world trip, my life-changing experience throughout Asia and Australia.

Since I have arrived, I am working again at the practice in Fontainebleau with Guillaume Carteau (and now have my name on the door! – sorry poor picture taken with my mobile phone) at 8 rue des sablons, a quiet pedestrian area of Fontainebleau (phone number for appointments is 01 60 71 17 73)

Marjolaine Dey, at Fontainebleau

Marjolaine Dey, at Fontainebleau

I have also started teaching in a school of osteopathy in Paris: the CEESO (Centre Européen d’Enseignement Supérieur de l’Ostéopathie). It is great fun, I really enjoy spending time explaining things. I realise how passionate I am about my job, and how much I have matured since I graduated from the British College of Osteopathic Medicine. I have so many things to learn, it is very exciting.
My practice of osteopathy is evolving, with the techniques I am learning at school from my students and what I have learned in Asia. It seems I am getting good results with this approach.

I am also in the process of moving houses, to live with my boyfriend close to my work in Fontainebleau. Another good reason to be particularly happy. I have started playing the piano again, and have found a teacher close to my work. Re-reading my last post (“Home, sweet home”) I have not started playing tennis again, nor have I brushed up on my Spanish. For now, I am focusing on swimming, running and Tai Chi, as well as making myself at home, well, at home. Future travels and discoveries are in my mind, but for now I will stay put. I have committed to a year of teaching at the school.

It is wonderful to travel, especially by oneself, but I am finding it is even more fabulous to be home, surrounded by loved ones! My suitcases are empty, my backpack is resting and I am very happy in my new life within my old surroundings.

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Chiang Mai: Advanced Thai Massage, Abdominal Chi Therapy and fasting

It’s been nearly two weeks since I got to Chiang Mai. I am staying in a wonderful guesthouse in the old city, use a rented bicycle as my main mode of transport, and have made lots of new friends.

The Advanced course is over, I have a beautiful diploma to certify that I have passed the required level set by the State of Thailand to call myself a Thai Massage Therapist.
Now for something completely different… After a well deserved weekend, including 2 lazy morning sleep-ins, wonderful luncheons with my girlfriends and massage; I got myself back to school on Monday morning, especially early…

On the Sunday afternoon, I received a massage from Ms. V, a very famous personality here in Chiang Mai, as she uses a very special technique called the “nerve touch massage”. And yes, it is as painful as it sounds. She basically plays the nerves like one may play the guitar cords, and it’s a bit… unnerving (no pun intended) and particularly painful.
I asked her to focus on my shoulder injury, since it still does not have the mobility and confidence the other one has. She was quite perplexed as to why it took such a long time to heal. She got to work on my cervicales, thoracic cage, shoulder and down my arm.
I did shed a tear for the work she did on the web between my thumb and my index finger on the left side. Horrendous pain!

When I got up, not only could I move my arm in all directions (I broke my clavicle in 2 places, with a displacement one and a half year ago) but it felt free and normal! The predomimant feeling was actually the lack of feeling: the tension had simply disappeared. I was impressed.
Of course she told me I had to use the arm, and do specific exercices everyday and for a while if I wanted the mobility to stay. I’ve been swimming in Thailand, and she suggested Yoga also.

So I applied her advice the following morning. 7am is yoga class at the Sunshine School… A very early start, especially that I am not a morning person. ANyway I made it,only to discover that I was the only one attending, and I got personal tuition with the sweetest teacher I have ever met. She is very tolerant with my lack of flexibility. Compared to a Westerner, I amactually relatively flexible. Compared to Thai people, I am the stiffest person they’ve ever met. She is very patient and teaching me the basic moves of Ashtanga yoga. I am told it is not the best way to start Yoga, but it suits me because the other types I find just too boring.

After a good hour of yoga, a cold shower and a rice soup, I was ready to go to my Chi class. Chi is the name for energy in Chinese Medicine. It is very different from Thai. Chi travels along meridiens (that are slightly different to the Thai ones) and have trigger points (much like the ones Baaw taught me) that correspond to organs or specific diseases.

It is very interesting stuff. The techniques are easy for me, as they resemble the ones I have learnt at osteopathy school in my visceral class. I have impressed everyone with my knowledge of visceral anatomy. Even the teacher. And that’s a problem because I know more than her on that point, and her knowledge is, well, bad. So once I got over this frustrating point, I have really enjoyed the course.

The teacher is a little bit “airy-fairy” but it’s not surprising as we are working on meridiens, rather than actual physical points. We’re doing some wonderful techniques, and she brings a lot of case histories and talks about her “miracle” patients. I have not heard her use that name, but that’s what I like to call the people that see such a difference after treatment they want to kiss my feet/marry me/give me lots of money.

The problem with working only on the abdomen 6h a day, is that is gets sore. We get traditional Thai Herbal Compresses at the end of the day, but it’s not enough. And my gut have been playing up. And it’s horrible to be worked on after breakfast or lunch. So I got an idea. A fast.

I have been eating foods that are very different to what I am used to, since I only stick to Thai food here (very different from a lot of tourists who seem to alternate between pizzas and burgers) and I’ve been doing well gut-wise so far. But it seemed like the right time to really flush out my system and strengthen my immune system. The course is not really challenging, so it is ok if I am feeling a bit weak or tired.

Monday was my detox day, I had very simple foods with basic rice soup in the morning, broth for lunch, and a non-spice mushroom soup for dinner. Tuesday I started on water. Yoga felt wonderful, I could feel my body in a very intense way.
Wednesday was more difficult. The second day for me is the tough day. I felt dizzy as soon as I stood up, felt weak in the legs and generally felt ill and nauseous. I could not cope with Yoga so my teacher gave me a relaxing face massage instead. My classmates helped me out too, and after class four of them were working on me, massaging my feet, doing herbal compresses on my tummy and chest, and working on my head and neck. Wonderful feeling.

Today was my third day on water. I felt much better than yesterday, even though we stuck with Yoga on the floor (no standing poses) and I got another neck massage! I am spoilt!
For lunch, I diluted two tablespoons of filtered, organic beetroot juice into my glass of water, if felt great! The afternoon passed smoothly, as the change of taste helped me out.
Tonight I was treated to more herbal compresses, and one of the girls treated my legs. The warmth I felt down my legs as she was working was astonishing. Such a big effect after only a few minutes… This girl is very talented, she studies with one of the masters here in Chiang Mai and is very special.

Tonight, I will stick to water, and tomorrow I may start having more diluted juices. I found a great organic shop close to school where I can purchase them very cheaply.

Tomorrow is the last day, I guess we will have an examination on what we have learned this week. I am not particularly worried as the hands-on stuff is easy and I’ve been working on the theory and doing homework every night of the week.

What I particularly appreciate about this class and the group of people I am doing it with, is that here everyone has that particular sensitivity I seem to have developed. Feeling heat from the patient is normal, getting pins and needles in the hands and feet, having flashes… is part of everyday treatment life. The teacher actually diagnoses from smells, she can smell a bad gall bladder, or an enlarged kidney… Which is amazing! And it’s not the farts she’s smelling! It’s the general body odour, and the specific smells on the person.
Today, she worked on a guy who must be in his sixties – an American hippy I have a lot of respect for, who went onhunger strike against the Vietnam War and now lives in India – who has a weak heart valve. As she worked on the heart area, this insane smell of burnt filled my nostrils. She mentioned it also, most the others could not smell anything. I checked the Chinese Medicine chart: burnt smell corresponds to a burned out heart, like in heart failure or weak valves. Wow.

I am in awe with all the small things I have discovered so far this week. Not so much the techniques, or even the course; but this first approach to Chinese Medicine and the wonderful people I am surrounded with is the best way I could have spent my week.
I love the idea that I am not a freak… and I feel like I am touching one of the reasons I came out here and took this year for in the first place. I am starting to get answers, and I will continue my research in Chine directly, after my travels to Australia and the Aboriginals.
The prospect is so incredible exciting!

And of course I miss my family, my friends, my lifestyle, my job, my patients, French food… but what I have found out about this week, learning to know about this part of me, makes it all worth it.

Next week, and once I have resumed to normal eating habits, I have planned to go even deeper and really find out more stuff about myself: I am going to do a 10-day silent meditation retreat in a temple outside Chiang Mai.
Apparently, the rules are strict: everyone must wear white at all times, no music, no books, no talking (except to your tutor once a day, to see how you are getting on), no chewing after midday (which means food is served only in the morning, and that’s very basic vegetarian food) and lots of quiet time.
After the last marathon few months, planning my departure, learning lots and getting treatment by many different people, so time alone will do me good. Which means from Monday I will not have any Internet connexion for 10 days approximately, so no freaking out!

Until then, I am making the most of my time, I will be visiting temples this weekend to decide which I like best, getting back to delicious Thai food, but only after a day or two of juices and fruit, simple foods and probably no meat until I finish my retreat. Since we won’t be eating much at the Temple, I am glad to be fasting now, so as to keep my stomach nice and small and not get hungry all the time!
I have talked to other people who have done it before, and they said the food eating patterns were actually fine.

I am looking forward to it all, I am learning so much about so many things! It makes me tired and I get to bed around 9pm… Feels fantastic.

This is a video of one of the masters in Thai Massage in Chiang Mai, to give you an idea of the sort of stuff I am learning here.

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Advanced Thai Massage and Loi Krathong

Now I have a new visa for Thailand, I am free to roam… So my first task is following an Advanced Massage Course at the Sunshine School in Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand).

I am being taught by a great teacher, who has studied with the masters of Thai Massage and has a very successful established practise in London, Thailand and all over the world.  Patients you may have heard of  include Thierry Henry, Madonna and the Queen Elizabeth II.
We are a class of 6, all from different backgrounds, differents countries and different approach, but everyone can speak English and is very motivated to learn Thai Massage. We learn a lot of different techniques, from toes to head, via the abdomen. It’s very interesting. I am getting answers to my many questions.
I am asking about the theory behind the Eastern way, the reason for each technique, background information, extra anatomical landmarks and importantly about “Magic Hands”…

A Mother and her son setting off a Lantern

A Mother and her son setting off a Lantern

What is also very exciting is the festival that is going on in Chiang Mai and Buddhist Thailand at the moment, called Loi Krathong. It celebrates the 12th full moon of the year (which will be tomorrow). It is a chance to celebrate light, life and… food!
Everyone makes “Krathong” which are little floaty things made from banana tree trunk, banana leaves, flowers that form a basket. Inside are placed 3 incense sticks, a candle and a coin. These are lit and let to float on the river.
If the Krathong capsizes, you will have bad luck the following year (unless you make more, until one floats correctly). If it meets and bumps into someone else’s, who will find your soulmate. If it comes back towards you,  there is something on your mind that should be said or something should be done.
Finally, if it floats away happily, you are blessed by the Gods.

I have made my Krathong, and I will be going to the river tonight to place it on the river Ping and see what my fortune is. I still have tomorrow and the day after to get busy and make other Krathongs to change my fate.

My Krathong!

My Krathong!

My Krathong on the water!

My Krathong on the water!

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Lao massage

Massage in Lao, as in other south eastern countries, is used in everyday life for relaxing and treating aches and pains. It is usually practised in the family circle, and the tradition is taught from generation to generation. Depending on the problem, the massage focuses on one part or the other of the body.

It always starts on the back, following the energy lines, looking for blockages and working on them with deep pressures, manipulation techniques and tendon flicking (with a thumb contact, passing rapidly over a tendon makes it flick which acts directly on the muscle spindles, making the muscle relax). Then the massage therapist attends to the lower limbs, one at a time, starting with the left foot first (as in Thai) and working up the leg. Then the same is repeated on the right.

After that, the person lies on their back, and the massage continues on the feet and legs, left then right.
This is where Lao massage differs (according to my short experience in the country) from others, as the thoracic and abdominal parts are not treated at all. The arms are next, starting with the left hand and working up, then the same on the right.
The therapist sits cross-legged behind the head of the patient and cradles the head to work on the neck, scalp and face. This is completely taboo in Thailand, as no one must ever sit behind the head, not point feet in the direction of it!

The last position is the sitting one, where neck and head are the main focus. The last move is a double handed clapping technique, which vibrates through the spine and the skull.

There are very few stretching techniques, and from the masssages I received, the techniques are very (very) pleasant. The therapist takes care to not hurt the patient, or work sensitively and with consideration on the painful areas (whereas the Thais and Chinese just go for it!!)

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Lao massage, but unfortunately the schools that specialize in teaching it are rare. It is a family tradition, and foreigners are not expected to want to learn this way of treating. I have heard of schools in the capital city, Ventiane, but I will not have time to visit them on this trip. I choose to focus on Thai techniques, as I am starting to get a good basic knowledge. My next courses of “Advanced Therapy” and “Abdominal Thai treatment” start November 10th.

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On the road…

Ante Scriptom: (yes that does exist) the following story is totally true and ends well, but some parts may be dramatized slightly. So as to not get anyone panicking, please bear with me and read on. Thank you.

From Koh Lanta, after long goodbyes with Baaw, I disappeared in a mini-bus that was to travel on the island, on a ferry, on another island, then on another ferry and then on the mainland to Krabi.
Being currently on holiday (I am relaxing after over a week of hard work with my teacher) I didn’t have specific plans, so I stopped in Krabi town, to wander around, see if I liked the feel of it and decide whether to stay or not.
I walked up and down with my big, yet not too heavy backpack, and sat down in a cool-looking “Bob Marley” style cafe and got a Coca-Cola. Being on holiday, I read my new book on the theory of Thai Medicine. Then this guy sat down opposite me. I absent-mindedly said hello and continued reading. In my field of vision, I could see his feet and I noticed that one was much bigger than the other. As I turned a page, I focused on his legs. One had loads of bruises and scrapes, with much swelling and the other one appeared normal. So I casually scanned the rest of his body, nothing abnormal detected. I went back to my book.
He asked me something – what exactly is irrelevant – when I faced him to reply, I saw that he had a very bad black eye, and a massive “cartoon-style” scar on top of it (like the ones you draw on your cheek to look like a pirate, with one big line criss-crossed with lots of parallel little lines) I couldn’t help myself, so I asked how it happened. Scooter accident. And I thought he was going to stop there, but no…
“But you should see my friend John, he’s in a really bad state”  oh dear, they were both on the bike?
“No, he’s at the police station and they’re beating him with wooden sticks” shit… why is he there?
“Drugs”

Well of all countries, Thailand is not a place where you smuggle drugs, right? So I finished my Coke and ran the hell out of there. Not a good impression of Krabi, at all. I got to the bus station and got on a bus to Surat Thani, from where I could get a night bus to Petchaburi.

If you don’t know where that is, don’t worry. Most guide books don’t even talk about it. It’s just off the road that goes from the South to Bangkok, about 200km South of Bangkok. So the bus company said no problem, they would stop there for me and even give me “special price”. On top of that, I got the priviledge of travelling downstairs, so I was fully lying down rather than on one of the reclining seats upstairs. Wonderful. One of the drivers was instructed to wake me when we got there.

3am. It’s dark, I’m alone and I’m tired. I find it difficult to open my eyes or focus my gaze, my legs hurt and they feel really stiff. I’m trying to remember where I am. I am in the Petchaburi hospital, trying to rest. The staff were really kind despite the fact they could not speak any English.
Fatigue is overwhelming. I can’t move so I just fall asleep, but I make many violent dreams.

4am. I’m lying on my side, my shoulder hurts and I’m thirsty. I roll over but nearly fall off. I stabilize myself, listen to the others around me, snoring. The neon lights of the ward are flickering slightly. I can’t be bothered to look or ask for water, I fall asleep again.

6am. I’m glad I got a chunk of sleep. I stretch out a little bit, but my legs fall off the end of the leather couch I’m lying on. I sit up this time, slightly dizzy. The other couches in the hospital lobby are also occupied by sleeping people, though I’m the only Farang (white person) and non-staff.
When the driver woke me, we couldn’t fnd a taxi to get me into town, and he didn’t want to leave me to find one by myself. We were in front of a major hospital, and he decided that was the safest place for me to wait until morning. There would be the night-shift staff, I could wait there and safely get to a guesthouse in a few hours.
I was relieved of the outcome. I went to the hospital, the security guard was asleep , and as he woke up suddenly he thought I was hurt somewhere. I mimed I was fine, used the Thai words for “bus” and “no taxi” and Bangkok. He seemed to understand and welcomed me inside the lobby.
The hospital looked new, and I was happy to find that Thais, like me, can sleep anywhere. So I put my already padlocked bag safely under the couch, lay down and tried to get some more sleep.
I slept surprisingly well, and only got up around 7am, when the day shift people were starting to come in. Noone asked me anything, so I just kept myself to myself.

Around 7.30, I once again used my miming abilities to good use, and with a little help from my phrase book. I found a taxi and got into town, put my bags down in a guesthouse and had a “continental breakfast” before going for a long walk around town.

I had chosen Petchaburi for its Khmer temples, and I was not disappointed, they were beautiful. I was soaked though, as the rain is also present here, a 1000km North of the Islands. I had pretty much seen everything I wanted to see, so picked up my bags and organised a different outcome to my day. I got on a Thai governmental bus to the city of Ratchaburi, where I was to connect with another bus to Chananburi, i.e. where the bridge on the river Kwai is.

The second bus was great – it took about two and half hours to travel 60km, but was an endless source of entertainement. There were no windows to speak off, a crazy conductor who kept singing loudly to announce the stops, and many young children who thought I was the funniest thing ever.

Actually Ratchaburi isn’t in the guidebooks either, and even the travel office and the tourist information told me I had to go via Bangkok to get to Kwai. But I figured there would be another way, since there is a road and the bus system is really well developed. 
Even though the tourist/VIP buses are faster because they don’t stop to pick up and drop everyone on their doorstep… Even so, the journey as indicated by the travel agent would have taken 7 to 8 hours, whereas mine took under 4 hours, and a fraction of the price. So all in all a great deal!

The plan is: I am staying in a guesthouse called “Nita Rafthouse” which is great because it floats on the water! The downside is the amount of mosquitoes here!! I am fully sprayed in repellent, I am wearing clothes that cover up most of me, but I’ve already had a few bites. Anyway, I’m only staying the night, as tomorrow afternoon I’m heading to Bangkok to take a train to Chiang Mai. I’ve booked a seat and I’m really excited for my first Thai train journey.

Once in Chiang Mai, I’ll start looking at the schools I’ve already looked up and check them out in real life, especially the Old Medicine Hospital, which is a similar institution to the Wat Po, but teaches slightly different techniques: more stretches similar to yoga and less trigger-point therapy (which resembles the Chinese Acupressure).

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Rain, tropical storm and more rain…

I love the rain! I never thought I’d say this, but the tropical downpours here are beautiful. Here’s how it happens. During the day, the sky goes dim and the light drops. Then a very chilly wind starts to blow. Softly at first, then then a few strongs gusts, until it’s like a proper storm.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see a magnificent rainbow. The cold air gets more and more powerful, and as it does, it brings small droplets of water with it.
This is where you seek shelter. Quickly. In a few seconds, small droplets turn into proper power shower. The sound of the rain, the drops exploding on the ground, the roofs, the road is overwhelming. Conversations stop, motorbikes park, even 4x4s park on a hard surface, and wait.
The Thais are really good at waiting. It looks like they’re doing nothing, but actually they’re waiting. The science of waiting is not as easy one. If you lose your patience, you get soaked! So we wait. In silence. A few smiles.
And then it’s over. As quickly as it finished. All of a sudden the wind stops, the rain stops, and quiet returns. The silence is as deafening as the storm. There is a moment of stillness. People look around, smell the air, interpret the sounds and decide whether the wait is over.
At exactly the same moment, all activities start again. The birds sing, the motorbikes start, so do the cars, the staff at the hotel, the stray dogs… As if nothing has happened, except the 5cm of water covering all surfaces.

The good thing about the rain is that is freshens up everything. That’s why I’m enjoying so much. Feeling cold during the night, sleeping with my sleeping bag with no fan, simple pleasures after having spent the last couple of weeks drenched in my own sweat.
Moreover, all the tourists are deserting the island, as they flee the poor weather. Unfortunately, there is bad weather from Malaysia all the way to Myanmar and Vietnam. Not much hope for those in the middle on the islands of Thailand.

I have even more time with Baaw now. We scheduled two times one hour per day, as we both get tired from the one-on-one, and he needs to have time to massage the people who walk by. So when he does, I sit next to him and watch. Sometimes he’ll explain something to me, or show me a new technique that I’ll practise later. It is great observing him a few hours a day, as I get a sense of the wholeness of his techniques. One English tourist was complaining from her shoulders and neck. So he started with her back, spent 30 minutes on both her shoulders and neck, then worked hard on her arms, buttocks, legs… Then she flipped over and he focused on her abdomen, with special attention to all the important lines around her belly-button.
It was fantastic. She felt better, he gave her a 90-minute treatment to show me more ways of treating and I was glad to witness it all.

He also treated some rather overweight Swedish girls. As they left, he joked with our friend Rong (who I generally practise on) that these two girls were actually Swedish Anacondas. They burst out laughing, so I asked for an explanation as I obviously didn’t understand what they were on about.
“Anaconda, very skinny. But when Anaconda swallow a pig, then very fat! Same same!” They burst out laughing again, me smiling along with them. I inquired about what he thought these girls had eaten to have swollen up so much. “Cow. Them eat cow. No! Wait!” he could hardly talk he was laughing so much “Not one cow! Many cows!”
That’ll be Thai humour for you.

This morning, my teacher asked me for “the works”: a full body Thai massage “Baaw Style”. He said that I was to do it on him, so if I got it wrong, he could redirect me. He looked at me in the eyes and said that if the massage was bad, he would tell me; and if it was good, it would tell me also. I agreed. I haven’t had all that much feedback, so I was looking forward to it.

Over two and half hours later… I finished… Well, the techniques he taught me anyway. There’s a whole load of stretching and manipulation technique we haven’t touched yet.
So I start. I use coconut oil, which is made by his wife from fresh coconuts, and smells like a dream.
During the course of the treatment, I focused on his problem areas which are his left shoulder, the middle of his back and his sacro-iliac joints. Not working in my conventional way, I only used his ways and his methods from the sole of his feet to the top of his skull. “Toug Mai?” I asked when I was unsure of whether I was in the right place, he replies “Toug!” when I am, or he tells me to keep looking. When I find the right point on a line, he sighs in satisfaction.
As he opened his eyes, sat up, took a deep breath, he said “It was good massage”

So that’s the only feedback I was going to get? Don’t get me wrong, that makes me happy, but I need to know more detail what was good, not so good, bad… I’m a beginner, I need to know how to improve myself.

So he continued: “Your hands, they can find the pain. Your brain, it can remember the lines. Your mind, it can be focused on the massage. You can do good massage. If you do like this in your country, you very successful”

Wow. That’s something. Of course I don’t know all the lines, there are hundreds of them, but Baaw has taught be the main ones, and how to deal with each one. How to find the trigger points, how to treat the pain. And starting to learn how to diagnose with the lines. I can now feel something. And yesterday, I even felt a difference in several pulses we were palpating. I can feel I am progressing, and I also know there is still a long way to go.
My goal is not be to become a Thai massage practitioner – don’t tell Baaw this – but to integrate the Thai knowledge, especially of the lines and the holistic side of treatment, to my osteopathic practise. I still believe that my techniques are more efficient for the aches and pains we have in the West, and that people want to consult for. The Thai techniques will help my diagnosis, refine my palpation, treat more globally and think outside the box.

I am looking forward to continuing my path, and discover more about the art of Thai medicine. Soon, it will be time to say my Kop Khun Kahs and leave Baaw and Koh Lanta.

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One week to go…

Seven days before I board the plane, anticipation is building. I have trouble realising what’s happening, but it’s slowly sinking in.

Maybe it helps to wake up in my parents’ house, say goodbye to my friends, party the night away this coming Saturday, or maybe what I really need is to land in Bangkok’s unpronouncable international airport terminal to make this whole adventure feel true.

Saying goodbye is one of those terrible processes. I am personally absolutely ridden with guilt, thanks to:
– my Grandma who truly believes I am abandoning her,
– my patients who attempt to make me believe I am irreplaceable,
– my Mum who thinks I am running some great danger when I am far away from her,
– the taxman who can’t imagine why anyone would abandon their “situation” and go to another country for a while (ok that guy doesn’t make me feel guilty, strictly speaking!!)

But thanks to all those who truly support me, my project and my short hair; I feel I can go guiltfree. Well a little guilt maybe, but hopefully I’ll feel better once I’m there and actually find what I’m looking for. (Actually, the people who know about the “technical” bits will tell those who care to listen that the more you find out, the less you know. And yes, I am totally aware that I will only find more questions. Bring it on.)

I have given about half my worldly possessions to a charity, I am taking time to pack my backpack optimally and taking the least amount of stuff possible, my hair is so short it hardly ever needs a wash… Yep I feel like I’m ready for the adventure.

The Big Project. Out in Seven days on a blog near you.

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