Two thousand and fifteen has so far consisted of a stomach virus and a hacking cough, so there is nothing quite like planning an escape when feeling rotten and the rain batters at the windows. I'm such a dreamer, I know that, always planning a way out of Sussex, whether for a week or forever.
I had vague thoughts about my New Years resolutions and goals. I'm going to further my career and study to become an Excellent Practitioner, yes it really is called that, I am going to study to be excellent. I am going to be more assertive - I've been saying that one since 1989 - and I'm going to push my riding further, to as far as Fletch allows me to go. I don't feel like being more specific than that this year.
I do have terribly itchy feet again though. I long for a life on the road, discovering together as a family and schooling along the way. I have an awful feeling I'm going to regret not having taken off and done the year away with the girls. I'm not sure what stops us really, financial constraints aside. Actually it's all financial and the fear of not finding work on return, if we returned.
Putting the big dreams to rest for now, I have settled on holiday planning in between the mundane. The journey through the Internet today, just to find a few weeks away for 2015, has been thrilling. I have travelled through Finland by car, staying in cabins made of wood in forests next to a thousand lakes. I have been to the Troodos mountains in Cyprus and met Androula, a wonderful host apparently, who prepares traditional Cyproit fayre and recommends walking routes for the family. The journey to the Canary Islands was brief and expensive, I soon flew out of there and popped into the Cape Verde Islands, too package-holiday, and sailed on to The Azores. I like the look of these islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with their Portuguese heritage and whales basking off their shores. Kalamata at Easter looked appealing, full of olives and empty beaches, a touch of Greece before the hordes arrive. I dismissed Morocco and Tunisia, perhaps I shouldn't but I might wait, you know, until things settle down. I've been to Turkey and Italy, to Greek Islands and to Cornwall - and then I let myself look a little further. To Mozambique. Yes, Mozambique is where I would like to go, to swim in the sea on a horse inspired by the book One Hundred and Four Horses.
It's just a matter of planning now to make those dreams a reality.