Just spent a short mini-break with friends in la belle France and managed not to smoke for the whole time I was out there. What was especially pleasing was the fact that many of my old triggers were there and I wasn't the slightest bit tempted.
On the first night, I only had one hour's sleep, which left me feeling massively overtired and therefore a little bit emotionally fragile. This was what got me last time, but this time, I managed to not react like a petulant infant. Throughout the weekend, I was in the company of three people that were smoking and there was also a fair amount of alcohol. Although I was careful on the alcohol side, I didn't find that drinking or being around smokers made me want to smoke. I was tremendously pleased about that.
All things being considered, I felt pretty good about it all. Wednesday will be the three-week magic mark and hopefully bring an end to the emotional turmoil I always get in those first three weeks. I'm feeling overtired again this evening and therefore still a bit wide-eyed (it's amazing how lack of sleep really does affect me) but it's nothing a good night's sleep won't sort out and I should be completely back to normal by Wednesday.
I'm hoping that my brain doesn't find something wonderfully interesting and yet strangely pointless to occupy itself with tonight. Last night, having spent the evening reading a book about eco-houses and do-it-yourself builds, I was awake until around 3 in the morning imagining how I would build a yurt complex around a giant tree. I pondered over the idea of incorporating a double-decker bus into the scheme - it's always been a bit of a dream of mine to convert and live in a double-decker bus. I decided that I would try to include it, if at all possible, perhaps somewhere in the centre.
After spending around half an hour trying to work out the logistics of the composting toilet, I remembered that I don't actually own any land (with or without a giant tree) or a bus and am not likely to in the foreseeable future. And with that, I turned over and finally went to sleep. Still, it's good to have dreams, eh? Something to work towards - so long as the dreams don't keep me awake all night.
Oh, and France? We were in Marval, which is erm, in the middle of France somewhere. We spent a couple of days in a beautiful house with our friend's mum, which was wonderful (thanks Fred!). I ate my own bodyweight in cheese and loveliness, went to a market, bought some tea, discovered the wonders of a raclette (I've never had so much fun cooking a tiny omelette) and I saw a real-life leopard-skin horse (at first I thought it was a zebra, but instead of stripes, it had spots).
All in all, a top weekend. Great company, great surroundings, good food, no slip-ups and I even managed to stick to my new running routine when I was out there. I'm sad to see Anna once more head off for distant shores... Still, if I can just get my work stuff back on track, there's a holiday in the Maldives with my name written on it...