I’ve just got back from a week away with my family. We were celebrating my mother’s 70th birthday and I was reassured there’d be internet in the house we’d rented (in a remote corner of Devon) so I brought my laptop with me, planning to squeeze in a bit of work. Blogging from the Heart was starting on Monday, my Unravelling group were about to enter week six, I have a bunch of ebooks to update urgently, not to mention the not-so-small matter of a book proposal to get finished………. BUT THERE WAS NO INTERNET!!!!


I panicked for the first hour. The thing I fear most in this little biz of mine is letting people down, and not being able to email, check the course Facebook and Flickr groups and be there for everyone when they need me is one of my worst case scenarios. Luckily I have an amazing part-time assistant (hi Nita!) who helps me out, and I discovered if I climbed up a hill and stood in someone’s garden I was able to access a sliver of internet, but standing in the rain shielding your laptop with an umbrella is not the best way to work. So last week I had to relinquish my need for online connectivity, and accept that, other than the occasional bit of signal on my phone, I was taking an accidental sabbatical.


I had moments when I wished I could do a quick Google search to find a piece of information. I missed Pinterest and Instagram, the two places I sink into for visual inspiration. I hated being so absent from my course peeps.

On the other hand, I did not miss Twitter or Facebook in the slightest. I also forgot all about my Google Reader — when I got back home on Saturday afternoon I skimmed through the blog posts I’d missed and came away an hour later feeling drained and despondent. Life online suddenly felt so uninspiring compared to a week out in the real world, something i want to hold on to as I endeavour to break out of my hermit ways — balance is needed!


We packed a lot into our week away, and being a full-time auntie for seven whole days was pretty much the Best Thing Ever. Every morning I had my wake up call from a three-year-old cutie opening the curtains and saying: ‘Wake up, Susie, the shine is out!’ My brother-in-law cooked us the most amazing meals all week; we played on the beach; fed “baby sheepies” and a tank full of insane grey mullet; saw deer, rabbits, swallows, bats and owls; watched a ferret race; shepherded a flock of sheep back into a field; held a starfish; explored a pirate ship; discovered a bluebell wood; marvelled at the beauty of nature; walked the Jurassic coastline; met Meggy and Indy, two of the loveliest dogs ever; ate the best fish n chips; fell in love with Lyme Regis; collected shells, pebbles, feathers, fossils and crystals; rode on a tram; taught Noah how to say my “big name” (Sus-nana); had two barbeques; got soaked in the rain; and loved the hot tub.


My favourite moment was Noah choreographing an entire dance routine to a Taylor Swift song, which we then copied down to the very last bum wiggle :)


It was an epic adventure and now I’m sitting here missing Noah like mad. As we said goodbye I tried to explain to him that I had to go back to London to go to work, but that I’d see him again soon. “But I need you, Susie,” he said. And I tried to do that thing where you’re smiling through your tears because you don’t want them to be sad, but I don’t know if I was very convincing. So I just kept cuddling him and kissing his cheeks and promising that I’d come and see his big boy bed soon. And that we’d play ‘Punzel and Nugene. And that he could come to London soon and we’d go see the dinosaurs.

I miss you, baba!