Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm back

Well, I'm back. I had the loveliest time in the UK although it was exhausting too. However, I didn't belong anywhere this time. It was all familiar, but nowhere was properly home.

I met two Novel Racer bloggers while in the UK: Jen and Helen. Jen and I made a pact for our launch parties (ha ha ha). Helen has (most impressively) got her first draft done which is very exciting and renewed my enthusiasm for my own WIP.

I was dead tired by the time I came to the end of my Grand Tour of the Beattie/Stevens clan - and climbed on to the aeroplane grateful to be able to stop living out of a suitcase. I woke in the night on the 'plane knowing I should stay awake because it would make the jetlag easier but someone had been by and put grit in my eyes and they wouldn't open. I sat there in my inadequate seat thinking about going home, but for the life of me in my confused and comatosed state, I couldn't work out if I was going to the UK or to Bangkok.

On my first full day in Bangkok I had a spa morning arranged with friends: I d booked a jetlag massage which was lovely, but resulted in my returning to the unconscious state. It meant I was alert enough (or maybe not, considering) to meet Ms Melancholy and her family that evening (see here). I'm still punishing myself for the social faux pas made there...

I woke on Friday morning with a ferocious migraine which meant I had to cancel my (urgent) website lesson and didn't get the (urgent) voting form up on the website before Husband and I came down to Koh Chang (Elephant Island) for me to try scuba diving. The family had done their 'Open Water Diver' training here and the staff were lovely, gentle and encouraging, so as a total coward I decided I'd like to come here for my 'Discover Dive'. I was clothed up in all the scuba paraphernalia, told to jump in and then instructed to submerge... this was my training.

You know what? We can't breathe underwater and my brain and my heart had a stand up (alright, floating) altercation about this fact. I tried several times, but each time I submerged I wanted to run (that's quite hard in water, wearing flippers, a tank of oxygen weighing as much as me (that's a lot) and a mask. He (the instructor) just wanted me to 'go down.' Like it was as simple as that. Anyway, I bottled it. I couldn't do it and I got out. I felt terrible: like a failure and that I'd let husband down who so wants me to discover and share the world of diving. It took until this morning for me to realise what a crap piece of teaching I'd had: or non-teaching. Maybe I'll try again in a pool in Bangkok, or maybe I won't.

Now that I'm back I'm going to have a potter around all my regular blogs and say hello. See you soon.


Jen said...

How lovely to have you blogging again!!

Can't blame you for not 'going down' when instructed!

Your meeting with Ms M sounds... um... interesting? Just as well you didn't eat MY food, raaaaaah! :)


Caroline said...

Welcome back honey!

Glad to hear that Ms M arrived safely and your meeting with her sounds most curious!

Hugs x

Helen said...

Welcome back!

I'm sorry you had a difficult experience with the diving. My brother in law when he was alive used to teach people out at Phi-Phi. He was, apparently, very good. I've never done it myself - can't see the appeal, though no doubt I'll try it at some point in the future and think 'why haven't I done this before it's brilliant!'...

I'm glad you're back. Its cheered me up on what has been so far a crap Sunday morning!

Jon M said...

Hellooooooooooooo! Good to have yer back. I did intro to Scuba at our local swimming baths. Having seen the bottom of the pool so clearly, I'm not sure I'll ever swim again! :-)

sheepish said...

Welcome back, England is no longer home to me either, I find it quite exhausting when I go back for a few days.
I can understand your problem with the diving, I am a bit claustrophobic and would have trouble just trying to put the mask on let alone breathing!!!!!
Hope the migraine has gone.

Stray said...

oh JJ! Yes, utterly rubbish instruction. I have such a strong recollection of that particular internal squabble ... but I'll drown ... was what my instinct kept saying, and it took a great deal of negotiation to persuade my diaphragm to get involved in the process!

Once I did, it was ok, and I have to say that it was mostly the shame of the fact that my little cousin, who was about 9 at the time, was acting as though she'd been breathing under water her whole life that prevented me from having a complete hissy fit and removing my equipment.

Definitely go along to a nice gentle taster session in a pool ... you'll be fine JJ, it's not nearly as scary as writing a novel ;)


JJ said...

Helloooo you all.

Jen, there's just no 'going down' on command, I say.

Caroline, I had a lovely time with them, but did embarrassingly eat Mr M's food - I don't thinking crying son was quite my fault!

Helen, glad I cheered you up. The diving was horrid - I'm so unsporty... It's just not fair.

Jon, I think that may be the only way I get back into the idea of scuba diving again. Can't do it in that big, scary sea...

Sheepish, Yup it's very weird. Last year I belonged where we'd lived, but definitely not this time.

Hey Stray, thought you were away. Not blogging? It was rubbish but just unlucky to get some macho Thai boy of about 23 who can't remember it ever having been frightening.

A. Writer said...

Welcome back!

Good to have you around again!

liz fenwick said...

Hi JJ. Welcome back.

Don't think I could dive.......they tried to tempt us on our honeymoon and there was no way I was even gonna try!!!! Well done for trying - you are way ahead of me.

Glad you met Ms M :-)

JJ said...

Thanks A.Writer. It's good to be back too.

Hi Liz, it was terrifying. I must be a control freak as I couldn't bear being so out of control. Too much too soon.

JJ said...

Hey Susan M, I know you're a lurker. Thanks honey for doing the work and I'm sorry to drop you in for the weekend!
Call the mushy peas paid for!

CTaylor said...

What a shame you didn't have a better dive experience. Sounds as though you got a bit of a duff instructor. Did he not teach you how to breathe through the mouthpiece before you went into the water? I've been diving twice (only the basic, instructor-led kind) and the first time nearly put me off for life. We were in Greece and the instructor grabbed my shoulder, angled me into a cave and then told me to hand onto a piece of rock in some dark corner or other. I had no idea what was going on and started to panic. A few minutes later the instructor whipped out a camera, pointed it at me and took a photo of my terrified face! He could have warned me that was going to happen before we set off!

I've since learnt that good instructors do NOT take total novices into caves on their first dive!

My second dive was MUCH better - in Cyprus and in clear shallowish water. I swam around with the fishes and LOVED IT.

I hope you don't give up on diving but totally understand if you do. Some people just hate it!

Rebecca said...

yikes - I get your aversion to being underwater like that - claustrophobic and unnatural!!

good to see you back.

Angie said...

Good to see you back, JJ. Hope the migraine subsided.
Husband wants me to take scuba diving lessons with him too, but I'm not keen on the idea. I love snorkelling, but I don't like the idea of diving so deep with all the creepy fishes. ;)

JJ said...

Hi Angie and Rebecca
Well, I'm not going to do it again unless I do a special 'retards go slow' course! I think I can do them here in a pool, so maybe one day!