Today I reached the zenith of escape from my usual existence as a harried, often bored, Mama-of-three, hamster-wheeling through life in a Groundhog Day-esque vision of middle-class mediocrity back in Ol' London Town.
Watching Egg and Dumps climb a waterfall in the middle of the jungle, then sitting sweat-soaked, huddled in a mere three inches of rock pool (on account of the freakishly large fish which were feasting upon our extremities with great gulping miniature jaws should one dare to venture any further out), I realised that at last I had achieved the much longed for separation from my life as I know it.
This waterfall visit had been preceded by a glorious two hour drive on the back of le husband's beloved purple Enfield to a magnificent Spice Farm where we proceeded to tuck piggishly into delicious 'Thali's' and then rid ourselves of an obscene amount of money (okay fine that was all me) by buying up countless packages of spices that realistically have a one in five chance of ending up forlorn on a shelf somewhere a year from now.
With the wind in my hair and the winding tree-lined vistas that we roared through showing off with all manner of views and glorious fauna, we were utterly transported. Oh how we needed that...
"It's good for the kids to see us in this context," the husband roared over the engine as we overtook the sulking children in the air-con taxi, staring out resentfully at us as we roared past.
"Yeah, totally," I yelled back, bouncing my head in time to the music from the bluetooth headphone I'd snuck in one ear.
After countless years of returning like homing pigeons to this sacred bit of beach in this special part of the world, I love watching our city slicker boys go local. After about a week they stop complaining about every little thing "There's a bug in my milkshake"..."I got another mosquito bite"..."How come Netflix won't download"...and start tearing around with other kids on the beach, hitting up strangers for money to buy sweets, wearing the same shorts for four days in a row (even though stiff with dirt and beginning to spawn their own eco systems), and attempting to learn tightrope walking on the hastily erected ropes outside our glorified shack on the beach.
I love how the all encompassing heat makes allies out of the husband and I, who are way too hot and tired to do more than raise a lazy eye if we see the other doing something we're not completely on board with. We are slower, gentler versions of ourselves here, and though the decompression process is not without its challenges (submitting to the inevitable squalor of perpetually sandy beds, mattresses no wider than a slice of Hovis, and random bugs which fall periodically from our slanted, desperately-in-need-of a-mend roof via the click-clacking fan...) once we've cracked it, we've cracked it, do you know what I mean? Simply put, night after night, toes buried comfortingly in the sand as we dine under the stars, we feel like the luckiest people in the world...
Our boys (who are never happier than when all crammed cozily in our bed) love the proximity of this place and the fact that we are living on top of each other. It makes them feel happy and secure (the husband and I less so, nightly fighting claustrophobia as we laughingly attempt sleep, glued together like gummi bears, in what amounts to a double bed).
Still, I remind myself that these days are precious. Egg, who I so clearly remember toddling about with "Wanna cuppa tea?" and nightly indulging in post-bath nudist dancing to Goldfrapps 'Number 1', is almost a teenager and the other two can already kick our respective arses in the card memory game (any memory-related exercise to be honest), and I'm patently aware how numbered these days are have recently resolved to start appreciating this period of my life more than I have been doing so of late.