"No," he said emphatically each time I broached the subject of me returning to London. We have such a sweet simple life here in Phuket though he has to tear himself away to go and earn a living sometimes. A long time ago, I did just that, earning a living in London living a BIG life. I had a BIG salary but I had a BIG mortgage too. Though I earned a six-figure salary, there was barely anything left over by the time we paid the cost of our London life. We lived in Knightsbridge but we could not afford the restaurants or the theatres. Our best memories were of the freebies, like cycling with the children in Hyde Park, feeding the swans at the Serpentine and endless picnics on summer days.
It is all so different now. I live on the beach. I have a paddleboard that I take out almost every evening and today, he bought me a secondhand bicycle so that I can stop trying to kill myself with his triathlon bike. I used to own a Porsche and a Ducati. Now it's paddleboard and a secondhand bicycle. This evening we are going to cycle off to find an empty stretch of sand and sea somewhere on this paradise island and then have dinner at the tumbledown shack on the beach by his house. We fall asleep with the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the rocks beneath our eyrie.
As for restaurants, I have not missed the Big Life. I occasionally think about those restaurants because I love food. But my diet has changed quite a lot. I believe strongly in eating fresh organic food. There's a small market shop near where we live that sells produce from local smallholdings. Often, there is only one pumpkin available and the lady would grudgingly cut you a small segment. You'd buy four chillies and she would generously throw in ten lime leaves (what does one do with lime leaves?!) Our purchases never cost more than £2. This is my loot today.
You can see the vibrant colours. You can almost see the life bursting from them. Imagine putting all that living goodness inside your body. These days, I eat no processed food. I don't each much carbs or empty calories. I eat a lot of these. From these I can make:
Soups and broths
Note: I supplement these with lots of greens (we need fresh greens), nuts and seeds, eggs, dairy and some meat. But no vitamins or supplements. Who needs those with these goodies!
First published in www.catchinginfinity.com