I realised at that moment that me and He Who Only... have spent the best part of two and half weeks together without once leaving each other's sides. This has been a result of my back giving way to the most almighty set back I've had since 7 July 2004 when I had my last epidural injection. I spent almost a full week lying on the floor in various states of conciousness and hysteria, constantly thinking that (a) I was going to lose my job; (b) I was going to lose my flat; (c) I was going to lose my sanity. Even in the haze of all the hideous side effects that came from the prescription of Tramadol (I'm now officially allergic to EVERY PAINKILLER CURRENTLY KNOWN TO MEDICAL SCIENCE, GODHELPME), I never once stopped to think that maybe I was going to lose my boyfriend. Because, ladies and gents, the man is a miracle on legs.
He spent a week looking after me, making me lie down, sit up, eat things, go to bed, putting hot and cold things in rotation on my back all day and night and never once did he complain when I burst into tears for the fifth time in an hour and never once did he tell me to pull myself together and never once did he stop telling me that everything was going to be okay, and then it was.
And even when we were sitting on the Stanstead Express train in Liverpool Street, the first time I'd been out of the house in a week, and I was shaking and crying again because of the pain and the fear that I wouldn't be able to get back to Ireland and would instead die there on the very platform, he calmed me down and talked me through it, and we got there, and our plane was delayed and that was okay because I had a lie down on the filthy floor of Stanstead airport for three hours and we got to Dublin and everything was okay.
And then we spent 8 hours together in a car driving to Galway, while I missed the exits off the motorway and picked all the music and pointed out things to him that he couldn't possibly look around at and told him ridiculously boring stories about things that happened when we were kids and Mum and Dad used to drive us to Galway every summer, and he never once complained.
And then we spent a week in a cottage at the edge of the Atlantic that didn't have a working toilet, just me and He Who Only... and two jack russels, and we didn't speak to another soul and we drank more Guinness than should be legally allowed and we stared at the fire and told each other stories and talked about everything and nothing and almost froze to death every day getting water from the outside tank in the pouring rain to pour down the unflushing toilet and in all that time we didn't once have a bad word to say, we didn't once get bored, and we worked out between us the exact life span of a goose because it seemed important at the time.
So on the flight out of Dublin, while I was weeping and he was gazing out the window and trying to talk me into looking at the pretty coastline and once I had calmed down a bit and we started doing crosswords out of the crossword book that I'd bought in the airport, I realised how damned wonderful my life can be and how damned great my boyfriend is and how damned lucky I am and what a great place the world is and shut up I'm happy.
The rest of this week will be taken up by photographs of dogs and stunning views of Galway. I hope you enjoy.