I thought June 22 was a date etched in my brain forever, but it turns out I completely forgot my eight-year cancerversary, so I guess I must be moving on. (Either that or there’s been a few other things to think about.)

I knew there was something significant about the date but there was nothing in my calendar so I figured I hadn’t forgotten someone’s birthday. I only remembered the following evening when I was listening to chef Dominique Crenn’s wonderful memoir Rebel Chef, where she talks about the ‘Dear Chemo’ poem that a friend wrote for her on her first day of treatment after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Instead of being negative, the poem is a ‘thank you’ to chemo – an ode of gratitude for the medical advances capable of saving millions of lives. I’ve always felt the same. Grateful for my wonderful surgeon, grateful to have easy access to life-saving medical treatment, grateful to still be here eight years later, living a very privileged and happy life.

I was supposed to be going to Georgia on a #50BestExplores trip with Dominique last month and I was looking forward to telling her how good it can feel to move on with life, for those of us who are fortunate enough to do so. (I’m very aware that many aren’t.)

But, well, that trip got cancelled, for obvious reasons. So instead here’s a pic of me attempting to paddleboard in Paraty last year with the lovely Gisela Schmidt, another chef I admire and with whom I shared some really special moments on our long, hot car journeys through Brazil.

IMG_1092I’m very much a country/city girl at heart, but it’s when I get into water that I feel my most grateful, content and free. I’m looking forward to jumping into some water sometime soon to celebrate surviving the stinker that has been 2020.