It all began with a telephone call one snowy evening. I remember it clearly. I was slipping and sliding on the pavement, trying not to loose my balance and drop my carrier bag of wine, when my mobile phone rang.
For the record, it was the second bottle of wine I had purchased that evening. The first one I managed to smash in the cold meats aisle in Marks and Spencers, so I was adamant I would not be purchasing a third bottle.
It had been a rather accident prone kind of day. I managed to skid in my car, Grand Prix style, and miss colliding with another vehicle by about 1mm. I then somehow boarded the wrong train after my day of shopping, swore rather loudly when I realised my error, rushed to the train door, tripped in the process, and spilt my orange juice over a rather startled stranger. Then I smashed my wine bottle in M & S. You should have seen the mess it made, and the embarrassed look on my face.
But anyway, back to the telephone call. It was my friend Claire informing me she would be meeting friends (who had taken a year out to travel the world) in Thailand at the end of March. She wanted to know if I would like to join her. "Claire, I would love to honey, but I don't have the money for that kind of holiday."
My brilliant friend then offered to lend me the cash, and it took me about five seconds to thank her and accept her kind and generous loan.
I was going to Thailand! I was so excited I squealed and very nearly slipped, again, and smashed my wine bottle, again, on the hazardous pavement.
So on the 22nd March 2010 we began our long journey to Thailand. After missing a nights sleep, and sitting on two aeroplanes, we arrived at our destination: Baan Luxmoor villas in Koh Samui.
Inside the villa.