Who the heck is Lois?

I was on a women’s retreat in Italy. There were ten of us, and four were called Sarah. It was getting complicated.

I could see where it was heading; I’d been saddled with Stumpy Sarah in a previous over-Sarah’d work situation, so I suggested we all choose a temporary name before we got ‘tagged’. The retreat focused on personal growth, and as we were mostly strangers, why not re-invent ourselves?

So I became ‘Lois’ for the week, a name that popped into my head with no real forethought. It just seemed right.

The Italian retreat, hosted by the fabulous ladies at Breathing Space Holistic B&B in Norfolk, was a leap in holiday choice for me – NLP, yoga, raw food workshops and quite a lot of Chianti.

It was out of my safe zone, and it proved to be a turning point. In the company of wonderful and supportive women, I shed a few skins. On the last day, I overcame a lifelong fear of water and leapt into the swimming pool for the first time in my adult life. Doesn’t sound much, but it was my personal Everest.

Some of those girls became close friends, and have supported me to do braver things. At one point we went abseiling, not my usual hobby. Mags from Breathing Space summed it up when she said: ‘Don’t worry about Sarah, she’s just being Lois.’