I always find it difficult to return to writing after I’ve been away for a while.
In a way, it feels like the least I can do is come back with stories to tell. Like it makes for a perfect excuse if I’ve been ignoring this place for the sake of some life altering experiences.
But the truth is, I haven’t been on any extraordinary adventures since we last read eachother.
I’m not at all sure what I’ve been doing these last couple of months, really. Just trying my best, I imagine, not to fall asleep at traffic lights or as I’m chopping onions for dinner. And yes, I’ve been on a few trips, celebrated another anniversary, seen a couple of Oscar-worthy movies. Read half a dozen books, sipped some glasses of wine, bought a few pairs of shoes. Longed for sunny mornings, worked for mortgage money, traded hopes and fears with other people, the usual stuff.
I didn’t lose anyone, didn’t get married, didn’t win the lottery. Just made it through a bunch of days, good and bad, and now it’s spring and they must have rinsed this city in a million waters, turned it inside out and hanged it to dry in the wind when we weren’t looking. Because suddenly, it’s so brand new and beautiful it breaks my heart.
It’s warm enough to walk to the train station in the evenings. Twenty something fast paced minutes along Piccadilly, counting heartbeats from Wren’s St James’s to Fortnum and Mason’s eau de nil blue window displays, onwards past the lights of The Ritz, then cutting through fields of daffodils in Green Park and past Buckingham Palace and its forests of selfie sticks. Armies of strangers safely sealed in our music bubbles, feet in trainers, work shoes in bags, we walk together, drinking in the streets of this new season, this new part of our lives.
I have a friend who’s been in a long distance relationship for many years, and he says that whilst there are things he doesn’t like about being on his own so much, one advantage is that he has a chance to think about things.
I get that.
Except in my case I really don’t think it’s my other half, I think it’s life itself that’s preventing me from thinking life over.
We’re making holiday plans again and again our place will be filled with friends every weekend for the forseeable future, our professional life is changing and our relationship is changing and we’re changing eachother and everyone else, I’m back to running and stretching my tissues every evening on an eau de nil yoga mat in our “baby room”, I’m quickly reading my way through my bedside bookpile and the Frech Revolution, growing basil and parsley and carnivorous plants in tiny terracotta pots on our window sill, I’m happy and in love and still very much afraid of everything that’s frightened me before.
Then I walk the streets and it feels like everything’s on pause for a while.