Travel

Hello from England

July 18, 2017 | 14 Comments

It’s sunny outside and I’ve been drinking lots of tea. This morning I went for a run in Tatton Park, through the shaded forest, down the meandering path, past the fisherman in his tent on the side of the lake, past the man throwing a red ball for his spaniel, past the old couple holding hands on a bench. There were orange and black butterflies flitting through the long grass, aeroplanes streaking white tails through the blue sky, the sound of insects in the air.

I’m sleeping better than I’ve slept in months. I’m sure it’s because I am not listening out for any of my own children calling for me. Or jolting awake to a faulty house alarm. My sleep is deep and long.

I get to hold a little newborn in my arms every morning and am reminded of how miraculous life is. How strong the bonds of family are. And mostly, how much I have to be grateful for. This trip was perfectly timed, in terms of my state of mind. It’s like I can take a big breath and reset and see clearly once again.

I’ve caught up with old friends in Borough Market, drank beers along the Thames, wandered past the red buses. Sat in a pub, drank glasses of prosecco, stared at the hipsters and the short skirts and soaked up the feeling of summer in the air. Spoke about belonging and being rootless and being an adult and how life gets harder as we get older, but also richer.

London is still London. The man next to me on the bus was fast asleep when we got on, with his head bent low onto his chest as he snored loudly and a long string of saliva extended from his chin down to his belt. On the tube from the airport in the early morning there were young men coming home from their night out, talking loudly and drinking energy drinks and I looked out the window as the light settled on to back gardens and terraces and apartment blocks.

I’ve been working too, and I’ve realised how lucky I am that I can work from anywhere in the world. I can Whatsapp call my business partner, read a brief from a client, send an invoice, chat to my accountant, finish off an article and submit it on time. That in itself is a privilege. And I’d forgotten.

I’d also forgotten that feeling of being “other” somewhere. Not understanding the processes in the checkout queue, not getting people’s jokes, not moving fast enough through the turnstiles. I’m obsessed with the different groceries though. I walk round and round the stores, marvelling at the resealable cheese packets, the huge selection of biscuits, the delicious juices, the prepackaged salads and “protein jars”, the paprika crisps and flavoured popcorns and huge punnets of perfect looking blueberries.

But mostly I revel in the moments when I can be independent and alone. Wandering slowly through a field with no one to answer to. Lying on a blanket on the grass reading a magazine. Sitting on a train staring into the spaces outside the glass. Time alone is a healer for me and it was just what I needed.

xxx

pubs in boroughButterfies in Tatton

 

 

14 Comments

  • Reply Catherine Dietrich July 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    This is lovely Belinda! You make me long for London and the simple pleasure of walking its streets alone with nobody demanding anything of you. Your words made me feel like I was there for a moment – thank you!

    • Reply Belinda Mountain July 26, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Oh I’m so glad! Thanks for the lovely feedback Catherine.

  • Reply Heather July 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Droool… I need that.
    You write so beautifully I feel transported and enjoying the time with you.

    • Reply Belinda Mountain July 26, 2017 at 10:04 am

      thanks Heather, it really was exactly what the doctor ordered…

  • Reply gareth July 18, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    we miss you x

  • Reply Theresa July 18, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    So rich, so vivid, so real!

  • Reply Clea July 19, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Loved reading this!

  • Reply June July 19, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Lovely. Glad you could enjoy Tatton Park – a beautiful place!

  • Reply Antwane July 19, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Travel from time to time, is good for the soul. Great that you could spend quality time with your sister. We are often reminded our blessings when we are “with ourselves”

  • Reply Samantha July 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Me time is good for the soul. Glad you’re having a great time.

    Your niece is adorable.

  • Reply Yolandi North July 19, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    So lovely. Enjoy your time over there! xxx

  • Reply Belinda Mountain July 26, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Aaaaaah thanks everyone – really loving your wonderful feedback. xxx

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