Can I be honest with you? I didn’t want to say anything before in case I put the mockers on it but I really wasn’t looking forward to going back to the UK last week. Don’t get me wrong, I love to see my friends and family but I find that these trips bring lots of little anxieties that, when added together, leave me feeling more than a little stressed out….
I don’t really like to fly alone as I find it very boring and it’s not really socially acceptable to grab a strangers hand during a bout of turbulence! This time I had a window seat. I’d like to say that this was allocated by the airlines and was just bad luck (I really don’t like heights) but I’d reserved the seat myself; not enough attention paid or a sub-conscious choice? After establishing that the people in the seat next to me were not the chatty type I decided to close my eyes and pretend to be asleep whilst my stomach turned somersaults…..then something changed. I remembered that excitement has the same physical manifestations as fear. I looked out of the window during take-off and many times during the flight and, do you know what, it was incredible! For the first time I didn’t imagine myself plummeting to the ground and exploding in a ball of flame; I actually felt the excitement of flying…..
Another major cause for anxiety had been revisiting the places where my husband and I had spent a lot of time together and also meeting up with my step-daughter; I have wonderful, wonderful memories associated with both but, at the same time, they both bring pain because they are physical reminders that he’s no longer with me. This time I allowed the memories to come flooding back and accepted the tears that came with them. My step-daughter and I talked openly and honestly about our feelings; we didn’t put on false cheer but cried together, two souls understanding each other’s pain. We were closer in that moment than we had been for a long time and it was wonderful……..
Next I went to visit a dear friend. We were at school together so that will give you an idea of how many years we’ve known each other! She is one of the strongest, kindest people I know and she is battling a very rare type of brain tumour. We haven’t seen each other for a couple of years but all trepidation was put aside; it was as though we’d never been apart. We talked, laughed, reminisced and cried and it all felt totally natural and very, very special…….
Next: I’m not a huge fan of crowds but when my parents proposed that we spend the day in London I thought ‘why not’? I braved the tube and even the loos at the station (awful in case you were wondering AND they charged 50p for the privilege!). We walked for a few minutes and arrived at The Ritz, there I saw the doorman in full livery which included a top hat. The thought went through my mind that he could make a great addition to a selfie (sad I know). Normally the thought would have left as quickly as it arrived but, on this day, I marched straight up to him and asked if he would mind being in a photo. He agreed readily and was absolutely charming to boot…….
Later on we walked past a jewelers in the Burlington Arcade where I was brought to an abrupt halt by a large diamond that flashed and twinkled at me in a very seductive manner. After forcibly prising my nose from the window, my Dad suggested that I should go in and ask the price as I was obviously so taken with it (was it the drool on my chin that gave it away do you think?). Now, let’s be clear at this point: there were no prices on anything in the window, and you know what they say about having to ask, and you couldn’t just walk in, you had to ring the bell and then wait to see if they liked the look of you. After umming and ahhrring for several moments I pushed the bell and, somewhat surprisingly they ushered me in with a warm smile. I asked to see the ring which was duly presented, with great reverence, on a cushion of black velvet. Ohhhh it was beautiful and a perfect fit so obviously we were meant to be together; I was in love….
It was a that moment that I noticed a very discreet price ticket. I had to read it a couple of times just to make sure that I hadn’t misplaced a decimal point but, no, it did actually say £29,500.00. Hmmmmm! So there I was in a locked shop wearing a ring that carried the same price tag as a small car…what to do? I looked up at the assistant and said very calmly
“It’s beautiful but honestly, now it’s on, I think that it’s just a bit too flashy for my taste”
Yes, alright, it wasn’t exactly honest but I couldn’t bring myself to scream “how much”????? and then rip it off my finger as though it was a burning brand before storming out of the shop like the hounds of hell were at my heels. Instead I took the slightly duplicitous but altogether more elegant route. I said my goodbyes and the assistant remained utterly charming despite the fact that she hadn’t managed to part me from almost 30 grand in exchange for a small sparkly rock – sanity had prevailed.
I should point out that I have fallen prey to shop assistants in luxury stores before who have managed to separate me from my cash by using sneaky techniques like telling me I look wonderful in whatever it is they are trying to sell. Do you know what I mean? Standing in the shop, in front of the mirror, you are convinced that you will wear/use said item all the time – you get back home, wonder what on earth you were thinking and shove it to the back of the wardrobe where it glares at you reproachfully for ever more.
Anyway, that was my trip back to Blighty. There were smiles, laughs and tears but I am really glad I went; my comfort zone was expanded and I remembered what it was like to be me, without all the bad memories forcing me to put on a false front….
Have a wonderful day everyone and thanks for stopping by :O)