On a cold, windy, and drizzling January/February day trip to London I trudged up the hill that led to the Horniman Museum and Gardens. It was a weekday and the museum was brimming with school children running about, causing a ruckus. I didn't take but one picture inside and it came out poorly anyway. But I feel like the pictures of the surrounding area came out quite nice. It was a pretty day despite the drizzle and it ended with new friends and oversized beers at a Bavarian bar.
Sigh. It looks so beautiful even if it does look cold. I realized today that I'm actually missing the cold/winter. California really doesn't have a winter, which I know a lot of people say, but you really just don't notice until you experience a winter/season change. And Spring is about to sprout in England! The clumps of pollen, the greenery, the increasingly longer days! Take me back and let me bask in the English sun with a cider.
It's been nearly two weeks since my return from vacation. With jet lag and the inevitable happy/sad of post-vacation life, I've been a bit mopey. Life is tumultuous right now, full of looming changes and big decisions while somehow still feeling static and stagnant.
When I look at the pictures below, they remind me of a time when I was possibly at my healthiest, The landscape inspired me to run, I wanted to go out and run just so I could see that bridge, feel the cool crisp air, hear the animals. These pictures remind me that even if I feel static and stagnant now, it doesn't mean I always will. It's possible that within a few months I'll be back by the river, running, inhaling all the beauty, exhaling all the bad.
They remind me that not only is it okay to be alone, but it can be downright pleasant. I was possibly at my healthiest because I wasn't distracted by a bunch of things. I spent time really working on myself mentally and physically. Meanwhile, at home, being alone feels like there's a growing bubble in my chest that can burst at any moment. It's funny how perspectives can change. I need to keep in mind how I felt alone abroad and how I feel here. They can be similar, it's just in how I look at things.
These pictures remind me that even though certain things are always there (the trees, river, and plants), they are always changing. Even the buildings, though they look as if they are unmoving, static, even those will change with each season. I may feel stagnant, but like the trees, the river, the plants, there are small changes happening to me. Right now. It just might take a while to see or feel that change.
It was really nice to visit again and have some good lonely times at the Stour.
Your Broad (No Longer) Abroad,
I should have updated while I was gone. I even took my laptop with me, but honestly didn't use it much at all. There was a lot of down time (like when I laundered all my pants at once and couldn't leave the house till they were dry), but there were also days that just flew by. Most of the time I felt so tired from train rides, walking, absorbing the cold, and being inwardly delirious with happiness.
I forgot the simple joy of drinking ice cold water from the tap (and it tastes good!). Or looking out the window into a lush garden (even in winter the lawns are a vibrant green). I forgot how glorious the clouds can be, how open the fields can be, and how good their salt and vinegar sticks are. I forgot how nice it is to not have to add tax to anything- the price is the price and that's it. So easy. I forgot how good the bread is and that they keep their eggs at room temperature. I didn't actually forget any of this, but it was such a treat to soak it all up again.
I had homemade scones for the first time (and they were delicious!). I had so many good meals, both home cooked and from restaurants. I walked and ran by the Stour. I took pictures. I saw old friends, made new friends, and got to know friends of friends better. I am spoiled by all the goodness.
But now I'm back home and despite the inevitable sadness of vacation ending, I am ready to sleep in my own bed and cuddle my dog.
I have pictures from before I left and pictures from my trip. Those shall be posted in due time. Here's just a few for now.
Till next time,
Your Broad (No Longer) Abroad,
From Long Beach, CA to Canterbury, England and back.