Re-assimilation sucks. So why do it?

So, I’m back. In fact I’ve been back for about 3 weeks now. It sucks. I miss the sunshine, I miss the food, I miss the friends I made. I miss not having to wake up to an alarm every day. I miss the peace and quiet. These statements should covey the fact that I had an AWESOME time. Just brilliant – so much better than I ever expected it to be, and I had a lot of time to think about what I want and all that big stuff. Having to come back to a job that bores me is not my idea of fun. So, it’s been a pretty busy few weeks.

First off, I’ve picked up my art again, and I’m loving it. So much so that I’m actually gonna try and sell some. Why not? See how it goes…if other people can do it then I can at least try. It seems a shame for them to just sit in my sketchbooks in my wardrobe for the rest of their days and it’s not like I’m expecting to become a millionaire or anything with them. So far, the feedback from my social circle has been good, so we’ll see if they’re all talking bullshit soon. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

Second, and perhaps, the biggest piece of news, is that I’m planning another trip. Woohoo! This week I will be booking a ticket to Goa, to leave in January. I’ve put in my 6 month career break application but I’ve already told my boss that I’m going, even if it’s rejected. I was hugely inspired by the people I met in France (and yes, one was a man, but nothing to go into really as yet). I met a lot of people who were doing the very things I’ve always wanted to do. They did what they loved all day, and travelled while doing it. I’m not a musician and while I like to draw, I’m yet to be convinced I could call myself an artist, but the travelling aspect was what got me. They live in Goa (some in Varanassi) in winter and when I sighed and said ‘I’d love to go there’, one of them asked ‘what’s stopping you?’

I couldn’t really answer it. Ok, so I have a job, a well paid job at that. And friends, and family. But otherwise I have no boyfriend/husband/children/mortgage. The only thing stopping me was myself. I thought about it for a while, but it wasn’t until I got back to London that I made my mind up. Being back at work feels like I’m destroying my soul. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. If it was a job I was passionate about (or simply not bored of) then I’m sure the reaction would be much less acute, but this is my situation. My debts are very nearly all paid off, and I have the offer of paid, remote admin work a day or two a week while I’m away from Mr Arrogant, so I should still have some income. Other than that, I’ve not planned much at all. I planned to the nth degree in France and it didn’t go according to plan in some aspects – but it made it so much more fun and flexible. And for a control freak like me, it will be a good exercise in being a bit more relaxed with the security of knowing there are people that I know in the same country at least.

So, yeah. That’s my news. On the man front, there is the guy I mentioned earlier, with whom nothing happened but I’ve been chatting to ever since. Sometimes for 12 hours straight or more about all sorts of things – not least stuff to get me excited about my trip (they’ll be there from December). It’s kind of nice to just take a step back from the men-folk though. I don’t want anyone or anything to hold me back.

Exciting times.

xx

I left my heart in Monaco…

Ah, what bliss! I’m in France – woohoo!! It’s been bloody fantastic so far, I have to say. The flight was good, apart from a particularly rough take-off. I’m not the best flyer in the world but when the whole plane gasps aloud as the plane jolts back down a few feet it’s very un-nerving. I made it to Nice in one piece though, and met up with the lady who’s apartment I’ve rented for the week. It’s lovely, in the Musician’s Quarter about a 7 minute walk from the beach. Right now, I’m sitting out on the balcony in the late afternoon sun – it doesn’t get much better.

I’ve found it quite nice being in my own company, and I’ve been speaking French every day. I negotiated my way to Grasse on the train alone, strolling around the tiny maze like streets and soaking in the atmosphere. I’d wanted to go ever since I saw Perfume: Story of a Murder (not because of the story but because it looked so beautiful). I did rather imagine at least a few fields of lavender around but no. Still, it was a lovely little place. On Wednesday night, I went t a restaurant for dinner, the first time since i’d arrived as I’d bought supplies from a nearby supermarket. I’d had lunch alone, no problem, but not dinner. Not even in London. And, you know what? It was fine. More than fine, in fact, it was great. I chatted to the waiters, ate a good dinner and watched the world go by, and there were a few lone diners dotted about so I didn’t feel out of place. Wednesday also happened to be a bank holiday, one of the most important in France, so it was absolutely heaving! Over dinner, fireworks were let off across the bay and as I walked back to the apartment in the middle of the road along with hundreds of thousands of other people, I had the goosebump moment:

This was actually for real. I was really in France after months of planning. And I felt immensely proud. Ok, so travelling to a neighbouring country and dining alone might not be the most difficult thing to do, but for me, it was epic. I went home with a smile on my face.

Yesterday, I went to Monaco – possibly the beautifullest place I’ve been to yet. I absolutely adored it. As soon as I stepped off the train and walked down to the port, my jaw dropped open and it stayed that way all day.

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I’ve never been a fan of yachts. I don’t like being out at sea and I just didn’t see the point of them. I do now. These things were amazing, like actual houses on water. The size of some of them took my breath away and with Rolls Royce’s and Bentley’s parked up outside them, it made me wonder just how rich you have to be to own one. A lot of them were marked as being from Georgetown and when I saw a family just chilling, having lunch (including a boy of about 3), it just brought it home how different my world was to this one. For the rest of the day, I wandered around Monte-Carlo and ogled at the Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s and Maserati’s parked up outside the casino. I took lunch in Cafe de Paris and eavesdropped on the conversation of my neighbours (very yah dahling, I’m going to take the chopper to the Amalfi Coast tomorrow) and then went to wander around the exotic gardens in the royal palace. Literally every angle made me sigh with pleasure. It was so beautiful, so clean, so peaceful, so…everything. And the fact it cost only 7 euros to get there was the icing on the cake.

So, my sightseeing is done for the week. It’s really tiring walking up and down hills all day in the sweltering heat. Even first thing in the morning is ridiculously warm and I’ve tanned to within an inch of my life.

But, I am loving it. On Monday, I start my volunteering in Languedoc…I’m excited to meet my hosts and get down to some work!

x