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bath: where i find inspiration

April 16, 2009

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March 6, 2009

The yearning starts long before we stop holding each other. The beginning of the end is always bittersweet.  I want to focus on the now because it’s all I have but there is no fooling this wise heart of mine… it knows good-bye is around the corner and it’s not going to feel like cotton candy and carousel rides.  How could a mere three days have stirred up so many emotions, I wonder?

I pack my bags, walk out the flat with the bright yellow door and hop in the car.  He’s heading to Bristol to meet friends for the weekend and offers to drop me off at the train station, a short distance from Bath.  I jump at the opportunity to spend a couple more hours with him.  We listen to Aretha Franklin on the way to pick up his friend Vicky. She treats us to breakfast and buys flying saucers for the road.  Everything is downplayed… his friends have no clue we’ve been snogging for 3 days.

to snog (third-person singular simple present snogs, present participle snogging, simple past and past participle snogged)

  1. (British, slang) To kiss passionately.
  2. Synonym: make out (America)
  3. My favorite new word.

We speed down the highway on what feels like the wrong side of the road (still not used to this), iPod blasting a soundtrack of freedom.  He plays this song and gives me a wink in the rear view mirror, because he knows how much I love Arcade Fire.  It is one of those perfect 4 minutes in my life (music fuels everything for me, makes each experience richer, like freshly cracked pepper or grated parmesan on pasta… there’s no denying that it just tastes that much better).  Vicki  reads Hello magazine and brings me up to speed on the London celebrity gossip.   Meanwhile, I’m thinking there should be a color named after the English countryside because it really is a unique shade of green.  Perhaps it is the patchwork of shadows painted by the clouds above.   Or maybe it’s because I haven’t seen Spring in far too long.

A couple hours later, he drops me off at the Bristol train station.  I’m not gonna lie to y’all… it is awkward.  We give each other a quick kiss and hug, we say how nice it was to meet one another, et c’est tout!  What I really want to do is plant a lingering kiss on his lips.  It takes all my willpower not to.

(In hindsight, I would do it now.  I wouldn’t care.   You could know someone for years and never feel that kind of intensity.  So I would kiss him and tell him strait up how much it meant to me to meet him, how grateful I am that he was the one to remove the armor I’ve been wearing this past year, for making me feel safe at my most vulnerable.  I couldn’t have asked for a better man.  So I would.  I would snog the heck out of him in front of everyone.)

However, at that moment in time, I don’t.  Instead, I convince myself  that it is, in actuality, the perfect good-bye.  At a train station, a small kiss on soft lips, two mouths filled with words unsaid, a good-bye as quick as our hello.  And with that, I turn my heels,  I  walk away.  I point my feet towards the rest of my journey.

***

sus & i

My whole purpose for beginning this trip in England is to meet Susannah, hence the quick layover (ahem) in London.   She said hey, why don’t you come visit me in Bath, I said okay and now, here I am.

I thought I would be nervous at meeting someone who inspires me beyond words.  I thought I might feel intimidated.  But all the jitters I had about this trip disappeared the moment I walked into the airport in Montreal, never to return.  Extreme excitement, however, is my constant companion and that is how I feel on my way to meeting Susannah.

It is a short train ride to Bath from Bristol, then I grab a taxi and ask the driver to stop at a flower stand so that I can buy Susannah a bouquet of tulips and ranunculus (one of her favorite flowers).  The cab drives up the steep streets lined with golden-colored Georgian houses and a few minutes later, I am ringing her door bell and climbing the narrow staircase to her top flat where she is waiting for me with a hug.  She is lovely and inviting and easy from the very first second.  I feel like I’ve known her forever and adore her instantly (it’s all in the accent (wink).

cc-refine

We chat in her top floor flat, which is strait out of a home decor magazine, with amber light shining in from the window overlooking the rooftops of Bath – photographs everywhere, color-coordinated books in her bookshelf, vintage sea-foam and moss-colored bottles filled with crimson flowers.

By early afternoon, we’re in dire need of caffeine so we head over to Café Rouge, where we talk, incessantly.  Eventually, we leave the café and walk down the street bra-sous-bra (I’ve started rock climbing Sus… me arms won’t be like twigs for much longer), only to make our way to another coffee shop, where we continue to share secrets like school girls, for hours.  She is fabulously entertaining, words come out of her mouth like honey, like a book of poetry.  She paints a picture and takes you there and you cry listening to some of her stories and then within the same breath, she’ll throw something at you that will totally crack you up (the English do, as she says, take the piss out of everything).   You are spellbound, amazed and inspired in a way that makes you… want to be you.

After coffee, we stop at the grocery store to pick up dinner makings.  She cooks a delicious Moroccan chicken over couscous.  Oh! My! God!  So good.  We talk past midnight.  I don’t even know where the time went. Tomorrow, we are going out to play with our cameras.  I’ve been looking forward to this moment for months.  I can hardly wait until morning.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2009 4:02 am

    oh well thank god for that – i remember nearly breaking your twig-like arm as i pulled you across the street 😉

    i love this – it’s like reliving it all over again, and it makes me miss you even more x

  2. Alison permalink
    April 17, 2009 5:26 am

    I am speechless with delight every time I read a new post of your trip.

  3. April 17, 2009 7:42 am

    I found your blog via Susuannah’s ‘ink on my fingers’ and I am in love with your enthusiasm. I can just imagine that you speak with the same inflections and tone as your words on paper. Gorgeous!

  4. kathryn Guerriero permalink
    April 17, 2009 9:53 am

    this is where i find my inspiration – LOVE LOVE LOVE every letter!

  5. April 17, 2009 10:39 am

    so beautifully written….I wanted to weep at the goodbye at the train station.

    and yay – Susannah. She is so wonderfully talented.

    all the photographs are just gorgeous.

  6. April 17, 2009 6:18 pm

    Very inspiring

  7. sophie permalink
    April 18, 2009 2:45 am

    *reclining on my favorite couch with some freshly done popcorn*

    Woohooo! Another episode! Lovely. 🙂

  8. April 20, 2009 3:07 pm

    You are just adorable…I feel sucked into your every word. I love re-living your journey through your photos and writings….

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