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about a boy

January 11, 2010

I’ve been waiting to feel inspired to write about my trip to England but I may very well be waiting until the cows come home because I’m too knackered lately to even string the simplest of sentences together, let alone follow a story through from beginning to end. And the truth is, this time it was all about a boy and I haven’t yet figured out what that means to me, which makes formulating it difficult.

Perhaps I also hesitate to share because it makes it feel trite and steals a bit of the magic and maybe some things are best left clandestine. Ah. But fuck it if we are not here to share our stories.  So I will begin typing with abandon… otherwise I risk forgetting events and censoring feelings that are currently raw and true and require documenting before time washes over everything and I start analyzing and categorizing and using logic to dissect every little inch of my heart.

Alors… without further ado, here is the anecdote of a Canadian girl and a British boy. It is part 3 of a trilogy that began here and continued here and currently has no ending.

It all began when Miss MacCrellish & Miss Chitnis came up for a visit in December. We, of course, talked about men as woman are wont to do. I told them about London Joe and how we were trying to meet in NYC in January but it all fell through and boo and hoo. To which Elizabeth said, why don’t you just ask him how he would feel if you came to see him for new year’s? And that is how the following string of texts was born:

Joe: I am in total and utter agreement. Let’s aim for beginning of Feb. Blimey that’s yonks off. Get planning baby. Damn I love a plan. We shall survive this!
Me: Just wondering…. how would you feel if I came to spend new year’s eve with you?
Joe: Oh how amazing would that be if you came over for NYE. I’m gonna be in Northumberland with the family. You are welcome to join. Well. I’d run it by the gang but sure it would be fine. Perhaps now the booze has worn off and you are rethinking your question. Hmmm
Me: No not rethinking. Was actually looking at the cost of flights this morning. Muy $$$. Ouch! Would you be willing to split the cost with me? (wink)
Joe: Hell yeah I’ll split the cost. Really, you wanna come to ol blighty for NYE? Are we totally crazy? Yup! Hurrah. Ok so I’ll call around this weekend just to test the waters etc. You look at prices.
Me: Yay! Honestly, I don’t want you to feel pressured. If it is awkward with family, I understand. All that really matters to me is that you said yes.
Joe: We’re on! We’re on! Thunderbirds are GO GO GO. Not awkward just sublime excitement. When are you arriving? Book it baby! Book it!

The ticket was booked immediately and before I knew it I was back in London with serious butterflies in my stomach.

There is so much to tell about my time in England. Like the fact that the butterflies flew out on an exhale the moment I saw him and he kissed me right then and there on the streets of London and didn’t stop until the moment I hopped in the cab the morning I left. And how the only way we could have gotten any closer to each other when we went to bed at night and woke in the morning would have been to melt into each other. And those fears of us getting on each others’ nerves?  Totally dissipated when I realized that I liked him more with each passing day.

The entire trip was amazing. We spent half the holidays at his uncle’s place (a 16th century rectory) in Northumberland and the other half in London. His  family was so welcoming and generous and lovely though they couldn’t resist taking the piss (something about the way we say “about” in Canada… yeah yeah. we say aboot.)  The English, they can’t help themselves, sarcasm is in their blood and though this naive Canadian girl hasn’t yet fully grasped the subtleties of English humor, I am quite capable of rolling with the punches and I’m always up for a good laugh.  Plus, in some strange way, it made me feel welcome… like I had made it into some secret society or was accepted into the clan.  An English right of passage, as it were.

Days were spent sledding behind his uncle’s house and swimming in a freezing cold river under a light snow (wearing mandatory wet suits for fear of death) and eating more meat than a pack of hyenas.  We went on a date here (he knew it would be right up my alley after a week of indulging) and took a long walk along Hadrian’s Wall to Sycamore Gap (the Robin Hood Tree from the movie Prince of Thieves) and plucked grouse shot by his uncle and snuggled while watching the BBC Life series and ate crumpets with honey and talked for hours while sipping whiskey in quaint pubs and strolled hand in hand on Brick Lane and stumbled upon the most amazing cemetery I have ever seen in my entire life and snapped photos along the canal by night and woke late every morning giggling under the blankets and and and….. the days went by so fast.

I feel like my heart was cracked wide open and I left a bunch of little pieces in London for Joe to pick up. He is keeping them safe until I see him again but this whole smitten thing (or something like it) is such a foreign feeling to me that I can’t quite make heads or tails of it. All I know is that I am back here in the land of aboot and left side driving and -20 degree winters, back in my world of greens and grains and long runs on the mountain and 40-hour work weeks and I’m not gonna lie to you… I miss the bugger.

Sigh.

I have no clue what the future holds but I know one thing for certain…. and that is this:

Years from now, when I am rocking my wrinkled 80-year old ass and arthritic bones on some porch with squeaking floorboards, I will remember these days as some of the best of my life.  And for that, I can’t help but feel grateful. This story may be tangled right now but I’ve weaved a hell of an interesting one and ultimately, that is all that matters.  I think Felix Gonzalez Torres said it best: “Above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful.”

Also… you can bet your ass that I am already working on the next chapter.

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2010 4:01 pm

    Re: The next chapter… Fantastic. Keep writing your tale. It’s so damn fun to read… and watch. Great photos as always. Here’s to an adventure filled (good ones, that is 🙂 2010!!!

  2. January 11, 2010 5:27 pm

    i am just smiling like crazy over here … hugs and love, xo

  3. January 11, 2010 5:38 pm

    AHHHHH, that was SUCH a story, girl. I am so proud of you, for taking on the unknown like that. It sounds like a perfect trip and he sounds like a catch and a half.

  4. January 11, 2010 7:59 pm

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh, i’m in love with the story and the photography. too too perfect and i’m sure must have been written somewhere in the book of perfect NYEs

  5. January 11, 2010 8:46 pm

    this is all so yummy*
    so happy for you and the boy!
    xo

  6. January 11, 2010 9:22 pm

    I read your post totally into it, tense, leaning into the screen and when it was done I leaned back; then my face broke into a wide bigass grin.

    Hurray for you my dear. It sounds like you had a magical trip and I can’t wait to hear more!
    xo

  7. Megan permalink
    January 11, 2010 9:41 pm

    I’ve been checking every day– (sometimes twice a day, even before you got back).

    the wait? … ‘totally’ worth it!

    you’re living a life that people want to hear about lady, I love it, keep it coming.

    meg

  8. January 11, 2010 10:15 pm

    yay honey, you deserve this kind of happy. xo

  9. kat permalink
    January 12, 2010 9:24 am

    you so deserve this over the rainbow happiness your magical way with words and photos is beyond inspiring – motivating me on my everyday adventures… thanks for sharing in the ways only you can.

  10. Alison permalink
    January 12, 2010 12:22 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing. The 3rd picture is fantastic.

    Live London as a dream.

    Life is but a dream.

  11. January 12, 2010 3:27 pm

    This one is a good ‘un and your photos are beyond lovely. They live in the ethereal and make me happy. Thank you sharing your story. Gotta love a good cliffhanger… sigh… I’ve been following from the beginning and am fully vested in your adventure. No pressure 😉

  12. Christina permalink
    January 13, 2010 9:59 am

    I too was really into this post. The phone rang and it upset me so much (WHY NOW??) and I’m also grining ear to ear. Yay to smit, Yay to hapiness!

  13. January 13, 2010 10:43 am

    OH such a story, makes me smile all over and remember those butterflies and oh so much…. Here’s to the new year and your story of life, and all your dreams coming true! xo

  14. leonie permalink
    January 13, 2010 12:26 pm

    we all took a vote.
    you have to come live over here.

  15. January 13, 2010 2:03 pm

    Le Sighhhh……..

  16. January 13, 2010 3:20 pm

    Over here from Elizabeth’s blog. What a beautiful story.

    But as a fellow Canadian (and Montrealer) I have never ever heard anyone say aboot.

  17. January 13, 2010 4:31 pm

    OH Man, you’ve got it BAD! How delicious!!

  18. January 13, 2010 4:41 pm

    nonono, no moving yet 😉 — much more delicious to draw this out — has he been to montreal yet?

  19. January 13, 2010 10:12 pm

    This is beautiful and amazing and I am so happy and excited for you. Such a wonderful dreamy story. Cheers to you!

  20. January 14, 2010 12:32 am

    Oh Jeanine! That is all so beautiful! I had been waiting to read about how it all went and it seems it couldn’t have gone better! Gorgeous photos, too. Best of luck in 2010 – I have a feeling we are going to hear more about the Joe/Jeanine saga!

  21. January 14, 2010 5:22 am

    LOVING the enthusiasm, people! y’all are so sweet.

    i wonder how the boy is going to react to so much attention… but a man should know that a girl with a blog is bound to write about such things, right?

    michelle… no, not moving any time soon. he plans to come to montreal in the spring 🙂

  22. January 15, 2010 1:20 pm

    What a story, I was anxiously bouncing the baby on my lap for a little bit then had to run out and set her up with a shape sorting game and run back in here to see how it ended. I am captivated by your words and feelings and raw energy.
    Thank you!

  23. January 16, 2010 2:32 pm

    YAY!

  24. January 16, 2010 10:07 pm

    LOVE is in the air… great story and I love these photos!!!

  25. Frannie permalink
    January 17, 2010 9:17 am

    Well, my friend, I can remember sitting in my living room exactly two years ago this month while you poured your heart, and cried your eyes, out. That’s all, just two years. And look where you are now! As they say, “you’ve come a long way baby”, and I am beyond thrilled. You do have a way of grabbing life by the tail and shaking it. Admiration and respect along with big hugs coming your way from Nova Scotia. And, oh yeah, Mike says the boy is very lucky.

  26. January 28, 2010 12:39 am

    Sounds amazing.

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