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on the other side of the pond

June 30, 2011

Paris ­­­1pm
June 22, 2011

Perhaps this is how you write a blog post. Sitting on a suitcase at Gare du Nord. 50 kilos of bags splayed about you, a bottle of wine, a plastic cup, a sandwich au saucisson et fromage suisse sur pain campagnard, the voice on the intercom reminding you not to leave your luggage unattended and that it is prohibited to smoke on the premises.

Perhaps this is how you write a blog post. Completely knackered after a month of packing and planning and purging and saying goodbye and pining and trying to stay present and hoping for the best and wondering if you’re nuts, if you should have thought this through a little more yet knowing that the answer to that question is no.

Perhaps this is how you write a blog post. From the plane, after watching the sun rise in the 2am of your mind, knowing that you are heading towards that time zone, those 5 hours ahead, closing the gap with every mile.

Perhaps this is how you write a blog post. After a homeless man begs for a euro and everyone walking by seems to know what they are doing and where they are heading and you wonder where he is going to sleep tonight.

Perhaps this is how you write a blog post. With a few glasses under your belt.

Perhaps this is how you write a blog post.  With the realization that this is the start of something new. This is not a vacation. This is both a departure and an arrival.

Perhaps this is how you write a blog post. Hours  (HOURS) before seeing the man you love, whom you haven’t seen in far too long and maybe you’re a little nervous because maybe you’ve been thinking about this moment for months. The moment. When you see him. And your grin grows inches wide and he hugs you and you know that everything leading up to this was so worth it.

Perhaps this is how you write a blog post. After weeks of absence and not really having a clue what it is you want to say.

Perhaps this is how you write a blog post. With all the fear and the passion that is trapped inside you right now.

Perhaps this is how you write a blog post. Without thinking too much about it. Scribbling and letting go. Scribbling and letting go.


London 1pm
June 29, 2011

Here I am, 7 days later, in his flat, slowly making my way back down to earth after a whirlwind of… well, everything. It’s been a pretty constant flurry of activity since I’ve arrived, from this delicious woman’s wedding at this amazing countryside venue to long walks in Hampstead Heath, lying in tall grasses, picnicking on sandwhiches and sipping Champagne (or something like it), stripping down to my knickers and swimming in cold rivers, eating more bacon than I have in the past decade, attending the most random brotherhood gathering of drunken intellectuals and artists at the Art Worker’s Guild (it was all very Harry Potter, with just as many cloaks and a lot more wine), going to this Punchdrunk performance (best 6 quid I’ve ever spent), trying on hats at Noel Stewart’s Studio for an upcoming wedding (it doesn’t get more British than that), digging the domesticity, patronizing more pubs than I can count, sitting at the loveliest fairy lit table chez Miss Leonie and sharing a meal with this gorgeous Californian and the newlyweds. And sleep. So much glorious sleep. Seriously, I feel like I’ve fallen into a vat of liquid valium.

Life in London so far? Pretty damn awesome!

As for the British Boy and I, our love is different this time.  We’ve ended one chapter and are entering a new one where I feel free to fully express, to fully feel my love for him because I know there is no end to it in 10 days or 2 weeks, that it won’t be followed by that insufferable separation. I try to live in the present, I do, but cells have memories and they remember heartache. Every time we’ve seen each other in the past, I couldn’t help thinking… one day down, only 7-6-5… left to go until one of us hops on a plane again. This time, the sweet is not tainted with bitter.  I’m here… indefinitely. So now, I can let go.

I got spare keys to his place cut this morning. I have my Oyster card and a UK phone number. Check it out peeps… I’m blogging from London.

And so it begins…

29 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2011 7:50 am

    Very jealous. I would love to move back with my English husband, but we seem to be stuck here in Houston, Texas — a fine town, but I miss London very much.

    So I’ll have to live vicariously through you. 🙂


  2. June 30, 2011 8:06 am

    London loves you baby!

  3. arabella permalink
    June 30, 2011 8:19 am

    And here I am, a British girl, stuck on the East Coast with my American boy. Your writing is making me wistful…I’m so SO happy you made it there. Also…if you meet Anna when you are at Noel’s…give her a hug would you? She’s my sister and I can’t do it myself from here.

  4. June 30, 2011 9:19 am

    Today I am realizing that it was 20 years ago that I moved to London for a British boy, feeling much of the same stuff you describe in this excellent post. Funnily enough I am reading it now while sitting in a hotel room in Montreal 🙂 And next week I’ll be in London, too, savoring all that I love and miss about the city. And when I am back home in New England I will continue to love and miss that city through your stories and photos. Best of luck for this new chapter in your life!

  5. June 30, 2011 9:21 am

    🙂 wonderfullness xo

  6. June 30, 2011 9:36 am


  7. June 30, 2011 10:47 am

    how DARling are you in your yellow dress
    liquid valium. yum.
    letting go.

    i am very excited for you…both.

    good, good stuff.

    soak in it.


    jennifer 🙂

  8. June 30, 2011 12:18 pm

    I have been wondering about you and then you were back…writing that is. Your new life seems to have begun so sweetly. I am so lucky to be here on the sidelines witnessing the budding of a wonderful love story! Welcome to your new life!

  9. June 30, 2011 12:25 pm

    I am sooooooooooo sorry I missed you in Paris!!!
    As always, I love your photos and your words!!!!

  10. June 30, 2011 12:48 pm

    Do not care at all HOW you write a blog post…just so very glad that you ARE! Welcome to the other side of the pond, baby!

  11. Ashley Erin permalink
    June 30, 2011 2:42 pm

    Hurray! So happy to hear that things are going so fantastically well for you in London! Sounds like it’s been a bit of a whirlwind so far, but a whirlwind full of love and joy. I wish you all the best in your new home!

  12. June 30, 2011 5:00 pm

    I’m so excited for you both! I wish you all the best 🙂

  13. June 30, 2011 6:57 pm


  14. June 30, 2011 7:21 pm

    “This is not a vacation. This is a departure and an arrival.” Damn girl, that was goooood!

    So happy to hear from you…and happy for you. Don’t miss a moment of this new, wonderful time!

  15. June 30, 2011 8:52 pm

    This is how you write a blog post– indeed it is.

    LOVE that yellow dress.

    And oh my god. oh my god. How LUCKY I got that weekend with you– Dominique’s painting hangs on the wall behind me and the other is in the bedroom (natch). YOU are here with me– YOU are in LONDON beginning a most exciting, exuberant stage of your life– girlfriend. Wow.

  16. June 30, 2011 9:07 pm

    Gorgeous images, and congrats on your move! So excited to follow you in this new chapter of life.

  17. June 30, 2011 9:56 pm

    one word: EPIC

  18. July 1, 2011 9:27 am

    reading your posts always leaves me with a wonderful excited feeling inside. not to mention inspirational.

    hope to have your talent (in photography) and courage (in life)!

    wishing you abundance of joy and love with this new beginning. 🙂

  19. July 1, 2011 11:06 am

    What an absolutely beautiful blog post! Good luck…

  20. July 2, 2011 12:20 am

    You rock it!

  21. Christina permalink
    July 3, 2011 6:33 am

    I’m so so so so happy for you ♥

  22. July 3, 2011 6:34 am

    I love this! So very excited for you on your journey. You give me hope that I will find that true love….someday.

  23. July 3, 2011 2:45 pm

    sounds exciting!!

  24. Josefina permalink
    July 3, 2011 3:57 pm

    Sweet Jeanine, I have cried tears of joy (did not see that coming) as I read this post. Is it weird that you can think of someone you only “know” virtually and wonder how things are going for her? I am beyond happy and excited for you and your man. You must feel like the luckiest people in the world, and with every reason. Hurray to you for listening to your heart, being brave and taking the leap!

    Big warm hugs all the way from China!


  25. Jackie permalink
    July 4, 2011 1:58 pm

    Jeanine: So happy to see your post as I have been following your blog and wondered how the move went and how you were doing. Funny how, I feel like I personally know you (which I know is foolish and bloggers must get this a lot) and needed to know it all was okay. Maybe it’s because we share many similarities (Canadian, living in Canada, used to live in Montreal, in love with a British boy (who came over here for me) or maybe it’s because you had the courage to follow your heart and I am looking for inspiration?? Who knows. Anyway, so happy for you. One day, I hope we will have an opportunity to meet.


  26. July 7, 2011 8:25 am

    I keep forgetting you’re here. So good to know that….. when can we go out and play soon? x.

  27. July 7, 2011 8:35 am

    So glad to hear you made the move and are beginning to settle into your new life. SO excited to hear about all your new adventures. I spent ten years in London back in the 80’s and miss so many things about it. Make sure you get to see a lot of Europe – I never really appreciated London’s proximity to the Continent. I did travel, but not as much as I could have. And now I’m over in the Antipodes and am kicking myself. Have fun! XXX

  28. July 11, 2011 9:34 pm

    sounds absolutely amazing and my heart is leaping with joy that you are there. you are really there.
    now breathe.
    and love.


  1. the real ones. « Doorways Traveler

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