I think I've got post holiday blues. I feel really fed up. Especially with this Icelandic volcanic ash - knowing people are stuck on holiday with no hope of return for at least another week while I'm stuck here! Spring hasn't started yet, there are no leaves on any of the trees. I'm back at work like I've never been away and all I can think about is my next trip. Where we might go, what we might do, the people we'll meet, the food we'll eat and the experiences we'll have. Life just seems a bit bleak. I know it isn't, I feel like this every time I come back from an amazing holiday. But it always makes me feel like I want a different life.
A life where I live somewhere that is always sunny, like the South of France... or better still, Hawaii.
In this other life, I wouldn't work in an office, I wouldn't have to be serious every day, I wouldn't have to get up early if I didn't want to. I'd work at home. One month I'd be selling my craft wares in a cute little shop, decorated with my handmade bunting and with Maddie sitting in the window watching the world go by. Another month I'd be selling cakes and jams and chutneys made in my own kitchen using homegrown produce and eggs from my 12 chickens. In the summer months, I'd be an artist, I'd be sitting with my easel somewhere beautiful, talking to the people who stop to watch me work. I might even sell a painting or two. Sometimes I might make jewellery, sometimes I'll be a writer. We won't have much money, but we won't need it, we'll have each other, we'll have a sweet little cottage or a beach shack, we'd have a home made life with good home made food and the money we do have we'll spend on seeing the world. Life will be good.
Imagine the wonderful stories I could share with you all if that was my life. Imagine the beautiful photos. I know it's a dream and it isn't going to happen today. And probably not tomorrow either. But I have to hang onto it, keep it safe in that rusty old biscuit tin in the back of my mind (with my thoughts of butterflies and fairies) until one day, when the time is right and I can pull it out and make it a reality. One day.
Until then, I will share some of my favourite photos and tell you some of the stories behind them.
This was taken at the Valentines parade in Venice in 2004. The little cutie was shy about going out in his costume, he was lingering in this flaky old doorway, preparing to be brave. When he saw me, he gave me a little wave, giggled and ran out into the crowd to join the rest of the party.
This is the night I met my husband in 2005. And these are the two people that brought us together. I was fed up because I had just lost my job. My friend Barry insisted on dragging me out to a ball for his friend Helen's work. Helen works with Paul, and knowing I was going be there, she insisted that he came to. Our eyes met over the crowded room and I asked Barry who he was. We didn't dance, we didn't speak, we didn't say goodbye. Paul left, I stayed with Barry. All night I was asking what my name would be if I married Paul and practicing with different versions of it. The following week, I kept asking if he'd mentioned me... and he kept asking if I'd mentioned him. Helen gave him my number and we went out. We went out once and never went home. We have never been apart since and that's the way I want it to be for the rest of my life.
Still on that first date.
This was taken in Prague. I took Paul there in 2006 as a surprise to make his 30th birthday go down a bit easier. But the thing we enjoyed most was the food and drink. We loved all the quaint little cafes and restarants we found. Like this little courtyard cafe with only two tables. It was actually part of an art gallery. They had lovely pink and cream tulips on the tables. I drank white hot chocolate and it was so thick I needed a spoon!
Me and Paul on the Great Wall of China in 2006. The shoes I had expected to be really comfortable for walking around China in had turned out to give me blisters so I ended up walking miles and miles around China in a pair of my favourite high heels! I was the only person on the great wall in a pair of heels!
I adore this photo. It always makes me smile. It was taken at my Grandad's house in the South of France in 2007. We pulled the car over so I could take some photos of the wonderful rolling hills, full of sunflowers as far as the eye could see. I wanted to take some close ups and thats when I found this sunflower, with his big grin, gazing up to the sun.
Our wedding. This is just as we came out of the church. I love how the confetti is falling in the shape of a heart to frame our faces.
This was taken on our honeymoon in Hawaii. I love the peacefulness of this beach with this one little family under their sun umbrella.
This is New York on September 11th 2008. This is the fire department that lost the most men in the twin towers. They were on their way to a memorial for their lost comrades. This photo reminds us that people were lost that day, people who had people that loved them. We need to always remember that. We need to always remember to love each other. Never go to sleep on an argument and always remember to say I love you when you leave each other. Even if you are only crossing the road. You never know what is going to happen, treat each kiss as though it is your last.
This is me, in the snow and ice at Gulfoss in Iceland in 2009. It is a series of five waterfalls that all flow into one. Legend has it that this site was once going to be turned into a power plant but a local farmers daughter threatened to throw herself into the icy abyss if the work was not stopped. The waterfall is still there, and still beautiful.
I always take three things on holiday. My journal, my sketch book and a tiny box of watercolours. Here I am in Bosa in Sardinia in 2009 painting the pretty pastel patchwork mountainside vista. You can see that painting in this post.
Oktoberfest in Munich 2009. That's my Auntie Helga just behind my bretzel. The first time I went to Oktoberfest I was about 2 years old. Auntie Helga took delight in telling the men at our table about me dancing on those very tables 24 years earlier. There was none of those shenanigans on this visit.
I feel a lot better now, it's nice to remember good times. It reminds you that those days when you feel a bit blue will not be blue for long.
I hope you are all happy today.
The Princess and her P x