So in the flurry of excitement and organisational chaos of the last few months, there have only been a few days where emotions have peaked and things have become a little overwhelming. I think it’s an important thing to recognise, and something which is pretty inevitable when you move to a new country.
Before our move, I found it particularly difficult saying good bye to Paul, Mus and Becky – and the CSM print studio in Archway. My final goodbye with Becky being a particularly tearful one outside the toilets, flanked by a ridiculous amount of botched together carrying devices to cart all of my prints and frames home with me. I still don’t know how I managed to carry all of that stuff home, the weight of it was just stupid. Then there was the final trip to Essex to visit my grandma – brave face the whole time, but then tears in the car on the way home. The embraces on tubes on the way home after drinks celebrating both friendship and choosing adventure. The goodbyes with my family the day before we left and moments of closeness I’m not sure we’ve experienced since my dad’s kidney failure. Saying goodbye to Gizmo and Luna and moving them to my parents’ house.
We arrived in Canada a little under 6 weeks ago, and I can honestly say that there have only been 2 days in that time where I have become emotional – only 2 days where I have felt the distance. One of which was a tragedy in the public realm that resonated closely with the tragedy that was the beginning of 2017, made ever more acute because of the red walls of our air bnb’s’s bedroom – and I’ve only ever known that one person to have a red walled bedroom….
The other was yesterday, my brother’s birthday. I spent the whole day in a bit of a funk. By the end of work, it was pretty much midnight in the UK. I had left a voice message on whatsapp for him to wake up to, but despite that I couldn’t help but feel like I had failed a little as a sister having not spoken to him on his actual birthday. In the end I managed to skype him, he was luckily still awake when I got home at the equivalent of 1am back in London. He’d had a good day, and I enjoyed every minute of the hour we talked. But like I said – yesterday I couldn’t help but feel the distance.
We went to House of Small Wonder for breakfast during our trip to Berlin back in early April. The setting was something else, as you enter the place you’re met with a spiral staircase surrounded by plants and trinkets. There are menu highlights on chalkboards framed by old windows, and the wallpaper is green and covered in little birds.
Good music, good coffee, good food – but service needed a bit of work. Always frustrating when one person gets their food way earlier that the other – and on this occasion there was at least a ten minute wait, which ended up with Aidan having to ask where the missing meal was…
Solid 7/10 for me, despite the wait. Portions were pretty good. My french toast was a bit on the small side, but did come with a good sized portion of fruit salad (cantaloupe melon, apple, kiwi, strawberry) – Aidan’s croque madame was a decent size and the accompanying eggs were super tasty and nicely seasoned. We both liked the fact it was served in a croissant, which is slightly unusual but definitely worked! (Sorry for the lack of pictures, after the wait hunger took over and eating was a bigger priority than taking photos!)
So this was my last Easter in the UK for the conceivable future. Aidan did his thing with friends and family in Wales, and I spent the day with my family at my nan’s house in Coggeshall (a small town in Essex.) Now easter in our family has always involved an egg hunt in Mémé’s garden – and although most of us grandkids are pushing thirty, we stubbornly keep the tradition alive. Usually my dad’s older brother does the hiding, but this year my cousin Aleric did the honours with help from her boyfriend.
Expert egg hiding….
Of course Mémé had cooked up a storm. It’s inevitable that a visit to my nan’s ends in a very full stomach full of very tasty food!
On the way back we spent a good hour driving through the back streets of London, around Bermondsey, Southwark and Waterloo – which weirdly is one of my favourite things to do in this city. There’s something really magical about London at night, it transforms into something wonderful, and sitting in the back of my mum’s car on Sunday night I realised that it is something I will really miss about this city of mine.