So it seems at the end of our big adventure that we have come through unscathed by rough travel, irritability, illness (although Steven and I did have a few days of something wicked but not evil), and strife.
I AM SO PROUD!!
Albeit, I thought that my first experience in the Moroccan sands wasn’t what I had imagined, and without Essouira, I may have had a totally different opinion of this land, I was reminded of other things which brought me back to a “place”.
Firstly, Christmas with the Boyles was beyond perfection. They have mastered the art of quality family living and made known to me a style of life that I so hope to pass on to my children and friends. It is the act of nothing. Doing nothing, expecting nothing, demanding nothing. One is merely prepared to sit, eat, talk, drink, sleep, walk and do it all over again daily. Susi lays a GORGEOUS TABLE, and makes one feel like they are living out their own Downton Abbey episode. Tables lined with colorful cloth napkins, party favors, lit by soft candle lights, and laid with all types of home cooked fair that do wonders for your eyes, and less for your stomach, hips and thighs. Dinner over the two nights we spent in the country side were worthy of Willow’s critique and included turkey, roasted veg, cheeses, breads, ham, puddings (even ones that were alight with fire!!), wines, and more. It was gross.
And when you can’t stuff another bite of f-ing tasty food into your gob, Bob suggests a light walk in the country side and everyone begins to dress in appropriate duds. Hunter boots, heavy jeans tucked inside, weighty jackets that cover the rear, scarves, hats, gloves, babies wrapped inside Ergos, and a stiff upper lip to accompany the shit ass weather. Roy and I dressed as best we could, he in timberland boots and me in my Daisy favorites, but found that our jaunt through the forest for warmth, only led to mud up to the ankle, which we could not manage for long. So to the valley we go, the wind so, so sharp though our threads, and yet so refreshing and bright. All seems well enough until the drizzle begins, then the rain, and by the time everyone has hustled back to the cars, we can’t help but to be excited for the fireplace, brandy, cookies, and tea back at the estate.
Honestly, this was our first two days.
And then there were the babies, all three girls so engaging in their own ways. The eldest just laughs and smiles, as most 5 year olds can and do, but she is a big sister now, and knows that she has even more certain duties in regards to her baby sister,the Buddah baby. Her little accomplice, Nat, is all lovely and jubbly, happy to just lay on her back and coo while everyone fauns over her and her freaking adorableness. She is just chill, and her Proud Poppa bear looks like a kid in a candy store when he plays with his two little ladies. LOVE Dadies and Babies.
The newest member of the lot, Flozza, and she is affectionately called, is all tiny and delicate, with a constant need for the new and different, I’d say a proper royal demeanor. And even with the fuss and attention required of a new little one, her parents or over the moon to hear her every cry, whimper, and request. She is a real stunner, I’d say that she takes after her momma, and the more you BE with her, the more you want TO BE with her. Once you pry her from one of her parents, you can walk with her as she likes, past the pictures on the wall, always making sure to stop at her favorite of Sid Vicious during a live show. In that regard, she is a Daddy’s girl.
Littlehampton is the new homestead to the Mason family, who have given London the ol’ heave ho, and they are taking a chance by the sea side. And they plan on doing it right. They purchased a building that used to be a restaurant and plan to convert it to a 5 bedroom beast, filled with nooks, skylights, modern conveniences added to an old traditional feel. If I know anything about my little wife, she will make this house the most wonderful home they may ever know. I know where We’ll be vacationing it the summers once that project is completed…the question becomes will it ever be completed?!?
Now, the trouble with short holidays is that they are always too short and this visit was no different.
After 4 days with the Boyle, Mason, Henriot Tribes we headed up on the trains to London, getting a proper reintroduction to shite English delays as rail works broke up the usual direct voyage into 4 different stops and changes, in the freezing rain, with waits in between, until I was reminded how much a sense of humor one needs when traveling. Upon finally arriving at the Boyles London home (THANK YOU AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING!!!) we were promptly visited by the incomparable Stuart who gave us a touch of culture in visiting the Victoria and Albert museum and then a speakeasy for after-viewing cocktails. I hadn’t been to the great South Kensington since almost my Pepperdine days but found it like I had never left. Same restaurants, same shops, just different me.
And then drinks. And then more drinks. And then drunk. And then dancing. And then being loooouuuudddd and taking inappropriate pictures, while falling in love all over again with mates that you never see but literally could not live without. Greta was responsible and doctorly, of which I was incredibly proud, going home early(ish) to study while the rest of us….um…not so responsible. And I later felt every beer and tequila for the whole of the next day.
But it rained so who cares if we spend the afternoon in bed??
And it was left to a sausage breakfast at 2PM to rally us into seeing the Polish lot, which has only grown and grown with wives, babies, and houses. Bogdan and Ela. Oh my. It only occurred to me sitting in Ela’s fantastic, massive London home, that we have been friends for 10 years. THE DECADE COIN. Through travels, moves, continent shifts, breakups, and madness, we have stayed close and it filled my soul with such a sense of great purpose that I wanted to cry.
However, I did note that something had changed. For the first time since I was maybe 9 or 10, it occurred to me that I didn’t want to live in London. Seriously. This was the first time on “my” soil that I wasn’t psycho to do everything in my power to move there. It not only shocked me, but shocked my husband who had no other mental preparation for his life with me than “we were moving to England” and he has to get on board or start swimming another direction. But it felt like my progress as that person had shifted, priorities altered. I think having everyone spreading out of London certainly added to it. No Daisy, no Dans….just weird.
So what should one do when one feels bizarre? Yah, go to Africa.