It was early morning and there lay another little black dress but this time a little lace and silky night slip…
… That slipped out of my half opened rucksack onto the feet of the man standing next to me in the shop. Not quite fifty shades.
I was trying to find my purse in the shop at Gatwick airport to pay for the charger I’d forgotten to bring.As he picked it up and discreetly handed it back to me the man behind the counter asked him if he was paying. We both looked at each other and laughed.
He said “well we have only just met. She’s not my wife quite yet.
Embarrassed?!.. a little! but I was chuckling so much as skipped back out into the busy airport of random people going to who knows where.
I needed a starting point for my epic adventure and there it was in total GITRC style.
Perhaps in this story I won’t be the elegant movie star from a 1930”s golden era but this is my movie, and I have decided that in my story I shall be the mysterious and courageous heroine who is going on an adventure in search of dreams and magic.
But of course I’m totally real mate and that’s what gives me my edge.
My brother had dropped me to the airport. When I woke him to leave at 4.30 am he asked me if in fact I might be better off buying a dvd of this pianist I loved and get an extra couple of hours kip.
Eventually I convinced him what a good idea it was to take me.
He is always a big supporter of me and encourages me to follow my dreams so take me he did. And It was good to chat with him on the way. He is single minded in every way and he always inspires me to be the same. He sticks by me whatever is going on and never tells me what I should do.
I always wish he was around more.
As I sat at the airport it suddenly hit me. This far fetched fantasy was in fact touchable. Airports can give you such a sense of possibilities in where you might go in life and the freedom in that. I felt pretty incredible while sitting having my sausage Sani and cup of tea.
Not that I had anyone to tell but maybe it was a little evident in the way I strode through that airport with my little rucksack. Yeah I’m the GITRC and I’m going on an adventure. Like the Indiana Jones of the blogging world. I’m stealing that identity from my friend just for a moment.
The same friend that I messaged as I was just so excited and could not contain it, as hard as i was trying. My plan was to be able to be away for 1 night and not feel the need to message anyone (Other than my girl). 2 hours in… epic fail! But I love sharing the excitement.
It’s not about finding it difficult being alone, I actually quite like it but I”m like a kid when I’m excited. I literally will explode if I can’t share. And I knew he would understand.
On the plane It was suddenly very real. Dreamy yes.. but totally real. And it reminded me of other Amazingly wonderful dreamy moments which had also been very real. I sure do feel lucky!
Ovs I messaged K to tell her of my Bridget Jones moment.
When the plane touched down in Milan I was ready. This lighter version that floats around inside me was totally all encompassing now. Smiley and easy going and ready to get lost.
So I danced along in my usual unplanned and clueless manner trying to find my way to where I needed to go.
A brief call came through unexpectedly from a friend who I had also stayed with in Italy during the summer. The beautiful hills of Tuscany.
Weirdly I had picked up my plane for Milan from exactly the same gate that I had been running to, back in August. My friend C was stuck at security and I was running to hold things up. Not sure exactly what I was planning to do but I was prepared to create a major airport incident to ensure we got on that plane. Fortunately it didn’t come to that but it gave Rebekah and Bibi a story to take with them.
I’m laughing as I’m writing this. Who is this girl?!
What an amazing life that she leads. She must be some wealthy and privileged type, jet setting round Europe..
Haha yep that’s me!!!!
And one of the amazing wonders of my year
As for the wealth?
“Well the wealth is totally in the experience”
There was something wonderful in hearing this particular friends voice. She embodies everything that is empowering. I love that about her. There is nothing she can’t do. And alongside that she has her gentle and warm care. It can seem hidden to some behind her assertiveness and confidence but has always been so very visible to me. I had a soft spot for her as soon as I met her and she has always been an amazing person to me in her very genuine way. A real fav of mine.
Timing is everything and as I waited for the train to leave the airport I loved that she was on it with me.
I’m so aware of all the people that are featuring in a trip that sees me all by myself. It’s hard to feel alone when I have some very special characters from my own version of the wizard of oz that are always out there for me as I journey. Sometimes I will just think of them and they are right there with me.
I found my way through the metro system.. easy peasy.. I’m a London girl no metro system is a match for that.
And finally I arrived at the hotel I had booked. Hotel Vecchia. They let me in early. Tiny but perfect, simple but enough and right in the middle of everything. Amazing location as S had said.
I should have been exhausted but I was truly buzzing and not wanting to waste a single second.
I had only done thIs short journey but you would think I had travelled to the moon. I felt like I was on the moon. I was so proud of myself for not getting lost. Google maps is a god send but am I the only person who manages to travel in the opposite direction to the arrows?
So now I could relax and take it all in. Be there in that moment and just enjoy it for everything it was and everything it might be.
What a wonderful feeling I was carrying. Like spinning and twirling on a fluffy cloud. You know I love to twirl.
I wandered aimlessly but with intent through the streets of Milan. It was beautiful. The Christmas lights sparkled everywhere and the window displays had me looking in wonder as a child does. The creative imaginations of others brings so much joy to me. I wanted to leave a note to say so. I’m rubbish at taking photos . I always forget. Things are captured in my mind vividly and locked away in a vault of loveliness ready to be pulled out on a rainy day. But on this occasion I found myself capturing some of the wonderful inventions of others through glass windows. My favourite was a beautiful dress that was half swan lake black bodice and half Christmas ferns covered in snow that were weaved together to make a long flowing skirt. The mannequin looked like a queen of a magical forest from a children’s novel looking resplendent in that forests natural beauty.
I felt like I was floating. Like the red balloon that I often talk about, weightless and going higher and higher. Smiling back at all those who passed me and chatting in my non existent Italian to the friendly shop keepers of the little boutique shops. I really do need to learn Italian. But they seemed happy to chat anyway. And I was on my own. I need human contact and I would try and find it wherever I could. People tend to speak to you more when you are alone.
I wanted to give S a present for being part of this magic, to give her the moon and the stars and that’s exactly what I found in delicate earring form. She would be wearing them the next day for coffee before going to her interview.
Eventually I made my way back to get ready to meet S. I was totally feeling Milan time. This adventure was turning out to be everything I could have wished for and the best still lay ahead of me.
My real was feeling completely spectacular and so was I.
Black sequinned dressed up and ready to go. S had arrived at my hotel and was waiting outside.
The warmest of hugs. We were back together again in Milan and it felt completely normal, like I’d popped round to the local to see her. Isn’t it amazing how quickly you can settle somewhere new and it feels like home.
We caught up on all the basics as we wandered along. Through the Piazza Duomo that we had visited in the glorious sunshine of April but was now filled with Christmas market stalls selling everything. It looked gothically majestic surrounded by the fairies of Christmas lights.
As we walked S told me of her ordeal at work that made me sad for her. This special person had been treated so badly by her boss. I could not believe what I was hearing. His advances had been rebuked so he made a girls life hell. It had affected her so much she had to leave her job. Why do some people abuse their power so much.
I was glad to be there for her to talk to. All her friends are in Rome and she had felt quite isolated in it.
But better things are to come for my sweet friend and I wish that for her so much along with the dreams and wishes of others who are so treasured by me.
I was glad when she said she was returning to Rome for Christmas. It felt like she was in need of that sanctuary again.
Sometimes a trip is exactly what is required to remember who we are and what we can be.
We followed our steps of spring time reminiscing about the fun we had, our time in London and our hopes and dreams for the future.
Dinner and drinks followed and it was perfect. Drinking martini cocktails whilst looking out at the darkened Milan which sparkled in all the lights. It had promised so much in my dream and was delivering in every way.
I’m an easy girl to please but boy was I so grateful for the extra.
We strolled together once more back to my hotel and promised to meet in the morning for coffee. How glad I am that I met this friend. The two dreamers who met in a London museum and were destined to be friends forever. How often I feel lucky for the people that come into my life and when they remain they find a special place in my heart which is just for them. S has such a place.
And so alone again…. but so so ready in every possible way for the grand finale of my day…
Sharing is everything for me.
This one is especially for you my friend.