Friday, 17 July 2015

Three books, 15,000 words, and some new shoes.

Three weeks in and not a drop of rain or a storm in sight... Usually at about this point on an extended trip away I am reaching the point where I am almost ready for home. I miss people. But not this time; this time I am more home than I am at 'home'. It is easy to be home in this little first floor 3 bed Spanish apartment with tiled floors and strange little ornaments. It is noisy outside, I am afraid to take the lift because of our traumatic experience last time, it has no air-con, and I am yet to work out whether the landlady is like a Spanish mother or a crazy tax-avoiding woman (I think she's the former). But thankfully no whistling kettle this time and no 'Mary' on the wall. This feeling of home may have something to do with the fact that half my belongings actually at home are currently packed in bags ready to move house, the necessary things are with me here in my case, and my bed is stored in my Mother's partner's garage. I am at a point where I am looking forward to the next part - looking forward to moving house, to being closer to my work and my friends, being closer to where most of my life is, and living with one of the oldest friends I have. I've felt more life here in Barcelona than I have felt over months and months in England yet my life has been the calmest it has been all year. I am in disbelief about how three weeks has flown by and now my sister is about to fly out for the last leg of this trip.

Since Tasha left last weekend I have read three books from start to finish (three and a half now..), used an entire T-10 metro ticket, walked my old sandals entirely to threads, written 15,000 words, eaten probably my own body weight in melon and then worked my way through the bottles of red wine I have been keeping in the kitchen. I've been swimming in the sea every single day without fail, felt brilliant to be able to keep up with emails and friends, and discovered that my nationality based on appearance is somewhat contestable to say the least. I could be German, Australian, French, Russian.... (note, never English...).

The metaphor of the week is when my sandals finally became nothing more than a thread between my feet and the ground. I went into a shop and purchased some new, sturdier sandals and changed them straight away. I was then carrying this old beloved pair of £5 sale shoes that I got two (maybe three) years ago for a winter job in Marrakech, I have worn them and loved them ever since. They have been a second skin in the summer months. But I have walked so much here - so many miles, seeing so much and determined in some way to walk away my worries (note: that does not work... you only get blisters, pulled muscles, bruises and broken shoes.) Worries still exist. No shifting them, just accepting them as they are. So the hour I spent walking carrying this old excuse for a pair of shoes around in a plastic bag with the new ones on my feet was an hour I spent sort of entertaining myself at the hilarity of what I was doing; why was throwing away the 'old' such a hard task to do? I reasoned with myself fairly well. What if the new shoes rubbed? What if I didn't like them? What if I wanted the old ones back comfortably on my feet? What if the old ones weren't as tattered as I thought? What if, what if what if.... Actually, what if the new ones are just brilliant? They are, so it seems. I saw sense and smiled at myself and chucked the old ones in the bin. Less 'old' to carry around and more of welcoming the new.  With the amount of 'things' I have thrown away over the years of moving and being a student and packing things and moving them around in my old 1999 corsa (things HAVE changed since then...) you'd have thought I would be better at being detached from the sentimentality of old meaningless 'crap'. Old habits die hard... Metaphorically speaking, I did a good job with those shoes.

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