Words to live by…
After hearing such heart-breaking news over the weekend I was reminded of this day last August. I had spent a lovely afternoon at Borough Market with my lovely friend John @CityJohn. I’d been having a hard time with panic attacks during that visit and that day I had to take an Uber to the market (I’ve always found crossing bridges on foot difficult). But on the way back I promised John I would bravely walk over London Bridge all by myself and send him a photo to prove it. Which I did.
On my last visit to London in April my friend (and flatmate) Peter @SVQconcierge came with me and one day we walked over Westminster bridge together. Not sure I could’ve managed it otherwise. The long line of wreaths along the west side of the bridge were poignant beyond words.
I also took Peter to Arabica, a wonderful restaurant just outside Borough Market. When I’d last been there, having lunch on my own at the bar, I ended up chatting with the most cheerful barman ever, a charming guy called Emanuele. So imagine my surprise when I walked in 9 months later with Peter and he recognized me! He remembered me taking his photo and posting it on my Instagram (Arabica later re-posted it on theirs). And it was Emanuele’s face that came to mind when I read about the amazing staff at Arabica locking its doors and keeping everyone safe inside.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this. Just a bunch of feelings and memories all getting mixed up. So I just want to say that I love you London, and I hope to see you again before too long, and walk over ALL your bridges. xx
For ages this was the only image I ever had of Lee, from her Facebook page… and I came to think of her as this sassy Raggedy Ann chica. Then at long last I had the chance to meet her in person when I was in Madrid last January. She was still quite weak from cancer treatment, but was up for going out to have lunch, and we spent a lovely afternoon together.
Lee said she thought of me as her “cancer sister” because reading about my various struggles with cancer on my blog helped her when she was diagnosed. We could compare notes, as it were, and although our situations were very different, Lee felt like I would at least “get” what she was talking about. And yes, I think I did. I also got to enjoy chat sessions with a bright and funny woman, who loved cats as much as I do. I was also thrilled to meet her beautiful boy Tony during that last visit.
Anyhow, this morning I was out at that gastronomy event by the river and was randomly going through messages while enjoying a beer in the sun. Then I saw a message request on FB from someone I didn’t know. I clicked on it, and it was Lee’s dear friend Chris, telling me as delicately as possible that Lee had passed away a few days ago. And since then I haven’t known what to feel. Because the feelings are all so mixed up, the happy and sad ones, the scary and hopeful ones. And the worst one of all, the one I can’t yet accept – that I won’t ever be able to talk to Lee again. So for now, that’s all I can say. Except… be sure to hug someone you love today, and let them know how much they mean to you, how much you love them. xx
Lee and I enjoying a fabulous lunch at Tandem in Madrid
I walked behind this couple on my way home last night and fell a little bit in love with them. Strolling arm in arm, the man was so attentive and chatty, and she responded to his every word and gesture, looking like the most-loved woman in the world. I was mesmerized by them and it made me so happy to see that real love like this still exists.
I was looking through my photo files from a couple of years ago and came across this. Suddenly I felt a massive wave of sadness and loss, along with an actual physical pain in my heart. But there was also – and is still – so much love there that it’s always hard to feel sad for long when I think of Azar. Which is pretty much every day. Still, this photo made me ache with longing to touch him again. My beautiful boy.
When I named Azar I loved the play on words that his name meant “luck” or “happenstance” in Spanish but it also sounded like “azahar”, which means orange blossom.
Azar would have been 18 today. It seemed unimaginable a year ago that we wouldn’t have any more birthdays together. It still feels unbearable that I’ll never see or hold him again.