My idea of heaven right now. A couple of weeks in Tahiti — especially if I could stay in a bungalow over the lagoon.
This time last week I was beginning my last day exploring Sydney; calculating how many galleries I could visit before heading to the airport.
I’m still buzzing from all the art exhibitions and the general noise and buzz of a big city — and longing for a quiet place to collect my thoughts.
I don’t think I’ll be going too far from home any time soon — but an early morning walk on the beach might be enough.
In 1997 the Big T and I went to Corsica; our last holiday before the boy-child came along. In the town of Patrimonio, we bought local honey in a ceramic jar. It was delicious; dark and strong and positively singing with wild herb flavours.
At some point since then, the jar found a second life as a pencil holder, sitting on my desk as a daily reminder of a week in paradise so long ago.
Holidays are too infrequent these days. The Big T and I are both feeling overworked, and the boy-child is trying to juggle study for his final school exams with friendships, skating and generally being a teenager. I think it’s fair to say there’s not a lot of ‘chillin’ going on in our household.
So I’m choosing to remember some times when we’ve been less wound up and a lot more chilled.
I’ve been away from home for two weeks now and have had some wonderful experiences; meeting my newest nieces and nephews, visiting friends and relatives, and discovering more about my family’s past. But there have also been many small pleasures; good coffee, interesting people, fine architecture and beautiful views.
So here, in no particular order, are ten of the little pleasures that have helped to make my days so enjoyable:
Twilight view of The Sage, Gateshead
Lunch at The Olive Branch Cafe, Alnwick; where the owner know how to make coffee the Kiwi way!
First sight of Edinburgh Castle on a crisp autumn morning
My wonderful room at the Seascape B&B; Lower Largo, Fife.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery; fantastic building – never mind the art.
Bust of Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.
Oak roasted salmon, orange, pomegranate and snow pea salad; Pizza Express, Edinburgh.
Sunrise; Lower Largo, Fife
Early morning on the stone bridge at Tyringham, Buckinghamshire.
The sanctuary knocker; north door, Durham Cathedral.