this was a family blog, but not today. today we swear, so stay away if colourful vocabulary upsets you
*thank you to the 48%
I am an EU immigrant in Britain, an inpat if you like. Ten years ago I moved to Bristol and the rest is history. Mine was meant to be a quick fling of a couple of years, but it turned into a beautiful love story of 10 years - I fell in love and was certain the feeling was mutual. Until Britain dumped me.
Let me rewind only a tad bit. The love story. Don't you love a good love story? I do. Mine had butterflies in the belly and sparkly eyes and romantic prose. As Britain got more and more under my skin and I felt myself become part of that great British public, flags and Old Blighty and Queenie waves and all. Fish and chips on Fridays, Shakespeare in the park, Shakespeare in Stratford, queueing like a Brit, the true pros at it, Henley, Ascot, cricket (for Christ's sake I went to Lords!), full English breakfast on Sundays, endless cream teas, Lake District, Peak District, Brecon Beacons, a panto (oh I loved it), lots and lots of West End musicals because life is so much better that way, so many 'sorry' for no good reason that I lost count, and an utter determination to just get on with it. Yeah, I fell for Britain, head over heels in love, and I was happy.
Until Britain dumped me.
Being dumped by Britain is like being dumped by Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - 50% of it loves you and 50% of it wants you out. But dumped you are, in the end. First you face an absolute shock, borderline denial, because you know, you were so happy just the day before and loved up and prepared to take on the world. Then reality hits; you're now alone and lonely and trying very hard not to hate it because Dr Jekyll is still nice and lovable and you can't get over that bloody love you feel, oh why the hell did I let my guard down and just went all in into this cursed relationship, what the hell was I thinking, type of mood. Or maybe that's just me.
As you sit on the sofa eating ice cream from a tub (is there any other way to eat ice cream?? I think not!) you have impure thoughts and you wish it a belly ache with severe diarrhoea, except you don't because how could you, you bloody love the bastard! And there's still that annoying Dr Jekyll, who's been nothing but lovely to you always until you wrapped your heart with a red ribbon and offered it to 'him' on a plate. Because it was bloody mutual, this great love affair with a massive rainy cold spectacularly-wonderful bloody queue-loving island. So as you eat your ice cream in the summer blizzard, because what else? It's f****** July but the weather didn't get the memo, you realise you love this f****** country and it now dumped you. And you feel shit, because it is shit and you are heartbroken.
Heartbroken. Heartbroken. Heartbroken.
It bloody hurts. Like being poked with a thousand fat needles at the same time (I'm assuming, because fortunately this never happened to me on the literal sense, but it is happening metaphorically). Whilst you have joint pain all over your body and a migraine with mouth ulcers. Painful. So painful you feel it all over your body. Heartbreak is a bummer, if you've ever been there.
Heartbroken. Heartbroken. Heartbroken.
With tears. And anger. And swearing because swearing relieves stress, I'm sure there are studies about this, but I'm too sad to research that right now. Right now I just want to swear this feeling away, and the last couple of weeks, or this whole year to be exact because it's been f****** painful.
I too want my country back. The Britain I fell in love with 10 years ago. It was open, and inclusive, and funny, and caring, and so incredibly-beyond-words AMAZING that even the grey skies and endless rain were endearing. The one that made me so proud to be a part of. Except that as with most unilateral breakups, there's no going back. I have tears to cry, realities to accept and a need to figure out my life, but for now and the foreseeable future, I am simply heartbroken.
My morning wasn't going to plan at all and it sucked and wasn't life shit and oh I'm so annoyed now. And then I saw her.
I was walking fast, almost as fast as my thoughts and my anger and my now ruined mood for the day. And then I saw her.
I was sporting a frown as deep as a 100-year-old farmer's wrinkles in a black and white photo. And then I saw her.
She was 6, or maybe 7, it was hard to tell. She was walking to school holding her Mother's hand and listening intently to something she was telling her. She was wearing a cute crocheted white beanie and a thick wool coat, it was a cold morning. And she had a tube coming out of her child nose, taped to her little girl's face with a piece of white tape and disappearing into the back of her coat as if to hide something that was in full view.
I cried. All of the sudden. Without warning. As if the tears had been shaken out of me in one burst.
Forgotten things on a good Friday morning which I was working hard at, and succeeding in, ruining.
And then I saw her.
I had a quick second between seeing her and those first tears. A precious second in which to smile at her because smiling makes the world go round. If only I could remember it more often. A true smile which clears your head and your frowns and your soul and makes the sun shine inside. The only smile worth sharing, a sun-giving smile.
Such a powerful thing to hold on to and cherish and nourish.
A new colourful happy blanket for a new baby in the family. My goddaughter has a little chubby month old sister and I wanted to welcome her with lots of love, colour, softness and happiness. Mission accomplished.
When my goddaughter was born, I made her a happy baby quilt. I loved the process and the quilt, but I didn't want to repeat it for her sister. So I chose knitting.
I came across Purl Soho's Super Easy Baby Crib Blanket on Instagram. Siobhan was knitting one and was kind enough to tell me the pattern and wool she was using - Cascade Pacific Chunky, in case you're wondering - which she said was incredibly soft. And it is! This is possibly the softest thing I've ever knitted (we may have kept it if it weren't for the size... and our big hearts!).
This is one of those really satisfying things to knit - it's happy, full of colour, fast, soft, you name it in good and this blanket has it. And of course seeing it on the little baby just fills your heart; or mine!
I write and photograph, and am a lover of natural light and colour. I also sew and make things, all sorts of things. I believe in simplicity and that smiles make the world spin faster!
Originally from Portugal, I now live in the magical city of Oxford, UK.Welcome to my online space, I'm thrilled to have you here.
I'd love to hear from you! Email me.
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Profile photo by Vivacious Mel Photography.