In the summer I decided I wasn’t going to be scared of flying anymore. I just got so fed up with feeling so stressed out each time we were going somewhere and how days, often even weeks, beforehand I’d already feel anxious about it. Never mind the anxiety of the day itself, then taking off and literally thinking I would die. I got so angry with it all I pretty much forced myself to relax. It sounds weird, I know, but it’s somehow worked. This morning it was super windy, and I checked my weather apps – each one displaying the symbol for very windy weather. I mean, if anything can replace the normal rainy or cloudy symbols all weather apps always display for the UK, it’s serious, right?
So I wasn’t all to happy heading to Heathrow this morning, and it has to be said – in my defence – that the take-off (the part I hate the most) was a little bouncy, but I handled it a hell of a lot better than I would have in the past. Had it been a year ago, I’d go as far as to say I may have refused to get on the plane, but I did and although I couldn’t even pretend to be calm and held on to B’s hand as well as Monkey’s, once the snow covered forests and frozen lakes of Scandinavia appeared beneath us through the plane window I felt such joy I could have cried. We touched down in this Christmas postcard, and were met by my Dad who drove us home.
Long gone are the handshakes. My father has without exception disliked – OK, make that HATED – every boyfriend I’ve ever had, including my ex-husband (who lost all my Dad’s respect when he refused to come hunting – there was no recovery from that), but B my father adores. I suppose that makes sense because he is the love of my life and I haven’t loved anyone as much as I love B, so it just kinda appears logical that he’s the one my whole family has fallen in love with too. My Dad would in any circumstance do a manly handshake. Oh no. He went right in there with a hearty man hug, vigorously patting B’s back in the process. There’s no limit to his love for this guy who took him to a whiskey tasting, and who has good naturedly gone hunting with him every time.
They all adore him. I suppose the most obvious sign of just how much my family all love B came at my brother’s house. We dropped Monkey there to play with his cousins and my brother gathered Monkey up in his arms for a huge hug. He then nodded to me but went in for a hearty man hug with B, just like Dad had. No manly handshakes here.
“Bloody hell!” I exclaimed pretending to joke but actually feeling a little slighted at this blatant preference for B and Monkey and no one putting ME ME ME first anymore, “where’s my hug?”
“Oh, I guess there’s one for you too,” my brother laughed and finally I got one.
And so we got to Falla after a day of travelling and seeing the nearest and dearest, and the moment I caught sight of it when we came down the road, I felt an emotion I can’t describe – something between love, a sense of belonging and perhaps a sprinkling of feeling sentimental too. This place holds so many memories, not least for B and I.
My heart is here.