Photo - Rina Gill, Corvus
Happy Thanksgiving to all WKDN's US readers. Hope you are enjoying your holidays. So, how can I describe my flying visit home? Do you remember that scene in Pulp Fiction where Uma gets an adrenalin shot? It feels a bit like that. Not only did I spend a fabulous day with the Corvus publishing team playing with Spitfires, I discovered possibly the perfect antidote to the doldrums. If you enjoyed 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' on film, run, don't walk to the Palace Theatre in London to see it on stage (I believe it's coming to the US soon?). It is fabulous - I haven't laughed and cried like that in ages. Admittedly, I did have my own personal disco ball back in the UK, but if you find your eyes defiantly welling up at 'I Will Survive' - well, it's for you too.
It was bliss to be home for a couple of short days, just simply to be walking the familiar streets of our old homes Cambridge and London. I loved the architecture, the crisp snow-filled skies. I loved catching deadpan snatches of British humour, (in Boots, the chemists, I heard a woman ask the assistant what she'd recommend for her husband's man-flu. 'Are you sure you want to bother, love?' she answered. 'I just had mine put down'). I loved the buzz and the energy of it, of meetings with my publishers and agent, of striding down a subway to the V&A Museum with a busker blaring out a jazz song that the crowd bobbed along in time to, and of red buses sweeping through streets strung with Christmas lights. The media was fizzing with news of the Royal Wedding - Wills and the fragrant Kate, and speculation about who will design The Dress (imagine how fabulous it would be if it was Vivienne Westwood ...)
And the V&A - omg the things you take for granted as a student in London. I must have spent hours each week sketching in there, but seeing old favourites again, let alone the gorgeous Diaghilev exhibition blew me away... Maybe living in a desert is a bit like being on permanent detox because my eyes and heart were awestruck by the beauty and colour of it all. All the things we take for granted about home - the freedom, beauty - even the ability to stop off for a bottle of wine as you walk home with your oldest friend (not to mention happy looking dogs, everywhere!), I saw it all with the eyes of a stranger. It was, as they say, just what the doctor ordered (rather like the Pho soup I sipped looking out across the skyline and berry laden branches of a holly tree in Cambridge at dusk). There is so much that is good here, and I guess in a few years, when we come home, it will all be there, still. Meantime (sing along ...) I Will Survive.
TODAY'S PROMPT: Maybe that's given you a quick word-picture of what the UK is like, through my eyes. We all see things differently - and as a writer the way you see the world will add colour to your unique voice. What's the world like where you are today? Fancy painting a quick word picture in the comments box below? Or if you are travelling, it's the quickest way to record the places you visit. When you get home and are ready to write, the quick notes you made - and the things you noticed - will be the fastest way to access your unique memories.