I jumped on the train to Cardiff, glanced at the Metro newspaper but decided not to read it; why get your consciousness dimmed by sensationalised news spreading fear. Instead I put on my headphones, turned up Cat Stevens, looked out the window and went wandering within my mind. Free yourself from mental slavery.
Eating my cooked breakfast in a pub in the capital, I watched the early morning boozers. Their eyes lacked a desire for life, lost ambition, did they drink to remember the good times or to forget the bad?
I took a bus to London where I shared a few beers with my mate ‘The Richards’. It was good to see him and catch up, it felt like our University days. Nostalgia, what a wonderful thing, still got the dreamers disease.
An overnight bus to Paris, including a Ferry trip, a few hours sleep and an expensive cappuccino. Paris before dawn; cold, fresh and unassuming. I’ve explored many cities around the world at this time of the day and it always amazes me how much they transform just as the sun comes up. Sleeping giants awaken, the workforce begins to function, but I still ask myself, the lights may be on but is there really anybody home?
Bonjour, croissant, coffee….another bus heading south. Queyssac is a petit French village that bleeds tradition and tranquillity; open green fields with narrow pebble stone streets and conventional French architecture, characterised by wooden shutters on the windows.
Coralie had green gypsy eyes and wild bohemian hair that reflected the freedom of her soul. A French interior designer, who’d quit the rat race to follow her passion of travel photography. With a discontent for the status quo and a curiosity for the unknown, she drove us first to Bordeaux and then Biarritz.
The sun melted into the sky like honey from the heavens, the sea was rough but energising and in the distance from the French coastline you could see the treacle Spanish mountain tops. Travelling the world, you sometimes forget how beautiful Europe is.
From Biarritz to the elegance of Madrid, for tapas with a friend who I’ve not seen in twelve years. Then finally into the south of Spain, to the olive fields and mountains of Andalusia. There’s a windy road that will take you to the charming village of Iznajar, just like a mysterious woman will take you by the hand into the elation of the night. A stare into a turquoise lake, a peek of the church upon the hill or a glimpse into the eyes of a local; Iznajar will provide your eyes with what is relevant for your soul.
There we stayed with my Uncle and his partner who I’ve not seen in fifteen years. Surely that’s what life is all about; to see new places, meet new people and reunite with those we’ve not seen in a while. I have an empty bank account but a spirit overflowing with memories and when the sun shines on me for the very last time, I’m pretty sure that’s all that counts and all I can really take with me.