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We’ve just spent a week in London, our old stomping ground. We start on a high, dumping our luggage and dancing into Nandos, joyfully sharing the packed schedule of play dates, theatre and cinema trips, grandparents sleep-overs, the cheeky windows when OH is not in a meeting (he has that kind of work where a drink with an old colleague holds the same status as one with the bank manager) and will definitely take the-off spring to the Da Vinci exhibition at the Science Museum. A week later, after hours spent crawling yards at a time in a tiny hire car, engineering works taking a sledge hammer to our trip to Brighton, a dull and extortionately priced play, exhausted children whose grandparents let them fall asleep at 11pm with a belly full of cake and I am broken. We exit the plane in Ibiza and I inhale the soft, clean air, peppery pine filling my nostrils and my lungs. Nothing grounds me more, nothing makes me happier than coming home. I am so inspired that I am scribbling from baggage claim while the older two run after the baby and haul the Marks and Spencer stuffed suitcases off the belt. This is why I’m so happy to be back:
1. because I will see something beautiful on my journey home. It might be rolling hills, or the diamond sparkle of light on the sea, a particular olive tree with a silvery hue on its leaves or maybe just a gorgeous girl or guy hanging outside a café but guaranteed I will notice something special, as I do on every journey in Ibiza, even after all these years.
2. because here age doesn’t matter I shopped on London’s Oxford street on Saturday and weaved in and out of the hordes of urban youth. Maybe it’s because Top Shop isn’t for a woman in her 40s, no matter how much of a girl she still feels, but that city is for 20 somethings and this girl felt old! Back home in Ibiza, I feel young, not because everyone is older but because no one cares how old you are.
3. because I know I will see the sun very soon it’s raining, I hate to admit this to you, but it is. But it’s no big deal because sometime tomorrow, I will feel the gentle touch of the Spring sun, it will take me unawares, envelope me and boost my serotonin, bringing me a smile and a good mood. When it rains in Ibiza we are never more than a day or so away from rosé-ing in the sun again.
4. because I only think about shopping when I want to. When I’m in London or another city I spend like it’s going out of fashion. Everything is so easily available that I lose my sense of shopping proportion (I’ll take one in each colour/ it’s so lovely I’ll take two in case one gets worn out/I don’t even like it but I have to have it because she’s got it..!). In Ibiza the shops are hidden treasures that need to be discovered and so we shop less. I like that. It makes me feel less materialistic, more appreciative.
5. because I see the Mediterranean from my bedroom. I am not dismissing the the value of one’s view being one’s neighbour’s living room, no matter how Roche Bobois their furniture, but I look out onto the Mediterranean, an island, a lighthouse. It reminds me that we are vulnerable, that we are highly evolved beings borrowing from nature. That makes me a better person.
Ibiza, I thank you.