mental health and travel
A few weeks ago with much excitement I had a holiday to Giverny, France to see and photograph Monet’s house and gardens. Claude Monet is a big name in the art world and it was a real privilege to see and photograph the sights that inspired him to paint so many works. He actually created his gardens and lake/pond for the purpose of painting it. He diverted a nearby river to make the pond.
I’d never been to Scotland before and though my uncle, auntie and two cousins live there and have shown enthusiasm in conversations for the place they love, I didn't know anything about Scotland apart from kilts, bagpipes and a wee bit of dram. But stepping onto Princes Street (the main road) in the centre of Edinburgh from the train station, the first view was spectacular. An instant panorama of huge stone buildings on the hill skyline including Edinburgh Castle. It wasn’t like other cities that are often flat with buildings obstructing any ground level panoramas. The view from the station on the left stretched at least a mile of grand structures on the hill that runs east to west. In between the station and the hill was Princes Street Gardens. On the right was no hilltop skyline but massive department stores and hotels, that looked a bit like Harrod’s. I was surprised and impressed.
It was the best holiday I’ve had since childhood holidays.
I love airplanes and airports, though I get vertigo quite badly. But I wasn’t nervous about the flying until we actually took off so I was able to enjoy the shopping and sights at Heathrow, with my mum, uncle and auntie. The flying itself was slightly better than I expected and the sense of joy, partly because of all the anxiety just falling away, was fantastic as we landed in Milan. We stayed at an airport hotel that night and the next day we drove in a hired minibus (there would be more joining us) south to San Gimignano, near Florence, a five hour trip.
I wanted to do a blog post about the things I like best about my life as it is today. I’m sure it will change in the coming weeks as I have a few exciting things lined up including a trip to Edinburgh on a sleeper train, my first journey of such a kind. I love trains. I love planes – ironic as I’m shit scared of heights, but I am astounded at their beauty and engineering marvel. Every time I take my mum to Heathrow airport as I did last week, they fly directly above while we’re driving and it’s –
“Wow! Look at that. That is a Boeing 777.” (You can tell from the massive engines, one on each wing, and the absence of winglets for aerodynamic efficiency. The 777 is the only large plane that doesn’t have