say it again

pink background with speech bubble
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say it again, say it again,

say water, listen to her say water,

my voice comes out

in a wondrous string

of english syllables

met with a wall

of gleeful laughter,

they love that sound,

they’ll never get bored.

I have nearly always lived in the south of England so I feel like I have quite a boring voice. There’s no distinctive Scouse twang or Geordie lilt. There is nothing that sets me apart from the people that I work and live with; not vocally anyway.

However, there was a year and a half back in the early naughties when I lived in South Africa, and for once in my life, I was different. I remember working in a bar and all of the other waitresses would ask me to say ‘please can I have a glass of water’ over and over.

They would then laugh and look at me wide eyed, as though I had just landed from a new planet. It was a very strange experience, but one that I actually quite liked.

I really enjoyed feeling different. I liked it when customers stopped me and asked me where I was from and then seemed impressed. Back then, everyone wanted a British passport so it was quite the magnet for South African boys!

I don’t understand why people would ever get upset about their differences and I keep thinking that maybe I should move up north so that I can sound ‘dead posh’. Maybe I’m just craving some attention after being stuck in a tiny radius for so long.

For me, accents are the most amazing thing and we are so lucky to have such varying accents within the UK. I just miss the travels within my country and hearing all the lovely different people. One day I dream of meeting a Scottish person in their natural habitat. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Much Love

Rachel xx

she had a collection of novelty mugs

I’d sit in her kitchen as she stirred the tea,

Eyeing the shelves that creaked under weight,

Mugs that she’d bought at every seaside shop,

Every city she visited too, she’d find those places,

The souvenir shacks filled with tea towels

And and money boxes and sugary sticks of coloured rock.

Most people buy the magnets to stick to their fridge

But the mugs were the things that called to her.

A mug shaped like a bus and one like a church,

Several are painted with cityscape vistas.

And she brings them all home, wrapped up in paper,

Places them lovingly onto those shelves

Where they remind her each day, of the world that’s out there,

The world that still waits, for when she can fly.

hours and hours on google maps

close up of world map
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I spent two hours dropping the little man with no face

Into various places around the world, places I’d been

With parents when I was small, and those I’d been to

On my own. Where I’d done bad things, kissed the boys

And made them cry. Where I got drunk and vomited

Into a flower pot. Where I disappeared into a dark alley

Holding the hand of an older boy. You can’t see

Down those alleys on Google Maps, but you can imagine

What has happened in their inky depths,

As drunken girls and boys come staggering forth

Laughing and looking forward to moving on,

Something that I never managed. Somehow I’m still stuck

There in Florida Road, aged twenty, wishing I was old.

Does anyone else sometimes go travelling the world on Google Maps? The other day I spent about an hour wandering up and down Florida Road in Durban, South Africa. I don’t know why I had the sudden urge to go back there, but I did. And I don’t even know if it made me feel all that good.

It certainly made me feel something. There was a pang, deep inside. I felt like I missed that place, but also felt a little like I had just been dropped back into my worst nightmare.

I was last there when I was twenty which is almost half a life time ago. I met my husband there and I spent several minutes just staring at that spot where we had our first conversation.

Perhaps, I am just searching for that nostalgic feeling, or to understand how my life got to where it is. I sometimes feel like that spot is where lightning struck; it is where my life changed. And sometimes I think it was for the best, and sometimes for the worst.

I guess we will only ever find out the answers once we’re at the end of our journey. In the meantime, I can keep pondering it as I travel the world from the comfort of my sofa. Or maybe I’ll buy a ticket somewhere and go start a new adventure?

Much Love

Rachel xx

more of the urge to travel

city street building house
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

Harry Potter buildings tower

Over humans having picnics

On the side of river banks,

Wishing they could soak it up,

The history that seeps out when

We walk beneath the stony eaves.

I’m getting more and more into the laptop travelling hole. I’d even say that I am craving a day trip, never mind a weekend away. Just sitting and looking at the pictures reminds me how lucky I am to live where I do.

Both Bath and Oxford are on my bucket list and both of them are within an hour’s drive. When some of these lockdown rules are loosened up, I could go there with no planning. I can’t understand why I have never done these things before.

city road people street
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

These cities are steeped in history and they’re straight out of a Harry Potter scene. I think in Oxford, I would need to wear my Hufflepuff gowns and carry a wand.

I guess what I’m saying for the umpteenth time is that this virus has probably changed us all a bit. I’m still a bit of a loner and I won’t be out at every party there is once things are better. But I will do things differently. I think we all probably will.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the mini break

brown painted infrastructure beside trees
Photo by Enrico Perini on Pexels.com

Suitcase wheels scrape along the floor

And hotel beds will creak as bodies hit,

Tired from a flight, run for after work.

And rest will not come easy as we’re out

At the crack of dawn, laughing in the streets,

Filled with foreign languages

That roll off tongues of sun kissed locals

Sipping coffee, in the cafe doorway shade.

And then we stop and stare; amazement

Gripping hearts and lungs and minds

As we see the sights we came here for;

The bricks and tiles and spires and doors

That mark the history that we drew

In our distant past. And now.

We spend the weekends racing round,

Snapping photographs for our Instagram,

Never really soaking in, the mastery,

The genius that elders left behind.

I’m dying to go on a weekend mini break to a European city. As soon as this is over, I am going to book a night or two in Barcelona and I will be the most touristy tourist of them all.

I’m looking forward to drinking perfect cappuccinos and taking photos of salads. I’ll walk into people because I’m too busy looking at my map or my tourist guide. I’ll try and communicate with the local in really bad Spanish. I’ll barely sleep because I want to pack everything in to two short days.

It will be glorious when we can travel again. I’ve never been much of a traveller and I normally feel homesick after a few days so I don’t fancy two weeks in Majorca. But short little breaks in the places that I always wish I’d been are going to happen.

Much Love

Rachel xx

do i really need to travel?

black and brown desk globe

Aeroplanes and vast blue oceans

Spread themselves before my eyes,

Tantalising, like glistening jewels

Of power and knowledge and culture,

All the things I want to have.

They whisper in my ear and say

That I’m not good enough, here

In my home land where beauty does exist.

If you stay here, you’ll die unhappy,

You’ll show that you don’t care

About our wilting planet.

But I don’t think that’s right.

I know there’s plenty here

To keep my life fulfilled.

I have heard so many people saying that ‘you must travel’. And to an extent, I agree. It is great to learn about other cultures and see what else the world has to offer them.

But this idea that without going to far flung countries, you’re a bit thick, a bit uncultured, that you don’t really care. I find that line of thinking makes me feel a bit sick.

Most of the people who say this kind of thing are quite well off and can afford to have a gap year or a career break. Which is great for them, but not everyone has that luxury.

My own view is that God blessed us all with our own section of the world. I live in the UK and we have such a beautiful and varied landscape that it would be impossible to explore it all in a lifetime.

Why would I need to go to another country, with all of this beauty right on my doorstep?

I’ve done a bit of travelling myself, so I must repeat that I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I just think that we shouldn’t make people feel like they’re uncultured and uneducated because they have no plans to travel.

Besides, the current situation might put an end to a lot of travelling anyway. And then we have the environment to think about. Maybe, the lowly staycation is going to become much more popular again.

Now excuse me while I pack my bags for a stay at Butlins.

Much Love

Rachel xx