Saturday afternoon, 2009, Nan’s living room slash dining room slash craft studio. It’s whatever we want it to be, really. Doc Martin is playing in the background, but we don’t hear it. Our laughter is louder.
People always get asked; what’s your favourite food? What’s your go-to dessert? If you could only ever eat one meal again, what would that be?
Perhaps one day in a distant future, an alien family might stumble upon our wonderful planet. Perhaps they were off on their travels and Papa Alien refused to use a SatNav despite Mama Alien insisting, and thus their unintentional detour to our home planet. If they had time whilst on their journey—maybe a weekend to spare—and wanted to see what Earth has to offer, then without a doubt I would point them straight to my very favourite place, Birmingham, England. There are some absolutely breath-taking places around the world, but if The Alien Family happened to bump into me whilst I was taking selfies with my cat in the garden, and asked me where I’d recommend, then (after screaming and passing out because there are aliens in my house) I’d say Birmingham, every time. Because Birmingham has my heart, it is my heart.
I don't think we realise just how much is out there. Beyond the walls of our houses and further than the streets that wind between our local shops. I don't think we realise - though sometimes we think we might - just how spectacular this world of ours is. We forget that places are there for us to fall in love with, just as people are. And like people, these towns and cities and countries capture your heart with their brilliant personalities and the romance between person and place begins.
It’s scary sometimes, especially in the moments that you think, “hold on, why again?” Because it’s almost as if everything that you have ever worked for, ever dreamed of, it’s all momentarily covered in a cloud of doubt, a fog made from fear and panic and whatever else. It’s never quite an easy answer to the question: “But why are we here? What are we doing? What is the point of all this?”