I’m sitting here in Heathrow Terminal 4 waiting for my flight to take me to Nepal, and more importantly to take me to see son 1 who has been there now for 4 months.
Always in the past few years Ex P and I would visit the champagne and seafood bar, drink a ridiculously overpriced bottle of champagne and, buoyed up on bubbles and excitement, begin our holiday in the insalubrious environment of the terminal building. This is the first overseas trip I have made since we separated, and I smiled ruefully at the travellers propping up the champagne bar, and took myself over to Costa. I’m eating skinny popcorn and drinking coffee – much less romantic, but about 1/20 the price!
As an aside, why am I drinking coffee when I really hope to be able to sleep on the plane !
The last trip I went on with him, was a week in Dubrovnik. What a beautiful, enchanting city, surrounded by old walls and full of winding cobbled streets and beautifully maintained squares. The recent history of the siege and bombing of Dubrovnik is largely invisible in the architecture now, but alive in the poignant museum exhibitions of photographs and news footage from that destructive conflict.
We stayed in a beautiful hotel on the sea. Carved out of the rock, you had to take an elevator down to reception and the hotel was barely visible from the road. Elegant and exquisitely tasteful without being stuffy the hotel provided a motor launch taxi service from its little jetty to the city harbour side. Many of you will know Dubrovnik from Game of Thrones – the scenes in the fictional Kings Landing are largely shot in the Croatian city.
It should have been a magical holiday. Certainly the surroundings and facilities were as close to perfect as I have ever experienced. In fact it was possibly the loneliest seven days I can remember. I had hoped for the opportunity to calmly discuss some of our mounting problems; ExP told me firmly on the first day that he didn’t want to discuss “anything heavy” . And so, of course, we did not. Instead we embarked on unreal conversations and debates about trivial subjects whilst I drank myself into oblivion to blot out the sadness.
So, what of this trip. Undoubtedly less luxurious, not romantic (!) non alcoholic, but I truly hope it will be more honest, more open, more REAL. And I would far rather have that than all the luxury and shattering loneliness.