It was then that I realised I was home

February 25th, 2014, 7am

It was 10°C with few clouds. The breeze was gentle.

“I knew the way you know about a good melon”

It was more than the afterglow of a holiday mood. It was much, much deeper than that. I don’t really deal with horoscopes. I believe there is something spiritual to be had with life but nothing that could really be captured in a glossy magazine or in various forms on the internet. I realise that Horoscopes and the Zodiac go much deeper than that but I’ve never really looked at them in any other form. However when I landed in Plan De La Tour six years ago (GOODNESS!?!) and started crying because my being there felt so inextricably right the experience was so otherworldly that it did feel predestined in a way.

Don’t get me wrong I love my hometown. Leigh-on-sea is a place that will always have my heart. The Old Town with it’s cobbled steps and annual regatta. Sitting outside my beach hut watching the Thames Barges going up and down the estuary. Walking along the seafront on a balmy day. Fish & chips in The Mayflower. The Library Gardens. Even the oil refinery over Canvey Island. They are all sights I would miss if I were ever to move away.

However, in those first few steps around the tree lined square, sitting in the small bar watching the cyclists training for that years Tour de France the trepidation that holidays can sometimes bring upon me melted away. I wasn’t worried about making mistakes with my diction. I could have quite happily sat there the whole day and chatted with the members of the community despite being lost in translation much as I do at home. When I left there after a blissful two weeks I cried because I was heartbroken to be leaving a part of my heart there.

Since then there are two other places where I have had this feeling. Turin and Spoleto. Both in Italy, though very different in feel and look. Both places made my skin tingle because I didn’t feel as though I stuck out as “the tourist”. I could blend in to the bricks and mortar where no one would disturb me. That strange feeling that I had been there before took over me. Streets weren’t scary they were just a part of my inner compass drawing me further in.

Whether or not I will ever get the chance to live in any of these places is yet to be seen but I am hopeful in the knowledge that when I do return I’ll still be home.

Merchants Archway, Spoleto

Plan de La Tour

Al Bicerin, Turin

Christine and Adrian said thanks.

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Elisa Adams

Bad manners, my dear Gigi, have broken up more households than infidelity

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