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Friends, Food and F**ed up life- the true First Day of Spring

Saturday, 9:30am.

My alarm went off. I don’t usually set an alarm at the weekend but I was meeting Nish and Taylor, two lovely ladies I met a couple of months ago.

First thing I did, I checked my phone. A habit I’m trying to break, but I find impossible.

I check the news. President Trump with the support of the UK and the US bombed Syria overnight. My heart sank. The civil war in Syria has been going on for years now, how will more bombing solve anything? I remembered what Donna said yesterday, something I didn’t think of. Are you worried about Cyprus? The RAF that’ll hit Syria will leave from Akrotiri in Cyprus’.

I was worried. I am worried. I hope my little island will be safe. I later read my lovely colleague Osama’s post, worrying about his sister who works for the UN and is based in Syria. Terrifying.

Half an hour later I’m still in bed, snoozing and I get a phone call from my sister. She never calls out of the blue. I made a joke about her making a habit of calling me in the morning lately. She replied with ‘What do you say to a friend whose their 9-month old baby died suddenly overnight?’

My heart froze. I had no idea what to say. I managed to mumble ‘What?’ ‘How?’ ‘Why?’ I had no real advice to offer. All I could think of was to let her friend know she was there for her, for whatever she may need. Anything else she would have said, it wouldn’t have helped. I can’t imagine, nobody can imagine the excruciating pain the parents and the family are going through.

My mind is travelling million miles away, thinking how life sucks sometimes, how horrible I feel I can’t do anything right now to help. Help the situation in Syria, help my sister’s friend. What I can do is get up, get ready and make the most of my day. Enjoy every little moment, be grateful for what I have.

I open the curtains. It’s sunny! I sit on my bed, soaking the rays of sunshine touching my skin whilst listening and singing along to James Bay’s Us, ‘Tell me how to be in this world, tell me how to breathe in and feel no hurt..”

I get ready and off I go to meet Nish for a coffee and a chat. I love Nish, she is my age and we get each other, although we only met once before. And we start chatting as soon as we meet. It’s so easy, so natural.

We met at Nousha Lounge. I haven’t been there before. A cute little cafe tucked away on East Street. We met Melodie there. I’ve never met her before, but I love Ten Minute Sketch, her Instagram account. She is beautiful, inside, out. She is fun, creative but at the same time, mature and calm. She works for Communicare, a charity close to my heart, a charity I sang for with my old friends at Sing Now.

We end up staying at Nousha’s for hours chatting away about anything and everything, whilst enjoying a hot Americano and a delicious Reese’s brownie Melodie recommended. If you are ever at Nousha’s you MUST try it. Sweet, chocolatey with a hint of the Reese’s peanut butter pleasantly breaking the sweetness every now and then. Heaven on earth.

Reese's brownie

On our way to meet Taylor, it feels very summery in town. Bands playing music on the street, people shopping.

We first pop into the Solent Showcase gallery. Melodie reminded me it was the closing party of the #StandTogether exhibition. I loved everything about it and to be there on their last day, to see how it grew since I first had a look months ago was just beautiful.

Reading the messages on the wall restored my faith to humanity for a little. Surely if there are so many incredibly loving humans in the world, we can make it better? My favourite messages of the few I got to read:

We finally meet Taylor at Scarpini’s shoes. They invited everyone to have a peek at their SS18 Collection. I’m no fashion icon and I spend most of my money on experiences rather than clothes or shoes but I’m always up for supporting local, independent shops. Their shoes and bags are gorgeous and the owners are sweet and welcoming. Their scrummy cupcakes they offered to everyone was a great touch.

Scarpini's shoes

I miss living at Bedford Place. The livelihood, the shops, the busy vibes. I think I know where I’ll move in July.

The afternoon ended with lunch with Nish and Taylor at my all time favourite Halladays.

Halladays

I came home buzzing from the gorgeous day in the sun with lovely humans I had and after some cleaning and tidying up it was ME time.

I spent hours on my guitar and at night I watched the Good Karma Hospital. I love this show for more than one reasons, the gorgeous summery Indian setting (although filmed in Sri Lanka), Dr Walker’s bravery moving to another country, Dr Fonseka’s strong but deep down soft, sensitive soul. And whilst consuming an unhealthy amount of Sweet n’ Salt popcorn, that’s when I decided. I really want to book to go to a yoga retreat in South Asia. Wake up to the bird sounds, feel the heat on every single bone in my body, meditate, do yoga and relax under a tree, reading a book. I need to make it happen.

Just before I go to bed I message my sister, to find out how her friend was. As you’d expect not that well. The funeral is to take place the following day. It may be happening as we speak.

Sunday, 11am. I’m awake since 8ish but I stay in bed. I remember something a friend recently told me. Getting out of bed late for them was 11am. ‘For me it’s still morning, late is after noon’, I replied and giggled.

I listen to Sheba’s message and hopelessly try to fall asleep again. No luck. My brain is not letting me.

After my morning coffee my cousin messages. They are at my grandpa’s and they want to Facetime me. I smile to myself. I’m never alone, I’ll never feel alone, not with all the love from my friends and my family.

I talk to her lovely seven children, my godson, my prince, my uncles, my aunts, my grandpa. They took him to a nursing home last Tuesday. They couldn’t leave him there though, they loved him too much and took him back home by noon. He starts crying. I love him so deeply I can’t even describe. In his 80s strong as a rock but not afraid to show his sensitive side. A true gentleman.

We hang up and I can’t decide what to do next. I know, I’ll write about it.

I really don’t know how to feel and what to think about life anymore. So many ups and downs, so cruel and sweet, so heartwarming and painful, the blinding contrast.

I feel blessed for all the love and sad for all the pain, cruelty and suffering.

I just watched a video of children describing what they think love is. ‘It’s pretty simple’ one of them say. Love is good, we need more love in the world’ says another.

Namaste

Eleni

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