....merely to be with the mountain as one visits a friend, with no intention but to be with him.
- Nan Shepherd
In spite of the avalanche of working life I've been reading and dreaming and planning ferociously - the next adventure is in sight, my wanderlust lurking and brewing and about to overflow. It's time to get away. It's time to get away.
The triggers -
Eulogy to Peter Matthiessen, the founder of the Paris Review / Reading the Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd - Robert MacFarlane's hymn to the wonderful book / Oh the Adventure Handbook - instagram has never been so inspiring / Natalie Smith on Morocco / how does that quote go? - "I don't like it when summer leaves but I like the way it walks away."
1. How could summer solstice come & go already? I have been watching sunsets every evening, letting the crimson light flood my bedroom -
2. The foliage is dark green, air is thick with fragrant jasmine and quiet white flowers -
3. The wilderness was perfect. Every time I think of those perfect few days spent on the water and under the vast sky - my heart is still. There has been a lot of undercurrents in the face of apparent calm water at present, but all shall be well. We shall sail through (practising mindfulness) -
4. Ran a glorious (albeit the slowest) half-marathon, stopping to help in the capacity of a doctor. A sense of pride and also the inevitable responsibility -
5. I've found the perfect house to move to next - creamy white wall with laurel green window frames, stripped down wooden floor, looking over a cosy rose garden. Plus rugs! Plus a direct bus to Cafe Oto! I cannot really ask for more (in London)
"Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it."
- Jacques Prévert
- Almost there! Currently knee-deep in revision materials (and a mix of excitement and angst, washing over an already crumbling shore). But in the midst of chaos, there is always room for quietude, thoughts and happiness.
In the transition period, I - wear: a gray tshirt, jeans, a relaxed blazer, loafers (and a set of swimming kit in my bag on demand) listen to: Charlotte Gainsbourg, bbc radio 4's Gardener's Question Time (it is mesmerising) read: Ruby Tandoh'snew column in Elle:Dinner Party Philosopher (I aspire too to be one) look forward to:artisan wine! Picnic season, Matisse's cut outs at Tate Modern, flat-hunting (dreaming of herringbone floor), our wilderness adventure :) One, one last push. Wish me luck!
The essential accessories: a pen / little pearl bracelet (although not on my wrist most of the time) / Aesop mandarin face cream / good old stethoscope
The last year in medical school has taken me to many places - from the old town and rice paddy fields of Vietnam to the rolling hills of Dorset - after living in leafy Hampstead for the past few months I am now placed in a busy hospital in one of the most deprived part of London for a three-month placement. On the first day of placement I was already asked for money on hospital ground when a lady in a wheelchair said she was starving on the way to see her HIV doctor - this has reminded me of how much need there is in the area and there are often so many deep-rooted social problems that remain unseen or ignored. There will be so much to learn and to reflect on during the week, and during the weekends I will have a stroll in Broadway Market and coffee & magazines at Violet Cakes to look forward to (they are a mere 15-minute train away!)