"The dream is always bigger than the reality. That's what keeps us going - trying to match the dream." Andrew James Gibson.
In six months' time, the dream gets real. We'll be on a plane for Paris.
Back in January when we booked our tickets, I cast my vision forward to this day and through that misty, soft-focus lens I felt the shiver of anticipation of when I could at last say 'In six months' time we'll be on a plane to Paris'.
Oh, much, much more mundane unfortunately.
I've spent the past week packing up a house, lugging furniture, and unpacking in the new house. I have major projects underway at work, and assignments due at uni. He For Whom I have Forsaken All Others is working away for ten weeks. Our 11 year old son has almost as much study to do as me.
What is with this business of real life getting in the way of my fantasy???
Packing to move house is Boring and should be Someone Else's Job. Packing for travel is equally boring and, I have to admit, infinitely more stressful for one as Vain and Shallow as I - because my vision, you see, is that I must look like a young(ish) Audrey Hepburn everywhere I go. I won't, of course, I know that. Quite conveniently, the gap between what I know and what my vision is will determine what I buy once we get there. Said vanity has also ensured I research thoroughly, and have come across fantastic blogs with practical and stylish advice.
I have another vision with which I play on days like these when it all seems so far away. One of the movies I run in my head involves Mark & I having at least one of these moments in Paris (not sure where our son is in this scenario...let's assume he's taking the photo, because it isn't real if there's no photo to upload onto to Facebook or our Blog).
As I've been writing this, I realise my entire view of Paris is outlined by my teenage dreams, filled in by images such as Doisneau's and movies like Sabrina (the original) and bought to life by my years of high-school French. My Grown Up Brain is aware it won't always match the dream. I'm quite comfortable with that actually, because just the fact that I'll be in Paris and will be able to experience the difference between fact and fantasy - that's action and dreams being woven together.
While I have no doubt there'll be very little of the England of my romantically-Jane-Austen-Shakespearean-Sonnets-inspired days (the only reference to Jane Austen Mark finds acceptable is Pride & Prejudice & Zombies), I'll still find the romance, darnit! Even if we don't visit Derbyshire estates with staircases down which I can gracefully descend (or based on my previous experiences, down which I can loudly fall), I'll walk along the street my husband lived as a child, and as we journey through the UK I'll develop a better understanding of his people and by extension, of him.
Eight years ago one of the artists of this masterpiece and I started loosely dreaming of a Christmas together:
By 'artists', I mean finger-painters and by 'loosely', I mean we both made vague, non-committal statements like 'you should come here for Christmas' 'yeah, that would be great'...(rinse and repeat on a semi-annual basis). This year, it's really happening. We will spend Christmas with our questionably artistic friends, and the experiences we will share will exceed my dreams...I know this because the beautiful Miia has told me she has castle plans, wild wintry moor walk plans, hot chocolate in country pub plans, Christingle service plans and mulled wine plans - all things an English Christmas (in my mind anyway) should have.
The truth is, for all my self-absorbed movies-in-my-mind where I'm the star in Paris or Rome or Edinburgh, no matter where we go and what 'things' we see; its the people we're with who make the reality better than the dream.
Although it must be said that in those movies, I am fabulous.