I’ve never actually stopped being in contact with Harriet. We speak regularly, and she stays with me whenever she comes down to London. She is my closest friend, by trade she is an Artist but she is also one in her heart and soul. We have always been connected through our love of the creative, but it’s also because of her I met the love of my life. Her friendship has brought rich and vibrant colours to my life.
I’ve just never been to her house since she left London five years ago. Not once. Ever.
She was the first friend to get back to me with a date and insisted I stay with her and not at a nearby B&B as I had suggested. So, this Saturday S and my baby girl drove 107 miles to my dear friend’s house in the coastal town of Bournemouth.
I avoided driving all together when Rebecca was born because she used to scream like I was torturing her which resulted in me becoming a nervous wreck who walked everywhere. It was the first time S and I were doing this sort of drive with a toddler but we had planned to stop at service stations as many times as needed until we got there because we were determined to do one thing ..and that was to get there!
Rebecca it turned out loved the drive and we pulled up outside Harriet’s house with her standing at the door laughing and waving in excitement to us. And here I was, five years later outside the home my dear friend had dreamt and created. We had had conversations about it, and in many ways it was for me like I had stepped into a dream. I knew this place. I just hadn’t been here yet in physical form.
Harriet showed me around and I felt proud of what she and her husband had built and designed. And then she took me into her studio and I felt tears begin to fill my eyes. Light poured into this creative hub of hers, and in its centre was a portrait photograph of her beautiful mother who had passed away when Harriet was very young, and behind that photo to the left was a painting of a small baby at the foot of a tree, at the feet of Mother Earth. Her studio breathed a maternal, creative, wise energy, and I couldn’t help but be moved to be standing in its glow. This room was my artist friend personified and I had waited far too long to be in it.
‘It’s such a beautiful space.’ I said to her, my words unable to capture its presence.
‘Thank you.’ she smiled. There were no other words needed in this space, as the space said it all.
That evening Harriet cooked us a gorgeous lamb tagine, and while Rebecca laughed and played around the table we talked about life and friendship.
Bournemouth is a pretty, quirky and fun seaside town but travelling to my friend living here was the most joyful and moving start to my friend travels.