Last But Not Least: Day Twenty-Two

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Our last day. I was wearing my favourite dress today, and it’s now damp and rumpled; a bit like we are. A bit tired and a bit ready to go home, and a bit sad-looking because we’re not ready to say good-bye. Not to those red doubledecker buses, not to the tea, not to the bookshops. Not to each other.

But, my friend, I have loved being on an adventure with you, loved it so much I wished it would never end. But I think you’re fast asleep, and it’s only another three minutes until tomorrow, and this diary is all that’s left of today. A bunch of words that fail to describe a feeling. Like trying to catch a beam of sunlight.

But, friend, I think we caught it.

So let’s just start again.

(Quote: John Green)

Here’s to all the places we went:

Day One: London
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Day Two: London
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Day Three: London
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Day Four: Winchester
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Day Five: Brighton
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Day Six: Stonehenge
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Day Seven: Oxford
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Day Eight: Stratford-Upon-Avon
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Day Nine: Bath
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Day Ten: Cardiff
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Day Eleven: Bristol
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Day Twelve: Cambridge
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Day Thirteen: Cambridge
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Day Fourteen: Norwich
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Day Fifteen: York
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Day Sixteen: Lincoln
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Day Seventeen: Durham
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Day Eighteen: Edinburgh
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Day Nineteen: Loch Ness
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Day Twenty: Glasgow
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Day Twenty-One: St. Andrews
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Day Twenty-Two: London
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Last But Not Least: Day Twenty-One

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So here is where the fairytale happened. Once upon a time (but really, like, ten years ago) an ordinary London girl (or wherever she was from) met a young and handsome prince (handsome-ish, anyway). They went for long strolls along the beach, they had secret rendez-vous’ on the pier, they went book-shopping at the Waterstone’s store on the main road – and he made her laugh so that she would fall in love with him, but everytime she laughed it was him that fell in love.

I like to believe that’s how it went. That it wasn’t just a pretty girl in her underwear that caught his eye, and that it wasn’t just the prospect of a castle that made him attractive. I like to believe that it was this place that made them right for each other.

I like to believe that today we went somewhere where fairytales are still possible.

(Quote: Maggie Stiefvater)

Last But Not Least: Day Twenty

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All the people that we watched from the inside today;
Where were they headed? Where do they live? What did they think of the weather, ever changing, ever so unreliable?

All the people that walked past us this afternoon;
Do they think happy thoughts? Have they ever read a story by Dr. Seuss? Have they laughed today?

All those people that we saw and that will never know they were seen;
Maybe a friend walked past, one which I haven’t yet met. Maybe the tired-looking woman with the groceries knows the secret of life; but now she’ll never tell. Maybe the school children would have listened to my stories; now they won’t care.

And it makes me think of all those chances that we miss
By not talking to the people that pass us by.

(Quote: Mike Rosenberg)

Last But Not Least: Day Nineteen

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It’s the Highlands. They make you think there might just be a monster lurking somewhere. They make you think all sorts of things beyond reason. The names of the towns we pass sound like magic spells. It’s wonderful.

Last But Not Least: Day Eighteen

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You’d think The Elephant House were holding more magic.
But apparently the magician was finished with her spells and took her wand and wonders with her when she left. Not even the faintest trace of pixie dust stayed on the old wooden floors, and even if there had – it would be gone now. Stamped down by Japanese pilgrims, by hordes of noisy tourists, by trompeting Potterheads, all in search for something, anything to prove that magic has been created here.

We didn’t see any of it there. I think we found it an hour later at a small bookshop called The Edinburgh Bookshop. Magic needs the quiet, I think. It needs the pages of a book to come to life.

(Quote: Lucy Maud Montgomery)

Meet: Ayden

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Ayden in three words: Bubbly, Loving, Organised
Ayden’s dream dinner party guests: Katie Perry, Banksy, Tim Burton
Ayden’s favourite posts: My Tattoo Tour, Family Portrait
Ayden reads: A Rosie Outlook, Miss Westend Girl, From Gem With Love

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While in Glasgow I met up with the gorgeous Ayden from the Little Blog of Horrors. We had coffee (well, she did – I had the best Chai Latte everrr!) in a café called Tinder Box (they didn’t bribe me, their Chai was truly amazing!). Ayden is a very upbeat lady who started her blog way back at uni where she was supposed to write about her experiences and reflections, and somehow she never stopped. Her blog, The little Blog of Horrors, talks about all the bits and bobs of everyday life – holidays, make-up, cats, tattoos… it is basically a «big old collection of everything,» as she puts it. «I suffer from anxiety a lot,» she says, «and that is a topic I would very much like to talk about in one of my future posts. If I could help anybody get through it by sharing my own experiences, that would be wonderful!»

Ayden’s most loyal reader is her boyfriend who proofreads each of her posts. «He’s my blog secretary,» she jokes. But then again she pressures that her blog is all about her enjoying it. While for now it’s «just» a part time hobby, whether or not she’ll one day do it full time, Ayden is still unsure. «I’m loving what I’m doing and that is the main thing I never want to change. What is the point in doing something if you hate it? People, they wait a lifetime for happiness, and they just don’t realise that happiness is the journey and not the destination – I think that’s something I would like to say to everybody!» She takes a sip from her coffee and sheepishly adds, «Also, eat a meal without taking a picture first!» That actually makes me blush, because if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I can hardly have an early morning snuggle with my cat without having the whole world know – let alone eat cake! But on that note I put her to the test: Belgian chocolate or Swiss chocolate? There is only one real answer (don’t give me evils, you know it’s true!). Ayden couldn’t have answered in a better way: «Swiss chocolate! Because I tried Belgian chocolate when I went to Belgium last year and it made me sick!»

When talking about food I always remember that one quote from John Green that says, «like God Himself cooked heaven into a series of five dishes»; Ayden is one of the lucky few to have tasted something that deserves this divine description. «It’s got to be my mum’s Christmas dinner! She does a beautiful beef filet with mashed potatoes, and oh god! It’s so delicious that I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday when I tried to win him over!» And obviously she succeeded, so hand over the recipe already, Ayden!

Being quite the adventurer it doesn’t come as a surprise that Ayden loves Adventure Time. If, like me, you have lived behind the moon for the past years and don’t know what in the name of sanity Adventure Time is – it’s a comic. It features a dog. Ask Ayden, she knows all about it! Make her summarise it. Or act it out. What I learned from her that day is that there are two main characters called Finn and Jake the Dog, and they go on adventures together, and if she could make them come to life, Ayden would join them, and they would give her advice on life and on how to be happy! Now I want to meet them to! Although, talking to Ayden, she doesn’t sound like somebody who needs to be taken on an adventure, she seems to be doing fine on her own! «A while ago I went surfing in Cornwall,» she remembers. «Suddenly the water went very still and it got really dark and the sky just lit up! I thought I was going to die out there, but at the same time it was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced!»

There is an utter genuity about Ayden; «I love the word Irie,» she tells me. «It’s Jamaican and it kinda means “all right”. It’s just a very positive word, and that is something I want to hang on to in spite of all my struggles: Positiveness!»