Where were we? Oh yes. Sitting alone in Jane’s flat, talking to Prue. Well, you know, for all I like my own company, sometimes I do get a bit lonely. And that week was very very strange. Okay, let's be honest, I was pretty low. But you can't give up, right? You can't just throw in the towel and...give up. Surely, I thought, there is some kind of balance? Some way of living that lies between monastic solitude and…babble?
And then an email pinged in. Would I like to go to a yoga retreat in southern France? I idly clicked on the website and…wow! It looked stunning. Stylish yet in an insouciant, easygoing way. And...yoga and meditation and raw vegan food and sunshine and hammocks and snugly throws and fires and lakes and big baths and and and...
But…but…but… it was only a few weeks away and the calendar was, to my memory, busy, busy, busy. Not with my stuff, I hasten to add, but Adrian’s. And we make a point of always having one or other of us at home with James. So I flicked through the pages of my diary and…well, well, well… that week was totally, perfectly, bizarrely clear. But…but…but…I couldn’t afford the flight. Except…oh my, I was being offered £50 towards travel and…would you believe it, there was a flight from Bristol for…yup… £50.
Now, whether you believe in synchronicity or not; in Fate or not; in pure damn luck or not…there it was. And, really, you can't tell the universe to piss off, can you? It would be rude. So I said Yes. Of course I did. But, by the time I got to Bristol airport I was wondering…why? Why do I keep travelling? Am I just running away? Is it just distraction? Of course. In part. But then again, I try to keep myself open to life, to new experiences, to different places and times and people. It’s too easy to hide away. In the mean time.
So I flew to Toulouse. For, after all, there was nothing to lose. And there, at the airport, was a woman with a sign.
And we drove, fast, far, free…and then we arrived at a small bastide town, plunged down a narrow alleyway and parked by a big high wall by a river. And Gertrud opened a door in the wall and I walked through…into another world, something rather magical. Like Alice tumbling down her rabbit hole. Like Tom waking into his midnight garden. Like Lucy plunging through the fur coats in the wardrobe...
I'll be writing up my full report on Yobaba Lounge for Queen of Retreats but...you know, sometimes it's hard to put things into words so I'm loosening up here.