It’s Friday, and I run through a cloudy-grey Knole Park feeling sluggish. So I cheer myself along by composing a ridiculous poem about the stye in my left eye. Never to be reproduced outside my head, the “poem” struggles to rhyme spectacles with anything, but succeeds in carrying me to a fine cup of coffee.
(By the way: for all you clever rhyming people out there – ventricles and tentacles just don’t work with the subject matter).
As I sit cradling my hot brew, my phone pings a photo bringing blinding sunshine from Sevilla airport. My poor left eye blinks back a tear. My husband has landed – lucky thing.
I drain the last dregs of coffee, then trudge home, flecks of mud streaking my legs.
Ping. Another photo ushers in the elegance of sun-drenched Plaza del Triunfo.
At home I attack the laundry pile, stare at the collective mess of my kids’ rooms, and peer in the mirror to see my stye growing bigger.
Ping. Ping. Ping.
I pause to reflect on my own photos taken today – Knole Park may not be as bright as Sevilla, but it has leaf-strewn hills and textured tufts of grass …
… a cool look-out post called Sniper’s Stump and fantastically fingered trees …
Somehow the whole weekend stretches into a probing exercise of: is the grass always greener?
Sevilla has trees of oranges, we have a newly purple hyacinth.
Sevilla has segway tours, we have trampolining kids.
Aren’t our deer a match for Sevilla’s horse-drawn carriages?
And how happily we snack on cheesy chorizo baked beans (Spanish-enhanced comfort food) instead of churros.
… the Queen of Tapas messages me later to say that she and my husband have been plotting my very own solo Sevilla jaunt – for the purposes of research, of course – I’d love to see how churros are made, hear the quick finger snapping of flamenco, and further practise my dubious Spanish skills.
As to whether the grass is always greener? This is not an original insight: everyday life is everyday life wherever you are (kids are kids, mess is mess, we all laugh and/or cry, and people suffer from styes in Spain too).
But an escape is always welcome. And not only do I seem to have bagged a break in Sevilla for myself, the fun I’ve had with this weekend’s vicarious travel has also saved you the bother of reading an appalling poem about a sore left eye (and myself the embarrassment). We should probably all count ourselves very lucky.