Week 35. My cousin Hiten and I headed out after breakfast at my Mama and Mami’s house in Ipswich (I’m in England right now, visiting my grandparents and cousins and nieces and nephews). It was a cloudy day but warm, and it was nice being in his company, since it had been awhile since we had spent a day together. He is someone that really gets me, and always has, along with my cousin Krupa who somehow seems to know what I’m thinking and totally relates to my journey. We walked to the docks area and it was gorgeous. The boats reminded me of the Toronto harbourfront area, which is close to my heart and I’ve been missing so much lately. At one point I started to tear up a little when talking about how my Dad had offered to pay for my flight to Iceland (gratitude always makes me cry), and he was ok with my crying although he might’ve said that I can’t keep on crying forever. He said “Have you ever thought about just living? – you know without all this other stuff?”. Ummm isn’t that what I’m doing? How could I not be living? Living happily is a different story I guess. Like right now I’m sitting at my cousin Vanisha’s computer, upstairs in her son’s room, while my Mom and Masi and Kumar sit downstairs and I can smell the masala tea and I can’t wait to go down and join them. Just have to finish this post first by 2pm.

We walked into town and I was pleasantly surprised by all the cute little shops and cafes. Ipswich is clearly under-rated. We sat at a Starbucks and I got a latte, he got a frappucino, and we sat outside and talked about volunteering and a wonderful organization called International Volunteer HQ that does short-term volunteer placements around the world. Here is a pic of him representing the organization. Doesn’t he look great?!

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We wandered to the shops and inside the churches and the light from outside streamed ethereally through the stained glass. Hiten said that he had been going to the pub just outside the church with his mates (that is British for ‘friends’) since he was young, yet he had never gone inside the church. We were both taken aback by its beauty. The church is now  a cafeteria and there was a man there who explained the meaning of the beautiful  images at the back – it was the story of Jesus, from his birth to his death to his resurrection. Here is the scene, although you can’t really make it out. I wish I’d taken one closer up!

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The story of Jesus, Church of Ipswich

We continued walking, passing by some of the pigs that have overtaken the city. There is a Pigs Gone Wild app that you can download and scan the code at each pig that you encounter. All the proceeds go to the St. Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.

We wandered into the sweet shops, took in the sounds of the street performers, and at one point I started to sing too. I told Hiten that it helps me access my heartache, and it was amazing how I felt comfortable enough to sing “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone” and Sam Smith’s “I’m not the only one”, and some of Adelle’s Hello. Singing helps me to access my joy too! (yes it’s in there). We continued along and found an eclectic furniture store and I commented on how I would buy everything in there to decorate my own place. It is called The House In Town and is owned by John Manning, a jolly chap who selects all the pieces himself and buys them from all around England. Next door to him is his Mom’s shop, and next to hers is his brother’s shop. He showed us an article written about them that details how the business has been a family affair over the last 20 years. As I wandered through, I was drawn to the paintings of powerful women, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. I admire Audrey so much for her free spirit and humanitarian work she has done throughout her life. She was also very fond of animals, and was even known to sleep with a young deer. As I gazed at her beautiful face, I was reminded of a similar painting I have back in Toronto, hanging behind my door, that I used to see every day before heading out. I’m actually moving out of my place on October 9th! I can’t believe it. I’ve been there for 7 years, so it’s a huge thing. It will be fun packing up all my things and heading towards something new!

On the way home Hiten and I stopped by the park nearby his place, and of course I had to stop and go on the swings. Then we arrived home after a long day, greeted by my Mama and Mami who were wondering what we’d been up to all day.

Overall it was a great day. 🙂  The only thing missing was that I didn’t get a chance to do any reading up on women’s rights and also I had forgotten my book for my walks, but the theme of I AM POWERFUL played in my mind. Ok off to eat now!!

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