You confidently walk through the darkness with your shoulders back and head up, sure of the final destination and content with the route you’re taking. You believe everything is as good as it can be, until you become aware of something a couple of metres behind you. It probably won’t do you any harm but your heart races anyway. You choose to ignore it… that was a bad idea. It jumps you when you’re vulnerable and its full weight drags you back and you crash to the floor. You pull down the hood and it’s adulthood slyly looking down at you.
You can be 19, 22 or 34 before you realize that adulthood has hit you. Some people say “shit, all of my friends are having children, that’s adulthood!” but that doesn’t really apply to me because women the same age as me were having children in school. Adulthood hit me personally, when I stepped through the tiny mahogany-tinged wooden door – of which my hair had just brushed the top of the frame – to the first house my best friend had rented. We’d just spent 2 hours chugging along in her tiny yellow car from Devon down to Cornwall, where her new house is, trapped under boxes, bags, clothes and suitcases that were full of wedding decorations. Oh yeah, as if her moving into her own house wasn’t adult-y enough she was set to get married the next day. Yeah adulthood, disgusting right?
Liv’s house is small and intimate but ever so beautiful. It’s open plan; the wall that separates the bedroom and kitchen doesn’t quite reach the ceiling and it’s bordered with was looks like a fat branch from the whomping willow. Then open space meant that the uncontrollable laughter from Liv and Tash carried itself into the living room where I’d set up camp for the night. Liv, Lex, Tash, Josh and I shared a relaxing 30 minutes of sipping tea and eating breakfast before we had to get our asses into gear and head down to the wedding venue, which is a little deeper into Cornwall.
The venue was so adorable – the entire place was built with grey stone which suggested that it could flexibly host any couple’s wedding theme; there was an open hut which housed a tall stack of hay bales that sat next to a small pond. The ceremony area was in what felt like the loft of the building, the walls on the inside matched the grey stone walls on the outside, small square windows politely invited the natural light into the room, light wooded beams danced across the ceiling in triangular form and a rectangular table sat in front of a tall window – a perfect stage for the newly weds to sign the marital contract.
Liv’s wedding didn’t have an definite theme, in a “traditional” way anyway. 90% of the decorations were hand-crafted by herself and the girls, they didn’t exactly correlate but somehow fit together perfectly – like balloon baskets that carried fuschia pink flowers inside which, at last minute, were surrounded by green and white pom poms that Anna and her mum had handmade. There were metallic apples, jars of grey pebbles, white blossoms, sunflowers, brown bunting, white bunting… but it all just came together so perfectly. Much like the day.
You know how with most weddings at least one thing goes wrong, whether small or fucking HUGE something just ALWAYS does. But nope, nothing for Liv and Lex, zilch. I’m a little surprised because Liv is incredibly clumsy, so I was at least expecting a trip down the aisle or something. Liv, Hannah, Sophie and Anna, myself, Tash and the little ones were all cubbied out at the back of the space behind just a curtain when a violin acoustic of “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman began to play. And that was the cue to get this day GOING. As we took our seats I stole a glance at my parents, Mum was fucking blubbering… not my Dad, which is what I expected, my Mum. What. A Mess. I thought. Then the registrar began to speak and I longingly looked at these two beautiful humans and tears began to roll down my face. Their love just radiates from their bodies and bounces between one another just like the heat forms some sort of blurry wave against burning tarmac. They are gorgeous, happy and so so perfect for each other. So yeah, I sobbed. Liv’s Mum looked at me and laughed.
As the day pressed on the group of bridesmaids, groomsmen, friends and the newly wed couple got more and more intoxicated, meaning that when it reached that point where all family guests dispersed WE WERE FUCKING HAMMERED. The 15 of us took to the dancefloor and Dad danced, crazy danced and danced off. It was like being 18 again on The Club dancefloor, although less of the alcoholic stick, living our best life with no cares in the world. Until the next morning when we had to clean the house!
I don’t wanna explain too much because I feel that the photos should speak to you for themselves.
The days following the wedding did not calm down at all, each day I had planned to meet at least 2 people. It was tiring but it realisation hit me like a swatter to a fly. I knew I had people who loved and cherished me at home, but not quite so many. On Saturday I met with Netty and Dawn, two wonderful neighbours who I got to know over the bar and serving them Smirnoff and Coke, and we shared an afternoon of drinking in celebration of Net’s birthday. They opened my eyes to a new world of flavoured gin, and oh what a beautiful fucking world that is… rainbows and sparkles and unicorns and fairies of flavours dancing down my esophagus and intoxicating my bloodstream. It was a downward hill from there. No, I’m kidding, although I’m surprised it wasn’t a downward hill because that’s how most of my nights out end.
I grabbed a surfboard and ride the wave of a night out in Ilfracombe. I had a right ol’ boogie in The Liberal for the first 40 minutes of the Motown act with all of the locals, it felt so liberating to just be grasped in that moment of happiness with a bunch of friends I’d previously considered as customers. After this I found Matt and Jack, who I’d reffered to in my previous England post… I think I also mentioned going out with them too? Well, this is that time. We somehow ended up in DJ’s, which without sounding offensive, was the last place I imagined I’d be with 2 men over the age of 40, Jack and his cousin Tom because it’s DJ’s. It’s full of people limboing between going somewhere after or calling it a night, most of which are now baby faced cherubs I remember seeing in school uniform a few years ago.
So, I’ve got a drink in hand and I’m looking over the DJ’s balcony and of course I’m getting looks that don’t seem very welcoming from people down below. Why? You fucking tell me. I’m bored of it, I’ve been away for 8 fucking months I’m living a new life, started a fresh 4000 miles away from your existence, give the fuck over. N. E. WAY. I’m looking over the DJ’s balcony and there I see this half giant dancing like a twat surrounded by other half giants… AH my brother and his friends. WAIT WTF. I turn to Jack “one moment” and dart down the stairs and push myself in between the space they’ve claimed their own on the dancefloor. Dancing with my not-so-little little brother and his giant friends was so incredibly fun, mind you it made me feel so bloody old but we definitely bonded over terrible dance moves.
Somehow I got caught in the flow of the crowd moving towards Digz, previously named The Club. Yes, the one and only nightclub in my small seaside town used to be called The Club, creative right? Not much has really changed in there – same faces, behind the bar and on the dance floor, same layout, and the same cheesy music. I don’t remember much of being in there, classic fucking Jodie, it’s like it hits 12:30am/1am and my brain disassociates itself from my body and I lose all recollection of what happens. This happened on my birthday here in China, which I will update you on soon, it’s a great story I promise.
Those friends who I said were previously named my customers? Well, I met with some of them on the second Monday I was home, obviously in The Liberal with a violet flavoured G&T. I used to work the lunchtime shifts and so the same group of people would come in for drinks and that’s how I bonded with them. Pauline loves a good natter about women’s stuff, so of course we began gossiping about the ex and then she gave me some advice on the person I mentioned in my previous post. Kim, bless her plastic supportive robotic sock, is currently wheelchair bound because she broke a several bones in her foot. She’s in so much pain and I’m not surprised. George showed us some pictures of what her foot looks like and I didn’t even realise our bodies could turn such a dark colour when bruised. It makes my foot feel funny just thinking about it.
My home is truly a beautiful place, especially when the blue sky umbrellas over the town and the sun reflects off of the high risen sea that carries small boats with boaty kinds of names. It’s full of people who, yes at times can be incredibly nosey, smile at you as you pass them in the street, converse with you in small coffee shops, and genuinely care about how you are doing. That’s the beauty of it.
I had the most amazing several days at home, a lot of the time I found myself bursting into tears and thinking “why am I in China? There could be something here!” Being around friends, family, this person… there was just this sinking feeling inside of me that didn’t want to come back. However, this isn’t truly what it is like at home, these were just 10 emotionally heightened days full of love, laughter and happiness because I’d been away for so long. In reality it’s working 5 days a week, friends rarely finding time to see me, feeling lonely, not utilizing my capability or creativity in the arts. In reality, England does not feel like the place I want to build a future and if it was, that future certainly wouldn’t be in Ilfracombe.