I remember the day I fell in love with Bristol.
I was 17 and my dad and I had flown down for the day to scope out the city and the University. We found ourselves wandering aimlessly around this brand new place; swallowed up by beautiful architecture, meandering around bustling streets filled with friendly-faced people, gazing at up at the blue sky punctuated by momuments and towers, and admiring the green, open spaces lined with students and families dining al-fresco and lapping up the sunshine.
It truly was love at first sight.
Today, I was going to write about my lazy Sunday baking adventures- custard tart adventures, to be precise. A custard tart is all well and good; comforting, made with love, and unapologetically and wonderfully old-fashioned.
But the tart will have to wait until tomorrow. A chain of events happened yesterday that made me feel happier than a whole custard tart – eaten with my best friends and washed down with buckets of tea – ever could.
Yesterday I was blown away by the kindness of strangers.
I’m at the top of a steep staircase holding a suitcase, and my feet are bigger than each of the steps. I visualise myself tumbling down, screaming uncontrollably, and landing at the bottom with splayed limbs and blood seeping from my head.
Scenarios like this are commonplace in my life. Why? Because – like a lot of people – I’m a worrier. It’s a characteristic I always poked fun of in my mother growing up, as she chewed the skin around her fingers until it bled while contemplating next month’s gas bill. Nowadays, it’s a characteristic that unfortunately unites us – our bi-weekly phone calls frequently peppered with the phrase ‘I don’t know what you worry for’ (that’s northern speak for ‘I don’t know why you’re worrying about that’).