Turn Left at The Bakery

Come and take a journey with me ...


This morning I passed a well known Dept store in Oxford Street,I walked around the back on my way towards Harley Street , and on the way  was immediately drawn to a beautiful window display of room diffusers and  scented candles( not that I could smell them through  the glass, but the whole ambiance was of sheer serenity)Above this rather attractive display hung the most stunning photograph of a calm sea, over which was written ;

” A Life without love is like a year without a Summer”

I really liked that, and immediately caught the fastest mode of transport to that place where I keep meaning to buy my cottage-“Imagination” a place I go to  so often.

So….”A Year without a Summer”…that’s a pretty grim thought don’t you think,as from the beginning of February half of the British population (whose favorite topic of conversation is of course “The Weather”,)  are peppering their sentences with ” Roll on Summer, I’m sick of these dark mornings!”

Half the year is spent looking forward to the so called “Summer” and the other 6 months reminiscing how awful Summer was and how we didn’t really have a ” proper one”!

But we’re not really talking about Summer are we, we’re talking about Love here.

A well known actor, many years ago who was enjoying huge success in the West End,once said to me,” Success is wonderful, but it doesn’t mean the same when there is no one to share it with” (indicating a lack of Love,) a quote that had been told to him by actress Evelyn Laye. Another quote, Esther Rantzen said only recently ” I have plenty of people to do something with, but no one to do nothing with ”

All poignant words  pointing to this ” Lack of Love”So what difference does Love make?, and what is it ?this emotion that is likened to “Summer.”

A little while ago I was clearing out a top cupboard and found a bundle of letters,all tied up with a red ribbon,which I had forgotten all about,love letters from 2 relationships,some from 20 years ago… That was the end of clearing for the afternoon! ….I sat on the floor and read every letter, and was immediately transported back to those moments,so long ago,memories that had faded with the passage of time, once again became colourful and vivid,every emotion held in time,  forever, on a worn page…the only remnant of the love that faded.

I too remembered writing letters,letters that were so special, even choosing the paper was special, I used to buy it in individual sheets, with a matching envelope,every one a different colour,chosen so carefully,so it would be  perfect ,and pour out words of Love, in special black ink….words that were so deep and so meaningful….once…

I wonder if they too have kept them?

What ever happened to letters? not circulars,hand written real letters? why has something so cherished and lovely all but disappeared? Now,to say something special its a yellow round turnip -like  emoji spitting out a red heart…in place with one click… on a phone!! and come the end of a phone contract…that’s the end of ” The Sonnet of Emoji”… gone, whereas,in a letter, the Love may have long ago died, but in those pages, the memory lingers, one can still smell the perfume of the moment….those words are there for always and can be read and re read, time and time again.

I still like letters, I don’t write many,mainly thank you ones , sympathy ones etc, that sort of thing,but I do love them.

I’ve gone off up” tangent street” again, haven’t I ,and still haven’t defined what Love is.

I have asked a few people and it has varied from person to person,companionship, friendship, passion,loving someone more than you love yourself,putting someone first,  having “that someone” who makes any day special, and so it goes on.

But back to me for a moment,( you don’t mind do you?)and this is quite strange.

Twenty two years ago I was getting over a broken heart,so decided I may as well be miserable in Greece rather than in London, so my sister and I booked a week in Corfu at a remote villa,  the month was October.

Whilst at the villa, wallowing in my sorrow, I picked up a book, ” The Bridge Across Forever” by Richard Bach(same author as Jonathan Livingston Seagull)

I liked the preface ” If you’ve ever felt alone in a world of strangers, missing someone you’ve never met, you’ll find a message from your love in The Bridge Across Forever”

I was hooked already and read it from cover to cover.Whilst reading that book,I read a page that stopped me in my tracks, I thought it was one of the loveliest descriptions  of Love I had ever read,and I made a promise that one day, I would  say those words to the person I had waited all my life to find.This was  exactly how I saw Love, and so wanted it to be.

I returned home to London,  and immediately bought the book, then lent it to someone,and never ever got it back, but despite the passage of time, I never ever forgot that piece….so it was with amazement that only 3 weeks ago, I saw the book in the window of a second hand shop in Marylebone High Street.

It felt as though a lover had returned to me, I was reunited with ” my words “and I had even remembered the page number from all those years ago ……388.

These are the words of Richard Bach that have stayed with me;

“Four years later, we got to know each other,and all at once we were best friends. The more I knew him, the more I admired him, the more I thought what a truly wonderful person he is!” That’s a key, look for a love affair that gets better with time,admiration brightening,trust that grows through storms.With this one man, I saw intense intimacy and joy were possible for me.

I used to think those were my own special needs, my personal sign of a soulmate. Now I think they may be everyone’s, but that we despair of finding them,we try to settle for less.Yet in our hearts we know that luke warm will turn cold;mild happiness will become a nameless sadness. In our hearts we know there must be more, and we long for the one we never found.

So often half a couple is trying to go up, the other half is dragging down. One walks forward,the other makes sure that for every two steps ahead, they take three steps back. Better to learn happiness alone, I thought, love my friends,better to wait for a soulmate who never comes, than to make that dull compromise.”( And this following, is the piece I have so loved for 22 years)

“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys,and keys that fit our locks.When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are;we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be.Each unveils the best part of the other.No matter what else goes wrong around us,with that one person,we’re safe in our own paradise.Our soulmate is someone who shares our spiritual soul,our emotional depth,our deepest longings,our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons and together the direction is up,chances are we’ve found the right person.Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life”

That to me is Love….(and that passage still makes me cry!!)

And a year without that… would definitely be a” Year without a Summer”



Sparkle and smile,


Millie xx


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