Sometimes I feel like my life is one of ridiculous contrasts.
This morning I packed up my rucksack, slung it on my back, pulled another smaller one onto my front, picked up my flowery tent and waddled my way to the Tube station.
Three days earlier, I’d packed a flowery overnight bag, walked down my stairs to be greeted by a chauffeur driven Audi A5.
In my rucksack I’ve packed a bright pink waterproof, walking shoes, a travel towel and various toiletries decanted into small containers.
In my flowery bag I had a posh frock, high heels and hair straighteners.
This morning I took two Tubes and two trains, standard class, to make the three hour journey from London to Cromer, where I’ll meet friends to camp. I bought myself a cup of coffee and a croissant as a treat to have on the journey. I have an inflatable mattress, my sleeping bag and a spare pair of socks in case I get cold.
On Wednesday, I arrived at Gatwick airport, walked through security and settled myself in the business lounge, drinking free coffee until my flight was called. I flew club class, was served complimentary wine with my meal, and at Venice airport when we landed, I was greeted by a man who carried my luggage for me to a water taxi. He took me to my hotel which was right next to St Mark’s Square. In my room was a large flat screen tv, a king size bed and air conditioning.
Today I need to buy more supplies but in my bag I’ve got a bag of pasta, some porridge, two cooked sausages and some tea bags.
On Wednesday, in the evening, I went in my frock to a drinks reception where we drank Bellinis and champagne, and were then served exquisite miniature plates of seafood and risotto.
I plan to lollop a lot this weekend, see my grandad, read a book, pick some fruit and enjoy being outdoors. I’ll be my own person and wear flip flops and shorts and enjoy my leisure.
In Venice, I wandered round the previews of the architecture biennale, trying to think of intelligent and thoughtful things to say to the very lovey clique of architecture and design journalists who surrounded me about the exhibitions we looked at.
When I got back last night, I got changed and walked across the road to lastyeargirl and RH’s birthday bash at Balham Bowls Club.
Earlier in the day I’d been picked up at the airport and was chauffeur driven to the fairly grand wedding of a friend in South Kensington…
How is it that both of these are my real life? Hopefully the contrasts will keep me grateful – for free flights to beautiful places, for posh dinners and posh frocks, for chauffeurs and public transport, for sunshine and fresh air, for my flowery tent and my flowery bag.