Memory Box

When I moved to Marbella last April, I travelled light.
Extremely, light. I have been known to require a separate car for my luggage, on many occasions. However, the move to Spain was one I was unsure of, so my full wardrobe didn’t arrive with me. The idea to make Spain my base was met with uncertainty over whether it would suit. Meanwhile, life remained busy with social engagements, so I used the stores of Puerto Banùs to fill in the gaps. After long deliberations over Marbella being the right place, my wardrobe and other deliveries arrived in December, but had yet to be opened and arranged.

As it rained, I opened the third box, of eleven, and out fell old photographs and press cuttings. I had to make a gin and tonic. Sitting on my hall floor, surrounded by chaos, I was transported back in time. My mind racing, as I rummaged deeper in the treasure chest. In fairness, the majority of the photos remain a mystery, as my old life was filled with memory loss, rather than memories. Most were taken at parties or fashion shows. Funnily, some were of me on the catwalk. I remember one night being asked to walk in a show, alongside my dear friend, the late, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. I arrived pretty drunk, following a long lunch, to find that Tara had cheekily missed her flight. Told I would have to walk out solo, I froze. A room packed with guests and media, I felt self-aware. I felt wasted. Somehow, the team dressed me and sent out onto a runway that seemed to go on forever.

I stood, dressed in Gucci, legs operating like jelly, and stared out into the darkness. All I could see was the long road ahead. To the sound of Chic, I Want Your Love, I strutted, well, more likely stumbled along. Arriving at the end of the catwalk, I posed for photographers for longer than required. I think I was just relieved to have made it, without falling over. Turning, I bumped straight into the next model, knocking the poor girl off her Fendi heels. Everyone laughed, I died a little, immediately sobered up and we kept going. In life when we mess up, we have to keep going. What’s the alternative? And that’s what we have to do right now-keep going. Writing this, on day 63 of lockdown, I feel confused. With still so much ‘normality’ to return, when and how, will it happen? Who knows, we simply must wake each day, and continue.

While many things feel surreal, still so many people are hoping for a well-earned holiday. Rather than live in limbo, perhaps it’s time to consider spending our chill time closer to home. Possibly, because I live in one of Europe’s busiest tourist destinations, I receive many messages from people, asking if Marbella will reopen and be ready for their planned July visit. Will the airports be operating? Listen, I have absolutely no idea. All I will say is if this is something that’s seriously troubling you, perhaps consider a new plan. In the same way that I may not be able to travel to Italy, France or Ireland, you may not be able to come here. So, I am looking at the option to spend the summer between Marbella and Ibiza.

My family spent a lot of time on Isla Blanca in the late 70s, and this year I imagine it will be a similar vibe. A chilled, relaxed island, rather than a hedonistic party paradise. For me, the updates regarding air travel and border openings feel a little confusing and unsure, so why waste time living in hope? Look at options that are achievable and book them. As I began to open box number four, I realised, that real memories, even when most are a blur, are the best thing we have. This is a good time to sit, think, laugh, and at the end of the day, be grateful. As we’ll be free to make new memories soon

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Written by

Gavin Lambe-Murphy

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