My trip to Portsmouth and Southsea


After finishing a sleep-in shift at work and sliding past after shift questions, I rode a train through the twilight window. The journey was just over two hours from Victoria and the train split in two half way, my carriage carried me to Portsmouth. The sky was hissing with rain and I left home without my umbrella so I had to just take it. The train rocked with Italian teenagers hopping between carriages, singing, chattering to the very last stop.

During this time I read and I wrote. I received Warsan Shire’s Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth two nights ago and I finished it like a glass of wine. I run my finger through my favourite quotes and re-read chapter 4 of The Universe Has Your Back. I wrote thoughts of chaos on the page and then I looked at them with love, like the book said. Thoughts like ‘I am not funny or attractive enough’ became ‘I am a spirited young woman full of mystery and paradox’ and ‘there is something wrong with me’ became ‘I am a flawed human being who fiercely perseveres, often makes mistakes, and there is nothing wrong with that’. It felt as though spells were cast over sad thoughts and sent them to the sea. By the time I arrived I was eager to learn more of this pretty little town. Anca took me to her place where we spoke men and sipped wine and I was wavy after just one glass.


I am on my way back from Portsmouth and I am smitten by Fire & Joy. This blog belongs to a beautiful young mother, writer and photographer named Nirrimi, living in Perth, Australia. She speaks with a transparency I rarely see and I was moved by the way she spoke of her brother who took his life last year. Her honesty tugged at things I thought I had forgotten. When your heart is broken open by honesty it sucks everything in like a vacuum.

Anca and I had cups on cups of vanilla chai and watched the film ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’, it was beautiful and funny and sad all at the same time. I was so pleased I watched it. Anca dreams and writes as I do, that brings a stardust to our friendship, her home feels like I am tiptoeing through Romania; the hospitality, the adornments, the Romanian Love Island lol.

We left at 12 to explore. South sea moves between waves of wind and sunshine. We went to the pebbled beach where I tried to capture the waves in a moment, it was the nearest thing to holding them in my hand. There was a castle and bricks stained with black and a church with a bombed off roof. Looking, walking, talking, this is how we wasted our day. We got lost in all the corners we could find to view the same sea. By a pier with black railings young boys no more than 13 were diving in. There was one who was too afraid.

‘You only live once’ one boy said.

He clung to the edge of the concrete wall with a sense of desire that I relate to. ‘Will you ladies kiss him if he jumps?’ said little Mr Yolo, the frightened boy still stood tense on the edge.

‘Are you crazy? I would do backflips for that.’

I laughed and we kept it moving.


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