I love Thanksgiving. I mean I’ve never sat down and had a Thanksgiving dinner or anything but as celebrations go, Thanksgiving seems to me to be one of the better American traditions. It beats Christmas (stress of present buying, annoying Christmas tunes on the radio, Queen’s speech) and Easter (guilt at eating chocolate to celebrate a man being crucified) and Halloween (shit I have to come up with another costume). Thanksgiving seems a lot more humble and honest. Less consumer driven. And less costume-focussed.
Anyway, even though we’re not American, Alula is starting to sound like one and we’re the only British people we know in town, so I’m going all out and adopting Thanksgiving this year.
Here’s my list of things I’m thankful for:
1. Living in Bali not South East London
I give thanks every single day (as I machete open coconuts and stare at the rice paddies and order up another massage) that we live here. I drive John mad by my daily announcement; ‘Can you believe we live here, that this is our life? We could still be living in Beckenham you know…(pause for horror to sink in)?’ I feel incredibly blessed we have found this unique and magical spot on the globe.
2. For having a husband who believed in outrageous potential
John and I often comment on how we wouldn’t be here without the other. I had the urge to travel and have adventures but John was the one who ultimately suggested we cut the safety net tying us to jobs and country and just go and see what happened. He’s the one who tirelessly believed in outrageous potential…while I’d ask him every five minutes in those early months ‘are we going to be OK?’
His unfailing ability to nod and say yes saw us through some lean months (as did his ability to nab amazing design jobs all around the world and therefore keep us afloat as my meager writing advances trickled in).
3. For having fans!
Yeah! Really! I get fan mail. Me. Actual fan mail. Really lovely, gushy letters from people who’ve read my books and think they’re the best things since sliced bread, and who go and tell all their friends to read them too! It’s amazing. And everyday when I wake up to them I smile because what a wonderful incredible thing! Except if it’s another one from the stalker who’s turning into a miniature Kathy Bates. But hey ho, can’t have everything. And it really is incredible to make a living from doing something that makes people so happy!
4. For having a daughter like Alula
With her Scooby Doo obsession and incredible imagination who fights with passion and loves with intensity and laughs like a witch and who at just 6 turned to me after I made a wish for ‘love, joy and abundance’ and said, ‘But mummy, we have all those things! You wasted a wish!’
5. For family & friends
This year has been a year of friendships – from meeting up in New York with dear friends to hanging in London with oldies and besties, and seeing family and nephews and new niece and collaborating from afar with fellow writers. I love it that as I grow older my friendship circles grow and bloom too, rather than withering and dying as I think can often happen. (And if any of you read this, my birthday is Sunday and what I would adore more than anything is an email from each and everyone of you so I don’t start to miss you too much.)
Also grateful for: ice cream, cacao pow balls, being given the chance to work on the Hunting Lila screenplay, selling two more books, dancewalk buddies, pilates, chocolate, coconuts and massage.