That Island

It was over a month ago that I went there. Over a month ago since I returned. It was only 4 nights. Only 5 days.
But that island. That little island in the middle of the Irish sea. There is something so special about it.
I didn't expect to fall in love with it as much as I did. I didn't expect to still be thinking about it, and wanting to be there, to relive it all a month on.
I didn't expect it to be in my mind every day.

I wrote a diary whilst I was there. Each day has pages and pages of happiness and the most incredible memories. I planned to blog about it, because part of me wanted to share it. All of me wanted to share it. To shout about how incredible and amazing it was.
But then, I wanted to keep it to myself. I selfishly don't want other people to want to experience it too. I want it to be my thing. Even though part of me feels like I stole it from my brother, or I have tried to overshadow what it means to my brother.
But that's not the case. I will be forever grateful to him for introducing me not only to the island, but to the TT. To that indescribable atmosphere. Because of him I have the most amazing memories, and I still feel what it was like to hear the bikes go past. That feeling that pounds in your heart, in your head and all over your body.

So often I sit and although physically I am here, mentally I am back there. I am in that hot tent, waking up to my brothers voice as he tells me he's going for a lap on his bike. Then, I wake up again as he tells me to have my coffee and tells me the plans for the day and as he wonders where we will watch the practice races from that evening. I sit and listen to the radio with him. The mountain road is closed...again.
I hear sirens. I hear bikes.
I listen to the man in the tent nearby as he discusses, in detail, for a lengthy time how he is going to go for a "GoPro blast". He talks about it for so long that I almost want to tell him to just go, before the roads close for the practice run.

I eventually step out of the tent and I look around. It's just a rugby pitch, and we are surrounded by tents. I struggle to see another woman. There are some there, not many, but some. It is male dominated. But I don't mind. I don't feel excluded, or like I shouldn't be there. I don't feel out of place.
I smile at this community. These men, and a few women, who are all here for the same passion. They don't care if you don't know much about bikes. They don't care if you only know the Dunlops, mainly because you fancy William. Or that you have only heard of Guy Martin because of his tv series on Channel 4 and because his merchandise is everywhere. You are there. You are experiencing this with them. And that counts. That matters.

Mentally I am on the back of my brothers bike still. I am holding on tight, looking around and taking in the most magnificent scenery. I have my brothers voice in my head "When we go past crowds make sure you look cool", and yes, I pout a little bit and try to make sure that my resting face isn't one that could look like I am scared. Because I am not. I trust my brother, and I want everyone to know that.
Mentally we are exploring those special places on the island. We are sat in the pub in Peel eating a wonderful lunch. And I am sat there feeling like I don't deserve to be there. I sit there and I look at him and I wonder why he invited me. I wonder if he regrets it.
But I also sit there and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I want everyone to know I am there with my brother. That he invited me. That he wanted to share this with me. Because he knew I would love it.

Mentally I am there, on the first night. They tell me the bikes are now coming. And I am having that panic attack again.
I am being comforted by my brother. And by the friend we had made. I am overwhelmed by the experience, without the bikes even going past. And then there is one, and another, and another. And I get it.
I get it.
I understand why he loves it so much.
I understand the obsession with watching the Youtube videos. I get the goosebumps. I get it all.

Mentally, I never left. And I don't think I ever will.

That island. The Isle of Man. Has stolen my heart.
And despite the fact I have been lucky enough to visit other countries and cities in the world I don't think any has made me feel the way the Isle of Man did.

I wanted to write about it, and I managed a few posts, until I froze. Because I realised, writing about it, means it's over. It is proof that those memories, of TT 2015, are just that. Memories. They are something I experienced. Past tense. And I can't go back. I don't want to accept that. I want to keep them there, in my head, for as long as I can.
If I write about them, then they may not be as fresh as they still are.
If I take the photos off my SD card and stick them in a file and a folder on my laptop then I am accepting that it's done. It's over.
Until next year?
It can't come soon enough.


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