14 February, 2011

The Bizarre Fantasy That Came True

The Book Shop WigtownToday's post has the lot: coincidences, instinct, following dreams plus romance and maybe a few lessons for us all.

Jessica Fox, in her mid twenties, lived in Los Angeles and was very much into the business of running her own film production company. However there was a restlessness inside her and also a dream or fantasy.

Jessica's fantasy was to work in a second hand bookshop near to the sea in Scotland. It all seemed crazy but she explained, "I just knew I had to be there, it felt right." So much so that she started sketching scenes from such a life: herself wearing scarves in a bookshop, cycling down to a windswept beach and so on.

Most of us would probably have soon erased such an adventure from our minds, thinking it too far fetched and even perhaps a little too silly. But Jessica stuck with her dreams.

As can happen in life she had the opportunity to take an extended vacation and set about bringing her fantasy to reality.

But where to start? The old favourite Google. She did a search for 'used bookshop Scotland' and Scotland's National Book Town of Wigtown came up. The largest bookshop in the area seemed to be something called, strangely enough, The Book Shop so she sent them an email, together with a photo of herself. She told them how she would like to work for them during her holiday.

A little later there was a reply stating simply, "Tell me about yourself." Jessica thought this would have come from, "a sweet 80 year old grandfather, typing with one finger."

Old booksShe did as requested and the shop's owner, Shaun Bythell, suggested she made her way to Wigtown in time for the local Book Festival. Jessica booked her flight and four weeks later set off for Scotland, though she was beginning to feel a little unsure about what she was doing, "It's one thing to have visions in your head but its another to carry them out. I had come across the world to live in a house of a man I'd never met and in a place I knew nothing about."

Shaun was at the airport to meet her and surprise, surprise he wasn't 80 years old and what's more he had been involved in television production prior to buying the bookshop with the help of a bank loan.

They had lots in common, "He picked me up from the airport and we talked non stop all the way back. I was exhausted from jet lag but we had an instant affinity." Only slight dampener was the fact that Shaun had a girlfriend.

But she hadn't come for romance and when she pulled into Wigtown, "... it was so quaint, surrounded by hills, sea, farms and forest. It was dark but absolutely magical. Going into the bookshop was like walking into a Harry Potter film. There were higgledy-piggledy bookshelves and the rooms kept opening into more rooms, with secret doors and creaking floors."

Jessica settled in quickly to her new temporary life and loved the book festival where she met many British authors and also Princess Anne.

All good things, some say, must come to an end. In what seemed no time at all Shaun was driving her to the airport for her return to LA.

Once the couple had separated Shaun and Jessica realised the depth of their feelings for each other. Jessica explained, "All these emotions bubbled to the surface - people say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it took leaving to understand how much it all meant to me."

Shaun separated from his girlfriend.

Three months later Jessica left her job, packed her belongings, gave up her apartment and headed back to Scotland. Shaun was waiting to meet the plane and Jessica "... ran into his arms for our first kiss and it couldn't have been more perfect."

The couple have now been together for two years and have launched their own film company Picto Productions.

So will there be wedding bells soon? Jessica answered, "Who knows what's around the corner? That's the thing with adventures - you never know. But I couldn't be happier that I followed my instincts."

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5 comments:

  1. What a fantastic story for Valentine's day!! Talk about layered synchros...

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  2. good story. dont think i could have done anything like that and travelled to another country on instinct

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  3. Oh gosh, what a super story. I can see this as a movie and a great rom-com. Don't know if you are back from your trip but hope you have a super Valentine's night.

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  4. Awesome. I love romances and could happily spend the rest of my days reading and writing them. :D Of course the real life ones are so much more satisfying.

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