'Actually is not a real word' he said, 'it adds nothing, it has no meaning'
It's been several years since he said it and every time I use the word "actually" I think of it.
I like to use the word, I often use it as an adverb and you could leave it out, but it makes a sentence different.
If I say: 'I don't like that', it sounds very different from 'I actually don't like that'. It softens a sentence, you say the same thing in a slightly more subtle way.
I thought about it again this weekend, when I went to pick up a second-hand order from earlier at one of my purchasing addresses further away. I wouldn't stay away longer than necessary, because I wouldn't go shopping.
As always, I set the navigation and after some time along the way I see that the navigator has chosen a different route. And after driving for a while I see an antique shop next to the road that I didn't know existed yet. From the outside it doesn't look special and because I had planned not to go shopping today, I continue driving. But it's like someone slams on the brakes, pulls the steering wheel, and makes me turn around. I'm in doubt, I wouldn't actually go shopping. Bought so much lately and there is still so much that needs to be cleaned and priced.
But as it always goes, the blood flows where it can't go...
I send Jos a text that it will be a little later. He texts back: 'Actually you wouldn't go shopping...'
"No, not actually, I'm just going to explore."
But then of course I am lost and my intention disappears like snow in the sun.
I ended up in a mecca of beautiful antiques. Actually, most of it is way too expensive for me. But after some shopping around and negotiating, I have the car quite full and I am very satisfied with my purchases. Beautiful items for the open days. And when I picked up my order later, the car was quite full.
I actually feel a little guilty when I get home much later than planned.
But Jos doesn't make a big deal about it and we unpack everything together. It still feels like a party every time, unloading it and seeing everything.
Even if it's all for sale, I get to enjoy it for a while first. And those things that are intended for the open days will be here for a long time and I actually don't mind that at all...

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