(8 April, post-packing, pre-going out)
Today was my last day of freedom.
Tomorrow I fly to the UK – true, to a week of walking in Scotland and not yet the cast-iron reality of finding work, somewhere to live and a purpose in life – but a place far realler than many of those in which I have found myself over the past two months.
I would have loved to present the world with a thoughtful, witty and entertaining summary of my feelings on returning home, but writing time was unfortunately eaten into by the following demanding schedule, which has occupied me for most of the day:
1. Sit outside in sun in 34° heat.
2. Become too hot; jump into pool.
3. Stand waist-deep in pool reading book.
Regular readers may be interested to learn that the chestal tanzone has achieved an almost uniformly exotic hue,which, while not quite matching my face, or, indeed, any other part of my body, means that the ‘geological strata’ effect is now at a minimum, which can only be a good thing.
Tomorrow morning I report to Dubai airport at 5.30 in the hope of being allowed to board a flight to Glasgow, currently completely booked up. In the event that I am unable to cosh a booked passenger in the loos and assume their identity, I’ll loiter in the airport until able to board my scheduled flight to London, which will entail a brief and traumatic return to the family home.
For reasons almost entirely related to unpacking, I am super keen to catch the Scotland flight, and to this end have already completed my packing ahead of schedule. This has prompted the following review of my possessions.
Items packed but not used:
– A shirt two sizes too big that I have carried through three continents on the grounds that it might come in handy if ever I am called upon to go to a party dressed as a cowboy or lumberjack (number of times this has been the case: 1)
– Travel insurance. No thefts, no accidents, no maimings; even my enormously expensive doctors’ appointment and medication didn’t cost enough to make up the medical excess. I may have to involve myself in some terrible accident en route to the airport in order to get my money’s worth.
Items not packed but which I was compelled to acquire:
– Going-out dress and shoes. When packing, I was apparently under the impression that my every waking moment would be spent either climbing a mountain or wandering along a beach, with the result that I packed nothing suitable for any kind of social occasion. I survived New Zealand, where everyone wore the standard uniform of hoodie, shorts and Havianas, but Sydney was less forgiving.
– Clothes in general that fit (namely; one vest top, five tops; one dress, one pair jeans, one pair shorts, one pair cropped trousers; one hoodie; one pair flip-flops; one pair Converse; 2 x necklaces). OK, so I lost a bit of weight while travelling. Still, I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to leave the country with jeans and trousers already on the loose side.
– One stuffed sheep purchased in fit of contrition by Tessa, whose dog viciously mauled its predecessor.
– One stuffed penguin (Tessa on a roll).
– One skydive DVD (pathetic).
– One pair jeans (two sizes too big).
– One pair flip-flops (buggered).
Weight of pack on leaving UK: 12.6 kg. Weight of pack on return: 16.7 kg.
Pretty good. Perhaps they’ll make a traveller of me yet.