Holiday at the end

I woke up in a lighthouse at the end of the world.


This morning was earmarked for gently inserting myself back into the real world after such a long time operating under a different set of rules. I’ve booked my flight back to London, and communicated with lots of the people that need communicating with in order for my life to function well when I get back. But no matter how I spin it it’ll be a culture shock. I’ve barely justified a holiday in the past apart from LA which was not precisely a holiday. It’s a function of that optimism, believing that Katie Mitchell will call me in for an audition the moment I arrive in holidayland. But enough years have gone by without her calling that she must be ringing me on the wrong number. So I went away for a long long time on another holiday/not holiday and it was lovely and hard and all the things.

At the start of the walk it felt like I was wiggling out of a shitty cocoon I’d made for myself out of fear paté and grief cheese. Then I started wondering why I don’t walk fifteen miles every day as my head started clearing. Then emotional bombardment. Those things that wake you up in the middle of the night… I’ve looked at them all, experienced them all, and realised how little they matter in the light of what is to come and what is now. Life is as long as you make it, and I’ve got an agenda to make sure I stay alive and forward as the next few decades click by.

So I had all sorts of conversations today with all sorts of people today about past and present and future. Some were hard, others delightful with people open to possibility. We have to be careful not to get stuck in patterns of victimhood or entitlement. They’re both traps. When I get back I’ll have to bang out a new hole for a different shaped me, because that’s what I feel I am. You can tell by looking at my feet. You have to go away to come back.

Meantime I have a few more days in paradise. Now I’m not walking it’s not raining, of course. The narcissist explanation is that that rain was just to remind me to get on with it no matter what the external factors are. The sun has been out all day now SHINING ON ME shining on the Atlantic while I’ve been lying on a wall making phone calls to London.

I had a little walk. There’s an old hermitage that used to be a sun god shrine. It’s on a bluff overlooking the isthmus. We sat a while in thought.


I took my pack up there and Mel and I watched as the day came to a finish. Tomorrow we will strike out to Muxia, and another good day of walking. But my flight is booked now, so this is pleasure-walking now. This is weaning my body off its habit of striking out at dawn and hurting itself by sunset. By all accounts Muxia is beautiful, and the weather looks like holding, and I’m in no rush. I’ve booked a flight for Sunday. Cheap but there’s an 8 hour stopover in Madrid. It was that or pay double for direct and give my money to Ryanair on Thursday which I don’t really want to do. Or like 300 which I won’t do on principal.

Three more days in paradise, and I have a credencial that allows me to stay in the cheap albergues. I think I can allow a holiday tacked onto the end of my pilgrimage…



Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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