Up and down

I’m back in the smoke, ensconced with all the familiar things and all the distractions, and I’m running a bath. It’s good to be here and not be sick. That hasn’t happened since November. Now I need to line up some things to do for money before I swan off to live on a volcano for a week with Lou.

Minnie has moved to Twickenham, which I drive through on my way back from Brighton. I’m absolutely thrilled about this. I never passed through sodding Catford so I haven’t seen anything like enough of her lately. Didn’t get to see her today either as she has multiple children now so explosions happen at the last minute all the time. I like to be last minute but I know that’s hard for my friends with progeny. But the fact that she is there means I’ll almost certainly see more of her going forward.

I stopped to see Tristan and Tanya who see me all the time because of this same quirk of geography. They are wondering where the next work will come from too so there’s an understanding. The logistics of movement does loads to our habits though. I’m just observing that simply because they don’t live on the right London Trainline, there are people I love who I barely see. I can’t blame it all on geography… I could have been more diligent. Maybe I should make more effort going forward. This pandemic has driven us apart. Even Sophie dying – her expertise was social glue. Throughout my life I’ve noticed that the first time you make a particular journey it feels longer. Every time you beat a path to a place that path grows wider and more familiar.

Traveling to The Azores – or anywhere outside the uk – carries a brand new set of obstructions that are new and therefore hard to fathom. It was so much easier to travel beforehand. Now we have to find tests and we have to pay for the “right” tests and load up on all sorts of documentation before we’ve even left the house. It’s all very unclear on paper and generally worrying. Before all this there was never the worry that we might get turned away because we didn’t stick the right bit of plastic up our nose two days before we left. We’ve got such an incredible break lined up. I reckon it’ll be fine, but it’s the first time traveling to anywhere but Jersey since Brexit and Covid. Jersey broke the back of the unknown part of it. But Portugal? Not only do people in the Schengen have a vested interest in annoying British travelers, but also we will have to jump through expensive hoops on the way home too. Anybody with actual experience of it, let me know how it was in real terms. It’s always weirder on paper…

A full day today of walking and sunshine and friends. Joyful and I’m not going to worry about this now. I’m gonna soak and sleep and leave this for tomorrow.

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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