Sad to be back in the UK but my visa came through just now so there’s another adventure a little tiny bit too close for comfort. I’m on the bus from Stansted right now with Lou. It is cold and slow and Lou has to get a million trains to get back to Brighton tonight because of engineering or whatever. My head hurts.
As soon as I get home I’m gonna order something stodgy from Deliveroo and chuck all my clothes in the washing machine. I don’t really know what to bring to Saudi so I’m just gonna turn over the contents of my case, repack it, go to sleep and wake up for a Covid test and a bit of time making sure the fish won’t die while I’m off gallivanting.
The thing to keep hold of will be the week that Lou and I have just had. What a privilege. That distant volcanic rock, shrouded with rings of cloud round fertile mountains boiling with life and warmth. How has it never been on my radar before? In the summer you can commission boats to take you out and give you the best shot you’ll ever have at a selfie with a blue whale. It’s no surprise that every day my phone buzzed in the evening like an electric toothbrush as Lou was sending me the millions of photos she took. All those photos you’ve seen in my blog? Pretty much every one of them was by her. She’s got an eye and a habit. It means that this incredible week has a handy little recall tool. If I’m in the desert feeling sad because there’s been nothing but flies sun and sand, I can open up my phone if it hasn’t overheated and I can look at gorgeous photographs of blown out mountains and seascapes. The one thing I might not have so much of is photographs of Lou herself. There are tons of me. She had to remind me, and the last few days, to take some of her. I got uncharacteristically snap happy in order to try and tip the scales slightly back the other way. So at least I’ll have them.
It’s cold here. It’s dark and it’s cold and windy and I’m thirsty and I’ve got no water and I need the loo. Only one more hour on this packed bus though. We are coming into the suburbs of London.
I do wish the turnaround wasn’t so bloody quick. I’ve barely got time to settle and I could sleep for a week. Still. I’ll be busy and I’ll be somewhere new. And it won’t be cold and windy.
I also wish there was that jolly hostess serving cakes and tea on this National Express bus. We had to throw away our water at security and I’m so damn thirsty.