Arriving to a party fashionably early – a good 24 hrs, in fact – wasn’t my finest. At an eerily quiet doorstep in the staggering Melbourne heat, I momentarily wondered if perhaps children’s birthday parties are actually very quiet – this was my first, after all – or that everyone was keeping husshh in order to surprise the visitor. To be fair to them, I was surprised, and so were they when I knocked on the door quite sheepishly. Was a shame really, as I had missed lunch in order to elbow grubby chits out of the way and feast on wholesome sugary goodness.
I write the above whilst seated at a table at my friend’s house and, in finding it quite tall, I reached down to the lever on the side to increase the seat height. The problem is I’ve been sitting uncomfortably at this table for about three weeks, oblivious to the remotest idea of adjusting my predicament.
Am not surprised though; I have a lot on as I’m having to do what I most dislike when travelling: planning. It’s one of those annoyances when visiting non-western countries that officious governments want to know the details of travels before I know them myself. Can’t I just, you know, arrive and saunter about a bit? Seems not. In February I’ll be visiting Fiji, the US, Bahamas and the mighty Cuba where one needs visas and t’ings. Then perhaps Jamaica and Puerto Rico, not quite set on those yet. As my regular reader may note, the Caribbean isn’t my natural playground: my colour-of-scared-milk skin adores cloud, not sun; I don’t really like beaches; and Reggae, whilst excellent as a pasta sauce, isn’t for the ears. An adventure awaits! Let’s see what I forget.
The cost of me having a pretty good 2022 is that the world, still gasping and coughing from the pandemic, just loudly shits itself for a bit. Seems fair, though.
I spent time with family and old friends back in the UK, some I hadn’t seen for 20 years. My mum received a long-overdue operation and I made new friends whilst exploring eight new countries. I even got to hang out with my sister and brother-in-law as they jet around the world on an adventure of their own. Even my beloved Arsenal are doing a thing! Being back in Melbourne has been extremely special, and I’m delighted I’ve been able to catch up with so many people. At one of the first dinners, I remember just taking a moment to stare around at my friends faces I hadn’t seen for so long . . . it was a little magic.
Conversely, the world has taken a fu**ing shellacking! Russia declared war, Ukraine got pummeled, stock-markets crashed, inflation reached new highs, China shutdown, the benefits of Brexit (ha!) bit home, UK couldn’t pick a PM for love nor money, and costs of everything bar my employment sky-rocketed. Honestly, if my wages increased as much as my weekly shop, I’d be a brazillionaire!
However, the world falling into shit seems to be the price of my happiness, and I think you’d agree it’s worth the cost, ammarite?! Thanks Universe!
Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year xxxx
Writing and writing...