Well, that was weird. Not Jeff Bezos weird, or giant cock in space weird – tautology? - but, you know, up there. Like a particularly racy lamb buna, the last few months need time to settle. In mid-September, I was given three pieces of news simultaneously: a gap opened up for surgery on a bone spur with a 6 week recovery; the bank was repossessing the flat as the landlord stopped paying their mortgage, leaving 8 weeks to vacate; and after my requests to leave Australia had been rejected twice, I was given exemption, and had 10 weeks to fu*k right off. And in the last two weeks, add a new COVID variant, changing rules for different countries, a missed flight, forking out for another flight, paying for a hotel in Doha I never got to stay in . . . it’s been . . . interesting.
There is an element of PTSD. In Melbourne we were graced with 267 days of lockdown since March 2020, the longest period in the world. I spent the majority of that living alone. Being amongst people now is just . . . weird. Don’t get me started on the jitters of being on packed flights, screaming at flight attendants “that guy coughed/went to cough/cleared his throat/looks like he might cough at some point, jettison him NOW!!” Twenty-three hours of flying later, am sure everyone was very appreciative of my vigilance.
Getting people together for a farewell felt odd too, let alone technically hard as everyone was scrambling to leave Melbourne (hmm . . . coincidence?) after finally obtaining their freedom. And if I caught COVID, then I couldn’t travel at all. So, like my 40th and 41st birthday parties, a farewell will have to wait. As for those wonderful people in my life that reached out asking why I was selling everything and whether they could help with storing or moving stuff, I will love you forever.
What now? Meeting friends in London, it’s a different world. The conversation isn’t about avoiding COVID, but what it was like when you had it. Australians would freak! Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy a Welsh winter with my family, working Australian hours (10pm-6am, yeah, I didn’t stop working) and trying to get any exercise I can in between whatever daylight, non-rainy hours there are. There ain’t many!
Plans for next year? Still, plenty of time to run for 2021, I’ll plan 2022 when I reach it. For those school-friends still in Wales, please say hi, would be lovely to catch up xx
Writing and writing...