Monday, 2 September 2013

The Final Countdown


 This time next week I will be aboard a Virgin Atlantic jet somewhere over the Russian steppes, winging my way towards my London rendezvous. It would be correct to say that I am getting somewhat nervous and apprehensive, but surely that is normal before a trip of such magnitude?

 It's not as though I am a stranger to travel. I have been to the United Kingdom before, been to Turkey and Egypt, New Guinea and of course taken little jaunts to New Zealand, where I have thrice holidayed, and Fiji where I was ensconced exactly a year ago today. Perhaps I am not a veteran traveller of the world but I have some experience. Not looking forward to a 24 hour plane trip though!


  I am getting a bit wistful and melancholy, as silly as it is. For some reason I have been feeling very homely, happy to be alive, enjoying the views of this valley where I have resided for most of my life as I return from endeavours in other parts of this great city.

 As I said, I have travelled quite extensively in the past but never for as long as six weeks and I feel I will miss my little corner of the world, after a while at least. It's lovely to wake up to a clear and sunny, albeit crisp Canberra morning in the spring. The air feels clean and fresh and down here, in our little hollow in Tuggeranong. The whole world could pass you by on the main roads to the east and west and you would never know it, such is the sublime positioning of our suburb here in the Wanniassa Hills.

 My mind is racing. Six weeks is a long time to be away and my head is spinning, trying to come to terms with matters which will be left behind me, which I have to arrange for others to deal with on my behalf. Bills which need to paid. Chores which need to be done. Lucky I have a good support network here in Australia which will see me through.

 I am having trouble packing. What do you take when you will be away for six weeks? With variable weather being in the offing, a probable slide from a pleasant English September to a slushy Scottish October being on the cards, I am trying to cover all bases, from hot to cold, wet and dry without overstuffing my suitcase. That is without accounting for maps, tickets, odds and ends and technological gizmos which the modern world has forced on us and which we cannot live without. I am sure I will at some point be hopelessly underdressed or horribly overburdened by stuff I don't need but I will do a final run through of my suitcase with Linda before I board the plane on Saturday.

 We fly to Sydney and stay overnight and leave for the UK at 2.25pm on Sunday. Fleeing the country in the wake of a likely conservative victory in the Federal election on Saturday night. Will I return to Australia on October 19 to find the clock turned back twenty years by the new government? Obviously not but at least I will miss the silliness of their first weeks in office and will be able to forget, for a short time at least, the fate which awaits me in the new industrial relations landscape which will be the norm for the next few years.
 For now I will sign off and continue to prepare for my departure which creeps ever closer. Toothbrush?, Deodorant?, Passports? Yes, they are all handy and unlikely to be forgotten.

 It is a great day outside and those of you in Canberra should enjoy the it as it will be a good one and for those from other parts who may have tuned in, I hope you are well and having a ball as well.

 Until next time.

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