I'd been out of the country a mere 7 hrs and 20 minutes before my iPhone abandoned my person, due to a not-so-rare act of carelessness on my behalf. Whats worse is the first seven of those hours I was sleeping like a little angel in the clouds, flying an unexpected Business Class Emirates upgrade across the Java Sea. My day started out great, but I wound up sobbing on a bench in the airport at Kuala Lumpur. Losing your shit half an hour in does not tend to make a 12 hour stopover in Malaysia as tolerable or pleasant as it might have been, and I fell asleep with a tear stained face, my bag tucked under my chin and my knees wrapped to make a little protective body bubble.
[So I just realized that I was lying when I bet Shaggy this morning that I was the only one who hadn't cried since they left Home. Bollocks.]
40 minutes later I woke in a much better mood, heightened by the fact that I now had much less to lose. I rang my mum from a payphone and told her I was all good, and to please find me the number to call to suspend my phone plan, and to lock my handset so the silly biddy who took my
Abu Dhabi was mentionable for it's Ferrari's and the fact that I bought a brill camera there. It's a Nikon and I love it. I'm too distracted in Europe to use it to the extent of it's capability probably, but I don't care. It takes video too, which is fun.
I landed in London after a full 30 hours of international commute, whereupon I still had to make my way through UK customs (notoriously jerk-like), and on into the city via the Heathrow Express. I got grilled by the meathead at customs because I told him I didn't have a contact address in the UK, and that I was meeting the boys at Piccadilly Square. Upon hearing this he told me I was a bad travel agent and I cursed my inability to say something rude back. Then he told me that he hoped he wouldn't see me next time he was doing the rounds. He was the meanest of customs men I've met.
I made my way to Piccadilly Circus by underground, whereupon I marched into the first Tesco I saw and purchased water, apples and cigarettes. All high priorities apparently, and I imagine minor jet lag, a clinging hangover from customary last drinks at La La Land prior to my departure from Australia and a surge of happy travelling adrenaline all had an impact on the decision making process there. I then proceeded to pick my way through little side streets to a darling coffee shop, to Skype my Muvver. She's pretty good, but we're in the non negligible position that, as the eldest, I am always the first to do grown up (not to mention idiotic) things: this worries her. No doubt she wishes it was Fran paving the way. Sorry Mum. I'll get your name tattooed in a big red heart on my arm as penance.
At 10 am I left the coffee shop and went to meet Shaggy. Shaggy was standing in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, eyes glazed and his mouth hanging open like a stunned clown toy. I thought his expression would change when he saw me, but it didn't, and he remained stoic in this uncomfortable leer until I all but lept into his arms shouting his name. He wasn't hungover - simply still inebriated from the night before, and I was unable to comprehend how he had even made the 15 minute tube journey to get me. It had taken him one hour. He was very happy to see me.
And so it was in this fashion that I entered England, and in an eager one we left London for Bristol later that afternoon, to meet up with Mike and spend some time where the wild kids from Skins go.