The Eagle Has Landed

3 minute read

So the big question is:

How do you start writing a blog about your attempt to live in a new country?

That’ll do, I suppose.

I left the old country at the end of January, over a month ago, and it’s only now that I’ve had a chance to lie down with my laptop and write a few words about my experience so far.  I’m humbled by the enquiries from friends and family who want to know how things are going.  But if I take the time to reply to everyone individually, my life will be (even more) about sitting at a computer staring at a screen, which is probably not the way forward.  Hence I decided to try and blog every now and then. You can assume that less time blogging = more life.

The story really starts thirty-two years ago when I was born in the Salvation Army Hospital, Upper Clapton, but let’s fast-forward to three days before departure.  A violent illness threatened to make me postpone my flight, but I just couldn’t face doing that again and spending another month in limbo.  So, weakened just when I needed to be at my strongest, I managed to finish most of the important things at home in a sort of unpleasant adrenalin-fuelled blur.  Didn’t even have time to enjoy the beauty that I had created.

I hadn’t had time to find a flatshare, and I was reduced to asking on Facebook if anyone knew someone with a couch that I could kip on for a couple of nights.  This was on Friday night, which would mean that my numerous religious relatives wouldn’t see the message.  I didn’t hold out much hope.

The olds were relatively settled in to their new pad, and the snag list was at an all-time low.  But I wasn’t feeling much joy or even relief, only that I needed to sleep for about a month.  Before I knew it we were off to the airport, travelling light - suitcase, hand-luggage and a guitar.  Saying  goodbye was grim, seeing the olds so sad was very hard to take.  There was no warning, it just sort of hit them - they had been focused on the move as much as I had, and suddenly I was buggering off. I walked away and didn’t look back, however the mood lightened as I had to walk along the convoluted path to the terminal and saw them again as G wrestled with the machine where you put a quid in and it lets you out of the car park.   Modern technology…

Yes, Luton Airport charge a quid to drop somebody off.  Are you having a laugh?  Tight-fisted gits.  The entire airport experience is suitably tacky given that Easyjet pretty much run the place.  I joined the check-in queue and cursed myself for being sucked in by Easyjet’s low prices which aren’t even that low in the grand scheme of things.  To be fair though, the airline that practically charges for oxygen allows you to bring a guitar on board for free, which is nice.  They don’t allow you to rock out and practise your riffs on the plane though, which is a shame as I had several requests for Master of Puppets.

Whilst standing in the queue, and wondering why people that can afford to go skiing would choose to travel on the “cattle transport that thinks its an airline”, I got a call from R.  Now, it’s not like R to call me on a Saturday morning, or indeed any day or time of day, but it turned out that she had found somewhere for me to stay.  She gave me the number of her FB, er I mean “friend” Y, and suddenly I had somewhere to go when the plane landed.  Which was nice.

(Header image: SS Exodus.)