Baggage checked in and sitting here in front of that Bill Reid sculpture. There are a few hours yet to go before the plane takes off. It’s not time yet to go through passport control. There is only so much to be done at this point. I’ve got my boarding pass and am about to embark on yet another chapter in life. I don’t like people waiting with me. I’d rather have this time in my own to digest the immediate past that I’ve just experienced. It’s different when there is someone else with you but this time there no one physically just in my thoughts.
It was a nice day to wake up to. Both of us were exhausted from the previous few days of scrutiny and challenge. Today was going to be a bit easier. I just had a few errands to do and the task of closing up the suitcase. We told ourselves that we were going to push everything else aside and that we were just going to enjoy the time that we have together. That’s exactly what we did and it was beautiful. We are both surprised to be in this situation as it was just supposed to be a thing that adults do. That is not the thing that bonds people together. Those other aspects that some describe as virtues or qualities or traits that are positive and desireable. Those things maintain the bond that feelings have allowed to experience. Those happy moments that are now memories but were at some point experiences.
It will soon be time to pass through security in order to board the plane. I feel a slight daze and want to just get on with it. That process of taking off and getting moving. I watch a family help their elderly parent to his chair. He is the patriarch and they orbit around him with respect.
I should probably be sending out an email or something. I’m watching the slow scramble that is boarding the plane. I just realized I got the priority boarding package when I bought the ticket. My luggage was a bit heavy but it was within the allowed limit. I’m going to wait until the line builds up a bit and then go up and slip into the milieu.
I’ve boarded the plane and am watching people as they file into the plane. They have began boarding the plane with people in the back first and gradually filling towards the front of the plane. I have an old couple that sat beside me obviously excited to be getting on the plane on what seems like another adventure. I have a window seat. I didn’t want to chance having to be stuck in the middle somewhere. I don’t remember how much extra it cost but the ticket was cheap if I remember correctly.
This is just idle time waiting for the process to proceed along its natural route.
Made it to Rita’s.
There seem to be some time entries missing. There was some problem saving the data into my phone since I wasn’t connected to a network. It hasn’t been that long since something like that has happened. It doesn’t mean that nothing happened on the plane and my subsequent journey to my lodging for the night. When I made it to Rita’s and wrote that sentance it was the end of a curious journey. I’m in London! Again.
The plane ride was fairly normal. I sat beside an older couple that was traveling to the UK to visit their son. They live in Vancouver but hail from the UK as evidenced by their now mild English accent as most of their lives have been spent abroad. I tried to sleep as much as I could and the complimentary comfort package I got with my seat was welcome. I used the eye cover and the blanket to great effect to block out the blue-ish light that made my spaghetti selection look an unappetizing orange. I was a bit hungry and I hoped my stomach was strong enough to handle it.
I woke up with a few hours of flying yet to go. This is the time that seems to stretch out for ever. Every minute is scrutinized and experienced quite consciously. The sun was close to setting and the ever shifting shapes and colors allowed me to become distracted about the upcoming landing and preliminary steps that I would have to take. The shapes on the ground reflect the length of time that people have been messin’ with the landscape. The little fields are surrounded by trees or bushes and as we descended I could see little puffs that were likely sheep grazing on the green grass. There were some buildings that stood out. One must have been a Victorian mansion that once housed some lord or earl or count or whatever title someone was given based on their birth.
Our gate was some distant number that required a fair hike to get to the border check. This time I didn’t even speak to an agent but just entered through the electronic check in. It was my first time using such a device here. Nirmally I enjoy talking to an agent even if it is just to say hello. Now came the wait for luggage. This process took time. It must have been ten minutes or longer before they announced which carousel was going to have our luggage roll around on. There was another unexpected surprise with my seat upgrade “priority baggage.” This meant that my luggage came out soon after the carousel started moving. There was a rush of people that came and huddled around this contraption. The entire content of the plane was there by this time.
My next destination was to huddle with the other castaways in a special space to enjoy the air. I’ve been frustrated ever since getting off the plane by my inability to connect to the wifi network. It is painful and it makes my phone feel like an expensive sliver of a brick and not the useful information device that it is. I needed to tell Rita that I’m here.
Rhine came to brave the train and make my way to Clapham Junction. I’ve been documenting my thoughts and feelings this whole time. These are the thoughts and feelings that are now lost from their digital form but some remain. One of those thoughts was my first train ride when I landed here the first time. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and I was tired and weary from what was an epic journey. There was rain falling back then and my packing skills were not what they are now. I struggled in the daytime rush hour to make it to Earls Court with my printed out map getting rained on and me myself confused as to which direction to take. I was lost.
This time I felt slightly more prepared. I had a definite destination and an idea as to which way to go. When I got to Clapham Junction I decided to get a coffee and collect myself. I figured I’d get a good wifi connection there and then put the address into the maps app and take my final journey. To my surprise it was impossible to connect. I found out a bit later that there was some kind of network outage with the provider that supplies the service to the coffee chain. I stood outside my closed carriers shop nearby getting the directions and downloading them into the map. I got onto the train and proceeded to my destination. I had to go to Tolworth and then it was a short walk to Rita’s.
It was dark outside now and standing there on the platform I was reminded of the bitter chilly wind that pervades all aspects of London life. It’s the reason so many wear scarves around their neck. It was the end of the rush hour rush and as I looked out to see some of the landscape all I could see is myself reflected back. This is surreal and my thoughts were filled with warm thoughts as I thought about the last day we spent together watching the sunset be reflected on the snow covered mountains that dominate the sky in Vancouver. It was such a beautiful day. Earlier we had brunch with my sis having a great time even though it was a bittersweet time considering my departure. After she left we had that time to be outside in order to sit and contemplate the future and to excercise our legs with one more good walk around the city. We held each other memorizing the feeling of our bodies close to each other. It will be a memory that will be cherished.
I got off at the appropriate station and made my way to Rita’s. I couldn’t tell the house numbers but I was on the right road according to what she sent me. There was a light on at the house above a door and I figured that was it. I wheeled my luggage up to the door and knocked. There was no buzzer. A woman answered the door and it wasn’t Rita. I asked her if I was at the right place and if this was such and such address. It wasn’t. Ugh.
After I wheeled my baggage to the curb I thought abou what to do. I needed to get back to the station and maybe catch a ride with the car hire service that was there. When I got there it was closed. The station is in the middle of nowhere. I saw the high street up the road and decided to proceed to it and find a car there. I managed to ask someone if I could use their phone but could not get a hold of Rita. She probably didn’t recognize the number so then I called Jaco and confirmed the post code. The guy had to go and catch his bus. I walked to the high street and got direction to a car hire place that was closed at this time. All they had was a number to call. Damn it. I found a closed coffee shop and managed to connect to their wifi. I ordered an Uber after re-entering the new banking info that I have. The car was there within five minutes and the driver was nice. I explained the situation to him and when we got to the destination he let me call Rita on his phone. I was finally in the right ballpark. I found her house and gave her an explanation of what happened. We both got a good laugh out of it. I can’t be mad at her considering her condition. The baby is due in a couple of months and she is a bit worn out.
We caught up on things and she was happy with the developments that have happened in my life. She told me of her developments although some of them are plain to see. Jaco filled me in as well with his life occurrences. I am greatful for their hospitality. It’s nice to be able to count on friends in times like these.