Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Feeling endish

Wednesday 24th May, 2016


'Endish' is how Gill described her current state of mind in a recent email she sent to her sister. I think it's a great way of describing that vague, but all pervasive sense of anti-climax you get towards journeys' end, and it has been a bit of a trip as a few swift autosums on the spreadsheet revealed yesterday evening:
Miles travelled - 6885
Days - 161
Places we stayed - 91
Furthest point east - Poros
Furthest point south - a boulder to the south of Kamares Beach on the eastern shore of the Mani in the Peloponnese, which, if you look at the GPS co-ordinates, is around 9 miles south of Punta Braccetto, the furthest point south we reached in Sicily.
Most miles covered in one day: 284 - a desperate drive from Brindisi to Rosano.
Worst moment - reversing into the aforementioned boulder south of Kamares Beach and damaging Maisy's back end.
Best moment - lots of great moments, but for me, swimming in a mirror-still Med towards the reflection of the full moon under a sky so starry that it looked like a planetarium - that takes some beating. Even though I then got up the next morning and reversed the van into a boulder..
My 'endish' slump I think comes from the gradual realisation that a life full of incident, the unexpected and the unfamiliar is about to be replaced by the mundane, familiar and habitual. However, it's not as simple as that, because as you become a travel junkie and the unfamiliar becomes habitual, home life and the familiar start to seem odd. Furthermore, the months you spend travelling disrupt social contacts back home and undermine any sense of belonging you might have to a particular place. The question on your mind is always, 'where next?'

So here we are, parked at Calais , the boat inevitably running late, in a state of limbo between this trip being a lived experience and an abiding memory. I'm getting to the 'reasons to be cheerful' stage of self-help. Ok, Phillip Quinlan emailed me yesterday to say the annual literary journal, 'Angle' is now on-line, including two of my pieces. That should cheer me up, but actually one piece is not bad, and the other a bit boring, if technically sound. So, along with all the domestic tasks at home, maybe I could attempt to to occupy myself with coming up with something better than OK. Then there is the question of 'next' - we need to research Asturias, Gallicia and Portugal, and we are having a family holiday to Brittany in a months time. It's not all bad is it? I even get to drive the car, with a real gear stick and discover that it is possible to travel faster than 55mph. So much to look forward to...

The rehabilitation programme:

P&O Foodhall - choose an (un)healthy English Breakfast...


Waitrose - chose an 'Essential Waitrose Quiche' - I love how ridiculous Waitrose is - since when was a quiche 'essential'!


Wallingford - we agree, "England is beautiful, especially in late Spring - billowing cloudscapes and big trees in leaf...

Posted to FB on return: "Homecoming: this not a lawn, but a meadow. Does anyone have a goat we can borrow?
...no goat offers forthcoming so....
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