As I approach the date shown on my one way ticket to another land, I find myself surprisingly unsentimental at the prospect.
Each time I make a certain journey, it crosses my mind that it might be the last time I pass that way for quite a while, so I mentally store it away for future recall.
There are a few things that I will not miss – joshing with fellow travellers on trains and tubes, for example. There aren’t any of those where I’m headed.
No more of these for a while
I also won’t miss the predictable stacking on the M25 around Heathrow, nor the uncertain lane priorities on the Denham roundabout, much less the tedious amount of time it takes to get from anywhere in London to anywhere else in London.
There are other things whose absence will create an occasional ache – wandering through an English wood, in and out of dappled sunlight, for example. Trees of more than my height are notably absent at the 64th parallel and thereabouts.
A walk in the woods – no more of that either
I will also miss the gorgeous undulations of Salisbury Plain, spread before me on journeys up and down the A303, along with the atmosphere at Home Park on a matchday that calls me there so often.
Salisbury Plain, adjacent to The Shire
But as I make my way from one farewell event to another, the rapidly approaching date of departure jostles for primacy in my mind, barging sentimentality aside, along with the pressing priority of the distillation of my life into two and half bags. It’s actually not been too hard to do.
A previous trip to Iceland saw me separated from my luggage for a few days and it was then that I discovered just how little a person actually needs, compared to the vast amount of bits and pieces that we allow ourselves to be weighed down with in normal circumstances.
Reducing a flat full of books, films, CD’s, pictures and other ephemera to a few cardboard boxes to be stored away, along with two bags of the bare essentials to begin anew elsewhere has been a liberating and enlightening process.
It’s been a Spring Clean and then some.
At the end, it will really only be the people that I miss – and this little portal will be the way I can keep you all closer to hand, even at a distance of a thousand miles.
PS – I also won’t miss hearing the word “Brexit” every day.