The worst part of going home is always the journey there. Our own journey today is a fairly modest one, but add together the several hours spent kicking our heels between hotel check-out and taxi pick-up, forty five minutes en-taxi, three hours at the airport IF the flight is on time (note that is a big ‘if’) four and a half hours in an airborne Pringles tube, an hour standing around the wrong carousel waiting for a suitcase that is already on its way to Addis Ababa, followed by an hour’s drive once we have managed to find the car (which, as if by magic, never appears to be where we left it) and it all adds up to a proper old pain in the butt. Add in the stress factor – Will the airport be hot and packed, will the flight be delayed, will the taxi driver attempt to kill us all? – and the return journey really has very little to recommend it.
The ultimate destination is, of course, home and getting there means mounds of laundry, shopping and the dreaded return to work. I love my work, but none-the-less, working with the knowledge that ‘Yesterday at this time I was drinking an ice cold beer in a beachfront tavern’ is not always productive. There is no place like home, but there is quite often, somewhere else you would rather be. Whilst it is perfectly possible to get too much of a good thing, it is a whole lot easier to get too much of a bad one. One short snatch of ‘Lady in Red’* is enough to ruin anybody’s day. A short snatch of ‘A Spaceman Came Travelling’ can ruin a whole Christmas. I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever had too much of being on holiday, but I have very often had a hatful of getting back home again.
So, I’m writing this in the bar, cradling my one small pre-journey beer of the day, popping salted peanuts and wondering how long I would have to stay here until it really did feel like too much of a good thing? Before the call of home became too loud? Perhaps I have an in-built need to decorate that I am not currently aware of. Maybe I have a suppressed need to grapple with the day-to-day logistics of matching net income with gross outgoings. Maybe I have a natural disposition towards self-harm (or D.I.Y and Gardening as most people call it). Maybe a week is just enough. Although, if I’m honest, I would very much like to reserve my decision until I’ve had a second one.
Anyway, there you have it. I will (unlike most of my country it seems) be back to normal next week. I cannot promise that my posts will be any more considered, any more logical or, indeed any more amusing, but – and here’s the big thing – there will only be three of them. I do hope that’s a good thing.
*Chris de bloody Burgh
…And I will, of course, also be able to settle down to read some of your own blogs – I can never have too much of that…