When do you start to leave Home?
Birmingham Travel Blog› entry 1 of 7 › view all entries
July 11th, 2008 – by: Stevie_Wes
I'm sat with a pint of Amstel [note : other beers are available consumers, this is not product placement to fund my trip...nooooow wait-a-minute, there's a thought!] awaiting the arrival of some lamb kofta and tzatziki in a pub in Harborne, Birmingham.
...buuuut not quite yet.
[aside : a little blonde-haired boy bopping along to his earphones in the pub has just spilt his drink ALL over his mom's lap.
A Tale : Yeah, so when do you begin to leave? I guess the process, the decision's different for each any everyone. On my first day in Birmingham, starting University my family gave me a ring as a gift. Good luck for my life to come. An unusual ring made of silver and small threads of 'rope', bought from a shop in Paros, a greek island to match a neckpiece I'd bought there some while ago. A very touching gesture. That ring has been with me for the most part of my decade in the Midlands, but late last year I lost it. Always conscious of the 'rope' getting dirty when eating I took it off and set it aside to chow down on a large guaccamole and cajun-chicken baguette in the Woodstock cafe... delicious and messy! I left the ring at Woodstock. I realised later. I called. "I've left a ring in your reastaurant... have you got it?... YOU'VE GOT IT!? THAT'S GREAT! I'll be right over!" The friendly hispanic lady behind the counter, having mostly (I think) comprehended me on the phone had assured me of the ring's presence and safety. Upon arrival I attempted to explain to her - language barrier permitting - why I was there... she realises, and goes out back to return with my ring. What she actually hands me is a silver money-clip containing like, at least £400 in notes I swear! ... but no ring is presented. She's sorry. She was confused on the phone and thought it was I who had left the money-clip. "No, no rings have been handed in." I had lost my ring. I coulda conned the money-clip, but I didn't (true!). The kind of people who leave that much cold cash lying around in money-clips probably have interesting and 'efficient' ways of tracking it down. So no money. No ring. Had a small, important symbol of my life in Birmingham slipped from my fingers even as early as then? My sister also lost a ring very dear to her, and rich in family provenance whilst in a 3 legged pub-crawl at university. We're obviously not that great at clinging on to home.
But I'm leaving now anyways, and stories and pseudo-philosophising apart, I reckon the start of the journey will entail stepping on to a ferry for Calais, France sometime towards the end of August this year. I've paid £390 for the privilege of having injections into both arms almost every Monday for the last 6 weeks, so I should hopefully now be immune to just about everything except the Common Cold... and just to remind me of this fact and who's boss, my microbial foes have smacked me with my third bout of the sniffles this year and I'm snivelling as I type "sniff-sniff".
Lots of excitement and adventures on the way my friends... I hope! Most of which I will attempt to share with you too, so I promise lots of amazing sights, photos, commentary (<-- the latter possibly not so amazing), scenes and reviews to come. But for now, in my final days in Birmingham, in Blighty, I thought as an exercise in reminding myself in small ways of what I will be leaving behind I would just offer the occasional thought and the briefest of glances at my life as I prepare to close this significant chapter of m'little life to date.
[aside : 'Waterloo Sunset' by The Kinks is playing on the pub stereo now as I set my pen down and return to beer and and watching the world, my little corner of the world, go by. Over the way from me, a young Asian couple sit, accompanying an Olde Englishe, smartly dressed man in a wheelchair as they take lunch together. They are a handsome couple. I cannot perceive the connection that would exist between they and he. The old man is smiling and conversive... happy to be reminded of the warmth of the company of the young and the pretty? The old man is of that certain generation. Always to be turned out properly in public. A shirt, a jacket, a tie and a hat. He would probably disapprove of my antipathy to ties. He maybe would not have appreciated me on my final day of work wearing a black tie graffitied with the slogan 'No More Ties' hinting at both my liberation from said garment and my impending divestment of responsibilities. There is an inexplicable bruise right in the centre of his forehead. A large, perfect maroon-dark 'O' like a doughnut reminding me of the mark that was left on my cousin's forehead for a day or so when he stuck a toy plunger there and pulled it off again too hard...except this mark is larger. I wonder what the story behind it is?... my mind wanders...]
It's raining outside now. I only have a T-shirt on. It was sunny when I stepped inside. I hope I brought my umbrella in my bag for England, bless you, you have tricked me once again... and yes, I'm sure I will miss this too.
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