The long goodbye to the UK

And so on 18 May I got up at midday, had a bath and a shave, ate up the last Spam tin, packed up, drank up the last vodka bottle, threw the last litter bags down the chute, and at four o’clock locked the door of – no longer my – house. Dropped the keys at the office and – with several stops along the way – walked to Buchanan Bus Station and thence rode to Glasgow International Airport.

As I feared, the rucksack was (2kg) overweight, so I had to discard some items; doing which its main zip broke and I had to have it foil-wrapped. Seven quid down, and only the wee top strap to use for moving (i.e. dragging) it around. The EasyJet flight was somewhat delayed “due to a technical problem”, which obviously didn’t improve my mood.

Nevertheless, we were in Stansted by 10pm, and my next flight was scheduled for 0645am. Moving the rucksack and laptop case on a trolley as if I was an OAP, I was killing time by smoking and reading T.C. Smout’s A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830 in the sitting area then in Café Balzar. In the latter I also connected to the Net to check the prices of the old country travel tickets I’d need.

It was a long wait, but finally the Ryanair desk opened. I drank up my second Beck’s (the last beer and in fact the last alcohol I’ve had to date), smoked my last fag on the British soil and went to board the plane. Some time after crossing the Channel I finally dozed off, even though I had music in my earphones, I was that knackered.

Needless to say, I was mighty depressed as well.



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