Very briefly, we have left the UK and are currently somewhere on the German/Austrian border. It has been a roller coaster journey so far. Everyone are well and things could not be better. The truck is holding up. I am writing this from a caravan park where we pulled up for express use of internet and electricity. Its just for one night!
So Going back four days to when we were in the UK. We packed all our possessions into the Zil on Wednesday. This started in the morning and we were not finished till sometime around eleven o’clock at night. Consequently the Zil in its current state resembles, from the inside, more a removals van than overlander home. We are living on top of cardboard boxes of books, crates of food, three suitcases of clothes, further shelves of clothes, ice box, three bikes, large rocking horse, printer, crates of toys, push chair, in short every random article amassed in the short time we were living on Farleigh road. We have to climb over this mountain to get to the bed every night. Cooking food is an even bigger challenge!
It was a relief to be leaving London. So many times I have said I wished to leave and have not done so. This time there was no space for dreaming or even planning. Just get up and move. This whole Morocco idea was cooked up not more than 8 weeks ago. Saying goodbye to Helen, our landlady and flatmate, was sad. I have grown very fond of her. Anika loved her. She works with the Nicaraguan Solidarity campaign and Peace Brigade International, two outstanding INGO’s. PBI use the consensus decision making model which I am very keen on. I was mainly concerned that she will be ok in what is a pretty crazy house thanks to one very difficult guy that when there – seems to create a poisonous atmosphere and yet is tolerated by all. It felt like our presence had helped create a balance that the house needs to prevent any one person or family dominating. Now the Farleigh road house goes back to its old self.
We left Farleigh road and pulled into my very good friend Andy’s house. He lives only two streets away. Come out of Farleigh road onto Amhurst road (where the Angry Brigade were based in the 1970’s), turn on Shacklewell lane and take a left onto Cecilia road. According to Ian Sinclair, Cecilia road is called after Cecilia, daughter of Thomas More. Shacklewell lane is the only lasting reference to her estate, the Shackwell estate. Her husband, the Sir Heron fell out of favour with king Henry and lost his head much like many other courtiers of that time. In that finale he followed the exit of Cecilia’s own father. Thomas More is the only English Catholic martyr that achieved sainthood on death.
Andy has been a friend and support for the twelve years that I have known him. Through all the years of squatting he has let me use his address for mail. He was part of the original crew that started the sound system. We went to the same college. The days leading up to our departure he spent working on a cardboard theatre for Anika. We stopped over to pick it up though Anika was fast asleep by this time. Andy wants Anika to add more characters to the theatre based on her travel experiences. We shall endevour to carry out this activity. If possible we shall film one of her productions so that he can see how far she has taken it.
Leaving Andy past midnight was a perfect time to avoid the Olympics road closures. At some point I feel the need to write a rant that sums up my distaste for this spectacle, thus quenching my need to feel recurring bitterness. We would have been quite unable to leave any earlier as the roads to the Blackwall tunnel (and the tunnel itself) were sequestered to the Olympics. At 1am in the morning we succeeded in avoiding police checkpoints and lane closures and creeping out of London and beyond the reach of the Metropolitan police.
Having left London for potentially the next year, we drove down to Sussex to make our goodbyes to Anika’s great grandmother, Bivo. Anika absolutely adores her Bivo. It was important to let her make her goodbyes. Bivo was also preparing for a flight the following day to Brazil. It was an emotional goodbye for all. A year away is a long time and we shall all miss each other. Whilst at her cottage we booked our ferry tickets for that very night.
The ferry departure times were 4am – intentionally so that we could see the sunrise over France and the start of a new beginning.