To the island! June 30, 2007Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
I have to make a visit to a small island and not, unfortunately, one located in one of Berlin’s many lakes. No, I need to get on a plane. Be away from home. Talk to people. Nothing I loathe more.
“Darling, shall I not go?” I said looking for discouragement from the Russian over a late-night dinner. But the Russian and I both have far too humble origins to ever seriously contemplate doing anything as decadent as deliberately missing a flight. I did once miss a train while waiting for it on the platform – it came, loaded up, dropped off and departed without me noticing – but that doesn’t matter in the UK, or never used to, at least, as you could just get on the next one. But, having booked my ticket to a small island, and even if the ticket did only cost 3p, I daren’t not go.
When I get my job at Lidl, none of this will be a problem, of course. Then I’ll be a 9-5er. I’ll know my life-timetable weeks, maybe even months in advance. Trips to small islands will be penned in and then relax, unworried about, in my otherwise untroubled filofax. But no sooner do I book a trip to a small island with my current ludicrous life-timetable than despicable work comes crawling out of usually work-free crevices and I am left juggling 18 things at once. And I am the clumsiest person on earth. As the Russian lovingly puts it, “Your hands grow out of your arse.”
I wondered if I might have the good fortune to be in a (non-fatal, of course) plane crash. Just a bit of a skid off the runway, then me suffering from shock for, say, about five months and nicely being holed up in hospital and enjoying the room-service. I offered this scenario to the Russian for his consideration. “Whaddaya think? A plane crash might be nice.” “You haven’t paid the rent yet.”
I’m not very good at life at the moment. I’m having to do an amount of work that, presumably, 99% of other grown-ups cope with on a day-to-day basis. Then there are trips to islands. Summer guests. Summer weddings. Visas to organise. Officialdom to deal with. And the Russian’s insistence that we VOLUNTARILY get on a plane at another point in the summer to go to a place which neither of us will know, where we will know no-one (admittedly, that could be a plus) and where I will yearn, the whole time, to be at home. Do I still have to feign interest in the local iron-age mushroom museum at 36? Couldn’t we just stay in bed?
Thankfully, the destination for the next plane-journey of the summer isn’t yet fixed. Various places I’d rather skewer my testicles than go to in unknown bits of France and Spain have been posited. (I’d be happier at Lidl.) “Hm, but where would we stay?” I say, hoping to fudge the issue for another few heavenly minutes. “No, we can’t go there. The water’s too rough and cold…” “…or there, they vote Le Pen…” “…no, isn’t that the bit of Spain which is a Belgium-sized greenhouse?” The British Isles and the former Soviet Union are ruled out for the sake of neutrality. Anywhere else non-EU and the Russian will need a life-force-sapping visa. “Greece?” the Russian suggested as I manoeuvred my ear-plugs, blindfold and slippers into position. “Yes, we could go to Mt. Athos [and I could become a monk, at last, which is what I’ve always wanted, never meeting anyone ever again, but for Prince Charles when he comes on retreat].” “Is it island?” “No, it’s on the mainland…” “…or Mykonos?” “No, I don’t vont go gay place. I hate gays.”
Lesbos it is, then.