Well, it had to happen eventually I suppose, a placement that didn’t work out. This was the view as we approached, and in retrospect, we maybe should have seen it as a warning:
It was probably a number of factors: the contrast with the amazing time we had just had, a letter I had received that knocked me sideways and left me depressed and really struggling, and, I think, having learned so much over the summer, getting to the stage where we just wanted to be doing things for ourselves. There were other issues, but our hosts were nice people and I don’t want to use this as a space to analyse and deconstruct the problems.
So I did something I normally just don’t do. I told a lie. I don’t see the point of lying and I’m not a liar. I’m not proud of it and it is totally out of character for me. But on this occasion, I lied. I told a big fat, whopping lie and we did a runner. Sorry. And we spent the remaining days camping down the Wye Valley. It was lovely. Then we popped home for a wedding and Victorious Festival, and then off again – Sri Lanka for a month, India for two months, Greece for a month and then home for Christmas. And Sri Lanka is where we are now.
It was a hard start, I will admit. I was horribly homesick to begin with, and the realisation that 16 weeks is actually quite a long time to be away, sank in. When we were wwoofing, we could drop everything and get back home in four hours, tops, so the distance suddenly weighed heavily too. However, two weeks in and we’re getting into the groove. And I am seeing links with the ultimate aim – which is to get a piece of land and live a sustainable life.
Like, achieving the seemingly impossible. Take a typical Sri Lankan city bus stand, with god knows how many buses, local, long-distance, government, private, asking people who don’t speak the language (my charades will be excellent this Christmas), against the clock, carrying all your worldly belongings in the heaviest backpack, in ridiculous temperatures – and then you do it! You get onto a vehicle with no air-con, standing room only, with a distinct possibility of being groped, knowing that your destination is six hours away. And you feel great! It’s nuts, but I’m going to bottle that feeling for when we are battling with planning permission in a few years’ time.
Like, going without. The evening we wandered out later than usual to get dinner to find that Sri Lankans like to go to bed quite early and everything was closed, so we scraped together a mixture of edible items that really shouldn’t be eaten together in the same meal and felt grateful for a full-ish stomach. I’m bottling that one for when we are still learning to grow veg and our yield isn’t that high and there’s not a lot in the bank to help us out.
Anyway, enough of this, I have this pressing engagement with the sea.
Not sure how much more blogging I’m going to do as we travel, so I’ll see you at Christmas. Go well.