June 24th 2010. Back in England. Heathrow Terminal 4 to be precise. I had landed safely, thanked my lucky small gods of air travel, and I’d made it through arrivals without problems to pick up my two overfull suitcases. OMG,They weighed a ton. Well one hundred pounds actually but it felt like a ton. I’d boarded the train to the central bus station with some difficulty. I mean have you tried hauling two fifty pound cases on those silly little wheels while balancing a hefty laptop on your shoulder at the same time? Escalators are a real challenge I found out, the hard way. But I had made it and now awaited my bus home. I did feel relatively happy. The flying bit was over now at least. No more bloody planes for a while. I sighed with relief.
And England Oh My England. After six months in the states it looked shabby. The cars looked small. Even the sky looked small. I noticed the litter and the run down look of the place. I sighed and waited for my coach to Cambridge which I was told would be one hour late. Deep joy. When it did arrive the air conditioning was knackered and so I sweltered all the way back to Cambridge. How the hell was I going to get by without my Raven I thought sadly (and sweatingly). But at least the weather was good and I even managed to keep my tan topped up for the first couple of weeks compliments of the back garden.
One of my first stops back in Suffolk was to Sainsbury’s for one of the few things I had missed in the US of A. A fresh hot sausage roll. I had craved one in Ohio but no luck there and so I mightily enjoyed our being re-united. I also bought a coffee filter machine. I had become addicted to fresh brewed coffee in Ohio and I needed one. I even bought my Starbucks mug back with me. Great stuff. I couldn’t lay my hands on half and half though so I had to make do with Coffeemate powder. But hey I’d get used to it.
Since I’ve been away the UK has had a general election. It got scant mention in the US. But yes I did follow it. The UK now has a Conservative/Lib Democrat coalition. The ConDems? Hmm I give that maybe a year. I must admit I was surprised. I thought the Tories would win with a landslide. Maybe last year they would have. But I can see this coalition ending up like all others. The average ConDem supporter is more inclined to Labour. As times are getting harder the ConDems are seeing a massive slump in their support. Already rifts are appearing. Basically they are getting cold feet. There will be tears before bedtime methinks.
And the main culprits for the recession slink away. The labour party knew they were doomed but to be honest I think they were surprised they had such a good result. It was closer than expected. And the other culprits are the banks. Ahem. Who caused this crash which is still ongoing? The banks. Financiers who didn’t think their profits were huge enough and so rolled up enormous and very dodgy debts. Bonuses larger than the average guys annual pay packet were paid out. They turned out to be the school dunces and we bailed them out. Taxpayers bailed them out to the extreme of breaking this countries finances.
But they are big business. Some went to the wall yes but not many. But have you noticed the subtle shift in blame. It is now becoming the peoples fault. They borrowed too extravagantly. They were naïve. They were stupid. And now you will pay with higher bank charges. With less chance of loans and mortgages. Yes YOU will pay. But already I notice that they are paying those huge bonuses again. I am sorry but I put them right up there with the churches. Greedy sanctimonious bastards ….rant over.
And back in England? Coming home. Well not really home anymore. I am staying with my mum. And life is boring. I have been looking for some kind of job to top the old pot up a bit but apart from the odd week temping I haven’t had that much luck so I have been mostly making do with David Cameron’s Tory beer vouchers. I have read a lot and pottered in my mum’s garden. Seeing my new grandson Kian was one of my few pleasures along with my kids. But mostly I have missed my Raven.
After spending six months with this fantastic lady it is kind of hard and kind of lonely to be on my own for a while. Waking up alone hurts. Going to bed alone hurts. Pretty much everything without her hurts. I suppose all that has kept me sane has been her voice on the telephone and Skype. Our constant exchange of cards and small gifts has helped too. I actually look out eagerly for the postman now for mixed amongst the advertising bumpf and job application refusals I so often find wonderful cards and letters from my lady. It also helps that I know I will be returning to her in October and so immediately on my return I started planning for the day.
But until then I have to endure a mediocre English summer on my own.