We’re running out of time – there is still so much to see and do in this amazing city. Although, as much as we have enjoyed our stay here, it has also proved to be difficult, London – the city of opportunities – is not forgiving and if you can’t make it, you just can’t stay. We have experienced our share of the housing crisis, moved again and again and met one dubious landlord after another. I was ready to give up last autumn, but even though it added another bloodsucking landlord I’m happy we moved to Wembley. This lead to me joining the Sudbury Court Running Club which improved my social life considerably and helped me in my training for the marathon. We also found the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book club, which we truly enjoyed.
In a way, I wish we could stay longer. I have just got the taste of Park Run, a concept bordering on a religion as it seems – and this could have been a religion I could believe in. In addition, there are so many exhibitions that we have not yet made it to, like the Comix Creatix: 100 women making comics and we have not seen The Book of Mormon which we talked about since we came here. These are lost opportunities and a part of the problem that London poses – there is simply too much cool stuff to do. Sadly, many opportunities are lost and regardless of how hard you try there is no way keeping up. On the positive side, I just bought tickets for next Saturday’s show of Taming of the Shrew at the Globe Theatre.
At this point, I have nearly finished my studies, I defended my BA thesis yesterday: Comparison of Authentic and Simplified Text: a case study of Wuthering Heights. Now I have only one last assignement to finish in the parallel course, sociolinguistics – it is a short essay on loaded lexis in the Brexit propaganda. Work progresses slowly though, my brain is frying and I can’t wait to hit the road with the motorbikes. Leading up to that, I have managed to order a double camping mattress wider than my tent. It now stands between getting rid of the mattress or getting a larger tent. We do need a larger tent, mine is very small – but I had hoped to make that a later purchase. Well well, to make things further complicated, we lost Christopher’s bag on the way home from the centre yesterday. We had an otherwise fantastic evening celebrating my thesis and buying camping equipment. Now Christopher has to replace all his cards, including the driver’s licence. And all this while we prepare to move. And yes, since we are moving everyone naturally asks where we are moving and no-one seems quite satisfied with the answer “we don’t know yet”. “But hey you move in a week and you don’t know where” is the frequent response. We’ll I’ve heard that so many times now that it drives me crazy. For sure, it will work out somehow and we do have options, perhaps too many? I did get sidetracked for some time by a job opportunity in Tenerife – I could definitely see us packing the bikes and emigrating there. Running on the beach, riding in the mountains, island hopping around the Canary Islands on my holidays. There is even a marathon in the autumn. Well, it didn’t work out, unfortunately, so now we are back to plan A, which is Japan. Albeit no real job oppotunities have appeared yet, despite regularly sending in job applications, we have hope and autumn is still far away. Plan B, or one of them anyway, is Italy. Living, riding and running in Italy certainly has its appeal. One concern for us is, of course, the EU referendum and how a possible vote to leave the union will affect us as a mixed couple wanting to live and work within the EU. Less of a problem if we go to Japan I suppose, but still.
So while some things are uncertain and others very stressful, I do feel great satisfaction in what has been achieved lately. Apart from the satisfaction of finishing my essay, I’m also proud (still – I hope it doesn’t wear off too soon) of the accomplishment of running the Leiden Marathon and fundraising for Motorcycle Outreach! By today’s date we have reached our fundraising target and the giving page is still open so more money can still come in.
Fundraising was hard work, harder than running, in fact. Mainly because I knew how to run, I just had to get better – while fundraising was something I had no experience of. I am now one experience richer and I would definitely do it again, it has been so rewarding to see the support from WIMA members, family and friends. Anneli and I will do a presentation and follow up of this in Hungary at WIMA’s annual rally and then we will see what marathon to do next, with or without fundraising, Tokyo Marathon is high up the list!
I’ll end here, if this post comes across as a piece of rambling I have to say that it only reflects my state of mind. This year, more than ever, I need a holiday – please stay tuned for more coherent posts in the future when we head out to live with our bikes. First destination: Horizons Unlimited meet in Wales.