Back to Blighty and the first thing I notice is the speed. The wonderful taxi driver who picks me up at the airport, chirpy and with a big smile, jumps into her seat and whisks me off down some narrow roads at a phenomenal speed. She’s within the limit but coming from the Falklands, where the maximum is 40mph, she’s like a daredevil.
Going into town the train is sedate by comparison and the fact that I can choose my hours means that I travel when I get a seat. Trains don’t exist in the Falkland Islands, or if they do I’ve yet to see one. I realise that I take trains for granted.
A queue in Pret a Manger is normal but twice as long as anything I’ve experienced for the past few months. The choice for lunch is confusing and I want to taste a little of everything. Fresh crayfish and rocket is a real treat and something I would have taken for granted before FI.
The tube is intimidating and I feel claustrophobic. People are mostly pleasant; occasionally someone is rude and I notice that rudeness more than before.
A quick shop and I’ve bought more ‘stuff’ in 30 minutes than would be possible in a week of trawling the shops of the Falkland Islands. The colours, textures, smells and array of options leaves me breathless. I’m just as appalled as enthused by the options. What will happen to this ‘stuff’ if not sold? I realise I’ve lived quite well without having to make choices like these. I select the things I want and enjoy the act of purchase.
Finally, I have one stop I need to make and it attacks my senses. The most amazing florist who specialises in miniature arrangements. Just a few small flowers but they mean so much.