Two weeks in Australia. Really, it was a fact-finding expedition. I was done with London. Done. The tube, the crowds, the rich versus the poor, the free fucking newspapers and everyone avoiding eye contact.
I don’t want this to morph into a travel blog, so I won’t wax lyrical about the beautiful beaches, the glorious food and the debauched nights out (although I did managed to get myself banned from a small town RSL). Instead, what hit me is that, well… I’m not really an outdoors kind of guy. I don’t surf and I don’t watch football. Perhaps Sydney isn’t the place for me. Somehow I fit better under the sodium glow of London’s streetlights. Late night. Darkness. That sort of poetic asphalt crap that people bleat on about when they declare their love for cities. Although it’s not like Sydney isn’t a city. It’s just that London is the city.
So when I landed back in England, after a gruelling 25 hour journey filled with screaming babies and neglectful parents, I was relieved. London. My home. I jumped in an Uber and reeled off my postcode.
The cabbie – a second-gen Sri Lankan – quizzed me about Brexit. He said he was voting to leave the EU because he didn’t like immigrants. Well, I thought, it’s nice to be back.
But it wasn’t.
We drove up the North Circular and through Hangar Lane. I used to see a girl who lived in one of those fucked up terraces. It didn’t end so well. I unpacked my suitcase and flicked on the TV. I tried to be content. Happy.
The next morning, I took the train into work. Moorgate 7.28am. Cunts everywhere. I worked through two weeks’ worth of emails in 45 minutes and then spent the rest of the day online gambling. I was 2 grand up by the time I skulked off home (4pm).
I put my feeling of unease down to jetlag, but this morning it had grown from a nagging irritation in the back of my skull to my entire body shaking with hate. I think it was the guy by Moorgate escalators, his hair slick with pomade, knocking the back of my shins with his Fred Perry gym bag that did it. Enough.
So I got into work and typed out my resignation. I post-dated it to 19th December 2016. That’ll give me enough time to sort shit out and collect my end of year bonus. Three month notice to work through and then who knows…?
It’s sitting in an envelope in my desk drawer.
Oh, and in case you wondered, I’m still writing. Still trawling through short stories and edits and that sort of endless writer shit. I even knocked up some covers. Trouble is, I think I like them better than I like the words inside.