Year Abroad Diaries: 29 August 2012

Everything is approaching so fast and muddled. Blurs from day to day; scribbles on paper; visions in retinas and living the emotions of the moment.

Weekend. C drives me south to Glasgow, where I meet Mother. We have a lazy wander with the smells of Princes Square and the glitter of the Argyle Arcade, until the rain begins. It has been a humid afternoon in the city; people don’t think of changing skies and are dressed for the heat. When we leave the shine of the Arcade, girls in sandals squash pass with dripping manes… oh Scottish weather, take mercy on us!

Then after a day working, I head back up to the city. I split open a paperback and am watched curiously by a gang of girls sitting opposite, engaging in bovine chat. Unfortunately when I stand they clock the white ensign on my jacket, and one stabs, “Royal Navy? Aye, that’ll be right.” It stings, and I wish the comment had hit before I reached the door. But as things stand, I get off with a crushed feeling, just as I meet C at the station. Not ideal.

Tesco has a rather calming effect. We throw boxes in a basket, and I produce a box of eggs from work. In the heat of the flat he makes an omelette, flicking and fussing, becoming scrambled egg. It has such a beautiful finish that he christens it ‘goblin vomit.’

I spend more and more time in Glasgow, which is only punctuated by work and my own duvet. I attempt to see the people I’ve neglected all summer: S, A and J, and on Saturday some cadet friends. Then with a jolt I’m home and Mother is saying, “When was the last time you saw your grandparents?”

Like all the guilty, I hit the offensive. “I’m trying. I need to see my friends before I go too! Dividing my time is hard.” She looks and says that it doesn’t take much. But I’m being dragged. I’m being ground down five million different routes, being decent to my friends, appearing for family dinners and treating myself to the odd cycle. Trying to mask the worry about migrating to the continent.

All I want to do is go to France in the knowledge that I haven’t let anyone down, that I’ve done my best by all as I wave farewell. I am attempting to juggle a lot of things simultaneously, and to my sadness they are falling to the floor.

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