[ 13:30 saturday 12 july – liverpool street station, london ]
the train hums angrily and creeps along the platform. a pre-recorded voice announces excitedly, in various languages, that we’re off to stansted airport. after 11 days in london i’m going back to stromboli for three days to pack up all my equipment and entrust it to poste italiane’s european delivery service. hopefully at least some of it will find its way to london (possibly even in working order). it can’t be any worse than parcelforce, surely?
being back in london is strange. the unremitting grey skies hovering over the city for the first few days felt like they were pressing me in into the ground but i started feeling more cheerful when the sun came out. the things i miss most are the freedom to swim in the sea on impulse and bumping into friends whenever i set foot outside the door. i hate having to think about locking doors again. my first visit to a supermarket was a predictably grim experience. but lots of positive things are happening with trampoline and this keeps me from getting too gloomy. this is why i came back, after all.
warren and ann were in london when i arrived, fresh from their journey through italy (to my delight they even paid a flying visit to stromboli). they’re back in san francisco now but have kindly let me stay in their house in greenwich for a few weeks, so i have a breathing space before i have to get to grips with house hunting. on july the fifth they held a “fourth of july” party. visitors were greeted with a rainbow-striped italian “pace” flag alongside an american stars and stripes, which i thought was an intriguing conjunction.