2005-01-03: The Eagle has flown the coop
We have fled Reading. England itself. (With the exception of a return to Heathrow for our expensive bag storage). No more assets remain for us (just a small amount of pounds that will be all gone after Italy); debt remains in our name. The debt is only few hundred pounds, but if you count in all the rent that we should have paid then we would be closer to £1200 owed. In other words most of what I earn in a month, meaning we wouldn't have crammed any of what we have done in the last month in.
Important things for the Brits, more beer, less sugar
England decided to turn on a 'typical' English day for us. Instead of damnable sun-shine (even if freezing) we got a good overcast day, that was cold, a bit of wind, and sprinkles of rain. Dreary weather makes the English look happiest as they trudge along in the rain, their only defence to getting wet is to hunch up their shoulders.
Goodbye my love
Luggage space was a problem. Edyta was convinced we could squeeze all of her goodies and what few clothes we haven't given to charity into a suitcase and two carry ons. I was convinced this would never happen, so while in Reading collecting Edytas' last pay and me transferring money I found a good size bag going cheap so we brought it (this was after Edyta had purchased a heshon sack thinking that would be enough). The bag is now full, as is the suitcase, and both weigh well over excess baggage charges. I had to say goodbye to the old nylon jacket of mine that had been with me for years (the one I wear in any photo where it is cold). It was a sad moment, the jacket has been with me through Australia, New Zealand, Poland, France and Spain. Now it will be gracing the back of one of the homeless people in Reading (no one would buy that dirty thing).
As has happened with most of my bookings recently I discovered I'd made a mistake on the date. In Spain I realized I'd booked a flight a day early and adjusted it, for Australia I realized I booked a flight while we were still in Italy and had to pay to adjust that. And for Italy I'd booked a train for a month before we even left. That is annoying, as it is well past the refund date so that 90 euro is gone. I did manage to get a new train booked but not after a small drama trying to find a free network. In the dark and potential rain I went down to my table where Mr Belkin54g gives me free access to the Internet only to find that network no-where in range. Panicking I started war surfing, wandering from dark corner to dark corner to find a network. As I was about to give up I returned to the first spot to try again and luckily the network had returned. I still had to leave and come back when I discovered I hadn't written my VISA expiry date which was needed for the online booking.