Day 1 of London to Singapore Over the Surface of the Planet Earth
At 1900h on a Thursday in October, i find myself in a flat in Bermondsey, the Shard framed in my bedroom window. Inside the room, a bergen is stuffed full of tokens of my life in London, and i am rushing to catch the 1932 Abellio Greater Anglia from London Liverpool Street to Harwich International.
But first, i stop to hoover the room for Ben who will be moving in on Saturday.
This is the contents of the bergen:
i am incredibly thankful that Bus 47 arrives 2 minutes after i scramble to Jamaica Road, and surprisingly for that time of the evening, we encounter no traffic jams.
A few minutes to spare, my bergen and i locate a seat each on the 1932. Finally resting a little after the mad sweaty rush of the day, i find my mobile contains photos of people in the church office waving and shouting goodbye and farewell texts from my RML group and other friends.
My nose starts to bleed.
People in the twin seats facing us stare embarrassed at their newspapers.
At Harwich International, we turn left up an escalator and a disorderly queue forms. There’s an x-ray machine and plainclothes police. We collect our room cards and trundle up the gangway to the Stena Line. Quite a number are using the Rail & Sail Dutchflyer Service from London to Amsterdam.
There’s a telly and free wifi, a towel and bedlinen with short dark hairs of the previous user. The bathroom is spacious enough and the shower dispenses hot water with good pressure. After a good half hour of listening to people wandering past my cabin speculating on where their own might be (“the numbers are ascending here…”), i leave to chat with several Filipino crew before tiredness drives me to a hot shower and a dreamless sleep.