I arrive in Darwin. I might well have stumbled onto the set of Neighbours. The men are all real blokes, no-one is worried about anything and Bouncer the dog is on the baggage carousel sniffing bags.
They ask me why I’m only in Australia for 4 days. I give them the short version. I tell them work. I say I have to get back to London. I struggle to justify this trip with myself, let alone Messrs H. S. B. and C. But you know. C’est la vie. Life’s short. Life’s for living. La vie en rose. All that bunk.
I arrive in Melbourne. It’s cold. I was expecting that, but not the trees in autumn colours. It’s beautiful and a refreshing change. I’m close now. I am extremely excited. I have anticipated the bus ride or whatever to get me out of Melbourne town centre (present location). I have imagined the culmination of this trip three dozen times, on sleeper trains and dorm beds, in between moments and while staring out at strange scenery rushing by. I have pictured the front of the house, the doorbell, the look on my sister and brother-in-law’s faces. I’ve even come up with strategies for unusual circumstances (it’s raining) or unforeseen eventualities (they’re out). Every time I think about it, I smile like a big idiot.