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This is how it is.

Recent weeks, and recent days, suggest strongly to me that most folk just really don’t grasp what I’m doing. This business of me folding my tents and vanishing into the night is not simple, or trivial, and particularly not temporary.

Let’s talk about the effort involved, to start with. It’s not about packing, and buying a plane ticket. It’s going through the exercise of obtaining a 5 year working visa. It’s making connections with IT agencies in the UK, and fencing schools, and potential places to lay my head before I get settled. It’s working out what my existing insurance does and does not cover, and how I need to re-jig my banking and tax, and whether I need a NIN when I arrive or I can sort it out afterwards. It’s sorting out to rent my house, and getting the stairs fixed and walls washed and garden cleared, and sorting out the new insurance. It’s carrying out an aggresive triage on every single Thing I have accumulated in my life – this to go in the backpack, that to go to charity, the other to be packed in the correct box for later shipping, all of those to wait endlessly for people to pick up and carry away, and the rest to get to the garbage dump.

And all of that to be fitted around a full time job, and the normal round of housekeeping, and shopping, and cooking, and eating and sleeping.

So no, I don’t have time to be going to fencing two or three times each week, nor to go dancing once a week, nor to be going out several times a week.

I don’t think people really grasp that I’m not coming back. If it doesn’t work out in England, I’ll be trying Spain, or the Netherlands, or Canada, or Japan. Or at worst, Melbourne or Sydney. Oh sure, I may come back occasionally for weddings, funerals, babies. But the nature and extent of the effort is not shaped toward a few months there and then back.

That fencing I did at the PSSF end-of-term party on Sunday? That’s the last time I will be fencing with PSSF. Unless you meet me in a different context, we won’t cross blades again. I will probably drop in to the training hall once more, to pick up Delia’s sword and return some books and drop off my uniform, but it will be a flying visit. I will probably go to the October Brisbane Swordplay in the park afternoon, to say farewell to a few people, but then my fencing gear will be packed away ready for shipping.

So there it is and thus it is. I’m on a strict timetable that I’m resolutely not counting down, and then at the end of November I’ll be flying away into the night. Thus it is, and there it is.

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