London – day 260 (J)

One would imagine that being back in London, is much like returning to the mundane, monotonous and predictable life of before. Some, most would agree with this statement. But, on the morning after some torrential downpours and lightning storms, the city was in a gloomy, ominous mood with everything pretty much grinding to a halt, causing havoc, and people unable to get to work/home and get kids to nannies and/or school. While Ed managed to vote before we got to the train station, neither of us were going to manage to get to Raynes Park before getting in to the hospital. The road passing under the bridge was like a lake with abandoned cars resembling lily pads and the streets were awash with continuing rainwater, spurting up from the man holes. And the trains… tuna cans would have felt more comfortable, as some of the only trains that were running were crammed to the max. So, we ordered a taxi, finally organised to meet him on the other side of the flooded road and waited patiently in Waitrosse for our chariot to arrive. Ed expertly navigated the streets for the driver, getting us out past the worst of the congestion. But, paying and abandoning the hopeless endeavour near to Morden station we power walked to the tube and got the Northern line to Stockwell, the Victoria to Green Park and the Piccadilly line westwards. Ed had by this stage missed his meeting at 08:15 and was hopefully back on track to make it to the airport in time to check-in. I jumped off at Baron’s Court and legged it, already being 5mins late for my appointment. 

2hrs 50mins after leaving house, 5min run to The GIC and I was 10mins late for a half hour appointment slot. I was so bloody stressed and the sweat was pouring out of me. It was with no relief that the Dr. himself was running behind. Bloody weather!!! Grrr!!! But, half hour story/conversation cut short and all I’ll say is that it was a productive and positive visit. I won’t be returning to the secretive offices above the supermarket and should hear directly from the next group of doctors about continuing my process and transition. 

I skipped down the road, annoying Katherine over the phone with the sound of the umbrella scrapping and thumping off the footpath. And before ya know it I was at the passport office collecting my brand new shiny passport. I was beside myself with excitement. I just sat in the waiting area with the page open with all my details and stared at it. I went to Starbucks (being very good good and not binging in Burger King), but ended up getting a cheese & ham toasty, a raspberry & white chocolate muffin and a chocolate & marshmallow s’more frappuchino. Their wifi provided me with a chance to Whatsapp Katherine and share my excitement and good news about the morning. 

Managing to get in to Wimbledon on the still very interrupted train service, I went to O2 to sort out my SIM. We both changed contracts and plans to be on a pay-as-you-go for travelling, with no need of mobile data or free calls and texts while abroad. O2 never migrated my sim and I was stuck in a position to use the card that was connected to the expensive contract. A fact that the cranky lady didn’t seem to fathom in my conversation to her yesterday. But, the gentleman in store managed to sort out everything and I had another job done before waking across the ridgeway to Cottenham Park and voting on the EU Referendum debacle. It was on this walk that I noticed I had lost/forgotten Ed’s umbrella – either in the passport office or Starbucks. 

I played some board games with Alex that afternoon before leaving the Park residence. I wanted to wait and say goodbye to Narae, but with transport still buggered up, I left for Clare & Martin’s before it got too late. We had a chilled out evening with pizza and watching ‘Warcraft’. An awful film that we were happy to see the end of.  

Thursday 23rd June 2016

Shepparton – day 260 (K)

Having had a more ‘relaxed’ day yesterday, today was the day of productivity!! Woke up and Skyped Jayne before reading a bit more of my book (it’s already far too interesting and addictive!). Got showered and dressed before I got sucked in to reading another chapter and grabbed the duvet that Tracey needed washing and walked down the road to the laundrette. Now, I haven’t been to a laundrette since my university days a few years (ahem… 13 years) ago, however they are still the same… Brilliant old machines that object to the tiniest bit of dirt on your coins positioned next to tumble driers big enough to fit a fully grown human being inside! I put the duvet in the ‘big’ machine and stood in the corner (there were no seats) and tried to read my book. However, I got too distracted by the people coming in and out, carrying loads of clothes, towels and even someone with hospital uniforms. There was also a (very) pregnant woman wearing a thong (or worse… going commando!!) under her fully stretched, practically see through leggings. Thankfully the washing cycle was relatively quick and I managed to grab a tumble dryer before the laundrette started getting busy. 20 minutes later, the duvet was clean and dry! Walked back to Tracey’s house via the supermarket to pick up some essentials – cereal, toilet paper and more alcohol! The rest of the day was spent sorting out clothes washing, editing my Lonely Planet article and watching TV. Tracey came home from the gym and we had a dinner of left over food items and cheese whilst chatting about various things. Tracey’s colleague had seen the videos I have been sending daily of me singing to songs about loneliness and did her own, using a hairdryer as a wind machine… Bring it on – it’s now officially become a competition! Ate the rocky road chocolate apple as we watched a couple of episodes of ‘Orange is the New Black’ and caught the end of the AFL game between Adelaide and North Melbourne. I understand some of the rules now but still want to try and catch a live game whilst we are ‘down under’. 12 days to go!Thursday 23rd June 2016