Then there is the journey I returned from last week - Derbyshire to Wellington and Sydney and back in two and a half weeks, and I'm still trying to assimilate the disturbance.
It's an odd thing being cooped up in a flying fridge-cold capsule in the semi dark for fourteen hours, then another seven, then another three, broken by periods of feeding on things like mango ice lolly, and curry. The landings at various airports are equally unsettling, alien brightly lit environments with winding queues of tired people, and so many interrogations by humourless officials that I became obsessed about the whereabouts of my passport even though it was always in my bag. How do people manage when they don't understand the language? It must be terrifying.
I had the most wonderful time away, full of love and new discovery. The other side of the world felt fresh, youthful and full of possibility. I had the sense of being able to achieve anything - so much happiness and exhilaration
Such luxury to cross the world and return in so little time has to come with a cost, and it's been curious to observe it. There's an electric fuzziness around the edges of sleep - as if at brain level something magnetic has been disrupted. Dreams are dense with the quality of damp suffocating sponge, sleep is like anaesthetic. Nothing is familiar - I still feel far away - a sense of dislocation. I can't connect - my loved ones are unreachable.
Today I walked in the fields near home - in the place I love more than anywhere. Old Lane was once a road created for the lead miners but it's a long time since lead was mined in the hills around Wirksworth. It's scarcely a track any longer, the walls on either side are tumbled down, it's full of rocks and deep puddles after the rain. A few sheep graze between White Hills - the old spoil heaps covered in rock rose and wild thyme. The track twists up past fallen barns and capped off lead mines to a tunnel of blackthorn, and the old gardens of a dwelling below The High Peak Trail - raspberry canes tangled with willow herb, horsetail ferns, and columbine.
I am trying to reclaim my roots - and at the same time to recall the sense of wonder and new possibility I felt in Australia - to bring it into my life here.