To the north

With four hun­dred peo­ple aboard the plane hur­tles through the night. I try to find a posi­tion to sleep. If I lean too much to the right, my leg falls asleep, but when I sit up, I get cramps in my neck. My thoughts do not leave me alone. The news that we received a week ago gives a new direc­tion to our plans for the future.

When Fro­do left the Shire, he also missed his soft bed. Wak­ing up with a stiff neck and a tree root in his back, he is think­ing of the words of Bil­bo:

It’s a dan­ger­ous busi­ness, Fro­do, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no know­ing where you might be swept off to.”

Wise words. When we board­ed a plane more than three months ago, we thought we were going to Chile, but it turned out that the moun­tains of Patag­o­nia, the gar­lic har­vest at Chiloé and the mead­ows sur­round­ing Osorno were only stopovers on our jour­ney to Scot­land. Fred­dy has applied at the James Hut­ton Insti­tute in Aberdeen, and is going to work there for a year.

That means that this peri­od of work on the coun­try­side is over, and we are again prepar­ing a move to the UK. After the Brex­it ref­er­en­dum we may wit­ness anoth­er his­toric ref­er­en­dum: the inde­pen­dence of Scot­land. We missed our own par­lia­men­tary elec­tions by one day, but a stew­ardess comes by to show us the pre­lim­i­nary results.

When the blan­ket slides from my shoul­ders once again, I give up my strug­gle with the chair. I’ll have to accept the sleep­less night and a jet lag. In the Nether­lands, we will have to arrange a lot in order to move to our new place dur­ing the East­er week­end. But in the vac­u­um of trav­el­ing I do not yet have to think about that. I fish my ear­phones out of the chair and sink into the series on my screen.

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