When I wake in two months’ time, it will be in a room, not a tent.
It will not take me a minute to work out what country I am in. I know the answer even now. It will be England.
I will not be camped in a roadside picnic area, petrol station forecourt or someone’s back yard. I will be in a bedroom.
My belongings will fill cupboards and drawers across several rooms, perhaps even several buildings. They will not fit into four panniers nor will they need to.
In a few months from now my morning tea will be served caffeine free and sugar free – there’ll be no justification for either any more – but at least I’ll be able to make it without first stuffing a propane canister down my trousers to warm it up or assembling a tiny titanium camping stove. I’ll just push a button.
It will no longer be appropriate, in the year ahead, to rapidly consume an entire family sized pumpkin pie with filfthy hands outside a cafe before entering it, ordering a huge plate of nachos and eating them too. Certainly not at eleven in the morning. A ‘Heart Attack Burger’ will be less an afternoon snack and more a prophecy.
In months to come the decision of what to wear will be dictated by occasion and whim rather than temperature and wind. This will be a luxury and a hassle.
This time next year the length of my days will probably be set by contract not sun. Sunrise will be of no relevance but my alarm clock will. When night falls, bulbs will fill the void.
When all this is over, dinners will be cooked with multiple burners, prepared with multiple knives and eaten with multiple utensils (none of which will be sporks). Washing up will still be a chore.
I will no longer meet new people every day and I will no longer need to keep making conversation with strangers. I won’t be forced to exercise for hour after hour and I may never be as fit. I won’t be able to eat unlimited quantities but nor will I need to. My body will not constantly ache at the end of a day but I probably won’t sleep as soundly as a result. Life will be easier. Life will be more complicated.
So, perhaps in a year I’ll look back with a tear but if I do it will roll past a smile.