Monday was my final day in Barcelona. Really I should say my final day for now, since I plan to go back. I worked from my friend’s living room in the morning, then when she came home from her course we went for a drink at a focaccia place just up the road, then I got on the metro and headed to the airport.
When I’d originally looked at tickets there from London, they’d been £30 direct each way, but by the time I actually got around to going it was summer holiday time, which meant the cheapest I could get was about £160 in total, and that included a nine-hour nighttime layover in Geneva airport.
So I did my first ever night of airport sleeping. It actually wasn’t too bad. I’ve slept in worse places.
But it did leave me tired, and astounded at the prices (two small glasses of orange juice cost £8.40, significantly more than London, which I’d always found extortionate).
I got back to my house at about 9am on Tuesday and immediately started working. I’d spent some time at 5am in Geneva scheduling posts for the day for one of my clients, but now it was time for everything else. I managed to do a full day’s work and stay awake until about 9pm, when I collapsed into bed.
My bed’s comfy at the best of times, but when you’ve just slept on a concrete airport floor, a memory foam mattress feels wonderfully luxurious.
It’s almost worth doing that from time to time just to make myself appreciate what I have.
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been attempting to test a piece of forensic software for one of my clients, and have been coming up against multiple issues in the process.
On Wednesday I decided it was time to tackle it once and for all.
After discovering that it wouldn’t image my Hudl2 despite it listing ‘Android’ as a supported item, I went to see my friend Sikandar, who runs one of those little shops where you can buy just about anything, go on the internet, get your phone unlocked and pick up a cheap second-hand device. I borrowed a BlackBerry Pearl, then wandered up the road to buy some leads I needed to add to my forensic kit.
On the way back I noticed a public picnic event happening in the park – I decided to join in. Bought a salad from Pret and sat down at a table. I’d been half-hoping to make friends with someone who lived nearby, being relatively isolated out here in my little borough, but of course this is England so no one talks to each other. We sat in awkward silence, ten of us at a table, staring intently at salads and phones and anything that wasn’t each other, then got up awkwardly and walked away. Awkwardly.
Ah, I’m back in England.
When I got home and plugged in the BlackBerry it occurred to me that my life suddenly felt like one of those hacker movies. I’d borrowed something from a techie friend and was now back at my house, running geeky analyses on the device. All I needed was pizza and I’d be fulfilling the nerd stereotype.
At some point my cat decided she wanted in on the forensic action, too.
The rest of the week passed in much the same way: buying bits and pieces of forensic equipment (and a new Hudl2, when I dropped mine off the side of the couch and smashed its face), analysing devices, collating results, looking through reports…
It’s been a very forensicy week. The whole time I’ve felt a bit like I’m living in a movie. Or CSI. Or Criminal Minds. Or, you know, just the dream I’ve been having for years about what my life would one day be like.
On Saturday I spent a blissful morning curled up in an armchair in my living room, big mug of coffee in hand, in perfect silence apart from my cat purring across the room.
It’s nice to be back.
I really love travelling and discovering new places, but I’ve been on the road so much recently that I’ve discovered a longing for home. It’s not homesickness exactly, more of a desire to stay in one place for more than two weeks.
This desire won’t be fulfilled for a while, though.
From now until the last week in August I’ll be on the road in the UK (Oxford, West Sussex, Brighton, Somerset, maybe Scotland). After that I’m planning to try to stay in my flat for as long as possible. Maybe even until my Africa trip in November.
But more on that another day.
Today I cleaned my flat properly for the first time in several weeks, then went to hang out with my BFF for a while. Coffee at a little place in Soho, then an uncharacteristic but fun Oxford Street shopping trip (him: Footasylum & Topman; me: Lush), and then he introduced me to Flat Iron on Denmark Street (home to the Alley Cat bar, my favourite place to play gigs), and I had my first steak in about three years.
It was freakin’ awesome.
It’s been another really nice week, one that hasn’t felt quite real, like I’m living a life that can’t be real; that can’t possibly be mine.
But it is, and I am.
Things I wrote this week
An overview of the FT Cyber Security Summit, which I’ll be attending in September. There’s a 15% off code in the article too, if you’re interested in going along.
A review of my friend’s book, The Buddha Pill – Can Meditation Change You?
A review of Kids’ Mystery Monthly, a new mystery-themed magazine for kids (also included: an insight into Child Scar).
Things I read this week
The Devil Wears Clogs by Jennifer Burge
Just Go! Leave the Treadmill for a World of Adventure by Gabi & Skip Yetter
A Cure for Suicide by Jesse Ball
Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
Don’t Get Me Wrong by Marianne Kavanagh
The Occult Arts of Ancient Egypt by Bernard Bromage
Until next time.