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Zero Hour - 7:40am.

I emigrate tomorrow.

 

It's an odd feeling that. I look at the clock on the wall and think 'this time tomorrow...' Back in September when I booked myself onto a TEFL course I had no idea of just how far reaching the chain of events I had set in motion would stretch out. About 1500 miles as it happens.

 

Now, as the clock ticks down and I wrestle with the full ramifications of what it is I'm doing two rather irritating catch-phrases from characters I worked alongside in past years have crept to the forefront of my brain.

 

To the sniggers of his colleagues in the big open plan office we shared in Glasgow one of my old workmates was fond of positing theories on how various IT projects were going to pan out with the rider 'With a bit of luck and a fair wind ...' On reflection, it was a splendidly cavalier and artistic approach from a man who was after all entrusted with a fair chunk of a well known utility supplier's IT budget. Oh how we all used to laugh when things went wrong.

 

Amusingly, I find myself now using the phrase a lot as I weigh up my chances of falling flat on my face and having to flee back to Scotland before the schools are out for summer.

 

The second wince inducing catch-phrase was uttered on a regular basis by someone else entirely and speaks of a more pragmatic man, a man much more inured to seeing IT projects blown off course by ill winds and bad luck. He used to say 'We are where we are'. I'm now ashamed to admit my reaction to each utterance was always annoyance. Only with the passage of time have I come to see the true magnificence and power of what on the face of it seems such a trite and banal thing to say.

 

If you don't know what I'm talking about then next time you have an office disagreement, or even a full on marital bust up, simply trot out 'we are where we are' and you'll see. At once all blame is absolved, all responsibility thrown off, and with a line in the sand everyone agrees to move on. No matter what you've done this rather terse statement somehow gets you off the hook. The other protagonist in the argument is forced to accept your 'apology' (such as it is) and risks becoming the jerk if he/she doesn't then agree to forget what's happened and start over.

 

So I am where I am. If it all goes pear shaped from now on then clearly it's not my fault. It's someone else's. Even though that's not necessarily true. Or something. With a bit of luck and a fair wind I'll survive the coming months. Hell, I might even land a job then who knows what could happen after that?

 

And anyway, it's not as if the past 24 months have been a doddle. A collapsed marriage, redundancy, the loss of home, car, friends, cats, and Sky telly have left me staring into an abyss. I survived it though and am now due a benign change of weather. Surely.

 

Zero hour fast approaches and I'll soon discover whether or not my ill fortune has bottomed out. Light at the end of a long tunnel or an oncoming train? I actually think it's going to be fun finding out.

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