Saturday, 2 June 2018

Returning to England, dancing with death and escaping the mountain

Here's a sentence I never thought I'd be typing: I'm going back to England. 

When I left in search of a new life and adventure all that time ago I made peace with the fact I'd never return. So adamant that I'd come to some kind of end while backpacking it alone that I even sold all my possessions and gave my twin my life savings to avoid the costly process that is inheritance tax of a deceased loved one. Kinda regret that now.

A thoroughly thought out plan to an apparently inevitable end.

Departing London I was in such a sorry cycle of nothing that I failed to see a future further than a few weeks ahead. Deteriorating mental health, uncertainty creeping into every questionable decision and an emptiness inside as I also struggled with the added decisions every millennial ponders. 

A stressful career or carefree casual employment? To rent or to buy? To live or to die? Nothing to do and no will to carry on. With so many questions having so few answers, off I fucked. And now, back I go. 

Obviously not for good. Just a month or so to reacquaint myself with my roots and show my mum that I'm no longer a twink - but not yet a daddy. And also to introduce her to my dearest boyfriend I've met along the way.

A friend recently asked why it has been so long since I updated this, and upon reflection, it's because I just cringe now at the idea of being another person sat behind a screen baring their soul online.

It's mental health awareness as I write this, probably won't be when I post it because I'm lazy as, and to break free of the usual cliched sentiment of 'it gets better' for a moment: It doesn't.

Social media seems to have become some kind of safe space of self-diagnosis, self-loathing and self-destruction more than ever these days and everyone's got something they're oversharing while wanting some sympathy inboxed their way. Yet most of them are doing fuck all to actually sort themselves out.

The lack of action behind the online breakdowns and tweeted and deleted cries for attention is actually a bit alarming. Your issues will never leave you, you need to leave them - and if action doesn't follow acknowledgement, you'll drown in that depression as soon as the likes stop rolling in.

That's my advice anyway, kids, and that's what I've learnt from actively trying to spend less time online and more in the real world. Let's make this slightly less fucking miserable now though, yeah? 

This year has been consumed entirely between a quiet life with William and the life we're building together in our new gaff with Winston the dog - while causing all kinds of showbiz scandals with the work crew at NW. The two rarely cross, the balance is healthy and things are, dare I say it, kinda decent.

And before embarking on this European adventure (which apparently sounds like the start of some old Mary Kate and Ashley movie), I thought I'd spend my final week in Sydney for a while living my best life with Will.

Which quickly went to shit as we found ourself fleeing the quiet mountain getaway I'd booked us after finding ourselves in the centre of Australia's now infamous circus sex abuse cult.

Yep, bare with me on this one.

So off we drove into the picturesque Blue Mountains in New South Wales for some loooving in a little wooden cabin type thingy I'd found. We're talking big fireplaces, Emmerdale village vibes and nothing around but crazy views kinda romance.

Just call me Romeo, right? And it truly was perfect... for approx 0.8 seconds until we discovered the owner of the property was a little eccentric. And by that, I mean, she wouldn't leave us the fuck alone to enjoy some mini-break bumming. Sorry, mum. Jk. 

Within minutes of confining us in a small kitchen she'd rattled off stories covering everything from her life on the streets as a homeless teen and travelling with the circus to her disappointing sex life since her hubby decided to go all Call Me Caitlyn and identify as a woman. She seemed lonely, we apparently seemed interested? It was a heartbreaking battle between us not wanting to seem rude and her doing her best to make us feel uncomfortable.

Things sadly then took a sinister twist as she answered a phone call while urging us to stay put. “I just have to take this it's my friend in prison,” she said with such pride. “I have a lot of friends in prison.” Held hostage by her refrigerator and unable to hide our growing concern - she didn't stop there. “They're from town too... they've all been arrested for satanic rituals and stuff.”

Of course they have.

As we finally broke free with a forced smile on our faces, now sweating a little, we fired up Google as we got to our room and discovered the casual “other stuff” her dearest and nearest were awaiting trial for involved 127 collective charges of raping and torturing children at the local circus training school.

Katoomba, the small town we'd randomly selected to spice up our love life, which apparently is big enough to have a circus training school but not a McDonalds, has been at the centre of the world's media for months now as the case awaits trial.

But obviously slipped right past me, the journalist, that freelances across publications in Australia, America and England, literally in the middle of the world's media on a daily basis.

“Just going to grab some food in the town,” we explained to our host while hurrying past and back to our car while fearing for our lives. “Will I even make it back to England?” my mind pondered while expecting some kind of hellish clown with his cock out to catch up to us first. “What if I never taste a Greggs sausage roll again?”

It's odd where your mind wonders in an emergency, isn't it? It's also odd how I arrived in this country expecting to die - yet as the end started to seem nigh up that mountain, I suddenly had everything to live for.

Over and out for a while, Australia.  And shout out to the NW crew (and MAFS cast) for such a wondeful six month's on this countries best magazine.