After my last shift at the bakery, in mid December, I left with a big box containing a variety of loaves. Gillian gave me a lift to the house where I was staying, and I busied myself with final preparations before my driver arrived at noon to collect me.
So where was I going? I had decided to go to London. London of all places! The big city that in my estimation was devoid of country greenery and fresh air and the kind of truly organic, just round the corner fare that I had grown accustomed to in Hay-on-Wye.
A friend had invited me to come and stay in London months earlier.
“No, thank you.” I declined graciously. “London’s not for me,” I said.
But as December drew closer, my job search widened to include London, and as the list of job rejection emails increased, my sense of insecurity about the future likewise increased.
Then, one day, I opened one of the email job alerts I’d set up and my heart skipped a beat when I saw an opening at Ascension Trust, a charity I had done some freelance writing for several years prior.
“That job is mine!” I told myself. In a society where equal opportunities was a farcical concept, I knew this was my only chance to keep off the same downward spiral that had propelled me to leave the UK initially.
I contacted my friend in London and accepted the offer of accommodation. And on December 13, 2004, I headed off for London, in anticipation of being shortlisted for the advertised post at Ascension Trust.
And if that didn’t work out favourably, I told myself, I’d just have to find something else. . .