Don’t bring your guns to town.

October 25, 2010 § Leave a comment


 Originally written October 20th.

 -“It’s not all about the destination”

Frank Turner

There are moments in your life that define you. Moments that make you think “I can’t believe that I did that. That was insane.” Today was one of those days. Despite how older people may feel, when your 22 you still feel that creeping crawl of age, maybe a person is always conscious of it, and so in what maybe the final throws of being young I have grabbed my two of my closest allies and set out on an adventure that I hope would change our lives forever. Yes, I know, wheel out the clichés some young kids are off on the road to find what is missing in there lives only to discover they had it all along. This is not a revelation that I will be arriving at the journeys end. If it is then I will not write this blog, I will through my laptop off a mountain, a famous one. Because we are not searching or chasing any dream, we are running away. Running away from post-graduate England in 2009. Where the economy is fucked, none of us kids have jobs while bankers and MP’s abuse or trust in a way that is apparently legal. American media has wound everyone up to the point of terrorist hysteria. No one trusts the minorities that are arriving on our shores. Racial tension is at an all time high as the filthy face of the British Nationalism is rearing its apparently socially acceptable face. It’s time to pull our parachute chords before you pull your grenade pins. We’re jumping ship for this one.

We were just sick to the back teeth of the way our country is going. It is time to escape. What car could we choose for such an escape? Why of course, the logistical nightmare yet sheer poetic brilliance of an original Mini Cooper. It wasn’t really a choice; it was the only car that we posed between the three of us. It is poetic though. A British icon for a very British escape. But it would be cramped in that little car. But we are not worried, it will force us out of the car and into stories that will tell in the future. The departure itself took 12 hours. It was always something that had been battered about, but never to seriously. So when we met in The Smith & Pistons bar in south Oxfordshire we had no idea about where we would actually end up. We packed the mini full, just enough room for one passenger in the back. A roof rack which holds a few more clothes and a guitar, always travel with a guitar. The mini is packed and our adventure lust was soon to be given a seeing too. It is by no means a glorious vessel but to us it is our ticket to the trip of a life time and I think its time you met its crew.

Self appointed captain is myself and I notice that so far in your eyes I’m yet to carry a name. Well hello there, my name is Simon Blake. I’m a graduate of journalism about 6’3, that’s around 190cm in new speak. Skinny and tall, prone to self indulgent rants that no one cares about. Tight jeans, converse trainers and undeserved sense of achievement and confidence.

The second self appointed captain of the car was its owner Jack Moss (a fair claim to captaincy I suppose, he can be my first mate.) Moss is around 6 foot as well, a skinny good looking boy smoking cigarettes and trying to look cool. Often succeeding much to my personal annoyance. Sunglasses, sometimes a leather jacket, white shirt, tattered jeans.

The last self appointed captain of the car was Maxi Dos Santos. Known simply as Maxi to us, he stands around a foot shorter than me and Moss, unfortunately he has got a bit of a short guy complex and it has often landed us in fights that we did not need to be in. Although as he always told us “I never punched anyone who didn’t deserve it.” And he did have a point. Other than the occasional drunk Joe Pesci flying off the wall moments Maxi had Mexican blood and was usually extremely laid back. I had met Maxi on the football pitch back when we were 8, he was a very Mexican footballer, light touches, dinking runs, sweeping passes, through balls, perfection over immediacy. We had some good times me and Maxi, some that may raise smiles, but should never make it into the written word.

Our parents are pretty much sick of us cluttering up their house. Life had not delivered the gift of leaving children as the recession meant we had no where else to go. They aren’t best pleased to see us embark on what is surely a pointless adventure but I think they are glad to see us finally excited about life again. We have managed to score some funding from the magazine painting the trip as a look into “Get up and go cheap holidays.” I am worried they wouldn’t cough up given my suspicious flight times from a recent trip I had  been sent on to a hotel in New York. I don’t think the magazine will fund as for long as we will be eating through money.

So tomorrow we leave, we aren’t even entirely sure where we were going to go, Europe then further, that’s all we know really. Let’s tear down the fucking sky. The car is packed. The car’s a faded blue, one of us had got bored during the packing process and written “It’s Not All About The Destination” on the side. It is a perfect phrase for us.

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