Each participant blogs about something pinched from the previous person's post, then links back. Simran is just before me in the chain, and she blogged about some of the indian items in her apartment, turning the post into a story. Then she challenged me, a science fiction writer, to take something out of it for my own effort. Hmm, tricky. Then I realised she finished her story with the words 'lost in another world', and it all became clear.
I've been lost in another world twice in my life. Once when we moved to Spain, the second time when we moved from Spain to Australia. In this post I'll cover the first, because I was younger and it was a much bigger culture shock.
At age seven, I was settled at the local school and had several very good friends. This was the early 70's, in England, and we lived in a comfortable two storey house with central heating and nice gurgling radiators in every room. Dr Who and the Goodies were on TV and we had a huge garden - everything a kid could want. It was a quiet street, fairly close to the train station and local school, and all the neighbours were happy and friendly.
Then, with a few months notice, our family moved to the south of Spain. (The Costa Blanca was known as a hotbed of british criminals hiding from justice, but we didn't go for anything as exotic as that. My dad suffered a serious accident, and moving from damp English weather to the sunny, hot climate of Spain was going to be a big help with his recovery.)
My dad flew down first to scout the place out, while my mother, my brother and I remained in England. Then we got the call - time to move. I don't remember the flight but I DO remember Alicante airport, which was a sea of cool marble flooring and signs I couldn't read.
My dad met us there, and as soon as my mum was out of earshot he told my younger brother and I the gag he'd come up with. He was going to drive us to the local campsite, show us a tatty old tent, and tell us it was our new home. We, my brother and I, were to play along, ecstatic at the chance to live outdoors. My mum, presumably, would enjoy a good laugh afterwards.
So, with my brother Mat and I hunched up and fairly snorting in anticipation, we drove an hour or so to the fishing town of Altea. Main road turned to minor road, minor road quickly became dirt track, and there it was: Camping Miami! A field with a few derelict caravans melting in the heat and an office that wouldn't have looked out of place in The Great Escape - as the solitary confinement cooler.
We drove through the gates and dad pointed out a tent, saying it was quite nice inside, while Mat and I enthused volubly. My mum looked a little uncertain, to say the least.
Then dad said he'd made some good friends nearby, and they'd invited us to lunch. We drove to this lovely place with masses of flowering bougainvillea outside, a wrought iron fence and those ubiquitous marble floors. Once inside there was no sign of any friends, but my dad turned to us with a huge grin and said 'This is our new home.'
(30 years later they're still happily married, although they've never been camping since.)
Now, the next stop on your blog chain is Organised Chaos, so I'm passing on the baton. Enjoy!
Would you trick someone this cute? (My mum, age 6)
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Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)