Velf on a Train 

So, I am heading north. Probably the last crack of the whip I’ll get at moving to that area of the country. 


Another Interview. 


Booked two days off work to attend and thanks to having a very active union I still get paid. My main reaction to getting a second interview was dismay. My application must have something on it that means I am worth inviting half way across scotland to meet a potential employer. 


Problem is I don’t think I interview well. I get nervous, talk too much and there is always the added pressure of “Is this the right thing to do for my family.” 


Truth is, I don’t know. It may improve things- it may put us into massive debt. My Dad was always one for taking risks. Which meant I moved 14 times before I was 18. Gain one job, lose another, move to a bigger house, go bankrupt, move to a council house in a sprawling estate. 


It taught me that bricks and mortar are just that. I have never felt a place was ‘home’ since I was about 16. What was the point? I would only move again. I ached deeply when I left wales, suffering the full force of what is known to the welsh as hiraeth- which has no direct translation into english. I still get the occasional twinge, even now. 


I know that I can’t go back to what I left. It no longer exists. I am different and the place and people I left behind have all moved on. That is all encompassed in hiraeth. 


So, as an adult I was happy to move about. I was rootless and friends transient. Other half is the opposite. He needed a place to put down roots. So, when I got the job on a small scottish island we stayed there. Ten years later and I find the mainland oddly terrifying.  


I laboured over my travel plan last night. Wrote down every change, all the times I was expected to be at the various stops. Took a photo of my itinerary on my phone in case I lost it and emailed it to myself so I could have access on my chromebook as I travel. I got worried that my online booking may not have gone through for my hotel so I rang them. Of course it had. All was well. 


I realised I was obsessing and I was doing so not through interview nerves. I was frightened. This was a long complicated journey and I was frightened I would fuck up. Part of it was I normally have Other Half driving (I’m the navigator) and using the car to get everywhere has meant that I am unused to any other form of travel. Hell, I think my driving skills may have even atrophied. 


What happened to the 18 year old welsh girl who would think nothing of hopping on a train and going through multiple changes to get from Scotland to Cirencester and back? There were no phone apps to make this easier. Planning journeys on the internet was in it’s infancy. I had no laptop, no twitter, 3G was not a thing. My phone made calls and texted. 
As I sit on the train now I have my laptop open and my phone plugged in next to it. No doubt I look very busy and the train is filling up. My little tech zone is taking up most of the table, i am effectively being a table hog. I need these things! I can’t travel without them! I’ve not even looked out the window. 


I guess I am one of those lucky transitional generations. I have lived to see the world change vastly and I am not even 40. My sons are natives to the tech revolution. Born into it. Unless there is some sort of apocalypse they will never know a world without being able to google anything they wish to know. I still remember having to use an encyclopedia. 


Anyway, back to the train and my journey. I think I have got too comfortable and to quote fallout 4 


“People in power should never be comfortable.” 


Thanks for that Bethesda. I may not be running Goodneighbour, but I am comfortable. 


Something in me tells me that I should not be, comfortable breeds complacency. There has to be balance however, I have a family to consider. 


So. I shall be uncomfortable for a few days and whatever happens the experience will be good for me. Nudge me out of my cocoon a little. 


I should probably look out the window a bit.    

2 responses

  1. Dear Velf,

    Are you the person that wrote the fanfiction about “Spirited away”? If it’s the case, I just found the end of it today! I think but since I am not sure, I prefer asking.

    A little bit of background is required! I found your fanfiction when I was a big fan of reading and fanfictions in general. It was YEARS AGO and I thought that it was amazing as I read the first part. After that, I read the second part which was not fully translated in french by the time that I was reading it so I gave up about reading it, thinking that the next chapters would never come out in french (I wasn’t able to read/speak/write in English at that time).
    From time to time, as years would pass and as I could find it in my personnal files, I’d read it again being frustrated that I did not know what was happening after chapter 19th of the second part.

    Today was no exception, I decided to clean up my messy files and I found the .doc that I created to save it. Out of nowhere, I decided to see if I could find the rest of your fanfiction. As I was doing my research, I found a message of Orion on a forum that said that the rest of the 2nd part would be translated on your personnal forum. It was like christmas!!! By chance, I also saw that you had written a 3rd part (Christmas X1000).

    By this comment/message, even if you delete it (I hope that you read it though), I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and I have always wanted to thank you. Out of all the fanfiction that I have read in my life, yours is clearly a masterpiece for me. The quality of your work is just unreal and as you made me dream with it (and I will dream again thanks to it very soon!).

    Thank you.


    • Well. First of all thank you for taking the time to write to me. I am the same Velf. I am humbled you enjoyed my work. Spirited away is very precious to me. It showed me how to be a writer and gave me the confidence to try other things. I have finished my first novel and it is currently going through its final edit. I hope to have it on amazon by the end of the year. Many thanks.

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