-------- Thursday 13th May, Redhill, England. -------------------------------------------------------
Great news! Yesterday, for the first time since arriving in England, I checked the amount of traffic The Savage Files has been attracting. I've deliberately not checked since I left North America, fearing that since I stopped travelling and settled down to work in Bletchingley for three months, readers would soon tire of my journal, and inevitably traffic would have dropped off. That was something I was prepared to accept, since it was essential for the continuation of the project that I stop and work till the debts were paid off. Yesterday, I couldn't resist any longer, so I clicked 'check the number of visits to your website', and I was stunned. After a noticeable drop in hits during the second half of December (Christmas related issues, perhaps?) it has been nothing but a continual increase since January, with each week attracting more user sessions and more page view hits than the last. Thanks for your interest, and your support, and thanks for spreading the word, which you've obviously been doing. That's the only way this project can continue, since the more people who follow my travels, the more commission I can earn from hostel and tour bookings, sales of travel insurance policies, and purchases from Amazon.
Today I booked my flight online with EzyJet. To save a few quid, I selected the earliest flight of the day, which is less popualr and therefore less expensive. Next Tuesday, I'll be up at stupid o'clock to catch the first train to Gatwick (5:36 am) leaving me twenty minutes to spare before Ezyjet close their checkin desk for my flight to Malaga. Malaga is the closest point to Morocco that any of the budget airlines flies. From there, it's just a few hours by ferry, and I'll have African dust on my boots at last!
With the days ticking by at an alarming pace I'm trying to work my way through my list of things to do before I leave England. Number one on the list was Thank Jo for everything! Since I arrived in the Redhill/ Bletchingley area, I've met nothing but wonderful, kind and generous people. There are at least a dozen people who I couldn't thank enough if I tried, and I have tried. But if you remember back to late December, everything that has happened since is due to one girl, Jo. Jo was one of many people who'd invited me to come and spend a night or two in their home. When I arrived at her place on December 30th, I was cold, broke and miserable. While I was there, Jo introduced me to her friends Eleanor and Phyllida, who I later did some work for. I also worked for, and stayed with- their parents Pam and John, which is where I am again now. As well as that, Jo drove me into Bletchingley where I saw the sign in the local post office 'help wanted renovating old house'. The rest, as they say, is history. If you're new to these pages, and you have no idea what Bletchingley is all about, click here. All my past journal entries, including thousands of photographs, are archived. To find them, just use the links near the top of the orange column on the left hand side of the journal page.
Back to Jo. Eleanor and I invited ourselves to Jo's place last night, armed with a home made lasagne, garlic bread and salad, and a couple of bottles of good ol' Australian wine. The food was all Eleanor's work, I must admit, but I did spend a long time in Sainsbury's choosing the wine! Jo was impressed, and appreciated the break from cooking. She had a baby girl in February, and I'm sure little Indigo has been keeping her Mum busy.