‘Shit happens’ it says in a heart drawn in indelible pink ink at the back of the teenage shelter in Lush Places.
And then we’re off, off on a train, the Megatrain to London from Yeovil Junction for just £6 each and then fighting for a space, each dragging two suitcases behind us, on a crowded carriage going to Brighton via Gatwick airport.
The evening paper has a 72-point headline raging about the prime minister’s broken promise on immigration. There are two olds next to me, both with beer bellies, one with a Union flag lapel badge and the other with a backpack emblazoned with a logo about the British Interplanetary Something. The one with the flying flag says: ‘Well, we knew that would happen, didn’t we? Come into this country for two weeks and then expected to be treated like a local.’
I'm strapped to the mast and not listening.
Around me, black, brown and white faces look at no-one. There is a hubbub of voices in different languages. And then the olds get off at East Croydon and the peppery smell of crotches leaves the train.
Next stop, Gatwick Airport and an Easy Jet plane to Athens. And then a bus all the way to Corfu.
That’s about it.
Love Maddie x