OKAY… deep breath…
I’m leaving San Diego and returning to the UK.
There, it’s now a matter of public record.
In fact, I’m not only leaving San Diego… I’m leaving the TV career in the US and returning to writing – at The Herald in Plymouth.
Now those that know me, and my background, will also know the meaning in that statement.
Because, when I do eventually arrive back in the UK – and The Herald – my life will have gone full circle in just two years.
You see, I left my home country and my job of 13+ years at The Herald in May 2012 to move to Tijuana to be with my girlfriend.
That girlfriend is now my wife, and we’re returning to live and settle in the UK together.
“Love it,” a former (and soon to be current again) colleague emailed me recently.
“Go there, get the girl (defeat the baddy) and return home triumphant.”
Yes, it is – and has been – like a film script.
Only there really wasn’t a baddy. At least, not yet.
For those that don’t know, my contract and job here in San Diego effectively ended last month with the announcement that U-T TV was being pulled off air.
I can’t really say too much about that.
|Plug pulled on U-T TV|
If I can coin a Crowded House lyric: “… it was good while it lasted, but now it has gone, so face up to what you have done”.
I’m having to leave the US as my visa is tied to the current job, and it’s non-transferable.
Once my employment ends in a couple of weeks, I have 30 days to leave the country.
Unfortunately, there’s no passing ‘go’ to collect $200.
We could move to Mexico but we figure that our lives will be better served, and more comfortable, in England.
Besides, Jacks still holds the belief that England is the “land of fairytales and castles,” and she misses seeing the wild ponies on the moor. (Strange but true).
Also true... I’ve honestly missed The Herald. I’ve missed the excitement and buzz of landing an ‘exclusive’ story.
I’ve missed the pride I felt in seeing my byline on the front page of my local paper.
I know only too well that certain people will see this move as a ‘fall from grace’.
I can almost hear those individuals now callously remarking “yeh, he thought he was ‘all that’ and now look at him”.
Well, more fool them.
I left to love a girl. That was all. And now, having won her heart and gained her hand in marriage, I’m the real winner.
Everything else… the TV anchorman job in San Diego, California; the apartment in ‘America’s ‘finest city’; the lovely life in the lovely climate… it was all an unexpected bonus.
For a time it was cool. And I mean REALLY cool.
I dared to dream, and now this next chapter is ours to write.
Sadly with any drastic change comes fall-out.
Since the announcement concerning U-T TV last month, Jacks and I have had to – piece-by-piece – rip apart the life we began building for ourselves here just 11 months ago.
I’m sitting on the floor writing this as we’ve just sold the computer desk and chair.
We’ve sold most of our (briefly) cherished wedding gifts, and thrown a lot of stuff in the trash.
I woke up last week and went to sit down to have breakfast, and then realized I’d sold the breakfast bar chairs the day before.
I constantly look up at the space on the wall where the clock used to be to check the time.
Jacks arrives home daily to ask um… where’s this or that…?
You get the picture.
It’s been a horrible and stressful time, day-after-day seeing another part of our home gone.
We’ve been sad, but we’ve always had our eyes wide open.
A colleague of mine who will remain nameless (okay, Cory) said to me a couple of weeks ago: “In the last two years have you ever really had it ‘easy?’ Really?”
“No,” I answered with a sigh.
“Well then, are you really surprised about your situation now?”
*cue raised eyebrows and nod of agreement.
Jeez, some people turn to booze and hard drugs in such situations.
I’ve run out of my Golden Virginia tobacco stash… and I hear that the share price of Starbucks has hit an all-time high.
In fact such has been my caffeine intake in the last month I’ve managed to earn a ‘gold’ member Starbucks loyalty card in just three weeks.
I’ve drunk so much coffee I swear I now sweat decaf.
|Badge of honour - the Starbucks 'gold' card|
The last few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster akin to a frikkin Martin Scorsese movie (minus the booze and hard drugs).
Oh, and of course I’m forgetting to mention the fact that at the same time as seeing out my notice at the U-T - and our notice on the apartment - we’re also in the process of applying for a ‘spouse’ visa to allow my other/better half to live with me in the UK.
You’d think it’d be a given that your ‘wife’ would have some sort of automatic entitlement… how wrong we were.
I’ll get to that in one of the next blogs. And believe me, there’s going to be a few.
So there it is. I’m sorry for the delay in posting a new blog.
So much has happened, and it’s been difficult to write about things and situations which have been evolving minute-by-minute.
Sometimes things don’t work out the way we ultimately plan them but hey, we don’t make the rules we just play the game.