Thursday, 30 September 2010

On leaving the country, juvenile aspirations, and trying to stop your child opening the emergency exit 2 miles up in the air

Three more weeks to go and the realisation has not quite set in yet.
Everything's packed (a fact my two and a half year old son is not too impressed with) and we're ready to go and take up the trade of farming in Brazil... Well... for two months at least (or however long the missus can put up with living with her mother). After that I guess I'll have to get a 'proper' job if there is such a thing.

I guess you could say the idea to become a farmer kicked off somewhere around the age of three for me. My parents on a long road trip to Yorkshire (which involved several incidence of vomiting on my behalf. Mostly in my sister's lap, so it was fine) started playing the 'what do you want to be when you're older' game
with my siblings and I. Whilst my brother and sister aimed big at the heady heights of becoming an astronaut or the next Kylie, I was more realistic and said that I wanted to be a tractor driver.

The silence and disapproving looks from my parents in the mirror spoke volumes. I don't think they've actually got over that one yet.

Forward on 20 years and I did indeed drive my first tractor, learn how to milk cows and ride horses on my in-laws farm where I was nicknamed the 'cowboyola'. An obvious play on the word 'cowboy' where 'boyola' is simply a term for a homosexual. I didn't take it personally - as far as I could tell every other male was considered one.

Now a further 3 years on and I'm going there to live for at least a year and pick up the trade. I've been reassured I'm not going to be some Little Lord Fontleroy figure on the farm and will actually be getting my hands dirty and starting the day at 5am. Still I did rather fancy just riding on the land like a toff but that had the capacity to end up something similar to the Ralph and Ted sketch from the Fast Show.

So how did I get myself into this situation you may well ask. Well among the multitude of reasons (and believe me they were many) one of the key motivations was something someone said to me shortly before my son's birth. It was along the lines of realising that out of everything on your life's 'To do' list you will only ever do a third of all the activitied. Unfortunately once you have a child that list is shortened by a third again. So you end up only ever doing a sixth of everything you want to do (if my maths is right). Not a rosy picture eh? I remember when my 'To do' list was just a list of names.

I was never going to settle for a measly sixth of my to do list so I made it my aim to work from the full sheet!

Once the decision had been made it was a matter of sorting out visas, nationalities, shipping and all other sundry activities up until today where really all I am doing is existing until the flight on the 19th October.

Its all been quite easy really. The hard thing is getting on a 12 hour plane flight with a two year old child intent on opening the emergency exits a couple of miles up in the air...

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