A Roller Coaster

Nicholas Quirke was riding a roller coaster on 3rd January 2020 and though it was a metaphorical one, the sensation of veering between confidence and terror had taken hold. Ever since he had conceived the idea in 2019 that he would embark on a year away in a foreign land his plans had shifted and changed. What started as making theatre in Melbourne became teaching English in China, TIL he discovered he was too old to teach in China, and then adapted his plans to the point he was now embarking on a new Third Age Odyssey with absolutely no idea what awaited him the other side. He was clearing out his flat to rent and setting off on a new adventure with only 7 days left to finalise arrangements. As a result, over the past few weeks it had not been uncommon for him to wake suddenly in the night with overwhelming feelings of fear. Not for the adventure that’ lies ahead but for the tasks yet to be completed to get him to St Pancras at 17.20 on 12th January 2020. He joked about taking a gap year but he felt the mechanics of taking off in later life surpassed the carefree bonhomie of youth. Sorting out a home to rent out was a responsibility way beyond his imagining when he conceived the notion. ‘Talking the talk’ and Waslking the walk’ was not an easy route to navigate. Still, every day he was completing tasks and every item completed gave him a confidence that counteracted the terror of those that came to haunt him in the night. Therefore, showing a potential tenant round his apartment and receiving positive feedback first thing in the morning gave him a start to the day that filled him with pep and optimism. He was also driving to London to collect his passport from the Chinese Visa Centre and had coerced his son Cole into accompanying him. Nicholas was dropping off some items for his eldest son Harvey in Stoke Newington. His plan was then to drive to Godalming to see his sister Kate For a game of cards. Every moment in the company of his family and friends would feed the long months he had without them. With his spirits high the day passed smoothly and he even got a view of the station from which his Journey to China would begin. It felt he was climbing the tracks of the roller coaster, brimming with rising euphoria. He knew though that it would not be long before he would be filled with the thrilling horror again as the carriage took its deep dive downwards


  1. It’s going to be great…once you hit the road, you’ll know %10000 you made the right decision to leave the dull & predicable, for the exciting, moment to moment adventure that your heart has desired. Every pore of your body will open up and the senses will jump with joy!!!!! Have a fantastic time….I’m well jell xxxxx

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