Darling. I know this will come as an enormous shock to you, and please my darling, do try to bear with me while I try to explain why I am taking a decision which, I hope passionately, will change our lives.
Do you remember when we made that last disastrous trip to Europe ? When we boarded the cross-Channel ferry for France we were so excited, almost as if we were in the first flush of our love affair on our way to that weekend together in ‘gay Paree’.
But, it was never going to be the same. To me the world changed forever that day! When we went to the duty-free, we found it closed. A riot had broken out among a group of tourists on hearing that there was no service, as the company running it had gone into administration ! At the time it mattered little to us, just a minor hiccup. Although we didn’t realise it was an omen of much greater challenges to come. As we sat there on deck, watching the boredom and frustration build among the passengers, rumours began to circulate that the ferry would be refused entry to Calais harbour.
It was true ! The border had been closed ! According to one of the ship’s officers whom we managed to corner, the European Commissioners in Brussels had decided as one, to deny all access to the mainland continent to non-full members of the Community. You’ll remember the panic which set in, and there was talk of a mutiny among the passengers. Then suddenly the voice of the ship’s captain came over the sound system. It was in fact a false alarm, but it served as a further warning of dire things to come.
The trip was a total disaster, no more talk of ‘Entente Cordiale’. And to make matters worse, when we arrived home, we found a letter waiting for us, from our bank, The Northern Rock, saying they were going to close down our mortgage and repossess the house.
I will never forget your support and that of our wonderful family as we pulled together during that intensely black period. That was just the start as we began to learn through the media that we were not alone either as a family or as a nation. The situation has progressively worsened. Many countries are in total economic meltdown. Millions around the World are starving, and only today I heard on the street, that in the continent of Africa, the Ebola crisis which started in 2014, has now claimed the lives of 80 % of the population.
The effects of climate change have been particularly dire for the Australian people. In summer, the heat is now so intense that it is rare for people to survive over the age of 55.
Frankly, I can’t take it anymore. I’m so worried for our future survival, for that of our children and our grandchildren. What sort of a world have we created ?
The other day when we were able to receive television, as it’s now rationed to four hours per week, I managed to catch a short news programme, which described a new and bold initiative which has been put together by the small number of nations who still have some sort of scientific expertise.
The plan is to save the World which seems at the moment to be heading for self destruction.
As we lay in bed that night, I looked up at the stars, reflecting on our life together. Neither of us are particularly religious, but if there is a God he has surely helped us to survive and weather all the challenges that life has thrown us. One star seemed to shine so much more brightly than the others, encouraging me to wonder what life could be like on another planet.
Now, my darling we may well have the chance to find out. Although it seems far fetched, the TV programme I saw described a new mission to take 10.000 volunteers into space, as a follow-up to the already successful Mission Mars-One. There is now scientific evidence to suggest that life in space is viable, and it will be up to the people chosen to build upon that success.
I have decided to apply for one of the places. My darling, I hope you’ll support me !
I’m sure you’ll have many questions, one of which will be what are the criteria for selection ? I shall endeavour to be optimistic of my chances. My work as a specialist in education and training will, I hope, be useful in building up teams, and I’m sure my original training as a doctor would be important.
I am confident that this could be opportunity of a life time, although nothing at all can be guaranteed. I’ll send off my application now, and as hopefully I’ll be serious candidate, we’ll continue to talk...