In the British media, amongst friends, in popular usage The Trip to Zurich has quickly become a flippant euphemism for assisted suicide. No return. An escape from lingering terminal illness, at a time chosen by yourself and those close to you.
Two friends who died last year both brought the question up. We joked about the absurdity, the cost, that no-one dare speak about it, that it's your life yet illegal to finish it whatever the pain you are in, and even, doubly absurd, illegal for doctors to help. I said I would love to walk to Zurich in the springtime. Good way to go. We laughed at that too.
I'm still trying to understand the grief that their deaths have caused. A year on, my stiff liberal upper lip has left me traumatised. I need to make myself feel human again. To feel again. Walking is a good way of thinking, remembering, healing and examining what lies between my home and that far off place. Seeing other people leading their daily lives, experiencing nature at its most buxom. It's been a hard, unappetising few months. A wretched winter, I need some sun.