For no apparent reason, I am sitting in the front row of Virgin Atlantic premium class, sipping bubbly, reading The Independant, and casually resting my feet on a leather pouffe within the gulf of space in front of me. The stars have surely aligned because most of you well know my Mulligan sensibilities would prevent such decadent living via actual monetary outlay. We just got a free upgrade, period.
It does feel rather fitting given the memorable week we have just experienced in celebration of 10 years of marriage. We have traipsed the length and breadth of this city, observing its customs and people, falling into its tourist traps, and trying to keep up with its frenetic pace. A week is just about enough to comfortably do most of the major highlights, whilst also arriving at its close before you might begin to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of it all.
It’s a privilege to be able to get on a plane and visit other countries, but I must confess to anticipating the homecoming as much as the departure. I love the familiarity, the sense of belonging that accompanies a return home, even if only after a short trot across the ocean. I find I never quite get over the sense of dislocation that comes with visiting foreign lands, a feeling that only the sight of chequered green landscapes from 30,000 ft and overcast skies can properly dissipate.
As the wheels hit the Tarmac I feel grounded, safe, often with a little surge of emotion to match the rushing noise of the plane coming to a halt. And I always look forward to my first cup of British tea.