A long haul flight is brutal. You get on the plane optimistic. How hard can it be? You only have to sit, watch movies and read. Albeit, when you’d rather be asleep. And bearing in mind you don’t generally sleep sitting up. Added to which you are positioned cheek by jowl beside a total stranger. And there is a baby crying three rows up from you. While you are semi-asleep the seat belt sign dings and dongs. The person with the window seat squeezes past you to go the loo. And of course the hosties bring you a continual round of snacks. You think you have learned a lot about your eating habits in the last twelve months. You think perhaps you have a modicum of self control.
You haven’t. You eat everything. After seventeen hours flying, you are literally cramming Crunchy bars into your mouth.
You read, you watch movies, sleep a little and you wait, checking the flight path often.
Nine hours eight minutes to Dubai
One hour twenty six minutes to Dubai
You join your husband to the First Class Emirates lounge. Sit at a table and order breakfast. Take a shower. Charge your iProducts
‘Hey’ you say to him. ‘This lounge isn’t too bad.’
‘Shh!’ He says. ‘Don’t tell anyone.’
You re-board the plane, knowing there are only seven and a half hours of flying to go. They bring you a second breakfast. You eat that too. Watch another movie. You should sleep. But you can’t. Your heart is pumping with coffee and adrenaline.
Two hours five minutes and you will be in London.
Tired and fizzing with excitement, you wonder how you can feel this way about place you left at five years of age. Why you want to see it all, every last corner. Why the hedgrows, fields, flower meadows, the trees resonate so strongly. You don’t have an answer to these questions. Only that you have commenced your descent into London and that the feeling building inside you is one of a home coming.