There is something about doing a journey in reverse that makes it feel as if you rewinding a holiday. Would I reach home to find November was just starting? In the event, no, but the reality of here, made there, which had been here the previous day, curiously unreal.
The plane had Christmas decorations, and Heathrow was full of festive decs too, if somewhat low on the festive cheer. After a bit of a battle to get into a lift to the bus station, I pulled on my gloves and zipped up my jacket against the cold of a London that had embraced winter in my absence.
The journey home was uneventful; bus, train, taxi. I lumbered up the stairs to my flat where no one was surprised to see me. The cat/flat sitters had been exchanging texts with me since I landed so were obviously expecting me, but MasterB seemed remarkably unphased by my reentry into his life. He was engrossed in a biscuit game with B, who could have an alternative career training cats.He gave me a nod, rubbed against me and resumed his game. It was a while before I got the nose rub, but it came. I know people who say their cats ignore them when they come home. That has never been my experience.
The Prosecco was soon out of the fridge and into glasses. we stayed up and talked. MasterB went out. Eventually it was bedtime. I left my bags until the morning, closed my eyes and slept until MasterB woke me for breakfast at a minute past seven. Then I slept some more, two hours more, and woke properly to a bright cold day with blue skies and sunshine. A typical December day in London. You forget how beautiful it can be.
So the week has passed. I have got back into routines as though I had never stopped them; gone out to do the shopping; had my haircut so the Johnson/Trump look is no more; paid bills and donated to Christmas charity appeals. I have resumed work, spent the day with one of my cousins, read my book and bought the paper. There’s been no time to sit back and take things easy. And no jetlag either, which is a blessing.
It’s almost as though I was never away.
But there a few reminders: a kangaroo tree ornament hangs in the window, a gift from Victoria; a rusty Tasmanian Devil is in frozen stride in the chilli pepper pot; a card from Alison and Bruce leans against the kneedesk. And in my head I am revisiting some of the days, seeing in my mind’s eye details of streets; views from high places; open spaces; people and animals.
I’ve not downloaded my photos yet, I hope there’ll be time this week, I’m really looking forward to those memories being nudged again.