The Coronavirus Diaries, 30th October 2022, in Flight

Up in the air and currently above the clouds, heading home after ten days in NI. In the way of these things, the time seems to have passed in a flash while the day I left home seems long ago. The weather has been kind, Uncle Bill’s birthday tea enjoyed by all but especially the man himself. The autumn colours have been beautiful, the dogs appreciative of their walks, Belfast abuzz.  

On the final walk this morning there was a short shower of very fine rain. We’d left the house in sunshine, so I was doubly grateful it wasn’t a downpour, though a piece in the Guardian yesterday about the benefits of walking in wind and rain, and yesterday was very windy, may make me revise my opinion of wet weather walks (and encourage me to upgrade my waterproofs). Then there was a rainbow, arcing above the house where Poppy Junior lives. We didn’t see her, though we heard her barking in the house on the return leg. She knew we were there.

We did however see Sam. Oh the tail wags, the happy whimpering, the sniffing. Poppy is very much not playing it cool. Although Sam is very pleased to see her, it seems his role of heartthrob is new to him and he doesn’t really know how to respond to Poppy’s delight when she sees him beyond the play bows and customary behaviour of friendly dogs when they greet each other. He’s a bit out of his depth, while Poppy’s reactions are unedited, unrestrained, joyous.

At the airport my watch set off an alarm at security so I had to remove my shoes, stand in the booth, be scanned from head to toe before I could proceed to the departure lounge. Lounge is a grand word for the facilities at Belfast International which could do with an upgrade. There’s a new shop selling local produce, ceramics, and crafts. I was interested in a couple of things as possible thank-you gifts for the Catsitters, but price labels were few and far between, and having ascertained that one of the items was around twice the price I was willing to pay, I abandoned that idea. I thought there might be some Shortcross whiskey, which I reckon would be pretty welcome, but they only had gin, which is what I gave them in the summer, so that idea also went by the board. I’ll buy a bottle of something locally tomorrow. Not Shortcross though. We can’t get it in England. Bloody Brexit.

We’ve started our descent now, just above Birmingham. It looks as though we’ll arrive early, which would be nice. I have a bag in the hold, so fingers crossed that comes through on the luggage carousel quickly.

At this stage of a journey I just want to get home. I want to see MasterB, have a restorative cuddle with him, hear his purr, feel his soft fur against my skin. Much as I love Cousin’s cats and dogs, MasterB is my boy. 


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