London is no friend to the tired or the homesick. So I made a break for it.
Why the red eye? Why?
“Hi, my name is Alex and can I please go in front of you?”
And now I’m on a plane to New York. I have 60 hours in New York City: it feels like a challenge. I’ve never liked this city. However, I’m fairly certain that that’s my fault, not its.
The London dark gnawed at me.
I have nailed this Heathrow thing, I think, as I arrive at the airport at precisely the time I had planned, being precisely 2 hours before my flight, stroll into the priority check in, make one particular purchase from Jo Malone and buy my favourite guilty lunch (Leon’s fish finger wrap, I’m so English now) and then the gate is announced and I take my bulkhead row seat and peruse the menu (one meal, 9 hours? Jokers).
I’ll give you a clue. In grade one, she taught me how to make really good, firm, round mudballs. Another? In grade 5, she and I surreptitiously looked up the mysterious F-word we’d heard on the playground in my children’s dictionary (no joy). We’ve unwittingly matched our outfits many times in the 28 years we’ve been friends — we shared a love for denim overalls. We’ve been netball team co-founders, pen-pals, joint amateur theatre producers at the tender age of 10. Still no?
That’s right, it’s almost October so it’s time for…
Mixing friends is chemistry. Add people to a beaker and wait. You usually get a reaction. Sometimes it bubbles along nicely. And sometimes it blows up in your face.
At 4.45am the alarm went off and I was out the door by 5.15am, to make the very first Circle Line tube of the day from Kings Cross at 5.31am to make the 6am National Express bus from Liverpool St to make the 8.30am flight from London Stansted to Budapest. All going well.