Saturday 3rd January 2009

Hoping at least that our pilots hadn’t been kept awake by the same party (or indeed had attended it), we took the shuttle back to the airport and breakfasted in the Virgin lounge. Two very assiduous staff members kept cleaning up our breakfast before we’d had a chance to eat it, but we managed to gobble down some cereal, tea and fruit before going through security.

Another assiduous member of the security team took it upon herself to check every one of my bottles to ensure it was not over the maximum size: 3 fluid ounces, or 100ml in new money. It seemed to me that she was unfamiliar with metric conversions as it took her quite a while, digging around in the front pocket of my hand luggage. Yes, the same pocket where I had stashed the unprotected disposable razor.

Fortunately she escaped unscathed, and I caught up with Trellis, who I believe would eventually have noticed that I wasn’t behind him, although I’m not sure when.

One last wee, and we boarded the plane home. I had fruit and yogurt for breakfast, then watched some improving films: The House Bunny (ex-Playboy bunny becomes a matron to a UCLA sorority house) and The Fall (bizarre art-house movie about a child in hospital who obtains morphine for another patient in return for stories). Again, the flight was quite bouncy due to a fast Gulf Stream, and we got into Heathrow at about half past seven.

Trellis and I whizzed through passport control thanks to our IRIS registration which was something of a relief as I was in desperate need of the loo (and the cubicle is very private). My pre-booked taxi driver called while we were in baggage claim, and we were whisked out of a frantically busy Heathrow and were back home in time for tea.

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