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My home is not a place, it is people
Lois McMaster Bujold

Although there's a certain truth to that, nevertheless being back in a familiar place is a considerable relief. Arriving at Heathrow and simply being able to lug my case down to the Tube and get home under my own steam (near enough) was so familiar that it felt like bliss, even if it did take ages.

I managed to get here eventually: I'd had to get up at 5am to get to the airport in time, not a consequence I'd thought through when planning my flight. The domestic leg went fine, arrived at CSIA domestic terminal (the modern, refurbished bit) and then it went a bit pear-shaped: the bus that's supposed to shuttle people between the domestic and international terminals didn't arrive. I wasn't the only one put out by this... tempers were definitely beginning to fray as peoples' departure times crept closer!

The bus finally turned up about 35 minutes late--- several minutes after my flight was supposed to have started boarding. Fortunately, Jet were on the ball and had someone on the bus to guide us through the international terminal; including, for instance, bagging one of the first-class emigration desks to allow us to bypass the queue. After that, we hustled through the security check area and got advised to run for the gate. Which I did--- so I guess the half-marathon training came in useful! :) Admittedly, legging it through an airport in jeans and Magnum boots carrying a laptop bag wasn't quite the same. Nor did it help that the outside temperature was about 33C, and CSIA's international terminal only has working air conditioning in some parts: notably not the outboard sections past the gates.

But I managed to get on the plane, as did at least some of the others who had been on that transfer bus: I'm not sure how many made it. The plane finally departed 20-30 minutes late, but after that it was plain sailing. I still didn't manage to get properly to sleep on the flight: not helped by the fact that the guy in front of me had a habit of lifting the window shade to look out every 15 minutes or so, despite the fact that we were on the side with the sun shining straight in. However, I managed to get through it, rather glad that I'd remembered to keep my MP3 player in my hand luggage this time. Since my luggage made it to Heathrow with me as well, I can't be complaining.

On the whole, glad to be home. I was too tired to be going out last night (not that I had anything planned) and still feeling strung out today, although I did make it out to Tesco to restock the fridge. Back to work at Victoria Street tomorrow: this means investigating how our expenses claim system works.

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