It's the day before Christmas Eve. Or, in my personal festive itinerary, the day before I fly to Australia. The last time I was this impatient to get to Christmas my brother made me sort his plastic soldiers into Germans (pale blue, if I remember correctly); Brits (olive green); and Yanks (beige), to make it simpler for him to line them up in the sandpit before he shot them with his air pistol. Happy days…!
In the absence of small soldiers or big brothers, I am whiling the day away in one of my favourite places on earth (no, not the front row of a Lee Mead gig, that was last night) – Trafalgar Square. I have a rather watery coffee, a window seat and a very heavy bag. If I didn't have the bag I could go and have a look at the National Portrait Gallery, which I also love. When I was 17 a Frenchman offered to take me home from there and paint my portrait. I felt this was a rather long-term prospect and I had a date with Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes in the Wyndham Theatre that evening so I declined, as politely as possible, wondering what he saw in a hefty teenager from Macclesfield.
Maybe I will trust the bag to left luggage….i've got my passport & my bike licence in my pocket, that's all I really need for a successful trip.
I left London to make someone else happy (it didn't work). One of my resolutions for next year is to base decisions on what will make me happy. Even writing that down makes me feel selfish. But I think it's a healthy selfishness. Like the rule with oxygen masks – in the event of cabin depressurisation, put your own on before helping anyone else. You're not going to be helpful if you're blue with oxygen deprivation. Or unhappiness.
In 24 hours I will have been in the air for 2 hours. If I see Santa up there I will ask him to bring you peace, happiness and good friends. Because if you've got those, you'll have everything you really need for a successful year.
Happy Chrismas Eve Eve. I love you all xx