A three hour wait for a transfer flight in Paris is a very cruel thing after a 9-hour, through-the-night flight, particularly one which was quite so turbulent. I've always been a slightly uneasy flier, but as we took off yesterday, I realised that traveling in darkness freaks me out a whole lot more. Without day light one never gets a sense of how high the plane is, and I've been known to convince myself that we're plummeting back down to the ground again, purely because I can't see where the ground is. I basically sat for the entire journey trying to keep a handle on my nerves, whilst listening to classic albums on the Air France in-house entertainment system. In the absence of any music by ABBA, I started my musical odyssey with Sergeant Pepper, before moving on to the Faure Requiem, and, for some light relief, a hugely eccentric (for the sake of being eccentric) recording of the Four Seasons. I fell asleep listening to the whinnying of Maroon Five.
The short hop back to London from Paris was easy enough, and made rather fun by a brilliantly witty purser called Stefan. As we touched down, he made one of the greatest aircraft tannoy announcements I've ever heard;
"Welcome to London, where the local time is 1.41pm and 32 seconds... approximately. The temperature here is 22 degrees... Inside the plane... And seven degrees outside... Which is not enough. Please don't forget to switch on your mobile phones. Thank you for flying with Air France!"
London was a miserable place to return home to. Freezing cold rain replaced the soft trade winds and the tubes were way over-crowded.
I booked myself in for a massage in the hope that I'd be able stay awake until a reasonable time in order to beat the jet lag... Although at 8.30, I'm flagging!