The Emigrey Express

We flew home on the emigrey express. To our fore was a banquet of bleached, bottle-blonds whose tinted tresses disguised a sea of solar haggard, sour facades. Obviously a peroxide barnet is a VOMIT prerequisite.

To the aft lay a sallow, loud-mouthed, drunken imitation of Archie Moon cuddling an empty bottle of Bells. He’d spent his time in the departure lounge downing the duty free and popping frequently to the tuvalet for an illicit fag. He dozed through most of the flight but awoke ten minutes before touchdown and casually lit a cigarette which was rapidly dispatched by the horrified staff. Meanwhile, Liam munched his way through two packets of chewy caramel, soft nougat and crispy chocolate balls that cost more than the airfare. We landed just before Gatwick was closed for the winter.

Blighty life pal, Karen, is housing us during our trip to the mother country, storing us in her delux en-suite loft. She is blessed with a wonderful home – chic and bohemian at the same time. She is a classy, off the wall lady of taste, charm and substance and fancies herself as a Mrs Madrigal type. The cap really fits. Karen’s husband, Peter, died of cancer a couple of years ago. His decline had been indecently swift, and she is slowly emerging from the disabling pain of grief: a hard slog that I know only too well.

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