I fucking hate the last days of holidays. I know everyone does: ooooohhh I don’t want to go home, I want to stay here for ever and ever. That’s not me. That’s other people. I’m always raring to get home.
The last few holidays I’ve been on have had them late flights home. Shit for so many reasons. Mainly shit for sitting around hotels with all your stuff in a case in a locked storeroom in the hotel lobby. Also shit for feeling like a fraud hanging around the hotel, pottering about. This, I realised, was why the reception areas of hotels had all the sofas hanging around – for me to sit on post-checkout on the last day of holidays and read books.
This is all avoided today, we are being picked up at 5:40am. Get in. I am in Manchester at lunch. Could this get better? Yes, I am the third case on the luggage carousel. THIRD. That’s a bronze medal in the bags. There has been no Olympics fever in Britain this year but I like to feel I have brought back a little bit of the sunshine of London 2012. In many ways I am better than Mo Farahs.
The only cloud on the return is the lack of clouds. And that it is quite pleasant, sunny even. I wanted it to be freezing when I got back. I wanted it to be winter. Not quite pleasant.
I also have to face the cold, hard truth: I didn’t get anywhere near my reading goals. In the end all I managed was a biography of Sir Alex Ferguson (decent but nothing new), Viv Groskop’s I Laughed, I Cried (very funny account of a journalist deciding she will make her mind up about whether or not she is going to try a career as a stand-up comedian by doing 100 gigs in 100 days; something she balances with a marriage and three young children) and The Great Gatsby (being honest about this: I was a little underwhelmed; I didn’t think it was rubbish but I was a left a little bit unrequited; more than anything I was disappointed by the character Gatsby; I might have called it The OK Gatsby). I didn’t even read all my magazines.