Merry Christmas from The Terminal
Hello Dear Reader
For many years, it felt like I lived at Heathrow airport. Getting on a plane - be it transatlantic or domestic - was much like getting on a bus. I would go through luggage like other people go through plastic bags, becoming attached to certain seats on certain routes; and I knew how many rows to the emergency exit off by heart. (Love travel, loathe flying.)
Seasoned, weary, jaded - whatever you want to call it - traveller that I am, I still love nothing more than to be in Heathrow departures at Christmas. It’s the magic place. You know nobody is travelling for work - they’re travelling for love, and the mood is resoundingly out of office. Of course, as I write my flight is delayed but it doesn’t matter. I’m two fancy gins in, the anaesthetic from the emergency filling I had this morning hasn’t quite worn off, I bought my child his first aftershave in Duty Free and my husband is listening to his favourite Liverpool FC podcast and all is good in the world. If the rest of Christmas plays out in Terminal 5 that would be ok, cool even. I even just had to stomach Johnny Mathis singing Christmas words to Greensleeves while Henry VIII turned in his very sumptuous grave (is there even room in there to turn if all his wives are with him?) and I’m still in a good mood.
It’s been a year. I know it’s been a year because my Christmas Card List was visibly shorter. But here, in The Terminal, there’s a sweet good-natured hush; an air of expectancy. Strangers are smiling at each other. Everybody smells nice which is unusual and I can only put this down to them all getting pissed in the all-day Wetherspoons and making a beeline for the Dior counter on the way to their departure gate.
I wish it could be Christmas in Heathrow every day.
I don’t have any philosophical pronouncements to make to you this evening. That’s not what Christmas is for. Christmas is for telling you that I love you, that I am so happy we met and that I’m glad you’re here reading, and that it’s all gonna be okay.
Merry Christmas my darlings.
It’s all gonna be okay.
Lots of love