Back in London
So, we’re back, and now people say things like “We thought you were to be gone for at least 6 months. Why are you back so early?”, and suddenly the giant epic journey begins to shrink before my eyes, as if I had eaten one of Alice’s little cakes.But the younger half of the family insists on talking, most mornings as we walk to school in Islington, about every element of the trip, as if to console itself that we did indeed go to the Tropics.
“Which was your favourite flight?” Lucien will ask. Or “What was your favourite/worst hotel” and so on, through fishes, sharks, meals, guides and the rest of the whole mad assemblage of people and animals that we encountered in our journey around the Francophone world.
As for me, my feet have got blisters from the novel experience of wearing boots (poor me) and my eyes are blurring at sudden overuse of Blackberry and PC (shame). At odd moments of the week, I find myself in the library, looking for books on New Caledonia, or leafing through The Times in order to stumble upon stories from St Pierre et Miquelon. The other day on the tube I actually pretended to be French. Total madness. But even though I have heard no news, information or communication from the Dom-Toms, I know it’s going on out there, that strange, secret parallel French world.
And the other day, after 31 flights, 40,000 miles, 20 different bedrooms and a hell of a lot of baguettes, I actually caught myself saying to Mr Millard “let’s go back. Soon.”