There is something heart-warming about flying at night.
It always fills me up with sentiment, everyone tired and homeward bound. It reminds me of going home for Christmas, the happy excitement on board, everyone ready to run into the open arms at the gate, like the scene from Love Actually. It’s all very lovely.
It’s the Homebird in me.
But flying at night is alright if you are homeward bound.
It’s not quite so lovely when there is no one there to meet you at the gate, when you sit alone on the bus surrounded by drunks and screechy girls heading out on the town. It’s not so wonderful to have no one waiting at home with open arms and the kettle on, not so much as a four legged friend to give you a waggy welcome. Not quite so lovely to feel that in coming home, you have actually left home and all its comforts behind.
Liverpool has long been my home, but now and then you can’t help but miss the comfort of the family nest. Particularly on those lonely nights when all you really need is to curl up with your dog by your own fireside, a pot of tea or a bottle of wine, the company of your own folks, something to argue over on the telly, the inevitable late night suggestion of supper – Sandwiches? Toasties? Crackers? What have we in the fridge?
Usually I do quite well at being alone. I was an only child for ten years; solitude has never been something I’ve run away from. Even when I wasn’t alone, I was quite used to passing the evenings at my own leisure, making my own way from the airport. I have always been perfectly content to cook for just myself, to spend an evening with a Rom Com or a few dozen episodes of Sex and the City or Grey’s Anatomy. I’m always at ease walking round an exhibition or a museum alone, curling up with a good book and cup of tea is a favourite bedtime routine for me. It’s only when there’s a film or a band or a restaurant offer you’d love to take advantage of and there are no friends to be found, that’s when you wonder if it might be worth snagging a significant other, if only for convenience – someone to kiss on New Years, someone to scoff at Valentines with, someone to meet you at the airport, to be with when you want most to be alone. That would be lovely.
But every rose-tinted ideal has its thorns when you look closely. And your independence is never something that you should give up lightly. Not even for a free ride from the airport.
And besides, I am very good at being alone.
But I may get a cat.