Going away is always lovely, but so is coming home. That first whiff of the familiar smells of home, the smell of the washing up liquid, the slightly dry and a little sweet and lemony of the washing liquid we used last time we tidied the house. And of course, the lingering smell of the dogs and the cat.

Poor Auntie brought home the dogs and the cat, and Watson always tears toward us so hard that it’s like he’ll slice his head off through the collar. Lady is as excited as Watson, but restrained. Or tries to be more restrained. Except she’s so happy she forgets how to wag her tail. George of course just strokes against our legs.

Then the interrogations start. What did we do? How was my uncle, my other aunt, the cousins? Who was that guy we stayed with? Where do we know him from? How did we meet? Was the weather as awful as they said on the telly? We didn’t get into any trouble, did we? Where did we go? Was there a lot of people out? And so on, and so on.

First Auntie asked the question. The Mark gave a ring to his parents to tell them we were home, and had to repeat the answers. Then I texted my mum to tell her we were home, and had to answer the same questions when she rang. The same story repeated half a dozen times within an hour of us coming home, in other words.

It seems like the balances have been reestablished, and a night in our own bed has reset the old ticker. Tomorrow, I go back to London again and start the daily commute. Things go back to normal, and this magical travel time will be over. Life will continue in its usual plodding pace as it did before, but today… today a little bit of that magic still linger, and the magic of being home again remains. Time enough to muddle through in the coming days, but today I’m going to enjoy the last little embers of this break.