No matter how you fly, first, business or cattle class, it's just not natural to spend 24 hours in the air in an oversized sardine can. And this from someone who had the great good fortune to fly business. I'm the first to admit that being able to stretch out is a luxury but you're still trapped in a cruising tin can. You pretend that the free wine and non-stop entertainment is cool, but it's smoke and mirrors. Nothing can distract you from your fate, and 12 hours in no-one is pretending any more; everyone is crusty and grumpy and one visit to the increasingly putrid toilet away from losing it. There, I've said it.
We are staying with a friend in Clapham (voted the best place to live in London in Time Out's City Living Survey 2015), and were told by our taxi driver that it is indeed a cool neighbourhood. "Vivienne Westwood lives over there," he said. And as if on cue, Vivienne flashed past on her bicycle wearing a full-length lime green overcoat, her white hair blowing in the wind and scarlet red lips pursed in concentration.
Our plane arrived at 6.30am, and contrary to all travel wisdom we took to our bed at noon and slept till 4pm. No regrets; bed never felt better. Semi-refreshed we tackled Clapham High Street in search of food and settled on The Sun, a pub already full of happy chappies (and chickies) at 5.30pm. The Poms do mighty fine 'pub food' and we sampled crispy (deep fried) mussels with salt and vinegar mayonaise, cider smoked salmon, salt and pepper squid, and a pint of Fake Fuge (smoked) beer.
It's supposedly spring but still feels like winter (15 degrees during the day), but it's light till 8pm, which is when we called it a night.