Heading home

We're heading home and what a strange feeling it is - to be leaving the equator and arriving back in England in December, ready for the run up to Xmas.

It's not like any overseas homecoming I've known before.  It feels as though it's happening in slow motion. 

Usually you fly away, enjoy the heat and sunshine, then you're back in the matter of a few hours in the air.  When you're cruising it's a far more protracted process, the weather getting noticeably colder and more grey by the hour.

Lecture 5, the E of my MURDER has been presented.  It was Environment, the backdrop or setting for a book, and seemed to be well received. 

I talked about how writers try to create a vivid sense of place, and even played a little game with the audience.  They had to close their eyes and trust me while I toyed with their senses of smell, touch and hearing, which may not seem like a wise idea to you (and I might well agree), but it made the point.

Even if it left some of the group traumatised...

That just leaves R, for the last full day at sea, Sunday.  I won't give away what the R stands for, but it's all about some of the more bizarre events that can befall a TV reporter and writer. 

It's designed to provide an emotional lift as the holiday ends - or that's the theory, anyway.  We shall see.

The seas are bouncy and boisterous today, courtesy of a Force Ten wind whose kind assistance we could well do without.  But I'm coping ok, dosed up as I am with every form of seasickness remedy known to humankind, plus ginger beer, ginger chews and wrist bands.  I don't know which of the set is working, but I'm certainly grateful.

I had a great experience last night - running laps of the top deck in the gathering wind.  It was ridiculous in that the wind assisted legs were very fast, the others very slow, but it was all absolutely exhilirating. 

To be blown around like that, with the seas whipping around you, and the view of a glowering sky for miles around - so very uplifting.

But it's true to say that I'm looking forward to getting back.  It's been an adventure, and well worth doing, but I'm not answering the commonly raised question from fellow passengers - whether I'll come cruising again?  I'm taking the Fifth Amendment for now!

Finally, and most worryingly, you'll be alarmed to hear that I'm runnng short of clean socks and pants.  I think I've probably got enough to see me through the final lecture and back to Exeter (Monday), but it's getting close.

Maybe that Force Ten wind will come in handy for drying some emergency washing...