I'm back in Paris. I landed at four o'clock this morning, having trekked across the globe. As there was no public transport running into town at that time of day (well, none that was a> useful or b> up to my standards) I decided to get a cab.
It's not that bad really - 50 euros for the schlep from CDG to my front door was absolutely worth it, as it meant I was home and in my bed for 5.15. Perfect. Except, of course, that my body has no idea what time it is any more and do you think I could sleep?
The taxi driver was a good old boy. "Where have you come from?" he asked.
"Noumea" said I.
"Ah, lovely" he said "I always wanted to go to New Zealand"
"It's New Caledonia"
"The same thing, really though, isn't it?" said the cabbie. "After all, they both speak French"
"They speak English in New Zealand" said I, usefully.
"No,no, no. You're confusing it with Australia" insisted the taxi driver.
"Zzzzz" said I, as I feigned sleep and wished for higher IQs for everyone I have to deal with.
Anyway, I have the briefest of stopovers at my apartment as I'm off to the UK tomorrow - for a month. A month of working at a desk in HQ, rather than at a desk in the corner of my living room. That's tough.
I have a new assistant starting here in France and this time in the UK is part of her training programme. Suffice to say, it all seemed like a good idea at the time.
The company have rented me a nice city centre apartment, so I'll be living the highlife. Apparently.
Things I am looking forward to:
1. Having family and friends just down the road, but not in the same building.
2. British delicacies, including good old pork sausages (behave yourselves, I mean bangers)
3. Getting to spend time with my nephew and niece, the world's loveliest children (ask me if I still think that in a month's time)
4. XXL. It's the funniest club in the world, although I'm guessing August isn't the best month for bear hunting.
5. Catching up with friends in London, Birmingham and the North West. Much excitement there - and much beer budget needed.
And the list could go on forever really. It makes me wonder why I don't still live there.
But then I remember that I live in Paris and that makes up for it all. I really do love it here and I'm not really looking forward to closing the door tomorrow for a month.
But hey, a job's a job. When I come back in September, I have all sorts to look forward to - friends are already booking their weekends in the spare room. The opera season starts. I get to go to night school and meet new people.
I'm really hoping (and I'm pretty confident) that this month in the UK will be the end of this mad, tail-chasing (my own tail, before you get any ideas Lewis) life that I have had for the last few years. September sees a new beginning, with feet firmly planted on the ground.
The Parisian ground, that is. Can't bloody wait.