Nov 08

I think that’s the name of an old Rod Stewart record. I remember it on an ancient four-track cartridge my aunt used to own actually. Back in the days when there were cassettes and vinyl and cartridges, and Beta and Video 2000 and VHS…

Anyway, I’m off back to Northern Ireland next week along with my daughter. This year, for one of the very few times in my life, I’m going to land straight into Belfast. Fantastic. I have no idea how many times I’ve flown the Atlantic, but I’m sure it is dozens and dozens if not hundreds, and I can think of only a handful when it’s been into my home town. It’s usually London and sometimes Dublin, so this will be a treat.

Especially as I’ll be travelling with my three-year-old daughter, and I know it’s going to be, well, shall we say, maybe slightly more fraught than usual. But I’m really looking forward to it.

I’ll also be going to London to see Chelsea play – even if it is a midweek Champions League game which doesn’t matter a bit – but that’s not the point. It’s the chance to see my team, visit the stadium and catch up with my friends who live in London. And for the second year running I’ll be spending my birthday at home which is funny as well.

It’s been crazy mad bonkers over here in sunny N’Awlins recently. I’ve had a friend come over from England to help me work on the house, and he’s been here five weeks tomorrow. As well as that we’ve had people stay with us the past three weekends, and a bunch of concerts, sporting events, raspberry jam cook-offs… The last one was a lie, but it does feel like I haven’t had a chance to lift my head recently.

Still, that will change soon enough, and two weeks from now I’ll have swapped the blue skies and sunshine of Louisiana for the rain and black clouds of Belfast. But in a good way. It was ever thus.

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