I had time. My flight was from Gatwick at 18:45. The whole of London was before me, and a heavy bag was trailing behind me. I contemplated visiting the National Gallery, the British Museum, putting my bag in a cloakroom (do they still have them in museums?) dragging it up and down escalators in tube stations.
In the end I got on the bus for Brent Cross and went to see one of the joys of my life - the towels in John Lewis. I should have taken a photograph, really, but I just love those shelves and the way the colourful towels are arranged so neatly. If I could do one thing bring extra joy into our home it would be to stack towels in a small reflection of John Lewis' perfection.
After exploring Brent Cross - of course it was disappointing, but I always expected it would be, so in a funny kind of way it wasn't, I got a leisurely bad lunch in some fast food joint, then plotted my course for Gatwick airport. The C11 bus would take me to West Hampstead railway station, then a train to Brighton would take me straight to Gatwick. Wonderful! At West Hampstead the guy suggested that instead of buying a ticket I use my bank card on the swipe machines because it would be cheaper.
Gatwick airport was crowded and noisy. I bought some ghastly airport food. When did I get so picky? I went to the quiet area to eat it and we all sat quietly listening to a lady talk on her mobile phone. I suppose she was doing that in the quiet area because in the rest of the airport she couldn't make herself heard. My flight was announced - delayed. I watched it on Flighttracker - the aeroplane was coming back from Ljubljana.
They announced the gate. I hared off down the corridors. 10 Minutes to gates 103 to 116 said the cheerful sign. That was when I hit a clot of people completely blocking the walkway. There was no possibility of bypass and no way to pass through. We were stuck.
Then I realised that we were moving. Ever so slowly, like people auditioning for a zombie apocalypse movie, we were oozing slowly through the corridor. Just ahead was a bifurcation. I needed to go left. The zombie army continued its inexorable trickle off to the right while I was off like a whippet to the left.
Speedy herding to the left. We sat and waited. Another announcement. There was a problem with the plane, the captain said it was going nowhere, they were waiting to see if we could have a change of plane. Fifteen minutes later we were on board the plane and waiting for a slot for take off.
I was so glad to see Bordeaux. Bus 1 took me to the centre of the city. Bus 4 back to friendly Pessac, the lime trees and the hooting owls. I got in at about midnight, far too pumped up to sleep.