I am back home in France after four days of battling my way around London. I walked straight into a terror alert when I arrived at Shabsted from Poitiers on Monday evening and was unable to leave the airport as it had been closed, with all bus and train services suspended. I spent a jolly 45 minutes pinned against the wall of WH Smith by the arrivals hall surrounded by a crowd of angry holiday-bound passengers, whose progress towards check-in had been impeded by a police cordon.
Feeling claustrophobic as backpacks pressed in around me, I phoned my friend J and asked her to turn on Sky News and tell me if any religious extremists had been setting themselves on fire in the vicinity of Shabsted. But the ‘incident’ had not made the news. Security alerts, public transport problems and dearth of taxis in the morning rush hour aside, I had an excellent time in London but am happy to be home with my purple hibiscus, which sprouted flowers while I was away.