“But you’ve been selling me a National Express ticket to Birmingham every weekend for months! Why not now?”
Mrs Travel-Centre is of a certain age and traditional build. Well, that’s not exactly how YoungLochinvar later describes her, but then he was speaking with the brutality of youth: a youth, moreover, already cutting it fine to get his coach to Birmingham.
The situation was ripe for murder. A dozen or so disparate individuals, randomly drawn together in a foreign hotel, under the cover of being on a Walking Holiday around the Sorrento peninsular. There seemed little chance that we would all survive the week.
To begin at the end.
We landed at Stansted in the early hours and finally tottered through our front door at about two thirty this morning.
I’m a very poor flier, as you know, and was in a horrible panic all the way out to Naples, despite my valiant attempts to ‘man up’. Coming home was much better, partly due to the application of a large glass of red wine just before embarkation, but mostly because, by keeping my eyes fixed on a book, I managed to fool myself into believing that I was actually on a train.
Crammed into the sidecar attached to Pa’s motorbike, Ma, LittleBro, the budgie and I followed the removal van across the City, not dilly-dallying on the way. We were moving from our tiny first floor flat to a house in the suburbs of North London. It would be just like in my favourite Janet and John books, with a real garden and an upstairs. All very exciting and not in the least scary.