Tonight we’ll cross the Channel, setting foot in the UK bright and early Saturday morning. The rituals of the ferry are ranked high in my list of life’s joys – the quayside queue, the oft-imagined supper, the little cabin, and the ‘sailing the seven seas’ (!) imagination of my busy-port watching boyhood. Oh, but the leaving! Leaving the places we love is always so sad. My olfactory memory-mapping goes into overdrive.
Tomorrow, closing my eyes, I will know again in my nostrils this local salted butter, and the slight mustiness of the basement, and apple juice, and oaks and pines, and the planked floor of this bright bedroom, and the bubbling mud of the riverbed, and the warm breakfast baguette, with melon and strawberries and honey and strong coffee, and the armoire. I’ll tell myself convincingly ‘no leavings, no arrivals.’ And ache a bit.