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Peter dropped us off at Terminal 5, London Heathrow, 5 minutes before the bag drop for our flight opened. It had been the usual journey from home: pouring rain, temperature 11 C and 40 mph speed limit on the M25, which means it’s stop – start and no risk of breaking speed limits. So the sky was crying, very fitting for the end of a very reasonable summer, with autumn crashing in during the course of just a few days.

Hold luggage weighed in at just 11.4 kg! A record, even for me. At security I was invited to let my hand luggage bag join my main bag, as I had forgotten to switch my new ‘tool for everything’ (including knife) to my hold bag – stupid boy! But I now join an elite group of previous companions who have made similar slip ups.

We arrived safely and in plenty of time at Madrid where our departure gate was at the other end of the terminal, a few km walk away, it seemed.

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