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06:20.

It’s a bit of a shock to the system but we’re back in the UK after flying in from Houston. We’ve actually had a very good flight. Our plane was well over half empty. The food was very good and crew were friendly and helpful, my only observation was that this was an 11 year old 777-224 (N69020 for the aviation geeks) so the seat-back entertainment system was rather clunky.

We arrived nearly an hour ahead of schedule after an easy flight. It’s the first time I’ve flown out of Houston and across Texas, so I was surprised to see just how green the state was. After a childhood spent watching cowboy films the last thing I was expecting was to see how green it was with huge tracts of pine forests, winding roads and arrow straight roads. We also crossed Louisiana and Arkansas only by then the clouds had rolled in. leaving little to see but this.

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Admittedly, US cities look rather spectacular when you fly over them at night…

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It was still night when we entered UK airspace and flew past Bristol and up the Thames valley before looping back on ourselves before lining up for our final approach to Heathrow, where we encountered mist and very low cloud. Now we’ve got to re-adapt to UK climate, which isn’t at its best. It looks like we’ll be returning to snow in West Yorkshire. We’ve a few hours to kill before then as our Grand Central service back to Halifax isn’t until 10:57…

09:16

We’ve braved the cold to get on the Piccadilly line tube to Kings Cross. In truth, it’s not a bad day to come back to. The sun’s shining and it’s a beautifully clear but frosty morning.

12:17

After brunch at the Parcel Yard in Kings Cross station we’re now speeding North through a Narnia style landscape courtesy of Grand Central trains (my first UK rail trip of the year). We ran out of sunshine North of Peterborough, swapping it for freezing with visibility down to a couple of hundred metres at most. Doncaster almost looked attractive in the frost (no mean feat) although the further West we get the more the frost’s fading. I don’t envy the guys we passed, working on the station platform extensions at Pontefract, they must be freezing – despite all their PPE.

19:17

We’re home, unpacked and knackered! Having travelled halfway around the planet on two flights, one of 12hrs 30m and the other of 7hrs 45m plus a layover of 2.5 hours as well as having crossed the international dateline has caught up with us. Now it’s time for bed and a chance to begin resetting our body clocks to UK time.
I’ve a favour to ask…
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