The plane circles over east London for quite a while; it seems like the world and his wife want to travel on a Friday night. Just below us a million acres of candyfloss cover the sky, hiding the city from view. It looks genuinely solid, like a mattress of feathers waiting to be bounced on. From my seat at the wing I look out as we dip and turn, dip and turn, the map on the tiny TV screen showing a big red circle of our station in the holding pattern.
As the sun sets further it becomes our turn to descend and so we dip again, the blade of the wing cutting into the candyfloss as if it were mere air. As we sink into the cloud the world outside disappears and for all I can tell we could be suspended on a movie set, dry ice piped in around us. At the end of the wing the white light blinks and blinks showing no-one where we are.
Below the white veil London is ablaze with a million golden gemstones, each winking and sparkling against the deep blue of the evening sky. Amongst the citrine and garnet are diamonds and rubies and the occasional sapphire, each one set to dazzle as we draw closer. My heart lurches with warmth and pride towards this fair city, with its nasty multi storey car parks and grand streets, its glittering glass towers and its homely pubs. When Heathrow comes into view, all corrugated and industrial, I turn the volume on my iPod up to soundtrack the landing. The wheels touch the tarmac and I bump forward as we break heavily. Home.