I’m back in London, and amazingly enough, the sun is shining and it’s Mother’s Day.  Mr. D is out overseeing little league baseball outside of one of Britain’s most notorious prisons — yes, it’s true.  Son #1 is due to arrive over here later to take his old mum out for lunch.  Son #2 is still asleep over in the States but has been reminded that old mum celebrates UK Mothering Sunday and not US Mother’s Day, so a phone call is in order.

The house is quiet and I’m taking a moment to reflect on the subsidiary powers of flight.  What am I talking about?  Well, jet lag to start.  I had no idea how bad it might be.  I usually find flying westward not nearly as difficult as flying eastward, but I had been east for a month and SE Asia is a very long way away.  It’s been interesting, though.  Yes, on that first day back my face suddenly went numb at about 3 pm and the world went sort of whoozy.  But I tried an unusual remedy….I went for a run at about 4, and although it was probably one of the all time most painful runs ever, it woke me up enough to make it through dinner, and then conked me out enough to sleep through that night.  And after that, I’ve been fine, more than fine, because although I found myself waking up a couple of hours too early, that semi-concious early morning haziness led to a sort of fictive delerium where characters in my new book started talking in my head, and against all odds, I ended up writing the opening 500 words of novel 3.  That, for me, is euphoria, not only because it means that my trip is firmly planted inside of me and really can be a new source of inspiration, as I had hoped.  But it also means that I am now tumbling into writing mode, which necessitates spending less time promoting, and more time creating. It may seem like a subtle shift to everyone who lives outside my head (in other words, everyone), but to me it changes everything.  More on that later, I think, as I sort out a new schedule for myself, a new set of priorities, and a different sort of balance in my life.

So there’s that.  But as I was sitting in the sunshine reading the paper and it’s entire series on what it means to be happy — Britain’s latest obsession (“yes, I am happy, goddamn it, now leave me alone” I can hear an entire nation cry), I started to think about what makes us happy and the idea of flight somehow got conflated with that.  This morning I was led to two wonderful videoclips which really made me happy and which remind me of flying, even though neither of them have anything to do with flight. One is about doing bicycle tricks.  The other is about dueling cellos.  See what you think, but each comes with a caveat…for the cello’s, ignore the silly fighting bit in the middle and just watch what they do with their bows.  And for the bike — well, on this Mothering Sunday, I couldn’t help but wonder, “where is this guy’s mother…” (ps you can skip the advert in the beginning)