Next Saturday our son is due to return after six months in Brazil. We haven't seen him in that time. Unsurprisingly we were planning the coming week with his return in mind. Something to look forward to in the midst of the usual pre-Christmas melancholy. Big reunion at Heathrow on Saturday.
Yesterday morning the entirely unexpected happened. I was in my workroom at home. I heard a noise behind me and there he was, big grin all over his face.
He had decided to come a week early. His sister was in on the secret, as were most of the under-30s in London, and she had gone to pick him up from the airport. His mother and I were, it goes without saying, knocked sideways in a way that we rarely are. Ever since it happened we've been trying to recreate that moment of open-mouthed astonishment in our heads. Twenty four hours later we're still shaking our heads as if dazed.
Meanwhile the young ones have been walking round with the proud look that young ones wear when they manage to put one over on you comprehensively. Wouldn't have it any other way. Today we are killing a fatted calf.