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Looking back, Newcastle International. Evening.

is more or less what I was asked at Heathrow when I was picking up a cold drink on my way ‘back’ to the North East yesterday. I suppose I have been there pretty often over the past eighteen months or so … apparently often enough to be mistaken for airport staff, at any rate.

That, like much else, is changing. Whether it has been worth it … time only will tell. One of these days, I will write about the medieval people, the poets and scholars and monks, whose lives took them and their ideas back and forth across Europe. They are the stuff not only of history but of literature also, easy as it may be to forget it (who teaches material such as the stories that bring together Charlemagne, Irish kings, and the foundation of monasteries in Regensburg, for example?). Most of the time they offer me hope, a sense that in some way one is, in the long view, not alone; yet there are times also when that seems like a mental trick one plays on oneself in order to keep trying.

But for now, I wanted just to capture the moment. There are boxes to pack, paperwork to sort out, and places to say goodbye to; and then in no time I will be walking back along the corridor to stand 3 and the shuttle down to Heathrow to pick up the late flight to Copenhagen. And that, in the almost-darkness of summer nights in Denmark, will be that.