Nicholas Quirke was coming home on 6 August 2021. The moment that had seemed far into future time had eroded and was here. He felt calmer than he had anticipated and the anxiety about leaving was being replaced with feeling of excitement. Farewell breakfast was Jian Bing with a black sesame soy milk, glutinous rice balls and a moon cake, followed by a session making the lego roses the time went quickly and it wasn’t long before the full to bursting cases were ready to be loaded into the car and they were off to the airport. He was checked in quickly as Peng was a Cathay Pacific silver member and used his privilege to get Nicholas through。. There seemed to be big queues for Hong Kong, `Macau and Taiwan and he was relieved not to have to wait. Departures seemed more complex than normal as he had to show his passenger form and test and take numerous temperature checks. He said his said farewells to Peng who got told off for filming him entering the security check. A final farewell wave and he was on his own emptying his case as the officers searched thoroughly for anything suspicious. He had to take a train to the gate where he had to do more tests, complete a departure form and then a wait for his flight. It was a smooth journey of nearly 4 hours where he was served a vegan meal and watched a rather uninspiring film ‘A Leg’ that had looked like fun but turned out to be pedestrian and he was excited to see and fly over Hong Kong where he had intended originally to visit, but due to Covid had never had the opportunity. The closest he had got was to look across the bay from Shenzhen. He had finally made it but only at the Airport though when he tried to buy something to eat and they did not accept yuan, he knew he was in a different country. Once he had gone through security again he did not have long to wait for his eleven hour transfer flight to the UK. Shortly after take off they were served supper and then it was lights out and after watching a Korean sci fi film Seobok he had a short sleep in preparation for his arrival at Heathrow at 5.40 on the morning of the seventh.