I WAS going to make this announcement a little earlier but those cantankerous cabin crew clowns over at BA briefly threw a spanner in the works which has since been removed and will now hopefully be used to beat them ferociously.
I'm coming home! Initially I'd hoped to keep this somewhat of a secret until my arrival but seeing as I'm only going to be at home for four days I thought it best to say it now so as to prevent missing out on meeting any old friends during my short stay.
A few weeks back, a gentle anticipatory quivering started inside my chest but it has since expanded into an all-over body tremble of excitement as the day draws closer. The flight home is going to be rough, leaving at 9pm on the 23rd from Vancouver and landing into Shannon at 9pm on Christmas Eve with a 7 hour layover in Heathrow along the way.
But I don't care. I'd travel home on a cart pulled by a three-legged, blind, cranky donkey via Baghdad if it meant getting to spend a few hours at home. I can already taste the turkey, the ham, the prawn cocktail, the pudding, the roast spuds, o Lord the steaming, crunchy, butter-drizzled roast spuds. Just typing about it here has left my keyboard covered in a thick veil of drool.
As well as looking forward to making a pig of myself at the dinner table, I am almost as excited about seeing those who will share the table with me and most likely have to wrestle with me for the food. Without a doubt there have been times when the family have tolerated my presence, as opposed to desired it, but being out of the coop for seven months combined with the shortness of my stay will mean that I will hopefully be granted the status of golden child during my brief return to Ballyneety.
And once my belly is full to the point of necessitating a cesarean (say that 10 times fast) I'm also looking forward to re-acquainting myself with the taste of a proper pint of Guinness in Fennessy's, perhaps after a day at the races in Patrickswell depending on my funds. If I like the taste of that first proper creamy since I left home, I might even have to try a few more, maybe in the White House, or Tom Collins', or Nancy's. I'm an equal opportunities festive drinker and no worthy establishment will be discriminated against.
In between gulps, I will occasionally come up for air and tell anyone that'll listen about life in Vancouver and while the glass is up to my lips they'll hopefully return the favour and recount what scandal I've missed at home since May.
Then, before I know it, the 28th will arrive and I will be gone again with a head full of happy (and in some cases hazy) memories. I don't even want to sleep a wink when I'm home so as to create and store as many of those memories as possible to bring back across the Atlantic with me. Only three days left!