Here I am again. In the Emirates lounge at Gatwick waiting to board a flight to Dubai and thence to Mumbai and Neral to see my mum. It’s my seventh trip there in a year and I no longer feel the frisson of excitement that international travel somehow prompts in  people.

Almost a year ago I made a rec. trip to scout out a place in India that, I ,after discovered, was the only residential place in India that cared for people with dementia. I’ve had lots of ups and downs since then but she’s settled and well cared for. Whether she’s happy is another matter. I hope so.

My mother’s powers of concentration seemed to be waning when I visited her in August but she managed to to hod it together and put on a show for her son in law and grandchildren when we went together in October. I wonder whether she’ll recognise me when she seems me on Tuesday. It seems likely that she’ll lose that faculty at some point in the next year or so and then I’ll have to give serious consideration to whether it’s worth me still going to see her every two months. Perhaps I still shall: more for my own benefit than hers. So I can reassure myself that I haven’t dumped my mum 5,000 miles away. I’m sure that’s what many others think, those who have no experience of the toll this dreadful disease takes on its sufferers and their families. Part of me thinks this too.

It does take its toll, this long haul flying and I’m sure I’ve aged a lot in the last few months. A necessary but guilty pleasure is a night at the Trident hotel, that enables me to do all the business things like see lawyers and sit in tiny, stuffy offices pleading with bureaucrats. Tomorrow the first thing I must do is renew my phone and computer SIM cards. Even though I am an Overseas Citizen of India now, and theoretically on a par with actual Indian citizens, I still have to renew phone and dongle SIMs every three months. This irks me – it’s yet another form on which I have to specify my husband’s and my late father’s details like a chattel – but I can shrug my shoulders now without becoming too shouty.

I’ve got packing for the trip off to a fine art now and Ivbe discovered that it’s beneficial to fast for the day in order to avoid blowing up like  balloon at 39,000 feet. The food in the Gatwick Emitaes lounge is lovely: I’ve broken my fast with courgette and feta pancakes, ratatouille and braised fennel. And the picture that I’ll add later due to glacial wifi? That’s a little indulgence on this fast day of perfectly melty Brie and quince jelly. Yum!

See you over there!