It’s 7am and I’m walking through London Heathrow airport, holding a perfume tester. It’s sprayed with something called Duchess Rose by a company called Penhaligon’s, and a 75ml bottle costs the same as a return flight to New York. I waft the thin, fragranced stick of card under my nose as I move along, like an Elizabethan gentleman warding off plague with a pomander.
I get myself to the Starbucks concessions near my gate and order a skinny Salted Toffee Macademia Nut Latte. I say the words as quietly as I can, so no one will hear, but by the time I get to the second syllable of Macadamia, even I can’t stand me.
I sit down at a table and try not to wince at the kid crying at the next table, but it’s too early to have mastery over my facial muscles. My fiddle is propped in the chair opposite me. I’m wishing I’d practised it, like, any time in the past four months. By the end of the day, I'm due to be playing it at a jam in West Virginia .