While I can no longer legitimately (or plausibly…) claim to still be collecting my scattered wits, post-Bologna Fiere, I’m afraid the juicy, paragraph-shaped constructions of an actual write-up – featuring real and evocative actual words – remain suspended in a very much nascent state, pending the re-focussing of my attentions on matters other than ongoing cover-illustration projects/birthday/Easter eggs/friend visitations/Easter eggs/return of friends from around-the-world adventures/Easter eggs/summer school/new paintbrushes…did I mention Easter eggs?
So, in the inevitable (and, as yet, indeterminate…) interim, I thought I’d hoik myself out of the roiling torrent of things-I-have-to-d0-now-ish and indulge in an Illustration Friday frolic. This week’s topic, return, summoned a number of concepts to mind, not least that of international travel and my recent return from Bologna – which, in marked contrast to the debacle of patchwork flights and transfers that was last year’s trip, represented an almost flawless demonstration of the efficiency of European transport systems working in astonishingly collaborative fashion. Almost. Although there were, in fact, no catastrophes, I very nearly brought the entire, well-oiled machine crunching to a halt at Frankfurt airport, minutes before the final flight of the trip, by executing a textbook ‘blonde’ moment: resolving to be super-organised, I had packed all my travel documents (passport, tickets, baggage labels, etc.) neatly into an A5 stationery wallet in order that anything of importance might be accessible at a moment’s notice, whenever it might be demanded during travel. To undermine such a system would, however, be devastatingly simple – as I discovered when I visited the bathrooms at Frankfurt and sauntered off, leaving said Wallet of Crucial Importance (WCI) beside a washbasin, while I wasted half an hour musing over whether to buy Lindt bunnies or Mon Cheri cherry liqueurs as ubiquitous chocolate-based gifts for dear-&-beloved relatives… To discover one is sans such items as boarding pass and passport as one’s flight is being called for boarding is a most disagreeable experience (I think my heart actually stopped beating, momentarily…). Fortunately, the wonderful washroom attendant espied my WCI and – presumably, clocking my blissfully-ignorant personage swanning off to go an fritter away my troublesome remaining euros at one of the many purveyors of Easter chocs dotted liberally around the airport – identified my name and flight no. and delivered it to the lovely Lufthansa angels at the boarding gate. For about 4 minutes, though, I firmly believed I would be spending the rest of the day (and, possibly, night) at Frankfurt airport – and exuded (or secreted…? Probably more accurate, but a little to, er, ‘corporeal’) about a week’s worth of perspiration. What an idiot.
So, as an anecdote clearly foregrounding my sieve-brained approach to personal administration, you may sympathise with my reluctance to linger any longer on the ‘travel’ theme as inspiration for an IF illustration. Hence, wheeling desperately away from that memory in an attempt to obliterate it with something entirely unrelated, I alighted upon the following, interpreting the concept of ‘return’, defined as an outcome/ reward/payout (or disappointing lack, thereof…):