Our cunning plan is to stay the night at the airport to avoid the M25 in the morning. We fly out from the S terminal, but have booked into a thing called the Hampton by Hilton at the N Termjnal, because we'll arrive back here next week.
The hotel is just one year old, looks pretty-well brand new, and it's cool, bright, welcoming, dotted with people of all ages and types, and our room on floor 6 is spacious, quiet and very pretty.
The only thing is, all the floorboards squeak.
Along the corridors - squeaketty squeak. Into the room, squeak, squeak, squeak.
Want to get your thingy from the chair - out of bed - squeaketty squeak squeak.
It's like hotels used to be across Europe, with sloping floorboards and quaint old oak beams. But those places had the reasonable excuse that they were a few hundred years old, or had come through a few wars. This place is stylish, gleaming, international new.
It matters not one jot, but I grieve for the future. It can only get worse. Sooner or later they'll have to take up the carpets and either screw all the boarding down more firmly, or replace it.