Unwrapping xmas presents - a pile twenty feet high - in the Millennium Dome, with a large crowd of people standing by expectantly. As I read out the label on each on a cheer goes up and a round of applause, and I know I'm supposed to read them all out but after four copies of the same book I have nothing to say and I wonder if it's all some kind of bizarre publicity event when I find a big squashy parcel in Santa paper from my father. Yay!! go up the cheers, and there are my family, crowding around me, open it open it. Inside, clear pink plastic, folded neatly. I shake it out - they're all beaming with excitement - and it's something like a cross between those seventies vinyl raincoats and a spacesuit, with a zip up the front and a bubble hood. See? says Dad proudly. I did it! and I realise that he's finally cracked his invention of the personal air transportation device. Everyone is watching as I zip myself in: cameras and monitors throw ripples of light on the suit, they're filming this, someone is interviewing my sister, who is preening in a Gucci shirt, my mother is looking embarrassed. As the zip closes, the suit inflates. Reflected in the monitors I look like a pink shiny balloon animal, stumpy semi-transparent legs, truncated stiff arms, bubblehead lolling at a strange angle, not quite inflated. Dad is shouting instructions, but the hood closes off sound and before I can interpret what he's saying I begin to float, slowly then more swiftly, upwards.

I am afraid of the beams in the roof, sharp metal edges coming into focus all too fast. I fly, speed still increasing, through an air vent at the top of the dome. The air whips at me, sending me spinning high across the glimmering black-and-orange riversnake beneath. Where the hell am I going? How do I work this? I lift my right hand, and embedded in a clear pocket on the end of it is one of those domed glass, snow-scene paperweights. I shake it. The snow builds, glitter specks falling and separating out, and I see inside a tiny London, foil river, weeny plastic Dome, glowing steadily: and as I look back at the real thing I see hundreds of other suited transparent figures, floating towards me, waving.