Category Archives: flying

Past Trips – California – United and The Trip Out [2]

The queue at Chicago to get through Security was long and not swift too move, personal patrolled about barking instructions to what they clearly perceived to be the obdurate cattle stood all about them. The signs were poor and unsurprisingly some visitors had the air of the perplexed about them, though all were clearly equally welcome. The one with the dog was not small and found it objectionable that other people of slighter statue were queuing in their designated queuing location in such a way as to prevent the dog and her girth to pass with immediate ease. You get this at the smaller airports in Europe, were bored security officials congregate around the one flight of the afternoon too inspectionise most profusely the aliens who so clearly need to be most earnestly scowled at and probed. At the busy airports where the thousands visit, the attendants often seem either friendly or simply utterly detached, both are preferable.
If this approach has ever led to the successful singling out of a wrongen, then despite the apparent simplicity of many dedicated wrong doer, I would still be most surprised. With great power comes great responsibility … young apprentice … and these people had some responsibility too, you could tell, they had uniforms and an aggrieved tone.

By the time we reached the passport and documents inspection point we had gone past the boarding time of our connection, nervous energy about missing the flight past, that outcome seemed clear enough. To chap in the passport bit was actually friendly and we passed through to the bit where you pick up your luggage and get asked whether you’re a farmer … the man in front confessed to keeping some chickens but was none the less aloud to pass through this bit without additional review. Neither of us keep chickens and though I do have Cockatiels I don’t farm them in any way, it would be a niche industry. We were also allowed to pass on through. Directly afterwards we were asked to hand over our bags, two queues that we were told were to the same ends, transfer flights… perhaps we would somehow be catching our connection after all. Perhaps it was the flight and early start, it was not the question, we had both encountered inquiries about fruit and food matters on previous trips, what made it memorable here was the earnest divulging of chicken. With more clarity it’s a fair point, when on the spectrum of: occasionally encountering a pet, keeping ants, wondering through farmers fields because you live in a rural way, having a pet, keeping a number of beasties for a hobby, having a green house, seeking to become self sufficiency, production for sale, through to industrialised land based production.. where on this array of randomly selected milestones does one formally fall into the category of farming… this fellow for one was clearly unsure, best to ask.

Transferring across the terminals was easy at Chicago, a monorail that went from one to the next, until back through security we went and on to our gate. We were the last two I think, I still had my seat but Mitch had had has seat reallocated and they seemed to be engaged in some seat discovery at the desk. The flight to LA is not a short one, I was a little surprised to find this internal flight was being operated by an aircraft that might have been owned my Easyjet and Ryanair back before they both established themselves and opted to invest in an up to date fleet, the well aged 737, the Boeing of choice in the 90s and now largely found seeking refuge among charter airlines or developing nations. Not that unusual to be seen, just a bit unexpected on such a long flight for such a well established airline.

Jet airways had operated one of these out of Nepal but it was newer and came with cinema entertainment systems and was generally quite nice.. Jet Airways were really very good actually, the flight back to Italy from India while all but empty was also a very new, very comfortable flight, with totally functional entertainment system and assorted movies to choose from – Jet Airways, Big Tick.

You could pay for some films on the credit card swipe system but given everything I wasn’t inclined, it may have been a fine collection of silent movies with a couple of talkies thrown in …that wasn’t it, the movies were new enough, some of them had even been sufficiently well resources to warrant a full cinema release, like WIFI at a remotely decent hotel you expect it (there was free wifi at the basic hotel we occasionally stayed at in Kathmandu) and paying for it seems somehow wrong.

Beneath the sky was very clear, large green fields sprawled out beneath, I napped, when I woke the same shapes were still there in every visible direction, I woke again some time later and similar shapes had become browner. It was quite the expanse down there, an expanse filled with apparently very little, an occasional hut, shack or house seemed to be present, it was hard to tell from this distance, little more.

I had another friendly person alongside me on this leg of the trip, this time a middle aged chap who lived somewhere north of LA up along the coast, probably somewhere we’d be driving past. He had a thing about artichokes, apparently they were a big thing in the area, he told me about how farming was a massive thing for California and about the lack of rains and massive droughts that recent years had brought that was one thing, that and the artichokes, the ski resorts and traffic issues surrounding driving into down town LA, these were the main topics of recollection.

Beneath there was what looked like dessert, red, orange, brown, the dry ground with cuts carved into it. I couldn’t really tell what was caverns and depth and what was just lines forged in the landscape but it made for quite fascinating viewing, there was even an unexpected river and lake at one point amongst the long dry apparent nothingness.

Flight LA

Dessert View Flight To LA

Dessert River USA

We arrived, Mitch’s bag arrived, mine did not.
A particularly unhelpful baggage area attendant proved particularly unhelpful.
I headed to the United desk.. rifling about for signs of my baggage receipts, finding a bunch of stuff and handing it over..
They were quite helpful and told me my bag was following along and had been loaded on the next flight, rather tired by this point I inquired how one had made it and the other not, when they’d been handed over together, she didn’t know but took no offense, none had been intended. I couldn’t get it and somewhat bye the bye without hope that they could really explain had just shared my bemusement at what had occurred. In the scheme of things this was pretty good, an hour or so and the flight would arrive, meant not too long to wait until the bag would make its appearance in LA.

LA LAX International Airport

We set of in search some Tea, an effort which proved greater and a tea that proved more elusive than you might reasonably expect. Into terminals we went, questions were asked of people but no coffee shop was seen.. one chap thought there was a workers café down the drop off road a way and across, we never found it. It was hard to fathom, this was the USA home of commercialising things how were they not set up to cash in the captive airport audiences even in the departure areas… by now we’d gone upstairs away from arrivals, still nothing.
The Terminal we’d arrived at was the last, all in a long straight line it seemed, it was grotty, the most grotty of each that we visited but the whole place was rather tired looking and grim. Somewhere three or four terminals later we found it… a Starbucks – UK tax avoiders, specialists and chiefs along with Amazon – you may take our money but you will never contribute to our freedom, well being and education and thus our broader economic prosperity and happiness – thanks for that.
They do though have tea, not good tea, but actually it was alright and the chicken sandwich thing actually seemed to have whole juicy pieces of chicken in it, it was really pleasant surprise, really very nice … the tax avoiding bastards … very nice

As I write this I am sat in departures at Zurich airport – and someone is cycling across the tarmac out there, across from Terminal B to Terminal A – gently slowly peddling their way across .. the weirdest thing, well perhaps not but on the scale of thing unexpected things to see while looking out the giant windows of Zurich its on there.


Past Trips – California – United and The Trip Out [1] [2014]

Last year, somewhere in the period where summer end and autumn sort of begins i headed for a holiday, road trip week, in California.

It was not planned particularly in advance and sort of came about due to holiday needing to be used and this being the place upon which consensus between myself and the other member of this two party trip (Mitch) was quite swiftly found.
As a result flight options were not at their most abundant and those which were about where not a budget surplus pricing.

Two options kept appearing on skyscanner, one was an unfamiliar American airline whose name was something like US Airways and the other was Unites. I had heard of United, that didn’t mean good things but it did mean familiarity. I’d heard any number of times about the atrocious standards of US airline, from transatlantic commoners and holiday makers with the resounding condensed down message that flying with a US carrier should never be anything close to a first choice.

Lufthansa, British, Virgin (great on the NY trip years ago), KLM … anyone.. Singapore, Qatar, Emirates, Qantas, Swiss, Icelandair …. Hello …
It was not to be a cost effective option, I’d never personally been the beneficiary of US airline experience, perhaps we’d be lucky, perhaps it wasn’t United that were meant, maybe the rumours were just that an ill founded view forged upon a bias – plus the flight was out of the newly opened Terminal Two … so went with that .. United Flight, very early on a Saturday Morning flight out with one change via Chicago on the way to LA.

Friday Night:
I thought I had booked the ‘Heathrow’ easyhotel for the Friday night, I thought having gone through the website that this was a somewhat generous use of the Heathrow idea and was actually located near Paddington station, on the other end of the Heathrow rail service.. it was not.
Somewhere between a lack of attention, a bit of stupidity and an awful website with woeful support levels (don’t try to email them, or at least do but by no stretch of the imagination expected any receipt confirmation let alone a reply.)

I dragged my – well packed for the week – Travel bag through the street of west central London, away from the masses of Oxford Circus, up and over toward Paddington, arriving to be informed by the reception person that I was not expected. It was here that I learned that there was actually a Heathrow specific easy hotel…a few miles more worthy of the name – it was somewhere on the way to Heathrow in the vicinity of Hays and Harlington. This was not welcome news, an evening spent around here seemed somewhat more attractive than a night in Hays, we had tickets for the train tomorrow morning and the simple matter of not having realised which ‘hotel’ I’d booked us into, a genius act and one difficult to deny when heading out in search of this unknown orange refuge to the West.

We were to meet here, Mitch an I, so I texted my error and waited.
Mitch then – The other person on this trip – is my oldest friend from secondary school who now works in Canary Warf and as such had a slightly longer journey over than my own, but basically handy enough exit route for both of us.

After meeting up and some running around at Paddington it became clear that tickets bought online were tickets over which the station people had no control and found themselves unable to transfer to today, yet informally one after the other decided to shrug a little and pass us on to the next until we were through the gates, sat on the train and recanting the whole things once more to the ticket inspector chap. A most hasslesome commencement to proceedings which sort of worked itself out.

The Hays and Harlington – Heathrow, easyHotel – its not that close to the Hays and Harlington train station especially when you have luggage and what with it (the luggage) coming in so broadly handy during other stages trips, luggage there surely was.

The easy hotel once located is not a nice place, the night trip cabins on the Cherbourg ferry are bigger and more opulent than the rooms on offer here. The room was barely bigger than the bed, it was not an unusually large bed. The bathroom such as it was, was a shower and toilet all in one thing, seldom experienced before but again smaller than the shower and toilet all in one chambers on the Cherbourg ferry, the place this unnoticed gap in the universe clearly put me most in mind off. It was though cheap by the standard of Heathrow overnight hotel options but really, the rodent traps, the close proximity walls they most certainly create a certain ambiance. Does give rise to the notion that surely, there must be a more optimal pounds sterling to standards ratio available out there than this.
easyHotel Heathrow Room
A shared taxi in the morning was cheaper than the airport round robin bus, making that an easy enough decision, though I suspect the TFL standard London buses that operate around here would have been the most regular and least costly option of all, they all go the Heathrow central bus station which is at most a couple of miles away.

The Terminal Two of before was totally gone, there seems to be nothing of it left to be found in the seemingly much larger building that seems to have filled its space. The low ceiling and warren like corridors, it had such an organic, accidental way about it, now its all bright, high, a big space abundant box/rectangle divied up into zones for those who are coming, those who are going, both and the neither.

Heathrow Terminal Two

Surprisingly, least to us on that morning, the gates that are obviously about the place are not necessarily the gates you will be using, a fact we realised when our flight was called only for it transpire that it was about 10-15minute walk away.. we did some corridor running to freshen up before the journey.

United Airlines – Flight To Chicago From Heathrow
I like long flights, I wasn’t sure I would but I leared some time ago that I really rather do. The flights to Australia some years ago were brilliant, hours of films, drinks and a general sense of chilled outness that came with zipping around so detached from the world beneath. Those flights were with Emirates, just as the New York flights were with Virgin .. this flight was not with Emirates, it was not with Virgin.

The flight attendants were more friendly than I’d expected but then I think they were just so used to apologising for things that they were worn down to a simple shoulder shrug of, yeah we know, we’re sorry … nothing worked.. first the gameboy sized little TV screen of the entertainment system remained firmly black and unresponsive then the headphones, headphone after headphone…. I like airline food, im aware its not a customary view of the offerings but what came along in the form of breakfast was arguably the most unpleasant thing I have ever to encounter, it was just plane nasty, which is odd, they must have picked this up in London, not brought special nasty shit with them and there are plenty of flights out of Heathrow with perfectly decent food stuff on board and here, here there was this, it was not an enjoyable experience.
If it might appear that there is in here a deliberate effort to offer up a collection of grumbles then no such effort need be made. To be fare to both easyHotel and United they were the cheaper options available.

United Airlines TV Screens

The stewardess apologised, told me that this ancient fleet of 777s were overdue to be retired and were now due to be coming out of use shortly, most honest, most friendly .. then they have that weird strap line about the skies they use .. the something skies .. Something about it reminded me of Hertz, a business gradually eating itself up from the inside out, in the desperate need to report the right number to the market every six month or so that investment and long terms plans to underpin the future are vigorously avoided, it will shine on the outside until its all dried out and hollow within, then it will collapse.. of course the idea is that someone will be lulled into buying it up somewhere along the line… Hertz always bleated on about its quality but there was no evidence of any such thing, they recruited cheap relying heavily on interns, they pursued short term strategies that contradicted medium term interests and relied heavily on corporate contracts, the franchised countries seemed to have more success, all the effort would go into making something look like it worked and it was hard to find any effort to actually make a thing work, like a film set. For all this, I actually quite enjoyed my brief stint there, not was if either for the incompetence of my boss (a level of incompetence that saw a mixture of responses from my colleagues, run and leaving being one, trying to informally report to someone else being another or my personal favourite just sort of not.. do what you want and take it from there) .. but for the niceness of the people, it really was quite the friendly if utterly resigned place. Even my boss was very personable, very easy to like really unless you wanted to do your job a bit .. United had something of the Hertz about it, though the stewardesses were no interns, not unless they were going for some most belated attempt at a career change.

The stewardess suggested I change seats, pointing to a seat on the back row that remained untaken, the girl who was sat on the window seat was stretched out.. I did not anticipate my arrival would be welcome and was hesitant. Normally I might more easily have dismissed such an effort and likely awkwardness but this was not to be a short stint of sitting that I had ahead and my mind had kind of set itself to the idea of watching some of these available films.
I was right, I was not welcome, I explained id been sent, that my entertainment system didn’t work but I was still just some random, showing up, spoiling her stretched out ways and who knows maybe just some general tool looking to sit down with false guises next to her unsuspecting self. I was not, I would be quite happy to not engage even moderately with this new neighbour, so long as I could watch the films and let the time float by.
The screen worked, the sound did not.
They gave me new headphones, they had the wrong type of plug, two prongs where there ought only to be one – that didn’t work despite more tireless efforts to find a way then logic would justify.
I went pocket rummaging and located another set, they didn’t work… no headset that was found could be brought to work.. not that they had more than a couple spare and many of those they did have were clearly meant for quite a different system and didn’t fit at all.

Being onboard a United flight really does great things for ones appreciation of domestic services… tempted to think we don’t know what we’re doing, Fly United the beleaguered skies.. and everything else will seem that bit better..
They were not the worst airline, not anywhere close, that title remains with whomever that Turkish Charter was that took me to Bodrum and back, it turned out they’d been banned from airspace before now due to their standards, had I known that when it was booked on my behalf it would not have been booked… anyway that was something to do with Turkey, this is United Flight to Chicago. Nowhere close to that sort of level.

Think that experience was with these guys –

In desperation I set to fiddling with the headset socket and by pure fluke struck on a particular level of incursion and angle that if achieved, meant sound found its way up through the cable, through the headphones and into my ears. The trick was not to move, not to flinch, fidget or otherwise give cause for the plug to believe it had just cause to fall silent. I was not successful.
There were the toilet breaks, mine and my neighbours and then there was just the general need for movement that comes from being, still once I knew it was there to be re-found the level of effort and persistence that could be set to rediscovering that so very particular sweat spot was increased.

Disdain for my presence waned as I sat attempting to watch the mini-screen while either furiously ferreting for sound or statuesque in the hope of retaining it and at some point for some reason moments of conversation broke out, probably instigated by that famous social lubricant the toilet break and the obstacle my person posed to such a break.
She was an actress from New York I think, memory isn’t a strength, who’d recently moved out to LA. I’ve ended up speaking to three randoms on my US trips through no fault of my own and of those two were actors or aspiring to be, the line on this is blurred more than in other professions by the ability to find work to pin against it. If this is the ratio that the US operates under no wonder it spins out so many TV shows for grossly divergent quality.. It must be the nations industry of comparative advantage, it trades these shows for Coffee, Pizza, Cars and international recognised branded sports wear from East Asian country sweetshops. They pulled us in with various higher quality TV offerings in the late nineties and two thousands and now we’re trapped, all those TV stations with hours of time to fill and nothing but Castle, a spot of healthy NCIS casual racism (fear the foreign man for he is on balance of probability, possibly a wrongen), “Pitt the younger – Bounty Hunter extraordinaire” (how are they taken by surprise by wrongens with the camera crew already set up in the room into which they are to enter and be taken by surprise .. one can but guess), Two Broke Girls and an assortment of reconstituted, unoriginal, infinitely predictable, stereotype reinforcing hogwash of interchangeable identikit faces, with as much unique texture and flavour as a subway sandwich. That said the BBC is currently set on a most peculiar mission to recreate the assorted singularly humour free comedies of the early 70s.. in which a collection of one dimensional characters are treated to a procession of entirely contrived and improbable scenarios.. Where once we had: Blackadder, Red Dwarf, Only Fools and Horses, The Office (personally not a fan but still), Extras, Coupling … now we have: Miranda, Mr Kahn, Mrs Brown’s Boys-if this was 30 years ago they would still be utter shit, unfit for domestic consumption let alone exporting. Again all of these have something of the familiar about them – take one person of limited intellect, add some sort of social disorder or two, then set them a mundane task and expose them to a similarly contorted lobotomised world and let hilarity ensue.
To think those broadcast waves are gong to head out into the wider universe, unremittingly out on onward … who knows who will see this stuff, it could be enough for hasty conclusions to be drawn about humanity and cleaning squads to be dispatched.
So, as I was saying – If it might appear that there is in here a deliberate effort to offer up a collection of grumbles then .. well yes .. so far we have amassed:

easyHotel – Hmmm
United Airlines – No thankyou kindly
Tv of the 2010s – urgggggg….

So clearly not

But really note to self, try not to fly with United again, if for no other reason than that odd cylinder thing that haunted the sort of breakfast offering .. it was not a sausage, I know not what it was but it was not a meat product nor for that matter was it vegetarian it was a cylinder of something and that something was not fine.

United Airlines Nasty Arse Breakfast
And it looked a whole lot better than it tasted

Snow & returning – UK bound (2b) ..

I may have mentioned this – After some days spent enjoying the lengthier than normal commute and the colder than previously stations .. all courtesy of over head lines, they break the trains… the trains get replaced by coaches – but then they don’t because the trains are back … celebration…only they’re not …short lived celebration …

Least they’re back just long enough for us to all about turn and trudge back and do some serious thinking about what we did here today, and what we did here today was some low level comfort, polyester blue, cushion bench sitting, for another 20 minutes … then back to the coaches, for apparently some other train (further up the tracks) having also been caught up all this good stuff, had gone and adopted that tried and tested defence mechanism of all the local trains in times such as this, of peril and surprise – the application of the brakes.. then the wind changed and it went and got stuck that way.

So back to the coaches and with that the days go by ….

Sunday the before all this time, in conclusion then, where’d I get to before I accidentally went and posted this in the wrong place (genius.. If only I could remember my password I could download the app – that might make this easier, o well)

…”So if the threat of gasoline dependants being cut off was enough to put pay to any flawed notion of British lips (they are as stiff as fresh Brie) then what on earth will this do to the Swiss .. People my people stand steadfast, be strong..” ..

I for one will not be buying a new ticket – I resolved while wondering unpurposefully about as at oerlikon station – for they may choose go and time limit their tickets but I had had to run .. Run … I’d bought a ticket to the airport and by Jove this ticket would see me there, yes sir I’m getting on this train (when it comes) with this (by such a time expired) ticket and nothing more – Twas most rousing monologue, that went little like that.. It was cold .. What is more faithfully accurate, was the plan, I was prepared to go with either my finest Hugh grant confounded, bemused, befuddled and generally well meaning abroad fopishness (once having been quite the default) or .. The as yet untested & more outlandish Reese Witherspoon inspired German effort, more in the vein of – what the fuck and do you know who I am ?!!? .. No well quite right, there’re are people who I work with who may well be equally unprivy to such knowledge..

I was prepared – if undecided.. Free from concerns of arrival times, there was little fat left in the schedule but that was ok …

while purposelessly wondering the station a girl in poorly chosen (one can only presume) boots descended a couple of steps on her rear end .. They were wooden due to the reconstruction work and it made quite the noise … Huh, a helpful thought to have at such moments.. I looked down for experience suggests that this is where those taking this approach to stairs decent tend to be .. Plus it’s where the accompanying noises that were thudish in nature had come from

In finest ‘not to be taken to mean anything tangible you understand’ English I asked something – basically along the lines of whether they were ok? – I didn’t catch the response as she scrambled double time to her feat .. Not a proudest of moments, just unexpected, not quite sure when someone descents so dramatically what one does… look and wonder should I do something here ? Yes that’s it …

She took a step and slid bum to floor down a couple more .. The steps were few and by now ideally or not she’d pretty much completed that leg of her journey .. The wooden steps really did something for the acoustics and the fellow travellers in this underpass must now if not the first time, felt themselves duly apprised of her struggles with the surfaces.

On the train – No ticket man came, they seldom do and over here they don’t do barriers . .. Perhaps it’s the greater surplus but there remains a higher level to which you are on your honour, not so in the UK ..( I’m not old enough to remember these other times that may justify such stereotypes of the English Gents – I don’t know whether they once were or weather the time to which such things belong has more in common with the dragons which presumably  kept those fine folks occupied)  .. Perhaps it’s simply that the shit service, high prices – years and years of being shafted in our ever less equal society – perhaps that is one moderately stretched rational for the barrier requirement… Who in their right mind would pay to go on a commuter train in the uk?

Paying at all for the privilege of standing, wedged in place only by your neighbours opportunity located armpit is reasonably enough to convince even the most fair minded that there should be a free’r way, that or a more pleasant one .. Either might work.

Still there’s always the tube when the train journeys over – the hundreds of thousands and their collective morning happiness, it’s a beautiful day don’t let it get way … And the debates about who pushed whom – I’m lucky I get to walk it, but that’s a tomorrow away.. For now I’m still on a Swiss plane .. Window seat & for some bizarre reason Tom & Jerry on the overhead mini screens – their with dinosaurs .. On the way out it was bean – that’s to be expected from the outside at least it seems no one quite loves me bean quite like the Swiss. Broadly I think the Brits rather wonder how they ever came to be part of a collective that gave rise to this … But we can forgive – anything for the man who brought blackadder unto us…

It seems I’m speaking for a country – a country I’m only a half genetic part of and an harder to define cultural product of .. Overreaching perhaps..

Zurich airport departures
Zurich Swiss flight departing

Deiceing Plane
De-Iceing – Preflight … Light Big Fish Queuing At A Bluestreak cleaner wrasse station

As the plane made its way to takeoff, looked out the window, happy to have a window seat (the best for propping the head up when grabbing those often quick to arrive flight winks), letting the work iPhone do its optimal things as pocket DJ .. unfamiliar tune shuffled up and out, quite liked it, not so uplifting, surprised id entirely forgotten this one, i must have loaded it at some point..

Heading home (sort of) for Christmas 2

There is no PRET  in T2, I wondered around to be sure remembering that there was one, there isn’t.  Given the early stages of its rebirth and more than cosmetic overhaul there never was.. Where there might have been one there is an EAT – I do not care for EAT..  No particular reason other than it’s prices are like those of a pret, it occupies potential pret spaces .. Places such as this one in T2 and ain’t no PRET & while is not the same nor is it different..

Big queues and for mine the front is fast giving up and leaving, the serving person having abandoned their cashier post to take up residence at the coffee making station and not come back.

I observe making a b- line for the back where there appear to be some unadvertised self checkouts .. And opt to follow.. The thing is people have clearly been here before been here before giving up and leaving with each of the machines displaying the unpaid for items of previous attempted transactions …. There is no way to clear it down – no back, no delete, no action from the cancel button on the card machine nothing .. I can buy £7.58 of whatever’s on here or leave.. Food less and hungry .. That’s the choice

The other chap, the one who heading here pointed it out, if he pays for his .. Then his self checkout, the third and final choice, will be cleared down, so I burn some time with fruitless machine ferreting waiting for him go leave while hoping it all works for him in a way that seems scarcely probable.

it works – he leaves and bequeath me the one working checkout and with it I manage to secure for myself this sandwich .. It is mine & paid for to – legally & possession wise mine.

I’m not sure whose more deserving of being clobbered meticulously with this slightly under baked baguette until all flight full fillings flew free .. The developer who built it or their boss who allowed it to escape into the wild.  I’m pretty certain I’ve encountered very similar devices in other stores, frustrating machines no doubt but ones that have had a few generations to teach us about their inheranrtly irksome bagging area ways .. So well established are these as to make guest appearances in any number of comedians comedy skits … No originality was called for here, so to find new ways to be frustratingly shit that took some witless ness.  I think the boss, that is where the baguette should be wielded.

The plane is late arriving but I’m kept to busy on my phone – writing my response to the unspoken conversation that was intended for today – how do we save money next year.. I’ve given my answer verbally in passing but now I’ve worked out the detail – it’s an email that, despite the departure gate and flight time hours that went into, has as yet remained unsent .. Drafts …

Heading home (sort of) for Christmas 1

As work came to a close with another last minute effort stumbling to an incomplete pause … I left for Piccadilly and on to Heathrow.  Arriving as the Heathrow branch pulled out, the next one went to Reynars lane but the one after that was again going my way .. Not so bad ..

The next tube pulled in, I got on and was surprised to find myself with a seat – then if left.. At which point I wondered quite why I was on this one, going as if was to the wrong place  & knowing as I did that only moments before if been quite clear on this … Powerful attention span – mind elsewhere.. Studying the route I reminded myself of where the routes diverged, where I would need to alight the train .. A word that makes no sense in either it’s correctly or incorrectly spelt form … I’m just getting off, disembarking, leaving, getting aght – anyway of course it’s acton .. Should know that – liver there long enough back in the day .

I flew from terminal 2 again – in my head it’s only it’s only just reopened & heres me getting cordially invited for a second time.

Arriving up from the underground everything’s the same as it ever was, no sign of the changes above .. All the same corridors & feel as ever there was .

I think I love Heathrow

Perhaps not a sentiment many might feel moved to offer .. Particularly terminal 2 with its low hanging ceilings, accidental and reworked layout, ramshackle ways and row upon row of green dusty seat/benches adorning it’s departure lounge but I’ve missed it .. It means good things to me .. All these thing are of course no longer in evidence in the new T2 but it comes from a time before, dating back to when things were less diligently deconstructed and assessed.

So perhaps I can not be certain as to the veracity of that initial statement but in terms of emotive responsive to none sentient, none living entities Heathrow and particularly T2 is up there.

I came here once while working for hertz, for a netting in there offices with a supplier who was flying in – it was a windy day, stormy and they were late.  The offices sit on top of the vehicle pickup and set down area and it was all I could do to not simple peer out of the window at the runway that ran what seemed like only tens of meters from its side.  All the big ones going to far flung places, anywhere almost could lie at the other end of that flight.  Better than an aquarium, happy and sort of content aside from the feeling I should really like to be aboard… I’m a danger to myself and other road users whenever approaching that m4 junction on the m25 so bewitched am I, each time I come to pass this place with its thunderous and regular departures tucking their wheels in as they set off – really quite the distraction despite any number of voices advising as to the none unique nature of this sighting and the need to retain a certain level of decorum and attention to matters at hand.

Suppliers may scarcely have encountered me in a more wistful and amiable manner .. It was not a monotone meeting im sure and I’m sure I made whatever look I was there to make but in truth I remember little of it aside from the runway, the thundering jumbos still somehow about and all the other less distinctive planes – all of then heading of for somewhere.. Something far, distant, interesting – at least for a time