Sunday, August 24, 2008

[need a shave] of metal seats, tube fights and blackberries





Some images above of first impressions.

Question- have you ever spent a night in an airport? Interesting experience, especially the way they do the slippery metal seats with metal armrests in such a way that you can't lie on them. The other guy with me found a way though- put the head on the table effect at the end, the neck under the first armrest and the waist under the second and so on.

There was a chapel in the airport, just as there is a Madonna in every shop and it was nice to spend some time in, that chapel, with it's cleverly backlit crucifixion scene at the front. On the right at the front was a plush velvet chair, presumably for the priest to sit on. When I came back later in the night, there was a shopping trolley in there with plastic bags of someone's worldly goods. In the priest seat was an unfortunate who'd ended up on the street and I thought - there but for the grace ... left a few coins and departed. Hope the airport authorities don't read this post.

I must have looked like a shady character as I got the shakedown on trying to check in and it was my first half-strip in public - hope the public enjoyed it but the paws all over the bod didn't endear it to me too much. The airline quite thoughtfully had provided copies of newspapers with the Madrid disaster plastered over them so that made good reading.

First experience this side was a helpful railway employee called Mark who not only suggested that if I went to the ticket machine round the corner there was no mile-long queue but then he stayed around to ask if I was "all right then" after that. Wish I'd taken his name and sent a letter to the authorities about him - he was exactly the image the railways need.

Of course this was counterbalanced. An old chap couldn't read the signs and was trying to get to the Victoria line so he asked me what it said and I said that I also had trouble with my eyes but I'd ask. As it happens, we were in the right place so we helped each other get to the right train just as it pulled in, which infuriated a nutter with wife and daughter standing in prime position to get on the train.

He threw a tantrum, shouting he was going to put me in hospital and then came at me while the old man looked on in disbelief. I told the nutter he was a f---- imbecile. " Something wrong with your brain, i'n there, eh?" I grinned at him, which seemed to infuriate him more and wife and daughter kept right out of the way. W-e-l-l, why do nutters keep coming at me? I mean ...

So he continued:

"Yeah, you!" he shouted. "Wot you calling me names for?"

"The stress, friend, the stress."

"You got no f----- manners," he shouted.

"Yes I have - I stepped back and let you on first, din I?"

"You wotchit, mate."

"Yeah, yeah, you 'ave a good day too, me china."

The old man had enjoyed this and now asked me if I was travelling to join a boat. "Pardon?" I asked.

"A boot like. Merchant navy. Anyway, they employ Filipinos these days."

"Ah." Turns out he was twenty years in the merchant navy and I thought to myself, that sounds like not a bad idea, really. Either that or become a Benedictine monk.

Still might too but first some blackberry picking tomorrow and another thing - why do councils insist on lopping them down when they're doing no one any harm? This is the sort of out-of-spite thing and then they send in teams of loppers who know nothing whatever about trees and things and they hack at them.

Reminds me up on the moorland some years back when some Dutch company got the right to hack swathes of heather for padding in dam walls in such a way that it could not regrow. Everyone knows that heather needs burning. Still, it was a nice little money spinner for someone.

And another thing- did you see the way McFly hacked up Winner Takes it All today but the version of We Can Be Heroes was pretty good. And what did you think of Jimmy Page and that girl, by the way? And how do you like the way Boris was standing, waving the flag?

I need my winter clothes, even though the ice cream van was out today.

More in the next few days.

11 comments:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

And welcome to Blighty, one might say. Now you know the effect your plane disaster stories used to have on those of us about to fly. Glad you made it.

Colin Campbell said...

I spent the night at the airport in Auckland in one of my immigration adventures. No fun.

At least they can't kick you out of the UK and you can stay and kick Brown out.

Enjoy what is left of the summer. When I grew up, the ice cream van came around to my Granny's house rain or shine.

Good luck with your new adventure.

Dragonstar said...

Glad you're back James! Traveling can be so much fun.

CherryPie said...

Welcome home ;-)

Now you know I was being truthful about our transport system!

I attract the nutters too, I just ignore them, they go away a lot quicker ;-)

We usually get an Indian summer in September but sadly Autumn has started early this year...

mutleythedog said...

Did you see Gary Glitter at the airport anywhere? That was Leona with Jimmy Page - hes looking old aint he?

UBERMOUTH said...

Wow! I feel all teary eyed!
Shame nutter ruined your long awaited homecoming.

Welcome home, John Boy!!!!!!

jmb said...

No fun travelling these days is it? Especially by plane. But it must be nice to read the signs in English for a change.
Good luck with the next leg of your adventure James.

Calum said...

Nice to see you home, James.

Congratulations.

TBRRob said...

"First experience this side was a helpful railway employee called Mark who not only suggested that if I went to the ticket machine round the corner there was no mile-long queue but then he stayed around to ask if I was "all right then" after that. Wish I'd taken his name and sent a letter to the authorities about him - he was exactly the image the railways need."

James -- A bit or cultural re-education for you.

This lunatic you refer to above was clearly not doing his job properly.

They're meant to hassle you and demand to see your ticket.

But don't worry I will report him to the commissars, on your behalf, immediately. ;)

Wolfie said...

Pretty typical account of travel on the tube [rolleyes]. Be grateful its not your daily penance, I can't get through a week without some unfathomable unpleasant experience with humanity.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Welshcakes - I'm such a walking disaster zone.

Colin - we looked for that van but it had gone.

Dragonstar - fun?

Cherie- ignore them. Hmmm - never thought of that angle.

Mutley - yes he was boarding another flight with a 7 year old Filipino girl.

Uber-my heart goes boom tiddy boom at your boom tiddy boom too.

JMB - next leg? Oh yeah - next leg.

Calum- now I can visit more.

Rob - you're so supportive, shucks.

Wolfie - too true.