I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

What the duck?

Greetings from, currently, seat 8C on BA758 from Heathrow to Bergen, Norway. I'm sat next to Loz, his daughter, and her duck who keeps thinking I'm Wooj. I have no idea who should be more offended by this continual misidentification. I haven't gone full Keith Harris yet, but I'm not betting against it before the day is out.

Pretty much as soon as I got back from the Joburg madness I thought, y'know, maybe I should take a break from flying for a while. That really was a bit much. But then a couple of hours passed and I thought, hang on, I made BA bronze and quite fancy making a run for silver in the 2014/15 year plus, well, flying is ace. I already had a big hurrah booked for the end of the year, a trip in which I'd make my 50th (and 51st) country but I'm sure I could squeeze out another jaunt.. couldn't I? So I looked at BA's day trip prices and found a bunch of sub-£100 fares to various Scandiwegian destinations.

After my ridiculously stressful jaunt to the Holy See earlier in the year, Loz had expressed an interest in joining me on future endeavours so I texted him about the idea of a day trip to Norway. He was in, and wanted to bring his offspring. So, uncharacteristic thing #1: a non-solo trip.

Uncharacteristic thing #2: I failed to go out on the piss last night. Truth is I'd felt rotten since Thursday morning after a heavy night at wrestling on weds and yesterday's exuberant and excited messages from Loz did me no good at all. All I really wanted to do was get a lot of work done, and sleep. But in the office I was convinced to have a beer, and a couple of hours later at home I felt pretty human. Originally intending to get to bed about 10pm, for reasons of tiredness and the early start, I ended up falling asleep about 1am with three alarms set.

Three fucking alarms. Paranoid much? Of course the first one woke me up with barely any effort and I didn't need snooze let alone the others. But, fucking hell, 5am on a Saturday morning. Shower, teeth, sundry stuff shoved in a bag and out for the bus by 0530. Conspiracy lunacy courtesy of the Higherside Chats in my ears - did you know, every single virus outbreak of the last 50 years is just a front for, erm, the medical industry elite who exist only to pimp their drugs which themselves are full of toxins? That HIV doesn't cause AIDS, that Ebola essentially doesn't exist, and that MMR jabs cause autism DELIBERATELY? Jesus H lord Christ.

Bus to Kingston. No chimney companion on the X26 but I'd downloaded the most recent episode of the Blacklist, which kept me entertained. Loz and his nipper had stayed at the Jury's Inn near Hatton Cross on my recommendation because our flight was at 0830, so I half expected to run into them at the tube but did not. Texted him as I was on the tube and then set off to the lounge. T5 north security was so busy - at 0630! - that it was closed, so I wandered to south and go through in no time.

Glanced at the entrance to the Concorde room. Sigh. I want to fly First again. Maybe I will next year, now that my big NYE trip is cancelled and I've got a sudden surfeit of miles in my account. But, for now, Euro Traveller it is so I make the circuitous route to Galleries South via a brief stop in Dixons to see if my dislike of the iPhone 6 will hold true once I actually hold one. Turns out I hate it even more in practice than in theory. Too big. I don't understand why the world only likes giant comedy phones now :-(

In the lounge, still no reply from Loz regarding where and when we should meet so I stock up on free grub - a huge fruit salad with yoghurt, two bacon rolls and a cheese omelette muffin. And the last 10 minutes of the Blacklist.

Texts! They are in the Wetherspoons pub down by gate A6, the totally opposite end of T5. Uncharacteristic thing #3, I leave the lounge having had no booze and go to find them, after which event I immediately order a Guinness. Everyone knows airside pubs are brutal rip offs, well, the Guinness here cost a whole one pence more than in my Surbiton local. Bleurgh. Beer is expensive these days. Good job I'm taking a flight to somewhere so cheap... oh.

The kid is excited and gets more so after necking a bunch of Loz's coffee. But we're all excited. Bergen looks awesome and, apart from the slight disappointment of the trams being out of action due to high winds, it should be nigh on impossible to have a shit time.

With our gate announced, at the totally opposite end of the terminal again back beyond the lounge I'd been in, we get a fairly good cardio workout weaving between hordes of confused passengers who stop and change direction less realistically than most AI models would have enemies do in a 1982 ZX Spectrum game. Bleh. We had hurried a bit because all the other 0825-30 flights were closing, but ours still wasn't boarding. But it started within about 90 seconds and we could trump even the snobs with their shiny cards by boarding first thanks to the kid with us. Fuck yeah priority boarding. Norway here we come.

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