Returned late last night after the seats on the plane we were supposed to catch at two in the afternoon were sold off to wealthy oil barons and tax-experts by the world’s favourite airline. We had timed our arrival at the airport exactly, blazing it up furiously in a favourite coffee shop, fully equipped for a large group of individuals each ranging somewhere between a form of manic frenzy and listless unconsciousness, for the hours before, before swinging in late, off the double decker train, to lurch up to the counter, brandishing online check in numbers and hooded eyelids.
Previously, I had prepared for the trip and the ominous prospect of flying by downed my way through several fresh orange juices (to maintain constant health), while gradually emptying the many bags of quality vegetation I had accumulated on the trip. The camera memory was full (link to appear shortly) and the company was jovial, laughing about the last couple of days and celebrating the fact that scaffolding had not killed anyone off (more to come on that and on other stories I’m sure). The job had been well done and I had reached the inevitable zenith of leanness, secure in my place in the universe, albeit severely unsteady on my feet.
Suddenly, though standing at the counter, as the nervous looking BA attendant explained that whilst most of our party had gone through to the flight fine, myself and three others were without transport. Despite our furious abuse, he explained that the best that he could do was to get us onto a flight for Gatwick for that evening, a considerable blow considering that we had flown out from Heathrow and the car we needed to get home was safely camped out back there. “No good at all, my man” we retorted, but it was no good, he cut us off “So, London is London”.
This logic was irrefutable, but I wasn’t sure what relation it bore to two airports, on opposite sides of a giant city. Nonetheless, it was impossible, he was delighted with the London deal and explained otherwise we would have to wait for the next day.
Disconsolate, pranged, totally lean timed to just about manage to get to our plane seats and pass out. We stopped and considered our options. There were no options, we had over five hours to kill and all the airport had was overpriced baguettes, boxed selections of toblerone and the stench of travellers. We jumped back on the train to the Dam, passed carefully once more over the bike, tram, car strewn streets and repaired to a fine coffeeshop. Ten minutes later, I was sanguine once more, in that short space of time having realised, that delays can be opportunities with a bit of luck and just the right kind of sick determination.