I am cursed as far as airports are concerned. Do me a favour folks, next time I mention going off a-wandering all on my ownisome again, just grab and stuff me under lock and key until the fancy has passed, will ya?
How my megga-case gained ten kilos between the flight across and back again is a complete mystery to me, I didn't buy that much, surely? Even turfing all the heavy stuff over to my hand baggage barely helped. I had to buy another bag in the end. A little foresight would have proved darn useful here, had I known what the next 24 hours was to hold, I would have definitely opted for one with wheels, but nahhhh, being blissfully clueless at this juncture, naturally I had to up and go for the cheapest lump of garbage I could throw fifteen quid at, didn't I?
'Course, now having two bags to check in, I still had a whopping great excess charge to pay (and no, I am not telling you by how much, hubby may well read this one day, and I feel I've suffered plenty enough already without any additional lectures, okay?). Gatwick has sure changed since I last went there - you can't smoke ANYWHERE in that place at all now. Sheesh. Having got there before mid-day, and with my flight not being scheduled 'til well after 7.30pm, I at least could kill a few hours walking the marathon to the pariah's corner and back - by the time I returned I was usually gagging for another fag yet again, so I guess it at least served to keep me reasonably occupied.
I really could have lost the heels though. Ouch.
Incidentally, if you are wondering what the connection here is to these piccies I'm posting, don't hurt your brain. I don't have any for you of the airport (by that time my camera was packed), so I'm chucking in a few shots of me sightseeing instead. Hey, live with it, I mean, it's hardly like you had to pay to come in here or anything, is it? So anyways..
Sticking my head into "Duma Key", I let Mr. King scare me witless for a bit, this had a double advantage, since it not only kept me alert and jumpy, it also succeeded in putting any thoughts of lunch way, way down my desire list (ugh). I am sad to report however, that this naughty Mr. King of ours did disappointingly let me down here, big time. The lazy, idle sod only went and finished up the story way, way too early, I think he's getting complacent in his dotage. So here I was, restlessly fidgeting, bored, and in dire desperate need of distraction.
"I know!" I thought, "I'll find me an Internet station, see if anyone has missed me over my protracted and over-long absence." And that's just what I went and did, but I had to lose the trolley first (no trolleys are allowed up the escalator, y'know. Did you know that? I do. Well, I do now.) Blimey, that bag was ever so heavy.
Anyhows, I found Suldogs latest fab offering, had a good belly laugh or two, and blissfully went a-visiting with a few other pals here and there. It's thirsty work blog-surfing, before I knew it my mouth was parched (besides, I needed to pee), so I reluctantly signed out and went off in search of some refreshment. Did I mention how heavy that bag was?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this is all pretty boring, but hang on, bear with me, I'm leading up to something, okay? Have some trust here.
I found a bar and ordered a drink. It was pretty lively in there, three young lads to my right were certainly well into their cups, I opted to find a quiet corner table where I could fish out my magazine to murder a little more time.
Well, the bag was heavy, wasn't it? I carried my drink over first, then went back for it. Yes, it was dumb. Stupid even. Of course I was asking for it, no need to rub it in.
Rule number one; never leave your wallet unattended. Duh!
Of course it got swiped, what else could I expect? Pity it took several hours for me to realise that though. Just as I am about to go through security, the light dawns. Oh, for the love of God - NOOOOOOOOOOOO! - not only am I without a bean to my name, but without my photographic i.d., ie., my drivers licence, I will not even be allowed to board the plane!
I am starting to swear and sweat now, I turf everything out on to the floor, nope there is no purse in sight. I didn't even have so much as a pound coin to get a bloomin' trolley to load this bag of mine on, and time is pressing. I have less than an hour to make my flight.
I hot foot it back to the bar in vein hopes of it having been handed in. The guy at the bar directed me over to lost property - another few furlongs along the way. Did you know how heavy this bag was? I galloped over to join the queue. No joy, They gave me a form to fill in and sent me over to the airport information desk.. several light years away. I hurled my bag and myself along on nothing but pure adrenalin, only to find I had been mis-informed, apparently I was not their problem.
Shit, shit, shit!!!
I stagger to pass through security hoping for a sympathetic ear, but finding no takers, I am unceremoniously banned from entry, and am effectively told to shove off. This is where I begin to get a tad upset. I decide to push my luck and demand to see someone in charge.. hell, the worst that could happen is I end up in a cell for the night, at least they would need to feed me in there, huh?
A squawk of walkie-talkies ensues, and finally this very, very very nice lady appears. I open my mouth to attempt to explain, but find myself in floods of tears instead. God, I hate being a drama queen, it's so embarrassing! She mopped me up, gave me a hug, and took me out for a smoke, bless her. Appraised of the facts, she informed me the three guys at the bar had been escorted out of the airport as they had had no valid business in there. She strongly suspected it was they who had had my purse away, but it was a moot point seeing as how they were long gone by now anyway.
I borrowed her phone and called home. My passport and a fax machine lay there, and as my flight was now delayed, there was hope yet. The very, very nice lady convinced the airline to accept a faxed copy of my passport as an acceptable photographic i.d., and so it appeared my bacon could still be saved. She escorted me through the fast route over security and wished me well. Gee, such a little diamond that girl was, you truly have no idea!
Unfortunately, a further two hours wait finally confirmed my flight cancellation. There would be no more planes out until the morn, the storms were too bad for the hundred seater aircraft to navigate.
Pure joy, unabounded.
We were all instructed to collect our suitcases and to head for the Hilton for the night. Easier said than done when you haven't even got so much as a quid for a trolley to push! Arghhhhhhhh! Lacking all pride, I finally managed to sponge a coin from the airline rep, promising to return it at the hotel. (Course, I was now fretting over how to get another trolley for morning, but there seemed little point in dwelling, I mean, I still had to live through this night from hell first didn't I?) It is now 10pm, I am knackered, broke and hungry. Let's face it it has hardly been one of the best of days, has it?
Collaring the manager, I explained my plight and she graciously accepted the front and back fax of hubby's credit card which he sent over - whoopee, now I finally had got me some credit! First thing I did was to call room service to send up a bottle of wine. By God, by now I felt I had well and truly earned it.
So here I am safe and sound and not so very much the worse for wear. All I need now is to get my cards re-issued, and my licence replaced.
Please, kindly remind me never to leave home alone again, will you?