Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Me and My Big Mouth

What else could go wrong you heard me ask? Oh boy, tons, one hell of a lot as it happens!

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?


Akelamalu said...

Well you survived all that so you can go anywhere now m'dear!

I'd have cut my wrists!

~Babs said...

A big education to realize what you are able to do when you have to, aint it? Not that I said it's fun,,,,.
I finished Dumna Key over two weeks ago and still miss Wireman!

(glad you made it back)

Anonymous said...

That Security Woman was heaven sent. You're home and you're safe, that's the most important thing.

Les Becker said...

Good GOD! You poor, idiot woman!

Are you home safe, yet? Can I laugh for real, now?

RiverPoet said...

Good Lord, woman! Remind me to never travel with you! Oh...that's just awful! I'm so glad you're home safe and sound....D

Carol said...

I knew this was going to be a great day! Obama's in and Shrinky's back !
LOL........I knew this would be good..however I did not expect it would come in this form! The same thing happened to my daughter in New York City,she set her purse down for two seconds to snap a pic!
Gone.....we had to scramble to get copies so she could make her flight the next morning.
I'm glad your safe and sound ole girl........

Robin said...

are you SURE your real name's not Lucy? I'm not laughing at your plight, i'm not. i'm sorry you had such a time and if i am giggling, it's way down deep inside where you can't hear it. it must have been a horrible ordeal for you and there's really nothing funny about it. at all. except for the......and the part where you...and then again when you..

ok, i'll stop. i want to go traveling with would be so much fun!

you look so young! so pretty! so touristy! can i photoshop myself in the pics and pretend i went to london instead?

SJ said...

That James Bond always liked the prettiest not necessarily the smartest women.

Nonsense, you did well in the circs. and should travel more and show us more pics.

Suldog said...

I was feeling this story in the pit of my stomach. There's little worse in this world than to suddenly discover that you don't have something you were sure you had.

The bright side is that you found a wonderful lady at the airport, already have a wonderful husband, and I suppose you got some exercise. And you also got a good blog story out of it, told with your usual good humor. God blessed you with all of those, and good for you.

Thanks for the mention, of course!

Kit Courteney said...

If that had happened to me I would not have found it the least bit amusing.

Because it didn't... I did!

(Glad you made it back though.)

Scott from Oregon said...

Look at the bright side.

One of those three blokes is wearing a blonde wig and trying to use your credit to buy his mates new motorcycles...

Fletch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fletch said...

I am chuckling. Not AT you, but WITH you - now that it is all over!

You wrote in the previous post ...

"We are hoping to do a 'Thelma and Louise' type getaway, but hopefully without the crime and averting that icky suicide bit at the end."

You got the 'crime' and nearly managed the 'icky' bit at the end, didn't you? Go on, fess-up!

Also, who was goosing whom, here? What a dummy!

And you were certainly in need of this guy's services, if only he wasn't such a statue!

Be Happy!

P.S. And where was your travelling companion through all of this? Some friend, that Nora!

Marty said...

Yikes what a read! I am amazed at your adventures... your are a world class traveler. Now, "NEVER LEAVE HOME ALONE AGAIN!

Shrinky said...

Hi there Akelamalu, you know, you may well have a very valid point there.. hmmmmn, thanks for that! (Holding my chin up high.)

Oh God Babs, he always makes me fall in love with his characters before doing something horrible to them - that man is a menace, so he is! (But sadly also and always, he is my favourite author by far, sigh.)

Chewy, I would still probably be camped out at Gatwick as I type had she not taken it upon herself to rescue me. Thankfully, there are far more good people out there than there are bad. Smile.

Ah, I'm fine les - and laugh away, even I can now see the ridiculous side. Shrug.

I don't blame you Doris, I wouldn't travel with myself neither given half the chance.

Hello Carol, oh dear - looks like you've been there too, huh? Oh well, we live and learn, huh? And for the record, yes, I am delighted to see Obama firmly ensconced at the Whitehouse, maybe there is hope for us all yet - fingers firmly crossed.

Jeeze robin, you would really trust yourself to my care, after all this? I thought I was the only one daft enough for that, but only because I hardly have that much choice, y'know? Laughing. I'll remember to scoop you up enroute next time around - it'll just serve you right!

Hey sj, you've managed to warm the cockles of an old womans heart here, so's you have - just go and consider yourself hugged for that, sweet darling lad that you are (x).

Well suldog, when God gives you lemons and all of that.. grin. Yes, you are right, stuff like this does make you pause, stop to consider your blessings. It is so easy to take everything for granted, isn't it? And, I only mentioned you because it happened to be true - you did give me a belly laugh right in the heart of Gatwick - thanks for that.

Aw Kit, you are all heart (laughing too)! Cheers kid..

Scott, now there's a thought, but trusting my luck they will then probably end up racing them around the TT circuit over here and doing me even futher mischief.. hmmmn.

Um, fletch - you may notice a huge wide grin on my face on that "Goose" incident, an old dear like me needs to get her thrills where she can. As for my travelling companion, she bailed out on me a couple of days earlier than expected. Long story, and definitely not for the publication of. Rolling eyes.

Oh Marty, thanks love, now if you can just engrave that in stone and have it mounted above my fireplace, I would be ever so grateful. Wink.

david mcmahon said...

Never mind Mr Shrinky, never mind the wallet - did you ring Daniel Craig and explain your predicament first?

Alex L said...

Maybe you should attach it to your jacket like some mittens... you'd have trouble losing it then.

*Goddess* said...

LOVE the wax museum pics...thanks!

Hilary said...

Ack, Shrinky. I would be a basket case under those circumstances. I'm glad it worked out for you in the end, but what a rotten deal to lose your wallet - and a fine blessing to find that woman at the airport.

Anonymous said...

Those wax figures look so real-life... very deceiving.

Jay said...

Oh, you poor darling. *Hugs*

Yeah, I've had a bag pinched. Once. Only once. I don't carry a handbag anymore, not for shopping or travelling. Bum bag only, or distribute the valuables about my person. Never put all my ID in one place, either, OR my money, not while travelling. I pack some, and divide the rest between my bags. Once bitten ...

I'm glad you survived. I hope the trip was worth it!

Shrinky said...

you don't fool me anon, I know who you are! And yeah, as you know, the wax figures weren't the only things that had me fooled that week! x

Oh David, Mr. Craig may well have been worth losing my wallet over. Smile.

Alex, clutz that I am, that may not be such the daft idea it sounds!

Goddess, I had tons more, but few came out (pout). Never mind, there is always next time, eh?

Hilary, I seem to be a bit of drama magnet - stuff like this always seems to fall down around me. I'm kinda' getting used to it. Grin.

Shrinky said...

Jay, now there speaks the voice of experience. I may well take a page out of your book here, it makes sound sense. Thanks hon. x

Anonymous said...

Jay has some great suggestions.

Carolina said...

Reading about your airportordeal made me both laugh and feel a bit sick in the stomach! I'm so glad something like that never happened to me (so far). I wouldn't have coped so well!
(Leaving your bag unattended: well, you could always use being a blonde as an excuse! You just can't help it.)

Shrinky said...

Yeah Chewy, she sure has, hasn't she? I'll def take her advice for the future.

Hello Carolina, how lovely to see you in here. What do you mean, as an "excuse"? I am so busted by now, it's common knowledge how dippy I am (blush).

Sandi McBride said...

My Deaf Aunt Florence (you thought I was going to declare "oh my maiden aunt, huh?) carried her money in a little bag and pinned it to her gigantic brassiere (not a bra, it was a force to be reckoned with was this brassiere)...she called it the First Bank of Florence...I asked her why she kept her money pinned to her "armament" and she told me "because no one would get to it without my knowing". Yes, I guess she was right...and I wonder if that's why the call it "pin money"? I'm glad you came out of this escapade safely Shrinkadink, I would have been bawling my head off much sooner! From now on, keep all your valuables in The FIrst Bank of'll see if I can dig you up some armament!
hugs and welcome home...
I can't let this opportunity pass...hope you'll quit smoking soon!

Sandi McBride said...

Oh my goodness! Congrats on Post of the Day!!! A good word from that Cheeky David ought to set you to rights!

Carolina said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog and for reminding me that it would scare the hell out of our dogs if I should ever make a stainless appearance. I could never do that to them. Although they would probably rectify it immediately.
By the you have some easy way of becoming a 'follower' of your blog? Or do I have to do something difficult with URL's. Because I'm a blonde too you know ;-)

Poutalicious said...

Gratz on POTD. wootwoot. You deserve it after your ordeal.

"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."

Ditto, exactly what I would have done!

Paris said...

Glad u made it back safe, but remind me to never travel with you...unless James...James Bond is going to be there...well, then! :P

Mojo said...

I hereby tender the offer to escort you anywhere you need to go and schlep that evil bag of yours in the bargain. And for no more remuneration than your charming company.

And, of course, air fare because I'm but a poor civil servant who can scarcely afford to go jetting around the globe. People would ask all manner of embarrassing questions. There could even be official inquiries!

Still, it's a deal y'know. Where else can you find a sherpa/bodyguard who speaks poor Hindi with a Southern accent for so little? Okay, so unless you're off to India, that last is probably not so much of an asset... but it's entertaining to say the least! Certainly the equal of a truncated Stephen King novel.

But you did manage to find a creature I was sure did not exist. An airport official with a soul! Who knew? Even I've never been lucky enough to discover one of those, and I'm truly charmed. Truly.

But that's not really why I popped in. I just came to say congratulations on Post of the Day! The interview was an impulse. But sincere! I meant it! Every word!

Shrinky said...

Oh sandi, that is just too funny, but you know, your dear old aunt had a lot of common sense - maybe I might bear that in mind - any busten-halter you may track down with be gratefully receicved, I'm game for it! (And yes, I neeeeeeed to quit, goddamnit!)

Hey carolina, darned if I should know about teckkie stuff such as that, I can hardly even navigate my way in to post half the time (I was born like this)! But if you ever do find out, I'd sure be flattered and delighted to be included in on there - smile.

Poutalicious (what a great name!), welcome aboard bonny lass - yeah, good to know another girl with the right priorities in mind.

Hi Paris, thanks for dropping by - um, if James Bond is there, sorry hon, hes mine! Teehee..

Ow wow Mojo, now there lies an offer I am sore tempted to accept - what a selfless, kind and open-hearted soul you are - maybe you could rent yourself out to ladies of the n.. um, no, in distress. Distress, yes. Grin. Like airport officials, a handy civil servant is hard to find, may I keep you on file for later use? (Wink)

Carolina said...

OK, well, here we go.... somewhere in the right top of your screen you can choose 'aanpassen' (but that's Dutch, something like 'adapt' I guess). Then you choose 'Indeling' (haha, lay-out?), then you will see the elements your page consists of. Choose 'Add gadget' (or something like that) and there you can pick your list with 'followers'. Well, hope this helps if you ever want to add a list of 'followers'. Otherwise I will gladly visit you on your island and try to help you out. Remind me not to leave my bag unattended at the airport then!

Mmm said...

Fu pics. Makes me miss London that much more. Ugh. you are prolific too and addicted, I might ad--to the internet. Yes, surely you are a bond girl.

Shrinky said...

Hello Mmm, aw - when did you last visit here, do you still have relatives living in London? Perhaps you should plan to come over for a holiday? Nice as it is to visit, I am always glad to get home again, you may find that rings true too. Smile.

CJ said...

Oh what a pain in the butt. Sorry you had to endure all that but I am glad you finally made it home safe and sound. I would be so panicked if I lost my wallet. Sound like you handled it quite well (must have been that bottle of wine).

FHB said...

Damn! When did you come out of your shell, postin' all these shots of yourself? Love it! Guess I should come by more often. The Bond one is excellent!

Shrinky said...

Oh cj, the wine wore off long before all the hoopla kicked in, more's the pity!

Hey Jeff, so good to see you here hon, it's been a while, eh? x

mythopolis said...

Ooooh...reminds me of being stuck at the airport in Paris all night because I had lost my ticket home! I whiled away the hours talking to two guys who actually lived in the airport because they couldn't afford an apartment.......I made a mental note to remember this strategy next time I am down and out....

Anonymous said...

Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
that I have truly enjoyed surfing around
your blog posts. In any case I'll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

Visit my web page: whole bean coffee