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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

The flight back today was just as challenging as Thursday’s flight, but in a very different manner. Firstly, there was the getting up at SEVEN IN THE MORNING which is really still the night before, only disguised as the next day in order to confuse you. I’ve not done SEVEN IN THE MORNING from this side for a long time - I’ve stayed up until then, and then had a lovely day’s sleep to make up for it, but having grabbed only a few hours back from Sunday night, SEVEN IN THE MORNING is a terrifying prospect, not just for me but for anyone unfortunate enough to be around me.

Secondly, there was dragging a suitcase through rush hour on the London Underground Tube Railway System Sweatbox Push and Shove A Rama. I’ve done this before with a backpack, trying to get to Kings Cross, and I imagined that Liverpool Street to Paddington would be just as horrible, with the men in suits and women in high heels all yawning and falling on each other and reading their free papers and ignoring me while I’m pinned in between the closing doors and in serious danger of being dragged along the walls of the underground system generating sparks. Happily, though, the tube was surprisingly empty for that time of day and all was dandy with the suitcase and the dragging.

Thirdly, there was the sheer getting from one place to another, in terms of trains and buses and walking and not getting lost and finding ticket stations and other trains and getting to the airport and checking in that made me want to go back to bed more than anything else, because organisation is one of my strong points, but carrying plans through is not. I’ll sit and make lists all day - it gives me comfort and structure - but I’ll then sit and watch as each item of the list is lost, stepped over, ignored or wanders past its best before. So the getting this train to here, then changing lines to the RED line and GO NORTH NOT SOUTH and it’s called Notting Hill GATE not just Notting Hill like in the film, and all that, alongside SEVEN IN THE MORNING still echoing in my ears made me think I might not be capable and could end up in all innocence in Glasgow or worse. I didn’t though. I muddled through, because I’m not a child, I’m a more than capable 20-something year old sleep deprived lady.

Fourthly, of course, was the flying itself. I’m now used to Standstill airport and Ryanair people smacking you across the face disdainfully for choosing the fly with them, changing flight times and bookings with gay abandon and then being made to race for seats, with the last person boarding being strapped to the wing and holding on for dear life. Aer Lingus is confusing, because they seem grateful for your custom, and give you an allocated seat, free coffee, keep you informed about your flights and apologise - APOLOGISE! - for being 10 minutes behind schedule. It’s lovely. The downside of Aer Lingus is Heathrow Airport because (1) it has no Starbucks, my one guilty pleasure before flying and (2) when you’re taxi-ing to take off, you join a queue and from my allocated window seat I could see the five planes in front of us racing down the runway and taking off at only 30 second intervals. I know about flying and crashing statistics, I’ve inadvisably watched the Discovery Channel documentaries and I know this is the best possible time to crash. I’ve not been so nervous on a plane for months. It was rotten.

And do you know what? If I could have done, I’d’ve touched down in Dublin airport and leapt straight back on to the next plane to London, just cos finding someone more than happy to hold your hand all day and night isn’t something that’s easily left behind.

(Shut up. I’m jet lagged, okay? I’m allowed to soppy, just once.)


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