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11 August 2004 @ 11:08 pm
In Which Bill Flees From Work  
For purposes of brevity, we will leave out some of the more disposable parts of the final frantic day trying to get all the loose ends tied up before leaving to catch the plane - all 7 hours of it ...

Even with all of that I managed to get to the airport in plenty of time, especially since they delayed the flight departure for an hour. With only a single carry-on to worry about (and no electronic appendages by strict order of my manager and my manager's manager) I was able to actually get through security fairly quickly and then spent some time winding down in the international concourse Crown Room.

I began to get concerned upon boarding when I found three things a bit amiss:

  • I had thought I had requested the second row of exit seats, I got the first row instead. Still good leg room but no reclining and no liftable arm.
  • The crew had stashed a very large suitcase in the overhead just above me that I would normally have used.
  • A couple boarded just behind me with their approximately three-month-old ... twins.

The Gods of Holiday chose to smile upon me, however, as:

  • I found space for my carry-on just behind the Monster Fun Crew Bag.
  • I had so much leg room that the seat proved comfortable for sleeping despite the lack of reclining.
  • I had no one in the seat next to me, so was able to shift seats between window and aisle as gluteus muscle became tired or cramped.
  • The twins proved to be champion fliers, fussing a bit when hungry but otherwise completely quiet.

Further proof that this was a vacation favored of the Ancient Powers came in the fact that, upon landing at Gatwick, we were disembarked (de-planed? unloaded?) from a remote station onto the buses and then taken to ... a point immediately across from passport control. I was momentarily confused - had I been taken to the wrong airport? Where was the 10-mile hike from the gate to the terminal? Accepting this unusual event in the spirit in which it was offered, I was able to rush quickly through passport control and customs (that one carry-on bag again! Look, Ma! No baggage claim!) and out to the arrivals area. Janet so kindly had agreed to meet me so I wouldn't have to train and tube to her and rdmaughan's home where I would abide within a stagger and a tube ride of the Great British Beer Festival.

The first part of Thursday after arrival was spent with fleetfootmike and his co-worker Jeff at the Oval for Day 3 of a county match between Surrey and Worcestershire.

I arrived and took a hike around the grounds so I could find a bank machine where I could get a fiver in order to buy a grounds ticket and then meet the aforementioned duo for lunch at the pavilion restaurant. No such luck. The miracle of modern telecommunications, however, meant that I was able to use my UK cell phone (whee!) to phone fleetfootmike and he met me at the gate, handing a fiver through the bars and, as they say in La Belle France, voi la hooop dere it is.

The lunch was delicious and the day was grand as well despite a rain delay, ending with Surrey up well over 400 runs declaring after a century from Ramprakash - then proceeding to get two wickets almost immediately, before I had left the grounds to go to the Tun gathering.

I then proceeded to the Tun gathering at the Dead Nurse Florence Nightengale, detouring first to meet with guyelfkin and others at the Fishcotheque (which, frankly, is the only place I can ever remember how to get to anyway). At the Tun I managed to get some Glasgow WorldCon Filk business taken care of (which see announcements after I return for important hotel information) and spent a pleasant evening drinking beer with highstone,hrrunka,occams_pyramid, and others whose LiveJournal usernames escape me. Thanks to David, who was in town to do some work on Janet and rdmaughan's place and agreed to stay when they needed to leave, I had a somewhat native guide and (more importantly) a person with a key for when I finally was able to bring the long day to a close.

(next installment - The Beer Festival)
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Rika, the bardling: Cobweb Fairybardling on August 11th, 2004 10:25 pm (UTC)
David is djbp :)
Scott Snyderbardiclug on August 12th, 2004 06:06 am (UTC)
Jealous. Me? Nah.

Okay, maybe just a little.


Glad you are having fun.

Dave Alwaytnatj on August 12th, 2004 10:18 am (UTC)
Yeah, I listened to the match on BBC London internet radio; but listening to Churchy (as fun as his descriptions are) can't be as good as actually seeing Ramps bat an unbeaten ton. I envy you.