As flights go, things were pretty standard. Uncomfortable stilted chatting to the person in the next seat – who was amazed that her back pack didn’t fit under the seat, when it usually does – sleeping for forty minutes and then spending three hours worrying at the debilitating neck pain followed by spotting the football stadiums as we came upon London and into land for the smoothest landing I have ever not felt.
After disembarking from my winged chariot like some sort of scruffy Norse God, I was brought down to Earth for a second time by the passport lady asking me where I’d flown from.
Which saw me changing my story several times, as sleep deprivation had left me as deeply confused about anything logical. I wondered if I would have to live in the airport and wait for Tom Hanks to make a film about me but said lady ruined my chances of fame and stardom by letting me back into the green fielded and white-ish cliffs of Dover land.
That’s when it all – somewhat predictably – fell apart. First there was the catching of the bus, well all the buses were full but if I transferred down a terminal I could get one in an hour and a half’s time. I did so and after a three hour wait…followed by motorway queues, a broken bus door, rush hour and then traffic for the Leicester City match (a 4-1 win against Derby will have pleased my travelling companion who had joined me off the same plane to get home) I finally made it to the city nearest home.
It’s worth pointing out I got the express three-hour service from Heathrow which took four hours fifteen minutes, add on all of the waiting and I spent a healthy seven and a half hours suffering. By this time my phone credit had run out and I had established that in November my bank card had expired so I couldn’t check out the times of trains and buses leaving Nottingham.
In a fit of well deserved pique I decided to get a taxi. A foreign gent enticed me in to his cab and after attempting and failing to barter a decent price AND the best way home, he promptly drove the opposite way. Now I wasn’t in much of a state to take this in, but as the buildings got dingier and we started to head south, back where I had just come from, my Ste senses were tingling violently.
When my chauffeur pulls over in an ill lit street and gets out to fiddle with the engine, I naturally jumped to the only logical conclusion, I was going to have my organs harvested. Instead he took what looked like a prayer mat out of the – still running – engine and whilst getting back in throws it in like it had somehow wronged him. One strange man and one baffled man drove off towards Mansfield (the highlight of no one’s travels).I was so bewildered at such a close call that my life flashed before my glazed eyes and steamed up glasses as I finally wended my way north.
After screwing me out of more money than he deserved finally I reached my goal, which appeared, at one point that it would never arrive. Although I recognised places couldn’t put them in a semblance of logical order so spent a lot of time wondering if I was making it all up. Anyway I finally made it home only to fall – literally – at the last hurdle as a cat got under my feet. Sleep followed as I vowed to do it all again at a later date.