Thursday, 6 April 2017

Monday 3rd April 2017

You know those days, those days when from the moment you get up, you know its going to be a long and difficult day? Well, that was Monday.

The alarm went off at quarter to five, it was dark outside but opening the curtains I could see the fog. Out the back, dark but foggy. I hoped this was just a coastal thing, and the airport would be OK. I looked at the BBC weather, and they suggested as much. Sunny pretty much all day in London from 8. No news of delays, no trouble on trains, and yet, there was a nagging doubt about the fog.

We had coffee, breakfast and got ready to leave. Jools took me down the hill to the station, I bought my ticket, but from under the awning, I could not see the end of the platform. Don't worry I thought, it'll be clear by the time we get to Ashford. It didn't, and was foggy as we powered up HS1 towards Maidstone and Ebbsfleet. Then the fog cleared, and it was glorious and sunny.

Ninety one But out of the Thames tunnel into Essex and all foggy again. It might clear I thought. That the fact LCY is on an old dock beside the river; fog central!

I had breakfast at the station, caught the DLR to the airport. There are no queues at the self-service machines, so I get my boarding pass, baggage label and go into the departure hall, and find thousands of people in apparently hundreds of queues either trying to check baggage in, or trying to get seats on later flights as their early ones had been cancelled. Apparently the fog was all over western Europe, and with queues everywhere, best join one and make do with it.

Waiting on weather In half an hour I get to the front, check my bag in, and am told that the flight should be running, and from that airport. Nice.

No lines waiting in security, but once through in the lounge, every seat is taken, and given that they have recently tripled the seating inside, that was some going.

I managed to get a seat by a distant gate, and watch out of the window as the fog clears, but no planes come in, and there are also none on the flightline. It was going to be a long day.

Planes and trains There was to be news on my flight at half nine, 90 minutes to wait, so I do some work, until my bladder needed relieving, at which point I lost my seat and so any more work was impossible.

At half nine, the deadline changed to half eleven. In those 90 minutes just one plane had landed, none taken off, and yet the sun continued to shine. Planes did start to arrive, and there was panic as each gate was called and people rushed over to be early in the queue to be sure of getting on. At five past eleven, I saw the little jet that was our flight land, so I knew that soon we would be going.

About 15 of us went to the gate, went down the steps and onto the bus to take us to the distant pan, a ride of very nearly a minute, let off and allowed to get on board, spreading out on the plane and making ready to take off.

He works on the Thames Barrier We take off, above the DLR, the Dome and banking north as we neared Canary Wharf. I get the usual shot of the City as we turned, then sat back to enjoy the sight of north London fading away to farmland, crossing the M25 then flying over the A12 to Chelmsford and Ipswich before striking out to sea. By that time the ground was obscured by cloud, and service had begun; fruit juice followed by a cold breakfast with a crusty roll and coffee.

LDN Essex was full of the colours of Spring, green fields looking very green, and ploughed fields so dry the baked soil looked like ripe wheat. Denmark was still the end of winter, all subdued tones and hues. But at least it wasn't raining, right?

Spring in Essex I am last off the plane, last through immigration, last of 15 mind, so I amble to the car hire place, presenting them with a box of butter shortbread, as they always see me right with a decent car. I am given an Audi A6 S line something. Goes like the clappers when the plague is in town, and huge and comfortable. The radio is tuned to some 80s station, so I sing along to Kim Wilde and the like as I drive north to the office.

And straight into meetings. Very hard to take as most of my colleagues were then leaving after ending their working day, mine was just beginning.

At half five, I can leave for the day, just as well as the army of cleaners had begun to clean and scrub their way through. I was staying at the compound, as there is a massive sports conference in Aarhus, something to do with the Olympics I think, and all the rooms in the centre are taken. The Scandic is basic, but I quite like it, the rooms are OK, internet fast, and they do a good burger. I know the menu off by heart, so order a burger with cheese and onion rings and a dark beer.

Arhus I also have Manu for company, so we can talk whilst we wait for our order to be taken and the food cooked. But then there is little else to do there, so we drink beer and make small talk. Burger is fine, as I know it would be, so I can go to bed, nice and full, head full of nonsense, but I drop off to sleep, needed it.

No comments: