This morning I woke to my alarm at 0645. Two hours after I’d gone to sleep. It was hard but I managed to get up. The lights were still on Mikey was asleep sitting up with his chin resting against his chest. It did not look comfortable.
I got dressed and packed the rest of my gear and shouldered my pack. I tried to wake Mikey to say good bye. But all he did was grab a cushion and use it to block the light from getting into his eyes. I didn’t bother pushing it too much. I didn’t need him awake anyway. Or so I thought.
I moved to the front door. It wouldn’t budge. It was locked and the key was nowhere in sight. I had to wake up Mikey this proved to be quite difficult and even after standing up still wasn’t in any awake state at all. He moved around the house, and I was pretty sure he didn’t have a clue what he was looking for.
Eventually he quit and stated he was going to the toilet and then he’d find it. I was starting to push for time and I needed to be out. Luckily I spotted the key. He’d hung it on the door handle of a different door near bye.
I waited for Mikey before leaving. The temperature actually wasn’t too bad. Maybe it was the 20 kg back pack on my rear and the smaller one on the front that was keeping me well insulated.
I walked to the bus station and got there with 10 minutes to spare. I got on and was almost instantly asleep. I was absolutely exhausted!!
I woke up an hour and a half later into the 3 hour trip. I was in pain. All over, a combination of the Run in oxford, the skipping session I’d done yesterday afternoon compounded by the big night of dancing and 3 hours sleep totally knocked me for 6.
I massaged my shoulders for a while and then opened my back pack for a crappy cheese and ham sandwich. I’m getting no joy at all by eating these, they are purely a form of sustenance which I know I must have.
I mainly stared out the window at the snow covered English country side all the way into London which was also partially covered in snow. Once the bus had dropped us off I put my bag into left luggage and went to meet Jillian. The girl who housed me in Glasgow as she’s flying out this arvo so suggested we touch bases for lunch.
We went to a place in Victoria station. I was so hungry and just in general pain. She was in no way sympathetic either. Lunch was good we just chatted and had a bit of a laugh, mainly at my expense but that‘s ok, before I walked Jillian to the tube station to head back out to where she was staying to grab her bags and to go to catch her flight back to the states.
The afternoon has just been quiet. I’ve just been sitting in a café, trying to think about what I’m going to be doing for next January…
Yesterday arvo I just caught the train out to Gatwick station. I got out there and it was chaos. Flights were being cancelled all over the place. Luckily I was able to ask a security guard the few questions I had about when I’ll know if my flight’s cancelled or not and where to sleep. This saved me a good half an hour of waiting in a line.
From there I went down stairs and sat in Costas writing in my diary and trying to prep up some blog posts. I was pretty tired so come about 2000 I grabbed all my kit and went over to an area which had slightly padded seats. Here I read and half slept untill about 1100 when I was busting to go to the toilet. So sacrificing my perch I went and received myself. I returned with the hope that my sseat would still be empty. This was futile though.
There was however another seat empty. There was a plastic bag on it which looked like rubbish so I went over and grabbed the bag. “Someone’s sitting there” I heard in a rude yank accent. I looked around to the speaker and said. “No there’s not”. to which the retort I got was. Apparently “he’d left the stuff there and had just gone to the toilet.” I felt like asking the Yank if that’s how he always spoke to people he didn’t know. But I was too tired and was more intent on finding another perch.
I found one just around the corner and sat with bags annd grabbed my sleeping bag out. Just as I was about to lay down these old ladies came over sat right next to me. “Excuse me, sorry” I said, “I was just about to spread out here. “we need to sit” the lady said. I asked if they could sit in the seats across from us that had armrests making it impossible ot lay down. The response I got was equally as rude as the yank and straight to the point “Those seats are hard”. I was beyond caring. I had enough space to curl up on the seats and did that.
I half slept for about 2 and a half hours. Except I was woken every 15 minutes but a warning over the loud speaker. “This is a safety message. Suitcases or heavy and large luggage should not be taken on the escalators. Please use the Lifts provided (Followed by) This is a security message, carry on luggage must fit into the luggage sizers to be allowed on board. Toiletries essential for the flight should be no more that 100ml and sealed in the plastic bags provided, all prohibited items should be placed in the bins before proceeding through security.”. I heard this warning probably 40 times over the night. I got the point.
I woke this morning at 0230. I read for a bit and then tried to sleep some more. Come 0400 I figured I only had half an hour till check in anyway so after quickly relieving myself at the toilet I grabbed a coffee and sat down with my book.
At 0430 I decided to go to check in. I looked at the departures board and saw that my flight to Zurich was cancelled. I was kind of expecting it but it still kind of sucked. I went up stairs and spoke to some people in the same boat. They were talking of how Easy jet was refunding the differences for other flights. So rather then waiting in line to hear the same info I went back downstairs to where there was a bank of computers and booked a flight with British airways later that day. Hopefully it’s not cancelled too.
I went back over to the south terminal to grab the train back to Victoria station and just to add flavour to the sandwich the one I wanted was cancelled too. It wasn’t too bad though, the next was leaving from the adjacent platform and was leaving in 10 minutes.
Morale over the last 3 days has been up and down like a yoyo. 2 cancelled flights. Good news about the weather. Bad news about the weather. Good news about work in Austria. Good news about travel. I’m sitting at the city airport of London, the ass end of Great Brittain. The only thing I care about is getting to Switzerland for Xmas. The flights are boarding. A flight has already gone to Zurich so fingers crossed for 3rd time lucky.
After 2 trains to Victoria station I went upto the star bucks ordered a tea and sat down and watched a movie. I was so tired, my eyes were really sore and I stank like I’d slept in an airport the night before.
From there I just decided I go out to City airport to see if I could get an earlier flight a couple of train rides later I found myself at one of the smallest international airports on the planet. With next to no waiting area at all.
I spent the afternoon either lying on the tiled floor trying to sleep. Admittedly I did get about an hour and a half so that was good, or sitting in one of the few waiting chairs.
Luckily there was internet at the airport so I spent a good portion of my time replying to emails and browsing. At one point I got some really good news about work next year. Coz the lecturer and the co-ordinator of the course would be my potential boss and boss’ boss they should be able to ‘back door’ enrole me, just to get the certificate so that my university will approve of it.
On a high I got up to check in my bags. Then I noticed the snow storm outside. I went up through security and sat with the hundreds of other passengers watching the board display a round of ‘Delayed indefinitely’, ‘wait further announcements’ and ‘cancelled’. I sat talking to an old guy checking out different weather sites untill the board clicked over; BA 6769 - ZURICH CANCELLED. I was pretty gutted, but I went on to frantically try and book a flight for the next day. There were none left but I was able to get one for the following morning. So I settled on this and then went out to try and find my bags.
It was absolute chaos out side, madness. Everyone taking the impedance as a personal front acting like the world had ended. I couldn’t help laughing at how pathetic people were being. It was every man for himself, further evidance of how communism wouldn’t work.
So after finding out where the bags were being dropped to avoid the wait I just went and got coffee. I was feeling pretty good, and was reading the final chapter to Oliver Twist; everything was going great guns for Oliver. He’d just got his inheritance his aunt was getting married, all his evil friends were either dead or in prison. Yet what do you reckon has happened to poor old dick. His only friend in the world from the Orphanage? He’s dead…. Charles Dickens is a a******.
After I finished my coffee I went and retrieved my bag and then caught a couple of trains to East Croydon. I was staying with Nick and Katie again. The two I’d stayed with when I was first in London.
After a short walk to Katies they eventually let me into their new flat. I was able to stay in the room of one of there house mates who was in Austria For Christmas. It’s a small world. The Girl whose room I’m staying in is on a skiing contiki holiday with the Aussies I was hanging out with in Paris at a ski lodge where one of my Friends from high school is working.
Back at Katie’s I sunk into the seat next to Nick, I like Nick. He has an awe of self importance some might call arrogance, I’d beg to differ it’s just his attitude and he’d need it for his job. We sat chatting and I met the other housemate, another copper called Ben.
We sat there drinking the beers I’d bought over watching “I am Allan partridge” it’s a bit of a Brittish institution, the same sort of cringe comedy as the office or Monty python. The three of us blokes sat there in hystirics while Katie, the only girl in the house, hated it…. Just like Monty Python.
At about 11 I crashed hard. After a quick shower where I even washed my hair. It had sort of developed an element of rigidity, and looked pretty feral. The bed I was in was so, so comfortable. I watched half an episode of Family guy, fooled around abit and then went to sleep.
I woke up early on Tuesday. My brain was in over drive I had a heap of things on my mind, none more prevalent than getting out of England and to Zurich for Xmas. In between thoughts of this my mind was occupied by work in Austria next year and Travel next year.
I soon heard nick get up. And soon after I myself got up too and had a bit of a feast. I didn’t intend on it being this way. First I just grabbed a couple of weet-bix. Or Weetabix as they’re called over here and went to grab the milk. Then I saw the Vegimite and couldn’t help myself so I grabbed some toast. Then there was no milk so I ended up smothering my weetabix with a large tub of Yogurt and sat down. So much for a light meal before setting out for a run.
I was pretty set on a run, but outside was mostly covered in White. So I put on my tights, tracksuit pants, a t-shirt, a long sleeved t-shirt, gloves and my headband/ear warmer thing that I bought in Ljubljana and set off.
The run was pretty cool and at one point I passed an oval that was completely covered in White. So I had to run around it. I ran a couple of laps of the oval, actually definitely a ‘pitch’ now that I think about it, and then realized I was in a school yard. Not sure if the school was even inhabited I made haste not wanting to draw any undue attention.
Back at home I threw on another episode of family guy and did push ups till Katie got up. I was feeling greatt and she even offered to make Banana smoothies, double awesome. But we were out of milk Katie was still in her Pyjamas but I insisted I’d go get it saying I was already dressed, I then realized how ridiculous that statement was considering I was sitting there in a pair of tights.
Next we went into town. Ben needed to do Xmas shopping and he needed Katie’s help buying for all his female rellos. I was kinda feeling a bit depressed not at all taken in by the Christmas spirit at all. And I hate to say it but even the Charollers were annoying me.
I took my laptop to a café and grabbed a coffee and a mince pie. I figured that’d help e out. I got good news about weather and went over the good news about the work, that combined with the coffee had me straight away back in a good mood. It was a real mood swing, I hate it when I have these.
Next on the agenda was lunch with Katie and Ben, we went to a weather spoons. It’s a chain up here that does pub meals. The same where I had had breaky with Zoe in Sheffield and with Jillian in London.
The afternoon went super fast. We didn’t really do anything just a bit more shopping. And all of a sudden it was 6 oclock.
I had to use the internet to suss out trains for the next morning but the first thing I did was check the weather. It wasn’t good. It was supposed to snow all night in Zurich and all morning. This combined with the internet continually dropping out had me back in the dumps totally.
As I couldn’t check the train ties on the Internet I had to go back down to East Croydon station to ask. I was hating it totally down in the dumps and again the carolers and the charity workers were giving me the Irits and I gave myself a few mental uppercuts for being such a grouch.
At least there was easily going to be a train in time for me the following morning. “That’s if it doesn’t snow again tonight” I was warned.
After getting back to Katies and doing a quick shop for baked spuds I sat down on the couch with Nick. The first thing he said cracked me up. “You’re smelling much better today I might say, last night you smelt like a vagrant like you’d slept the previous night in an airport, but I was too polite to say anything.” haha funny guy. I tried to save some dignity saying that not only was I wearing the same clothes I’d slept in at the airport the night before but I was also wearing the same clothes I’d been clubbing in the night before that in Cardiff. I don’t know if this really defended my integrity or did it more damage.
Nick had a pretty cool story about a job they’d been on that day. They were following a guy, doing surveilance and he’d had an accidental face to face run in with the guy they were after and he’d had a bit of car chaos trying to get back onto him.
After that little exciting tale it was the dinner Katie had cooked for us. It was great I hadn’t had a baked spud in ages and we hooked into them. Nick and I finishing ours and then completing what Katie hadn’t eaten of hers.
Sitting back down on the couch I was half talking to nick half typing dot points of what had happened, as the dot points were mindlessly easy I was able to watch and listen to nick while I typed. He was absolutely amazed at me typing, He’s just over 30 so just missed the mass computer revolution and still types with his two forefingers.
Next we watched movie I’d made from the Sollies, as that’s where I’d met Katie and she featured in a few shots. Both Nick and Ben loved it. But I just realized how much older I felt then when I was there. I remember when I was 21 I thought it was the best age to be. It seems though things just get better with age. Maybe untill I start feeling old around University students that is.
Last thing for the day was sorting out my washing. Nick and Katie had a washer/dryer but the dryer wasn’t working very well. At 11 I checked where it was at and it’d stopped, everything hardly dry.
I ended up setting my alarm and getting up at 12 ,1 and 2 to cycle my washing through in smaller loads before I could finish packing my bags. Even at two though only 90% was full dry so the other 10 I just hung up and let air over night. Hoping they’d be dry when I woke in the morning.