I flew back from London on Wednesday. British Airways. Decent enough airline. Departing from Heathrow Terminal 5, which as airport terminals go is pretty good. It’s a post-11th September 2001 airport, it anticipates all the security stuff, and it’s relatively painless.
Going through the departure lounge, I went into World of Whisky and spent a decent chunk of money on a good bottle for my girlfriend’s father. It was nice to feel like a proper adult human being: not saying, “I’m fine, thanks” when an assistant asks if I wanted any help, instead asking if I could taste the whisky I was interested in. Delicious stuff. 16 year old Balvenie. Credit card and boarding pass out.
Before I went through security, I had a look in the newsagent/sweets/water/books shop and saw they had a buy-one-get-one-half-price thing going on. Saw a book I wanted. But not a second book so that I could take advantage of the offer. I’ll try the one in the departure lounge, I thought. Had a look, saw a second book! Yay. Now where is the first one I was interested in? They didn’t have it. I checked the final WH Smith after the wee ride on the shuttle train thingy. Their selection of books was crappy. Bummer. No new books for me. So I bought some Rowntree’s Fruit Gums to eat on the plane. Gave the dude the cash and he wanted to see my boarding pass. Why is that? It’s a packet of sweets. It’s not duty free fags or aftershave. Just some fruit gums. Why does he need my boarding pass. Anyway, the argument I was having with him in my head ended quickly, I said thank you, and went to the Starbucks where THEY SELL BEER. So I had a Peroni rather than a cappuccino. I listened to a podcast about football. Then realised I’d lost my boarding pass. Went to the desk. The nice woman there printed me off a new one. I waited and allowed myself to imagine that Aston Villa would beat Manchester City while I was in the sky.
Soon after they called all the rich fucks and people with kids to board. And then it was just like, “everyone else.” Not people in rows 180 to 225, etc. “Everyone else.” I’d chosen my seat online the day before. Window seat, front row of the cheap section. Needn’t have bothered, really. Of the ten front row seats in the section, only three were occupied. In fact, the plane was only about 20% full. It was lush. Nobody in the two seats next to me.
I got stuck into some Heinekens, took my shoes off, flipped up the telly screen thing. (BA planes, by the way, still have pretty crappy screens. Touchscreen, yes, but the sort of touchscreen where you really have to dig your finger in to choose something. I watched Anchorman 2. It was shit. (Apart from Kristen Wiig, who I seem to love in everything.) Two hours I’ll never get back, but I was on an aeroplane flying from Europe to North America, so it’s not like it was a real waste like if I’d've gone to the cinema or owt.
I had a go at the Lego Movie. Really enjoyed the first ten minutes, but soon figured that I’d rather watch it on a proper telly not on a tiny fuzzy aeroscreen. Gave some music a go. A few songs off the Ultravox greatest hits they inexplicably had on the system. I’d forgotten that Lament is a pretty nice song. Got the 7″ clear vinyl gatefold sleeve in a box somewhere at my Mum’s house. (Sorry, Mum.) Here is a link to a clip of them doing it on Top of the Pops. Here. Warning: Jimmy Savile introduces them in the clip. Listened to that recent Beyoncé album (good), and the Blood Orange album (alright). But I couldn’t stay focussed on one thing for too long. Had a wee flick at Sleepless in Seattle, a film I do rather love a lot, but couldn’t be arsed. Watched some of Her, which I’ve already seen, watched a bit of the Walter Mitty thing which I saw on the flight to London and enjoyed way more than I thought I would. Plus, y’know, Wiig’s in it. (Also note-worthy, cos of course, all of this blog post is scintillating stuff, I flew to London with Iberia. Now they have great screens. Totally modern. It’s like an iPad or somefink.)
I gave up on the telly and got a book out of my bag. “How I Escaped My Certain Fate” by Stewart Lee. I read and read and read and read. I read loads. It’s an enjoyable and funny book. I looked at the time, and we were over halfway to Mexico. Time flies when you’re enjoying a book. I pulled up the window flaps and there was the eastern coast of Quebec, looking snowy and pretty below.
The stewards and stewardesses seemed in good moods. One dude with nice specs kept asking if I wanted another beer. Yes please. I wonder if that job is actually fun. I mean, to me it looks like you’re a waiter in a crappy restaurant where people are constantly farting, wear ugly neck pillows, and take their shoes off.
Soon enough, just as the sky was starting to get dark, we were above Mexico City. I could see my neighbourhood as we got close to landing. As we queued to get off the plane (for a wee while cos the door wouldn’t open) a European guy lined up in the other aisle was chatting up a woman behind me. He asked where she was from. Veracruz. Are all women in Veracruz as pretty as you? She giggled.
Through immigration, I got my bag, and met my girlfriend outside. We exchanged hellos, hugged, etc. “What was the Man City score?” “4-0,” she said.