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Two days in the life of . . .

We travelled back from Spain on Tuesday, having gone down to Barcelona on Monday for a nice overnight stay. I’d booked on the AVE (TGV to the French, HS2 to the English in about fifteen years, once it’s been funded in part by Scottish taxes) only for it to rain overnight on Sunday, so hard that part of the line was flooded.
Spent an hour at Figueras Vilafant station waiting for a promised bus to take us to somewhere that the AVE was running, until finally I collared a guy who confessed that they did not know 1) where the bus was, 2) whether there actually was a bus, and 3) whether there would ever be a bus. He also said that our tickets were valid on any train, information that would have been useful an hour earlier. So we wound up on the old rattler after all, minus a €15 taxi fare from Vilafant to the normal Figueras station.
Checked into our hotel three hours late, which wiped out the proposed visit to the Sagrada Familia, then found that our favourite restaurant was fully booked. The alternative was okay, though a little dull by comparison. Got back to the hotel and found that it was impossible to switch off the bedside light, other than by killing all the power to the room at a switch by the door. This is okay till you have to get up in the middle of the night, after that last canya in  the Placa Reial. Peeing in the pitch dark may be no problem for  ladies, but it’s different for guys.
Awoke, eventually, to heavy rain. Short visit to the other Cathedral, which was nearby, then went to airport via metro and train, me carrying both bags since Eileen can’t just now. Even in a cooler autumn day in BCN it is very hot and humid on the metro, made worse when you have to walk more than half a kilometre underground from your platform to the stair to the train station. Reckon I lost a kilo or so in sweat.
Encountered a nice lady called Ana at check-in in T1; we had a chat about Scottish/Catalan referendums, about which she was so enthused that she gave us one boarding card from BCN to Gatwick and three from Gatwick to Edinburgh.
Sorted that out, then were held up in security by an Arab couple. She had half a dozen drinks in her bag, plus Allah knows what else. An Arabic speaking staff member was summoned to explain the problem. Then it was husband’s turn. He had in his bag, no kidding, a large fucking Thermos jug, full.
While they were being led away by the police, a German (had to be) guy started shouting about people not knowing how to fly. Then it was my turn; fine till the nice security lady decided that my TV set-top box was actually a laptop and had to be put through x-ray again. She didn’t do this, I had to, which meant another pat-down a minute after the first, since I do not go through the gateway. At this point German idiot started to shout again, either at the staff or at me. Either way, I showed him a verbal yellow card , which proved sufficient, since he wasn’t in a Panzer tank at the time.
Spent half an hour with wife in one airport shop buying six tea towels and a toy for Grandson, then had a mediocre pasta salad. Pattern broken by a very good BA flight with good service. Got to Gatwick and went through a fully automated passport control procedure which by definition takes twice as long as the old-fashioned way, then went airside once again, through more security.
Invested a reasonable amount in three hours in a ‘VIP’ lounge which grew colder as time progressed, with dodgy wine and a range of snacks that ran through the entire gamut of culinary experience, all the way from A to B. Caught second flight, back to Edinburgh; took off early, landed early, a positive, but it couldn’t last, because finally, inevitably, at 10:30pm we were left staring at an empty luggage carousel, waiting in vain for a small black Samsonite case that was still in London.
But apart from that, Mrs Kennedy, did you like Dallas?
Categories: General
  1. Pat Wright
    October 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Getting there is always a b**** but BEING there is usually worth it if it weren’t for the means of getting there!

  2. Diana
    October 4, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Well if you will go back to Scotland! Seriously, what a horrid journey. When we used to travel back and forth between home, Spain, and my father’s house where we were unfortunately stuck as he needed constant care, we used to drive to the south coast and take a ferry over to San Sebastian or Bilbao, then drive, reversing the route. It took time, but it gave us a mini holiday and an opportunity to explore a bit more of Spain. Now we no longer need to and are happily full time in Spain with our family doing the travelling.

    Sorry the rain caused you such problems, but we are thankful it is finally raining after a long, long drought. Although just now it is very sunny and a comfortable 26 degrees.

  3. Fergus
    October 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    1) Are you really surprised by any of this? By the way, the flooding at the Gerona TGV station is a massive architectural/construction cock-up (and you only have to look at it to see that it was bound to happen and will again, it’s all in a hole in the ground, the Mayor is apparently going to Court about it).

    2) Guys can sit to pee too, what’s the probrlem? Girls like it too because the seat’s always down. I do it all the time at night – saves switching the light on, ruining your night vision and avoids walking into a wall or door on your way back to bed. Not to mention waking up your partner by switching lights on and/or coming back to bed with a broken nose.

  4. October 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    1) of course I’m not surprised; most of it happened in Spain.

    2) ever seen ‘About Schmidt’, the movie?

  5. Fergus
    October 5, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    No, I haven’t but I’ve just watched the trailer for the film and it looks like it’s something I can understand very well. However, the toilet seat thing has always bewildered me; girls like it down (Mariah Carey threw a boyfriend out because he didn’t put the seat down). Why is that? If it’s down and men don’t notice or care, it gets peed all over and there’s hell to pay. If it’s up, no problem and women can put it down, it’s clean and they can do their thing without having to clean it all. Beats me.

    • October 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Great movie, but there’s one scene that fits this discussion perfectly.

      Best solution is the one to be found in the public toilet in St Marti. if ladies want a seat they have to bring their own.

  6. Fergus
    October 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Absolutely wonderful! I can just see it, like a Jacques Tati film, women strolling along the seafront, each with a toilet seat under their arm or around their neck; we could start a movement here!

  7. Fergus
    October 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    And no, before you say it, I don’t mean a bowel movement.

  8. Brian Campbell
    October 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Personally I try to remember to put the seat cover down as well. Otherwise my dog uses it as a drinking bowl. Since her second favourite pastime is licking my face it’s a necessary precaution.

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