I don't much like flying alone. At least if you travel with someone else you can be certain that though you might end up sitting next to a bore or a snorer, you will be forewarned - you chose them.
And, while I'm aware that travelling takes organisation and time management, I can't seem to achieve either unless there's some unlucky soul about (say BOF) to hassle me, or else start practising Bikram yoga poses with a freneticity that hints we're about to miss something again.
So when on Saturday I was heading to the Land of the Swimming Pigs to visit Daddy Mason, I checked with BOF how much time I should leave for getting to the airport. 'Leave at half 6' was his response. I made it out the door just after 8, and spent the journey to Heathrow fretting that I'd miss my flight. It wasn't so much DM's rage when I failed to arrive at the other end that troubled me, rather the thought of BOF's weary disappointment when I returned to the Pad flightless.
|Travel-sized toiletries: |
what successful holidays are made of.
Another potential hazard is packing. Every time I pack I decide that this time will be when I really get it right. To this end, I'd bought a magazine containing 'THE' guide to the perfect capsule wardrobe. I then squandered precious packing time fretting that I didn't have any travel-sized perfume bottles or own a kaftan.
Terminal 5 is very shiny and very distracting. I steamed through security with efficiency born of the fact that I was quite late. Then congratulated myself with a large latte from Pret. Large. It was much too big. I'm not in Friends. The resulting jitters made it difficult to carry my hand luggage or find my passport.
Ever nervy about boarding planes after a recent flight marred by baby-vomit, I slinked on to find I was (astonishingly) seated beside a non-obese, sane-looking American woman. We even chatted as I sat down.
This soon prompted internal disquiet. (Was I being too friendly? Would she tell her friends later about the mad girl on the plane who wouldn't shut up?) After take-off, I fell silent. More concerns. (Was I now being too standoffish?)
It was at this point that I accidentally threw my drink over her [white] jeans.
She squawked awkwardly and we didn't speak for the rest of the trip. This was something of a relief.
Fancy being Kate in the Countryside's chaperone? Get in touch.