Posts Tagged ‘underground’

The annoying airport saga

Once upon a time, a good friend said to me, “Can you meet me from the airport when I get back from my holiday?” He had lots of bags and was unfamiliar with London so I said, sure I’d meet him, and I booked the morning off work.

I had met him from flights a few times before and he had always come into Terminal 2 at Heathrow. “So,” said I, “will you be at the same terminal as last time?”

“Yes,” said my friend.

And so the day arrives. I head to Heathrow airport. I’m early, so as I’m lingering around waiting, there’s a Marks and Spencer’s right next to me, with a massive flower display. I think it will be nice if I buy a bunch. People are always meeting other people off flights with bunches of flowers, aren’t they? So I buy them, squeeze back to my place at the railing and wait. And wait. And wait.

It’s been an hour since his landing time. Maybe he’s still getting baggage and going through passport control etc. I check the Arrivals board but can’t see anything which has arrived from Mexico, where he’s been.

An hour and a half. I try calling. His phone’s off.

Two hours. I’ve got to be at work at 4pm and by this time, it’s about 2pm. It takes an hour to get to work. Time is getting pretty tight. Still nothing from Mexico on the Arrivals board.

Two and a half hours. I call. And call again. And again. And finally it starts to ring. A voice on the end of the line.

“Hi, what’s happened? Are you ok?”

“Yeh, the flight was delayed a bit.”

“Which terminal are you in?”

“I guess two. I usually come into that one.”

“But there’s nothing on the arrivals board. Did you stop anywhere to change flights?”

“No, I came direct.”

“You must be in a different terminal then. Is there anyone else around you? Ask them what terminal you’ve come into.”

I’m already heading to the underground station downstairs, which shuttles you around to the different terminals.

I hear him asking another person what terminal they’re in. Then he reports the answer back to me.

“I’m in the North terminal.”

Has anyone spotted a problem? I’m in terminal TWO. He’s in the NORTH terminal. Something doesn’t quite fit here.

“Check your flight ticket.” I tell him. “What does it say for your destination?”

“Why, what’s up? It says London GTW.”

…….Yes, yes it does. And there is no way in hell that GTW means Heathrow, you nonce. It means Gatwick!

For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of London, Heathrow is out to the West somewhere. And Gatwick is south. Very far south. And London is big. And the journey between those two airports is quite significant. And I had to be in work in an hour and a half.

Eventually, after working out a complicated looking train map, I worked out that we could both get fast trains to Clapham and meet there.

I and my flowers hurried along to the underground, which I had to get to another terminal before I could get onto the fast train. The next fast train was going in about fifteen minutes. Already I’d consumed half an hour just getting on the train to Clapham. I got there quite quickly and his train took another twenty minutes. So now I’m about fifteen minutes away from needing to start work. My flowers look kinda sad now as I’ve been crashing about airports and trains and they have taken the brunt of it.

He arrives finally, as I’m hanging about aimlessly in the long corridor which joins all the platforms, swinging the flowers around and debating whether to chuck them as they’re looking a bit old.

“Boo!” he says, when he finds me, broad grin on his face.

“Hey,” I say, offering the sad looking bunch of flowers.

He loves them anyway and now, he’s staying in South West London with another friend and could I help him get there and I’m welcome to come to dinner.

I smile, offer him brief instructions then hurry off to work, for which I am late. He wanders off, like it’s no big deal, with all his stuff, gets lost and ends up in the wrong area of London, where he has another friend, who he stays with instead. Who knows what happened to the dinner that was being made for him.

Now I’m sometimes unorganised but at least I know the basics. Where and when I’m landing is not that difficult. Just remember it. I’m not asking a lot! If I’m going to meet you at the airport, just bloody tell me the right airport!

That was annoying.

Feedback from Day 1 of getting excited

I just wrote this post and then it deleted itself. I’m trying not to be angry right now. I’m trying quite hard to find this event exciting in some way. Erm. It’s exciting because now I get to relive how great my first day of getting excited was…. Stay calm Laura….

Ok, let’s start again and hope I don’t miss anything out.

So yesterday was my first day of getting excited. I wore a yellow dress, a red jumper and a blue coat and I went on the Jubilee line in the underground. Actually, that’s incorrect. Maybe I should stern from the top.

I donned my yellow dress in the spirit of Her Maj and set off for work. Now I’m bot sure where I’ve got this idea that the Queen wears yellow dresses from. Does she wear them often? Or had I seem one picture ONCE where she was wearing yellow and I’ve got it in my mind that she ALWAYS wears them? Actually, we mustn’t count out what’s quite probably happened. I’ve got my yellow dress washed and ready to wear anyway and am trying to find a way it seem regal.

Anyway, I knew people would notice and compliment me so I got ready for the tidal wave. I prepared a suitable demure Queen-like response and waited. Would you believe it, not ONE person said ‘Wow, Laura, that yellow dress is magnificent. You know something? You really look like the Queen in that dress.’ No-one! SHOCKED! I was just shocked. So I started pointing it out to people and got a few ‘mmm’s. All that effort for an ‘mmm’?! I’m starting to think that maybe these people of the ‘mmm’ variety ought to embrace a getting-excited project of their own.

Also, I shed my red jumper and blue coat early on cause I was quite warm.

Then I was discussing my planned journey across London and a friend said the Victoria line would be much faster.

“But I need to go on the Jubilee line,” I protested. “For the Jubilee.”

“No, it’s ok, because it’s the Victoria line. Queen Victoria.”

“You’re a genius!” said I. “The Victoria line it is!”

It was a long while later before either of us remembered that OF COURSE the Queen is not called Victoria! You know when you just say something without thinking? Then later you suddenly realise what you’re going on about?!

Sorry Lizzie, for forgetting your name.

I decided to take the Victoria line anyway because she was a queen of England, so it kind of fits with the theme.


As I was really getting into the whole excitement thing by this point, I leapt onto the train enthusiastically. Kind of. I stepped on with a slight bounce, I guess. I chose a seat and sat down. In my yellow dress. On the Victoria line. Thrilling.

The carriage was about two thirds full. No-one was talking. I took out a book in an excited lively manner and read it. At Euston, two women got on different doors and headed toward the same seat. The lady to my left, with a rucksack and walking shoes, was quite speedy and she easily beat the lady to my right, who, in high heels and small dress, was ill-equipped for the challenge at hand. When she realised she had been beaten, she just passed by at the same speed and pretended she didn’t care. I wasn’t fooled though. I could see she was gutted.

I was on the train for about six stops and I exited it in much the same excitable way as I had entered it.

And that was my experience of being excited about the Jubilee by going on the Victoria line. It was pretty cool.

So my thoughts about my first day of the experiment are that it’s nice being excited about things. It adds a bit of variety. I’ll have to put some thought into what I can get excited about next. I’m open to suggestions.

PS Today I am going swimming. This probably doesn’t seem very epic but in my world it is. For a girl who hasn’t got into a swimming costume in years, it’s pretty big news. I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’s like being told that the next time you go out, you’re only allowed to wear your underwear. I’m not used to being so undressed in public! Will spend the next hour or so psyching myself up. Wish me luck!

Getting excited about stuff


Ok, let’s try starting on my list of things I’d like to do.

With it being the Jubilee, I guess I could give ‘getting excited about things’ a go. How does one get excited about a Jubilee? Draw a fake heart tattoo on my arm, of the type grown men get with the word ‘Mum’ in it. But I could write ‘The Queen’ in it instead? Ok, and I could wear something red, white and blue. That might be a bit of a stretch. I don’t know if I have enough clothes washed to get to those three colours in one outfit. I have a red jumper though. Ok, I’ll wear that today. And a blue coat. O and I mustn’t forget to wear all my favourite diamond jewellery today… O… Wait… I don’t have any. Damn. I don’t even have any good plastic children’s jewellery, the type you get in Christmas crackers, you know. The Queen quite often wears yellow dresses doesn’t she? I’ve got a yellow dress. I’ll wear that. With my red jumper.

Erm, I could take a ride on the Jubilee line on the underground. Actually I’m going to visit friends later so I do need to go across London, but not on the Jubilee line. Maybe I could detour to take in the Jubilee line?

Oo! I could get that lovely crown I keep stored away in the loft and wear it all day? Or my robe? And I could use a lovely RP accent (received pronunciation, for all you commoners who don’t know what that means), and I could take an interest in India and Australia. And the Falklands, one must remember the Falklands, mustn’t one? And one could curl one’s hair and dye it grey and wave in a regal manner to all the little people. And give speeches about England….

Perhaps I’ll save that for another day.

If there were a street party on my road (I’m too lazy to go any further) and I wasn’t working today, then I could do that. There isn’t a street party though. And I am working.

Ok, I’m ready, in my not very spectacular way, to be excited about something! This is revolutionary in my world. I have my yellow dress, my red jumper, my blue coat and I am going to take a ride on the Jubilee line. Wish me luck! (I’d better leave my crown and robe at home though, cause I might get them a bit dirty at work.)