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Planes, Adrian Mead, Naked Men and Fire Drills…

…Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? 😛

What a weird and wonderful weekend I’ve had. I simply must tell you all the gory details, since if I hadn’t lived it and seen it all through my own eyes, I would have thought it was one of those Steve Martin 80s comedies. Maybe it was. Perhaps, somewhere near Bristol is a Being John Malkovich-style-portal that I slipped through, since my adventures began when I got to the airport.

Everything was fine until I checked in. So actually, crap from the start. Some little Hitler not only threw away all my hair products, he got rid of my hairdryer and tried to confiscate my make-up AND birth control pills. I went mental. I started accusing him of all sorts, including getting me pregnant by proxy (“Everything will be out of kilter for fuck’s sake!”). He obviously thought I was out of kilter and soon was replaced by a woman bag checker who seemed more sympathetic, gave me my make-up back, made soothing noises and literally pushed me forwards towards the departures lounge. Phew.

I sat down, tried to read, but spent the next hour counting sixty minutes down until I died – sorry, got on the plane. Eight minutes from boarding, guess what: the plane’s failed its MOT. Sorry people. You’re waiting until nine o’clock. At. The. Earliest. There was much gnashing of teeth by many of the people around me – I discovered around me that a large amount of people work in Bristol for the week and actually live in Edinburgh, which surprised me: haven’t they heard about carbon footprints?? – so I tried to go to the bar for whiskey. My heroes in the crime novels I love always drink whiskey in airports, so I thought I’d take a leaf out of their book. No can do, cos the bastards have run out of whiskey. Shit! So I went in search of something to eat. Only paninis left. Now, I’m fond of paninis, but not all the time. What’s with our obsession with Italian sandwiches? It’s like the red squirrel, driven out by its grey neighbour – you can’t get a bacon and egg buttie any more. Damn this culinary hell!

So anyway. I eventually got on the plane and sat next to a lovely man who reminded me that LOST is not a documentary and was skilled enough to draw me into a conversation about education, one of my soap boxes as you know, for the duration of the entire flight. We didn’t die, which was refreshing since I had already worked through various scenarios from places as varied as CASTAWAY and even NEIGHBOURS. I got to my hotel just before midnight, checked in, discovered it was Fawlty Towers’ evil twin, but I just didn’t care, I was that knackered. Fell into bed. Snore, snore ’til morning.

Except not. My hotel housed several stag parties and a faulty fire alarm system. Naked men ran up and down my corridor leaving vapours of booze behind them: had I had a lighter, I could have set fire to them all. 2 am came around and the fire alarm goes off: we all bundle outside, Fire Birgade arrives, checks the place, we go back in. 3am. Fire alarm goes off again. We all go back down again – The Duty Manager tells us it’s a false alarm, to go back. Except we’re a little bit scared we could burn to death in our sleep, so we question how he knows it’s DEFINITELY a false alarm. “Because this happens all the time.” He says calmly. Anyway, there’s a full scale mutiny amongst the 87 guests, the fire alarm won’t go back off, the Brigade are called back out, the Duty Manager reveals he’s not the manager at all and is actually the night porter and some guy from Harrogate who happens to be a buildings inspector decides to close the hotel down. At 4 in the morning. Luckily he rescinds this, since he’s off-duty, but I would imagine he is still plotting its downfall with glee. He and his wife were mad as hell. I would have been had I not had to hold my eyelids open with matchsticks, but you can’t jump on every opportunity for a ruck I say. Anyway, I had to translate for some very scared Spanish ladies what the hell was going on. It worked out well for one guy though: a French teacher took the opportunity to regale his charges with “This is how the British do it, they walk around and wait, sensibly, when there is a fire alarm – even when they have no information! They do not go mad like us French!” It was shortly after this that relations went downhill with the Duty Manger/Night Porter, so I guess you could call it the French Revolution, especially when one of the French students was blamed with setting the alarm off in the first place: “This is fraud! I do not believe it! This is BULLSHEEEEEEEEET!”

So I saw feck all of Edinburgh ’til the morning, but it was worth waiting for. What a beautiful city. The architecture is amazing, the castle truly breathtaking. The standard of graffiti is pretty good too. Only this morning I saw THE LAW IS A SERIES OF COMMANDS SANCTIONED BY THREATS. I was thinking how philosophical this was, but for the fact someone wrote WHAT PISH over the top of it. Always one.

So we’ll fastforward over Adrian’s class – more on this tomorrow – and I even managed to take in a showing of his great NIGHT PEOPLE – again, more tomorrow – and then flew home this morning. No delays, no crazy checker people though one of the Feeler Ladies by the metal detector made a very big show of scanning my rosary beads with an iron cross. When I explained they could not go in my bag as they would save my life in the event of crash, she tutted very loudly, gave them back and raised her eyes at me like I was a small child. She knows nothing!

So the flight home was uneventful but for the small child who yelled, “I hope we don’t crash, Mummy!” as we took off and I was home again by 1pm as if I had never gone. The wonders of air travel. Still effing scary. Not as scary though as the fact that my husband *claims* the reason my temporary internet files were all wiped clean in my absence was because he was looking for that bloody toy Lilirose lost on google. Apparently he typed in, “fluffy little lamb” and all kinds of images that made his eyes burn were called up. A likely story. When the cat’s away and all that…

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5 thoughts on “Planes, Adrian Mead, Naked Men and Fire Drills…”

  1. Didn’t you know about the Scottish tradition where they play bagpipes in hotels on the hour, ever hour through the night? If the pipes aren’t handy, the fire alarm is used in their place.

    You can’t blame the bag-checkers being twitchy. Hey, at least they’re lowered the recent restrictions on carry-on luggage.

    It may seem a bit draconian but you see there was this thing a while back where a bunch of arseholes flew a couple of planes into buildings, irrevocably altered the skyline of the greatest city in the world and killed a whole lot of innocent people in the process. I think they might have mentioned it on the news.

    Still, at least Bristol airport seems to have sorted out that new slippery runway, so you had that going for you.

  2. “It may seem a bit draconian but you see there was this thing a while back where a bunch of arseholes flew a couple of planes into buildings, irrevocably altered the skyline of the greatest city in the world and killed a whole lot of innocent people in the process. I think they might have mentioned it on the news.”

    Right. Please walk this way Mr. GD.

    You’re only lucky I don’t have rubber gloves. Bitch. ; )

  3. How dare you forget me, I was the most exciting person there! Alas I wasn’t there, though not for an exciting illegal parking ruck, but for a far less thrilling personal thingummy.

    Booo, I’m still an Adrian Mead virgin (that somehow sounds wrong but I’m sure you know what I mean (nudge nudge) you being a woman of the world and all). Looking forward to vicariously attending the class through your notes!

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