The first part of the day is a bit of a blur actually, and I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t go into it in any detail. By the time I’m compos mentis enough to regret the lack of definition in the beginning of the day, the beginning is long past.
I spend a lot of time packing, eventually leaving the flat at just after twelve and taking the tube to Liverpool Street. My initial aim was to go to Golder’s Green and catch the bus from there, but I decide to get the train as it’s quicker, if more expensive. However today the train is also a bus, but charged at the same high high prices as the train. It’s all right, though, they haven’t suspended their strict Rudeness and Unhelpfulness policy, even if they have turned into a bus company for the day.
I’m not sure what I learned from this.
However, the bus gets me to the airport so early I get Pass #1 again, largely by the expedient of correctly guessing the check-in desk that they’re going to use. So, hurrah, I suppose.
Then the long queue into the sanctum sanctorum, some very expensive coffee and then I take my position at the front of the queue. Actually, for a very long time I am the queue. In the wrong bit (in the #66 and over bit, not the #1 to #65 bit). It doesn’t really bother me, and all works itself out in the end. I board the plane and get a seat not really any worse than that I would have had, had I been at the back of the queue, although next to the window. This is a mixed blessing as I get to see the bags being stowed.
The chap stowing them is obviously not happy about having to work on Boxing Day. He has a pained expression on his face. More the point, he’s wrenching the bags from the wagons and throwing them with some force onto the conveyor belt, sometimes hoisting them above his head. This has several results. Firstly, many of the bags bounce off the conveyor belt and have to be retrieved (one particularly recalcitrant, dark green case tries to escape four times) which results in more swearing and martyrdom on the part of the packer; secondly, I suppose some christmas presents were pulverised (I worried for my hard disk, which I’d packed in my case, although by the time he got to my case…); thirdly, he was exhausted by the time he’d half completed the job, and was visibly upset by the final wagon, though physically incapable of inflicting the punishment on the bags that he obviously thought they deserved, which just seemed to increase his resentment. This is where my luggage came in, which is why they were only dropped from a height of about eight inches rather than hurled forcibly.
His orange vest said "Team Leader" on it, which makes one worry about the rest of the team.
Uneventful flight. Many small children chatting, chirrupping, and, throughout the landing, screaming. Can’t say I blame them. The upside of being next to the window is that I get to see the lights glittering below me, which I always find delightful. There’s a very curious lighting strategy around Amsterdam, that I can’t describe, let alone work out.
Dash to get through passport control as fast as I can (or at least as fast as the chap will allow me – he spends a very long time looking at each passport. I swear they live in hope, here, that one day they’ll apprehend an international terrorist); and then wait for my luggage to appear, hopefully unharmed, on the conveyor belt.
Bus to L?beck (this top my Mum gave me for Christmas is jolly good protection against the cold – thanks Mum!); then a wait for the next train (I usually arrive at the station as the previous train has left, if you see what I mean); then the train to Kiel, then walk up to the House, arriving at the House a bit out of breath with Metaphirosity going on in the Dining Room. I say hello, then go out to have dinner at Bambule.
Back at the House I set up the computer, listen to the CA final mixes again (Ben’s done a marvellous job with them); chat to the other two and soon to bed. The hard disk is unharmed, as the biscuits appear to be, so that’s alright then.