Friday, April 20
Somewhere over London, 15:52
Last night, before I took my clothes off, I remembered that my deodorant had run out in the morning, and raced out and round the corner to get some. Tesco had Nivea Men for 4.50€. Dealz over the road (”a member of the Poundland family”) had exactly the same thing for 1.50€.
This morning I woke early with several hours in which I had very little I needed to do. I didn’t even need to buy deodorant. I decided to start with a very large breakfast. I persuaded the young Polish cooks to replace my rasher of bacon with an extra fried egg and an extra sausage. I had that, toast, and a big pot of tea, washed down with orange juice.
After this I walked round to Tesco and got five different cheeses for home, as well as two Irish kitchen towels from Paddywagon. I walked across Gardiner Street to the second hand bookshop and chatted to the owner. Then I went back to my miniature room, which I had grown to like, and showered and packed.
At 11:40 Liisa appeared at the corner where we had arranged to meet and we walked down to the bus station just as a 747 appeared. Thirty minutes later we arrived at the airport.
We avoided buying any Guinness souvenirs yesterday. At the airport we bought various unnecessary gift items including a candle and some candy. We also had lunch: ploughman’s sandwiches and banana and honey smoothies.
The ninety minute flight from Dublin to Heathrow takes just under an hour. I have a window seat with nobody next to me. As we approach London I photograph a bend in the Thames.
We will arrive at Terminal 1 and walk out of the airport and through a series of subways to Terminal 3 where we will re-enter the airport and go through security again. In the two hours we spend there Liisa will have a burger in the Curator Bar & Grill and I will buy a Boots Meal Deal so I can take the obligatory Lucozade bottle home. She will have a beer and I will have an apple and rhubarb fizz.
During these two hours I will also get some Chanel perfume for Irma where, to my surprise and delight, the saleswoman will ask me if I have enough time to make my own Chanel card to go with it. I will say that I have and she will jump for joy. Apparently absolutely nobody else this week has agreed to learn how to make their own card. I will thus spend a happy ten minutes hobbying away while receiving instructions and encouragement from a young woman who has obviously received special training in this.
Everything will go smoothly until we find ourselves sitting in our seats waiting for take-off. We have a row with an empty seat in the middle so, effectively, we have business class seating. We will sit waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Our 18:05 flight will eventually begin to taxi along the runway at 18:56, and take off two or three minutes later.
Liisa will spend the flight watching a movie and listening to music. I will read the first four issues of God Complex: Dogma and find them much more interesting than I had expected. I will read the latest issue of Doctor Strange and find it as nonsensical as I had expected. I will love the tone, though, and really like the continuing presence of Bats, the irritated dead dog.
We will make up most of the time we lost at Heathrow, and land at about 23:10. I will say goodbye to Liisa in the plane, race through security, and out to the road. Irma will arrive at exactly the right moment for me to leap into the car.
We will arrive home. I will unpack. We will go to bed. Sleep will arrive immediately.