Thursday, July 16
Travelodge, Clapham Junction, 20:30
We woke about 11:00 and I found that I missed the cat. He didn’t wake me or demand anything once I was awake.
Irma drove me to the airport and we talked about Auo and how much we (still) miss her. Once I was there I got two reminders of how this works in practice.
The security check was overfull and the person in charge told me to go upstairs. I was suspicous because I thought I had been singled out as a potential security threat. I was wrong.
Upstairs was a new check-in area and it was empty. I went through in less than three minutes.
I dropped off five paperbacks at the book swap and went through to the international gates. The rebuilding had been completed and a new restaurant called Nordic Kitchen had opened. More interestingly, there is now a Burger King next to the Finnair lounge. Auo would have loved this, both as an idea and a source of burgers.
I phoned Irma and Naa from the plane. Naa was happy to know that she could have a Whopper on her way to Chiang Mai next month.
The flight was fine and the journey to Clapham Junction was easier than I expected. The Travelodge is like a real hotel. There is a giant Lidl, a giant Boots and a huge Asda behind it. There is a Marks & Spencer three hundred metres away.
I walked down Northcote Road and found Sea Fare, a proper fish restaurant where I had haddock, chips and mushy peas. What a lot of food that was. I waddled back to the hotel slowly.
Now I am looking out of the window of my room. I can see the cupola of the old Arding and Hobbs building which is now a small branch of Debenhams. The whole area has been renovated.
I will email Irma and watch television. I will climb under the covers and fall asleep at a time that is early for London and late for Helsinki.