Inevitably, I was in bed late with an early wake-up call for our last hour in the flat, the landlord inspection visit, and handing over the keys. The sky was a translucent blue and the sun streamed spectacularly through the window, exposing damage to the wall in the kitchen that we may have caused by hanging up a picture or two. But then two years in the same place there’s going to be some wear and tear but how much is acceptable?
Marks on the wall and the couch from just living and eating dinner every night in front of the latest sci-fi series, that, and the occasional ray gun blast.
We took a Bolt to the airport, two guitars, two violins and all the necessary accoutrements for playing live. We waved goodbye to our ex-front door for the last time and drove into the future with all its questions. We were definitely overdressed for Portugal and possibly underdressed for England. We’d booked two guitars as extra baggage online and Olivia had found out that she could take her large double violin case on the plane. We’re discovering that as far as the cheaper airlines go, easyJet is less strict and more user-friendly when it comes to musicians and the problems of baggage and weight. Now we know.
We sat separately because Olivia had to be in a special seat due to her violin case booking, she was in row 10 and I sat between two ladies in row 6. The flight was a little over two hours and about an hour in the lady by the window wanted to get up, I thought to hit the loo – half an hour went by but she didn’t come back. So I’d been waiting, not getting comfortable because I knew I’d have to move again. The lady next to me and I were cautiously worried, but in the end, I think she must have been off-duty crew and was at the back chatting. It interrupted my music flow and the desire to sleep but gave me time to contemplate the £5 I’d spent on a small bottle of water and a soft drink.
We landed and I was glad of my coat on the tarmac. It’s a hike from the plane to the exit but we sailed through passport control, baggage claim and customs. We just had to find Biggles who was picking us up. All I can say is if experienced travellers like us can’t easily find the way out then it might be time for better instructions. Biggles couldn’t find the pick-up point, we couldn’t find the correct exit point, in the end, we called two helicopters, one hoisted Biggles’ car to a mile from the airport whilst the other threw a line down for our baggage, up into the air it went swinging. We were transported in a beam from Marks & Spencer’s into Biggles car and consequently drove to New Malden on a reasonably Martian-free motorway.
Dinner and mega chats with Biggles and Colleen, an appointment booked with Mohamad for the morrow to see to any potential computer woes and really, what the hell am I doing up?