Saturday, 27 June 2009
more suboptimally placed phone boxes
Sometimes people comment about how quickly time passes and whether they are managing to get everything done. I can understand why when I think of a few recent conversations.
There was the one at the secret location near Edinburgh a few days ago. We decided to drive to a remote Scottish coffee house in the black Nissan Patrol after the meeting. The cows we'd seen a week before had already been abducted and our route was uneventful. But then, in our tranquil location, as we got deeper into our trigonometric conversation we realised that rather too much time had passed.
We could miss our plane.
Its a while since that has happened to me. Only twice. Ever. Both times with the same person.
Once when we were in Atlanta. It hadn't been good. Steve had (a) over slept (b) then locked himself out of his room. We then got lost driving our way to our business destination. The company we met thought we were from another organization. They presented the wrong and entirely inappropriate information. We left early and headed for the airport. We could turn this around, catch the earlier flight and be sitting by a pool drinking cocktails. It was then my fault that we missed the flight. I read the flight number as the departure time. We missed it. We both put it down to fatigue.
Second time. We were waiting in the lounge at Heathrow for a quick trip to Amsterdam. Ages since we'd seen one another. Chatter. You can work out the rest.
Would this be the Third Time?
So here, near Edinburgh, we jumped back into the quite muddy truck and headed for the airport. I noticed we arrived at the departure drop off at the exact time stipulated by 'Gate Closes' on my boarding pass.
Security. No fast lanes. Slow people with metal shoes and body piercings to make all the machines go bong. People sloshing with far too much liquid in their hand luggage. People with Ninja paper openers and cutting edge power saws. People who looked surprised to have to take off their jackets.
Beltless dishevelled we arrived airside. Gate 18 grinned remotely. It doesn't sound a long way away, but its actually the far far end of the terminal. The little boarding sign is already red "Final Call". Briskness through the airport. Lines of slow moving shoppers to traverse. Two travellators. A stunt team of randomly moving Japanese tourists.
The distant red speck glowing with 18.
I wave at the dots. People. Staff. They see us. I see them talking into a phone. Show tickets. Down more stairs. Outdoors. Walk across tarmac. Up the steps. Time to reduce the BPM.
So back to our conversation: The phone boxes do block the view of the entrance to Union Chapel. It is impossible to sit drinking a pint and spot when people start going in.