There was something of a bang last week after a visit to a garlic farm on the Isle of Wight, a tasting session and a garlicky lunch, but I’m betting you don’t want those details. It was a fantastic place though and, assuming you treat the garlic loading with a bit of respect, you’ll probably be fine during the following twelve hours.
I didn’t have a great journey to the UK. My first blister appeared before I’d left Bangkok airport. It turns out that you can’t put feet that live for eleven months of the year in flip flops, into contained shoes and not expect injuries. My plasters were in my suitcase (of course) which I couldn’t get into because I’d sealed it with a plastic cable tie: one of those things that goes on but not off unless you cut it. As well as not being able to carry any cutting implements on a flight, I’ve discovered that no members of the airside personnel are allowed to have scissors either.
I’d stayed up to watch a film on the flight – totally against my better judgment - and didn’t have enough sleep but things began to improve a bit at Paddington station. I thought. I found someone that had scissors and finally broke into my own suitcase; I found Vodafone open at 7am where I got a sim card sorted and I found a Starbucks where I drank tea and ‘What’s Apped’ Husband.
I just didn’t have the energy for the underground so I treated myself to a taxi between Paddington and Charing Cross. I tried to lift my case into the taxi but, in spite the laws of physics, it was heavier by several kgs than when I’d left Bangkok. And, damn it, I’d been taking things out of it… alright, so they were only plasters, but it was eight of them. How could it get heavier?
I could have slept in the taxi if it hadn’t been for the alarming rise of the meter. Although the Olympic vehicle lanes hadn’t yet opened, several of the roads were shut around Buckingham Palace and Whitehall so the fare was higher than expected; still, it was much easier than the tube.
At Charing Cross I thought I’d better replenish my dwindling funds so I went to the cashpoint but hmmm: no card. I searched through the
crap vital receipts and cards in my wallet in case I’d
slipped it in somewhere for ease… Nope; definitely no bank card. Through my
addled brain I knew there was only one place the card could be: Vodafone. But,
for heaven’s sake, they’d just sold me a sim card, so why hadn’t they rung me
to tell me I’d left it there? I pulled out my phone: four missed calls and two
text messages… I must have turned the sound off when I put the phone in my
I called my parents to let them know what kind of an idiot I was, put my suitcase into left luggage – ker ching! - and went down to the underground to return to Paddington – more ker ching! I was shattered by this time but so grateful to see that there was one last seat on the underground train. As the doors shut, I set off over people and their luggage to the spare seat. As I lowered myself down onto the seat, the tube train gave a great lurch and I landed in the lap of the man next door to my chair.