May the 4th be with you. Touchdown, Gatwick Airport, London 1:35am.
- Temperature? Flipping freezing
- Sleep? 2 hours
- Plan to get to Paris? Unknown.
Revelling in indecision for a few hours, I down 2 breakfast mimosas and peruse possible modes of transport to Paris. Flights and trains are expensive due to the May Day long weekend. Weighing up if I should stay the night here and catch up with my old mate Scotty. Nah… Paris for the win. Flight now booked for 2:30pm.
Google has advised 10 minutes away, in the town of Horley, there is a cluster of Op Shops. This, is, my, jam. Seriously though, if I don’t get a coat and some gloves, I’m going to freeze my falafels off!
Back at the airport, things do not go smoothly. The machines won’t print my boarding pass (I try many over the course of 30 minutes and numerous self service baggage counter drop offs are also out of order). The staff response, “see my colleague”… the colleagues response, “see my colleague”. When the staff finally print my boarding pass manually, it doesn’t reference a gate number. Before making it through security, my boarding gate closed. Great! It’s an additional £99 to book the next flight which is tomorrow (despite this scenario not being entirely or at all my fault)! 16 other passengers are in the same boat, reaffirming the issues sit with the airline (see Mum, it’s definitely not me for a change). An influx of May Day long weekend travellers probably doesn’t help.
By now, I’m on the verge of being awake for 24 hours (less the 2 hour nap on the plane) and like a sleep deprived child, I crack. Here come the tears… it dawns on me.. I’ve been in Gatwick Airport since 1:35am (minus the 1 hour I ventured out to get a coat and gloves), I’m alone and will not be wining and dining myself in Paris for the afternoon/ evening. This birthday has not even mildly gone to plan. What. A. Balls up!Tis done. Now to London… My quaint little cottage accomodation has amazing heating and a bath. Things are coming up.
Think I’ll catch the train into the city tonight. Jump online to book a ticket on the London Eye… Sold out. There goes that idea. Bath n booze it is. 7:30pm, it’s still light. 8:30pm, it’s still light… 9:30pm, I’m in the bath, bubbles a plenty, enjoying a lovely premixed gin drink, in a can. Happy birthday, to me. Here’s to another lap around the sun and hopefully, one around the world.