Twas midnight before I managed to back up my laptop (have you?), defragged the drive, repped the databases, time-machined and mozy'd the documents, charged the phones, printed the McMerican Entry authorisation pages. Phew. And at 3am, the alarm went off, and I dragged my sorry ass (asses?) to the shower. God. I'll sleep today. I dont know where and when, yet.
So its a 3am start here in Marykirk, 35 miles South of Aberdeen, and it'll be midnight before I sip a beer in the Dolphin Bar tonight. 21 hours of travel hell, to go to a conference where I'm providing some of the content, and paying for my own hotel, travel, food, beer. I must be *nuts*.
Our local taxi firm - SafeDrive - happens to be ran by an ex-police instructor type chappie, so a very smooth, comfortable uneventful run to Aberdeen Hairyport. Its been a while since I was last here - they've now completed the 'You cant ram a petrol-filled car through the front door' barriers, but still havent got the hang of acually having kerbs that can let folk in wheelchairs out of taxis. Remember - BAA - The British Airport Authority are now owned by a Spanish Building Firm, so we cant expect much..
And now for the first Mallox Moment. BA Checkin. Or rather, not. It transpires that BA no longer fly ABZ-LGW so I now fly FlyBe. Now the whole reason I booked a BA flight - against my better judgement given my history with them - is that it was a single airline for the entire journey. Not anymore. No on-line checkin, etc.
I checked in BagZilla - my new flight case on wheels with the full 'instant biker kit', and headed through security. Which again has been overhauled. No new machines obviously -that costs money. Lots of new queueing area, barriers, etc. Huge area for selling stuff no-one needs - a duty free area thats more expensive than the local supermarket. And in the whole terminal building only one Gents toilet open. And you can imagine how busy *those* two cubicles were. Sigh. So nothing changes.
Sitting here beside the shiny new 'illy' coffee bar at Gate 5, waiting for my flight. Every two minutes, a passenger goes up to the counter to ask for a coffee, just to be told by the lady behind the counter 'We're not open yet'. A case in point. I've been sitting at these red tables in front of the coffee bar, and the newly arrived lady just told me to take the bag off the table - as people were going to be eating off it. Absolutely. No problem. She then put down condiments and wandered off. Was *she* going to actually clean the table? No.
Welcome to Scotland, you lovely tourists. Just keep your expectations *low*. At Aberdeen airport in any case.
Just saw a flight crew for the BA flight to Heathrow (no, I've not been through Heathrow Terminal 5 yet - and have absolutely no intention of) and the pilot wrote the flight number on the back of his hand. Ah. Thats how they do it. I did point out to him that this wasnt terrifically confidence inspiring (in my 'happy to help you' Geek voice), but he just pointed out that the plane was more complicated than a laptop. Glad we've cleared that up, then.
Isnt people watching at the airport fun ?
I took the decision after the nightmare journey back last Lotusphere to dramatically cut back on Airline Travel. Nothing so far today tells me that this was a mistake.
Awoken from a deep sleep. 'Emergency' and 'Newcastle' - half way down the country....