Home Again

I got up ridiculously early yesterday - or rather, I tried to get up. You know the room spinning feeling when you go to bed after a night out? It felt like that. I staggered towards the bathroom to have a shower, and wondered what the hell was going on. I’ve had it happen in the past - fleetingly - but it usually goes away. It wasn’t this time.

After somehow getting breakfast in the hotel without falling over, I went for a long walk around Frankfurt - along the river, into the Rommerberg, and through back-streets into the city, and then back. I thought I might be getting a bit better, but still felt really odd. I know it’s to do with crystals forming in your ear, disrupting the fluid that governs your balance. I have no idea what causes them to form - but I do know there’s a procedure that doctors can perform to put it right. Of course I don’t know what that procedure is (and have a feeling it requires an inclined table).

After packing my bags, and checking out of the hotel I walked to the train station, dragging my bag behind me. The bag belonged to my other half before I met her - I dread to think how many thousands of miles it has travelled around the world either with both of us, or just myself on various business trips. It’s almost certainly been to America, Turkey, Tunisia, Spain, France (several times), and Germany (many, many times).

Perhaps an hour later I made it to the airport, and through the oddly empty queue for security. While sitting in the departure lounge, I noticed something of a panic going on at the next gate - an Iranian aircraft was being surrounded by fire engines at quite some speed, followed by firemen in full breathing apparatus. The fire engines - perhaps five or six of them - formed an arm around the aircraft, all aiming their hoses in it’s direction. I watched all of this unfolding for several minutes before anybody else seemed to notice. It made me wonder how much some people notice about the world around them - it was almost more interesting to watch the reactions of passengers in the terminal building, than events unfolding outside. People ran to the window, retrieving phones from their pockets to take photos.

I imagine there was nothing more wrong than an aircraft leaking fuel, but I did wonder about the stupidity of those standing against the glass watching - what if the fuel had ignited, with a sizeable aircraft full of fuel above it? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to be standing behind a glass window that would almost certainly have been blown in.

A few minutes later a very calm voice announced over the public address system “this is a change of gate announement for passengers waiting for flight LH906 to London Heathrow - flight LH906 will now leave from gate B43, directly opposite.”

Thankfully the rest of the journey home was remarkably unremarkable. After landing at Heathrow, I walked straight through border control without a queue, picked my bag up, and set off in the direction of the London Express trains. For those that have not made the journey from Heathrow to London, there is about a mile walk underground along various tunnels to reach the train station that then takes you directly to Paddington Station, on the western side of the city. It goes without saying that London has many railway stations, and several airports - Paddington serves all the main lines into the south west - I think there are 14 platforms in all (above ground) - taking you to Reading, Bristol, Banbury, Oxford, Plymouth, Liskeard, and even as far as Lands End.

At Paddington I had three quarters of an hour to kill, so set off in search of something to eat. After buying a sandwich and a drink I sat quietly at a table, watching the world go by. This consisted mostly of watching a hipster Harry Styles lookalike walk up and down, talking about “his Facebook”, and “his Twitter” on his mobile phone. He amused me greatly, and left me wondering where I find my own instance of Facebook, or Twitter.

After two connecting trains (that connected - wonders never cease), and a ten minute walk, I arrived home, dropped my bags, and started throwing rubbish away, tidying up, and washing up. My other half lost the plot with me immediately. Ten minutes later I found myself walking into town with Miss 13 to buy food for dinner.

I won’t talk about the hour spent washing up after dinner either.

I will make mention of the movie we watched yesterday evening though - picked somewhat at random while dinner was cooking - “I Kill Giants”. I’m not going to ruin the plot for you, but it reminded me a lot of “Bridge to Terebithia”, and was just as powerful emotionally at the end. Definitely worth a watch if you want something a bit different that requires some thought.

Today is all about washing clothes - loading the washing machine again, and again, and again.

Oh - final thing - I finished reading “Sleeping Giants” on the way home from Germany. It’s a strange book - uneven in parts. I loved the first half of the story, but struggled to stay with the second half. I think part of that is based in the way it is written, but part of it might be that the author changed their mind about the direction of the story. I’m only guessing of course. I have the sequel sitting on my desk, so will let you know how it goes.