Saturday, 31 March 2012

Everybody! Let's get out of this hellhole

One of the downsides about living in England is that winter lasts too bloody long. Generally, by November I am completely pissed off by it, but by that stage there's still another four months to go before Spring. Talk about pants - it drags on longer than an episode of 'Match of the Day'.

So, after spending months wearing sackcloth, dragging a pit pony through the village (not sure why, it just sounds wintery), and having various frostbitten digits amputated, I decided it was time to leave the UK for sunnier climes for a while.

It was the perfect excuse to visit my chum Clare (the one with the norks) in America. After all, it's always bloody sunny there. And she has got a swimming pool. And she can cook.

And that is why, a couple of days ago, I headed for Gatwick and jumped onto a Virgin flight bound for the US of A (I nearly missed it because I was late - I manged to check in my luggage 2 minutes before the flight closed).

Pic.No.1 This was the view from my seat whilst we were waiting on the apron. See that EasyJet aircraft? I used to supply them with landing gear in the olden days

Pic.No.2 This is the view shortly after take-off. If you squint, that lake looks like a penis

Pic.No.3 Virgin operate two types of aircraft: Airbus A340-600s and Boeing 747-400s and I had the misfortune to be on one of the Virgin Craplantic Boeing 747s. Unlike the modern A340s, the 747s feature uncomfortable seats and an inflight entertainment designed by Luddites R Us. It made for a long 8h 30mins

After booking my flight and seeing the flight details, I did telephone Virgin Craplantic to complain about their old fashioned Boeings. Some random woman told me that they were overhauling the fleet, but obviously that didn't include the aircraft I was on. They should rebrand themselves as 'Rubber Band Airlines'.

As well as having to travel on crappy aircraft, there is one other thing that always makes me mad when travelling to the States, and it's the bloody border control. I was going to take a photograph for you, but as soon as I got my camera out, some power-crazy guy with a pencil moustache and uniform shouted at me to put it away. Arsey git.

Anyway, it bloody took me an hour and forty minutes to get through the border. We were queuing for so long that the bird behind me fainted and had to be wheeled through in a wheelchair. I wished I had thought about fainting to speed things up. 

Eventually though, I did get through and Clare was waiting in the 'arrivals' hall. 

She greeted me warmly; "where the bloody hell have you been?"

"Border control," I stated, "they are all a bunch of nobs."

Clare nodded in agreement, before adding, "let's go find the car."

Pic.No.4 So, 40 minutes after being picked up, I was finally sat next to Clare's pool watching the sunset over the lake in the distance. Marvellous. And more of my crazy American antics to come ....

Anyway, it's weekend dahlink! What the devil have you been up to?

18 comments:

  1. Wowza, Clare's place is a WOW! ... and uh what the hell is a NORK?

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  2. Aww yeh, her house is lovely. You know what norks are - bazookas, bosoms, fun bags, tits etc....!



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  3. I have never heard the works Norks before.... and now that you have explained it, well you gotta admit is not exactly a term that comes up often in my personal life....!

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  4. Well, I have never had the 'pleasure' to fly with Virgin Atlantic.  Probably won't happen until they are part of the Star Alliance either.  Oh well.

    But, I do LOVE to fly.  I am always excited every time I get on a plane; however, if the plane turns out to be a dud, it can really ruin a flight.  Like that old United A320 I was on a few weekends ago from Denver to Tucson.  Good thing they decided to buy / merger / take-over Continental; it was probably cheaper than to replace their entire fleet of old planes.  Anyway, I digress.

    Brahm and I have Nexus passes which allow us to scan our eyes whenever we cross the Canada / US of A border.  The long lines at Customs are a thing of the past.  I also have a Global Entry pass which is suppose to allow me to skip the long lines when entering the US of A from a country other than Canada.  I haven't tried that one yet.

    Clare's place and view look amazing!  I hope you have a great time!

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  5. First off, what are norks? As Claire has them, I am wondering how unique she may be.

    As far as airline travel goes, the mere mention of it has me banging my head into my desk and severely limiting how long this comment is taking me to type.

    If we checked our bags two minutes before flight time at a US airport we might as well hold up a sign that says "keep your eyes open, I am not to be trusted".   I hesitate to use the T word as my computer might be tagged from past "keep your eyes on  me incidents".


    And yes the TSA people are nobs.   Give a pseudo cop some power and they become a zealot pseudo cop.

    Have a  fun trip.  I hear that digits lost to frostbite in the UK grow back in once the person is in Florida.  This is unique to those two regions.

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  6. Don't forget to book an appointment with the Geek Squad, your lap top loves to fail in foreign parts.

    Have a great holiday. But don't you think it's a bit over the top just to avoid buying Easter Eggs?

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  7. Air flight hasn't changed in decades and probably won't too soon...we experienced a horrendous flight years ago involving seniors/babies and us shipped into a hot smelly room temp 30C + in Toronto...so I as I said "nothing" has changed!

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  8. Eh up Robert, I am on day 3 and the laptop isn't dead. Yet. Are you proud of me?!



    Eggcellent - I have avoided the need to buy easter eggs. Brucey bonus!


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  9. That's bloody sad thinking about it - that no one has thought to improve it in 30 years! Sigh ......



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  10. LOL! That is well funny Brahm you daft git! But yeh, I can kinda see where you are coming from on this ;-)



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  11. Norks - you know, funbags? Bazookas? Bosoms?



    I can see where you are coming from about checking in 2 minutes before at a US airport. You would probably have someone's rubber clad hand up your bum before you can say 'what's the problem guv'nor?'



    It is the same the world over though - you made me laugh - give a pseudo cop some power and they become a zealot pseudo cop!



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  12. Wow.. The pool in the green house looks like my dream house!

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  13. I must admit - it is pretty cool! Especially the view over the lake ;-)


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  14. You are right Kevin, there is nothing like a ropey aircraft to spoil the flying experience. And I want to do that eye-scanning thing! It makes so much sense and yet hardly any airports give us the chance to do it. Let me know how you get on with the Global Entry Pass - that sounds really cool!


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  15.  http://www.globalentry.gov/

    You must be considered 'low-risk' to qualify.   ;-)

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  16. Why thank you for that Kevin! But if you have to be 'low-risk' I think I am already scuppered.



    Still ..... I shall check out the link ..... ta muchly ;-)



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