Sunday, 10 July 2011

Madam, Please Get Off the Train

Well, I did have a delay on my journey South today. Rather amusing, too. I'm sat on the train at the Loughbourough (that's pronounced Luffburou, by the way) for a remarkably long time. Eventually we did head off. The conductor gets on the intercom and apologises for the (15 minute) delay and says, "There was an unticketed passenger who refused to get off the train. We had to wait for the police to come and escort her from the train. I do apologise, but I will not have passengers abusing the transport or myself. You passengers pay the eventual price of fare dodgers, and that's just not on."

Well! That was different!

I'm now on the train home to Colchester. Fingers crossed for an uneventful journey!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Riding the Rails

I'm back on the move again tomorrow! Off to my "home town" of Colchester. Checking up on my house, getting it ready to relet. Now, it ^should^ a pretty straightforward journey. But, the rail system are netorious for delays. So, hoping for a smooth journey. If there's a problem, I'll be sure to let you know!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Hello Luggage!

Some day scientists are going to find the Sapient Pear Wood from which The Luggage is made. I'm seriously looking forward to that. The most amazing luggage ever. Not only does it never get lost (it follows you around on hundreds of little legs) and have a seemingly infinite amount of room inside (which is apparently exempt from weight restrictions, in addition to the space paradox), but it actually does your laundry for you! Either that, or it has a direct conduit to a dry-cleaners. Either way, I want one! But until then, I'll have to make due with this:

Hey, at least it's here! (Actually, it beat me by 2 days.)

Down A Peg

Wow. I know there's a big difference between flying a "normal" or "traditional" airline and flying a discount one, but... it's really feeling very shocking going from 1st class Delta to Jet2. Even my "upgrade" to extra leg room isn't getting me even a drink on this flight. And the prices for food/drinks are simply scandalous! The sad thing is, they're appalling, but still cheaper than that "To Go" place by the gate in JFK!

Challenge: Málaga to Manchester

Day 186. Still stranded in an airport which isn't so bad. Food is readily available, though I'm gagging for a proper Diet Coke. All I can find is Coke Light. Hiding out in the secure sector, hoping the zombies don't realise I've not left...

Oh wait. This isn't a zombie log! I kind of feel like one at the moment. Did manage to sleep the whole flight from JFK to Málaga. That was brilliant. The seats were actually quite horrible. It was an older B757, which meant nothing quite worked the way it was intended. Never mind. Obviously I didn't let that stop me. I would never have managed 4 or 6 hours of sleep back in coach. Seriously, I put in my ear plugs, put on the eye mask, pulled up the covers, and all the sudden I hear, "Would you like some breakfast? We'll be landing in about an hour." It was the attendant speaking to the people behind me. Wait. What? An hour? What happened to the last 4? Wow. So I'm not as miserable as I could have been.

That being said, I'm still stuck. I'm in Spain! Spain is great, don't get me wrong, but it's not where I need to be right now. My luggage has made it safely to Manchester. In fact, my luggage has been there since the 28th! That meant I didn't have to book my ticket with the extra luggage fee. I managed to find a flight for 12.15 from here to Manchester. It arrives there at 14.15 (that's 2.15 for those of you not used to the 24 hour clock.) I probably could have flown for cheaper to one of the other airports (Heathrow or Gatwick...) but then I'd have had to take a train, which would probably have been £52, so this was just as cheap. So, I guess I shouldn't say I'm "stuck", merely, haven't completed the journey yet.

I'm flying They have been so lovely! The service desk attendants were just brilliant, getting me on the flight. My credit card? Not so much. Stupid me, I forgot to tell them I'd be in Europe, which probably wouldn't have done me much good, as I'm sure they'd have still freaked out at me trying to get a flight from Spain! Anyway, I got it sorted, and then... the Jet2 system crashed. So they scrambled around to get me the documents so they would let me on the plane. Eventually they got it sorted, and when I went over to the check-in desk, they'd rung to say, "Give her a complementary upgrade." Bless them! I got the "Economy Plus" seats, which have extra leg room. So not complaining.

Oooh, they're calling the flight. Guess I better listen for my row (14F - they even gave me a window!)

And this is my "extra leg room." Nice, huh?

¡Viva España!

Se parece que sea mejor para mi si me voy siempre a España, no a Inglaterra. Es la segunda vez en la que no pudría llegar a Inglaterra por nada, pero llegue fácilmente a España. Vale... me quedo aquí ahorra. :D

Oh wait, you don't speak Spanish? Well, neither do I any more, or so it feels. Boy am I rusty! I can do it, but I've forgotten SO MUCH. It's quite shocking, really. Tragic, as well. Ok all my Spanish Speaking Amigos.... Let's practice together!

Anyway, here I am in Málaga, España. The last time I flew standby to England (wait... was it the last time? Hmmm.... Yes, I guess it was the last time I did the voyage that direction) I couldn't get to London then, either. Of course, that was in the middle of the ash cloud fiasco from the Volcano in Iceland. I spent 3 days in Atlanta, and got rescued by a friend (Hi Mary Lou!) In fact, I was supposed to have flown from Atlanta to London-Gatwick, collected my car from the car park, driven home for 2 nights, swapped luggage and driven to Stanstead to fly to Madrid and meet up with some friends. So, instead of spending 2 nights at home, I spent them in Atlanta. Not a big deal, except that I was also preparing to move back to the US so I had 2 suitcase.... Completely empty. You heard me! I had the clothes I was standing up in, and 2 changes of underwear. So when I saw the writing on the wall that I was simply NOT getting out to London, I asked to change my ticket to Madrid, instead. Got the last seat out and caught up with my friends at the airport. Flew 1st class, too. Funny thing about that trip was, when I got to the hotel that evening, and checked my email? I found an email from EasyJet saying that due to the ash cloud, my flight to Spain had been cancelled, so I could either refund or rebook the ticket. I got a refund on the 1st half, which paid for the extra days parking, and rebooked the 2nd half to Gatwick, rather than Stanstead! Brilliant.

Anyway, it looks like Spain is my lucky card, because yet again I managed to get on a flight to Spain when nothing else was working. Bless the gate attendants, they were seriously sweet. They said, "You've been here for 3 days? We've GOT to get you on this flight." Then, my name popped up as cleared to board, so I went to get my boarding card and discovered it was no longer cleared. Why? Because they wanted to see if they couldn't get me into 1st class. Bless their cotton socks! They did it, too. I flew over in seat 3C.

Best part about the trip? The complementary toothpaste! I don't DO liquids or pastes anymore when I fly. Too complicated. So I had a toothbrush with me in my carryon, but no toothpaste. That, of course, meant that I was brushing my teeth without toothpaste for 2 nights. Bleh! Better than nothing though. (Livia is probably horrified, because I stayed one night with her, and didn't think to ask for toothpaste! She's gone to bed before I thought of it.)

Here's a little look at the goodie bag you get flying up front.