Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Wrong Holiday

thursday 15th april.

Wake up, terribly excited. Check flights, flights cancelled. What the hell? Something about a volcano. Flights still leaving London so hop on a train. £300 and 4 hours later we're in London and flights from Heathrow have been cancelled too. Fuck. Call N's brother and beg for food and shelter. Plea granted. Brother in law suspects bed bugs in his bedroom so we sleep on the living room floor. Flights rebooked for tomorrow. Iceland cursed thoroughly.

friday 16th april.

Wake up. Hurt. Floor not comfortable. Check flights, cancelled again. Decide we might as well enjoy the day. Brother in Law skives off work and takes us to Battersea, where he and N used to live. Eat Italian food, cooked by Italians, eaten by Italians. According to menu espresso is £1.20, cola £1, Italian lessons POA and counselling gratis. Very nice pasta. Which is good as chef comes out to check everyone has cleaned their plates and chef is scary. Go home, check flights. Flights pushed back for another 12 hours. Fall asleep in a ball on living room floor. Wake up, now have flights for Sunday evening. Curse Iceland to hell.

saturday 17th april

Wake up, hurt more. Floors are hard. Skies still dusty. Flights pushed back more hours, Mum's flights home from New York cancelled. Begin to wonder what exactly the point of Iceland is because really, it just seems like a giant fucker to me. Leave boys knocking down shed while make way to Covent Garden to meet blogging ladies. Sunshine hot, maps rubbish, tube station has too many steps. Find self collapsed on street corner while annoying clown shouts at tourists. Blogging ladies lovely and take me to Liberty where we ooh and ahh over 'spensive shoes. Get tube home and buy pillows on the way, floor will be less horrible if N and I aren't sharing one pillow. Call flight people and change flights to Thursday. Thursday is last chance time. N uses the phrase 'when the volcano has chilled out a bit' on the phone to flight people. Flight people respond 'Sir. I do not understand what you are saying.' Flight people have limited sense of humour. Suggestions are made that Iceland be nuked. Decide the people can probably leave first, I don't hate them, just their fucking country and its fucking volcanoes.

sunday 18th april.

Wake up. Hurt less. Seem to be getting used to the floor. Skin is disintegrating though. It doesn't like London. Sit in the garden under a parasol while brother in law barbecues shit then accompany brother in law to a carpark in the suburbs to watch a man jump off the roof over and over and over. Brother in law's friend is making a tv program, brother in law is 'economic advisor' to tv program. Lots of men with poorly shorn facial hair, badly fitting jeans and silly glasses run around on roof with very large cameras. Coolness factor diminished by jumpers tied to heads as it is sofuckinghot we might all die. A minion comes back from shops with box full of ice creams. I kick N as she approaches with the box and he starts to tell her we're not part of the crew and shouldn't really be eating ice creams. Arrive home, check flights. Times pushed back further still. Starting to worry very much about missing the wedding. Speak to mum, she is slightly hysterical. Am more sympathetic than expected considering she is having our holiday. Get off phone to find N, his brother and his brother's lady inspecting the bedroom carpet with torches. Crumbs and fluffs are analysed for legs and heads. It is decided that bed bugs are all in brother in law's head and we should probably have the bed. It is a wonderful evening. Only curse Iceland a little as we fall asleep.

monday 19th april.

Wake up, hurt much much less and don't appear to have been bitten in the night. Beds are beautiful things. Get self and N ready to leave for the seaside where we plan to meet Cate and Nate and Talia for lunch and squidging and a little nibbling. N observes that I should probably neither squidge nor nibble Cate or Nate and I agree. He is also dubious about the advisability of nibbling another women's baby. On they way home he seems to have changed his mind and laments that I didn't let him 'have a go of the baby'. He also rhapsodizes over how ridiculously bloody adorable she is. I mention the effect she had on my ovaries, he responds with 'she made your ovaries ache? She made my ovaries explode!' Silence ensues as we pass through Croydon. As bed time approaches news reaches our ears that British airspace will reopen in the morning. We go to bed happy.

tuesday 20th april.

what a fucking joke. British airspace will never reopen. Oh sure, a flight went from Glasgow to Stornoway but big fucking deal. Stornoway's shite, and you can get there on the ferry. My patience and zen and 'oh well, I like London, let's just enjoy ourselves while we're here' have gone to be replaced with alternating wrath, frustration and deep deep depression. Coldsore, pimples and weird hives on my hands. It appears that body is done with being calm about everything too. Get dressed, give up and go back to bed. Fuck this. Half an hour later am scraped out of my heap and dragged to Battersea. There is an incident on the way to the train station that involves sitting on the kerbside and sobbing. There might even be foot stomping. After that things improve. The last of our cash is handed over to the children's zoo. There are rabbits and lemurs and a donkey. They all help. There is also a chicken rolling in the dirt. From there a walk is had to Buckingham Palace to laugh at the guards who do weird waggling things with their legs every few minutes and through Green Park to Bond Street where eyes go misty over the sparkly things in the windows. I rather fall for a tiara. Chris Eubanks is standing outside Hermes, he is wearing a pink tie. In Selfridges we eat ice cream and buy fancy caramels and then we get the train to Brixton. Apparently Brixton is part of London we might be able to afford to live in. We think my brother in law is over-estimating our finances. I love Brixton. We buy a very big fish for dinner and then we get the bus home. Mood is improved. We decide that if our flights don't go on Thursday we will give up and go home. So we book bus tickets. I'm strangely enamored by the thought of being back in Glasgow. My spirit is clearly broken.


Well bugger me with a bunch of bananas. A plane just flew over the house.

* photo of London by javiy