Morning, Saturday 22 March 1997
Well, we got here in the end. That sounds more dramatic than it was! We were only about 50 minutes late to arrive, but we spent all of that in the plane waiting for people who had forgotten to board! It also took about 30 minutes to get our luggage from the luggage rack, which at two o’clock in the morning isn’t your main thought. But we are here, wherever here is.
The flight itself was all right, nothing to write home about (what am I doing then?). Everybody seemed to be subdued, as if penning people into their seats really has the effect of mollifying them. Christian was knackered before we got on the plane so she slept for about an hour after we had eaten. It was a 4 hour flight so that still meant a certain amount of staring at the monitors, trying to decipher the humour they portrayed without the sound.
We were on the wrong side of the plane to see the comet, which was a pity, but I did get to see some thunderstorms that were over Morocco which was pretty spectacular. Also I saw boats of the African coast when the clouds permitted.
The third passenger on our side of the gangway had a 2 week old baby with her, which she was looking after while the mother had the 18-24 month in the seats in front of us. He wouldn’t stop howling until he was allowed to stand up and Christian and I made stupid faces at him. That brought out a smile!
Eventually we landed, which, incidentally, Christian forgot we needed to do, and jumped out of her skin when we hit! The joy and pleasure of having a plane full of quiet, well-behaved people lost it’s battle and a sea of laddishness flowed forth. People shouting obscenities at each other and playing music on loud ghetto-blasters even before we had been through passport control. I despair of my fellow countrymen at times, no wonder it’s ‘look out he come les Anglais’.
We padded over to the luggage belt and watched lots of suitcases, over-the-shoulder bags, rucsacs and parcels make they dizzy circuit before we realized we were looking at the wrong belt. Moving over to the right one, we did it all over again, which was kind of fun, in the dull monotonous way. Christian went to see if she could see Gemma and disappeared for a while, whilst I tried to remember what colour strap her bag had. Eventually my rucsac, a supreme giant of a bag glowing luminous turquoise appeared and I deftly handled it of the belt with one hand, to much admiration of all the female audience, well maybe in my dreams.
Eventually, Christian’s bag appeared and we headed to where Gemma had been. She had gone. She appeared again. We went to her car and attempted to leave the airport. On the road I attempted to put on a seatbelt but couldn’t find anything to plug it into, let’s hope the laws are the same as England. We turned of the main road just after the runway had finished and headed towards the sea when a village suddenly appeared.
It was not the village you expect, you know, quaint little villas and dogs lazily patrolling the night, but a village of apartment blocks. Sat here on the balcony writing, I’m on the 3rd or 4th floor and there are blocks the same all around as if we were in the centre of a medium to large city, but only 200 yards away is the hills and open space.
As soon as we got in we were heading for bed, it was 3 o’clock in the morning. I wanted to stay up, have a drink and a bit of a chat, but Christian was dropping on her feet. It is a heady 18 degrees centigrade in the middle of the night, but we slept. It was a kind of wakeful sleep, but I was well-rested when we got up just after 10 o’clock. All night it seemed people where walking around in th hall, with squeaky shoes on a tiled floor. When I eventually came fully out of my dozings, I realized it was some form of birds that were constantly chirping, somewhere. Oh, the duality of it all.
Woke very slowly, and went to sit on the balcony in the morning sun. Read a few pages in my book, and watched the locals flooding the streets. They do this in Paris as well, a good way of cleaning away the past 24 hours debris. It does require a smooth, uninterrupted street surface, which would make it impossible in England.
It is a pleasure to get off the rollercoaster of life, constant work to sort my clients, my business, FSC, and my life was going to put me in a early grave. I haven’t relaxed in quite this way for years, my sanity might just be restored at the end of the week. All thanks to Christian suggesting the idea, I must tell how wonderful she really is!