Monday 17 September 2012

Catching up on the times

Back and out
Busy and pressured best describes the last few days at work which began on Tuesday, much having happened and yet we can expect much excitement for the next few weeks.
Who would have thought that on returning to England after 12 years abroad, the job I will have would involve travelling around mainland Europe for the next few months?
Arranging contracts, travel and other essential things was quite frenetic and the day before I went shopping for boots certified for safety – I had grown to love Doc Martens for their comfort but in my house move, I seem to have given the ones I had to charity.
Boots and routes
I wended my way up to Camden Town to the British Boot Company where price, choice, aesthetics, size and design became the battle of do or don’t. With size 12 feet, it was always going to be a struggle to get one that ticked all the boxes. What I eventually settled on was a trade-off, I had to pay well them because the design I really wanted was not available in my size.
Getting home, much as I tried, I failed that test again, the test of travelling light, I still seemed to get more than I needed packed into my case but nowhere near the excess weight I managed to pack a few months ago.
I got help from my nephew to the station and the change at Hammersmith had me asking a lady to please give up the priority seat for my moving on to the empty seat beside her and I was delivered to London Heathrow’s Terminal 5.
Two rotten terminals
Huge and somewhat inefficient I could appreciate the chaos that greeted its opening. There, I met up with an old friend and my new colleague before I passed through customs and security with the need to take off my shoes – the fun in travel is slowing being taken away with these paranoid security systems.
Everyone knows that Paris Charles de Gaulle airport is in need of a radical redesign, it is not user-friendly, it is humongous but badly planned out, I had to walk almost a kilometre to meet up with other colleagues in those interminable terminals and that was just the beginning of the long evening of incompetence on the part of planners  who got our car-hire booking wrong and sent us out to the wrong hotel by which time so late in the night I ended up just avoiding emesis eating a takeaway calzone because our hotel was in the middle of nowhere.
In another story, I will relay how we all moved to another hotel by the third day. Only now have I had the rest that allowed me to run a good soaking bath. Phew! Some will say.

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