Tuesday, November 2, 2010

North of some border or other

I don't think I've been to Scotland for about thirty years. I think I tried to go there with Mrs O for a scenic tour prior to our leaving for the Far East but found the entire country missing in action. This would have been in the Fiat X-19 era and there was a cloud base at about 500ft and that was all we saw for a week. Cloud.

At least of couple of days in the middle of a cloud would be preferable to remaining in what is fast becoming my least favourite place on the planet. Down to the London City Airport. I didn't know there even was one. Caters for planes up to about thirty seaters and is really quite good. All the usual shoes and belt off nonsense (and this to go to that well known prime strategic target, Dundee) but I have got past worrying about that. It ain't going to go away until the rest of the world tells the Obama Messiah to piss off and if you try and get shirty with the wielders of the Semtex sniffer sticks life just gets worse. Just smile and wave.

The trip north had a governance I still cannot work out. The ticket was Air France, the in flight magazine was from City Jet and the flight attendant of the required ambivalent sexual orientation was kitted out in ScotAir livery. Presumably all three were clipping the ticket along the way to ensure the fare was of a suitably eye watering magnitude. Froggy peanuts with the Froggy OJ as you fly over Wolverhampton; this is Britain Jim but not as we know it.

I reckon Scotland is OK. There for two days and never saw the sun once. Scotland at the end of October; had it been any other way I would have asked for my money back. Never saw a single funny bank note, had no trouble holding long, complex technical conversations with proper Scotsmen speaking proper Scotsmen talk and I didn't have to eat haggis. All good. Had a couple of very agreeable train rides from Dundee to Edinburgh and back encompassing two of the more famous rail bridges in Britain. There wasn't anybody painting the Forth Bridge so that's one myth down the dunny and it was a bit spooky looking to the side of the Tay Bridge to see the pilings of the bridge that fell into the drink with a train on it in eighteen fifty something still in place. There really are a disproportionate number of gingas in Scotland. Edinburgh has more pubs than I would have thought it possible to fit into one city. It would appear that the reputation of the Scots as having the diet from hell is justified. Chip shops for Africa and I saw more than one eatery advertising fried Mars bars. Not only do they sell them, they advertise the fact. I must confess that I was tempted along the same lines that one is tempted just for a moment to put your hand on a cooking element just to make sure it is hot. I wonder if you can eat a fried Mars bar at lunchtime (is there a right time of day to eat them?) and still be alive to tell the tale in the evening.

All this agreeable greyness has to end and one must return to the centre of Hell for the weekend to prepare for week two. This would b a trip to the airport, then. Dundee airport is an excellent illustration of where the Obama Messiah's nonsense has taken the rest of the world on the air travel security front. The airport would get half a dozen thirty seater planes through it a day, tops. The effort we flew back to London had eleven punters on it. We got one member of airport security staff each. A set up identical to Heathrow Terminal 3 complete with hi-viz jockstraps and socks for all, scanners the size of small trucks and the belts and shoes off crap. To be fair they did it with a much greater level of user friendliness than you get in most airports but they didn't need to do it at all. The thirteen year old Unaccompanied Minor reading Black Beauty and listening to Robbie Williams on her iPod is just the sort of passenger the free world has to be protected from.

This bit pains me enormously. I got from Dundee airport to a cup of tea in a South West London kitchen in a tad over three hours. I am supposed to hate public transport. A useless idea that stops me getting from A to B in an Aston Martin. However even I admit I couldn't do that in a DB9.