To Glasgow And Back

What a long couple of days. Awake at 4am Thursday morning, peeking through the gaps between my eyelids, to sort myself out for the trip to Glasgow. I'm not a great one for travelling, mostly because I don't do it all that often, so I spent most of Wednesday in the gent's. For the time being though, I was distracted, so I managed to get myself sorted out pretty quickly.

My bag was packed, but it was certainly the lightest I had ever travelled. Having never been through the new security checks, I worried about taking toiletries so figured I would see if I could get some travel ones when I got to Glasgow. All my bag contained was:
  • My folder with all the documents in I would need, along with a memory key with copies of the scripts
  • 1 shirt
  • 1 tie (couldn't wear the same tie twice!)
  • 2 boxers
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 1 toothbrush
I don't even travel this light when I go to my parents for two nights!

Through security at Luton just after 6 without setting off any alarms: hoorah! I didn't really want a repeat of the Turin trip a couple of years ago. While I waited for my boss to arrive, I sat in Pret a Manger and burned my mouth on a ham and cheese croissant (do they really need to be so hot?), had a cuppa and had a little wander around.

The journey was was fine, we were picked up from the airport by one of the IT guys who admitted to only passing his test 3 months before, and eventually got down to work at about 10:30. My task for the day was to help one of the customer's tech guys understand the application and it's data structure. Normally simple enough, but after more than three months of not working on the application, my memory had turned to mush. I would have stumbled over my name if anyone had asked.

As the day wore on, I was losing my concentration. With no red bull available, I was starting to lose it, and came very close to making a tit of myself. I was explaining the purpose of a couple of database columns, and pointed out the 'cache_use' column. This has been available in the structure for several months, and it is the first time I realised it sounded like 'cashews'.

Somehow, I managed to prevent an uncontrollable fit of the giggles - something normally reserved for my more drunken moments - but had to take a moment to do it, which earned me an odd look. It wasn't really something I could share: I very much doubted they would have burst out into laughter if I had explained what was so funny, so I figured it was something best kept to myself!

Anyway, the end of the day came and people wanted to go home, and it was only 5pm! I'm not used to leaving that early!!!

As my boss had already left to come back down south, this was to be the start of my adventures alone.

The first trick was getting out of the building. Although I had been given directions (twice, to make sure I had them), I took a wrong turn and ended up outside on the wrong road. So I started off in the direction I thought I should be heading, which turned out to be wrong - when I saw signs for the city centre I realise I should be heading back in the other direction. Then my body's internal satnav kicked in and I found my way back to the building and started using the map to head in the direction of the hotel.

It was a 5 minute walk down a straight road! At least I knew a route to use to get back in the next day.

Signed into the hotel, got my room, and decided to check out what was available in the way of toiletries: shampoo and soap. Oh, and a shower cap, like I'd need that with my hairline! I was going to need to take a trip out. So out I headed, up past the company I had spent the day at (such a short walk), and out towards some shops, looking for a late-opening mini-supermarket or something. All I was concerned about was toothpaste and deodourant. Eventually, while on the phone to my Mum (who I had managed to upset with some white roses for mother's day), I found a Londis where I got toothpaste and biscuits (the hotel were stingy gits when it came to nibbles - two tiny ginger thins ... wow), but no deodourant.

On the way back, I tried nearly every shop, but no deodourant. Bugger. This could get embarrassing.

By the time I got back to the hotel, the plan was to head over to the Japanese/Chinese/Thai/Cantonese restaurant at the other side of the car park and then study, so I hit the shower to freshen up, laid on the bed ... and fell asleep. Double bugger.

Note that the restaurant really offered food from all those cultures, and I'm not trying to cover all bases instead of saying 'something far eastern'!

Friday started off fine, apart from the cold-but-might-have-been-hot-once breakfast, and I ended up with the use of a computer that allowed me to work out what the problem was that we were having the previous day. Thankfully, the man musk hadn't had a chance to develop yet, but I knew it would come.

Back to the airport for late lunch, and so the next crystal maze challenge was finding out where security was. I wandered around for about 15 minutes before deciding to go and play with the machines. I used up some cash using the crane machine trying to win something for my mum (I could have had that pretty much every time, the thieving scum), then lost a Scottish fiver to a change machine. Luckily, there were some staff around, so one of them gave me a fiver from his wallet, which I later realised was completely different to the one I had put into the change machine: I hope he didn't lose out. Kind thought this was, it did kind of defeat the object as I wanted to get rid of the Scottish money: the till staff down this way aren't particularly bright and think its foreign money, so won't take it. Plebs.

I ended up spending the money on a cheese, tomato and basil wrap, and yes, I burned my mouth again. Through security with no problem and two hours early to a seating area near the gate I was to fly from. This was when I noticed the man musk drifting from my shirt. Of course, as a worrier, the thought that someone might smell this and be offended made me nervous, which made me sweat more. By the time I got on the plane, I figured that leaving my jacket on might actually help to restrict it a bit.

Then the glitches started. First, as the girl was doing the demo, the lights and speaker went out for a moment, making her pause for a few seconds before carrying on like nothing had happened. Then there were a series of creaks and groans as we started moving before we stopped again and the captain announced that there was a problem with the plane. Not something I really wanted to know, but it didn't take long to fix. I'm not sure how high we flew as the captain didn't seem too sure himself, plumping for 37,000 feet after a couple of seemingly random guesses, but we got back to Luton around 5:30 and I was back to my car and driving by 6 - spot on as far as my booking was concerned!

It was when I got back to the car that I realised exactly to what extent my man musk had developed, and all I can say is a huuuuuge SORRY to the people who were whalloped by it, especially the lady and gent I sat in-between on the plane. Hell, if I was offended by it, then I'm surprised they hadn't passed was enough to make my eyes water. Needless to say it was open windows all the way home, and I didn't care how cold it got.

A hasty bath on arrival at home, some fresh clothes, and several squirts of deodourant made me feel a lot better, and prepared me for a short visit to work.

I don't think I will worry so much about packing toiletries next time.


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