Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Why Me ?

Let me tell you a story - ( anybody remember Max Bygraves ?) - Last Wednesday I set off for Manchester via Copenhagen. Flight to Copenhagen was fine, then ..... aircraft parked, but as I was a tail end Charlie, I sat in my seat awaiting the other punters to get off. However after 20 minutes we were all still on board, and the captain duly advised that the jetway was broken, and that we would disembark via the stairs at the rear of the aircraft. So now I was going to be first off. But after two tries of delivering the wrong set of stairs, it was announced that Copenhagen airport was having "difficulties" locating a set of stairs which would fit a Boeing 737 !!, but just as a third set arrived it was announced that the jetway was fixed and that we would be going ut through the front - so I was back to being last off. Total time for this escapade was over 40 minutes, and I only had 45 minutes originally to catch my connecting flight to Manchester.

But no worries, as when I did get into the airport SAS announced that the Manchester flight was cancelled, due to the Captain being ill !!!! - apparently SAS do not have standby crews.

So after queuing up at the transfer desk, for the best part of 50 minutes, I was advised that I was on the 5.30pm flight to Manchester. and I was lucky as others were being flown to Birmingham.

Finally arrived in Manchester around 8.30 pm, to find what can only be described as the worst designed airport in the world, Question - how many times do you have to descend stairs only to climb back up, in order to get from plane to immigration - answer - three times, and when you do get there, what do you find - a queue a mile long for EU citizens - only three officers on duty, but for non EU citizens with a queue of one - two officers on duty - amazing, and they call it an International airport - me thinks not.

Roll forward two days, and there I am sitting quietly in the car on a motorway restaurant car park, (which was nearly empty) and up rolls a car beside me, the drivers winds down his window, knocks on mine, and in his best Italian proceeds to tell me a Story, which goes something like this

" I from Italy (it helps if you read this in your best Italian), I ona my way to Milano, I beenna to GMS exhibition in Manchester, and I no wanta to take backa alla these leather coats. They mada by the finest leather/Suede and if affa you give me cash, I giva you the coats at a special price !"

I reply I know wanna the coats - but he persists - so I finally tell him I have $30.00, and he parts with a suede jacket, which I figure at £30.00 I cannot go wrong.

But can someone explain to me why with a whole car park to pick from he chose me to tell his tale ? Why me ? - can it be the red scarf ?

Spent the weekend visiting my newly born granddaughter, and she is beautiful - the great thing about being a grandfather is that you can give them all your love and attention, but when you have done all of this you simply hand her back to the parents.

So there we are another week gone by, and Spring weather has set - its P......g down, but the good news is I missed the cretins at the weekend.

Now advance notice, I will host a celebration of my achieving 60, on the evening of April 19th at De Lacey's. All who know me are most welcome, drinks are on me BUT a collection will be made for the Smiley fund - donations of whatever size are mandatory !!

This is once in a lifetime opportunity (when was the last time I bought a round of drinks ?) so it is not be missed - look forward to seeing you there.


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