I had a really bad night’s sleep last night, in a garret room in a London hotel. I had to get up at 0500 to catch a plane, and never sleep well if I know I have to wake up early.
But last night was unusually bad, even for such circumstances. Perhaps it was a premonition.
At the time of writing I have been at Heathrow for two hours, and I doubt very much if I will leave before noon.
I got here to find very long queues for check-in, and then was instructed that all baggage must be stowed – no hand baggage allowed in the cabins – so had to queue again to send my clothes and books (and mobile phone, too) down the conveyor belt.
I was allowed to hang onto books if they could be carried loose. So I have Kim Newman on Doctor Who, and Mark Mazower on Thessalonica. I suspect I will finish both before I get home.
The security alert is now over, but the staff who turned up to work at the airport as normal at 0430 didn’t get to their posts until an hour ago, so everything is way behind. My 0655 flight to Belfast has been cancelled. But of course my bags are checked in, and I can’t get on another flight until I get them back; and I won’t get them back for at least another hour.
Obviously it is massively inconvenient; but planes being blown up in mid-air is far more inconvenient, and I am struck by the good humour and lack of impatience from the crowds here – there must be literally thousands of people in the main concourse at Terminal One. I am astonished by the number of people already waiting patiently in queues. Myself, I’m going to take a few minutes off, catching up with my email (which I haven’t really looked at since Monday evening) and LJ.
See you later.