Invisible Stranger


Invisible Stranger

Collecting Crises on Old Compton Street and Beyond

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Little Tinker

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Friday, September 12, 2003
(Trying To) Get On Board An Eastbound 737
Ever mindful of the pennies, you decide to take a no-frills pre-dawn flight from an airport to which no trains run until after your flight is scheduled to depart.

Undaunted, you take a London black cab, running at night-rates, to the coach station where you pay a tenner to get to the airport three hours before your departure time.

Faced with the post-apocalyptic 4 a.m. waiting room hell that goes by the name of Stansted airport, you search for ways to while away the time.

Despite the fact that you ate only six hours ago, you order a cherry Danish and an over-priced BLT, followd by a sickly frappomochalankylatte.

Having failed to initiate anything halfway resembling a meaningful conversation with the Ibiza-bound Scally in the fluorescent sleeping bag, you elect to buy a book from the only WH Smith open at this evil time of day. The only books they have on sale are ones by That Woman and you are simply not that desperate.

Despairing of finding something useful to do you decide to check your e-mails and post this blog. But the airport server is even slower than your dial-up connection at home, and you don't have the patience.

Failing all else, you decide to get drunk. But when the bars open at 5 a.m. you re trampled by a mob of kilt-wearing, sporran-wielding Caledonians, eager to sink down as many quaddie-voddies as possible before their flight back to Glasgow.

Next time, my dears, I'm flying first-class from Heathrow and checking into the VIP lounge. It might be a little pricey, but it's far more civilised.