And so dear listener, you may remember last week’s blog ended with me in a strange bed in a Lisbon hotel-room having had my fill of custard tarts, hash dealers and sex shops and can I just say what a nice hotel room it was. En-suite and with bed’n’breakfast thrown in (Do your own gag) for £34 a night booked in Glasgow. :)
Day Two started. And I went and had breakfast; rolls, croissants, cold meats (No Sirree…not for me), processed cheese, coffee and marmalade with real oranges. And I clocked the single mum. But, hey, I was on holiday. ;)
Now what I don’t want this to be is a travelogue. Apart from anything else my original plan was buggered. The original idea had been to use the Wednesday afternoon and evening to do the walking in the area and to plan something like a bus journey for today (Thursday) in order to ‘site/sight see’ (a lovely phrase borrowed from Dr W). :D
That was out the window. So I decided to walk up to the castle I’d seen the previous night and see Lisbon from there.
So I did. Big long walk. Didn’t make it to the very top cos my fear of heights got in the way of last set of steps.
I could go up but was terrified of coming down. I could have zip-wired or abseiled happily, but walking down those steep steps? No way, Jose, so I pretended to limp.
And then I walked; and sat; and coffeed; and visited ‘the sexiest wc in the world’; and ate grilled sardines which were too big and came back on me later; and I bought and sent some postcards; and coffeed; and sat; and chilled; and got leaflets for my next trip here (altho some ppl are suggesting ‘try another city before you find the one you want to retire to’); and watched the river do nothing; and much of my head cleared; and I had a toastie cos the sardines were still coming back; and watched some young people playing with a piece of street furniture which was like a large tablet (as in Apple etc) which allowed them to do graffiti on-screen and take selfies and stuff; and coffeed and chilled; and had my final custard tart of the day; and I went to bed to sleep……and that was Day Two. :D
Day Three arrived and the journey home beckoned. But I bought some t-shirts including one for my G/daughter and had a final tart and got a taxi to the airport. Compared with Wednesday night’s grump, this guy was good. I had seen so little of Lisbon with its wide avenues and fountains and statues on each roundabout (which reminds me I’m doing some prostate cancer presentations in East Kilbride later in April) and it’s just sooooo lovely. :)
I was at the airport. On my own. But I asked at TAP (Portugal Airlines) where the check-in was and she pointed to a wide range of check-in desks. Big queue but moving. So I joined it and was also moving. Check-in went fine until the words, ‘I need to explain something on your boarding pass? It says stand-by. Don’t worry. You’ll get a seat okay but we know the flight is over-booked but some people won’t be here. We’re going to upgrade frequent flyers of which you’re not one. You’ll be fine.’ :( :( :(
With heavy heart I walked to the Gate where I met some others on ‘standby’ and we spoke to a lady who said, ‘Just wait and you’ll be fine’ but it didn’t help when someone, who was tweeting, said ‘possibly get us to London and then transfer to flight to Manchester’. My tears were internal. It didn’t happen and we all got seats. It’s my luggage – a Calloway Golf Bag with no Pringle sweaters – I was worried about. Not me. Honest, guv.
The flight was fine but I must confess to a lapse; there was cold meat in the roll that passed for the ‘light meal’. It’s not ethical and according to Prochaska and di Clemente it happens (Yes as regards pescatarianism but, no, and to my great pride, never in my alcohol recovery). My tears were internal. :)
But we reached Manchester (Not Leeds. Not Bradford. Not London.) without any hassle and I did the walking thing between the two terminuses and the checking-in thing and then I sat in the hell that is Domestic Departures. I had a nice goat’s cheese salad but the guy next to me in the restaurant reminded me of what it used to be like in the days when I flew for the BBC – a gin’n’tonic; a starter; a bottle of wine; and a main course and that’s a good hour filled in before the flight.
And then came time to look for the Gate number and every Gate above and below Glasgow was getting filled. And my panic returns and my tears are there but barely holding on. And this voice that sounds like Mickey Mouse on helium announces Gate 43 and it’s two minutes down the corridor and the Flybe rep starts to actually talk to us without the mic and he really does have a voice that sounds like Mickey Mouse on helium. We all look at each other as if to say ‘he really does have a voice that sounds like Mickey Mouse on helium.’
So we got on the plane and the stewardess asked if I would move from 11c to 10c and would I make myself acquainted with the instructions for opening the emergency door. In the event of an emergency I would be responsible. I trembled but was happy so to do. I spent the entire flight worrying, particularly as I could see a UFO that no-one else could – it turned out to be a light at the end of the wing. :)
And so, finally, dear listener we landed – safely – and within minutes I was re-united with my bag. My tears were external. At the cost of the taxi home from the airport. Jeez. But I was home.
Cya, still wearing that badge and having defo gone for it, * and I’m going to phone some folk rather than text them
Johnt850, feeling the need to constantly regenerate
So I had done what I wanted to do; I experienced a trip abroad. Lisbon was the vehicle; going and coming back were the destinations. I know some folk find it hard to understand but remind yourself that one of my best friends is an invisible bush kangaroo called Skippy and maybe it makes sense? My confidence is boosted. :)
Ciao…….oops wrong country
I was going to play ‘Don’t You Find’ by Jamie T but the lyrics are open to misinterpretation. So here’s the Reading Festival version of last year’s top hit – ‘Zombie’. Watch for the guy trying to take a selfie with the band!