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9:26am on Friday, 7th April, 2017:

Another Day, Another Airport


So this morning I'm waiting in the departure lounge at Edinburgh airport. They do flights to Norwich from here — who knew?

I made a change to my going-through-security procedure today: I didn't ask "shall I take off my belt?", because whenever I ask that they always say yes (why wouldn't they>). The reason for this is that when I went through Stansted security yesterday, they made me take my belt off and then took so long X-raying my stuff that when it arrived at the other side it had disappeared. I didn't immediately notice, because I simply took everything out of the tray, put on my jacket, put my laptop in my bag and then carried the tray to the stack at the end. My belt wasn' in "the tray, but I didn't register that because as far as I was concerned I'd emptied the tray. It was only a minute later I realised I was missing my belt, but when I went back the people said no-one had handed one in and would I move along as I was holding everyone up. I therefore hope it got tangled in their machinery and caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage.

There are more people than you mght think who don't know you need a form of identification to board a flight these days. Hubby had a driving licence, but wifey was left thumbing through dozens of credit cards in her bag looking for something with a photo on it. She must have found it because I did see her on the plane later, but still...

My seart was 20E, which is in the middle of three. The person in 20F arrived and was saying goodbye to her friend, who had been randomly allocated different seats. I offered to swap with one., and she accepted. I moved to her seat, 19C. The woman in 19B was so large that she had to ask for a seatbelt extension.

While waiting to disembark, a tourist asked a local if it was possible to walk to the Lake District from Edinburgh or if she would need to take a taxi. The local told her she wasn't even in the right country for the Lake District. The tourist then asked whether she could go to Glencoe instead. The local told her that Glencoe wasn't in Edinburgh either. She said it was in Dundee, which is about 60 miles north of Edinburgh. Glencoe is 120 miles northwest of Edinburgh.

We were told by the Ryanair pilot that the weather in Edinburgh was the same as at Stansted.It wasn't. It was far, far windier. Hmm, no, make that far, far, far windier.

On the bus ride into Edinburgh, I noticed that the Scottish Liberal Democrats have an office that occupies a quarter of a building, the other three quarters of which are a hostel for backpackers. I also saw a taxi driver who was the spitting image of former SNP leader Alex Salmond, except he had darker skin and a full-on beard that the recent legislation in China would without doubt have classified as "abnormally long".

Upon arrival in Edinburgh city centre, I couldn't check into the hotel for another 30 minutes so I decided to do something that I hadn't managed to do on previous visits to the city: climb the Scott memorial. It's only close to 300 steps in several spiral staircases, the final one of which has a wall angled so much that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to fit through the exit. The views from the top are great, but I didn't stay for more thn a couple of minutes because of the wind. Did I mention it was windy? I was worried my bag (with my laptop in it) might have been torn from my grasp. I'm lucky still to have my hair. The steps up are the same as the steps down, so if you meet someone going the other way you have to figure out how to get past them. The workman with the stepladder who was about to go down when I reached the midway level must have had a fine time of it.

I bought a replacementbelt at Jenners department store. It cost £25, but it's exactly what I wanted. I now know that it doesn't set off metal-detectors at airports, which is even better.

The hotel I was staying at, Motel One, is very well located. I was promised a room with a view. I had a view of the roof of Waverley train station. The hotel must be part of a German chain, because all the notices were in German first, English second. The wall socket next to the bed was for n EU plug rather than a UK one. The UK socket was half-way up the wall, beneath the switch for the bathroom light.

The talk/panel went well. It was in a former anatomy lecture hall, with the seats arranged in a semi-circle on a steep incline. There were ony about 20 people in the audience, but they were people who were very interested in the subject matter (types of people who play games) so we had a good discussion. Across the courtyard leading to the anatomy theatre is a pub, the name of which is The Royal Dick. Generations of anatomy students have had the same thought about that that you're having right now.

I wish I'd made a note of the name of the manufacturer of the Earl Grey tea I had at breakfast, so I could make a point of never having it again.

Right, now to try my luck with Edinburgh Airport wi-fi.

I wouldn't care, but I reallyliked that belt.

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Copyright © 2017 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).