Still the 23rd – (17:20-ish GMT, god-knows-what local)

Dunno what to say really. I’ve been upgraded to Cattle Plus (World Traveller Plus) so I can’t really complain! It’s a middle seat, but on the whole I’ve gotta say it’s a plus.

Literally got off of the last flight at Heathrow, went to the loo, wandered to the fabled B gates – all long haul flights seem to go from them, yet quieter than John Wayne Airport at 10 at night…. – wandered a bit, sat there a bit, WhatsApp’d the Lady Friend a little bit, and then got in the queue. At the desk, my boarding pass doesn’t work – it flashes up ‘not checked in.’ She looks it up, and comes out with ‘oh, you’ve been upgraded sir, here you go!’ Me not wanting to over-question it, I take it and go. It’s an E seat, so the middle of the middle, but my legs fit and my shoulders fit! The food was better than last year too (still Turkey for Christmas!) which I’m taking as a perk, bit still the booze from cattle class; It’s halfway to Club World, but I can’t decide if it would be worth paying for…I’ll probably work that out in a week and bit!

See: Rome!

Well, anyway, I’m here now. Already watched Dark Knight Rises (at last) and now on Rock of Ages – a bit shit but an awesome, if slightly kareoked soundtrack. Anyway, my original plan for this post was to have a look at where I’ve been this year (a slightly premeditated one). In terms of where I’ve been, I started out the year with the standard trip back to San Jose, pretty normal, and I think with the usual blog listed moan about the flight. After that I did Rome with my parents – lots of booze and sites and really good food. Not so much writing though, as I didn’t really get the chance. Then it all got a bit quiet. Mostly work trips to Glasgow, a rugby trip to Edinburgh an then finally in August, Russia!

I feel I covered that fairly well, but as trips go (aside from the trauma of losing my towel!!!) it was an epic one. That’s not to say I won’t need to go back. St. P, I might be able to leave behind, but Moscow has more for me, one day. Plus I still need to get on the Trans-Siberian (well, further east than Vladimir, anyway!!)!

 
After that it went a bit quiet again…until I mentioned to Clare (and several others) that I had a random week of holiday in October, and fancied somewhere warm. After a bit of vague planning, the BA website and a few hundred quid, the two of us toddled off to Nice (and briefly Monaco).
 
We wandered, we sat on a beach, we saw the Russian cathedral (quite cool – not St Basil’s though) and we ate some amazing food and drank some decent (although French) wine.
…in the South of France!!

 

And then we went to Monaco! Cool place, nice weather, pretty castle, good restaurant that overlooks the Grand Prix circuit. However, we chose to go on French Train Driver Strike Night! We learned this at 11pm after two bottles of wine, from a lad who lived in Nice but played water polo for Monaco (but wouldn’t have a conversation about it…). After a wander round the hill to Monte Carlo and the casino, we bagged an 80 euro taxi. Back to the hotel, simple, good rest of the holiday.
Until the trip home. We shared the flight with whats-her-face who looks through people’s poo [Gillian McKeith according to Google], the one Clare audibly called ‘the ratty-faced one’ and got a stare! But that was simple enough. Once back into London, we then went to the pub. We met Clare’s mate Caroline after work (we also stayed at hers before we flew out). With a last train at 10, we managed to stay until 920ish. Since we were there from about 2ish, I sort of had to do the shepherding us all to the station (and out of the pub…much slower than would have been ideal). The result of all this? We got to Euston at 10:01!!!
 
So, after another few hundred quid, a fancy Bloomsbury hotel and a first-class train (£3 cheaper!!) we finally got home. A bit pricey but a good trip all in all.
 
After that, just another work trip or two to Glasgow and Milton Keynes, nothing worth writing about…and so, I wonder, what about next year?
 
Well, if I can afford it, maybe eastwards, towards Clare and Oz; if not, maybe a little jaunt from Italy/Croatia down to Greece; or else, I don’t know, I’ll just have to see where inspires me. I think it’s gonna depend on the job (will I get a better one?) or maybe just my general tiredness of said job (if I walk away and do what this blog was always about…) I don’t know, but if it’s not the former then the latter’s looking all the more likely, as my current job slowly starts to make me want to drink, just drink almost as much as that bar job did…
 
Well, we’ll just see, but that’s passed another hour or so of the flight, so I think a spot more whisky, a nap and then the sunny (or as I hear, rainy) climes of Northern California.

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