On Icelandic Air with a Little Help From Strangers; Unable to Bear Vancouver Given the Perspective of London; Ending in Grace in Bed in Iceland

Traveling is dreadful but it is made even more more horrible by sheer stupidity. People arrive late at airports often taking public transportation. I questioned the Pestana Chelsea personal about getting to Gatwick.

They: Well, there is the Gatwick Express.

Me: Are you kidding? I am 75 years old and there is no way that I am going through all of that at my age. If one cannot afford a cab you should not be traveling.

Then there is the whole question of flying, what I call steerage. I make frequent flights between San Francisco and Vancouver because my medical care is in California. It does not make sense, for a two hour flight to spend a lot of money and/or frequent flier miles to go first class. However, on long flights there is no bloody way I will EVER go economy or cheap or steerage or what ever you call it. It is going to become problematic when I move back to London but one way between Vancouver and London is definitely doable. And United First Class is rather dreamy – you get to lie down and everything. I have accumulated quite a few miles and that is the way I shall spend them. So any trips to Australia or New Zealand have been scrapped because I am going back to London to live (God knows when but relatively soon.) I have got to get back, get my bearings, sort (as they say in the UK). I had an epiphany sitting at my posh table at the Rex Whistler the very first day I was in London. I began to weep silently and convulsively but it was not tears of joy. I realized just how hard my bloody life is in Vancouver. I absolutely do not have the emotional support in Vancouver that I do in London. I am surrounded by SO much care in London, SO much emotional support. No hassles, no ridiculous STRADAS breathing down your neck. (Wait until you hear about that one and you will!). Hordes of hugs in London, people actually loving me, welcoming me, making time for me, wanting to be involved with me. Vancouver, with one or two notable exceptions, is arid, unwelcoming, critical, sneering and massively passive aggressive. It was a mistake to establish residency there but it was there that I grew my fan base – the 20,000 people a year that visit alexismcbride.com. Is it necessary to be abandoned in a place of inhospitably in order to draw thousands to one’s writing? That is the question – To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep,

No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;

To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub:

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause—there’s the respect

That makes calamity of so long life.

Shakespeare, by the way, spoken by Hamlet. You see, I am not just a pretty face.

Gatwick is huge, by the way, not as huge as Heathrow but with the same damn trouble. It is crowded not with gates to get one on airplanes but with stores hawking their goods to unsuspecting would-be travelers. I limped, complained vociferously as I struggled through the throngs. A wonderful person by the name of Grace got to the gate and told the folk at Icelandic Air that I was on my way. I promised I would mention her on my blog. I did. I love you grace, not just the person but the concept. So perhaps grace shall be the word of the day. Grace can be both a noun or a verb. When used as a verb it has the following qualities. verb

1 the occasion was graced by the president: dignify, distinguish, honor, favor; enhance, ennoble, glorify, elevate, aggrandize, upgrade.

2 a mosaic graced the floor: adorn, embellish, decorate, ornament, enhance; beautify, prettify, enrich, bedeck.

So I now leave this blog with grace. I write now from my bed in the Raddison 1919. It is 3:19 in the morning. I shall go back to sleep hopefully. To sleep, perchance to dream.

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