Sorry I haven’t written anything…

….for ages. I don’t seem to have the energy to think of anything to say – and that includes posting comments on other people’s blogs. *hangs head in shame*  I’m not enjoying work in the slightest at the moment. Don’t get me wrong – we’re spending a fair amount of time laughing – but I think it’s out of mild hysteria and desperate frustration to be honest. The person I sit next to has developed a new catchphrase over the last few weeks where he’ll says something extremely sarcastic or scathing about the situation in hand which is followed by a tiny pause and then (in mock horror) “Oooh – did I say that out loud?!”. It’s hilarious – to us at least.

So, when I’ve got home all I’ve been interested in either constantly refreshing the ‘explore’ page on Flickr or messing around with my own photos. (I’m currently going through a must-put-borders-or-part-borders-around-things phase.) Then I go to bed at 11pm and lie awake until around 2am worrying about work and what a mess it all is at the moment and how I feel more of a hindrance than a help because I don’t understand how to do what I’m meant to be doing, and the other guy has no time to show me properly. etc etc etc blah blah blah.

So, back to the post in hand. I’m trying to be good and go through photos and delete the pointless ones. I still haven’t been through all my April LA ones yet either… I did start looking at them the other night and ended up playing with some of the ones I took very early o’clock at Newark airport. These were taken with my Canon point and shoot, in a bit of a rush through a dirty departure gate window. (I’ve been told off for taking photos through windows at LAX – even though I don’t think there’s any signs saying you can’t – and was worried they might do the same here.) Anyway, it was pretty good watching dawn break over the Manhattan skyline. Probably not something I’m likely to see again anytime soon anyway. (The teeny tiny upright spike in the dead centre of the skyline is the Empire State Building!)

Manhattan skyline

I wasn’t meant to be at Newark airport at 5am, but I don’t think I’ve ever said anything about this year’s LA expedition. For those who are interested, here’s a brief recounter of the trip out:

I was meant to be flying from Birmingham UK to Newark at 9am and getting an onwards connection to LAX. I got up at 4am to get to the airport for 6.30am. At 8.30am it became apparent the plane was poorly and not going anywhere soon. (I must be a bad luck genie because this happens everytime I attempt this journey – and the delay and drama gets worse each time.)

At 11am Continental decided to bus any people with onwards connections to down to Heathrow. We got to Heathrow at 1pm and stood in a queue until 3pm when we were finally re-checked in. (During this time about 4 different people asked us the same security questions which got very aggravating but you daren’t get grumpy in case they think you’re a terrorist). At 3pm we joined the end of a queue about 1/4 of a mile long to go through the security gate and quickly realised we were not going to manage it in time for a 4pm flight.

Fortunately the security people took pity on us and let us join the business class queue – which had about 12 people in it…. hmmm. Something extremely out of balance there if you ask me. I ended up being taken to one side at security and having my body x-rayed. Then when I was called to board I was taken to one side again and frisked. I suspect it was because by then I had the most harried expression on my face.  It can’t have been pleasant for the frisker either. I was definitely getting a bit stinky by then – and the journey hadn’t actually started. LOL. We finally got on the plane about 4.30pm – with a 7 and a half hour flight in front of us. We’d already been told we’d probably need to book into a hotel at Newark as it was unlikely we’d make a connection.

In the chaos Continental did not feed us either. So I went from about 8am UK time until abut 5pm UK time (when we’d finally taken off) without anything to eat. The flight felt like it was never going to end. The last two hours were particularly tedious. I well and truly missed any LA connection in Newark and ended up staying in a motel which turned out to be practically at the end of the runway.  Despite this, it still took an hour to get there as we had get another tedius combination of monorail and airport shuttle to battle with. (In my opinion Continental should have arranged a coach for us – there were enough of us to make it worth while.)

I ended up helping someone else caught up in the nightmare. She had two of the most enormous suitcases I’ve ever seen. (They were full of shoe samples as she’d been to a Birmingham for an exhibition for work and was trying to get home – by coincidence to LA). We ended up sort of palling up and helping each other a bit. Her suitcases were so big they almost didn’t fit through the doors of the elevator you had to take to the monorail. You had to laugh at that bit. It was either laugh or cry by then anyway. And getting them in the monorail was fun too since it was unmanned and you weren’t quite sure when the doors were going to open or close. We can also vouch for the fact that it is rather chilly and miserable waiting for an airport shuttle at 10pm on am April evening in Newark (3am for us – having got up at 4am remember).

So we got to the ‘motel’, had a burger courtesy of Continental (well I tried to have a burger but I was somewhat past it by then), and got to bed at about 11pm, only to get up at 3.30am to do the reverse journey back to the airport since the instruction was to be there 2 hours before departure time. ARRGGH! Still – it was a worth the sunrise. (Cue panoramic photo)


We boarded the morning flight and breathed a sigh of relief – only to be told by the pilot as we were trundelling along to the runway that we might have to stop part way to LA to refuel as we were “tight on gas and it was a bit windy out there”. NOOOO!

As it turned out, we didn’t need to. (They found an altitude where the wind wasn’t much of a problem or something.) I was extremely thankful for this since I was actually meant to be attending a film premiere that evening (probably a once in a lifetime experience), and the thought that I might be delayed even further was starting to freak me out. 

I always seem to have bad luck flying to LA with Continental. Don’t get me wrong – the flights are fine once we take off and I’ve always felt safe . I just seem to get all the delays – and they’re always because of technical faults with the plane. The first time I was delayed 4 hours in Birmingham and missed my connection, the second time I was delayed 8 hours in Newark and thought I was going to be stuck there as it was 4th July weekend and all other flights were full. (Fortunately someone remembered a ‘spare plane the other side of the airport’.) And now this one… The only time the outbound flight has gone without any hiccup is the one time a delay wouldn’t have mattered much as I was breaking the journey with a three day stop in NYC. I think it’s called “the law of sod”.

Naturally it all goes perfectly on the way home.

(Sorry – I seem to have rambled on there a bit. Never mind….!)


4 Responses to “Sorry I haven’t written anything…”

  1. 1 nathaliewithanh August 22, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Oh how funny! When you started describing your trip, I said to myself: she must be flying Continental. I flew them a few times going to Europe and I NEVER had a trip that went smoothly. NEVER!
    Once, they had to put us up in a hotel in Newark. We all waited three hours for a bus to take us to the hotel… then the hotel refused to take us in because Continental had not paid their last bill. It must have been about midnight at this point… The bus was of course gone.

    I’m sorry it had to be this way. Know you are not alone!

    Very cool panoramic shot! Makes you want to jump in a plane. Not a Continental one!

    About work, at least it seems there is camaraderie going on there… That’s something!

  2. 2 Katie August 22, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    No need to apologize for not writing – you’re not the only one who has been quiet lately. 😉

  3. 3 sal August 23, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Sorry work is still rubbish, but at least you have someone to laugh with – makes it marginally more bearable, perhaps.

    Love your Newark photos – not much compensation for the horrendous journey, but still, great pictures. Who are you flying with next time we go?!

  4. 4 nezza August 27, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Nathalie – I wonder if it was the same ‘hotel’ LOL. And yes – you’re right about the cameraderie.

    Katie – you’ve been to Yosemite! I’m jealous!

    Sal – Well I’m probably still going Continental – LOL. Glutton for punishment. I’m determined to get enough airmiles for a freebie! But as long as the price isn’t too horrendous I’m doing to do long haul from Heathrow. That way if it’s late, it’s late. I won’t have to worry about flippin’ connections. Plus – I don’t think it would actually be a Continental flight – it would probably be a Virgin Atlantic since Continental don’t actually do their own long-hauls. When I flew back long haul it was a Virgin 747 anyway. 🙂

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