Posted August 1st, 2013, 05:04 PM
The day started really well. The cab picked me up nice and early and then on to fetch the others from their hotel. Traffic was not too bad to Heathrow and we arrived in good time to Terminal 5 and checked in without too much delay. Having requested wheelchair assist for Norbert there were none available and there were 6 others in the queue ahead of us. Norbert felt confident enough to manage without…. And he’d lost his cane. It wasn’t in his bag so we guess it’s at the hotel.
We walked slowly through security. Things have changed since last I was there….. boarding passes are scanned by machine just after bag drop and again just before hand baggage and human scanning. As usual I bleep. I get the full body scanner thingy for the first time and the security person showed me the image of me and undefinable alert half way down my chest on the right hand side…. Or was it the left? Anyway it wasn’t in the hip area…. Which is where I assumed it would be as I have had hip revision surgery. Norbert has hair gel in a tube larger than 100ml which is picked by the scanners and he is also selected to have his trainers scanned.
We pick up some small size items in ‘Boots’ (and a collapsible cane!) and breakfast in ‘Giraffe’. Boarding is about to start and we head over in good time. A wheelchair is called for and Norbert is spared the walk to the aircraft. Flight is uneventful and on time.
Disembarking the plane…… they are expecting someone else requiring a wheelchair who also boarded with one…. She has negotiated the steps and disappeared. We are walked over to a high loader vehicle….. step free… and driven over to arrivals. Luggage is already appearing on the carousel… with one exception. Alice’s. The wonderful airport wheelchair assistant accompanies us over to the relevant desk. ‘Ah yes’ she says in French. It’s till in London. It will be on the next plane and with you this evening. Definitely. This happens all the time. Sigh. I’m so glad I speak French.
We are met in the arrivals hall by a driver and van and driven to the Hotel Aston, the Grand Hotel Aston. Meh. It’s not so Grand but for one night it’s fine. We have rooms on the same floor though at opposite ends. My room has a pack and play all set up. Very nice but I don’t need it. I’m so glad I speak French. A quick call to reception gets a promise of its removal. It’s in my way so I take matters into my own hands and schlep it into the corridor. It collapses en route. What do I know about such things…. In my day they were made of wood…..