Tuesday Jan XII
Restless Night. Ate Breakfast and read THE SUN. Grandad drove us to H’row. Long wait to check in, and BA made a massive C-U oVer seats. All sorted out. Said goodbye to Gran + Grandad. Landed at L.A. Spent 1hr going through Immigration + Customs. Had a Coke in the baggage collecting room, which was covered by a ‘foam dome’. Took a long coach/car ride to the hotel. We have adjoining rooms with 2 dbl beds. Went to bed at 8.30 US Time (4.30am GB).
I remember nothing of the argument with BA, although in another curious coincidence when I returned to New Zealand in 2008 my journey was punctuated by similar arguments, although these were caused by an error which the travel agents made in booking every single one of our eleven flights on that trip, resulting in eleven similar arguments about seating. Which got pretty tedious at the time.
The reference to a ‘foam dome’ is to a feature which they had at the famous Lilleshall sporting centre, which I had spent a week at about a year before, essentially a tent inflated by hot air and filled with pits full of foam. There was always much talk about turning the rarely-used school swimming pool into one.
Strangely, I can remember the last thing that I read in The Sun – my grandparents’ newspaper of choice – that day. It was an article about a band named The Mobiles, who had a song in the charts at the time.
There’s one thing missing from this entry, though, and that is any reference at all to the flight. Which is odd, as it was only the second time that I had ever flown. Split up from the rest of the family by the fact that you simply couldn’t sit six people together on a plane in those days, I was sat next to an older couple at whom I kept up a constant stream of comments in my nervousness. Then, when they asked if it was my first flight, I denied it with rather more vehemence than was necessary for someone making their second.
Of course, there were no seat back televisions back then, so the in flight films were shown on a big screen at the front of the cabin. One of the films scheduled to be shown on this flight was Escape to Victory, a much vaunted football film which I wanted to see. I’ve still never seen it in full, I fell asleep and missed it completely.