Champagne in Spain pours mainly on the plane Avios, seƱor

Well, that's quite enough of Majorca for now. I woke up early with an iPhone that didn't have much charge left, so listened to some podcasts over good quality yet cheap, commodity headphones - which never require charging, either - while simultaneously charging the phone from a USB brick. Amazing stuff, this legacy technology. Think I'll steer clear of the iPhone 7 for now, thanks Apple.

Anyway. Breakfast, early enough that Rich's parents' friend were still there so we had a bit of a chat and ate our meat and cheese and croissants. The terrorist cat was over the wall and would miaow in response to every single word said to it other than "pussycat". Strange fat thing that it was.

Checked out and walked up to the cafe by the church, meeting Rich. Couple of drinks and some blogging, then walked up to where his car was parked. The drive to the airport was a bit hairy, especially when we missed the turn off to the airport because Rich was a bit preoccupied with the dreadful driving of a taxi driver who swerved across all the lanes. D'oh. The impromptu diversion took us through an old resort, then alongside some fields filled with windmills in varying states of dereliction, which I found pretty mesmerising. And then, the airport, around 90 minutes before take-off.

Fast track security was fast, though it takes me ages to repack everything into my numerous pockets and with my stupid Russian doll style iPad-in-a-case-in-a-bag-in-a-bag arrangement. I need to sort that shit out. The departure boards said boarding started at 1240, which seemed bloody early for a 1330 take off. There are two lounges in the airport, both in the Schengen bit, and we went to the nearest one called Valledemossa.

It smelt weird. The toilets were camouflaged. The chocolate cakes were nice, the beer was warm and shit, the layout was shoddy and the whole place very small. Not the worst lounge in the world, still, but not a place we wanted to spend much time. Since the woman on the desk had seemed somewhat panicky about me just asking how long to get to get A18, and with the weird time on the board despite our passes saying gate closes at 1320, we went through the Schengen immigration desks at around 1240.

It took about 2 minutes. Gate A18 was the nearest one to the desks. The inbound plane hadn't even arrived yet. We walked through various bits of food joint seating until finding some with power sockets, near a deli counter and next to the loos. It was uncomfortably hot, but power was welcome and our gate was just across the way. Helen went to see if any shops were selling anything worth buying, and when she got back reported that the BA plane had just arrived and was kicking people off.

They were still getting off when we went and queued up at the gate, triggered by a mixture of boredom, nerves, and the sight of other people standing up. I laughed a bit at the Jet2 holidays sign warning people off drinking their own booze onboard a plane. We queued for ages, and as usual basically everyone was eligible for fast track boarding. Back onboard and seats 2CD were ours again. While taxiing I spot, I think, 7 airberlin planes at gates. The Germans REALLY love Majorca.

Another paper menu, hurrah!

Took off a bit late. Majorca looked as nice from above as it did from the ground.

Them's some big cruise boats.

Champagne arrived. As with the outbound, we ordered one of each of the dishes. The bloke serving the Club Europe cabin was a bit crap, really. Very perfunctory, not much interaction or smiling or basically anything except shoving stuff at us. At least two of our champagne refills he doesn't even open the damn bottles (which makes Helen want to stash them in our bags, but I vote for drinking them there and then).

I enjoy the canapes, but Helen hates them all. One type of salmon is OK, the other two moderately tasteless. All the leaves are awful, and the duck is shit too. The beetroot is OK, though the vinaigrette a bit too thick. Somehow, the identical dessert to the outbound tastes better than it did on Saturday. Considering how nice the food was on the way back from Bilbao, this trip has been ropey where onboard solids are concerned. Still, we put away a load of champagne so it's not all bad.

Oh, and the views were fantastic. We knew we were flying back to hotter UK weather than it was in Majorca today, and there were lots of clear skies. We flew along the English channel and turned north over the white cliffs of Dover, following the Kent coast from the inland and then flying south of the Thames towards London Bridge and the Shard, pulling a u-turn before landing in London City airport.

No bluebirds visible.

Bit ropey due to the angles involved, but holy smokes! Shard + Tower Bridge-tastic.


And then, we're at LCY. I've never landed here before. It's 33c in bloody September. A man on crutches from the row behind me delays people enough that I can ask a friendly man behind him to give me our case. Immigration and customs are famously fast; we buy a Diet Coke and fail to tap in to the DLR station. A train is there within seconds, meaning I can't sneak a photo of the glorious Tate & Lyle sugar factory.

At Canning Town I fail to snap the other Tate & Lyle factory, as we have a perfect change onto the Jubilee line. Before we know it we're at Waterloo, with enough time for a quick vape next to the Jehovah's Witnesses and then the fast-ish train to Surbiton: from landing at LCY to my flat in around 1 hour 15 minutes. Neat. My flat is gloriously clean and tidy - no, I'm not lying - and the only thing left to do before crashing on my sofa for an evening of WWE and curry is to head out in debilitating heat to pick up a heavy leather-bound compendium of 1894 newspapers. You heard.

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Darren Foreman

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