Sunday, 12 May 2019

It has been very uncomfortable

About 10 days ago I started to starve.  On the first day Jan allowed me one meal consisting of a small portion of plain boiled rice with a small portion of boiled chicken breast.  For the second day it was nothing but water.  By midnight my stomach was starting to seriously question whether my throat had been cut!  Consequentially I was awake from 1AM onwards.  At 4AM I drank the sachet of pipe cleaner and two hours later all my pipes were clean.

By the time my brother in law collected me the stomach was in open revolt whilst the brain just wanted to sleep. On arriving at the hospital I was thinking I'd be the first in the queue.Imagine my surprise when I discovered the waiting room was already full of hungry pensioners.  Of course the sensible hospital staff hadn't even arrived.
Well it turned out I was second in the queue. The lovely young nurse collected me before asking me to strip down and don some fashionable gown in an attractive green with a split all the way up the rear. It was so annoying when the staff kept waking me up from my lovely sleep to ask the same questions.  Were they confused or disorganised? Eventually I was wheeled into another area where a rather sad looking young female technician was donning a plastic gown and a face mask.   The gastroenterologist then arrived and started to ask me the same set of questions when I interrupted her to ask if she had a cold.  "No... and Why?"  I explained I didn't want her to sneeze during the procedure and feel a lump in the back of my throat. The long black hose the technician was holding looked rather thick and it was about to enter virgin territory. 

I'd been warned a mild sedative would be used and I would be conscious and able to answer questions.  Well I went out like a light and had to be woken from a lovely sleep by the staff 90 minutes later.  Actually I didn't want to be woken and was only agreeable when they offered me the most divine hospital sandwiches.  OK, the bread might have been stiff, stale and curled at the corners.  But the stomach insisted I eat every morsel and then lick the plate for crumbs.

The nurse then insisted I get dressed and leave as they wanted the bed for the next hungry victim.  Actually I rather slipped out of bed as I quickly discovered my rear end had been greased.  At reception I was given a letter advising there was no sign of rust in my main pipe and that they would be checking me again in 5 years.Something for me to look forward to!

So  what's happened since then?


Within a week we were on our way to Perth Airport.Of course my passport wasn't recognised by the fancy new electronic border security machine which delayed us.  Then I was randomly selected to pass through the newish body scanning machine.  Unfortunately I wasn't tele-ported by it to our destination.  We then experienced our first flight in an A380.  I'd been told by former colleagues the aircraft is rather quiet.  However we didn't notice much difference.  I'd booked a window seat for Jan as she likes to rest against the fuselage and sleep.  No chance of that in the A380 as there is a considerable gap between the seat and the window.  The base of the seat slides slightly forward as the back is reclined.  It seemed a good feature although I did miss the lack of a footrest.  What proved to be considerably painful was the thinness of the cushioning on the base of the seat.  Neither of us managed much sleep on the flight to Doha.  I suspect it's the design of the seat as the young males in the row behind were also complaining.

There was a 3 hour layover in Doha, Qatar as we waited for our onward connection.  Last time I was here construction on the airport terminal hadn't been completed.  This time there was more to see.

There now appears to be two terminals connected by an overhead train.  I hadn't realised we were in the newer terminal until I noticed the large timber figure.

Terminals are just places where passengers are trapped and surrounded by expensive shops

Our onward connection was in the other terminal which meant we needed to take the train.

Initially I struggled to understand why the sign waswishing us a "Happy Festive Season".  It wasn't Christmas.  Of course we are in the Middle East and it is Ramadan.

I recognised the Teddy Bear from my 2016 stop over

The second flight was on an almost new A350. On looking at our fellow passengers in the departure lounge my immediate thought was "We're in the wrong lounge.  This must be the flight to Karachi".  No..... we're all going to Manchester!  

This is a new terminal and yet we had to walk down three flights of stairs to a bus where we were taken to the aircraft on the apron.  Another flight of stairs to board the aircraft.  Unfortunately we experienced a similar problem with the seats on this aircraft finally resorting to folding the supplied blanket and sitting on it in an effort to have more padding.  Both aircraft were clean and the cabin crew were attentive and friendly.  The only problem was the very uncomfortable seats.   We've already decided we will by a foam rubber swab each for the return flights.

Immigration at Manchester Airport was interesting. Jan was the only person in the UK Citizens queue and flew through before heading to collect our bag.  Meanwhile I joined the end of the long queue of aliens;many of whom did't speak english and hadn't correctly completed their arrival cards.  It was a slow process!   

Eventually I joined Jan in the baggage area and we headed for the Green Lane.   Customs & Excise and Agricultural control appeared to be non existent.  God knows what some people had in their bags!

So here we are in Sale.  I walked to the Bridgewater Canal and up to Waters Meet in the afternoon in an effort to stretch the leg muscles and start the process of resetting the body clock.


Pip and Mick said...

Well,if you really fancy stretching your legs you could come and help us up Heartbreak Hill!
Welcome back
Pip, Mick and Tilly

Judith nb Serena said...

Welcome back. How long are you here for and are you boating?
Judith and John nb Serena

Jenny said...

So funny, I'll be going for one of those hungry pensioner deals at the hospital soon. Glad you got good news!
Enjoy your trip in UK. Guess we will have to wait and see what you get up to on your travels.

Mervyn said...

Tom, I have a UK passport and the wife an American one. We have always been told to stay together at immigration and both go through the UK line and have never had a problem except for Newcastle where they only had one stamp and we both had to go through the other line.