Posts Tagged ‘Ray’

with apologies to John Denver

All my bags are packed (to the brim!!!!) I’m ready to Go (as long as I dont pay excess luggage – bastards)

Im standing here outside your door  ( no, no problems there – barged the door down and woke you up and told you to feed the dogs)

I’d hate to wake you up to say goodbye (well Im leaving in 8 hours Still Im preemptive)

But the dawn is breakin’ It’s early morn (It’s going to snow. It’s going to fricking snow. I am fricking leaving and today is the day it snows. I LOVE snow. I am so, so, so, so, so annoyed and I don’t think Wesley realised I had such a colourful vocabulary. Welcome to Nigel’s fricking life!)

The taxi’s waitin’ he’s blowing his horn (yeah, that part aint true. Late afternoon flight and Wesley is dropping me off. Some artistic licence here)

Already I’m so lonesome I could die (that’s a really good line, cuts like a knife)

So kiss me and smile for me (if you don’t weep buckets, you’re gonna be in so much trouble! lol)

Tell me that you’ll wait for me (so not an issue.  An aside: the very first time I heard this played was with my friend Robert Debenham and I was eight. He played this for me on his guitar. An easy song to learn I guess. I knew I was different after that song)

Hold me like you’ll never let me go (ok, that one cut like a knife too)

Cause I’m leaving ona jet plane (please don’t crash, please don’t crash, please don’t crash)

Don’t know when I’ll be back again ( this is true. The lap of the gods is a big one)

Oh baby, I hate to go (ouch)

To everyone invloved in my most excellent holiday, old and new friends alike, thank you for a fabulous time. You know who you are. Love you. Please don’t let it be too long before we can hug again.


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When In Rome

I flew from Charlotte to Baltimore last night. INCREDIBLY I got off on time (more or less) and didn’t have to wait 3 hours on the tarmac like last time. Ray picked me up and dropped me off at the hotel as last time. This time however I had booked my hotel in advance. Or so I thought. They had no idea I was coming. I am certain I booked in advance however did so on night duty so it is conceivable I stuffed up. None of it mattered though as I had been given further queer eyeing on the art of suitcase management by Wesley prior to leaving. My suitcase looks SUPERB! I’m not taking anything out cos it is packed so beautifully. I was tempted to show everyone in the foyer as we waited for the booking to be sorted.

So today Ray contributed to his education of my good self and took me to my very first firing range. Whether you agree or not, America is obsessed on its guns. I certainly have an opinion on this however you soon learn to not discuss religion, politics and gun control with US citizens. Despite this I was open to new experiences and happy to go to the range with Ray, especially when he took me in his Corvette and we travelled to the firing range at 200kph plus. (That was sweet. Ray was disappointed I wasn’t suitably impressed though and wanted to go faster. I think I may be an adrenaline junkie.)

The first thing you notice about firing ranges it they are freaking loud. Even when wearing earmuffs the noise was incredible and I kept jumping out of my skin every time there was a loud bang. People thought this was adorable however. Jumping like a mexican bean adrenaline junkie. Adorable. I have no idea what people were firing and you walked on a carpet of spent cartridges. The lad next to me was firing like they do in the movies and shells were literally rainng on my head.

Things to note: it was packed. We had to wait to use our lane and this was at 3 in the afternoon on a Monday. 95 per cent of the people at the lanes were black, I suspect many of the people there were off duty police. There were at least three people coaching others in the art of gun use. People buy targets to fire at and this one was extremely popular.

I fired a Taurus 22 magnum  revolver and Ruger 9mm automatic. Ray was very generous and let me fire most of the rounds and guess what. I’ve got skills. Ray kept asking if I had ever fired a gun before and the only ones I had were those plastic pop guns you use with potatoes. Ray said I  “maxed it”.  Even with the Ruger which kept jumping all over the place as I fired I still managed to get serious targets. Who knew!? I’ve got a dead eye.

It was amazingly good fun for a pacifist. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience though the taste of gunpowder in your nose and throat after was irritating to the throat. I doubt I am going to go out and become a gun fan though. Obviously if I am attacked by a bullseye on paper I will be completely awesome. I suspect if I am attacked by a person with a gun, even if I were armed, I would wet my pants, fall on the ground and begin to cry. Even an adrenaline junkie has his limits.

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This is kind of a to-do list to remind me of stuff as well as give you an insight into what the impending US trip will entail.  But it’s more to remind me …. As you know my memory is  über tragic.

List of things to do still:

Organise travel insurance (any ideas?)

Book hotel in Washington, the Omni.

Book Mental Health Conference in Washington, which is why I need the above hotel. (Work has very kindly said they will pay for this and half the hotel room. Nice.)

Find a tie. Buy a tie. Not polyester. (And all the ties with the design I want are polyester. This is called Welcome to Nigel’s Life!)

Send Wesley the itinerary

Organise meetings for possible employment

Get my iPhone sorted so I can use it in the States.  (This is possible, right?!  Last time I was there I didn’t have a mobile. It was like being without a limb)

Buy number 7 of the 10 Wonders of the Food World to take to people in the States (You’ll see, American people. You will all thank me and be amazed at my genius. Again.)

Buy Piggy Jim Jams. Not polyester.

Buy Horlicks. No-one sleeps well over there. Horlicks fixes everything. (Did you know my insomnia has been cured since I started night duty. I’ve gone from getting maybe 3 hours of sleep a night to 8!!!!! I am super stoked! I was just in the wrong time zone.)

Book Hotel In MD. (the first two nights of the trip I’m hanging with Ray again. We’re going to shoot guns!!!  )

Pack. (Lightly. I am being taken clothes shopping when I am there.  Evidently I lack style!!!!   I know!!!!!!   The man with four shirts lacks style!!!!   As if! )

There is much more I am sure. That seems light. I suppose as long as I have tickets, money, passport I can wing the rest.

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Since I wrote yesterday I flew from Toronto to Charlotte with Air Canada. This was an experience. Smallest aircraft I have been in for forever. A CRJ 100/200. So old it had propellers. Not really but it was very old. The flight was quite delightful with a very sweet stewardess who told me I was her hero for the flight… ie I was sitting in the emergency exit.

She very kindly explained to me how to open the door in the case of an emergency, pull lever down, pull door in towards you, throw door out the hole, follow the door. I smiled sweetly and told her I understood her instructions and would be able  to handle myself manfully in the event of a crisis. All the time she was talking to me thought I was thinking, “Sweetie, if there’s a crash my plan of action is to run up and down the aisle screaming and grabbing everyone’s oxygen mask and inhaling deeply.” Fortunately there was no such event.

Charlotte is really pretty from the sky. It looks like it’s populated with monopoly houses.

I then had to travel to Murrylund ( Baltimore airport) flying with US Airways at technically 2000 hours. The flight was late. We left the airport terminal (note the use of the word terminal) at 2020. We coasted to take off and were revved up to go. Then the storm hit.

The plane was packed. Literally sardines in tins. The seat pitch of US  Airways flights is non existent. My knees were in the back of the seat of the person in front. To stretch your legs you have to dislocate your knees and slide them under the chair. And to add to the joy there were two very loud jokers behind us who regaled us with their humour. “There was this one time. In Band Camp.”  (Yes, American Pie – hysterical. That didn’t get old quick at all!) “Lets get going cos I’ve got to f*** my woman” – (hold on to him sweetie – he’s a keeper)  “If I don’t get a smoke soon I’m going to go Postal” (Surely he should have been chucked off at this point – I could have joined him.)

We were stuck on the tarmac for 2 hours and 40 minutes. 2. Hours. And. Forty. Minutes. It is technically possible to go insane under duress I discovered.  I don’t blame US Airways at all. I am all for flying safely and not flying if it’s not safe. My beef was that we were being held hostage on the plane and after, say, an hour they should return to the airport and allow people of the option of staying or leaving and pursuing other avenues. There is evidently law that states the plane has to return to the terminal after three hours but, with the greatest respect, that law was written by someone who had never endured being stuck on the tarmac in a sardine can with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum for five minutes let alone three hours.

I spent the entire time willing the flight to be cancelled so I could get off the plane and  beg sanctuary from Wesley in Charlotte. My friend Ray was picking me up from Baltimore airport. I had rung him to advise him of earlier delay and my anticipation that the flight would arrive near 10. As the flight got more delayed I wanted to ring him to tell him to go home but,  due to my mobile not working in the US, I couldn’t get through. I eventually asked the irate woman next to me to borrow her phone which she kindly allowed. At that very second of getting the phone it was announced we were leaving and had to take off. Turn off your phone please, Sir.

The plane eventually took off at 2240 and we got into Baltimore after midnight. Everyone was exhausted and defeated. Even the jokers had shut up. I was so stiff and sore. I limped off the plane to ring Ray who, by rights, should have gone home to bed but (God love you sir!!!) was still waiting for me.   I have never, ever, ever been so glad to see someone in my life.  Seriously  the Knight in Shining Armour award goes to Ray for services above the call of duty. He was waiting at the airport for hours.

He picked me up and found me a hotel and made sure I was safe and settled in the room before leaving me to get some sleep. Complete and utter thanks buddy. You have no idea how much you saved me. I am forever in your debt.

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