Friday, October 4th - London

Despite my having the day off I could not sleep beyond 8 am as my mind was so much on everything that needed to be done before we left. First on the list was to do all of the computer stuff I had left to do including printing of the travel insurance documents…Almost forgot that! I also managed to transfer some money from savings so that we can be sure we have enough money while we are away. I have already picked up some money for both Singapore and Hong Kong because I don’t like having to rely on going straight to a bank machine when I arrive in a country. It is not enough money for the trip, of course, but it will give us time before we have to visit a bank and, of course, there is always Visa.

Perhaps he does not want us to leave...

For the morning I spent some quality time with Casper - He loves attention and loves being petted so today I was particularly focused on this.. I am feeling more and more guilty as the time comes when I have to drop him with the vet. As soon as I brought in the cat box he knew something was up and ran away…(sigh)

Following the news at midday I took the cat box to Casper, opened it up and he reluctantly slinked inside. Driving to the vet I parked on a side street and took him in. He was not terribly happy and I did not spend a lot of time looking at him out of guilt. Yeah, I am a softie but without any children he really is a significant part of our lives.

I distracted myself after causing the cat distress by visiting the supermarket for various bits and pieces including things for mother that we are leaving in the fridge so she does not have to go food shopping as soon as she arrives (milk, cheese and so-on). The afternoon was occupied by cleaning and watching a bit of television. I am so excited!

Mel and I had arranged to meet at an underground station on the way to the airport instead of her coming home first so I walked the half mile to the local station with the luggage and my rather heavy back-pack (the laptop is not light). The stairs to get up to the platform were also not much appreciated. Arriving at Acton Town I had a bit of a wait before Mel came. I believe in being early - Better that than rushing around and risking being late for the flight. At 6 pm Mel arrived. We were still quite early so sat and talked for a few minutes when a man collapsed while trying to get into a train - We think he might have been intoxicated but we stuck around while station staff came to take care of him. Drama!

The walk at Heathrow from the underground is quite long but, hey, we were still early so no problems. The check-in process at the new area of Terminal 3, where Virgin Atlantic is, was very straightforward and no real wait. The Virgin staff look so smart in their red uniforms…

A quick to the bookstore for some magazines we headed to Leon’s for dinner. Leon’s is quite an interesting place with fresh and healthy food. So I had the “chicken and chorizo salad” with Goji berry juice (all those antioxidants are making me feel better already) while Mel had the “falafel salad”…Unfortunately, despite the restaurant being at the far end of the terminal from the security entrance the queue to go through security went right by the front door…Luckily the queue moved very quickly so we were through security before we knew it. There are loads of shops after security so we spent some time wandering around. Most of them are high-end retailers such as Gucci, Harrod’s and Tom Baker so we were not exactly looking to buy anything. The shopping experience somewhat disappointed so we sat for a few minutes before the gate was announced.

“Gate 21”, of course, was quite a walk away so we rested when we arrived with the free magazines on offer for us (Time and The Week, if you must ask). The plane was a good size with our two seats on the window beside another which was occupied by a mother with her very young, and quite noisy, child who proceeded to make his feelings known to the rest of the plane. Luckily he got tired of this and passed out an hour or so later otherwise things could have got a bit ugly…

This is a long flight - 12 hours - The longest Mel has ever been on and it was nice that Virgin provided us with a travel kit that, critically, includes both a night mask and ear-plugs. After our dinner of chicken with noodles, followed by a “Gu” chocolate/banana dessert we watched Monsters University on the in-flight system. Now, it is to put that kit too good use…the lights are out in the plane now and all is calm.

⇒ Continue to Saturday, October 5th - Somewhere Over Asia