The Hester Pumpernickel Guide To The Real London For Real Middle-Aged Persons, Or, “Expect Delays: A Collection Of Amusing And Useful Observations Of Persons, Places, And Things In A Foreign Land”. Part One: Backwards

I travelled, by plane, from my small city to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. I travelled, by plane, from Toronto to London’s Heathrow Airport. One person with cross-body-strapped purse; light wool car coat and scarf; soft, medium-sized carry-on bag; and one small, wheeled suitcase in the hold as checked luggage. Practically packed and easily manageable. After a time, I reversed the journey and flew to Toronto from London. And there, dear Reader, It Was Discovered That I Was And Had Been A Dangerous Threat To The Safety And Security Of ALL Humanity!!! Yes. There is a woman on the luggage X-ray machine at Pearson International Airport who finally caught my nefarious plan to take over the world by bringing Dangerous and Forbidden Items Of Worldly Destruction onto the quirky Indiana-Jones-style propeller craft that flies anywhere except where you want to go late, delayed, later than delayed, and finally, really late, to the place I call Home.

Behold! The Lee Valley Tools ™ Credit Card Sized Multi-Tool!

To hell with Toronto! To Hell with London! Someone has to protect Sarnia from a woman who can measure, in millimeters, the tiny length of seatbelt extender she really needs*

*hmnn-dee-la-la-la-la, OKAY! CENTIMETERS!

and wished that seatbelt manufacturers would just add that on to their regular seatbelts so she doesn’t have other passengers twisting around and gawking to see Who The Fat Person Is, because you have to ask for a seatbelt extender and it is often met with a “Tsk” by flight attendants, over-worked as they are, but I don’t care in this particular instance. I am fastening myself in. I am not going to go off in all directions in the case of air turbulence. I am going to be comfortable. So I ask. I am particularly polite. I am more than particularly polite while travelling. And really friendly. I am a happy person. And here I am going somewhere, so I am really, really happy!

The attendants on the roaring putt-putt to and from Sarnia do not mind at all, by the way. The industrial nature of the great part of our economy has a lot of big, burly fellows flying in and out. They may be a little smaller in the hip than I am, but, whoo, it’s a tight fit for a big pair of shoulders and a set of matching legs. Seatbelt extenders galore. Take two?!

Anyway. The woman on the X-ray machine at Pearson shoofed all my belongings in their big trays over to another woman in blue nitrile gloves who said I could tell her where everything was but I couldn’t touch. Okay.

“Do you have a multi-tool?”

“What?”

I received this clever thing as a Christmas present a long time ago. I put it in my purse in case I ever need to MacGyver. My life being what it is, no MacGyvering. I had forgotten all about it. I knew – I know – where it is. If you are ever looking for the best purse in the world, Derek Alexander ™ makes a number of items so practical and long-wearing that I am amazed he is still in business. Pockets? Holders? Tabs? One front zippered section full of tucks and holders for car keys, phone, pen, TicTacs ™, notes, things, stuff, and sundry. One back zippered section that is my First Aid Department, and a second magnet-fastened section that is Beauty. And a deep, wide, main pocket, itself containing a zippered niche, big enough for a wallet and my iPad ™. I paid – for me – a lot of money for my first real designer purse, and remain in love with it. In love. I know what’s in there.

“Third card slot down, on your right, zippered section, front,” I said. She took the Evil Tool Of Worldly Destruction to her supervisor, whose eyes opened and rolled. Then it was time for my carry-on.

“Are you carrying scissors?”

“Toiletry bag inside the zipper-sealed plastic bag. Sewing scissors with a protective cap.”

Eyes opened. Eyes rolled.

“And you can’t take this water with you.”

“I just got it with my snack on an Air Canada flight and couldn’t drink it then.”

“You have to drink it here.”

(Remember, I am on my way to what starts out as a two-hour layover for another Air Canada flight in an airport lounge where other bottles of water are for sale.)

“You can have it!”

And that is why Humanity Lived To See Another Day!!!

Sarnia. Safest city In The World.

And that X-ray agent? Wasted. A hawk-eyed talent utterly wasted. She should be looking for scientific advances in cancer treatments in a university lab. And yet, what about the little wooden crochet hook I bought especially for travelling, worried my metal one would get me in trouble? What about my nail clippers? What about my strong, bare hands?!?!

I had a marvellous time on a marvellous trip.

Next: Part Two.

About blawggblawgg

Stars continue to wheel above. Onward! With joy.

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