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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Flying to London.

I haven't blogged for awhile because since my return I have had a big flare up of my sarcoidosis and the all inflammation it brings.   I have gotten pretty despondent not being able to do what I love to do on the farm.  I will wrap up my English adventure during the next week and then make a real effort to get current on farm happenings.

So there I was in Seattle, boarding the British Airlines 747 to London...  BA has retro fitted the seats on the plane it seems and stuffed in another three rows in at least.  Soon as I sat down, the lady in front of me put her seat back, thankfully the seats only go back a few inches now.  I had a claustrophobic attack and had to keep my eyes fixed on the happenings out on the tarmac.  I've grown accustomed to wide open spaces and being able to move my legs about.  I'm only 5'2"!   How on earth to tall people manage?   The flight to London is over 9 hours.  Once airborne we headed north following interstate highway 5 and then followed interstate 90 east across the floating bridge.  Why we were on such an easterly course, I don't know.  Normally it's more N.E.   We were flying into the night and so the last thing I could make out was the bridge across the Columbia at Vantage (confirmed by the man behind me who was giving his girlfriend a running commentary about everything).  Then it was dark.

Dinner was served.  I had a special meal...the vegetarian, so I got mine first.   I have weird reactions to food now.  I think it's to do with my over active immune system.  I have become allergic to many things as well over the last few years.  I shouldn't have eaten the cheesecake because some baked goods can make me very ill.   The lady next to me took what might have been a sleeping pill and tucked herself in for the night...and she nodded off.  I was squashed up the corner feeling very weird.  I hated to disturb her but I was having a very bad turn.  I almost passed out on my way to the loo - restroom.  Soon as I got the door closed I had a quick glimpse of my ghostly while face and soaking wet hair, then I blacked out.  I crashed down onto the toilet seat.   I tried to get my head as low as I could in that cramped space.  I threw up my dinner (sorry to be gross) and almost immediately started to revive.  I was pretty worried for awhile though.  I washed my face with cold water and then made myself look human again.  Instead of going back to my seat I sat in the jump seat at the back of the plane.  Most people were sleeping but there were a few little groups of people standing around outside the loos talking.  It was wonderful to be able to stretch out near the emergency exit with nice cool air blowing down on me.  I lifted the shade and watched the sun come up above the clouds.

The flight crew left me alone for about an hour, but then the head wrangler spotted me and herded me back to my seat.  I was very careful not to eat anything with flour in it for breakfast.  We made landfall over the Hebrides.  Scotland was hidden under clouds which didn't disappear until we were over Northern England.  London's Heathrow airport is a busy place and so we were put in a holding pattern over Watford waiting our turn to land.

If you ever fly into Heathrow, sit on the right hand side of the plane.  The plane banks with it's right wing pointed down, so you get nice views.  The flight path follows (without all the meandering) the Thames River through central London.  There below me was my old stomping ground.  I was born and raised 50 miles to the north.  It was a lovely clear day and the the Houses Of Parliament, Westminster Bridge, The Tower of London etc  looked so lovely.  I kept my eye out for my favorite statue at the end of Westminster Bridge, across from Big hero, Queen Boudica driving her horses.  I could just make it out!

The American man behind me was still giving his enthusiastic and somewhat inaccurate running commentary on the sights below to his girlfriend.

We flew up the Thames, getting lower and lower.  I had a lovely view of Kew Gardens.  With gear down and almost touching down, I saw the first living creatures since flying over England.....English horses, grazing on English grass!  They were totally unconcerned a jumbo jet was landing next to them.  I should have taken pictures.   


Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I'm really enjoying reading about your trip. Not sure I could do something like that by myself, even without being sick.

Sorry you've been feeling so bad!

lytha said...

hi - i just found your blog today and was puzzling over where you're from at first. hm - could it be europe? then you mentioned my city and its floating bridge, and spokane, and i was very confused! i've taken this BA flight seattle to heathrow many times and i really hate it, but there's nothing to be done when my family (and my heart) are in seattle, and i live in germany.

i simply must see northern europe, and i dream of seeing the english speaking lands above me. i'm actually going to rome this month and would have preferred england but it just happened that way. your photo of the fish and chips shop is REALLY tempting, because i haven't had good seafood in germany EVER.

take care.

arlene said...

Hi Lytha, I'm from England and lived in eastern Washington for over 35 years. East coast before that. I flew from Spokane to Seattle, then on to Heathrow.

I really love Seattle as well. Have you settled in Germany or is it temporary? I will check out your blog :) Nice to hear from you.