I travelled to Canada recently, as – unfortunately – did a lot of other people which explained why the standby flights I had my eye on were both full.
No amount of sweet-talking at the check-in desk or proffering of cash bribes was going to propel me to the front of the queue.
The charming lady in charge might as well have had ‘don’t ask, as clip round the ear may offend’ emblazoned on her remarkably smooth forehead.
(Her rather sour but cosmetically enhanced demeanour suggested she had made significant and repeated use of a plane manufacturer’s wind tunnel . . . while, obviously, chewing a wasp.)
I resigned myself, therefore, to being patient and eventually squeezed on board the flight to Toronto only ten hours later than planned.
Safari in downtown Oakville
Canada is a lovely country and I had a splendid time at my friend’s wedding.
So beautiful that my friend insisted that we go for a nice “short” walk through Lions Valley Gardens (yes a safari in downtown Oakville!) on my last day before I left for the airport.
Excellent idea. We both had phones with Google maps and a compass on them. We knew at every turn where we were and where would end up – back at the car ready for a short drive back for a freshen-up and off to the airport.
This does not explain why we got lost in a housing estate miles away from where we began. I’m not sure anything does. But it necessitated a rather hair-raising Uber drive to catch the flight on time by the thinnest skin of one’s teeth.
Jet-lag can be a cruel mistress
Known by experts as ‘time zone change syndrome’, jet-lag can be a cruel mistress. A week after my return, I was still feeling its effects; I nodded off while feeding the fish one afternoon and nearly fell in the tank. Robyn couldn’t decide whether she needed an alarm clock or a harpoon.
While the trip was a successful holiday, it did make me wonder why people insist on travelling so much for work.
Heathrow was positively heaving with harassed men and women in identical business suits, endlessly checking their phones/laptops/Fitbits/travel irons and looking more stressed than Robyn when the local patisserie runs out of her favourite white-chocolate-and-salted-caramel-ice-cream-sponge-Bakewell-pudding-mess cake.
Add in the artificial light, overpowering heat and the sinus-blocking clouds of aftershave wafting over from duty free and it’s hardly surprising that people become agitated, fretful and drink themselves into a stupor on long-haul flights.
And that’s before they start worrying about the carbon footprint.
A man in his mid-30s . . .
I’ve always endeavoured to minimise the amount of stress in business and maximise the fun and, while it doesn’t always work, work-life balance becomes increasingly important as you get older.
And I’m speaking here as a man in his mid-30s which many of you will be unable to believe.
Talking of fun, I’m looking forward to our next network lunch today (October 30), at Tom Browns Brasserie, Gunthorpe.
It’s in an environmentally-friendly setting a 15-minute drive away and there are no children kicking the back of your seat. That’s my kind of business trip.
Watch out, though, for the wall-mounted moose-thing.
And, no, I’m not talking about the woman at the check-in desk . . .