This lift is a bit slow
Saturday 29th November
I woke up at 5.45am. Unable to sleep any further I jumped in the shower and used as many of the free toiletries as was feasible in the circumstances and was back in bed at 6am when the TV came on; you can set the TV to come on as your alarm call. Adrian woke up but was obviously confused to be in such a strange place and lost control of the TV volume and probably ended up waking everyone along our corridor – except Steven who didn’t stir. Adrian then got out of bed to boil the kettle and promptly blew the bulb on the standard lamp in the corner.
A quick flick through the TV channels found Scooby Doo over-dubbed in German. Not as good as the Star Trek in German we found on our last visit but hey, it will do. Did all the packing up of bits and pieces and got ready to go. Except Steven, who still hadn’t stirred. Eventually we had to do something we’ve never had to do before. We had to wake him up. He was obviously bewildered by the experience but soon calmed down after he’d had his morning milk. Rinsed last bottle and shoved it into a space somewhere and marched through to the reception areas. Adrian checked us out (of the room) and we found nice comfy chairs to sit on. A couple of minutes later the others came through. Ellie came running straight up to us to show us her latest Powerpuff Girls thing. I don’t remember what it was though as I was too busy watching Harry teeter over towards us. Lisa followed him over and explained that his backpack was a little heavy for him and he had already toppled over twice so was taking it steady. The poor boy is only little and – well if he wants to take that many toys he’s going to have to carry them himself because no one else has room.
Harry got some respite shortly after as he was strapped into his buggy for the trip to the terminal. Lisa and myself had a buggy race down the walkway out of the hotel which made the men roll their eyes and mutter such things as “two weeks of this.” Once in the terminal we all piled into a lift to go up to the shopping village for breakfast. We were all chattering away excitedly and after about 10 minutes Big Steve suddenly noticed that the view through the glass walls of the lift had not changed. OK so we were all so busy talking that we had forgotten to press the UP button in the lift and had gone exactly nowhere. Either that or both levels at Gatwick south terminal are identical. We managed to get up to the top level eventually and looked for somewhere to have breakfast. For the life of me I don’t know how we did this but we ended up in McDonalds. I despise fast food of any kind. And I consented to eat in a McDonalds; something I have not done for many years. Oh well, I’m in here now, get me one of those revolting big breakfast things and some coffee. That must have been it – caffeine deprivation. How else would I have ended up in that place?
Anyway breakfast was consumed by all except Harry, who decided that pancakes are made to throw and not eat. Mind you considering they were McDonald’s pancakes he probably made the right choice. Harry and myself then practised our roaring for some inexplicable reason, but it had to stop when Harry roared too loud and Steven burst into tears. Following this a little shopping was done in the Warner Brothers store where we managed to convince Ellie that a two feet tall Powerpuff Girls plush toy is not a practical item to take on a plane with you. She did manage to get £3 out of Uncle Adrian for a small one to hook on her backpack though.
We depart the shopping area and head back downstairs and through Passport Control and join the long lines to have our carry-on belongings checked. We all make it through the magic arch without any beeps and our bags are given the thumbs up by the scanning machine. Except Ellie’s pink backpack. She is pulled aside with Big Steve and the contents are removed one by one. I look over at the exact moment that the security officer pulls out the small pair of scissors and starts to examine them. I gasp in horror and turn to Lisa and say, “Ellie has scissors in her backpack.” Lisa replies, “yeah I know, I packed them.” I pick myself up off the floor and start on about the 15 page document listing what you cannot put in your hand luggage – come on, you get the picture by now. Anyway the security guard lady was very nice and told Ellie she could keep the scissors but she must promise not to get them out on the plane. I’m not sure that should be allowed: surely the scissors must be confiscated and Ellie hung by her feet in irons for an indeterminate amount of time, but anyway allowed to keep the scissors she was and with her backpack repacked we are off to duty free.
Pictures start in the next part