Upper Class Travel Linked to Intestinal Gas

If you don’t do a lot of Business travel you are probably thinking how can First and Business Class have any downsides when compared to Economy Class. I think I have mentioned in the past that one unpleasantness when traveling long haul is the odour from  flatulent co-travellers. 

I now believe I have enough data to draw a scientific link between upper class travel and excessive amounts of intestinal gas. The cause of this is modern cabin design. You may be asking what is my proof? Well, after experiencing numerous (too many to count or remember) Economy Class trips and comparing that to the multiple Upper Class trips over a 21 year period I think I have a good data set to work with. 

Here is my hypothesis: when travelling long haul in an upper class cabin travellers have room to stretch out enough to sleep. 21 years ago upper class travel was more specious but you were mainly sitting in a reclined position with extra leg room. However, with the modern design of upper class cabins, which allows you to lay fully in the prone position, people are much more comfortable and can actually fall deeply asleep. This combined with the pressure in the aircraft creates excessive amounts of intestinal gas.  

The difference in Economy Class is that you spend the flight with your knees wrapped around your ears trying to drown out the sound of the wailing toddlers and grumpy pre-teens “who are bored and didn’t want to go on this dumb trip in the first place.” So, getting yourself in a position physically or emotionally for sleep is damned impossible! Hence intestinal wind stays put.

Whereas; if you are in upper class and are the type of person who likes to read or watch movies before attempting sleep you will no doubt be subjected to wafts of odorous fumes from sleeping passengers. 

Conclusion, foul bodily odours are more pervasive in upper class cabins lending a smelly musk to the entire experience.

Why does the Yang have to follow the Ying so quickly?

I know the title of this post is a bit befuddling but I hope it will all become clear. This past weekend is a great case for my question. I attended a family wedding on Saturday and it was fantastic. Everyone did something to make the day a success. Whether it was preparing food, decorating the village hall (which was the venue), creating flower arrangements etc. it all came off without a hitch even the weather did its part to make the day perfect.
It was back to work this morning so that meant an early night last night to be ready to tackle the week ahead which I knew would have its own set of challenges.

I had a feeling when I woke up this morning and found a cold sore that had developed overnight, that it might not be a great day. My taxi was booked for 7:00 a.m. and it arrived promptly giving me hope that maybe I was wrong and cold sore was not an omen for the remainder of my day. I ensured that the driver knew the route I wanted to take and mentioned that I might close my eyes for awhile (hoping this would say) “I’m too tired to chat”. However that message did not get across on the first attempt. An hour later as we approached a queue of traffic I took my opportunity to shut my eyes for a few minutes. When I opened my eyes and looked around I got the distinct feeling we were not where we were supposed to be. I caught sight of a mile marker post just as it flashed by and I thought for sure it said M40 (we were meant to be on the M42. ) Even if you don’t know specifically where I’m talking about I’m sure you get the point I was not on the correct motorway! I waited for the next junction sign to make certain I was right before speaking. Sure enough the next sign comes up and I now know I’m in the wrong place.
I said to the driver “we are on the M40 not the M42″ he said ” are we?” Which worried me even more. I wondered if he too closed his eyes for a while! He apologised profusely but the damage was done. That error added another hour and a half to my journey getting me to work at 10:45 instead of 9:00’ish.
Finally I arrive at work and there are 3 people waiting to speak to me. This was another bad sign. After these 3 impromptu meetings one of which contained more bad news I returned to my new desk (yes yet another seating change on Friday) to find out they did not set up my equipment properly and my laptop refused to play nice with my mouse or my monitors. Getting itself in such a tizzy that it eventually “blue screened” technical term for “going belly up!” I had to raise a HelpDesk call then wait for IT to arrive. In the end it was 12:05 when I was finally able to log in and start to work.

So back to my question “why does Yang have to follow Ying so quickly?” I had a beautiful weekend (the Ying) then the Yang (my rubbish day today) could not wait to balance the scales.
The good news is I will always remember the wedding and will completely forget the rubbish day.

One Person’s Luck is Another Person’s…

Last week we were out with friends at the beautiful Avon Gorge Hotel in Bristol.  They have an incredible terrace with views across the Avon and of the Clifton suspension bridge.  We are sitting there after ordering, having a drink when all of a sudden I heard a “Splaaaat!” Immediately followed by this slap against my forearm.  I looked down and saw a thick, long, green blob that ran almost from my elbow to my wrist.  It looked like pesto on steroids.  After the laughter at the table died down and my stomach settled a bit, our lunch arrived.  I had ordered Cous Cous and roasted goat’s cheese salad.  When the waitress placed my plate in front of me my stomach lurched as I noticed they had decorated my plate on both sides with a thick slug-like dollop of PESTO!  Needless to say it looked far too familiar to my recent forearm experience.  So, some people say when a bird poops on you that it is good luck.  Well within 5 minutes of the food arriving the skies opened and there was a torrential rain shower that we had to out run back to the shelter of the bar.  if that is the kind of luck bird poop brings…count me out.  I’ll keep looking for my 4 leaf clovers thank you.

One Snowy January Day

There are certain events and special days that mark and shape our lives. Some of these are obvious and many of them are public knowledge such as birthdays, weddings anniversaries and so on. Most of the days in our lives when we wake up we have no clue how significant that day will turn out to be. Five years ago on the 13th of January was exactly one of these days for me. I was due to have lunch with someone I had been chatting to online. We had been in touch almost every day for about 2 months. I should have known, the minute I woke up and looked outside, that the day would be a good one because it was snowing. I love the snow and I still get as excited as a little kid when the white stuff comes down!
We had planned to meet at my local pub. This also turned out to be a bonus because I literally could not drive out of our neighbourhood, it was totally impassable. I got ready and walked down to the pub which is about 3/4 of a mile from my house. It was one of those perfect snowy days where there are only a few cars on the road and all sounds are muted by the blanket of snow. It was bitterly cold as well but that didn’t seem to bother me as I crunched my way down the path towards the pub. There was a sizzle of excitement running through me that I thought was a combination of the snow and the meeting now only minutes away. Like the weather outside I too had a flurry, this one of emotions buzzing around. Excitement yes but also hesitation, what if she shows up and has 3 heads? What if we find that after two months online there is nothing else to say or we don’t have things in common etc. I didn’t have to wait long to find out I had nothing to worry about. Once in the pub and the initial greeting hugs over we started to talk and did not stop. In one way It was like I had known this incredible person my whole life yet in other ways I couldn’t wait to get to know her better. I never wanted that lunch to end and in a way it didn’t. Five years have now passed and we still have not runout of things to talk about. We have been married for three years, have seen 4 grandchildren born and have a very busy and wonderful life. So, moral of the story, what appears to be a “normal” day can turn out to be one of the most important and special days of your life. I now try to wake up each day thinking “what incredible things are going to happen today?”

What an Incredible Summer

It is just past 6:00 A.M. and I’m on the train heading into London, the sun is shining and there is not a cloud in the sky. Even the most traditional Brits will have a hard time complaining about this summer. We have had fantastic weather and it is true when people say “if the weather was like this every summer no one would go abroad.” The temps are set to rise even more by Friday giving us our hottest day yet of 30C or 86F! We will be hotter here than in Grand Canaria! The only downside to today is the fact that I am working and having to wear a suit. No worries, at this time of year we will have sun until nearly 10:00 so there will be time to still enjoy the evening in our garden.
This past Sunday I celebrated the 14th anniversary of arriving in the UK and I still love it! I hope the sun is shining for you today.

Pam and Donna’s big move…take two!

Oh yes, you do remember correctly, Pam and I recently moved (well September), but we just moved again today. We truly hope this will be the last time as we are no longer renting! The day started bright and early (Oh, I forgot we are in England in the winter) the day started dark and rainy and Pam dropped me at the train station at 06:00. I was off to work in Coventry while she went home to wait for the movers. The morning did not really go according to plan for either of us. I missed my connection and arrived at work two hours late and the movers were over an hour late to start the move. This wasn’t looking good. However, the rest of the day went much better. Pam finally sat down for 5 minutes at around 19:00 (6 p.m.). and I made it through my day and to the hotel about the same time. Now Pam is in our new home alone tonight as I’m away and so is Tess until tomorrow. The reinforcements arrive tomorrow afternoon in the form of our dear friends Ann and Helen. Not only have they been looking after Tess since Sunday but they are coming to help Pam with the mountain of unpacking. Now, I have said to Pam that once we are in to take her time unpacking, there is no rush. Any of you who know Pam that is the most unlikely scenario ever. I will not be surprised if Home and Garden are not taking pictures of the place by the time I get home on Thursday!

Week 2

IMG_1419Week 2 and I changed accommodation and what a good decision. Not only do they have proper cutlery but it is a pub with real ale, WiFi, great food and they are dog friendly!  The picture is the view from my room. Oh yes, we have more snow. I think when I asked you all to wish for snow on the 13th, for our anniversary, that you did such a good job that it is still snowing. Our temps have not been above freezing since!  The power of collective thought.

Back to the new job, people are starting to figure out that I like to enjoy work which means making jokes during meetings, the requirement for sweets and chocolate at any meeting booked for an hour or more and some of the guys I worked at other places reminded me yesterday that they are waiting for Pam to start baking!  Shortbread and cakes have been requested.

What a difference the sun makes…

Yesterday was drizzly and nasty outside and it seemed to encourage me to wallow a bit in the pain.  This morning the sun was shining and immediately it lifted my spirits.  We decided to make the most of the day and went to a local car boot sale and then for a nice walk around the nearby country park’s lake.  It wasn’t a very long walk but it was light years away from sitting on my couch and feeling sorry for myself.  The park was full of people letting their dogs off the leashes for a well deserved run.  The tea shop was doing a booming business and it was just a lovely place to be.  Today is a completely different day.  The pain still sucks but it is easier to deal with.  It must be said that I did not do any of this on my own.  If it wasn’t for my phenomenal partner Pam I would still be sitting on the couch!

Soggy Sunday

It is another rainy and windy day here, this week we have  seen our local rivers, streams and brooks on the verge of bursting from all of the rushing runoff from the rain.  I know we are officially in a drought but when you wake up to the sound of the whipping wind and lashing rain you don’t much think about hose pipe bans and water shortages.  So, what are some things you can do on a soggy Sunday like this?  My mom, (whose birthday it is today, Happy Birthday Mom!), loves to do what she calls “doing bear”. Doing bear, consists of puling the covers way up as if you are in a cave and snuggling down to listen to the rain outside feeling all warm and safe in your cave.  Not a bad way to spend a day like today.


OMG, we really are becoming the “cat ladies”!

I woke up this morning and as I passed the French windows I saw 3 cats queuing at the door for breakfast!  My step son teases us that we are in danger of becoming like the cat ladies you see on telly…you know the ones with hundreds of cats all over the place.  We always tell him that he is wrong and technically at this moment we don’t actually own a single cat.  The cat we did have has decided she prefers living with Pam’s mum (yes, after nearly 12 years she has moved out and found a more understanding human who caters for her every need as I did just faster!).  So, officially Pam and I are cat-less.  You next door neighbours however have a multitude of cats and one by one they are migrating to this side of the fence.  We started with “Tink” named because when we first moved in we would walk into our locked cottage and hear the tink tink of a bell and we would find this little cat in our house.  It took us ages to figure out how she was getting in.  At first she was very timid and flew whenever we found her.  That of course made us feel bad so we wanted to let her know we wouldn’t harm her so that is the reason we first fed her.  Yes, you can see where this is heading.  After a while she started to let us stroke her for a few seconds before running off.  Over the winter she seemed to always be out.  Now we were pretty sure that she belonged next door but there were so many cats we were never quite sure and she was definitely at the end of the queue for food as she was very small.  Mind you the competition next door must be fierce with 2 Labs, 3 chickens and at least 4 cats.  So if she was out and it was going to be below freezing we would let her in to stay the night.  Which soon turned into letting her stay whatever nights she wanted to.  Within a few days of her getting to know and trust us, more cats started to show up.  Pam would feel bad and put a bowl of food out for them.  Hence this morning’s queue for breakfast at our back door.  The word is obviously out now.  Go to number 40 they are big softies!  I still don’t think this put us in the realm of the “cat ladies” but I have to admit when you are buying copious amounts of cat food and you don’t own a cat that you are getting pretty close.