Monday, May 24, 2010

I should be in Vancouver

But due to British Airways I'm not. I am entitled to a £700 refund apparently, but my online travel agent is yet to respond to my emails. You may want to remember their name if you ever have to book a flight.

Instead of going to Vancouver, I went to London - my fella was already down there for a few days. He'd bought me an extra ticket and spent so much time reminding me to take it with me, that he forgot his own ticket and had to buy another one on the train. And he stayed in first class. Even after I furiously emailed him with "Move to second class!!" I guess this represents a difference between the two of us. I would have gone to standard class as a penance. Words were exchanged afterwards. (Specifically, I called him Annie Leibovitz, who has always represented the gold-standard in flaky extravagance after I read this article on her last year. Here's a tit-bit:

Leibovitz’s perfectionism led her to pay little or no attention to budget restrictions, and she spent money recklessly, losing cameras, accruing parking tickets, and even abandoning rental cars... Because of her credit issues, Leibovitz was forced to deal almost exclusively in cash. In 1987, American Express offered her a plum ad campaign. Ironically, Leibovitz’s application for a card had been denied many times. After the ad agency found out she’d lost an envelope containing several thousand dollars in a phone booth during their shoot, strings were finally pulled to get her a card.

Due to improved train lines, it only takes 2 and a half hours to get to London these days from where I live. You are literally hurtled to London. However, this means that I now suffer from travel sickness and have to sit perfectly still, my eyes on a fixed point on the horizon. If I look at a laptop screen I swoon.

We stayed at a reasonably posh hotel in Westminister (quite close to Buckingham Palace). London seemed particularly full of celebrities. My fella saw ex-Dr Who Peter Davidson, wandering along the street, in rather a bad mood, mouthing the word "fuck" to himself. And at the National Portrait Gallery, I was looking at a picture of news-reader Jon Snow, when who should appear but Jon Snow himself, looking very tall and slightly bashful. "I never normally come in here," he announced to everyone, and then proceeded to stand by his portrait and be photographed by lots of excited tourists. I did not take his photo.

Worst of all, holding court in our hotel lobby was art critic, Brian Sewell. You can read all about him here. You hear his voice before you see him, a voice of exhausted disapproval. I suppose celebrities have to be somewhere - but I just wish they would not be by me.

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