My oldest and most devoted readers may recognize the symbolism of the title. It was the name of this post, written on my way to England.
I was in a bit of disarrayed feelings then and, as I surely well projected over the last couple of days, I am somewhat disconcerted. Instead of dwelling on it, though, let me describe for you our last hours in London.
Natasha and I spent a good portion of last night making sure that everything in the house was in the same place as when I first moved in. The “comprehensive inventory” performed on the day of my arrival in 2006 was both pretty anal in listing the exact number and color scheme of teacups, pillowcases and such as well as inexplicably lax in omitting some of the decorations and what-not. We managed to match pretty much everything of note on that inventory to an item remaining in the house. Not sure whether this exercise was truly needed, but I suppose it will ease the process of confirming that we did not pillage anything and are due the entire security deposit.
In the morning, we washed the last few dishes, packed the last few personal effects, and the “inventory specialist” and the cab arrived at about the same time. Since the check-out process does not result in any document produced on the spot – that will only come in a few days; yep, there is too much implied trust involved here for my taste, but I don’t make the rules, unfortunately, – there was no reason for us to stick around.
We are flying Virgin Atlantic, in their splendid Upper Class (for our previous experience with that, please see this post). The difference in cost between that and the economy tickets was small enough for us to absorb. But this time around, we even had a very special airport arrival procedure available to us.
We had to telephone ahead the registration plate, make and model of the car that we were riding in, and then had to figure out exactly which driveway to use at the terminal. It took us to the gate which “recognized” the car and almost immediately let us through. We then found ourselves in between a couple of bollards in the middle of the road which, after some hesitation, lowered to let us through. All without a single conversation or a manned checkpoint. In about a hundred yards, we came to a courtyard that would do proud any five-star hotel. Two people were waiting for us, one holding our boarding passes, the other with baggage tags. We left our bags in the care of the latter, were escorted to a no-queue security checkpoint, and roughly ten minutes after arriving at the airport were already settling ourselves in the lounge.
Livin’ it large, I’m telling you.
We availed ourselves to various amenities, I did a little bit of work remotely, Becky went online and wrote a farewell poem to Britain and her friends…
And then I bumped into Meg Ryan.
After which, Natasha went right up to her and said hello.
My last moments in England will now forever be linked with When Harry Met Sally. Not a bad association. I love that movie.