My flight is at 1340 and yet I book the taxi for 730. I ask the lady on the telephone how long it will take the taxi in this weather to take me to Heathrow. I asked her this two days ago. It was a silly question. She doesn’t have a crystal ball. “Normally 67 minutes, but in this weather….” she trailed off. I have had too many narrow runs to the airport in the past two years. I didn’t want to take any chances today. The taxi came on time. He struggled to go up the hill to reach the main road from my house. Once there it was fine. In just over 67 minutes we were pulling into the airport departure zone. I wondered why the roads looked empty. Only two weeks ago as I drove this way I remember sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and that too during the half term school holiday week. The driver tells me that the schools are closed due to the weather. I think it is just not the school traffic but people are scared to take their cars out in this weather. The ‘Beast from the East’ was followed by storm Emma from the south bringing with it freezing rain. It is bitterly cold outside but the driving conditions on the major roads look fine. It is not only us who are affected. This freak weather is doing a lot of damage to the birds, insects and even the frogs as it is their spawning season.
I am very early. Too early in fact, but it is fine. I read my journals, catch up with the news. In between Lakshmi FaceTimes me, but the connection is poor and it gets cut off. Her mum rings back. She is upset that I cannot be reached. The video cuts out. She is starting to exert her independence. She observes everything and if we let her, she takes advantage of it. It’s nice to know that she is missing me as well. I will miss her terribly.
After checking in, I get a cup of tea and croissant. I still have plenty of time. Lots of flights are cancelled today, but my flight looks like it is on time. Our flight is full as a later one is cancelled. After boarding, the captain announces that the wings need de-icing and anti-icing and this delays us as red and green liquid are squirted on the wings. And soon I am on my way. The sky is heavy and grey and once the flight hits the skies I can’t see anything, but we should be fine.
I settle down and watch how Winston Churchill came to power during one of the darkest days of British history and led the country to victory. An unwanted Prime minister who only got the post unexpectedly due to exceptional circumstances but within a few days of taking up the post got the whole country behind him. I have been catching up on ‘The Crown’ as well and am completely mesmerised by this character. A great orator and motivator. It was as if he was born at the right time to lead this country and also help a young Queen find her feet as she ascended the throne after the untimely death of her father. A dynamic politician indeed.
After watching the ‘Darkest hour’, it is time to watch the next Oscar nominated film, ‘Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri’… Great acting, but is the film worthy of an Oscar, I am not too sure.