“What time is it?”
“In the morning?”
“And you’re ringing me again.”
“Yes sir. The alarm in your office has gone off again.”
“Yes sir. There appears to be a fault.”
“Your’re ringing me at 2.15 in the morning to tell me that my security alarm has a fault?”
“I’m sorry sir, but our contract requires us to notify you whenever the alarm activates.”
Which it did, on three further nocturnal occasions, in the hours remaining before I was due to begin my morning journey to Belfast.
So perhaps I was a little tired. And I was certainly out of my comfort zone: I fly so rarely, as you know. But I couldn’t have foreseen the choice by an anonymous individual of the Piccadilly Line and this morning for their Personal Decision to Exit Life.
Deprived by the suspension of the Piccadilly Line of my obvious route from Hammersmith to Heathrow, and having set off with ‘just enough’ time, I improvised the Paddington/Heathrow Express solution, and crossed my fingers. This seemed to work – I caught the necessary train with 2 minutes to spare – until, at Terminal 1/2/3, the train doors developed a fault. For one, two, three, four minutes we sat there.
So when I swiped my Boarding Pass across the electronic eye at the security zone, I was refused entry, it being 9.24. My last opportunity to access my flight had expired, according to the sympathetic but powerless British Airways employee, at 9.20.
“And the next flight is?”
“And to change my booking would cost?”
I stared at the woman behind the desk. Then the fabulous arches of Terminal 5. Then the painfully blue sky outside.
The universe had spoken. I decided to listen.