Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ah, the memories of American Airlines flight 50

I was going through the few short video clips I've taken so far. Oh how the memories streamed back from several hours ago. Mainly the memories of being scrunched into an airline seat in the middle rows of an international 9 hour flight, next to a guy who was so unconscious he was leaning against me while napping in a diagonal chair position and flopping his coat sleeve over me as he used it for a blanket. I sat there for a while, grumbling to myself. Then I started thinking "Would Ryan (Robin's son) or Josh (my son) put up with this doodoo?" Nooooooo way. So the next time he squirmed around and his coat sleeve landed across my chest I slapped it back so hard he sat up and said "Oh, sorry. Haha." I didn't have any more trouble after that. Except a couple of times when he was hogging the arm rest and bumped my arm, in which case I would SNATCH my arm away violently. I didn't make any new friends, but I didn't have to play human pillow either.

So, my travel tip today is: don't hesitate, if necessary, to make the person next to you think you're crazy, or maybe just an uptight unstable border-line psycho who can't stand being touched.

The guy on the other side of me wasn't a problem. He stayed in his own space. But I did almost have to grab him by the lapels and shake him to wake him up when I needed to get up and grab my bag from the overhead storage bin. One other time he woke up from a dream so suddenly that he banged into me, arms flailing. Maybe he was just using my travelers' tip.

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I shot this scene at about 4:00 am of multiple movies playing on the backs of airliner seats. Unfortunately my own seatback movie screen didn't work. However, being a savvy traveler, I attached the external power supply to my nearly dead iPhone, plugged in the Bose Noise Canceling headphones, and watched a movie I had downloaded the night before (The Hangover). Darn good movie. If you're a guy. I'll pass along Robin's review after we hold the Michael Bevis Hall Flat 25 Room 10 Film Festival (seating for two, maximum. Come early to ensure you get a seat. Oops. Too late, sold out).

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Robin arranges an extra mattress and pillows at Concourse Hall, location for mailboxes and various campus services. And next door to Michael Bevis Hall.

Back at Brunel University

Ah yes. Back at Brunel, in spite of the fact that I took the wrong bus from Heathrow Airport this morning. I knew it was the wrong bus, but it said A10 Uxbridge Express and I thought "hey this is better than regular ol' u3 non-express. I'll take it."

Turns out that "express" must mean "stops every 30 seconds." I asked the bus driver when I first got on if the bus went to Brunel. He said something that sounded like Audrey Hepburn talking to Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. Rather than admit I had no idea what he said, I nodded knowingly and hopped on with my bags, figuring if I get to Uxbridge, I'll be within walking distance to Brunel, or I'll just get off where ever in Uxbridge and then look for a U3 bus I should have been on in the first place.

As we got closer to Uxbridge, the bus made one of its many stops and the driver said "something something blah blah yadda yadda Brunel University." I grabbed my bag and hopped off the bus, wondering where to go. A woman who exited the bus at the same time (and who obviously had incredible powers of observation) noticed me standing there with my bags looking like I'd just been dropped off in the middle of an alien planet. She said "go that way" then pointed at a half dozen student-types with back packs and said "follow them."

A light snow was falling, and I followed them through a little lane that ran along a little creek. Surprisingly, the lane came out in the middle of the Brunel campus! I walked through the main concourse of the campus to the building where Robin said she'd wait for me. When I got about 50 yards away she came out to welcome me. We went back to her flat (the floor she shares with other students) and cooked breakfast in the flat's shared kitchen: rashers (bacon), potatoes, eggs with mushrooms and cheese.

Tomorrow we plan to get some work done on some projects. Friday we take a bus to Windsor to tour Windsor Castle. A special King Henry VIII exhibit is on display. Later that afternoon, Lynn (Robin's Oxford tutor) and her husband Neal are meeting us there for dinner, then driving us back to Brunel U.

The entrance to Robin's new, smaller room (I thought the last one was small, but now I get it). Still room for a private bath (on the right).

The shared kitchen is at the far end of the hallway, about 5 rooms away. Which isn't far away, considering the width of each room.
The open cabinet is Robin's personal kitchen storage. The items on the counter belong to Robin or other flat residents. None of is community stuff.
There are four refrigerators, each resident had their own shelf.

The library.

Dark outside. Gosh, is it 4:00 pm already? Here's the bedroom, study, living room, guest room, and office.

The view from the kitchen window. Robin's room view is the same.