On My Recent Travels

Last year I travelled to Sheffield to help out with the recruitment process for the company that I work for, enticing these new graduates into the company for them to be better at their job than I am, but for me to be able to “manage” them in the way that I am managed myself. This sometimes feels like preaching to the converted – the very pretty and lovely Filipino girl that I talked to for around 20 minutes already knew about our company and probably was already going to apply for it, so talking to me, fumbling and stumbling over each word and sentence awkwardly as the longer I looked at her I realised she was very very pretty, utterly sweet, and actually flirting back with me... that might have put her off moving to Aberdeen.

The preferred method of transport to these far flung places is by air and this means that I have to go through the scanners and be searched by men regularly. I packed only a hand luggage bag, remembering to buy a mini sized toothpaste tube (that I left in Sheffield) and not to pack any shampoo, crossing my fingers that the hotels would remember to give me such items.

I needn’t have worried – I was put up in the pretty nice Thistle in Newcastle, but was amazed at being put up in the Hilton in Sheffield. Two double beds? Why thank you, that’ll do nicely. £3.95 for a bottle of water...? No, not at all, thank you very much.

In the days leading up to Sheffield though some things slotted together that reminded me that fate likes to play silly buggers with me. Recently, as far back as the spring, I have slowly been loving Fleetwood Mac, as their rank in my favourite bands creeps slowly into the top 5. There they reside at the moment, buoyed by the stunning trio of albums of Fleetwood Mac – Rumours – Tusk, and the blues explosion earlier material.

Last week a man that I work alongside sent an email round explaining that he had tickets to see the band play Glasgow, dates that I had missed out on completely. I couldn’t afford them, as they were going for a premium. Gutted to say the least, sick to the stomach in reality. So, it was all forgotten – I just soothed the pain with this Spotify playlist.

Arriving in Sheffield after listening to Fleetwood Mac on the train from Manchester, we went to check in. There was several sparkly dressed ladies looking rather lovely in the lobby asking for a taxi to the Sheffield Arena.

To go and see Fleetwood Mac. I was disgusted at fate giving me such ample chance to see them again, but pulling it out from under me once more. Then, to rub salt into the wound, whilst I was eating dinner with Jane, the played several of Fleetwood’s hits. This is me shaking my fist towards the ceiling, Mr Fate, you utter bastard.

These little jaunts remind me of how easy flying is when it’s not to the USA or further a field, as I was not once asked for my passport at any of the check in areas, as they were all done online. Domestic flights really don’t need them. Luckily, to be honest, as the company misspelled my name on every document, preferring the non-rule adhering Sheilds variant of my name.

The more I fly the more scared I get of it. I directly blame going offshore for this: wearing the survival suit and the life jacket that I wear, and then not wearing it on a plane. There’s something unsettling about that.