Another flight from Edinburgh airport, another lengthy delay. I find myself sitting beneath the same speaker that I sat beneath eight days ago, the interminable wait on that occasion punctuated with conversation and laughs with 11 friends all en route to Val Thorens. And DC, directing a baleful upwards look towards the speaker, as another cheesy Christmas song interrupted his concentration on the Sunday Telegraph.
This time there are no friends, sadly. More mercifully, there is no Christmas music. Airport delays, who needs them? Luncheon vouchers are only a small consolation, although BA win points for possessing a decency lacking in Jet2 last week by advertising their existence over the tannoy.
At least I have a good book or two for company. My Christmas presents this year were, let’s say, tinged with a cricketing theme. Two books – Marcus Trescothick’s autobiography and Harold Larwood’s biography, and one DVD box set of the 2009 Ashes. Have been looking forward to watching the series highlights since it finished – the TV coverage being exclusively on Sky meant that I missed quite a lot of the matches as they happened. So Stuart Broad’s destructive spell at the Oval is, as yet, a pleasure still to be enjoyed.
Trescothick’s book provides a harrowing account of his breakdown when on tour with England in India, and subsequent struggles with depression. However, in the early chapters which chart his ascent through the echelons of county and international cricket, he recounts how he frequently found himself declaring “Isn’t this great?” as he experienced the joy of scoring runs at higher and higher levels.
Last week, I found myself, not for the first time, thinking, and sometimes saying aloud to anyone who would listen: “Isn’t this great?!” as I carved up another sun-kissed piste. Or watched the sun sinking over snowy mountains, with a hot chocolate warming my insides, and the prospect of a rapid exhilarating descent to the chalet ahead.
If anything, my speed on skis this year was even faster, having borrowed Kenny K’s helmet, and experiencing its sense of security for the first time. Thankfully it was never needed, except when Mandy took it upon herself to test drive it with a forearm smash to my forehead. With friends like these…
My trip to London is to see John Mayer play live, he having the temerity to schedule his only Scottish date on Saturday night while I was still in France. At least he had the good sense to arrange a London gig within two days of Maggie’s 3rd birthday, so I can combine two showbiz extravaganzas in one visit.
Having been slightly disappointed with JM’s most recent studio offering, I am hoping his live show fulfils its reputation, and is worth the airport delay…