“Ah, the best seat” the flight attendant told me kindly as I arrived at 71A. I think she exaggerated a little; on a Singapore A380 when there are people upstairs in suites and the Business Class passengers are blessed with flat beds, there are probably better seats than at the back in Economy, but due to the idiosyncratic layout of the plane, I’m in the row *behind* the bulkhead row, but there’s no seat 70A, so I get as much legroom as I could possibly ever need. I have my bag above me, with tramadol in case my kidneys rebel at 30,000 feet and 13 hours from the nearest hospital, I have compression socks and compression sleeves on, and two pairs of noise cancelling headphones (one with comfortable earpieces for long periods, and a slightly less comfortable pair with Bluetooth so I can listen to my phone). In short, I’m all set. Except once again I forgot my inflatable neck pillow.
This is a very late flight (scheduled departure 1145pm) and I’m a bit tired. Last night La Serpiente mentioned that she wanted to go to the National Gallery because we haven’t been there for a long time. So this morning we went, and had several pleasant hours at the Minimalist exhibition (which, paradoxically, spreads across three floors and two different buildings). Destroyer had to occasionally be dissuaded from whirling like a dervish near expensive things, but mostly they wee very well behaved and didn’t complain about 55 minute drum solos, rooms illuminated in searing yellow, or enormous paintings that were totally black.
They held it together until about 5pm, having been bribed with ice cream, bicycles and scooters, and only then began to squabble and screech. Early to bed at 730, and out like lights. I had just enough time to read them a very silly story about Old King Thunderbelly and a crow, and then enjoyed a moment with a sleeping child nestled against each of my arms.
Then it was a few final amendments to my packing, and then a car to the airport, a fully automated check in (I’m still kind of fearful that my bag will never arrive, but that’s what insurance is for), a quick game of Blood Bowl against a random opponent in Italy, and off to the gate. Which was when I realised I’d forgotten my travel pillow.
On the upside, nobody seems to be sitting in seats 71B or 71C, so I might have a lot of room to stretch out tonight. And on to the morning…