28 February 2016

ObserVation: Aerial Pastimes No: 46 - Lunch

he plane to Copenhagen was a small one, a ‘4 seater’ as I call them, 2 by 2 AC:DF, I was in row ‘C’. I like a bit of leg room to allow me to stretch out due to my leg problem, not that there was that much to leg it in on this flight. 
As I was semi business or whatever they call it - I got a meal. 
Usually it’s just a scolding coffee and a frozen sandwich which Thors just before landing, unless you dunk it in the coffee that is. You pick up these little helps with time which never appear in the tips and tricks section of the flight magazine.

[Ed: Thor? The Nordic god?]
 
Yes, sorry I meant 'thaw', I was heading north and was in the middle of an audio-read of Doug Adams last book, the salmon one. 
I’m usually a tea drinker, coffee only in emergencies. Never - and I repeat never - ask for tea in a plane unless the machine is of British make, an all British crew and you bring your own tea and water. To make doubly sure - brew it yourself. If you follow these rules you will never have problems. You will never get a tea either, but that’s not the point. 
Anyway back to the flight. 
There is always the rigmarole of listening to - but never watching - the on-board personnel doing their thing, you’re normally too busy trying to find the short bit of the seat beat. It’s an elusive little bugger which is usually tucked snugly under the passenger next to you. Nice way of getting into a conversation with fellow flyers, sitting on their seatbelt that is, but only works of course in your immediate vicinity. 

What they don’t tell you about, and again it’s not in any section of the flight magazine I could find, is how to successfully start and finish a 3 course mini-meal between seat belt chimes at a height of 13 km doing 550 km/h with turbulence imminent. Leg room is one thing, elbow room quite another. You have roughly a space 40 cm wide and about the half in depth dependent on the angle of the seat of the relaxing person in front of you. Some of the seats when inclined are at such an angle that you are enticed to follow suit, thus causing the famous ‘reclining seat domino effect’ right back to the last seat on the plane!
First you scrutinize the object flung at you from a steward doing a fly pass down the aisle. Normally, as with the one shown here, one gets an open tray. But this one had a built-in lid hence the unrestrained flinging. Now you have to find out how to open Pandora’s lunch box. Apparently there’s no way in, no password in a plain envelope, no keypad, maybe a catch of some kind. 
If you're in luck, a nonchalant glance to the other victims in your row puts you on the right track. If your lucks out, then the chances are that the others are also waiting for some poor sod to make the first move, a sort of fly-highnoon-ish stalemate. 
Some people give up at this early stage, handing the unopened package back at the next opportunity with some lame excuse. It’s either a lack of pioneer spirit or they have flown this route before. 
You of course persevere as you’re a bit peckish and nosy to boot to see what they have on offer. After a few minutes of prodding at it and shifting it around a bit.. 
Ah that’s how it done! 

You are fully aware that there is no space on the flap down table as the lunch box is dimensioned to fit exactly over the indentation for drinks, but possibly due to the eureka kick you just had you order a coffee anyway. From experience, receiving a boiling hot brim filled coffee cup means bone shaking turbulence in about 5 minutes 34.2 seconds.

[Ed: 'about'? I wondered about the stopwatch and those unreadable jottings in that little log book.]

Okay your coffee is on its way, the box is open, luckily no detected bad ethereal spirits unleashed. You are now confronted with an Aladdin’s cave of lots of indefinable objects of different sizes, all with a common property - a plastic non-open-able wrapper. Next problem, no list of contents, no colour coding. The packages are exactly the same size and shape! The only difference is the very small label in what looks like 4 different languages and to help matters your reading glasses are nicely packed away in the overhead storage compartment.

[Ed: They should do it like a box of Cadbury chocolates, info / pictures in the lid or something.]
That’s an idea, main thing not on the underside. Send the airline catering company an email. Maybe I’ll get a few ‘miles and more’ points or a logo-ed pocket magnifying glass. 

The coffee arrives and after a frantic one-handed searched for the sugar while the other one balances the coffee trying to keep blister free, you promptly open with the help of your teeth what you suspect to be the correct package. It turns out to be the perfumed hand wipe, which doesn’t added to the taste of coffee or any other drink for that matter. The only consolation is that the sugar will turn up while looking for the now unpacked hand wipe which you buried under the 3rd. course in anticipation of lots of wiping and dabbing down in the aftermath of the culinary conflict before you. 
Of course in the middle of the melee you have a neighbour that is going through the same contortions. You both try not to infringe on the others air space – we don’t want an international incident do we - which leads to an ‘excuse me’ here, a ‘sorry about that’ there. With these sporadic verbal exchanges, you try to hear out the nationality so you can start up a light conversation to cover mentally working on your strategy and tactics for tackling the foodscape before you.

[Ed: You forgot your copy of ‘Master Sun's Rules of Warfare’ again.] 
Indirectly yes, it was overhead with my reading glasses. 

You hear the seatbelt chime and you and your fellow aeronauts start to panic. You stop rummaging through the debris looking for that long lost last elusive crumb and start to dab off as much as possible the multi-coloured sauces now populating a once clean shirt. A multi-coloured tie can be an advantage when flying, something once on your plate now transferred to ones clothes will match with some section of the tie. It also breaks the ice at the business meeting explaining which colour came from which course.
 
As you start to stuff all the litter back into the box you realise that you can’t and why because it doesn’t all fit back in. The lid just won’t close. You can arrange the contents anyway you what, the dam lid springs open demanding a retry. 
You have to sit there sweating, with a potential “Jack-in-the-Box” held firmly in your mitts waiting to be relieved by a passing steward, who reads you and your predicament in a flash and goes off with a feeble excuse that the left wing had finally been shaken off 5 minutes 34.2 seconds after your coffee arrived. 
As the plane makes 1st. contact with the runway, you start to pray that as you eventually hand it over, that it doesn’t try one more time to bite back hurling a wilted lettuce leaf or a sucked dry lemon slice into the lap of some un-expecting passenger 4 rows down. It’s also a good idea at this time to keep a wary eye open for flying morsels from other rogue lunchboxs 4 rows back! 

As the plane reaches its parking position, you wonder why by consuming mass out of a box, that you had less space than before! You contemplate if the adventure was worth the stress involved. Maybe next time you will join the others ‘in the know’ by eating something beforehand and also refuse the lunchbox with an appropriate lame excuse. This will then give you time to keep an eye on the stopwatch while holding the brim filled coffee cup in both hands hoping it will cool down in time before ….

05 February 2016

Twilight Zone - Nails

have mentioned in previous posts that I wanted to get round to my experience, good and bad, concerning my nails and about painting and sticking things to them. I mentioned in my first episode of the ‘Stocking Saga’ that I had started to regularly polish and varnish them. This may give the impression, as with wearing daily my stockings and occasionally with suspenders that ‘Abi is out’. But as you can see from the title my Nail Saga (if it comes to that), will run under my Twilight Zone series dealing with girl related ‘stuff’ but without Abi running around in the open. 
As [Ed:] was rummaging around in my collection of pre-post notes and filing nail related pictures together, the following tale turned up from last summer. I thought I would let you see it now and not to wait for it ‘in sequence’ when I get going on about nails. It will also give me the impulse to pull the rest together. 
Here it is … 

I had one of those near misses today where I was surely tempted to let the cat out of the bag concerning Abigale. We were in the local drug store (German dm-drogerie markt) buying a few things after getting back from a rainy holiday on the Dutch coast. Mrs.A had ticked off the last item on her list and as this store was new to us we just wandered around a bit to see what was on offer. 

As Mrs.A stopped to look at something on a side shelf, I carried on and saw that along one wall nothing but cosmetics (see picture). Quite a collection, all the colours under the sun. As my pulse started to pick up speed I plucked up some non-alcoholic Dutch courage (must be a left over from the holiday) and walked over to the wall. As this was an impressive collection, I set my long range scanners to ‘press-on nails’. I was interested to see if they had a larger selection than our local store. 
A few seconds later my radar informed me that they were off to my right. As there was hardly anyone about I meandered over to see what they had. 
I kept my distance, just looking not handling. 

I found some nails from imPRESS and knew from experience that they are relative easy to remove and therefore painless. I have always been reluctant to cement them on and having the horror of not getting them off without mutilating my nails in the process. 
The problem was I could not see without closer scrutiny if they were large or small (I need large – big hands as well as big feet). I have seen in the net imPRESS nails without any size given, which makes me unsure if they would fit or not. Maybe they have now the complete size range in one package but I’m a little wary without any size info. I have been looking for some time for nails in mint. But there were none there, only orange which I also love and would come back for a better look when I was solo. 

Just then I noticed Mrs.A making for the cosmetic wall a little way off. I stopped looking and while trying to make a mental note of what was there I quickly joined her. 
She was looking at nail varnish. 

I have always tried to animate her to wear it, but she is reluctant to do so due to problems with the removers. She just cannot stand the smell of acetone. With my work in Labs I have no problem with the smell, actually the opposite. It reminds me of my lab experimental days, so the smell wouldn’t put me off wearing polish. 
She mentioned that she had bought a non-acetone based remover, not as good as with acetone but still a remover. I saw this as a chance to get her to try again. I had of course an alternative motive, not only to see her wearing polish again, but there was a good chance I would help her to apply it and then ‘play around’ a bit and get her to do one or two of my nails ‘just’ to see how it looked. This happened once way back in the past, but more about that later. I would have to time it so that we would do it on the weekend and have an excuse to leave it on a while longer. 

So we stood there, she was looking, but not really into it. I had to react quickly before she broke off and said we should go home. I rambled on about the colour selection and that one wears all the colours under the rainbow these days and having different colours on different nails and fancy art work to boot. 
Thinking about it later, I could imagine having a go at nail design myself complementing my dabbling in making Celtic jewellery. Of course I would stick to Celtic patterns, covering nails in knots!
[Ed: get on!]
Ok. 


The main thing was she answered and commented which was what I wanted as we were still there and looking. I moved quickly to level two and started to select vanishes and showed them to her asking what she thought. It must have been a subconscious reaction, and as this was the essie display, I selected the Pastel Love (mint) and said this looks nice and asked her would she like to wear it. 

[Ed: you should mention that exactly this make and colour was your last buy in varnish!]
Yes true, maybe that’s why I choose it. 
If I can’t wear it that often then at least I can see it on her. 

And now I come to the part where I almost let it slip and that would have been the beginning of the end. The answer I got back with the mint vanish was “Mint? Why? I have nothing in mint to wear with it.” 
I had to really concentrate when I calmly said “Yes, that’s true” at the same time as Abigale in my head was letting lose loudly 'But I have! There’s a lovely silk blouse, party dress, leather miniskirt, 5 inch patent leather heels, 4 inch open back sandals, earrings and a sexy bra and panties all stashed in the cellar, including this nail vanish!!'

I was preoccupied for a moment reflecting on what had just happened. I saw the funny side, then the stupidity of it all, followed by a state of overwhelming fatigue in having to constantly keep Abigale under wraps. 
It all must have ended quicker than I imagined as Mrs.A hadn’t noticed anything amiss. I pulled myself together and choose a number of other colours until she finally went for the essie go-ginza (lavender). Before she could complain about the price, we were off to the pay counter. 

Postscript: 
Half a year later, as of posting this, 
the bottle still hasn’t been opened.
I really must get the ball rolling!
[Ed: don’t they have weird names!] 
Yes they do, but the colours are nice.