So here I am, stuck in Stockholm airport. The plane from Heathrow is already three hours late leaving the UK and the fog is closing in. I suspect I may be here for the night. British Airways doesn't have a desk but shares an agent with several other airlines. Not surprisingly the agent's staff are completely uninterested in our plight, so we returning Brits will have to fend for ourselves.
By rights I should be in a bad way. It's Friday and I want to get home. I hate being delayed and I´m not anyway a great flyer. But something more worrying is happening.
I should say that I am rather tired. As I predicted yesterday, I celebrated my speech by having a couple of glasses of wine last night. Then this morning, despite the man-flu, I went for a run to, and round, the charming old town. It was wonderful. There is no better way to get acquainted with a new place than to run through it. But as every doctor knows, it is a very bad idea to exert yourself when you're not well. When I staggered back in to the hotel I was feeling very hot and very cold at the same time.
The thing is I am rather enjoying myself. It's not just the glass of Swedish lager and the prawn open sandwich. There are all the comforts here of an airport - cafes, bars, shops, Internet stations - but because it's Stockholm it's calm, quiet and civilised. In my woozy state I found myself thinking about 'The Terminal', a Tom Hanks film based on the true story of a stateless Eastern European who gradually adjusts to having to live in JFK airport for several years (the critics hated it but I thought it was quite cute).
How would it be if I got stuck here for a while (not long, say a couple of months)? I'm assuming I can reclaim my expenses (only fair, I'm sure you'd agree) so I can gradually work my way round the dozen or so bars and restaurants. I can write my blog at the Internet station. In fact I could post more frequently without the distractions of the office. I somehow know that all the nice people who work here would look after me if I ever got miserable or sick.
Of course, I would miss my friends and relations, but they would know I was safe and I could send nice presents to remind them of me, like smoked salmon, reindeer boots and crystal glass (how come every nation in Europe seems to claim that crystal glass is its speciality?). As for the RSA, I'm sure I would be a better, more systematic manager if I were making decisions with the objectivity that would come from a bit of distance.
I'm not due to blog again until Monday. Don't be too surprised if I do it with a Swedish accent.
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