It may be true that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, but that still leaves approximately 999miles and 1759 yards.

My ‘single step’ was out the front door and into a taxi heading to Inverness bus station, followed by a trip on the ‘Jet’ bus to the airport. I had woken earlier to high winds, lashing rain and news of the BA cabin crew strike. It didn’t look good and the run down state of the bus: front seats partly disassembled and a driver who could probably have been even less helpful if he had tried harder, didn’t serve to reassure. However, the incoming plane from Heathrow was only about half an hour late, a discrepancy mostly made up on the southbound flight.

There was some confusion over the Heathrow Express shuttle from Terminal 5 via 2/3 to 4, with passengers being directed and redirected between platforms and arriving trains being wrongly announced. Nevertheless, having arrived in the correct place and eaten a Caesar salad, I boarded the plane to AUH and we left only a bit late.

Back home, before Christmas, I rejected the idea of seeing the latest Jack Reacher film. I’m not a fan of that Scientologist Tom Cruise and Reacher is supposed to be exceptionally tall, whilst Cruise is a shortarse, even in wedges. So I’m not sure why I chose to watch it in flight, when there were so many other options. It was pretty dire, really, not even lifted by a cameo appearance by author Lee Child, a la Colin Dexter. I’ll try something different on the next leg.

Otherwise, the flight was fine: the baby across the aisle gurned for the first ten minutes then – possibly drugged by its mother – slept until touchdown. A couple of English guys became unpleasant with an air hostess who tried to insist they return to their seats, but nothing developed from that altercation.

Arrival at AUH was delayed by the thick fog blanketing the area. I used the front view camera feed on the seatback entertainment centre to watch the plane trundling after a ‘follow me’ vehicle crawling at snail’s pace over the tarmac, appearing and disappearing like a wraith in the mist, but eventually we docked and disembarked.

That’s really all there is to say: I won’t bore you with a description of Abu Dhabi airport. There’s nothing special about it though it’s certainly big and busy.

With any luck, the next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Sri Lanka.


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