Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Luggage? You must be joking …

Bloody BA. Bloody BA courier. What the bloody hell do they think they’re doing?? Honestly, they’re so thick they couldn’t stuff a bloody luggage trolley up their own arses and turn it. And how I wish I could do the deed for them – that would be sooooo satisfying. We waited up till nearly 11.30pm last night for the non-existent ruddy delivery, and I am shattered today as I then lay awake worrying about it. Their bag-tracking system & website information is bloody hopeless. It told me my case had landed in Gatwick and had been picked up by the courier between 6pm & 7pm. We waited for the promised phone call, but none materialised. Bloody hopeless bearing in mind they’d said we’d get the case yesterday.

Anyway, this morning, Lord H rang the BA baggage people who couldn’t understand why the case hadn’t been delivered. They then ran around like the proverbial and rang us back to tell us (a) they couldn’t get in touch with the courier as they wouldn’t answer the phone; (b) the case may have landed in Gatwick but it has to first be transported to Heathrow as the courier only works from Heathrow. (Ye gods – aren’t courier services supposed to travel??? Isn’t that what they’re for???); (c) The courier promises a six hour delivery turnround but only delivers up till midnight, so as the case arrived at Heathrow at 7pm, they didn’t action delivery as they couldn’t guarantee the six hour turnround as it was then only 5 hours to midnight. Ye gods!!!! Shouldn’t we have been told this information when we filled in our form at Gatwick on Saturday? Shouldn’t some so-called customer service representative at least have (a) updated the website with the correct information or (b) even had the courtesy to ring us to say they couldn’t deliver, and then name a date when they could?? It doesn’t take much to pick up a phone and give us those details. They’ve had our ruddy number after all!! I am sooooo pissedd off it’s almost untrue. After all, they could even have dropped the ruddy thing in on the drive between Gatwick and Heathrow – we’re only a few miles off the bloody M25 route between the airports after all!!

Anyway, Lord H asked them to deliver the case to his work address, but I’ve left notes with the neighbours just in case. I simply don’t trust BA or their bloody courier any more. They’re all bloody liars. Give me back my effing case!!!!!! It shouldn’t be this hard!!!! There’s definitely a big complaint letter and a demand for compensation coming on. Angry of Godalming? Just clear the ruddy route for me …

Rant over. For now ... Meanwhile, at work, I finished the first draft of yesterday’s minutes and by lunchtime was very much in need of my soothing Reflexology session. Somebody give me a chill pill … However I think the Reflexology worked as I felt much more grounded this afternoon – Emily is a miracle-worker indeed. Have spent most of the rest of the working day wondering where my luggage is – answer: we don’t know. Still. It was supposed to be delivered by 3pm to Lord H, but its absence continued apace. My working theory is that it’s doing a tour of UK airports and, having been to Gatwick and Heathrow, is now on its way to Luton. I have yet to have this theory confirmed however. Anyway, I cracked and I went shopping tonight to stock up on all the items I’ve been missing. At the very least, I shall buy a comb and stop looking like the Wild Woman of Borneo. Some hope there then.

On other fronts, Jo at the University Arts Office has confirmed my date with “A Dangerous Man” (http://www.flamebooks.com) at the University Book Circle on 30 April. Gulp. Heck, Michael and I will enjoy it, I’m sure. If he’s stuck, he can always scowl at people and draw something. So, I’ve done some marketing for that and hope that people will come along and talk. And the University bookshop is going to stock him too, so we’re both pleased about that. It's the first time in my whole writing life that any bookshop has actually rung me up and asked to stock something I've written!! Normally, I'm banging on their door, weeping and begging, while they hold it shut against me. So a Red Letter Day today then, and almost like being a real writer then...

Oh, and the lovely Lady Sister-in-Law-to-be (Lady S-I-L-t-b) (http://www.peterandsusan.co.uk/blogs/susansblog.asp) has just finished “A Dangerous Man” and has blogged a very generous review under 26 March, the second entry down. Which I have copied below also:

"I finished Anne’s book yesterday, ‘A Dangerous Man’. For the first few chapters of the novel it was constantly in the back of my mind that I knew the person who had written it and therefore I was thinking things like ‘I wonder how Anne came up with this idea’, ‘I wonder how she researched this bit’, etc etc.

However, as I progressed through the book these thoughts slipped away as the characters became real for me and took hold. I thought the novel was suspenseful, unsettling and well paced and took me into a world that is totally alien to me. Although the main character, Michael, is not your normal type of hero - in fact he is a very dark personality indeed - I felt a real empathy for him and I found myself rooting for him until the end (even when he had stepped over the boundary into criminality).

The final chapters of the book are gripping as the shadows that have been stalking Michael come to the surface and threaten to ruin his all too brief taste of success. As things head towards a climax there is a sense of foreboding and you become aware that the unattractive character, that is Jack’s mother, is feeling the same as you, the reader, that there is surely tragedy ahead for her son, Jack, and Michael. I thought the writing throughout was excellent, paticularly in the final more violent scenes, and I found it easy to visualise what was being played out in front of me. I was sorry to be coming to the end of the novel so I left the final few chapters until later in the day to savour reading them – what a sign of a good book that is!

Anne, if you are reading this, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and think that you have definitely found your genre! I look forward to reading The Gifting!"

Gosh. Thanks, Lady S-I-L-t-b – knowing how much you love dark books and your high standards, that means a huge amount. Thank you! And I think I’ve just outed your and Lord B-I-L’s real names. Sorry … And thank you again.

Tonight, I’m planning to watch “Life on Mars” and wonder where my luggage has got to. What an exciting life I lead for sure.

Stop Press! Update on the Godalming Luggage Crisis! When Lord H got home, he discovered a note through the door saying the courier couldn't raise anyone (have the downstairs neighbours all died? Oh no, I just saw one in the garden ...) and delivered my case to the house next door instead. Lord H retrieved this from the lovely lady there, but by the time I'd spoken to him I was already in the process of buying all my restocked items in the shop. I shall probably now not run out of anything till the next Millennium. At home, everything in the case looks intact, phew - even my triangular Madeiran house in a snowstorm. I am indeed an Arbiter of Taste ... But in the meantime, the BA Baggage Handlers have left three messages on our phone this evening saying they've asked the courier to take the luggage back to the depot and deliver it to our home address tonight. Frankly, m'dear, we here in the home counties don't give a fuck. And we're certainly not ringing up the bastards to say we've already got the delivery. So we wait with interest to see if any case will be delivered here tonight and, if so, whose it might be.

Ye gods, no wonder we lost the Empire, eh ...

Anyway, today’s nice things:

1. Lady S-I-L-t-b’s review of “A Dangerous Man” - thank you!
2. Reflexology
3. The University bookshop planning to stock Michael – hurrah!

Anne Brooke


Cathy said...

Watch that blood pressure, Anne....


Anne Brooke said...

I'm watching, Cathy, I'm watching!!



Nik Perring said...

Glad it's over and all sorted.

And breathe.


Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Nik! Me too! And I'm breathing - promise ...!


Robin said...

Congrats on the university bookshop and the return of your case.

How far is Heathrow from Gatwick? I seem to remember being shuttled from there to Gatwick one time when fogged in and unable to land...what a nightmare! That was my only visit to England...the bus ride transport!

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Robin!

And sorry to hear about your nightmare UK journey! Horrible indeed! Either airport is about 45 mins from where we are, and they can't be more than an hour or so's drive apart. Perhaps the fog slowed you down ...



Robin said...

Well Anne, it started on this end when we when stayed on the runway for 3 hours running the airconditioner before takeoff...then upon arrival at Gatwick the airport was indeed fogged in but we were experiencing a "fuel situation" by this time!

To the cargo airport we were transported...ended up making my trip to Italy an 18 hour one as we then missed our connection at Gatwick to Pisa.

Anne Brooke said...

Nightmare!!! Poor you!!