Under The Influence. (And the flightpath!)

The early morning British Airways flight from London to Brussels shook the victorian sash window and Paul sprouted from his reverie feeling quite green. 

He wondered what the house’s original occupants would have made of the giant metal bird in the sky disturbing their sleep path. They surely would have bolted from their bed,  bloomers adrift, battling with the bedpan in the process, and berated the noisy blighter for blighting their reverie.

Perhaps not.  

They were, after all, rather practical folk in old Blighty during that most industrious of ages. Managing to switch  between the luddite and the modern at the flick of an invention.  

One day a gassing neath a lamp. The next frollicking neath the flourescense.

Unlike the supposed bright sparks Paul had been unfortunate enough to switch on to the previous evening during television’s ‘The Apprentice’! Those high-flyers could not even manage to read a map!

When deprived of their mobile phones they appeared most unenlightened.  

A viewer being less kind may even have said dim! 

Paul didn’t want to be unkind to the younger generation. He was most fond of youth after all – attempting relentlessly to cling onto his own for dear life.  But this bunch of televisual fools needed their batteries charging. Or perhaps inserted – it was difficult to tell.  Paul made a mental note not to watch the programme in future for fear it would drain his own battery.  There were only so many hours in the day and spectating on a group of clueless, arrogant gits as they squawked their way around Brighton with Alan Sugar’s shopping list left a bitter taste.  It was certainly low voltage television.

The fact that none of them knew what a barometer did and insisted on calling it a ‘baramater’  had also got his pressure up.  

He’d retired in turbulent mood. All twitter and bisted!

He’d woken in an even stormier one.  

Gale force even.  

He blamed British Airways. 

Did anybody really need to get to bloody Brussels that early?

He turned to Andrew and inquired as loudly as a jet engine if his partner were awake.  He was given the affirmative – which was no surprise as Andrew was regularly up before the lark, or B.A. ascended.  Paul had always thought he’d have made a good milkman.  Chirpy and unpasteurised. But of course they were a thing of a bygone era too now.  Along with maps! 

Times had changed.

Everybody was buying over-sized and over-priced coffees over the counter. Double skinny lattes laced with an oat substance resembling  semen and sprinkled with healthy green dust. Gone were the days of a dollop of gold top to start one’s day.  People  wanted to live forever.  

Where were the risk takers? 

The hedonists? 

The ‘twenties’ of the 21st century seemed very different to those roaring at the start of the last.  Everyone in a flap about their cholesterol and calorie intake instead of just flapping. 

There were those that could TikTok but not read a clock. 

Under the influence of anyone with a pumped up mouthpiece and an oversized ego to boot! Quite often the bootie.

Too much anal bleaching and not enough ancient teaching!

And who were these bloody influencers?

Paul had always imagined one of those types to be someone along the lines of Charles Darwin or Emmeline Pankhurst.  Those who made the world think about where they may have come from or to where they were going. Or even change it. Not some wannabe ‘Kar-crashian’ perching in a tasteless hotel suite in Dubai trying to flog an equally banal energy drink the only active ingredient being P.R! The whole modern enterprise was a mock-tail of style over substance.  

Utter sly in the sky!

Paul knew he’d got out of the wrong side of the bed. 

He’d woken in the body of Jeremy Clarkson, which was a horrific thought! 

Bloody British Airways!

He took a sip of the Bloody Mary he’d surreptitiously slipped past Andrew on his way back to bed.  Well it was past nine and he’d been up for hours – sort of.  

And he was on airport time after all. 

Sort of!

The early morning sun grazed the emerald playing fields to the back of the house and a burnt orange fox sauntered unhindered across the verdant expanse of grass. Paul spotted two Magpies perched on one of the statuesque Sycamores which stood naked in their winter attire. Leafless, yet alive.  

He felt much the same. 

Two birds though. At least that meant joy didn’t it? Perhaps it was going to warm up. A vivid green foreigner swooped swiftly into view promising as much. The parakeets had made a home in south-east London some years back finding a sanctuary in Hither Green cemetery. Maybe they’d fancied a climate change, or just been swept up in one. Although it certainly didn’t feel like it now.  Old Blighty had seen a blighter of a winter. Easily cold enough to freeze the bollocks off of an entire troop of brass monkeys as well as the rest of their genitalia.  

Paul and Andrew were not remotely accustomed to such bleakness.  Their time on the Mediterranean had dented their resilience to cold weather and Paul huddled under the duvet with only a touch of Tabasco for warmth.  

The Andalusian sunshine was one of the things he missed about Spain.  There were other factors he certainly did not but he wasn’t about to elucidate on those in his current mood.  That would be far too dangerous! Besides, he was going to use those mischevious musings as premium content in his future blog.  Well – he needed to earn a buck from somewhere and he was well aware their were those who would be willing to subscribe to his juicier ramblings. He’d always kept the gloves on when blogging – the response had been far too cold to do otherwise.  But the proverbial mittens were slipping, and once in warmer climes again he knew a tell-all was the way to go.  

He’d resisted for far too long.  

He ached to travel again.  

To move.  

He was itinerant by nature.  He blamed that on his mother who was surely eighty percent roamer. Not only did she resemble Cher but she loved a caravan!

Paul was the same. His best night’s sleep always came in transit.  

An overnight bus. A night train. An ocean liner. 

In the still of the night, whilst moving, he felt at his most still.

Still.  It wasn’t to be. 

Not quite yet.

British Airways flight 4462 roared overhead on it’s way to Dublin. Paul wished he were aboard – if only for the craic! But a few thousand feet beneath it’s flight path the only thing cracking was his sanity.  Along with the window pane!

He slipped ungraciously from the mattress in order to garner some more in-flight refreshment. Being under the influence of Comrade Smirnoff as opposed to the likes of the insidious Andrew Tate and his gallery of idiots seemed the best idea. Numbed to the mind-numbing popularity of such untalented, unsavoury fools. Vodka seemed the only answer. At least until he was next taking flight!

But not to bloody Brussels!


  1. Oh how I’ve missed your blogs and you of course in sunny Spain. I will tell you a little secret….. it’s not been that warm here either so you’re not missing much. Go to the Chilli pickle in North Lanes for lunch that will warm you up, brilliant Indian street food. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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