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British AirwaysI was flying back to the UK with British Airways who actually have a really bad reputation for dealing with surfers. In particular they regularly refuse to take surfboards on their passenger flights, so I was a tad nervous that I might end up losing another board on the way home.

However to give credit where it is due I was pleased that they loaded my board without issues and more importantly without any charges. I had a great seat for the flight back with loads of room too, and was looked after by a stewardess call Holly who had spotted my surfboard being loaded and wondered how anybody could have been surfing in Cairo.

London Taxis Lined Up On SidewalkBeing able to join the tiny residents queue at immigration for the first time in a year was a delight too, but things went downhill from there. Straight away I had to put a jumper on for the first time six months.

Then after clearing customs and collecting my baggage I spent an hour freezing in a cab rank waiting for a taxi big enough to carry my board, only to hear words I have not missed in my year away when one finally arrived. “I ain’t ga-ing dan there!” London cabbies don’t change and I can’t say I have missed them that much!

Left LuggageI am in too good a mood to let it bring me down though, but have to form a plan B, which entails going into the city on the Heathrow Express and leaving my bag at Left Luggage in Paddington station.

I know from past experience that carrying a surfboard anywhere on public transport in central London is a nightmare and I can easily collect from there on my way out of town later in the week, so it will save me a lot of grief.

Roast-chickenHowever the price of leaving the board there is as extortionate as I remember everything being before I left on my travels, so I console myself with my first Cornish pasty in over a year.

Ditching the board means getting out to my friends Richard and Hannah in south west London is a much easier prospect though, and it doesn’t take me long to get there.

It is great to be back and I was cooked a fantastic roast chicken dinner later in the evening to remind me of why it is so good to be home. (You can’t get proper gravy anywhere else in the world!) There may also have been a drink or two involved!




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