Were I the sort of person to keep lists of airports I have never flown out of then this time yesterday London City Airport would have been on the list, sandwiched between Lisbon and Long Island (assuming that Long Island has an airport of course.) By now however, I should have expected to have proudly put a red line through the London City airport with the date of 22/01/2013 in the column alongside. Sadly the red crayon has failed to make it out of the pencil case and, in spite of being through security and passport control, not to mention having more than a passing familiarity of duty free, I am still to lose my London City virginity.
On a positive note, whilst I cannot regale you with a palate of tasting notes from Tuscany (check the use of the interesting new collective noun) I have at least reached Verona via Venice and Gatwick and have high hopes that today should yield something more than a travelogue borne of frustration.. Also on the plus side I should add that my travelling companions are a delight and if I am ever again to spend a day travelling across London in search of flights to Italy then I cannot think of 11 people I would rather have with me. Our esteemed leaders Christine and Garech have taken each setback in their stride, corralling and marshalling us around the capital in the nicest possible way and without sustaining injury or loss of personnel whilst the attitude of the rest of “Team Italy” only goes to prove that the Dunkirk spirit is alive and well. The only sadness is that too late did the thought cross my mind to organise an Orville tribute flashmob in the London City passenger lounge – maybe next time.
Verona and a somewhat late dinner last night were both wonderful – the hungry chose T-bones, the brave chose horse or donkey whilst the chickens chose er…. rabbit. All were delicious and washed down with a selection of excellent wines from the Veneto represented in the UK by our hosts competitors; with visits to Soave and Valpolicella on today’s agenda Garech is clearly in confident mood and I can scarcely control my excitement.