Sunday, 27 September 2015

Day 21: Abbotsford BC - Fort Larrington

It is morning.  I cannot see the mountains, even though they across the border in USAnia.  This is because it is raining.
Again the Man with a Gun is a Nice Man with a Gun.  What is happening to border officials?  Have they had their heads stuffed full of insane management-speak nonsense about leveraging their core competencies in a customer-facing role or something?  Or what?  Imagine what might have happened if Hitler's Dad had been obliged to go on a customer awareness course...

Not enough "gas" to make it back to Sea-Tac.  Here is a handy "gas" station, which happily dispenses "gas" at a swipe of my card, without any of that tedious mucking about with "ZIP Codes".  This is important, so remember it.

Onto I-5 southbound.  The traffic is horrible, serving as a reminder never to go to Los Angeles.  I do not think I have time to divert to Redmond, there to destroy Microsith's global HQ, so instead continue south to Renton, for this.

You may, if you wish, curse his name every time you hear another mediocre heavy metal guitar solo, but to do so would be this: wrong.  This is a great improvement over the original Hendrix monument, in the African Savannah section of Seattle Zoo.  But it later made me feel very old, as the chap sitting next to me on the plane had with him a tasteful paper bag from Sub Pop Records.  Sub Pop's heyday was about twenty-five years ago.

Edit: This happened not long after arriving back in Blighty:
Well the night I was born
Lord I swear the moon turned a fire red
With still a couple of hours to kill until the motor-car is due to be returned to its owners of record I head further south past Tacoma, in search of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.  The shiny new(er) ones which replaced the one which famously fell down in 1940, killing Tubby the cocker spaniel.  There is nowhere on either side from where the bridges may be photographed, in spite of driving round in circles for an age.  Also compasses do not work on the west side.  Of it.
I gave up and told Emily to take me to the airport.  It is 38 miles away.  Up I-5.  I have a hour.  Eek.  Not too bad as things turned out, except for nearly being sideswiped by some confused helmet anxious to show how eco-friendly he was by heading straight for the HOV lane without the use of mirrors, indicators or brains.  But soft!  I must top up the motor-car, lest Budget's minions do it for me, at nine dollars per titchy USAnian gallon.  Here is a "gas" station.

Curses!  It wants a "ZIP Code".  I try what I have been informed is a Sneaky Canadian Trick, viz. enter the numerical part of my postcode followed by two zeroes.  This does not work.  Thank you, Mrs Krause and/or Dr Reichert.  The cashier's machine declines my credit card.  And my debit card.  Could this be because it is already tomorrow back in Blighty?  No, because it isn't.  I give him twenty dollars which, fortuitously, brims the tank very nicely.

Ms Budget does not bat an eyelid at 5400.5 miles on the clock.  And so to the airport.  Mr B Airways' Boeing has a little more space inside it than this:

Rutan Voyager with its phone-box-sized cabin
The queue for check-in is commendably short.  The half-hour delay of the plane's departure is, however, uncommendably arse.  The queue for security is a mile long and once through a sandwich and a cup of coffee is ten fucking dollars.  And if the stuff that is sold by the "Seattle's Best Coffee" franchise really is Seattle's best coffee then I put it to you, dear reader, that the place's reputation for caffeinated excellence is founded on a thick and squishy mulch of Lie.

On a whim I try my card at the duty-free shop.  It works.  This after changing my surplus Canadian notes at a ruinous rate, lest I can't buy fags.  Bah!

There is free wifi, but no smoking area.  Nothing to do but chew the carpet then...  There is a passenger on my flight going by the name of Larry Smith.  Does he play the drums, I wonder?  Driver has his foot down so we actually make That London on time.  I note, after unfolding my limbs, that the bus from LHR to Woking has more comfortable seats, and more legroom, than Mr Airways' 777 chiz.

You do not, unless you are perverse like Mr Middleton, want to hear about the M25 or Mr Sainsbury's House of Toothy Comestibles, so I shall draw the 2015 Automatic Diary to a close.  Thank you for reading.


  1. I see that Mr. Larro
    Is welcom'd back by Caro
    And on the strai -
    [Shut up. Ed.]
    And I once lived in Ba -
    [I said, shut up.]
    And shot a feather'd -