Travelling to LA with my eldest son is wildly different from my days doing it off my own bat.
Picked up from home. Dropped at a special Heathrow dropping zone and checking gate, met by a kindly man called Joe who knows my name already and escorts us to the lounge – a quick lunch and from here, Joe is back again to take us to the plane. I could have found it on my own, I’ve done it many times already but I like the gesture and we chat en-route. ‘Oh, you live in Ealing? I grew up in Ealing. Do you know…’
Settling in to my Virgin Upper-Class seat, I note to myself that as far as this experience goes, I genuinely am a virgin. I note also that practically every seat is taken; other ‘Upper-Class’ people busy claiming their locker space and marking their territory and generally organising themselves for the 10 hours ahead – phones, leads, headphones, reading material…
A quick scan of the cabin and I quickly assess that there is only one celebrity on the flight and he is the reason why I am on board albeit we are not sitting together. I am surprised by how ordinary the other ‘Upper-Class’ passengers are and the number of families there are – mum, dad, two and three kids. Just another flight!
I’m not a celebrity but by my reckoning, I can probably make a decent claim to being the funniest person on the flight – a dubious claim perhaps, but anyway it is ruined when Alan Carr gets on and makes his way to the very front of the plane.
During the long flight, Alan holds court at the bar and with copious red wine he regales the whole cabin and demonstrates that he is indeed a very Chatty Man and why he has his own TV show and fills arenas. He’s always been a lovely guy and we enjoy catching up.
At LA, the notorious immigration does not make any concessions for stardom and we must queue (wait in line) like everyone else – an awkward experience for Tom since the airport staff are very at ease asking for selfies and especially so in those queues (lines) that are compressed and force people to continue revisiting and passing each other, it looked as though we might never get in to America.
But eventually, we make it to the desk. Tom is here on Business, I am on here on Pleasure and finally, we make it in to the United States of America.
It is now early morning in LA and I am in my hotel bed - but my utter lack of sleep is undone by my body clock knowing that it is mid-afternoon in London. This is not ideal. I have just FaceTimed Nikki and Harry in London. Tess is with them and they both have cups of tea. I explain how tired I am and as you would expect – I got absolutely no sympathy whatsoever…