Thursday, 10 November 2011

They're the pirates but I'm all at sea!

Bristol Airport is fraught with tiny miseries. It's busier than Belfast. It's filled with ugly middle-aged couples drinking Guinness at 9 in the morning. The only young people here are the uniformly Polish staff who seem to be in a constant state of retraining at their stations meaning everything takes twice as long. My bus journey from the city centre took less time than it did to queue for my boarding pass. There were two other people in the queue.

The customs were pointlessly intrusive. One poor old duffer, frisked in his socks behind me, was asked his age! When did a head of white hair become a terror risk? Did they suspect he was illegally transporting the hair? Or that his frail dotage might be catching and could be used, in the right hands, to overcome the pilot? The date of his birth is freely available on his passport, which he must have shown at least twice to reach this point and, besides, what the fuck business is it of any ones in customs?

I'm sat drinking a pint of Amstell (yeah yeah yeah) in Bar Zero 9 listening to a jazz-hip hop version of "Imagine" hating random strangers for their Bristol accents:

"Would anyone loike a coffee?" "Oi wuz just thinking tha-a-at!"

Really. What is the point? It's not as if the Bristol accent is markedly different from my own. Oh but it fucking is! I don't sound like a cartoon pirate chewing a piece of straw!

Above my head the tannoy bombards me with increasingly desperate messages about missing passengers. From the sound of it they are missing presumed dead. I move away from the tannoy.

No sooner do I move than the announcements stop and a loose child appears from nowhere, running up and down screaming. He is eventually removed by a man who must be his step-father as he has certainly never had sex. The child is replaced in my immediate vicinity by a woman shouting breathlessly into her phone in her black beard voice. She finishes every sentence with the words "me hearties". No she doesn't.

The bar staff here at Bar Zero 9 all have the words "Gurt Lush" written on their backs. Given they're uniformly (hah) Polish it must be fucking mystifying.

I think I'm in a bad mood. Kindly ignore the preceding crabbiness.


  1. The people-watching skills are as sharp as ever Mr H.

    Know what you mean about grating accents - I once ran to get out of earshot of a woman with a heavy West Midlands accent. F*ck knows why I went to Birmingham last week, then...

  2. But when I moved to Belfast I thought they all sounded like the martians from Mars Attacks. Now I actually quite like it. I'm sure in time I can learn not to hate people for their regional accents. It's the least I can do.