T minus 8 days

Well, take-off day is only 8 days away now. I’m getting less nervous about getting everything organised, and more excited at the prospect of stepping down on foreign soil for a bit of a wander round.

I’m not really nervous of flying – the two airlines I’m using, Qantas and British Airways, seem to have pretty good safety records (particularly Qantas). Given the proximity of the flight path to the Middle East, and Clinton’s recent messing around with his missile, I’m pretty pleased I’m not flying on an American airline…

We’ll know there’s something sneaky going on if a year or two down the track, some US military scientists name the next missile they develop the Missile Online Nuclear Intercontinental Combat Armament or something.

Got an aerogramme from my Grandad today, the first from him for probably a decade and a half that’s actually been anything approaching legible. He’s given all the details of how to get from Heathrow to his place in West Sussex. So provided I don’t get lost at Victoria Station I should find it okay.

I’ve been looking through my passport, at the small number of visas, stamps and other memorabilia that appears within. There’s thirty-two pages in the passport, not counting those used for my photo and details. Thirty-two pages, all numbered, yet all the immigration officials seem to have different ideas about where to leave their marks. One’s at the start, one’s at the end, and the rest are scattered around on random pages in the middle.

Why? Is it so the guys and gals at Immigration Control can have a good nose through to see where you’ve been while they look for the bit that pertains to them? Couldn’t they just do it conventionally, down each page, and onto the next page when that page is full? Is it too much to ask to have a neat passport?

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