The gift shop at Toulouse airport sells rugby balls. In fact it sells a variety of rugby paraphernalia including 'rugby fashion'. Looking at the clothing on offer Angus decides these two words are a contradiction in terms.
At the gate 80% of the passengers refuse to sit. They prefer to stand in the unairconditioned heat. Why do people do this? Nerves ? Are they bothered they'll miss the flight ? Or perhaps they're fearful someone will take their allocated seat ? More probably they want to get on early to secure space for the wheelie bags. The airline has imposed a boarding by seat row system ( 1 - 5 ) which means those in category 5 have to stand forever. They block the gate and glare at those called on before them.
At Paddington station a group of young Lebanese have opened up a stall selling Baklavas and olives in the middle of the station forecourt. They maintain a constant and hopeful banter with any young ladies passing by. Their sales patter tends towards the humorous but politically incorrect.
The folks at the high
tech company are very young. They work in what appears to be an enormous Starbucks filled
with wooden tables and sofas. Not a desk to be seen. The young women are all in brightly coloured
dresses, white socks and running shoes. The young men all have trousers that
stop three inches above the ankle. Angus feels like telling them they'll catch a chill if they don't dress properly. The young men sport beards. Angus is of a
generation that thinks beards should only be worn by submariners returning after a long patrol at sea. Two of the young women are breast feeding - to the evident disinterest of everyone else. The babies are very small. The delivery to desk period can only be a couple of weeks. There is a sort of creche where toddlers are cared for. From time to time a toddler, or a group of them, will escape before being picked up and returned to the creche. Angus makes the mistake of thinking 1) the audience will be bored
2) disinterested and 3) probably have a superficial understanding of world
affairs. He is wrong on 2) and 3) and they are polite enough to hide signs of 1).
I expect to be asked about Iran and Taiwan but spend most of the time talking about human
rights and climate change ( not subjects men in dark suits usually wish to linger over ).
On my bedroom wall in the hotel a minimalist puppy etching. Most hotel art is dire. This has a quiet appeal.
The tech crowd are all polite, thoughtful, devoid of any ism's and demonstrate a quiet kindness that makes me optimistic for the future.
First thing in the morning back off to Heathrow for the flight to Toulouse. Coffee at a cafe which has its door covered in fresh flowers. This seems to be a thing in London.
On being reunited Bob exudes happiness. The quiet all consuming satisfaction of a family fellow who has found a wandering sheep.
In the airline lounge a man brings out a small electric fan. He clips it to the handle of his bag then plugs it into a wall socket. You have to wonder why anyone would pack an electric fan in their luggage but then you realize he's cool and the rest of us are suffering in an unairconditioned airline lounge in a muggy London summer.