I should know better. I've been in enough airports in general, and been to Gatwick in particular often enough, but every time I think the airport experience is going to be nice, a Cinzano drinking 'jet-set' sort of way. It's not, I know, but it doesn't stop me travelling in hope.
Tonight, with a seven hour period of fitful dozing en route to Dubai to look forward to, I'm ruing the loss of the BA silver card more than usual, and wondering at the pettiness of the Wetherspoons in blanking off all the power sockets. Surely the price of an indifferent meal and couple of even less memorable beers should cover the minimal electricity my small laptop would use?
More encouragingly, the WH Smiths had reasonable pickings in the 2 for 1 on airport exclusives. M R Hall's “The Disappeared” and Mark Billingham's “Bloodline” have duly been hoovered up, and there was probably a decent enough selection to justify the 4 for 3 offer – although how that would tally with a hand baggage only approach I'm not so sure.
Interestingly though I don't think I'm going to read either tonight. Reading prospects are dominated by Henning Mankell's “The Man Who Smiled”. It's one of the Mankell's I think I've only read once, and quite a long time ago too. The BBC adaptation was broadcast last Sunday, and unlike previous ones I genuinely couldn't remember how it panned out when it started. The broadcasts benefit a lot from rewatching (indeed thanks to the miracle of the iPlayer it's on my hard drive even now) but after finishing watching on Sunday evening I was genuinely curious about what I'd thought of the book.
In that light I was genuinely pleased to manage to find my copy when packing this morning. Is it as bleak as the BBC version? Was there a reason I haven't returned to it?
A window seat, lots of suitable music on the Zune to keep me company, and a long flight to somewhere warmer might well help me find out.