What time is it?

My body is here but I think I left my mid somewhere over the mid-Atlantic. I awoke in Sheffield at 6am. Arrived at the hotel at 12 midnight, local time. So I’m guessing  it was a 23 hour straight run, followed by a bad night sleep. The road that runs past my window, I had assumed would be a dual carriage way but it looks more like 12 from where I am. I suppose I’ll get used to it. Eventually blot it out as background noise.  I have no idea what time it should be. Get me a mathematician.

Passing through security at Heathrow one stumbles in to another world. The outer face of the airport resembles some god forsaken 1970s / 80s shopping mall. Dimly lit. A bit rough around the edges. Cheap materials trying to emulate more expensive ones. Once through security you are in a whole other world. A bizarre twilight zone populated by people from over 100 countries, and today also by Santa Claus. Or in reality a bad Coca Cola pastiche. In the departure lounge you can buy virtually everything, at twice the cost of elsewhere. Why did I pack a camera? I should have bought it all here. Why would anyone buy a 27” iMac in a place like this? Firstly for the cost, but how do you transport it. Does it count as carry-on luggage?

The lounge is populated by a myriad of individuals all waiting to go somewhere. Some on their way out, some on their way back home, some just passing through, and some like myself waiting for an assignment to begin.

I’ve been sitting here for over an hour now and so far not spotted any likely Roller Derby candidates. I have spotted a couple of photojournalists. Their bags are a give-away, plus they were here for the bare minimum of time. Just passing through. Cutting it fine. Unlike myself who decided to give myself a fair amount of latitude for delays. However on this one occasion everything is going to plan. Which is an oddity itself. I suppose I should just sit down and relax. Except that on this occasion that fate is on my side. Why did I ever doubt it? Ah, yes, the hundred occasions before.

Today was marked out for a day of travel. Tomorrow, rest and relaxation. A bit of a wander. Thursday is when it will all begin. Wednesday will give the chance to lay out my gear, get it checked, get ready for those lunges and strange shooting positions I have become known for to document the first ever Roller Derby World Cup. That’s what I’m here for. That’s the job.

So for now I should just learn to relax. People watch. Let the world go by. Revel in the fact that I have some time and take a wander back to Dixons to buy that 27” iMac. God knows how I’m going to carry it.


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