11:26–12:38 Cleethorpes–Doncaster (TransPennine Express)
…The taxi to take us to the station arrived at 11.00am. That inept milkman had left a pint of milk, despite Janet’s instructions to him. The train was on time at Scunthorpe (12:08), and two minutes early arriving at Doncaster, with no hold-up as often happens on the approach.… The London train was on time.… The journey from Kings Cross to Heathrow was uneventful. We managed to get to and from the Underground using lifts; there were no stairs to have to negotiate with heavy luggage. The Heathrow Express train that was about to depart seemed pretty full but we found seats and space for our luggage. The long walk to Terminal 1 was no different from what we were expecting. We were the only ones at the TAM Airlines hold-luggage check-in. The clerk asked us for our boarding passes, though. Usually we have been issued with boarding passes at the luggage check-in stage; we didn’t realise that it was “check-in only”, and that we had to get boarding passes from one of the nearby machines. Anyway, another TAM Airlines clerk was on hand, and she started the process off for us. At Security, I set the alarm off, and had to take my shoes off to be scanned and be frisked; and Janet had to have her bag searched, as regularly happens. Because Terminal 1 is so vast, to save us time when we would least have it to spare, the TAM Airlines man had written down the range of Gate numbers from which Flight JJ8085 might board. So we headed in the direction of those numbers. The man had told us it was a long walk — and it was! — so we appreciated why he’d done it. We came to a shopping area between the way to Gates B28–B35 and B46–B49 and the way to Gates B36–B39 and B41–B44, so not knowing which way to take we decided to sit there. Janet went to Boots, etc.… I started up the computer… and logged on to the four hours’ free internet at Heathrow Airport. Checked the seating that we’d been given — on the first flight: an aisle-seat and the one next to it in a three-seat set on the right (facing the direction of travel); on the second flight: two aisle seats on the right side.… Then our Gate number came up on the display — “B47” — and we headed off there. After we boarded, the third occupant of the three-seat set on the plane was a young woman, born in Brazil but married to an Italian and residing in the UK for the past ten years. She was visiting her mother, who was ill. There was dinner served on the flight… and breakfast, and from time to time drinks. I watched 2014 military sci-fi thriller movie Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, then slept for much of the time. At one point Janet felt very ill. She went off to the toilets at the rear of the aircraft. Next I knew, there was a tap on my shoulder, and the steward took me to the rear where Janet was seated, for part of the time with her head down between her knees. The young man attending her, who happened to be a doctor, had caught her as she fainted and lowered her to the floor. He was concerned that blood pressure and heart rate were both very low. When we went back, we swapped seats; I sat in the aisle seat and Janet in the centre seat. For the seat in front was unoccupied and therefore in the upright position, and this made sufficient room for Janet to lean forward if necessary. There was another instance of being ill, where again the same doctor attended at the rear of the plane, and took blood pressure and heart rate. When we were seated again, I was asked for name and address and contact details. With over two hours to go, a stewardess invited us to occupy two seats in Business Class. These could be fully reclined and extended into beds.
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