Michael's Happenings

Getting to London

Posted at 5.30am on Monday March 28, London time

I’m in London – the trip across the world went fine. It always amazes me how quickly we can do this now – what took our forefathers 4-5 months by boat, can now be done in less than 30 hours. Truly amazing. The Air New Zealand Boeing 777 is a fantastic piece of machinery, although sitting for so long got uncomfortable after a while. It was good to finally get off at Heathrow.

The flight path was Auckland to Hong Kong, then to London. Hong Kong International Airport is a wonderful place; once you clear security, you are free to roam through the airside part of the airport, and if you’re in for shopping (I wasn’t), there are more than enough options to part travelers and their money. I love the high roof at the airport, the cleanliness of the premises, and the light and airy feeling. It’s one of my favorite stop-over airports now, and having a shower at the lounge makes all the difference for a long-haul flight. I sat in the lounge for a while, drank a bottle or two of water, and then walked around for 45 minutes to stretch my legs and re-pump the oxygen.

We got to London 30 minutes late, but there was only a short line of people (not a line of short people, mind you) waiting to clear immigration. So I got through pretty quickly, although the officer told me I should look into getting a work permit for what I’m doing here over the next three days (workshops and meetings). I’ve never been told that before – and I’ve done this quite a few times in the past 24 months. I didn’t know whether this was a new thing, or something no one has said to me before. Any ideas?

I took Heathrow Express to Paddington, but onboard WiFi wasn’t working. I haven’t struck that before – so had to put away my Mac and enjoy the scenery (you know, buildings, houses, bricks, and railway lines).

After getting to my hotel room, and unpacking for the days ahead, I caught the tube to Oxford Circus – which by the volume of people milling around, reminded me of a circus – and attended the 6.30pm service at All Souls Langham Place. I have not been to that church before, and it was a delight to attend. The singing was heavenly – many nations singing praise to God together – and it was excellent to see so many young men attending. Churches often struggle with that demographic, but All Souls appeared to be doing a variety of things to work with them. Good stuff – that made my day.

Then back to the hotel, 4.5 hours sleep (I woke at 1.30am – ouch) … and now time for breakfast. Whereever you are in the world … have a great day.

Categories: Michael's Happenings