Travel and Tradeshows…

There’s something about tradeshows that you can’t put into words.  Part of you looks forward to them… the other part (generally your feet) screams in anticipation of the prolonged agony that hits you at about 2pm every day.

We headed off to Birmingham on Sunday afternoon. Bags packed – with lots of space left so we can bring home the all important samples – never mind the catalogues.  The suppliers can send them – however, never anything better than going home and dumping a load of goodies on the table, proving that you have done something productive in the time you were away. A wee tootle down the loch side – for once, we had plenty time. It’s the second time recently that I have driven the Loch Lomond run at the speed limit (checks for a pulse). I have to say, the scenery is amazing.

Things were going well.  Car collected and we checked in. Bags labelled. Boarding cards gripped in our hands in anticipation. We made our way to the departure gate – via the bar.  Well, you have to really.  What better to prepare you for a full on physical and mental work out for 4 days solid.  Sat there in the Flybe departure lounge having  a chat and a laugh.

For some reason, no-one wanted to sit next to us.  Was it the large glasses of wine in front of us, or was it the fact we were having a laugh? At one point, another passenger came up to us, asking if he could put his empty (half) pint glass on our table.  As quick as a flash, Lynne said “No!” you could see him hesitate.  That set us off into gales of laughter.  Once he had realised that we were taking the ‘single fish’, he put the glass down.  I couldn’t help myself and said to him that there was no way he was Scottish – when he asked why, I said that no Scot would ever buy a half pint in an airport.

Things after that went really well… until we had backed out of the stand at the airport.. only to stop again. Then the Captain’s voice came over the tannoy announcing that there was a technical problem and we had to go back into the stand.  Lynne’s observations were, erm… very ‘Lynne’. She had already told us about the Eddie Izzard sketch, and in all honesty, I couldn’t keep a straight face during the ‘click, blow, peep’ safety demonstration.  Lynne thought that it might be a faulty microwave, that caused our delay, however Irene thought that the distinct smell of burning might have something to do with it… Me? I thought the fact that we were flying to Birmingham in a puddle jumper powered by two propellers might have everything to do with it.

Why is it when this kind of thing happens you NEVER, EVER get an explanation?

The ‘Engineer’ that came on board the plane looked like he was about 10 and a nano second out of University.  All credit to him, he wore a hi-vis vest and a serious look on his face. That fuelled us full of confidence.  Did that make me feel better? No. It was a: start the engines, have a wee listen (didn’t sound any better to us passengers) and was apparently given a clean bill of health – soon we were on our way.  I have it on good authority that there was still a smell of burning, however, the status of the microwave on board is still to be confirmed.

As usual, I passed out in my seat the obligatory15 minutes before landing. I have no idea how I do that, or why.  Not only does it help with the landing process, but considerately helps the passengers around you who wake up with a jolt, thinking ‘what the hell is that?’ Is it an engine falling off? God no, it’s the snorer in 14B…. The wheels hit the ground and I didn’t have a care in the world, stretched, yawned and wondered why everyone was laughing round about me.

When we got to the hotel, which is a 200 yard stroll from the airport, I was feeling pretty smug that we were not staying in Coventry as we were last year.  That moment of smugness was short lived. Reservation? What reservation! We were meant to be here last night for 3 rooms for one night.  Oh really? I have to say, thank god for email and filing messages. For about 20 minutes, I thought that we were going to be either choosing straws who would either: sleep on the sofas/get the last plane home/get on a train home/be the only one to have to ‘do’ the whole show themselves. Luckily they translated the horrified look on my face as someone who had really booked the rooms, and not just  a chancer. The bonus was we didn’t get the piddly little rooms as we did last Autumn, but great big disabled rooms with two beds loads of space – enough for an 8-some reel.

You can’t start to imagine the extent of a tradeshow like this. 20 halls. Miles to cover –  I wish I had brought Ellen’s Garmen to find out how many miles I have walked – that would be interesting.  Coffee and wine o’clock all of a sudden becomes very, very important to you! So far I haven’t bothered with lunch.  My rule is: coffee o’clock must involve black coffee with 3 shots of espresso and not move your feet until you have finished it.  Moving your tongue doesn’t count, so will make the most of the coffee o’clock to irritate the sh1te out of either Ed or Craig, whoever needs that necessary (to me) update on my day so far! Lunch is fruit – easy, you can eat it as-you-go.  With that and wine, it’s your 5-a-day totally sorted.

What I find amazing, is the girls that walk around the trade shows in 5″ heels. They may look big, but I can guarantee it is not clever. It can’t be. I wear my bestest, most comfortable/least sexy walking shoes and still my feet are screaming for mercy by 3pm. Do they only visit one hall? How can they possibly walk even one hall which is about 400 yards from one end to the other, and then multiply that by at least 12 aisles per hall.  A genius doesn’t need to work that one out – so…. 400x12x5″=*&^)%$. Yeah.

So, that’s the update so far.  In the next post I will give you a wee insight into the fantastic goodies that we have spent (my) money on… Having an interesting time as usual… TTFN Fi 🙂

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