Reasons Not to Check Your Baggage


“Why not check your baggage?”

You’ll get priority boarding, and your bag will go on last so it’ll come off first at the other end. I couldn’t face trying to get a large carry-on into the cabin on a busy flight to London Gatwick, so it seemed like the perfect solution. Surprisingly, this post bears little in relation to gaming, but I did play a little bit of the Witness recently. Not enough to get hooked, but I do see the attraction.

I’ve been doing a bit of travelling recently. First off was a trip to Somerset, Bridgwater specifically, to stay for 8 days so I could give notice to be married. You heard correctly. To marry a UK citizen, I, also a UK citizen, had to live in the same area as her for 8 days. All of this presumably to ensure the “Irish problem”, Irish immigrants taking English jobs, doesn’t get out of hand. It does seem a bizarre requirement in 2018, but fulfil it I did, and narrowly missed registering my own death. That’s a whole other story.

Coffee and Banana Bread at the Hutong Cafe, Plymouth

Another stint was split between the pathology labs in Plymouth and exploration of the city itself. Plymouth with the charming streets of the Barbican, the expanse of the Hoe, the coastal intrigue, and the excellent coffee shops. And I’ve found at least a handful of retro game shops to keep me occupied. Exeter isn’t half bad either. There’s a whole English world that didn’t even enter into my consciousness prior to visiting Sarah for the first time.

The Harlingford Hotel…one of many

Interview Time!

I digress. I was in London for my histopathology training programme interview for, now that I think of it, less than 24 hours including an overnight stay. The travel out was smooth enough, but travelling from “London” Gatwick to London proper took almost as long as the flight. I stayed at the Harlingford hotel near St Pancras station, one of a row of many “hotels”. One has to wonder if St Pancras was patron saint of an amazing gland with exocrine and endocrine functions. My expectations for the hotel were set low, and I’m pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised. The room was compact, but it was comfortable and well appointed. Perhaps most importantly of all, there was a hotel cat, Zizi. Breakfast was decent too.

Zizi – Photo Courtesy of Harlingford Hotel

I won’t bore you with details of the interview, as interesting as they may be. But seriously, it was sort of a multiple mini interview stations deal, with seven five minute stations. It’s over with for the time being. And I got to wear a suit. Everybody won.

As the title suggests, I hesitantly checked my hand luggage, handing it informally to the baggage carrier outside the plane. Not before I’d removed my ID documents for the interview, and my portfolio. The case had everything I needed, including my neatly folded suit. They could lose the case, and my suit, but not the portfolio. I was doing the interview even if it meant buying a new suit. Deep down, I sort of hoped they’d lose the case. Clutching my portfolio tightly, I boarded the plane to follow my destiny. You might even say I was destined for that path(ology). Then again, you probably wouldn’t say that, because you’re probably normal.

They didn’t lose the case. They managed to take forever getting the cases out, of which mine was in the second lot (so much for priority) stripping any convenience from the plan entirely. Not that it mattered. My train wasn’t due for another 20 minutes. The other advantage of staying in the Harlingford was that it was a less than ten minute walk to the interview venue at Russell Square in Bloomsbury, cutting out the worry of delays with public transport. For central London it was also relatively quiet – I had no issues getting to sleep.

This was just a brief post I had in the pipeline for some time but I was awaiting the outcome of my interview. I’ve subsequently been offered a place (which I have accepted) on the histopathology training programme in South Wales, so the Ordinary Decent Gamer is going on the road in August. 

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