As far as I can make out, the only upside to flying is you might bump into Ralph Fiennes in the loo (Daily Mail article). I am at Heathrow, dishevelled and grumpy, having been put through something they call a “random personal search”.
As I stood in the two-mile long queue (having already queued for 45 minutes at the “fast” bag drop) there was a flashing sign informing all us criminals (sorry, passengers) that any of us could be called in at any moment for this random search and if we refused we would be subjected to a “full hand search”.
I think that sounds rather interesting, like something Ralph might try in the aircraft loo. But being too polite to refuse the random search I was instead escorted into a small space where I had to twist myself into strange positions with my hands above my head while some machine checked I didn’t have any bombs tucked into my jeans (security guards take note, a woman wearing skinny jeans is not going to be carrying a bomb in them, she can hardly force her legs and bum in, let alone anything else).
I have no idea why they picked on me. I had a good night’s sleep so look fairly normal for once, I was not wearing a head-scarf and I smiled pleasantly at the man in charge of the queue. My only explanation is that the female in charge of spotting suspicious-looking women fell in love with my coat (it happens a lot) and just HAD to check out the label (Katherine Hooker if you’re interested).
So I am now waiting to board my flight to Geneva where I will spend three days recovering from this arduous morning at the La Prairie Clinic near Montreux. I am going there to see if they hold the secret to eternal youth and will reveal all in my next book. Thankfully when I head home on Thursday, I am going by train.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007