Sunday, September 17, 2006

Cabin fever

On Saturday we had to go to London for September’s HBA chimp tea party – sorry I meant executive committee meeting. Thankfully it was our last one. Hurray ! ! ! !

We had to fly down as the trains have been a non-starter for a while. GNER’s usual January/February maintenance work is still ongoing….

Although it did mean being up at 4am and not arriving back home until 10.45pm, it’s a much better journey than the train.

Bearing in mind the current security joke at airports, I decided to leave behind my deodorant and lip balm and buy some at Boots in the departure lounge.

However I was not prepared to leave behind my cold sore cream. The BAA website stated that as long as lotions, gels or creams are prescription medicine and can be either tasted or verified as such from a pharmacist on site, then it would be allowed.

As my cream is a prescription medicine and clearly states POM and says to be administered as directed by a physician, then it’s the genuine article.

I declared it to a member of staff outside the entrance of security and having duly tasted it was let through. As if not being allowed any liquids etc and only the tiniest bag as hand luggage was bad enough, we had to remove our shoes. I’m so glad I didn’t wear the pair of shoes with the holes in….

Depending on how high they set the sensitivity of the metal detector, my hip sometimes sets it off. However this time it didn’t (it did coming back at Heathrow…).

Both our shoes, coats and John bag, containing our sandwiches which surprisingly were allowed through, bizarre ! ! , got the all clear. My bag didn’t.

The security staff at Newcastle airport aren’t the friendliest or nicest of people. Those who are nice are newcomers and haven’t got their degrees in nastiness yet.

I was told in no uncertain terms that I couldn’t take my cold sore cream on board so I pointed out that it was prescription medicine and had POM on it. It then become two against one (John either decided to let me fight it out myself or was clearly embarrassed – I’m not sure which ! ! !) as another member of staff, who if smiled would crack her over made up face, joined in the argument.

I was standing my ground so it was taken to Boots for further advice. They wouldn’t let me take it as it wasn’t prescription medicine. The minimum wage staff in Boots clearly didn’t understand what POM meant.

It now became a battle. I was not having it confiscated so again stood my ground. It then became three against one as they asked advice from a supervisor. I put my case forward and was allowed to keep it. Result ! ! ! Customer from Hell 1 – Airport Security Staff 0.

I reluctantly decided not to make it a score draw as I’d be too knackered to put up a fight so asked June if she would look after my deodorant, lip balm and cold sore cream until Norwich conference and phone the doctors tomorrow for a repeat prescription. Lucky I still have a couple of weeks left on my pre-prescription payment so it won’t cost me anything.

I read today that Chelsea Clinton also had a bit of trouble at security at Heathrow airport. She refused to hand over her Chanel makeup using the ‘do you know who I am’ phrase. She was allowed to keep them, then personally escorted to the VIP lounge.

Sadly we had to make do with mixing with the plebs in the departure lounge …


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seriously. You scare me!!