From home to Canada

Saturday August 27th

Panic, we try to log on at 8.30 to sort out our boarding cards and it initially appears that the flight is cancelled according to the travel agent's website. Going to the BA site the flight is definitely still on but we aren't. We can't do anything but fret and worry until the travel agent opens at 9am at which time we're straight onto the phone. It appears that the hurricane currently winding it's way up past New York has caused havoc as all the East coast flights are cancelled. We leave the problem in the travel agents hands not knowing what else to do. 10 miuntes later they ring back saying thay although they can't be certain it appears that we may have been bumped up to business class from economy plus. Another 10 minutes and another phone call, the travel agent can't get thruogh to BA as the cancellations are causing chaos but they suggest just going up anyway as theya re reasonably confdent that that is what has happened.

Oh well we can but hope

No rush as we have an afternoon flight, we're driving up and Jude is taking the car home to save parking it for a fortnight. The roards around Wimbourne had miles and miles of solid traffic so we took some country diversions first South through the edges of Corfe Mullen and then North through Wimborne to try and save time.

Arrived in plenty of time at Heathrow terminal 5 and walk up to the empty business check in - YAY we have been bumped up so we get to travel business both ways. Within 5 minutes of walking in the airport door we'd cleared checkin and customs and were strolling through the shops, I thought I now knew why people travelled business class.

Stopping in at Dixons I purchased a new Canon 600D+135mm lens. I'd seen one in Gatwick a fortnight before at a unrefusable price but the only copy they had was open to the public (& kids) so I hadn't bought it as lenses are too easily damaged. Mum bought some perfume for Kate.

We then headed off for the business lounge not wanting to slum it with the dregs of society. It was at the far end of the terminal and up a couple of levels away from the hubub of the rest of the place. There were two or more lounges as first class had their own (not wanting to slum it with us). Unfortunately you have to be on the admittance list so you can't just bluff your way in.

Inside it was a revelation, free food (curry, pasta, buffet...), wine, snacks, drinks, comfey chairs and plenty of room. Having passed through security so quickly we hade several hours to kill so we settled down to a dinner (or two). Fortunately I plugged in the new camera battery to charge as I later discovered that I'd packed the European converter instead of the Canadian one.

The flight

From terminal 5 you have to take a train to the plane hubs, a little different to Innsbruck a fortnight earlier where the bus we boarded moved approximately 3 bus lengths to the airplane right beside the exit door from the terminal.

My first time on a 747, I always seem to have flown Airbus or DC10 before. In business class you have the space of about 3 normal seats and the chairs recline fully meeting up with the footstool to create a 6' bed. What's more you are fed real food with proper cutlery, you can't take a knife through security but they give you one when you get on board, bizarre.Watched Thor and Kung Fu Panda 2 to pass the time.

Kate met us in Vancouver and drove us home. We had a BBQ on the decking but it was 5am UK time so we wern't very sociable. I get the basement to myself as a bedroom