Showing posts with label Nice airport. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nice airport. Show all posts

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Lunch Hour by Carl Jones

 I'm progressing well with Conversations with Tom. A long way to go, but 8.000 words already written in Word and more on scraps of paper and in my head.
You may know I work at Nice airport. Even though the number of flights has increased and the number of passengers probably doubled in the last month, my work place is still very quiet. I work in a tiny last minute boutique in the non-schengen lounge. Most passengers (or PAX as we call them in the trade) have done their shopping before they come through passport control and into the lounge. So between flights and pax, I write ideas down and get a lot of thinking done. Once at home I just have to sit down and key it all in. Like the review below that was the result of lull between British Airways flights.

Lunch Hour by Carl Jones
Lunch Hour has like any great sitcom a great cast of characters. There is Christian who is the intellectual big fish in a small pond of inane lunch time banter. He secretly enjoys this even though he knows he bores the pants of his colleagues with his lectures on, well pretty much anything. Barry, his bigoted confrontational counterpart can be found in any work place. (I certainly had a few run ins with the Barry’s of this world. Then there is John who’s input mostly stuns the room into an incredulous silence. He is the bloke you dread being drawn into a conversation with. Saul is the youngest of the odd group, that is thrown together each day twice during their lunch breaks at the night shift of a DIY store. Saul manages to amuse his co-workers quite unintentionally with his naive statements. These are just a few of the skilfully created cast members.
The book is not what I initially expected but all the better for it. Apart from a witty comedy about colleagues chewing the fat during their lunch time break, it is also a sharp and very well informed critique of the 20th century and an even better snapshot of Britain in 2013/14.
The book is written from Christian’s perspective and it’s his opinions and observations that provide many of the laugh out loud moments. We get a hint of his troubled home life when he goes from the guy who usually sits quietly in the corner and on the fence, to taking part in the conversation and spouting opinions. Even though we got hints that all was not well, the ending of this book will guaranty that this is one read I will remember.
So who should read this book? I think Americans and UKIP voters will be befuddled and annoyed by Mr Jones, possibly both. I would recommend this to anyone with a good understanding of British contemporary culture and a love of satire. Go read it now before we forget who Cheryl Cole (or Tweedy?) is.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The weather

Unlike when I worked in the UK, my colleagues and I spend little time discussing the weather. Mostly it just to say 'il fait beau dehors, profite bien!' (it is nice outside, make the most of it!) to the fellow worker finishing his or her shift. With 211 sunny days a year we are blessed with an exceptional climate, so visitors were a bit surprised when they experienced some rather heavy rains, strong winds and thunderstorms last Tuesday. When things are bad here, they can be really bad and chaos ensued. Cancelled or diverted flights, mudslides, a river bursting it banks and traffic at a gridlock.

We often say that we have so many good days as all the months rain is received in one massive downpour.

The beach here in Cros de Cagnes is an artificial pebble one. They build a wide promenade between the water and the old fishing village and most of the sand beach was taken up by the road. Every spring a few lorries bring some more pebbles to repair the beach. Autumn waves and storms all do their best to erase the small strip of land. Last years storm was spectacular and I've writen about it in my short story 'the wee baldy man, published in the e-bundle 'Something Short'

High waves picked up the pebbles and threw them over the promenade, leaving a trail of destruction all along the coast. So yes, we don't talk about the weather very often, but when we do, it's the topic of conversation for many days.

Thursday, 6 March 2014


Holiday ! This might seem a strange thing to say for someone who just started a new job, but 3 days in I can’t seem to shake this holiday feeling. It might have to do with the fact that I’ve spend my breaks in the departure lounge of terminal 2 at Nice airport. My work background noise is a mixture of easy listening and flight departure announcements. My day is spend the way I normally pass the time in departure lounges; by trying out all the perfumes. I clean the shelves and ring up purchases too, but these are minor details. 

I’m still in that honeymoon period of discovery; meeting new colleagues and learning about the products and so far I love it. I might be blogging in a few months about the smell of perfume bringing on a panic attacks or having a fear of departure lounges. I might need to wait till the last minute to clear security and then run to the departure gate on my next flight. I might breathe a sigh of relieve when I’m in the actual plane and they start taxiing. I could startle the other passengers with a wild scream when we commence our take-off; ‘Woohoo, I’ve just survived the departure lounge!’

So far so good, the only snag is the fact that at the end of the day, I don’t get to take a plane to some exiting destination. I do however get to drive my scooter home along the beach, and the weekends; well those I get to spend in the south of France, and how cool is that?

Monday, 17 February 2014

Optimism II

Turned out it wasn't such a bad week after all. The basement is drying out and apart from the Saturday the weather has been fine and at times sunny. I even managed to get that job after all. I'm starting the 11th of March in the duty free shop@nice airport. The airport has an unique atmosphere and I enjoyed my previous season there very much. It's at times unpredictable and you have to be willing to do overtime, but unlike my job in Monaco; the overtime is paid. I'll be working either the early morning or late evening so I should be able to keep writing and get that much needed beach time. I mean tans don't just happen!

As much as you love something and would like to write about it, sometimes it doesn't fit with the character. I have a background in jewellery and a love of gemstones, so it made sense to make Cameron a jewellery thief. I also have a love of anything airplane and one of my most amazing aviation experiences was to go up in a vintage Tiger moth. I was at the time learning to fly and not worried when the pilot suggested we do some tricks. The loop de loop was done at such slow speed that it seemed we would be stuck upside down at the top of the loop. The Tiger moth however is known for its maneuverability at low speed and made an excellent training airplane:

I would love to get Cameron to fly one of these, but to lean how to fly you would have to put in some daylight hours first. Maybe his friend Charley would've had his license and experience of night time flying. On a clear night you could've flown one of these without problems. I might consider an aviation story for book 2. Modern airports are unfortunately a no go for vampires, but maybe some of the passengers stories will inspire me.

I hope to get a lot of writing done before I start the job, but the kitten is doing it's best to stop that from happening. He sleeps between 2 and 5pm if I'm lucky, but the rest of the time he is trying to type on my laptop too.(Or biting the screen!)

To finish of the week we had the excellent ladies 1500M speed skating results. Well done the Dutch girls for getting gold, silver, bronze and chocolate. (One of the french ski team came up with that to take some comfort in coming fourth. I think that is rather sweet; so you came fourth! poor you here's a medal made of chocolate:)

So bring on the week, the sun is shining....what could could go wrong? I also would like to thank Clicquot for his input, that screen really did need to be pounced upon and knocked flat, the blog is so much the better for it!