30 years on – another birthday, another airport

Birmingham Airport.

Thirty years ago having watched the St Patrick’s Day parade in San Francisco I flew with TWA to Hawaii. This was the third stop on a round the world journey that had already taken in California and would move on to Australia, Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand.

I arrived in Honolulu airport at 3am and beeing on a very limited budget decided to forego a hotel and wait for the backpackers hostel to open at 7. So spent 4 hours in a very uncomfortable chair waiting and people watching. How to celebrate a 31st birthday!

It was the first night of a week long stay on the island. My diary tells me that I ate in a different fast-food place every night. In 1984 there was still novelty in being “supersized” and “having fries with that”. McDonalds, Wendys, Burger King, etc.

My journey had started two weeks earlier. On my way to Heathrow to catch the first flight to Los AngelesI joined my father on his London commute from St Neots station. He didn’t really approve or understand my taking 4 months away from my associate job but would never have dreamed of trying to change my mind. When we left my parents home to drive to the station he turned on Radio 2 – Terry Wogan, before his sojourn into TV – the song that came on immediately was by the Beach Boys. I can remember the lyrics as if it was yesterday because of the synchronicity. ”

“The skies are clear
It’s a beautiful day in l.a.”

I haven’t heard the song from that day to this but found it on a movie soundtrack.


Published by Alun Rees

Dental Business Coach. Analyst. Troubleshooter. Consultant. Writer. Presenter. Broadcaster.

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