I’m still in not-scanning-my-drawings-quickly-enough hell, but it’s time to catch up with this past summer’s travel fun. I went to England, France and Belgium earlier in summer, to attend my brother’s wedding, spend time with my family, take my dad out for his birthday, ‘experience’ the (now-dead) Queen’s 70th Jubilee, then escape the (now-dead) Queen’s 70th Jubilee and get some quality sketching time in Lille and all over Belgium in rain and sun and cloud. One trip back over to the home countries is not enough for this sketcher, so in July we took England and France trip #2, this time with my wife and my son. Or rather, just my son at first, as my wife stayed back for a few more days to care for our sick cat. So, my son and I went to San Francisco airport to catch our plane to London. We got there well early, had a nice dinner, played some MarioKart on our 3DS devices, iPads well stocked with Ghibli films to watch on the journey, and sat and waited to board our BA flight. Right as the boarding time came up, we were still waiting. A few whispers, I don’t think we’re getting on this plane. Then as we were preparing to board, it was announced the flight was cancelled because, get this, the tyre had been damaged upon landing, and they did not have a spare anywhere at the airport that fit that plane. It was a particularly big plane, double-decker. So, they said, they have to have a new tyre sent up from LA on a big truck. We ain’t flying tonight. Lots of confused people. We waited to get our bags, we waited in line for information as to whether we could board another flight, but no can do, they had already cancelled a flight earlier in the day because Heathrow wanted fewer incoming international flights that week due to staffing issues. Now I am usually travel lucky, as you know. Things usually work out. So to have my flight cancelled when travelling with my son was not ideal, but we made the best of it. My wife was able to find us a hotel quickly nearby to the airport (too late to go back to Davis), while we waited to see if BA could fly us the next day. It wasn’t cheap, but thankfully BA covered the cost. And there we stayed, me and my son sitting in the room playing our ukuleles, racing each other on MarioKart, watching Disney Plus shows. We went back to SFO the next day for many more hours of waiting. They were able to finally get our flight scheduled, although we still had to wait in a very long line of about 2.5 hours to check in. I recognized many of the faces from the previous evening’s lines. Some people from Ireland who had long missed their connecting flight, a few English people, and loads of people from Scotland, specifically Aberdeen, so I spent a lot of time listening to the Aberdonian accent which is a pretty nice accent. It seemed like spending one more night in San Francisco was not necessarily the worst thing in the world, although drab hotels near the airport aren’t exactly Mai-Tais at the Fairmont. That line was long, slow and exhausting. My son went and sat on a bench and read his book, played his 3DS, watched his iPad. I sketched a bit using a blue brush pen from Belgium, see above. Had to document the experience. I also played my 3DS, read a book, listened to a podcast, anything to pass the time. Eventually, we checked back in. We went to security. We had another dinner at the terminal. And finally, we made it onto the plane. It took another couple of hours to take off, but it took off. Our section was not crowded; I think several people may have found another flight. Our seats were nice, and it was exciting to land back in London, finally, very very tired, and see my mum. My son was happy to be back in London again after over three years since the last visit, and we got a travel story to tell. It all worked out in the end.