I’m starting this Blog at the most interim of Moodie Davitt Report Interim Bureaux, inside the Senator Business Lounge at Münich Airport.
I’m en route to Tokyo Haneda Airport, around 48 hours after landing at Heathrow from Miami International. West, East, body clock gone back a few hours, now about to be wound forward a lot of hours. With a further return home on Wednesday for my son Ali’s 18th birthday and then a Saturday flight to Shanghai for The Trinity Forum, I may have to visit a human horologist soon the way things are shaping.
I see the good and the bad of airports during my constant sojourns around the globe and today the former has far outweighed the latter. I flew out of Heathrow T2, surely one of the best terminals in the world and I’ve arrived into Münich’s numeric equivalent, an outstanding, bright, passenger-friendly facility with a first-rate food & beverage and shopping offer (pictured below).
I think the panorama from the top, post-security level at Heathrow T2 (pictured immediately below) is among the best in the airport world. What a dramatic shot it makes, as the stunning Jo Malone pop-up takes centre stage. Or does it? What about the brilliant Caviar House & Prunier restaurant directly behind? Does an airport F&B outlet get any better? All this lit up by streams of natural light from the glass window above and those looking out onto the airport apron. Wonderful.
Having forgotten my black belt (the trouser rather than karate kind) this morning I visited a couple of shops I don’t normally get to see.
Ted Baker seems to do very well but it may just be the most crowded airport store I have ever been in – or squeezed into. I don’t get it. Just take out a few racks! It was like London’s Piccadilly underground line at rush hour, except with double the traffic, in there. Try on a (£49.99) belt? That may have meant causing grievous bodily harm with my elbows to fellow passengers at the same time so I decided to head instead for the serenity of John Lewis. The famed department store does a nice job here, and offered a plentiful selection of belts (admittedly the merchandising, pictured below, could do with some work) priced from £16 up to high-end variations.
Regular readers will know that I am a Paul Smith devotee but my eyes did light up at the beautifully packaged range from Happy Socks. A pair of these beauties should in turn illuminate my stage presence at the Trinity Forum in ten days very nicely, though we may need to get sponsored sunglasses for delegates.
World Duty Free, too, has really got its act together at T2. The beauty area is outstanding, and the Johnnie Walker Boutique anchors the liquor zone nicely. White Walker by Johnnie Walker is the line gathering all the attention though.
When I bought a bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc I was asked all the right questions at the sales counter about my routing (through Münich) and thus made my STEB-clad purchase in full confidence. Throw in the warmth and excellence of the service at John Lewis and a very good experience at Travelex (I was served by a young woman called Farhana, who appeared to be in training but was like a finished professional in her approach) and of course my Happy Socks, and I left the airport a very happy traveller.
Mr. Happy, you might say. Those who work with me know that a) I am a fan of the Mr. Men series and characters (created by English author Roger Hargreaves) and b) that I am capable of adopting several of their personas. Based on the state of my desk each day, I suspect that our Chief Administration Officer, Victoria Bowskill (our own Little Miss Sunshine), casts me as Mr. Messy (there is, at least not yet, no Mr. Infuriating, Victoria…).
I seem to always be Mr. Busy and, given my propensity to lose things on my travels, variously Mr. Clumsy, Mr. Forgetful or even Mr. Muddle.
Knowing my abhorrence of tautologies and misplaced apostrophes, my team of journalists might consider me Mr. Fussy, and (on my bad days, usually only those ending in Y) Mr. Grumpy or Mr. Grumble.
Today, thanks to these two excellent airports, I am Mr. Cheerful morphed into Mr. Adventure as I head on to Tokyo. While Mr. Worry keeps trying to make an appearance given my fearsome work schedule over the next few days and Mr. Topsy-Turvy mis-manages my body clock, I’m determined to not turn into Mr. Jelly but Mr. Bounce as a result. Despite what shapes, it must be said, as Mr. Impossible’s schedule.
Which is a (very) long-winded way of describing Heathrow Airport’s excellent Mr. Men campaign (pictured) that includes a brilliant ‘Kids Eat Free’ offer from 18 to 28 October; luggage tag decorating; a chance to meet Little Miss Explorer or snap a picture with Mr. Adventure (the real one not me); or create your own complimentary Mr. Men Family Holiday portrait to make Heathrow part of the holiday experience. What a lovely notion. This is Mr. Adventure then, signing off from Münich, until Tokyo.