I’ve never been upgraded, I’m not sure what it is you need to do (other than pay a ridiculous amount), but whatever it is I still don’t know the trick.
I stand in the queue to check in to my Air Kenya flight back to London for an intense two days of meetings straight from the field. If ever I could do with a comfortable night of sleep it is tonight. My flight leaves just before midnight and I’ll be arriving at 6.30am and will have to immediately make my way across London for an 8.30am start.
Madeleine suggested taking a pillow to help me sleep, those “flight pillows” you can buy at the airport seem to be no aid to sleeping at all. We eventually decided that with a standard bedroom pillow in hand my chances of being upgraded would have been less than zero. I have my best shirt on, trying to look important and exude a business class aura. I step up to the counter, passport in hand, bags under my eyes and full of hope.
“Where are you flying to sir?”
“London, Heathrow, any chance of an upgrade?”
Well, that worked a treat…
I take my aisle seat in economy and happen to be sat next to the largest man in Kenya. The arm rest between our seats is up because he needs to share his behind between his own seat and more than half of mine. Excellent.
I apologetically squeeze in to my seat with half of me protruding in to the aisle so that the kind air hostesses can ram the trolley in to me every time they walk past.
I silently negotiate some of my seat back by edging millimeters across every time my expansive neighbour takes a breath in. Fortunately, years ago I developed this skill fighting over the arm rest with my sister in the back of the car, although the tactic of pinching and whining to Mum and Dad that the gravitationally challenged man “is on my side” was unlikely to be effective in this scenario as it had been some 25 years ago.
Eventually I have secured enough of my own chair to no longer protrude in to the aisle and can now contemplate sleeping. The lights are out and my lids feel a force on them greater then that being exerted by gravity on my neighbour. With no pillow I have to try and sleep sat fully upright whilst defending regular elbow digs from my new best friend. It is now almost 4am and I feel myself starting to drift in to a deep sleep.
It feels like only moments later that I am being woken up and the light in the cabin are on. Have we landed already? No, it is barely 4.30am and the same air hostess that took it on herself to attempt a below knee amputation earlier with her trolley, is now shaking me awake and asking if I want tea or coffee with my breakfast! I can not believe it, I had finally started to replenish the dept of sleep I was owed. To add insult to injury, it wasn’t even coffee but some coffee flavoured water that did nothing other than make me feel nauseous.
Thankfully the adrenaline kicked in and seeing the friendly faces of my colleagues at work in London was enough to see me through the various meetings. 48 hours later I was back on the plane to Kenya. Same seat, different neighbour, possibly even larger than my previous one…
An hour after Andrew left, John the bakery consultant from Canada arrived at our home. We’ve managed to discuss the vision of the bakery in more detail, had a tour of Nakuru’s current “bakeries”. We were nosing around one of the supermarkets when I noticed my arm and leg getting very damp. I realised Lucas’ nappy had burst and was seeping in to my clothes (nice). I reached in to my bag to get a new nappy for Lucas only to realise I didn’t have one and was going to need to get home. In the few moments of discovering Lucas had shared his nappy contents with my clothes, we’d managed to lose John. So I headed for the bakery area of the supermarket and found John behind the counter in the kitchens with his hands deep inside the dough! It has been non-stop research, ingredient sourcing, business planning, baking… I did manage an hour off from Bakery planning when Andrew returned. I sat down with Kat and watched the latest episode of the Great British Bake Off which Andrew downloaded before he left England.
Much more on the plans for Jamii Bakery over the next couple of weeks
Recipe – Caraway bread
45g rye flour
525g white strong bread flour
95g rye flour
All of the pre-ferment
3g dried yeast
10g toasted caraway seeds
1. Mix all the preferment ingredients together and leave in a warm place overnight.
2.To make the final dough, add the flours, water, pre-ferment, yeast and salt then knead for 8 minutes, at the end of kneading fold in the toasted caraway seeds until well blended.
3.Leave to prove for 60-90mins in a floured bowl.
4. Knock back the dough and leave for another 60mins
5. Shape into two small loaves or one big one, I went for one big one in a tin.
6. Sprinkle with flour and leave to prove for about 60mins until an indent is left in the dough from your finger.
7. Bake at 220°C for about 40mins.
This is yummy with jam or cheese!