As my birthday and wedding anniversary fall on consecutive days, Mrs Cameron and I always try to get away for a joint celebratory short weekend break.
My only request is that any flight be as short as absolutely necessary, given my irrational fear of flying, though statistically it remains the safest form of travel.
With our son Scott living in Los Angeles on America’s west coast, and to avoid the 11.5-hour jetlag-guaranteed flight, I paid our son’s return flight to split the flight-time and rendezvous for the weekend with us in New York on the East Coast.
Having first consumed several nerve-settling gin-based cocktails in the departure lounge, we boarded the flight.
Yet no sooner had we stowed our luggage and belted up than we were informed by our captain that, ‘due to a technical fault,’ we would have to endure a short delay of approximately 20 minutes.
As it was still a longish flight we’d treated ourselves to premium-economy seats and so it was a total bonus when, the previous day, we were offered an upgrade to Upper Class for a very reasonable price. This meant an enclosed pod-like seat that converts into a bed, complete with quilt and PJs and access to a bar complete with stools and a cocktail waitress!
Trying to maintain my composure and distract my thoughts from the piercing sound of the aero-technician’s pneumatic tools removing nuts and bolts beneath the plane, I made my way to the bar, where one of the stewards joked that the engineers were replacing the ‘phalange,’ a somewhat ill-timed wink to a hilarious pre-flight scene in the hit American sitcom Friends.
Things became even less funny when the captain informed us we would have to disembark and return to the departure lounge until the problem was fixed. Several more glasses of ‘Dutch courage’ and a total of seven hours later we were back on board and ready for take-off.
Feeling somewhat drained by the day’s events, I politely requested my bed be ‘made-up’ for immediate occupation and the hope of sleep. The next thing I knew I was being awoken by Mrs Cameron, informing me she hadn’t slept well and had sat at the bar for the past three hours.
‘So whose ears did you chat off then?’ I asked with just a hint of sarcasm. ‘This nice young man called Ben, who is now sat in the sleeping pod next to you.’
As I turned to my left, I instantly recognised ‘Ben’ was actually Ben Lovett - pictured above - one of the founding members of multi-award-winning British folk-rock band Mumford and Sons.
He politely nodded, then added insult to injury by saying: ‘Sorry to tell you, but your wife and I are now pretty close!’
Actually the complete gentleman, Ben, who also owns ‘Givers & Takers,’ a bar in Brooklyn where he resides with his wife, was kind enough to offer some sound advice for our son, himself pursuing a music career Stateside.
On hearing a short clip of one of Scott’s recent recordings, he offered his e-mail address in case Scott ever needed some friendly free advice.
Despite the delayed start to our trip, it was a good weekend and great to see Scott. We even went to a concert where Sixties folk-rockers The Lovin’ Spoonful played, among other hits, Summer in The City.