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Monday, February 25, 2008

Not safe to be let out alone

I was more than a little relieved to learn I needn't find my own way back to Gatwick again. Give my mate her due, she saw me off in style. With a slap up meal and glass (or two) of wine, we
had time enough for a last few piccy's before her partner called round to take me to the airport. He even helped me with the meggacase. I said my goodbyes and trotted off to the check in with almost a full two hours left to spare. Boots, jacket and belt removed, I even finally escaped setting off the security alarms.


I don't know about you, but I find airports and ferries deathly boring. You are always waiting in limbo til you can move on to the place where you are really meant to be. Waiting for the gate to be announced, I found me a bar and relaxed with a sigh into my new Stephen King novel. Perfect, huh? Well, it was, up until I glanced at the clock.


Oh no! Bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger!!! It was ten minutes after my flight was scheduled to depart! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! I still didn't even know which gate I was meant to board from. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I truly have no internal compass where it comes to directions, I always get lost even at the best of times. Darting around like a headless chicken, even with the gate number now in my mind, I still couldn't find the way to where I was supposed to be. I'm running at this point (skinned toes n'all). I had visions of me having to spend an extra night at the Hilton again. (This happened the last time I visited my mate, but that wasn't my fault - honest Guv' - and besides, that's an entirely different story altogether.) Now I can hear the gallery incredulously asking why on earth I didn't hear my name being called? Because, my dear friends, Gatwick is a silent airport - they no longer announce stuff like "Can the stupid bint holding up flight no. XYZ kindly get her arse into gear?" any more.



By the time I arrived, flushed, out of breath and apologising profusely, the gate had already closed. I have to say they were very nice, all things considered. Seems they'd been waiting for me. Of course, everyone had already boarded by this time. I might just explain something here - the plane I catch is only a hundred seater, and this being the last flight out on a Sunday night, it was fully booked. Did I tell you what a tiny island I live on? As luck would have it, my seat was at the very back, the farthest one away from the door. Even avoiding all eye contact, I still felt the collective wave of hate swimming up to greet me. Worse, at least two thirds of the passengers probably knew me by sight, if not in person.

I waited last to disembark, and kept my head down. I'd delayed us by half an hour. Of course, this had a knock on effect upon all the hapless folk waiting to meet us outside. My fifteen year old has the voice of a fog-horn (and he has an uncanny ability to cut straight to the chase.)

"Mum!" (Yelling from 50 metres) "Your plane was late, why was it late?"

I ducked the barbed mutters from the crowd and went to speedily bundle him back to the car, whispering, "I'll tell you later, bonny lad.."

35 comments:

Maalie said...

LOL! That's a good story! I'm about the opposite, a bit neurotic about knowing where to go and what time. I find myself consulting the screen every few minutes!

I do quite a bit of reading at airports, but recently I have got a palmtop (I think some people call it a PDA) with WiFi facility and so I can while away the time emailing my mates! Not to mention updating my bird lists and composing my blog!

Maalie said...

Oh dear, I forgot to remark on those trousers you are wearing. How rude of me.

The Hermit said...

Hey, you're back!

Shrinky said...

Maalie,

that's the whole horror of it all, I an ANAL about being on time - I am NEVER late for anything (I usually wind up far too early, if anything). I was mortified. I hate people who do things like that. (Sigh,.)

The trousers? Brand new that day (I'm going through a mid-life crisis).

Shrinky said...

Hey the Hermit,

I sure am - good to see you again my friend!

Casdok said...

You must have passed my door!
Gatwick is one of my sons faveorite places!

Shrinky said...

Ha! Casdock - what is it with our boys and their favouite forms of transport? Every night my lad has to watch the ferry leave from port, weekends are given over to plane spotting at the airport. (Grin)

Maalie said...

Mid life? It looks to me as if you have a bit to go before you get there.

pat houseworth said...

I hate Airports....hate buses more...Nice Pants!

Mushy said...

OMG...leather pants...what an olfactory moment I'm having. Thanks...I needed that!

CHEWY said...

Shrinky,

You must be drinking nectar from the fountain of youth. btw hot leather pants.

Perhaps you need a personal assistant?

Shrinky said...

Maalie, you are a true gent, my friend! x

Shrinky said...

Ah Pat,

I don't do buses (forgotten how they work). Wink.

Shrinky said...

Good God, Mushy - are you sniffing me? DOWN BOY! (lest I may need to severely punish you..)

Shrinky said...

You know Chewy, I do so miss having a PA - do you have a resume?

david mcmahon said...

I coulda taken you to Gatwick and to the departure gate - ON time!!

PS: I love airports.

OK, so we're doing the weather swap today, as you suggested?

Shrinky said...

David,

I suspect you're a closet anarak now! Anyway, where were you when I most needed you (humph)!

Wind and rain over here, I almost got blown over the clifftop walking Jake - got home drenched and purged, glowing!

Buck said...

Gatwick is pretty good, as airports go. Beats the stuffing (I was considering another word, but propriety won out) out of Heathrow, in my book...anyway.

And yeah, I'll join the crowd: Nice pants... erm... trousers. Yes, trousers. ;-)

Dilly said...

HEWO SHWINKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dilly be glad Shwinky be bak!

Dilly think airport be stoopit, not showtin to get on playne. How ment kno? Not kno nuthin wen reed good book.
Mummy reed good book at nite.
Reed Ruth Rendall.
Say, "Ownly reed wun chapter, then sleep."
Nex thing Mummy say,
"Oh! It be lite owtside! How happen?"
MWEAH!

¬"

BRUNO said...

Tell Mushy to move over there, let me have a look, too!

Oh, my, my, my!!! Almost gives me an asthma-attack, just lookin'!!!

Whew---OK! Better now! Damn, what a rush....!!!

BRUNO said...

And I'd still like to hear of the "Adventures Of Peter The Ape"...!

Robert said...

I share your feelings on airports and ferries..I wonder when we will have to strip before getting on a plane..I have given up on air ravel and gone back to the road..you would think that having done over 3 million miles I would have had enough..guess not...:)))

Shrinky said...

Now Buck,

Here speaks a man who knows.. "pants" over her means knickers (panties?),and I sure as hell ain't about to model any of those on the blog. Yes, my friend, we are talking "trousers" here - kindly inform your kindred Americans! (Rolling eyes, darn yanks with their bastardised English - it's so cute!) Grin.

Shrinky said...

Aww Dilly,

You and your mummy GET IT! It wasn't my fault, not at all, was it? (Big hugs) x

Scott from Oregon said...

My pops' misread a flight schedule once and was late. They held up the plane a good forty five minutes for him, and rushed him past all the security when he arrived at the airport.

He was, after all, one of the pilots...

simon said...

Sure is a good story. I like airports because its the only place in the world where I cna read a book and sit still- I am ALWAYS in arrow mode-so maalie tells me!! ahhaahahahahhaha

AND I am really anal about being late too.... stress if I am a minute over

Les Becker said...

ROTFL!!!! I have no sense of direction or time (especially when reading Stephen King), either, so I don't feel the least bit guilty laughing at you.
Mind you, I never held a plane up. Here, they'd leave without you.

Shrinky said...

Oh Bruno,

Trust YOU to bring up Peter the Gorilla, hmph. Later, bonny lad - I'll get around to it (smile).

Shrinky said...

Robert,

Are you kidding me? HOW many miles? Sheesh!

Shrinky said...

Ah Scott,

What's it like to have friends in high places, huh? (Grin)

Shrinky said...

Hey Les,

God help the world should you and I ever team up together (though I'm sure it would be a scream if we did)!

Shrinky said...

Hi there Simon,

Good to see you again! Yeah, I suppose being put on hold in an airport lounge does tend to force you to slow down for a bit - there's always a silver lining, huh?

Mary said...

I love an airport. I guess because I so rarely use them. I mostly always give myself tons of extra time these days because I would have had a meltdown had I been in your situation. Know myself. Anyway at least you looked great. That kind of thing usually happens when you look your worst to top all off. Glad, glad, glad you are back on the blogs.

San said...

I too am pathetic when it comes to directions. I had a similar experience near Vancouver. Lost my sense of direction at a ferry station. Correction. Had no sense of direction to lose. Got on the wrong ferry. Just as they were about to embark, I knew I was on the wrong boat. Don't ask me how. I just knew. They had to yell, "ONE COMING OFF!" and throw down the thing--what DO they call that thing?--for me to run down with my suitcases. I too didn't want to look at anyone.

That's a sexy picture, by the way! You are one babe, missing compass not withstanding.

Fireblossom said...

A SILENT airport??? What the devil is a silent airport? Is it staffed by mimes in striped shirts and berets, all trying to get out of invisible boxes?

What Stephen King novel were you reading? I've read a great many of them. My favorite is still "The Shining", though I liked "Cell" a lot, too.