Off to visit my oldest friend, not in years but in time known, today. She lives in SW Ireland in a lovely stone cottage surrounded by farm land and with views down to the sea.
So up betimes to pack, thence to station and train to Manchester Airport. Train good, not crowded, convenient etc. but loos unspeakable: the floors were so wet with nasty sticky stuff that I could not bear to use them.
Thence to check in, and security where the trouble began. Loooong queues so I’m glad I did not dally ‘land side’: well I bleeped and had to have a real good pat down, then my cabin luggage was held up while we discovered the bottle with half an inch of soya milk in the bottom. Entirely my fault that one, I had forgotten it was there. Finally, shoes back on, outer clothes back on, luggage retrieved and thence to buy some water and some crisps. Sitting at the Gate with 15 minutes to boarding the tannoi calls me, wants me back at security.
Well, you can guess that I was a mite troubled: had my flute come up rather late in the day as some kind of sub- machine gun? Gulped down water and finished crisps and began the long haul back to security. On the way I thought, “Where exactly is my handbag?” Feeling an utter fool I turned up hot and flushed at security where some long-suffering chaps went through some questioning and produced said handbag. I had left it in the shop. You could see that they wondered who had let me out by myself.
So rushed back to the gate and boarded, sitting in a sauna of hot moisture, and wishing that just once I could be cool and collected and not get into scrapes.
Uneventful flight, but loooong queues again going through passport control in Cork. Unusual. Friend waiting, big hugs, but then …….
Further complications. Kind hearted friend was also meeting another of her friends, coming home from South Africa, and we were all going to share the car. But friend of friend’s daughter had turned up unexpectedly, flowers at the ready to greet mum, and was expecting to share the care too, also with her luggage since she had been away.
We tried people and luggage in various positions but, not being a phone box, it just would not take us all!
Then up comes a neighbour and her husband, he had apparently been on the same flight as friend’s friend, and they could take some suitcases in their car: he was coming home for the weekend from Scotland. What a gregarious place Ireland is!! We all felt terribly cosmopolitan. They were going home via supermarket so luggage would be a little delayed, but who cared? All these people live an hour’s drive from Cork, yet within minutes of each other’s houses the other end.
So friends, I am now happily ON HOLIDAY, unpacked and about to grab an early night. So no pretty pix tonight but I’ll see what I can rustle up in the next few days to illustrate the glorious place I have come to.