Welcome to #TheMondayClub, where to start your week off with a giggle or a shiver, it's a free read each monday.
Last week, we set the scene, this week you get...
The Brief Facts
This time, we were coming home, and I was feeling very supercilious about managing to get all my stuff into the cases and not lugging half my wardrobe around with me as hand luggage. So there was space in the cases because I'd munched my way through the Gluten Free goodies I'd packed to take with me, but I'd managed to cram everything in there that could go in. My hand luggage was essentials like my laptop and charger, kindle, phone and some biscuits.
There we were, all set to hand back the keys of the accommodation we'd hired and head for home…sad to leave the south of France, because, well we love it, and the gite we were in was perfect, but looking forward to Le Tour De Yorkshire. For those of you not in the know, The Tour De France cycle race started in the U.K. this year, and we were going to watch. We'd practiced saying 'allez-oop', and 'Nah, then, bonjour le tour', and drinking French Wine in anticipation of le great day. First though we had to get there…
Nine am…South of France, 31 degrees Celsius, and the sky was as black as the ace of spades.
"I think there's a storm coming," I said all knowledgeably. As usual, I didn't get an answer. I reckon men have an inbuilt filter to block out anything that doesn't involve the word 'cancelled' coupled with their favorite sport, or 'money' and 'spend'. Then, especially if they're Yorkshiremen or Scotsmen, the filter sends them alert, alert, red alert signals and they hone in on it, and find a million reasons why they shouldn’t part with the cash.
As I'm married to a Yorkshireman and we live in Scotland, I've learned how to get round the latter. Spend first and tell him later is the best way to keep said bought item. The first I've just learned to live with.
Obviously he looked at the sky just after me. "There's going to be a storm soon."
Really? Fancy that eh? A real Sherlock Holmes in the making. I just nodded. After all we were in a long queue of traffic, on a French motorway, with volatile drivers swerving in and out of the queue, and stopping suddenly. I didn't want to distract him so I closed my eyes and held my breath as a white van cut in front of a sports car with inches to spare, and a motor bike drove between the queues of slow moving vehicles.
Me being me, sweated for the whole thirty minutes it took to get out of the queue and into the airport. What if there was an accident and the road was blocked? Would we get there in time to catch the flight? Seriously, I'm usually a glass full type of person, not a doom and gloom merchant, but flying with Dh, is always fraught. Why? I have no idea. Fly half way around the world by myself? No problem. France to England (or anywhere else) with Dh? Stress central. I'm sure that stems from flying with tiny kids, and worrying I'd forgotten something essential. Now I'd just say, tough, we'll go buy it.
We eventually gave back the car, caught the bus to the correct terminal and checked in our suitcases. Then we took ourselves off to the lounge, (one of the benefits of hubby flying a lot with That Airline) and had a cuppa—for those of you not used to this shortened expression, it’s a cup of tea. Often used with "put kettle on and we'll have a cuppa"—and a bag of crisps. Sadly, no gluten free sandwiches or cakes here.
About thirty minutes later, there was an enormous crack of thunder and several flashes of lightening mixed with heavy rain, which turned into the mother and father of all storms. It went on…and on… and on…
Around forty-five minutes after our plane should have taken off we saw a notice saying the flight was boarding, so we ambled down to the gate. It wasn't of course, I think they wanted to watch us get hopeful. They got us on to a bus and then… nothing. We just sat there. The driver got aboard and turned the a/c on, then he got off again and disappeared. We waited. People started to mutter. After twenty minutes or so the driver reappeared, and bus finally moved. There was an audible sigh of relief from the passengers.
We didn’t move very far; the bus only moved ten yards and stopped. The driver got up, then disappeared once more.
No information. Nothing, nada, rein de tout, zilch.
Half an hour later someone got on and said we couldn't board the plane because of the thunderstorm plus they couldn't refuel because of the lightening.
Well we all understood that — fuel and lightning isn't a good mix unless you want fireworks to beat anything you get on bonfire night, but why not tell us at the beginning?
That Airline's representative, warbled on about how they didn’t know when we could board. She didn't seem to grasp the point that ninety passengers were angry because they were kept in the dark. She just repeated herself, over and over again.
Someone said very forcefully. "We didn't ask you to tell us what you didn't know. Just to tell us what you did. The reason for the delay. Then you would only have had ninety thirsty, hungry and resigned passengers, not angry ones."
She still didn't get it.
Almost two hours late, we set off finally. The sky was black, and the flight very bumpy. I thought how I'd hate to be in the hold. (I have random ideas like that occasionally.)
"We'll just about catch our connection. If we do, I bet the cases won't." Dh was full of doom and gloom. He had to drive for four hours when we landed which wasn’t his idea of fun.
He knew that there was usually no problem getting through immigration and security at the south of England airport we were using. It's only a small one. However, new security measures had been introduced the day before, and bless 'em at security, one hand didn't know what the other was doing. Even though they fast tracked us because time was passing, it was going to be a close call.
Take your eReader out of your hand luggage… no leave it in…no take it out…do the hokey pokey and shake it all about. I'd rather security be tight than nothing at all, and by running—and if you'd ever seen me run, you'd be wetting yourselves, well as long as you had spare knickers—unlike us we came to find out about—we caught our connection.
Our cases didn't. Typical. My husband had been right.
Boy, were That Airline efficient in telling us that, seems like they were great at telling their passengers what they couldn’t do. Even before we got to the baggage claim, Dh had a text telling him the cases weren't on the plane.
Yup That Airline wanted my knickers all right.
Thongs for the Memory...
Love R x