Travelling – day 271 (J)

I spent the morning uploading photos on to the blog and publishing up to where we both had something written for that day. I am uber impressed that I have managed to stay ahead of Katherine. Pat on the back for myself.

We went for breakfast down at Heidi’s, again, and I had the posh breakfast roll. Still a manageable size and not too messy, even my parents began commenting on the number of food photos I take for the blog. Sure, do they want photos of us all looking upset for the day?IMG_8363Up the N22 to the airport and we spent ages driving around the car park looking for a space. I personally think it’s deliberate so as to rack up time in the short stay parking and get more money out of ya. Cheating gits the lot of ’em! My point was further emphasised when we got a juice and sat down for a bit and the geezer at the till put through the most expensive juice three times. Grumpy security staff didn’t make the parting any easier and I barely kept it together.

I have never paid for allocated seating on a RyanAir flight and I doubt I ever will. Thus, it was kinda cool to have seat 1A allocated to me. The leg room is incredible and there’s nobody in front bouncing a chair back and forth every 2seconds. However, there was a slight engineering problem that required a technician to come from the hotel and fix something in the cockpit and being in the front row looking out the plane, one could see all the staff in fluorescent yellow bibs running around and talking over the walkie-talkies. Not what ya wanted to see on any flight, especially when you’re about to blubber your eyes out.IMG_8367Departing 30mins after the scheduled departure time (what is it with me and delayed flights lately), I tried to occupy my mind with word games on the phone. No good, a few secretive cries looking out the window; watching the coastline fade away as we passed out further over wave-crested blue seas, gradually ascending over a blanket of clouds and I felt a bit better afterwards.IMG_8369First off the plane – WOOHOO!! – I was zooming through the arrivals hall, bypassing passport control altogether and strolling through the terminal till I found the escalators down to the train. And away it went, darting in to Liverpool Street and the train even had wifi. SCORE!! Being ever so efficient (and clever) I walked up the street to Moorgate station to get the Northern Line, rather than getting the Central at the station which would have been manic.

A typical sardine can tube line experience in the infamous Northern, I got out at Balham and waited for a train that would pass through Wallington. On the train I remember thinking, if I had to describe it, “it would have been quicker to crawl uphill over broken glass with my hands and feet bound.” It was painfully slow, aggravating the need to pee and I was charged the extortionate price for getting on a train so soon after zone 1, thus qualifying for a transfer under TFL rules. Grrr!!!

Clare was there for a massive hug and catch up, cooked an amazing home-made sausage roll with a fresh salad (no more yellow food in the house) and Martin came back from his bike ride for us all to sit down, chill out and watch Marco Polo on Netflix before bed.

Monday 4th July 2016

Travelling & Ireland – day 264 (J)

Tip-toeing around the flat I managed to leave without banging anything or tripping on stuff in the dark. I was like a ninja and stealth mode was working for such an early start. It thankfully didn’t start drizzling until I got to the bus stop, with the agonising countdown of 16mins in the cold waiting for the 157. The Northern Line, constantly busy no matter if it’s the first or last service of the day, had seats and got me to Moorgate on time. There was no info on the boards at Liverpool station for Stansted airport, so I asked and got directed to an empty train with plenty of time to stop fretting and relax.  The staff at the airport were in great form, shouting loudly to the massive queues and keeping spirits up in the slow march to the security gates. For the first time in a long time, the sensor beeped as I passed through, although I have no idea what could have set it off. So my hands and waist were swabbed and my shoes sent through an additional x-ray scanner. The wifi at the airport however didn’t work, so I couldn’t avail of my free Harris+Hoole coffee and joined the masses in front of the jumbo screens waiting for a gate number to appear. The mad dash to check-in was indicative of a RyanAir flight where nobody wants their bag to be taken away and put in the hold. Such a stupid system – they should all just properly enforce the one bag rule and they’d all fit in the overhead lockers.  The uneventful flight was quickly over, I passed some stunning aerial photographs of Cork’s coastline on my way to passport control and I was able to show my new passport. The Garda on duty just kind of waved me through and I was greeted by my Mam in Cork Airport. My Dad was outside in the drop off lane, keeping the engine running like a get away driver. And we went as far as the electrical store down the road to have brunch in their restaurant. Clearly the mischief gene runs in the family as they were totally up for messing with some of the items we passed in store.  Homeward bound we chilled out for a few hours, did the usual small gift thing and watched some Wimbledon tennis on tv. The early start was catching up with me when we plonked ourselves done for dinner. Yet another, ‘I Miss’ moment when we had Irish Stew and soda bread for dinner. A nice few hours chilling out and chatting.  Monday 27th June 2016