I got up at seven on the Sunday morning and said goodbye to my friend and I walked to the bus stop next to the pizza shop that the bus station lady had told me that the bus to Nottingham stopped at.
No bus however arrived at 7.40 and it eventually arrived at 8.40. "Do You Ever Get One Of Those Days" by Elvis Presley comes to mind.
The bus fare was only 2 Pounds.
We passed Trent Bridge and the City Ground and I alighted the bus and booked a ticket to Birmingham airport via Birmingham New Street. It was only 3 carriages and at every station another amount of people got on the heaving train.
So much for Covid and if you felt claustrophobic.
I changed again at Birmingham New Street and caught the train into Birmingham International and caught the free train/ cable car to the airport.
12.30 and my plane wasn't until 9.35. I bought a drink and bacon sandwich in a cafe and spent the rest of the day mulling around the airport with my rucksack and eventually sat in a bus shelter for the afternoon. A few people asked me when the next bus was to West Brom or Birmingham and I told a lady I was passing time waiting to catch my plane. " Good idea", she said.
I day dreamed and WhatsApped home and walked around again and eventually at 6.30 I checked my rucksack in.
I walked into Customs and through to Duty Free. They had all kinds of lucrative offers like a litre of Jamesons whiskey for 23 Pounds. So I walked past all the alcohol and perfume stands and asked the ladies on the checkouts how many bottles could I take back to Ireland? "One" they shouted in unison. So much for me bringing some presents home. I just bought the one bottle. "I said it's a bit different to the ten bottles they let you bring back from Portugal per person". One of the ladies said: "It's because it's one EU country going to another country."
It was their loss financially. Yet another good reason why voting Brexit was cutting off the hand that feeds you.
I went to the Wetherspoon's bar to get rid of some English coins. I didn't pay 2 pounds six pence for a pint this time though. It was four pounds forty. I had two pints in total and waited for my plane.
About half an hour from boarding I looked at the flight departures screen and said my flight was delayed. Myself and other passengers made our way to the departure gate and sat on the floor.
None of the airline company came round to explain what had happened. At about eleven o'clock a very helpful airport worker said it was very common for late night Sunday flights to be delayed. For example there could be a storm in Tenerife in the morning and that could be delayed for ten minutes and by the end of the day all flight schedules in Europe could be hours behind.
A Polish lad who had obviously picked up on Irish sayings said to me: " It's a bollix. This flights has been delayed at least three times for me in the last six months".
Eventually we started to queue and the air staff insisted on priority boarding passengers going first. Not that it mattered that I had already paid to put my rucksack and camping equipment in the hold.
We eventually walked down the steps out of the plane and the Police boarded our plane that had just arrived from Cork. Apparently someone said rthey escorted a drunk off the plane.
Quarter past twelve we started boarding the plane. My row was not there but a air hostess said two rows were not on this plane. I sat in in my window seat and a lady started saying I was sitting in her chair. It was like a Ryan Air Goldilocks and the 3 Bears scene. "Who's been sitting in my chair?" I heard myself saying.
The air hostesses made sure the people who had booked the seats were theirs and we who had no such seats because the plane had two less row of seats were gesticulated to follow the hostess and sit in a vacant seat.
I vowed to a few agreeing and angry passengers that I would never use this cattle class airline again but I'm sure when the wife and myself book our annual flight in the Winter to the Algarve. We will probably use them. Maybe Easy Jet from Belfast or an English airport? Even Aerlingus? Whatever happened to the customer is always right?
The flight only took fifty minutes and wifey and one of my four legged pals were waiting for me outside the airport.
We got back to sleepy West Cork at 4 in the morning. It had only took me 21 hours to get
back home. I cracked open the Jamesons and drank a can of Carlsberg. It was good to get back to wild West Cork were my life is so less stressful, I reckon I could have got to Australia in the same time. Perhaps next time if I ever visit Blighty again I will use public transport and the ferry?