Back towards the end of June Michael, through no fault of his own, managed to accidentally break his ankle, resulting in a trip to A & E . X-rays showed it was a very bad break and he came out on crutches and wearing a supporting boot strapped up his leg, with an appointment to go back for another x-ray six days later when it would be decided if he needed a plaster cast or not. He came back from that appointment still with the boot on, another appointment for the following week and some medication which he had to inject himself with to prevent a DVT – that was assuming he did nothing but sit or lie and rest, however within minutes of getting back home he decided he was going to Ireland that night!
So in spite of having other things to do (I was having a weekend away myself and needed to sort things out) I spent the next hour or so on the pc, organising his journey. He couldn’t fly out as he needed a doctor’s note authorising the syringes he had so I booked him on the Holyhead to Dublin night ferry with coach connections at both ends then a flight back from Dublin to Manchester the evening before his next hospital appointment the following Friday. He had already left home when I got back from work that evening but he rang me at various stages of the journey to let me know he was okay and he arrived safely at the family home in Roscrea the following morning. All went well until the evening he was due to come back home then everything went pear-shaped, producing a string of complicated and confusing events.
The flight back from Dublin on the Thursday was 9.30pm and I’d arranged to pick Michael up from Manchester airport an hour or so later, however at 7.15 he rang me and his first words were “Mum, I’ve messed up”. Now to put you in the picture, over the last few months he’s become friendly with a girl in Roscrea and he’d called to see her before setting off to come home, only to be told by her next door neighbour that she’d had a bad epileptic seizure and had been taken to hospital 35 minutes drive away. As the coach to Dublin passed the hospital where his friend had been taken he’d decided (not very wisely as it turned out) to stop off there to see if she was okay, only to find out when he got there that she’d recovered from her seizure, checked herself out and presumably gone home. By the time he’d come out of the hospital and made his way back to the main road he’d missed the next coach to the airport and hadn’t a cat in hell’s chance of getting there in time for his flight so the only thing he could do was get the next coach back to Roscrea and start again the following day. He would miss his hospital appointment but it could be rearranged.
So once again using the trusty pc and various timetables found on the internet I came up with an alternative. Flying back was now out of the question as Friday and weekend flights are very expensive, so it was decided that he would wait until Saturday and come back on the night ferry; Saturday was also the day when I should have gone to Anglesey but there was no way I was going until I knew Michael was safely back home. Unfortunately there was nowhere in Roscrea where he could make a direct ferry booking, he couldn’t make an internet booking using his phone as for some reason he couldn’t get into the system, and I couldn’t book it for him from here as he would need a printed ticket, so the only thing he could do was get to the ticket office at the bus station in Dublin and make his booking there.
Now not knowing what time the Dublin ticket office closed I suggested that he get the 1pm coach from Roscrea which would get him to Dublin by 3pm, so assuming that the ticket office closed early at maybe 4pm he would be in plenty of time. However, even that didn’t go according to plan; at 1.45pm on the Saturday I got a text ‘Still waiting for coach’ so I rang him. The 1 o’clock coach hadn’t turned up and there was no timetable at the bus stop so yet again I got on the pc to check, only to find that the timetable I was looking at then wasn’t what I’d been looking at the previous day – it had changed overnight and there wasn’t now a coach at 1pm. The next one was 3 o’clock, which got Michael to Dublin bus station a few minutes after 5pm – just five minutes too late for the ticket office! The only thing he could do then was get a taxi to the port and see if he could get on the next ferry as a foot passenger, though he would have to sort out his own way of getting home from Holyhead once he got there.
However, for the first time since all this mess began he actually had a stroke of luck – the young woman in the ticket office got into the booking system and he was booked in on the night ferry for the full journey from there right back home; all he had to do was wait for the coach which would take him onto the ferry then he could relax for the rest of the journey. He did text me at one point ‘Now on ferry, just set sail’ to which I jokingly replied ‘Well don’t get off anywhere!’ and back came the text ‘Even that would be impossible for me now!’ He eventually arrived home just after 7 o’clock on the Sunday morning, the coach having dropped him off at the local Asda store ten minutes walk away – and I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to see him.
I finally went to Anglesey two days later than planned, leaving Michael home alone, and he went to his rearranged hospital appointment on the Friday that week. This time his foot was put in a plaster cast which goes halfway to his knee – and on his way back home he stopped off in town and booked himself on the ferry back to Ireland that night! He would have been going anyway as it was his birthday a few days later and he’d already booked the time off work as a holiday so he wasn’t wasting it. The following Tuesday I got back from Anglesey to an empty house and Michael finally arrived back the Sunday afterwards, though even that journey hadn’t been without incident.
For some reason the driver of the coach from Roscrea to Dublin had taken a different route round the city and hadn’t stopped at the main bus station where Michael had to pick up the coach for the ferry; when he realised that the coach was heading towards the docks on the way to the airport he had to ask the driver to stop and let him off. He then had a choice – a taxi back to the bus station and risk missing the ferry coach or onwards to the port. He chose the port, and though he had to wait a while he was able to pick up the ferry coach there. He’s been at home since then but I know he’s planning on going back to Ireland after his next hospital check up at the end of this week; if he does then hopefully things will all go according to plan but if they don’t…..then watch this space!
12 thoughts on “Only my son could do this”
O dear, what a nightmare journey that must have been for Michael and such a worry for you. It’s a shame it cost you a couple of days of your holiday. I hope his ankle heals soon and all I can think is the young lay in Ireland must be worth it. Good luck to him I say.
I’m so sorry about the typos, my eyesight is shocking. I meant oh dear and young lady not young lay! Oh my goodness that was so unintentional please believe me 🙂
I’m not sure whether to edit your first comment and put it right or leave it as it is – I know what you meant and the typos were unintentional but the second one has just given me a real giggle. Maybe you should have gone to Specsavers 🙂 🙂
The couple of days when Michael was ‘stranded’ felt like I was living through a nightmare. It’s incredibly difficult trying to organise travel for someone who is so far away – I seemed to spend most of my time on the phone to him or on the pc, sometimes both at the same time, and my brain felt like it was going to explode. As for losing the first two days of my holiday, if he’d been perfectly well I would have just told him to sort himself out and I would have gone away as planned, but knowing he was hopping about on crutches with a badly broken ankle I wanted to stay where I had internet access until he finally got home. He still owes me big time for that one! 🙂
I’m definitely going to re-read my comments before I hit publish in future. I think I do need to go back to Specsavers! Glad you saw the funny side, I was mortified 🙂
Don’t worry about it, I’m sure Michael would think it funny too if I told him, but I won’t – and he doesn’t read this blog anyway 🙂
I hope he appreciates what his mother does for him! Having been in plaster upnto the knee (broken metatarsals) I he total sympathy with his plight though.
I have not I he! I should have gone to Specsavers too (actually, just been to Vision Express so I have no excuse.)
Your comment has just made me laugh too 🙂 I’m sure Michael does appreciate what I do for him, and it is reciprocated in other ways. Touch wood I’ve personally never had a broken bone yet (just watch, I’ll go and break something soon)! 🙂
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Goodness gracious, that sounds horrendous, but you’ve explained it so very well :). If anyone could sort out Michael’s travel from afar then it was you.
It’s not something I would want to do very often Jayne – with two different ferry companies and several different sailing times and prices, plus sorting out corresponding coach times and allowing enough time for him to hop from one place to the next it wasn’t exactly an easy job. I’m just glad he wasn’t in Outer Mongolia or somewhere, that really would have been difficult! 🙂
Kids! Or rather, larger versions of them 🙂 🙂 It’s easier to keep track on little ones.
Are you from Ireland originally then, Eunice?
No, I’m not Jo – born and lived all my life here in Bolton, Lancs, but Michael’s dad came from Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. We met back in the 70s and were together for nine years; he would go back once a year to visit his family and once Michael left school he would often go with him although I never went and never really wanted to. My very first visit was last October when Michael and I accompanied his terminally ill dad on his final journey over there to live in the family home with his brother and sister-in-law; I went back in November for a visit then went over again in early December when his dad and his Uncle Jimmy passed away within 24 hours of each other. Aunt Nellie still lives in the family home so Michael will always have somewhere to stay when he goes over there, and I’m also welcome to stay if and when I go back there any time.