A journey during which I fell foul of airport security and an obnoxious staff member, and almost lost my phone…
My flight from Manchester to Dublin was at 12 noon with the gate closing at 11.30am and I arrived at the airport at 10.20 ; with no luggage to check in I had over an hour to go through security and get to the gate in plenty of time. Well that was the theory but it didn’t work out like that in practise. When I got to the security area the queues were horrendous, zig-zagging slowly round and round the barrier ropes, but eventually I got to the conveyors and put my jacket and small case in one tray and backpack in another. I walked through the body scanner with no problem and collected my jacket and case from the far side of the conveyor but my backpack was a different matter as it had gone down a different conveyor to be checked over by one of the security staff.
Now I don’t know what they thought they would eventually find but that backpack was sitting, the first in line, for fifteen minutes while the guy pulled off and checked several bags which were behind it ; time was getting on but when I mentioned to the security guy that any further delay would mean I would miss my flight I was told abruptly “Well you should have got here in plenty of time then!” to which I replied “I was here in plenty of time, my bag has been sitting there for fifteen minutes waiting to be dealt with”. I then got the reply “Well those other people were before you!” I don’t know how he worked that one out as all the other bags he was dealing with were behind mine, however mine was finally brought over to me and I was asked to open it up, whereby he had the cheek to swab it for drugs then took it away to be scanned again. Eventually it came down the right conveyor and I was finally able to grab it and hurry to the gate for my flight ; luckily it hadn’t started boarding so I was able to get my breath back while I waited in the queue.
The flight itself, although it took off late, was uneventful and I left a dull day in Manchester to arrive in an equally dull Dublin, though by the time I’d got off the plane and through the airport to the bus stop the sun was starting to shine through the clouds, making the rest of the afternoon quite pleasant.
If the plane had left Manchester on time I would have been able to get the 1.30 Kavanagh’s coach to Roscrea, instead I got the 2 o’clock Bus Eireann coach although that turned up twenty minutes late. Now whether the driver was making up for lost time or he was late for his dinner I don’t know but he certainly got a move on, however when he had to slow down or stop for any reason he didn’t do it gently and more than once I was jerked forward in my seat. I reached Roscrea in one piece though and as soon as I got off the coach I reached into my pocket for my phone to text Michael – except my phone wasn’t there. I’d used it to check the time while I was on the coach so assumed that it must have come out of my pocket on one of the occasions when the driver slapped his brakes on, in which case it was still on the coach.
Luckily the coach was still at the stop as quite a few people were getting on, so I got back on and asked the lady sitting where I had been to see if she could see it anywhere – and she found it, stuck down the side of the seat. Panic over, I sent Michael a quick text then walked the few minutes down to the family home, to be greeted by Nellie and a very welcome mug of coffee, with Paul from across the road popping in a while later to give me a ‘welcome home’ hug.
Later on, after a good meal cooked by Nellie, I decided to walk up to Tesco to get some batteries for my camera as I’d forgotten to pack my battery charger ; I’d just left the house when walking towards me was Laura, Michael’s new girlfriend, calling at Nellie’s to meet me for the first time. We recognised each other instantly as we’d spoken a few times via video chat (or whatever it’s called) on Michael’s phone ; she came back to Nellie’s for a while then came up to Tesco with me, inviting me back to her house afterwards for a coffee and a chat and to meet her two adorable little dogs Mack and Opey.
It was lovely chatting to Laura and getting to know her a little ; Michael had said I would like her and he was right, I did, but all too soon the long day started to catch up with me and it was time to think about bed, so Laura drove me back round to Nellie’s and left with the promise to take me out somewhere over the weekend. And when I went to bed this time there was no sharing with Nellie as on previous occasions ; Michael’s absence meant I could have his room and bed all to myself – it was a perfect end to the day.