That day started at around 02.20 for me, a not unusual occurrence that meant I could play pooters (occupy my self on my computer) for a few hours before the 04.45 alarm. Garrath would have us at the airport the day before the flight if I let him get away with it, but as it was he made do with us being at the airport by 07.00 for the 09.00 flight.
The taxi arrived early, the roads were quiet so the journey to the airport was speedy and uneventful, apart from the weather that is. Howling gales and driving rain (more of that later) made us glad that we were heading for warmer climes.
The usual airport routines followed smoothly and for once I didn’t set the alarm off when we were going through security. I won’t wear those huge, hoop earrings to travel again! Essential in flight necessities and emergency supplies were purchased ( a nail file and a neck cushion) the regulation cup of tea was consumed while we waited for the gate to be called, then the agonisingly slow and uncomfortable process involved in getting to and boarding the plane. No air bridge for cheapo peasants such as we. We had to walk through the deluge to the gate and get into the plane via steps.
All appeared to be going relatively well but no progress was made towards the runway. So we waited …………. and waited …………………….. and waited!
During the wait the captain explained that the delay was due to the “inclement weather,” This was the Captain’s genteel euphemism for it pissing down and blowing a hooley! We were also informed that our route had been changed. We were to fly first to Faro in Portugal where we there would be a 45 minute stop for refuelling then we would fly to Arrecife from there. It appears that flying in “Inclement weather” requires more fuel than flying in clement weather (Is there such a word as clement?)
After what seemed like an eternity and a change of take off direction we finally got off the ground at around 10.40. It was undoubtedly the rockiest, lumpiest take off that I have ever experienced, the start of a bumpy ride through the weather front that has caused severe weather warnings, but that is Winter and climate change for you! The chance of being able to enjoy part of the day in Puerto Del Carmen was blown away by the “inclement weather” and the refuelling stop in Faro. Hey ho, with luck we will be leaving the “inclement weather” behind.
I suppose that if I were one of those showy-offy pain in the arse women who tells everybody where they have travelled, usually with a pseudo posh accent delivered in patronising tones whilst looking down their noses, I could say that after our stop at Faro we have been to The Algarve. However, I am not one of those women so I will only say that if I meet one of them, wait for an uncomfortable few seconds of silence then tell them it was an enforced stop at Faro while flying to our cheap package holiday.
Three hours later we were sitting in the plane at Faro airport while the plane was refuelled. Oh deep joy, today we took the scenic route! The weather at Faro looked very promising and since we were on our way further South, it bode well for the holiday, once we got there of course.
The things you do to alleviate boredom. When refreshments came around I ordered a cup of tea and a bottle of water. It was Harrogate water. Typically pretentious, Harrogate (pronounced Herroooooow – geet) water comes in a mock cut glass, plastic bottle. Needless to say I had to photograph it but for some reason I can’t add the photo here.
During the brief refuelling stop at Faro airport we learned that the conditions at Leeds Bradford are now so bad that the return flight today will not be able to land there but will have to land at East Midlands instead. I think that we were very lucky indeed to get away at all.
There will be some very grumpy passengers on the return flight, probably the perpetual moaners who are too stupid and intransigent to accept that this is for their own safety. No doubt they will be coached back to Leeds Bradford. I really pity the staff on that plane and those coaches.
I guarantee that there will be people on the return flight who bitch on about it endlessly. It is a complete waste of time and energy. Nothing can be done about the weather in Leeds Bradford (except in the long term by taking climate change seriously) so what the hell is the point of bitching about it? Rant over for now.
That brings me to yet another reflection on the nature of many British people. I firmly believe that if moaning were an Olympic sport, we would always win gold. Make no mistake, I have no problem with legitimate complaint where someone has had poor service. That is right and proper and in many cases protects future users of the service from maltreatment. What I do have a very real and very big problem with is the pointless, futile whinging that so many Brits indulge in. We weren’t labelled ‘Whinging Poms’ by the Aussies for nothing.
I now have a strict rule about this. I tell people that if they are not prepared to do something about the issue they are moaning about, I am not prepared to listen to them moaning about it. It is a great rule and it protects me from those people who come around, bend your ear about their perceived troubles, demand sympathy, ask your advice which you give freely, then they go away, do bugger all about it then come back and bend your ear about it again. I have no time for that kind of negativity. It is futile and it is draining. I have told people about this rule and some have said,
“But what can you do?” Explain your rule, tell them to stop, if they won’t, walk away from the person, tell them to leave your home, if they are a passenger stop the car and tell them to get out, that’s what you can do! If you are a passenger in their car (always risky with a moaner) earphones come in very handy.I f they are earaching you on the phone, put the phone down. You do not have to listen
The refuelling stop at Faro was refreshingly brief, only about 20 minutes, then we were off on the second leg of our journey. That took about one and a half hours. I’m guessing really. By that time I was brain dead! Baggage collection was relatively painless as was the airport transfer to the hotel. We got to the hotel room at about 17.40, a mere ten hours after setting off, a breeeeeeeeze!
Now we are sitting at the hotel bar, I am drinking my second gin and avoiding eye contact with all the other English tourists. Anglophobic? Us? Too bloody right. We’re on holiday.