Last Friday was a momentous day. One that had been on our minds for months. The debates had ensued about what direction we should go and the anticipation rose over recent weeks as the nerves kicked in. Then, as if out of no where the inevitable happened, the day had finally come, the waiting was over, no more talking around the subject…..we were going home!
We arrived at Kuwait airport, with as much excitement as the Icelandic team on Monday night (like my little topical analogy?!) Checking in with the usual amount of cheek to see if an upgrade was possible, Hubby flashing his gold card like it was Willy Wonker’s golden ticket. Alas on this occasion his charm eluded the check in staff and the plane was full. Once airside all Ramadan restrictions lift, so as we practically ran to Starbucks, my mind was weighing up which delight I should order to satisfy my month long withdrawal.
In case you were wondering my soya latte with extra shot did hit the spot, however I nearly dropped the damn thing, as we walked into the lounge only to see BBC World News announce that it looked almost inevitable that the UK would leave the EU. Now I’m not political and this is not a political blog, and as a Jersey citizen couldn’t vote on this anyway, but as we and our fellow Brits huddled round the TV we were all in shock. The consensus of the Brits abroad was this wasn’t going to happen and like many expats I’m not sure what this will mean longer term for those in Europe. I’m sure we will fully ascertain the impact on this decision over time. But wow…… as we boarded the plane back to London, we all knew that when we landed back in Blighty it was a changed country.
Right, enough of me trying to be high brow, lets get back to the important stuff, inflight entertainment (please imagine the movie voice over guy saying that, way cooler). Now this may surprise you, I hate flying. I know I’m an island girl who from the age dot had to take a plane whenever we wanted to leave Jersey. Me and my sisters would frequently be unaccompanied minors flying back and forth to family in the UK and I must have done thousands of flights in my thirty something life so far. But that changes nothing I HATE flying. The older I get the more paranoid and irrational I have become, every single noise, every change in engine thrust (keep your minds out the gutter please, you know who you are!) I break into a sweat and cut off circulation to my husband’s arm. So even though I’m excited to get home, there are 2 planes to get me there, not something I relish. However one thing I love about a long haul flight, once I’m over the take off and I can see the crew moving around, therefore the risk of disaster must be low if they are moving about, I schedule the whole flight with movies and eating!
I had The 5th Wave ready to go after my breakfast. Hubby and I maybe a bit abnormal here but we love plane food, so we’re very excited to get the tray of goodies. As I tucked into my cheese omelette with turkey bacon and chicken sausages, we pondered at what point was too early to order a cheeky drink. Being a morning flight we would have to ask, as alcohol wouldn’t be offered until much later. We decided rather than look like we were desperate we would wait, I mean it had been 3 months so couple more hours isn’t going to hurt. At this point if I wasn’t sat next to hubby I would probably drive my fellow passenger mad, as I partake in my little ritual.
- Remove shoes
- Put on extra pair of socks from inflight pack
- Play around with my chair, until the incline is just right
- Place blanket over legs granny style
- Moisturise arms, hands and face
- Faff around with the headphones, so my ears don’t get too squished!
- Sit back relax
- Press play for the movie
Now the Barry Norman in me would like to say this wasn’t a bad movie but it certainly wasn’t great but I was over it quickly as afternoon tea box came round and so did the drinks trolley. A G&T after abstention and at altitude is a lot of fun, let’s just say one was more than enough and before we knew it, we were coming into land and we both looked out the window taking in the rolling green blanket below us, a stark comparison to the desert view earlier that morning.
This is where my patience wears thin. The long walk through the airport, navigating your way through T5, walk, walk, walk, then on the shuttle train, then up far too many escalators, through immigration, then waiting for luggage. Ugh it’s so painful and what’s worse I knew we then needed to get on the M25 to drive to Gatwick. Agggghhhhh I was like a despondent toddler screaming
Are we there yet?
Being from Jersey you never drive more than 20 minutes anywhere, as quite frankly you’d either hit the sea or fall of a cliff, so long car journeys are not for me, add in motion sickness and I’m a nightmare.
Note to self you travel a lot, hate flying, have travel sickness!
You are actually not the poster girl for this life.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, we got there knowing we had yet another wait and yet another flight. At this point being so close to home and yet so far, is excruciating and already being on the go 12 hours the toddler inside me was now stamping her feet. As we worked our way through yet another airport, we were finally airside and Duty Free was calling. As you know dear readers from previous posts, my mother and I had a penchant for an Irish cream liqueur, so it was really a surprise when a rather large bottle of Vanilla and Cinnamon flavour dropped into my basket. I can after much research tell you this is the best flavour they have come up with so far and I knew mum would be thrilled with her nightly tipple.
We were lucky enough, due to flashy and his gold card, to get invitations to the first class lounge to continue the painful wait. As we were handed the exclusive cards and directed to an alternative floor, we felt like Niles and Frasier making their way through the silver door of the day spa (Avid Frasier fans, like us, will totally get that and know this was a big deal). So as we were ushered in and wine poured, I knew the wait wouldn’t be too bad and so my inner toddler took a nap. Here’s where I lose my cool. Gate was called and we made our way through the extra passport check, which all channel island travellers will be used to, still not sure why the insist on us all having our mug shot done pre boarding, anyway I digress. I walked through first and as I tuned to wait for Hubby I was stood practically shoulder to shoulder with Kimberly Wyatt, aka a Pussycat Doll and Master Chef Campion!!! I must have had a rabbit caught in headlights look on my face and as Hubby joined me, totally oblivious, I screeched who was behind us. Although in hindsight my under the breath, play it cool, probably wasn’t so under my breath and she was very much in ear shot and most definitely heard my enthusiasm. I thought it’s ok, never see her again sure she gets it all the time, embarrassment limited. SHE WAS ONLY ON MY FLIGHT and sat a row in front of me, so only one thing for it, I had to ignore her, be aloof, play it too cool.
As the boarding commenced it was true to form. As the people filed onto the plane, hellos and Hi were thrown around the cabin only confirming that in Jersey there is always someone who knows you and everyone knows everyone. I even saw a friend, who after her surprise of seeing me, proceeded to tell me I looked shattered, so my welcome home had truly begun! As we ended the final leg of our journey with a glass of bubbles, I looked out the window and saw my little island come into view, I was giddy with excitement, until I realised we were landing from the east. Jersey friends will laugh at this and will know all too well, we have a short runway here and coming from the east of the island it always feels like you come in too fast and too high.
Whilst Hubby is playing spot mum’s house, I’m preparing myself from the slamming of the plane onto the Tarmac and then the breaks being hit so hard you feel yourself propelled forward and praying you are not going off the end! Told you I was irrational, so after a rather traumatic landing which I fear would be easier drunk or Vallium induced, the realisation that I am home hits me. It takes everything not to run down the stairs and kiss the ground, but I show restraint, take a deep breath of clean, fresh, sea air and know everything is now ok with the world.
Well apart from that little thing called Brexit.