"what time are you meant to be getting up?"
Those words, as a sudden interruption to sleep, are never good are they? Inevitably they mean that something has gone wrong. It's a rhetorical question in a sense because the person asking has realised that the time you were supposed to have been awoken by your alarm has passed and instead of lying cosy and comfy in your bed, you should be arriving safely at the airport shuttle park!
This WAS how my day began. The time was 3.45. I should have been up an hour earlier; why wasn't I? Honestly? Ok, it's because I'm a complete tool and I'd set my alarm for 2.55... pm!!!!
Needless to say I hurled myself from my bed, threw myself into the shower and bundled myself into the car, just 10 minutes later!
'Ok', I thought to myself, 'you've still got plenty of time... And breathe...'
Silly Maggie. EVERYONE knows that it never runs smoothly when I travel somewhere... I'm always late... Just ask not-so-little-bro! So I was naive really not to have expected obstacle...
number 1: the closed motorway!
What?! Yes, that's right. The motorway... The route to the airport... was closed! At least, the bit I needed was; I won't tell you what I said, because I think it was a good job there was no one else in the car... It would have been a shock even to the kids I teach, and that's saying something! Thankfully, once my brain had emerged from the blind panic of fog this 'small' diversion had thrown it into, I was able to re-navigate myself towards the airport again, onto the necessary motorway, when I hit...
Obstacle number 2: the 40mph reduced speed limit!
Noooooo!!!! Seriously, do they know you're coming? The ONLY time this EVER happens is when you're in a rush... Isn't it?!! Once again, 'calm down Maggie, take deep breaths, 1,2,3... Ooooh, Take That on the radio... And relax...'
20 minutes later (what? Speeding? Me? No, never...) I arrived at the airport, completely broke the law attempting to follow the directions on my phone to the car park, grabbed my stuff and RAN for the shuttle bus that had just arrived. Things were looking up; the bus only comes every 15 minutes but here one was ready and waiting for me... My troubles were nearly over... Oh. No, wait. Here comes ...
Obstacle number 3: my own ineptitude!
In fumbling around for the parking ticket, using my phone as a map, grabbing my bags and legging it for the bus, I had managed to drop my phone in the car... The very same phone with my electronic boarding pass on it.
I have never ran so fast in my life; no, not even in a race! Especially not in heels with a suitcase in tow! Grabbing my phone, flying back to the bus, I arrived just as it started pulling away.... "Nooooooo!" I shouted, "please wait, please". At which point, as if bu a miracle, the bus stopped. The doors opened. And voice from beyond welcomed me aboard "alright love? On yer get!"
I could have Kissed that bus driver, I didn't, but I could have!!
I'm now sat in the departures area at Amsterdam. I'm on my way to Texas to visit my dad; for some reason the plane saw fit to bring me an hour further away from my destination before we actually start the 'proper' journey. I've had 4 hours sleep, which was an hour longer than I should have had, I'm very grateful to Mik for waking me up in time and I've got my fingers crossed that the rest of the journey is far less eventful!
And if you're reading this Dad, your Christmas cake made it through passport control but only after the most prodding, weighing and scanning a cake has ever been subjected to, ever! I can only assume it's still edible, in fact, I'm quite surprised the guy at the desk didn't try that too to be honest!
Anyway, after all that excitement, I need a coffee... I'll see you in Starbucks!