When a Time Machine is finally commercially available, I will be first in the queue. Not to go back or forward in time as such but instead to be able to jump from place to place. Perhaps it’s not a Time Machine I want its more of an instant travel portal so that we can just jump from place to place without all the inherent difficulties of physically travelling.
Anyhow today was going home day. We had worked out that if everything went to schedule, we should just make it back to Norwich for Karen to visit her Mum just at the end of the N&N Hospital visiting time. But that was a very big ‘If’.
The day started well with the weather being typically lovely just as we were leaving. I was up early and had my breakfast on the balcony whilst Karen busied herself packing.
We both had one piece of hand luggage and shared a large bag between us. There had been moans that I had taken up too much space in the shared bag on the way out. I had dismissed these claims as all I had in there was two medium packing cubes, my washbag along with a pair of Skechers and Flip Flops. By my calculation that was less than a quarter of the space available. I was down to one spare T Shirt I hadn’t worn. I was out of pants and socks as I had just counted out the exact number I needed. When I went into the bedroom there seemed to be more clean unworn clothes that Karen had brought going back into the case than I had brought in total along with 5 different pairs of footwear (that I could see). I just shook my head and said nothing.
I popped down to the Supermarket to get some fresh rolls to pack for the journey.
Whilst checking out, I ordered a taxi to get us to the airport which arrived after 5 minutes. We were keen to get there early in case of any delays due to the ground staff strike that was carrying on today. The journey to the airport was quick and there was no queue to check our bag in. There was no wait at Security either which was pleasing as was the fact we both got through with no issues.
We wandered to the Airport Lounge which although nothing special was quiet and gave us a table along with free snacks and drinks. Whilst there Karen managed to get through to the Hospital on the phone again and learnt that her Mum was due to have her operation whilst we were in the air. The DNR was not mentioned so we assume that they had now assessed the risk was not great.
When the gate was due to be called, we made our way outside and then queued at the gate. As ever Karen was agitated to get on board. The plane finished boarding quite early.
Time then passed and we just sat there. Eventually the pilot announced that we were still waiting for the last bags to be loaded. It took another hour before we finally took off. Not what we needed with our planned schedule, and it was not great then spending 5 hours in the cramped seats.
I read for much of the flight. Upon landing at Stansted, it seemed to take an age for everyone in front of us to get off the plane although we had caught them up by getting on the same train shuttle.
There was no queue at immigration and unbelievably our bag was already on the carousel when we got to it. After a quick toilet stop, we walked down to get the shuttle bus back to the car parked at the Holiday Inn Express. The bus was waiting at the stop and moved off after we got on. We were now making up some of the time lost through the delayed flight.
The drive home started well and then it all went wrong.
The A11 at the point it splits from the A14 was shut. We were diverted via Bury St Edmunds which added many miles and a lot of time. We re-joined the A11 at Thetford. Sadly, though not for long as it was again closed at Attleborough. We were diverted onto the old A11 along with the rest of the Norwich bound traffic which was all moving slowly.
We made it to the N&N at 9.40pm which was way past visiting time. I dropped Karen off telling her to try and blag her way in. She managed to do so and saw her Mum who though was still zonked out from the operation. Whilst Karen was in there, I just had enough time to get to MacDonald’s and then back to get us a wholesome healthy burger meal each as we were both hungry.
Karen was relieved to finally see her Mum and that the operation seemed to have gone well. There were no staff available though to give her any real information and so that will have to wait until tomorrow.
It was gone 10pm when we got back on the Low Road to find the temporary traffic lights were still in place. I ignored the red light and went through them as I could plainly see there was nobody else waiting. Naughty but I had just had enough of phaffing today and wanted to get home to what was a cold house as we had forgotten to switch the heating back on when we had landed.
We were finally home. I was exhausted. I felt as though I had arrived after an overnight cross Atlantic flight. After a quick cuppa I went up to bed.
Six weeks until the next adventure…