October 2021 - Coming Home - Day 5
And so, it was time to go home or more correctly time to get Karen home.
I had pre booked the buffet breakfast in the Premier Inn but that was a waste of time. Firstly Karen still didn’t feel like eating much and secondly as we were under Ireland rules they were not allowing self service eating. Therefore we had to order from the buffet which kind of defeated the objective of the food being laid out.
We didn’t rush though as I wanted to make it as easy as possible for Karen who was definitely feeling no better today. We were in the car though for 9am and set out to fill the car up with fuel before returning it. Easier said than done. Not because of any fuel shortage but because each one we saw a garage it was on the wrong side of a dual carriageway. I even tried the Sat Nav but that had the same issue. After getting to the airport we ended up driving back to the Premier Inn where we knew a garage was opposite and providing we were driving in the wrong direction we would get into.
Then all we had to do was drop the car off. I knew there from the details I was given when collecting the car that there was a rental return at Terminal 1 and despite poor signage we eventually found it. It was deserted and we had no idea what to do with the key or anything. Then I spotted someone who worked for the rental company but they were worse than useless. He told us we had to walk all the way back to the desk in Terminal 2 and that despite working for the rental company he could not help. He was extremely vague in even telling us what direction to walk. I was not happy. I tried to find somewhere for Karen to wait so that she didn’t have the 10 minute walk in each direction but she didn’t want to be left alone. So we trudged off. When we got there I complained about everything. It seems we needn’t have walked all this way as there was a key drop off box where we had left the car that the unhelpful guy should have pointed out. We received apologies but it was too late by then.
After going through security I got Karen a coffee to have with her tablets. It was then I realised I had left my Kindle back in the Premier Inn. Doh! I was flipping annoyed with myself. I quickly called them and they checked the room for me and found it exactly where I had described. They said they were happy to post it back to me.
When the gate opened we joined the queue. It was next to a window through which the sun was shining. Karen really struggled with the heat but somehow we managed to get her onto the plane. The pull back from the gate was on time, but then the plane just stopped. Eventually the pilot announced that there was a small technical problem and that we had to return to the gate. Normally this things don’t bother me. But I just wanted to get Karen back to our car and I also didn’t have my Kindle to pass the time. I was convinced we would have to get on a replacement plane but after 40 minutes and no announcement we just set off again, this time without incident.
The flight home was fine. Whilst over the sea I looked down and saw a complete round rainbow beneath us. Afterwards I looked it up and it is called a full circle rainbow and is very rare. I did wonder if it was just a refraction through the window and was pleased that it wasn't. I again wished that Cities had their names printed on them to read from above so I can see where we are. Normally I can recognise them by the Football Grounds but today there didn’t seem to be any. Karen slept the entire flight.
Arriving from Dublin mean there was no immigration to go through and as we had no luggage to collect it was just a brisk walk to the car. Despite being poorly Karen was still keen that we followed through on our offer to collect a desk from Ikea in Tottenham for Barry & Ellie as we were only 29 miles from the store. We got there in good time and were hopeful we would be heading back home by 3.30pm at the latest. It is however a while since we have been in an Ikea and we had forgotten about the faff involved in purchasing something
which is in their warehouse. It was an ordeal. The final wait of 30 minutes was for them to fetch it after the order and paying process had already taken an initial 30 minutes. I was almost ready to ask if I could go and find it myself.
The desk was much bigger than we realised and it only just went in the car, but we got it hoem and delivered it safely.
Well we made it. I can confirm Northern Ireland is a great place to visit but probably better if you don’t go with someone who is poorly.