Today I blog from our gorgeous villa in the lovely Spanish sunshine. We have already eaten our weight in Spanish meats, sampled plenty of Sangria (one of your five a day if mixed with orange juice so, yes, pour me another) and fought to keep the sun umbrella over a slighly clammy Mabel (who seems to be enjoying her first holiday so far, no problems going to bed last night and we are back into some sort of routine today).
However, it was nearly not so.
On Friday in our holiday excitement we appeared to very much underestimate what time we needed to get to the airport. Oh yes, we didn't feel that there was enough stress in taking a 4 month old on a flight so decided to add on some more.
So the flight is at 3.50 and at 2.40 we are still just making our way to the airport due to a combinaton of slighly haphazard planning and traffic. I had complete nervous tummy. We then arrived to be told there were no seats together, the news of which nearly sent me over the edge. The girl at the desk was lovely and did her best to move people around so that we at least could sit in two's, thank God, but this took time and she was quite firm in saying we had to go straight to the gate. By this time it was about 3.15.
So what did we do? We stopped at Boots to get a meal deal. Genuinely seemed to completely underestimate when the gate closed.
Ooh should I have quavers or walkers prawn cocktail...
"This is a final call for all remaining passengers for flight 360 for Alicante, please make your way immediately to gate 32".
Oh my God.
Nervous tummy does not describe it. I had dry mouth, I had shaky legs, I honestly thought the flight was going to go without us. Looking at my watch I realised it left in 15 minutes. Family Clegg had gone ahead, I had images of Fee being pulled down the ramp still pleading for them to hang on for just 2 more minutes.
G Kisby, as ever, barely broke into a sweat. I, meanwhile, completely lost it. I decided in my wisdom that if I could just get there i could hold things up, so leaving G Kisby carrying Mabel I took the pram and ran. Yep, I lost all dignity and ran through Manchester airport hearing parents telling their children to watch out for the (crazy?) lady with the pram, taking out ankles left right and centre, the pram pretty much on 2 wheels round the corners through duty free. Gate 32 was flaming miles away, by the time I got there I was sweating, hot and shaky. We literally only just made it, G Kisby obviously then meandered up like he was just popping out for a coffee on a lazy Sunday.
We were so unorganised it was untrue. Carrying a baby, 2 lots of hand luggage, a boots meal deal (trying to hide the latter so it didn't look like the cause of our lateness), a sling, 2 cardigans and a couple of sun hats we bundled our way to the plane door,
"Can you collapse the pram for me madam?" asked the cabin crew
"Can you?" I almost said.
Of course I couldn't collapse the pram, aside from the multitude of objects I was trying to carry we had borrowed it from my brother so I didn't know how to do it. As you can imagine, the sweating did not stop.
Eventually we got on and found we were sat surrounded by a group of middle aged men on a stag do. Can't really think of any worse place to get your boobs out. Unfortunately the plane did not leave on time due to some 'seat changes last minute' which meant people weren't sat where their boarding passes said. We kept our heads down. It would appear we had managed to hold up an entire Jet2 flight to Alicante. Probably best not to mention that to the other passengers.
Luckily Mabel was gorgeous and aside from doing a massive poo setting the challenge of a full clothes change in the smallest toilet ever (and I only took one change so after she did it again as we were getting off the plane she had to put back on a slightly poo stained babygrow, lesson number two). Around an hour in I finally relaxed my shoulders and could stop wiping my forehead.
Jeeez, why on earth do we do it to ourselves.
On the positive, our luggage came out first when we arrived!