Monday 29 August 2016

Week 225- gin, flying and missing your children...

There comes a point when you tip over from being delighted to be away from your children and all the perks that that comes with...
  • Drinking gin in the day
  • Eating when you want
  • Not having to answer 'why?' four million times a day
  • Sleeping all night in more than a 10th of a double bed
  • Drinking gin in the day (worth repeating)

... to really fucking missing them.

My tipping point came last night at 10pm in Edinburgh airport when my flight, which was initially scheduled for 7.50pm, had been delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and then finally cancelled.

I'd been away for a couple of nights, which wasn't unusual.

I was at the Edinburgh festival, so days were brilliant and busy and full of seeing shows, which has to be up there with one of my all time favourite things, after bath bombs and pickled onion monster munches.

But it was time to go home.

I'd spoken to the children on the phone to tell them I'd be there for when they woke up.

My two year old son just repeated, 'how you doing mummy?' in response to every question I asked him and I thought, I can't wait to get that little guy in a headlock.

And then they cancelled my flight.

I saw all the other passengers buggering about on their phone, and the woman in front informed me I could rebook my flight on-line.

So I did.

Or I thought I did.

For a flight leaving an hour later.

That's not the end of the world.

So I went to the check-in desk, who then informed me that even though I'd been sent a confirmation email, it didn't have a reference number so wasn't an ACTUAL booking and the plane was fully booked and I wasn't on it.

The next flight with spaces that I could change to with easyjet was for Tuesday afternoon.

At the time, it was Sunday night.

Now there are worse things that can happen, I know this.

But the way it suddenly made me feel was really surprising, like a yearning. A physical tightening.

I handled the whole thing with maturity and good grace.

And burst into tears at the easyjet check-in.

The flight attendant was unfazed by women in their late thirties snotty-nosed crying at her, and advised I go to the end of the queue I had just come out of, which was now twice the size and still not moving.

I just wanted to hug the children too tightly. To smell them. To listen to their nonsensical stories and let them blow raspberries on my stomach.

Like the Trueman Show, the airport seemed to fill up with children of a similar age and shape to my two.

Was it wrong to ask a complete stranger if you could give their child a quick squeeze cos you missed your own?

Almost definitely.

And probably would result in an airport arrest, which I could totally do without after the flight being cancelled and everything.

So I booked another flight on the promise that easyjet would 'pay me back.'

It had all the certainty of the promise you're made at school when someone borrows a quid and you know you'll never see it again.

But I couldn't wait until Tuesday.

On top of everything else, I do have a job.

And I can't sleep in the airport forever.

I'm not Tom Hanks.

So here I am, it'a 8am and I'm back at the airport again, waiting impatiently for another flight into a completely inconvenient airport that is marginally closer to Brighton than Edinburgh.

Then I'll hop on a train and sometime this afternoon I am going to give those children the most epic hug ever.

But for now, is it too early for gin?

Sunday 14 August 2016

Week 253- things I have learnt whilst camping...

Things I have learnt from camping in France with two under-fives for a fortnight.

1. Clean out the car immediately if someone pukes in it. It’s not going to smell any better after two weeks in the baking sun.

2. A second bottle of vin rouge seems like a good idea at 10.30pm, but isn’t such a winner at 5am when your two-year-old has done a poo and it’s leaked into his sleeping bag.

3. Download a shitload of Peppa Pig’s onto your iPad, it is the only way to get five minutes lie-in in the morning.

4. After five minutes your kids will lose patience with Peppa Pig and each other, and start fighting really loudly. That’s fine when you’re in a house with sound-proof walls, but in a tent people can hear EVERYTHING. Including your bollockings.

5. You can hear everything from other people’s tents. Not everyone has children but are still ‘noisy’ at night.

6. If you have a cool box, buy those blue freezer things to go in them. And if you remember them, remember they have to actually be frozen, otherwise you are just heating up a shitload of smelly cheese in an insulated hot bag.

7. However big your car, you will always over-pack. Your children will not be able to see each other in the back. You will have no legroom in the passenger seat and it will be like being set in concrete for the best part of eight-hour journeys.

8. However full your car, there is always, ALWAYS room for a fuck load of cheap wine to bring home.

9. Your children will only remember the good bits; making friends, being allowed to go to the playground on the campsite on their own for the first time, spending their pocket money on friendship bracelets and tat from vending machines. They won’t remember having their knees under their chin for the long hot car journey home as they have five boxes of wine in their footwell.

10. I have no idea if number 9 is true. But I’m hoping it is.