'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menowaiting; when is an arrival a non-arrival?!

Failte! 'Tis I, Brom of Dun Omhain (Dunoon, temporarily), here to tell you about the next visitation of YAM-aunty's cousins from Down Under.

Aunty had told me, shortly after Oscar left, not to fret for there was another on their way. A much older lady (even older than aunty...[is that pawssible..?]... who had not really travelled much since her teenage years and was therefore something of a travel virgin.

[..???..]

Anyway, there I was sitting comfy with Licky the Lucky Puppy (who escaped the IKKY shoppe) having a good old chinwag about living with a heap of other stuffies in the Hutch and over in Norway, when we overheard aunty spouting some words of a certain colour. It's a pretty colour - but not in language. Jus' sayin'.

"What", wondered Licky and I, could have caused such an outburst?

Aunty turned to us and asked, "You know all that news about Ryanair this week? The stuff about what a "blue" airline it is and how many folk have been stranded? And you know how I have been trying to get D to give me her travel details but nothing has been sent yet?..."

... well Licky and I kinda knew about the first but not so much about the second. It seems that cousin D is not the best communicator, despite a career in teaching. Here we were, then, on the day before her planned arrival in the Bonny Land from - aunty thought - Stockholm, discovering that D was actually in South France, (Carcassonne) and that she was letting us know that she was ready for flight over to Prestwick the following day. Aunty had immediately emailed back asking for the flight number and how to get from Prestwick to Paisley so they could meet up by rail... only to receive back that D was flying with Ryanair.

Aunty was in a panic and wrote (in capital letters, bolded) that D ought to REALLY check up on this and told her the news - which had completely passed D by. Not only that, on checking, aunty was also fairly certain that, even if the flight ran, it did not actually fly to Prestwick, but to Glasgow airport... a totally different proposition for pickup.

Dunoon Car Ferry
Aunty did not sleep that night as she waited for D to respond. Eventually, at four ay-em on Saturday morning of last day of September, a message came that D was at the airport and had been advised that the flight was fine, that she was checked in and would see us... in Glasgow! This meant aunty had to get Li'l Ren fired up and work out how to get into and out of the airport (a new adventure!!!) and where to park etcetcetcetc... and so on. She's a pretty cool customer, is aunty, but she was concerned and kept her email open until it was the last minute for leaving the Hutch. It takes an hour to get to Glasgow airport. It was a fine day, if cold, and as I got to go along, I got to go on the ferry and a big fast road where I did see lots of trucks and vans and roadworks. I've seen those many times before of course, being a well-travelled bear, but it is always fun to see these things in different countries! (No photos, cuz aunty had her hands on the wheel. I like it that way.)

It turned out that aunty's research and prep before hand meant a very smooth arrival for ourselves at the appropriate spot in parking and we located the arrivals lounge very easily indeed. There was the flight from Carcassonne on the board, saying it had just landed. Brilliant.

They have big, lush, leather seating for those waiting their family and friends, so we settled very close the exit, in full view.

There were enormous numbers of folk coming off very many flights from all over Europe... but not one of them was cousin D. Aunty kept checking the board to see when the bags were unloaded, which was half an hour after we arrived... then we spotted flight crew of the "blue" airline. An hour after that we saw more crew from that airline... the people were endless but no sign of D.

Aunty had brought the YAMroid with her to keep checking emails, but nothing. Also, D is not so good on telephone, so nothing via that either. After THREE HOURS, aunty decided either she and D had totally missed seeing each other - or she simply had not been on that flight after all!

It took some time to find the right desk for help. Mostly the line is 'we cannot advise any details of passengers' and all anyone would say is that the flight had landed and 'deboarded' and all luggage had been claimed. B*****. The ladies at the info desk arranged to have a 'hall call'.

Would passenger L**** from flight FRA****, please contact the info desk immediately

The ladies complimented aunty for not panicking about it (referring to the three hour wait). 'Would that help?' aunty wondered. The ladies said no - but that most of the time they were trying to calm down folk who had 'lost' their expected ones! After another ten minutes it was decided that probably D had NOT been on the flight but all they could do now was call the police in, so that details could be checked. One of the ladies called over a security guy and asked him very nicely if he could pull in a favour on aunty's behalf.  I saw aunty's eyes twinkle at the very tall young fellow, and I swear her teeth gleamed in that smile... and he thought he may be able to help. After two minutes away, he returned with the news that a passenger L**** had indeed been checked in at Carcassonne... and then checked out again!!!

OMB, aunty was both relieved and frustrated. At least we knew where she was, but how could there be no message??? Aunty went upstairs to get a good strong cuppa tea and a sandwich and tried the internet again.

"Blue". NOW the signal which had been showing all the time actually worked and through came many messages, one of which was from cousin D. Four hours earlier it had been sent. When we were on the ferry. With no signal. Aunty and I had just spent four hours meeting the unmeetable.

Anyway, the news was that "blue" airline had overbooked seats by as much as 20 for that flight and all those folk were offered alternative flights 'to another nearby airport'. What's that you are thinking? Edinburgh, then? Not on your nelly - our visitor was now on an evening flight to Stanstead airport in London!!! Now aunty and I had to rush back to the Hutch, (but not before going back to those very helpful ladies and the tall young man to tell them the end of the mystery; they deserved to know), and get on to D about how to get from Stanstead to the Bonny Land. As a whole day of the three she was visiting was now gone, it was decided she ought to come to Edinburgh directly. More about that on Thursday's post.

On the return drive, aunty and I took time to enjoy the view... the sun was setting behind us, this is looking East along the Clyde. On the whole, for me Brom Bear, it had been a fine day of adventure and language education.


11 comments:

  1. Aunty this story has rendered two senior Southern ladies
    S P E E C H L E S S. Bless your heart we can hardly wait to hear THE REST OF THE STORY
    Hugs madi and mom

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  2. Oh my, I do not like when the airline overbook. I do hope all is well with your traveling Aunty! I hope you have the patience of a saint too. Enjoy your visit with your relative. Have a great week!

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  3. I would have had trouble being patient. It is something I struggle with all the time. I am glad everyone was safe!

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  4. Oh my goodness... what a cray cray crazy tale! I am glad that you stayed calm. I'm not sure that I would have!

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  5. I sometimes thing that Laurel and Hardy do the booking for flights... or they manage the tower... I only hope they sit not behind the control sticks of the planes...

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  6. Ehm, not so sure the language education is something that was needed!! But it was a great adventure and you got to take the ferry. Twice.

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  7. Oh my!!! What a topsy turvy adventure! We cannot wait to hear more about D's visit!
    xoxo,
    Jakey, Arty & Rosy

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  8. Brom, it’s a good thing that Aunty has a cool head. I’m afraid that I might have been one of those who needed calming. (Yes, better to stay calm right from the beginning). What a day! And more to come . . . I can hardly wait.

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  9. Oh, gosh. What an event. I'm glad you sorted it all out. Wow.

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  10. Well, Brom, I do hope the language education is one that can be spoken in front of small children. Aunty Yam is a saint! namaste, janice xx

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