Essex Airlines innit

Brilliant! Yorkshire Airlines has a distant cousin! Tonight, I’m
Flying Ryanair from Stansted to Budapest, but the entertainment begins long before I board…


First-up, I meet Bobby, the bendy bus driver. As always, I’ve no idea of his real name, but by the end of our 10-minute shuttle from Long Stay to Terminal, I do know thathe lives in Harlow, his two children live in Preston and Germany, his son says they’ve had less rain up north than down south, and he’s off to see his grandchildren in Germany next weekend. Oh and he retires next year, is counting the days and then his life will begin. Great, thanks Bobby!

Boris & Doris

Next are the German couple in WHSmiths. When I come in, the shop is empty, so I select my Nanny’s birthday card and grandparents’ anniversary card and head for the till. By the time I get there, a queue is building behind Boris & Doris, who are about my grandparents’ age and trying to buy stamps. Unfortunately, they don’t understand Stacey on the till, who’s asking which country they’re posting to. The situation is stalemate; Stacey has the view that, if she simply speaks slower and louder, she’ll be understood. Whilst Boris is getting infuriated with her – why can’t she help him? Doris, on the other hand, seems uninvolved – I suspect she actually understands perfectly, but is just watching for fun… Eventually, they’re sorted and I get to the front of the queue, buy my cards and walk out… dammit, pen. Back to WHSmiths.

I know things are more expensive in London, inflated at the airports, and even more so during the Olympics, but since when did a biro cost £2.99? Last time I bought one it was about 15p! Ah well, I shall look after it. I write my cards, google Nanny & Hampa’s postcode, and post the cards.

You want me to strip?!

So I’ve removed my liquids and gadgets in the tray but still manage to set off the alarm going through security. I’m therefore whisked aside for the usual pat down from Kez at Security, whose fingernails could pose a security risk in themselves (thank god my anatomy is genuine!) When she finds nothing on my person, she grabs her gadget and makes all kinds of ‘clanger-style’ noises as she waves it in my general direction. I’m then sent to walk back through the scanner. When the alarm starts again, I remove my flip flops, watch, rings and bracelet and go back again. By the time the alarm is sounding verse three, Kez’s colleague Des comes over and looks me up and down, I immediately suggest there not a lot else I can take off, honestly! He nods to Kez to have another pat – oh Lordy! Eventually, she decides the underwriting in my bra is what’s causing the alarm to play Charge of the Light Brigade. They get bored and I’m waved through.

By this point I’m ready for a pint, so I head to the bar. It’s only when I open my wallet to pay, that I find the stamps… Bugger. Sorry Nanny & Hampa, your cards may arrive but you’ll be asked to pay the postage (good job I didn’t go for the massive A4 card really, wasn’t it?!)

Right. Off to the gate.
ttfn /Rxx

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