We reached the airport betimes, travelling on a section of road that only opened this morning. Maybe someone cut a ribbon in the pre-dawn, maybe there was a fanfare. I don’t know. Cousin thought it might be busy, but the cars were sparse and we had one of those once in a lifetime conversations where we admired the unpitted tarmac and the smoothness of the ride.
The journey was so quick that I was turned away from bag drop and told to come back in half an hour. I sat on a metal seat and ate my lunch. The airport seemed very quiet. Even security, an area I have learned can take a long time to pass through at Belfast International, was nearly empty. However, I set off an alarm when I passed the first scanner and had to remove my shoes, enter the thing that looks like the orgasmatron in that Woody Allen film, and submit to being patted down before I could collect my hand luggage and proceed. Once through to departure I was surprised to find the place heaving. Having wandered the shops, replied to a couple of texts and comments on the blog, I found a seat in a deserted area by the gates from which I confidently, and as it turned out, correctly, guessed my flight would leave. I have an aisle seat, so no chance of photos on this trip.
I am of course very much looking forward to being reunited with MasterB. The Young Relative is passing by my flat tonight to collect her bags, but she has a social engagement and may have gone before I get home. We’ll catch up soon.
I said goodbye to all the animals bar Smudge before I left Cousin’s. She was nowhere about, though I had fed her first thing. Her absence may not have been entirely unconnected with the presence of Westie Pup who had an unscheduled sleepover last night. K had brought her younger son down in the evening, and Westie Pup had accompanied them. K was in a bit of a rush, and it was only after she had left we realised WP was still in the garden. So it was a three dog night. But only one dog bed. Normally there are two, but Cousin had taken advantage of the fine weather to take Poppy’s bed outside and brush it clear of hair, then leave it to air. I have spent the past two weeks wearing blue clothes with accents of yellow Labrador. The bed was more yellow Labrador with glimpses of blue. Unfortunately the fine weather came to an abrupt end when the heavens opened and tipped an impressive amount of rain down in a very short time. The bed remained outside and was still drying when I left.
I don’t know where the dogs slept, who bagged the bed, but the sofa was rendered out of bounds by placing a kitchen chair across it. This reminded me very much of when I was a teenager and every comfortable seat had to be similarly protected from our black Labrador and chocolate wire-haired Dachshund.
Smudge had taken herself off to bed and away from the hurly burly early on, while Dizzy mewed and asked to go out. It turned out he needed to use the facilities, so his problems were solved when he joined Smudge in the back kitchen where the litter tray lives.
This morning WP followed Dizzy about. Of course he wasn’t bothered. His languid walk and lack of fear seemed to pique her. The only time he needed rescuing was when Poppy wanted to play with him and placed her paw on his back, effectively pinning him to the floor. Still he didn’t hiss, mew or raise a paw. Naturally.
With all my purchases (joined this morning by four bamboo place mats from Dunnes Stores’ sale) my bag is both fuller and heavier than when I left London. Carrying it up the two flights of stairs to chez Isobel and Cat is not going to be fun.
We are on the runway, waiting for take off. It has started to rain. But I have had great weather for my holiday, and a wonderful, relaxing break.