Returned from Northern Ireland

So much for the glamour of air travel. The wind whipped the rain cruelly across the backs of my calves as I walked the hundred or so yards across the tarmac.Yet this morning the sun shone and I sat in the garden grooming Westie Boy. Back at the airport, there was a queue on the steps to the plane. My hand on the rail longed to be inside a warm glove. The man in front of me swung his bag. If I hadn’t ducked I’d have been knocked out, maybe stretchered off to A&E at The Royal. Cousin unknowing, back in her house, imagining me safe in London.
Consolingly, once aboard I got my favourite seat at the front, by the window and escape hatch. The stewardess warned me I might get wet knees on take off when the water would run back into the plane. She was right. I forgave the toddler behind me for kicking my seat when I heard her excited voice as we rose over Belfast; “I can see the whole world!” Her accent was English. “Can you see Granny’s house?” asked her mother. They were an echo of how we must have been when we travelled to Ireland years ago; my mother’s country Derry accent contrasting with her two Home Counties bred children; how obvious we were visiting her family; how dépaysée she would have sounded In Surrey. Continue reading