Back to Beez
Back to Beez Neez
We had a morning of getting ready for the off followed by family lunch at the Bull and Dragon. The Tinson Boys – Geoff (Roger’s big brother), Roger, Jack and Mark were on fine form. Just before we left I had to get Roger back – yet again for being lippy – this time with a kiss to the forehead, pity it’s not permanent..............
Time to go. Bear managed to say farewell and ducked very quickly into the car leaving me to it. I asked him later – I had to go there and then, at speed, my throat was closing over the massive lump and I felt I was going to lose it completely. Can’t disagree with that. I barely made it as Kate’s tears began to fall. I felt a mess coming on, I feel it as I type this. I made it to the car as big dollops of tears began to fall. Bear never comments, just the odd pat on the knee. Chest pain and wracking sobs for many miles this time all the way to Exeter. Bird rang and got me the next twenty miles or so, but I just managed to close the phone and started all over again. More knee patting.
We had left North Devon at three forty five and spent a very wet five hours getting to Chez Team Tinson in Swindon. The Bank Monday Holiday traffic was heavy but at least it kept moving. It was odd to stay overnight on our own as Mark, Kate and Jack were driving up the next morning.
After the last last five weeks constantly being with friends and family we felt very strangely all alone.
Key under the bin and off to Heathrow by seven, although the traffic was predictably heavy, the M4 kept moving, which had been a worry as Sally Traffic’s stand in had said the northbound M25 was closed and stacking was predicted along the M4. OH.
We arrived at the airport, hire car back safely with 1067.1 miles added to the 7 it had when we picked it up and looked forward (not) to check in.
Last September we had the check in lady from hell. She wanted to weigh everything to the last ounce, including Bear’s back sack, “TUT TUT, put the extra few pounds in one of your FOUR heavy cases, lucky I don’t charge you extra”. At this point I was glad she hadn’t seen my camera-Pelican case. Technically hand luggage has a six kilo limit. Well I know it’s a heavy case and full of camera stuff but it does weigh in at a hefty fifteen kilos. Now camera stuff should be classed as a separate entity but with this dragon anything could have happened. I always have to ask Bear to swing it in the stowage locker above our seats looking as though it is as light as a feather – no grunting Bear – Yes dear. I managed to keep it secret.
Back to my new friend (of last September) “did we pack our own bags”, “ESTA or Visa”, “why do you have a Visa”, “how long are you staying in America” it went on and on and by the time we had our boarding passes wedged tightly in our mitts we felt a stiff sherbet was needed. Put me right off my Boston. Blimey, must be bad (see below to find about the delights of a Boston).
Have you ever seen anyone swing a very large packet of duty free peanut M+M’s with such savagery
Bear has. See panic on several security men's faces as they think a potential passenger is having a psychotic break.
Hush Bear, Hush.
Couldn’t resist this advertisement we saw en route back to Beez
Continued from September. We boarded the plane and sat for three quarters of an hour, Bear dehydrating and beginning to tick like a clock, unusual for him. Flight OK with poor food and movies. Landing we queued for a third generation Chinese/American Immigration man. “Why do you have a Visa”, “How long are you planning to stay in America”, Oh he must be the best friend of the woman in Heathrow. We failed to make this Numpty understand that Beez is good for five knots on the ICW and it did take a while to get anywhere. He refused to stamp us and we had to go to the ‘Naughty Queue’. Waiting there for two hours with clearly dodgy people left us feeling very low.
Eventually Bear was called forward and he patiently explained what our circumnavigation was all about. “How much credit do you have on your Visa card”. To cut a long story short the chap in the next booth asked his mate “Do they have lots of weird and wonderful stamps in their Passports”. “Yes”. “Let them in”.
Well that really made our fellow cross. “Don’t think if you leave again you’ll get back in and certainly don’t think you’ll get six months”.
Todays experience. Our ground staff lady is marvelous, no questions, checked in with Bear getting his docking gadget handle on free as a fishing rod, flight on time, took off with good food, nice crew, good movies, ice lolly and landing on time after nine hours.
We wander toward Immigration my indigestion forming a painful band around my heart. A pleasant older man originally from Queen’s wearing a loud and lovely uniform shirt asked us to wait for Number 5.
I pushed Bear forward to be the spokesperson, well he is the Captain. A bored and tired young man took our finger prints and face picture – stamped us in, FOR SIX MONTHS. No questions at all.
I’m CATATONICALLY MYSTIFIED.
I chunter through the miles of moving walkways. I arrive suspiciously in baggage reclaim to see all four cases lined up beside the carousel. Hang on, no docking pole – Bear trotted to the desk and came back gleefully just a couple of minutes later.
Customs queue. Surely this will be my downfall and my OXO cubes will end up in a sadly overstuffed bin. No – “Have a nice day”.
The hire car we arranged a price on before we left. “All ready sir, have a nice day”.
We had landed at ten past four in the afternoon and pulled out of the airport into the sunshine and a very pleasing 26 degree heat at half past five.
Beez will have come to harm. Must stop for a KFC to gain bravery.
Beez Neez looks resplendent, Terry next door and the dock boys have done us proud.
Twenty one hours door to door without nary a splinter just a shocking, pounding headache. Our bed never felt so good.
576 Oxo Cubes of which 144 are Chicken Flavour the rest are Beef – transported in a plastic shoe box
Had our bags been rummaged through, here is the small list facing the man wearing the blue rubber gloves.
There are one or two items in the ‘Bear Potting Shed Department’ – including a new metal tool box, new jig-saw, barometer, toilet brushes, replacement toaster (Bear insisted upon having – last one given away – he’s still ticking about that), new knickers (no wonder we were slightly overweight – Steady) and the one or two items planned to last us until Australia:-
4 bags of Maynards Sports Mix
3 bags of Maynards Midget Gems
2 Beef Gravy Granules – 500 grams
3 Beef Gravy Granules – 170 grams
2 Chicken Gravy Granules – 300 grams
5 Hot Chocolate Instant Mix
4 Horlicks Instant Mix
4 Salad Cream – 600 grams
4 Salad Cream – 550 grams
2 Colmans Mustard Powder Mix – 57 grams. An oldie but a goodie. The stuff we can buy is far too mild for a man of Bear’s col-i-ber
4 Branston Pickle Small Chunk – 350 grams
2 Sharwoods Mango Chutney – 530 grams
8 Uncle Bens Instant Rice – Family sized. Used for padding Bear’s tools and bits he felt the need to have.
and 480 Tea Bags
After attacking the cases, time to go shopping. As we have little time left in the USA we felt the need to ‘Do It Big’ and buy a celebratory box of Bostons. Doughnut Heaven.
“Are you doing a Roger impression” No. Well wash your face before taking the hire car back. Yes, I know the facial hair needs attention – on the to do list.
Even our mate was on hand with a cheesy welcome
ALL IN ALL STILL CATATONICALLY MYSTIFIED
AND VERY TIRED
THANK YOU CAPTAIN