Richard had to get up before he went to bed; travelling
from Javea and refilling his car
en-route. I met him at the bottom of the lane where I had
just deposited the rubbish in the big green basura, about 7.50. The morning
suggested that it was going to be another lovely day as we drove to
Alicante airport, where we had
coffee and croissants as we waited for our flight to Gatwick.
What a busy time we had while in the
Having pre-booked a car on-line, we were disappointed
that we had to collect it from the Holiday Inn, off-site from the airport. We
eventually found the appropriate bus-stop and the bus duly arrived charging us
for the privilege, despite our confirmation slip stating that there would be no
charge. Even when we showed the driver the form, he still refused to refund the
money so full marks to the hire company who refunded the money without a
quibble. Hopefully they have since been recompensed, having paid a blanket sum
up front to cover the cost of the journey for their customers.
Dick dropped me off at a pub in Ifield at , while he went to collect John. The pub only
served lunch until 2.15 so we scraped in by the skin of our teeth.
We left one of our bags at John’s house and had intended
to pick up a hard drive which we had left there when we returned to
Unfortunately, in our haste to get to Hampshire for the family birthday party of
Dick’s younger grandson Milo, we left the hard drive at
the bottom of the stairs.
Naomi was suffering from a virus which
Milo had passed on to her and was bed ridden. The
birthday boy nonetheless had a brilliant time, even though he was still
suffering from the bug and giving his parents sleepless nights.
Next day we collected some bits for the boat and visited
Frank and Jean who made us very welcome, as always. My fleece, which I had
inadvertently left at his sister’s house in the summer, was neatly folded on a
chair in our bedroom. They had been to
Suffolk after our visit and had
kindly brought the garment back with them.
Saturday, we drove to St. Katherine’s Dock, via John’s
house, where we picked up the hard drive, to take it to Rob and Cath, friends we
had made when we all took part in the EMYR during 2008. They also have a Lagoon
440 which will remain in London over
the winter. Rob is a whiz IT man and if anyone can crack the problem with not
being able to access the files on the drive, then he can.
Coincidentally, while there, we unexpectedly met up with
Ginger and Dick, another couple who took part in the EMYR in 2008 and whom we
had met previously while the boat was kept at
Turkey. They so love the
UK and St.
Katherine’s dock that they plan to be around those parts for some time.
After a late lunch we drove back down the M3 to
Basingstoke to stay overnight with our dear old friends,
Jan and Henry who beat us rotten that evening after supper, when we played
Sunday, we were back again with Ed and Naomi, to spend a
family day with them. That afternoon they were attending a memorial service at a
local hospice, where Naomi’s Mother had spent the last part of her life, so of
course we went along with them. It was quite startling to hear that during the
months of July and August, over 100 people, associated with this hospice, had
Monday night we stayed with John and next morning drove
to the house in Benfleet, where my Mother had lived for forty years, where the
family and friends of my Mother were congregating, prior to joining the funeral
cortège, which was due to leave at noon. Over a dozen cars, all with their
headlights on, followed the hearse as it made its way to Pitsea and Basildon
crematorium which Mother had planned and my sister April and her husband John,
had organized. I wondered if the cars and vans which forced their way into the
cortège, were aware that they were joining a funeral procession.
That evening we stayed with Caroline, a friend who had
joined us for the EMYR in 2008 and subsequently came with us from
Croatia in 2009.
She has a huge house in Colchester which, when we last
saw her in August, had been covered by scaffolding which was no longer there,
all the exterior works having been completed.
The last night we stayed again with John. He and Dick
both drove to the Holiday Inn to return the hire car and then John drove both of
them back home where they collected me and we all went out for a delicious
All of us were up before the larks next morning and John
dropped us at the airport at .
Before handing over the luggage, we went to the Customs
office to put into motion a claim for a VAT rebate on items we had bought in the
UK and which we
were taking back to the boat.
With no time for breakfast, or even a snack, we passed
through to the departure lounge. My carry-on bag was sent down a conveyor for
luggage which needed further investigation. It seems that my alarm clock was
near to an orange plastic toy which I was taking to
Antigua for my grand daughter; the combination is
apparently very suspect.
The plane was over an hour late taking off; the luggage
for the folk traveling to Tobago had been loaded before
the luggage for the passengers traveling to
Grenada. As the
plane stops at the former island before flying on to the latter island, the
luggage had to be unloaded and then reloaded correctly.
I sat next to a guy who told me that he was of West
Indian parentage but was born in the
UK and lived in
Shepherds Bush. He didn’t stop talking for the entire journey, other than when
he dropped off briefly in what was possibly a drunken stupor. He had imbibed
several glasses of wine as well as brandy, compliments of the airline.
Subsequently, he consumed two bottles of red wine which he had purchased from
the duty free shop. He managed to pour a whole glass of wine over my left shoe,
as well as splashing my clothes constantly with red wine. He apologized
continuously for his behavior but didn’t change it. Not a person to suffer from
headaches generally, I was soon in severe pain.
Once the passengers from Tobago
had got off the plane, we were able to move to the row in front. This was
probably when the airline staff noticed that this guy was drunk, as he lay on
his back along the row, now vacant except for him, kicking his legs in the air.
A steward warned him that his behavior was inappropriate and then a stewardess
told him that it was illegal for a passenger to be on the plane in an inebriated
state. We and the people in the row behind him were moved to different seats and
a stewardess sat in the aisle seat on his row, to ensure that he behaved
himself. When we reached Grenada, he was escorted off the plane. He had told me
that he had an onward flight booked for Cariacao but it looked as if he had been
refused permission to board because he was behaving very badly and shouting
until two airport police told him to leave the airport.
It took ages to get through passport control but because
we had items to declare and went to the red channel, we were out of the airport
before most of the other passengers who went through the green channel. A driver
had already brought the necessary documents for us, duly stamped, so we were
soon on our way to the hotel where we checked in, had a meal and a very early