Ireland day 0085. Wednesday 22 December 2021- UKXmas2101
|Today’s summary||Got up early and took the 0905 flight to Gatwick. A week in the UK beckons, joining Val to spend Christmas with (some of) the family (the rest are stuck in Canada)|
|Today’s weather||Cool and raining in Dublin. Sun hadn’t risen when I left. About 7C. Colder (2C) and drier in UK|
|Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
(Click button below to download a GPX of today’s flight
and before you ask: GPS still works when your phone is in flight mode):
I remember a time, not that long ago, when going to the airport was an exciting affair, something to look forward to with the prospect of soaring elevation into the skies, and an exotic destination at the end.
Nowadays, the excitement of the destination still remains but the soaring anticipation has completely vanished, well it has for me at least. Before you even get to the airport, you have tests to do, anxious waits for results to endure, forms to fill in, intimidating declarations to sign, and myriad QR codes to request, prepare, check, and upload. Then when your bus or train finally does decant you at the airport, you are pitched into a heaving mass of stressed and anxious people, queueing for immigration, queueing for security, queueing (worst of all) for Duty Free and queuing to get on the plane. And all with the added layer of anxiety caused by Covid 19. Everyone seems to be warily peering over their masks, scouting out their neighbours, trying to assess whether his cough or her sneeze – or that child’s runny nose – means they are hosting a dreaded disease.
So I have to say it came as quite a relief actually to land in Gatwick this morning, after a flight itself that was both uneventful and 25 minutes early (and thankfully only a quarter full – this pandemic does have some plus points going for it) with only the vagaries of London’s transport system left to negotiate. But it will be worth it. I’m joining Val in the UK for a week, which we will be spending with our eldest son and his fiancée. Sadly our younger son, who’s a geologist on assignment in Canada at the moment, has decided not to risk the extended and various hazards of transatlantic flight this time, and will be staying in Calgary instead. Lots of Zooming in store, I’m sure.
While it’s nice to be back in the UK for a bit – and especially the chance to catch up (at a suitable social distance) with family and friends, I’m actually missing Ireland a bit already. There’s lots more walking and exploring still to be done – and of course a car to be procured – and I’m quite looking forward to getting stuck in again.
But first, a few days R&R beckons. This blog is going to go into hibernation for a bit, though I might post the odd picture over the holiday period. But otherwise, that’s it from me for a week – come back on 29 December to pick up where we left off.
And in the meantime: “Nollaig Shona“!
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)