Ireland day 0085. Wednesday 22 December 2021- UKXmas2101

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
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Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
(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):
DUB-LGW flight

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)

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The rapidly-becoming-familiar no 102 to Dublin Airport.   Pretty subdued this morning.   Not a word was spoken (though the man in front was busily swiping on his Tinder which was actually quite interesting) This is what the inside of an airport looks like, in case you’d forgotten
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Today’s blog, in preparation One of the ways that Ryanair make their flights so cheap is by parking the aircraft as far away from the terminal building as possible, so you have to walk.   As it was pouring in Dublin this morning, this was a very wet experience – especially as there was the inevitable queue on the aircraft steps to be negotiated
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When I took this I thought I could see the Isle of Wight, but perhaps it was just a mirage.   Anyway, most of the flight was in cloud, so I couldn’t really see anything at all England’s green and pleasant land – I could almost see the public rights of way!   A bit frosty this morning though.
St Sylvester’s Church in Malahide this morning, emerging wraith like from the darkness.   Taken from the bus stop, of course
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