You’d think that booking a taxi weeks in advance then sending a reminder on the day would be a good start wouldn’t you. Well, except when the taxi driver heads off for Portsmouth without you.
There we were, packed and ready to leave, our bags around us, dogs happily with Sue and no taxi. The time ticked by but still no taxi. After 15 minutes I texted. That’s when we discovered that the driver had gone to Portsmouth to pick us up.
Carol then frantically hunted for another driver to take us to the ferry. This was not the cool, calm, collected start to our Dordogne holiday we had hoped for.
The rest of the day had been beautifully smooth with the weather beaming down in us as we pottered around doing last minute things like packing, having lunch and trying to leave the garden as damp as possible.
Time was rapidly dwindling away like so many grains of sand and I have to admit to feeling a bit concerned. Then, half an hour late, the taxi appeared, reversing up our street.
To make matters a little more complicated, the Farnham Carnival closed off the town this afternoon which meant going the long way around. But, eventually, we were off to Portsmouth.
As we passed Butser on the A3 I dared to look at the time. My phone showed it to be 19:05 and, for the first time, I truly feared we’d not make it. And, to be honest, if there’d been the smallest bit of traffic, we would have been forced to go back home.
With an almost audible sigh of relief the taxi pulled up outside the terminal and we strode purposely towards the check in desk. The woman was all smiles as she took our details and handed us our cabin cards. We then joined the gradually boarding queue.
There was a long line of people being scanned, frisked, probed and x-rayed ahead of us. We prepared for the inevitable indignities except all the machines suddenly shut down and they waved the rest of us through. We boarded the bus and headed for the ship.
So, in fact, the whole thing was very smooth without any waiting (normally we sit in Costa with a cup of coffee, watching the big hands on the clock tick around) or wasted time. I have to say it was very pleasant when I ignore the rising stress levels throughout the entire taxi ride.
Mind you, Mirinda told me that she wasn’t at all bothered in the front seat. She was rather busy I guess. Our driver was telling us about his wife’s health problems and Dr Rox was giving him some advice on how she could improve her life without the need for chemicals and artificial stimulants.
And so eventually with beer and G&T in hands, we stood on the stern deck and waved farewell to Portsmouth as the ferry made its slow way out of the harbour, passing the brand new HMS Queen Elizabeth II aircraft carrier on the way.
What a beautiful and compact ship. Neighbour Dave told me she was docked in Portsmouth so I was ready to look out for her. Thanks Dave.
Once all the excitement (and land) had passed from view, we headed inside for our usual meal at Les Abers where, naturally, I finished with cheese featuring my second favourite, Livarot. And, while it was as delicious as usual, it was not long out of the fridge and wasn’t as pungent as it can be. I felt sorry for Mirinda because normally her olfactory senses are beguiled by it.
After dinner we popped into the cabaret to see what was going on and were right royally entertained by two little girls (sisters) throwing themselves around with complete and total abandon, a very drunk woman who looked remarkably like our neighbour, Fiona ‘dancing’ without falling over and a paid entertainer who was singing Adele songs. All three were highly skilled and worth the price of admission.
It was a lovely end to a day which featured a lot of easy going with a dash of desperation added for spice.