Darren before the dawn

It was a very early start for everyone today because of the taxi. The original plan had been to leave later but we were at the mercy of powers greater than ours to affect.

So we were up before the sun and sitting on bollards on the corner from 07:00. To give him his due, our driver arrived at the promised time of 07:10 rather than the normal Neapolitan interpretation of appointments.

View from a bollard

Mind you, as we sat at the airport for two hours, being late would have been pretty good.

Still, eventually our gate was called and we wandered down to join the general melee of oversized bags and too much luggage. With regards to this, I was very happy to see people being pulled aside and told to pack things better. It is particularly galling after I spent so long making sure my bag was perfect for hand luggage only to see people trying to board with free standing wardrobes.

It wasn’t long before we were all happily ensconced in our seats, a little longer before the engines started and another bit longer for us to actually take off. I settled back and watched a few more episodes of the strange German series called Dark which I’m currently enjoying, for want of a better word.

A bit longer later, we landed at Gatwick and taxied to our stand. The usual crowd of arseholes started getting out of their seats to get ahead of everyone else but, unexpectedly, they were told, in no uncertain terms, to sit down again.

We were then informed that we were waiting for the police to board the plane.

During the flight, I was happily listening to Sweet Charity when Lorna whacked me on her way back from the toilet so I naturally assumed that the police had come to arrest her for assault. I was wrong. There would be no justice for an aggrieved Gazweasel today.

It wasn’t long before two police officers entered and asked a woman two seats in front of me to go with them. The rest of her tribe went as well. The children were clearly upset.

Now, I have no idea what they did. They were all a bit physically boisterous but I didn’t hear anything untoward. To be fair I did have headphones on.

Anthea reckons one of them threatened to knee someone in the groin but I only have her word for that. And rather graphic demonstration.

My personal opinion is that they were a family of international jewel thieves, heavily disguised as a family of obnoxious tourists. Or perhaps they just bad mouthed the stewards. I guess we’ll never know.

Whatever it was, I know we left the airport a lot sooner than they did. We were all on the pavement outside the North Terminal with hugs and kisses and cries of a domani (we’re at the Globe tomorrow) before we parted ways.

Very soon, I was on a train heading for home.

The rain outside Woking obliterated the usual industrial wasteland which gradually turned into Surrey trees and sunshine so that by the time I left the train at Farnham, the day was glorious. (Not as glorious as Naples but still…)

At home it was big welcomes all round as I was generally and pleasantly attacked by wife and puppies.

I didn’t really feel like cooking so we headed for the Holly Bush for dinner and the usual debrief. The food was, of course, delicious and the conversation lively. It was a lovely five days in Italy but, when it all comes down to it, it’s lovelier being home.

Spotted in the toilet

As we were leaving the pub a couple of young women walked in and stood next to me (I was paying). One had a few coins scattered on her hand. She desperately asked the barman what she could get to drink for £2.84 (or similar). He told her but I interrupted and offered to buy her (and her friend) a drink. Naturally, I then had to justify myself in case they thought I was a big old sleaze bag. In the end they accepted my offer and I’d like to think their day, which they told me had been pretty rubbish, was brightened a bit.

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