Before – once upon a time – when I used to be a professional – I knew what punctuality was. It seems that in the last nine months punctuality and I have become estranged. Possibly permanently.
It’s quite amazing how quickly it happened. John and I have never worn watches and for a time whilst travelling I didn’t have a phone either. And as a result we lost all sense of timekeeping. And really – what did we ever have to be on time for? Ok, there were flights and the occasional train but usually we had a taxi booked which meant we had an alarm call so to speak.
John was always challenged in the time department. I used to get annoyed by it. Now I just sit or lie and read a book until he says ‘right are you ready?’
And then I still don’t move. I now don’t move now until John is out the house, in the car, engine running and has done his two return trips to the house for forgotten items. I have learnt the hard way. We’ve almost divorced at every airport because John will amble, and then decide to go to the toilet whilst they are screaming ‘Final call’ over the tannoy and are pulling the tape across the gate.
In our first week back we had to get to a wedding. We were already running late (we thought – we didn’t really know because we don’t wear watches and the clock in the car was saying something like 43.18) and when we turned into the multi story carpark John decided now would be a good time and place to get into his suit, change his belt and his shoes and his shirt. Choose a tie – I don’t know probably shave too.
I got back in the car. Read five more chapters of my book.
When we finally made it to the church the bride was just about to enter to the wedding march. John tried to get around her and the bridesmaids – would have given the groom a shock – if I hadn’t grabbed his sleeve and held him back.
Anyway all this to illustrate that we rarely make anything on time these days.
Same goes for our flight back to Bali. We made it to check in with an hour to go until our flight. In what was possibly the most stressful car journey of my life – missed the junction and had to head back on the southbound motorway which was jammed. On arrival at the check in desk with mere minutes until the gate closed, the man stared at our two trolleys and raised a plucked eyebrow.
‘We have paid for excess,’ I panted (we’d run).
Our three check-in bags weighed in at over 96kg. 6kg over the excess.
So there we were on the concourse unpacking the beasts and scattering items all around trying to work out what to purge. – it was like some sick task from the crystal maze – the clock ticking and some pen tapping, disapproving camp air steward tut tutting all the while whilst we stacked things onto the scales to make up 6kg. Needless to say I lost all my books (one of which was a recipe book so no loss there) whilst John purged what exactly? Still not sure – some laptop screen cleaner I believe.
We boarded with about 45kg of hand baggage, claiming ‘laptop bag, laptop bag’ at whoever questioned our three bags a piece. We ran through security and then guess what?
John goes to the loo.
We were the last to board.
Ironically, I now recall, the one item John did empty out of his bag and purge was the alarm clock.