Please forgive my tardiness in updating you all fully - I've been off gathering more inspirations for posts (and splinters for knees, paint smears for face and the number of a really rather good rat-catcher). So, back to Ibiza......
Sunday morning and all was well. You’d never know that anything untoward had gone on the night before – the only visible sign was the stained tiles around the pool – Boots Number Seven Concealer is a bugger to get out of tessellated tiles.
Maria, Lisa, Serena and Lizzie were to be the first to leave us, half dry clothes were being stuffed into suitcases and Serena had thrown all of her Slim Fasts away having spent the past three days eating everything in sight. Mind you, I can talk – my tankini is bulging slightly more than it was on Friday. The girls bade us all a fond farewell, screeching “See ya on the Firtief!” as they headed off down the drive way, Maria and Lisa arguing over the quickest way to the airport.
Melissa , Jackie and Luce were next to leave us at just gone eleven. Melissa and Luce were on speaking terms again and had vowed not to tell “their other halves about what went on”. Charlie reeled at this bit of information “They’ve got boyfriends?” she said as we watched them load the car. “Yeah, course” Janey said, looking at Charlie as if she was a bit simple. “Mel’s been married for two years and Luce is living with an estate agent.” Ivy went into a flurry of “disgustings” and Lou just reeled through the list of telephone numbers she had accumulated over the weekend. Toria was distraught. “Ay’ve been so good this holiday, ay’ll have nothing to tell may Ben!”. Janey patted her on the shoulder as we waved the car off. “Tell him you pulled anyway, he won’t know you hadn’t.” Janey caught sight of my open mouth “Ben likes to hear about Toria snogging other guys” she explained.
To halt any further discussion of this nature I suggested we have a light lunch and sit poolside. We had just under two hours before we were due to leave. Auntie Ivy suddenly remembered that she was neurotic. “Oughtn’t we to leave now? In case we get caught up in traffic or something?”
By that time we were stuck into the feta cheese and ignoring her. She spent ten minutes walking around the pool wringing her hands and voicing her concerns about “road accidents, road works, delays in checking in”. In the end we locked up and left, arriving at the airport at 1pm for our 1605 flight. There’s only so much shopping you can do at an airport but I did buy a nice silk tie for David. We had a coffee, a smoothie, a Danish and then a rather suspect burger. Our flight was due to leave on time, we were expecting no delays and all was well. We checked in smoothly and no-one queried my passport photo as they did in England. I was even beginning to feel quite relaxed. Until we got onto the plane.
Bea was revving up for only the second economy flight of her life and had again elected to sit next to me. This time we were overlooking the wing and I jokingly commented on the conversation we’d had the previous week. “Why? Why do I need to keep an eye on the wing? What’s wrong with it?” she squawked, peering out of the window. A lady with a baby well wrapped up in a white waffle blanket settled down into the seat across the aisle as I attempted to soothe my sister. “Well, you mentioned it!” she hissed. “What’s that burning smell?” she continued. The elderly couple in front of us inhaled sharply. “Nothing!” I snapped “We’re near the galley, you can probably smell the coffee percolating”. Bea was not convinced “Pah! That coffee’s instant or I’m a Dutchman” she snapped back.
Our late night was catching up with us, we were settling down for a nice bicker. Charlie and Sue were sitting behind us and giggling at our exchange. A dark haired stewardess approached the woman the baby and asked to see her ticket. The woman fumbled with the obviously sleeping well wrapped baby and bag and produced it. “Can you confirm your name please madam?” The woman did so – a very pretty Greek sounding name. The Dark Haired Stewardess allowed only a brief flicker of concern to flit across her face. “Madam, I’m afraid you’re on the wrong flight” she said, smiling broadly, already trying to help the woman to her feet. The blotchy faced stewardess who checked us onto the plane was approaching at a vast rate of knots, a worried look on her face. Bea’s own face was a picture. The woman with the baby insisted that she was on the right flight and grabbed rather possessively at the arm rests. “Holy Mother of God!” Bea intoned, grabbing a passing stewardess “Is that baby a bomb?”
The elderly couple in front of us inhaled sharply again and a scared looking woman clutched the hand of the man next to her and started squeaking. “Answer me or I’ll….I’ll…..” Bea said wildly, trying to stand up but forgetting she had her seat belt on. Across the plane I could see both Janey and Toria with their mouths open. As if to confirm its identity, the baby startled grizzling and the woman gave Bea a filthy look. “Madam, please sit down” Blotchy Face (now a nice shade of purple) hissed at Bea. I fixed her with a look and she huffed to a halt. The two stewardesses had a brief discussion and it turned out that Woman With Baby was indeed on the wrong flight and that Blotchy Face had made a cock-up in actually letting her on the plane in the first place. “Madam, if you do not leave this plane of your own volition, I will call security” Dark Haired Stewardess was brooking no argument. “Oh my God, we’ll be on the news! May the Saints keep and preserve us!” Bea wailed, slumping backwards in her seat. Murderous looks were being shot in our direction from the other passengers. Woman with Baby insisted that she was on the correct flight and said that when the plane landed in Athens she would tell her husband “of how you are of the treating me.”
The entire plane was watching this scenario, Bea a shivering mess beside me. One look at her face and I could see what was going through her mind: bomb, explosion, in-flight hijack, an emergency exit over the sea and she’d get her hair wet, again. Almost as one, the passengers chorused “We’re going to Stansted!”. Blotchy Face confirmed this with Woman With Baby who was beginning to see the penny dropping. Dark Haired Stewardess was on the phone in the galley requesting security. Security arrived, impressively only minutes later, and escorted Woman With Baby off of the plane and hopefully onto the correct Athen’s bound plane.
We were all agog by now. How on earth had this woman got through check in and boarding and actually boarded the plane all with the wrong details. The crew could see that we were all building up to a right old rumpus and came round early with the duty free list. Bea was so distracted she didn’t even look at the pamphlet.
Take-off was quick and painless but Bea was mouthing what appeared to be The Rosary. Once she had finished rediscovering her Catholic faith she kept insisting she was going to be sick – we hit a bit of turbulence half way through and a strange noise emanated from her: half yell, half moo. She started on The Rosary again – well, it passed the time.
I must admit to feeling a bit wobbly legged when we finally landed and got off the plane. Blotchy Face had obviously received a rollicking for the security breach (quite scary when you think about it, say Bea had been right and that baby was a bomb?) and was sulkily asking us to fly with her again. “Not bloody likely” Bea stage whispered as she shot down the stairs. Ivy, Lou, Janey, Charlie, Toria, Sue and I congregated at the foot of the stairs so we could go back to the terminal together. Bea was nowhere to be found. “She’s gone to deck that stewardess” Sue reckoned. We found her, seconds later.
She was on her knees, sealing her return to the Catholic faith by kissing the tarmac.