Being back in an airport again feels both exhilarating and exhausting.
I stand in front of the departures board in Belfast International, scanning the list for my flight to Manchester. Behind me, The Parents get back into the car, having watched me walk into the airport with a slightly pale face but an attempted brave smile.
I cannot see the flight on the departures board, but that’s OK. I’m quite early. I fumble in my bag and bring out my printed itinerary. There it is… the first of my three flights, this one going to Manchester International… from Belfast City Airport.
Hang on, what?!!
I freeze to the spot for several seconds, and then utter a dismayed and panicky BALLS!”. Grabbing my phone, I ring Mum as I start to run back outside, just in time to see The Parents’ car pulling out of sight. In my heart, of course, I know perfectly well that neither of The Parents will have brought their phone with them for this short airport run. I ring in vain, and then hurtle towards the taxi rank, baggage trolley veering wildly all over the show.
“Wrong airport, love?” asks the nearest taxi driver sympathetically, as I come careering towards him with a crazed look in my eyes. He grabs my cases without waiting for a response, throwing them into the boot as he continues, “29 quid, 25 minutes to get you there, what time’s your flight?”
It’s all in a day’s work for him, and he’s perfectly cheerful as we zoom towards the correct airport, while I wonder if I am losing my mind altogether.
I was going to quit smoking again again today, you know.