Sunday, 7 March 2010

Terminal One or Terminal Two?

And no I’m not talking about boring batteries, this is much more fun. Liam and Maddy arrived here yesterday from Germany for a week. So we went to collect them at Birmingham airport.
It was all a last minute thing – we only found out a few days ago, but as you know our boat is currently sat on a trailer looking lovely on the outside but un-inhabitable inside. So we booked them in the hotel with us for a couple of nights, guess what? They’ve got a far superior room than us two renegades for the same price, and their bed’s as big as a dance floor. How did that happen? Ah well they deserve only the best, it’s their last visit here before Liam goes to serve his country in Afghanistan...
We’ve had a long time to get used to it, so we’re about as prepared as any parent can be – they don’t do basic training for parents, but I don’t think it would make any difference. We’re just so proud of him.
Anyway, back at the airport, we’d checked the flight details online, everything was correct and present except for the terminal number which had “undetermined” next to it. Duh, I mean every other flight had a terminal number on it so why not this one? Oh silly me, its because we, Heth and Dave needed to know...
So we guessed at Terminal 1, the sat nav took us to the entrance road, announced “You Have Arrived” which was very thoughtful of it. But we were still about a mile away from the dam place. Beyond that the signposts were very helpful, but the first car park Dave tried was “Security Staff Only.” Just great, we’d only just arrived and narrowly missed out on being carted off in handcuffs.
A very stern looking security guard showed us the way out (whilst pointing a stern finger). “Just smile” said Dave, “No, you’ve to go between THESE two cones not those two” says me. I swear if Dave had driven forward another foot the guy would’ve pulled out a machine gun.
So after doing a guided tour of several different car parks with nerves fraying, (that’s the part where you start blaming each other for every wrong turn of the wheel). We eventually found the nearest one, after much faffing about with a ticket machine with various coins being dropped. Suddenly the penny dropped too, don’t try putting your fiver in the same slot your ticket comes out of – it just doesn’t work.
After getting parked up we wandered into what we thought was Terminal 1, but turned out to be Terminal 2 which contrary to our guessing game turned out to be the right one, phew.
This might sound like we’re either a bit thick, slow or stupid (which of course can’t be right). Or like we’ve never been to an airport before, which isn’t right either – just not Birmingham.
But never mind, the flight was on time, so we all went visiting family, came back to the hotel and went out for a yummy meal together...
Today we went to the marina to check a few things on the boat before it re-connects with the water again tomorrow. It’s been a gorgeous day, so we stayed at the marina all aft, went for a walk down the tow path, then the marina cafe and got some cakes – sod the calories.
We also spent some time with Steve who was merrily  sat fishing while he should’ve been putting the finishing touches to his bathroom. He’s got our boat keys for tomorrow morning’s big re-launch because we might not be there in time!
Took this on the way back, Liam and Maddy atop of Parbold hill…
We’re off out for another meal now, jeez I’ll have to start counting those calories again…

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