So, after hunting the Northern Lights, which consisted of a very early morning drive across islands with my head hanging out of the window for so long , to try to see if I could see them, that my nose nearly fell off with the cold, and still not finding them we decided it was time to head home to the UK for a little bit for the Easter holidays. This turned out to be a lot harder than finding the Northern Lights!
It started off with us both needing a shower, about an hour before the flight and discovering there was no water! queue a quick phone call to our landlord and he came up with an unusual solution. This involved us following his sisters car, who we had never met, across the town to her flat. Here she promptly showed us where her shower was and left. Well, they say saviours come in all forms! We then had to work out how to get out of the flat, which wasn’t the easiest thing. Then the real difficulty was finding the random shoe shop she had asked us to leave her keys at. To add to the problems, the shop staff didn’t speak English. I hurriedly thrust the keys into the hand of a bemused lady and left hoping I hadn’t left them with the wrong person! That might be a bit awkward when we go back to our apartment. I don’t think the landlord would take too kindly to us helping his sister be burgled!
We then had a very quick drive to the airport where Luke had insisted it would be easy as it is one of the quietest airports in the world. Well that day must have been an unusual event for the airport then as it was packed full of travellers and the queue to get through security was massive! It even gave me the chance to be fully prepared and I arrived at the beeping machine with shoes off and everything. I was chuffed when it was the first time I went through the beeping machine and it didn’t protest. However, my happiness was short-lived as my carry-on-case was scrutinised a little bit too long for comfort. After a while I heard the words that no one wants to hear from an airport security guard – ‘ do you mind if we search your bag’. Well, I guess they aren’t the worst words a security guard could say. I was left desperately wracking my brain for what I might have left in my bag by accident. All was revealed when the guard, with some flourish, pulled a bottle opener, with corkscrew attached, from my bag. Part of me was glad as I had been searching for it the whole time we had been in Norway but then I was concerned I would be in trouble for taking a potentially harmful implement onto a plane. Luckily, they must have understood my need for a bottle opener, or it had been used so much it was now blunt, and I was allowed onto the plane.
The rest of the journey was the standard squeeze onto bustling flights, various drinks passed hurriedly along aisles, seats so small even my knees touched the seat in front, turbulence and crying children. I thought that the journey wasn’t great but it could have been worse. It then turned into one of the worst when we boarded the last plane and luke placed my bag in the overhead locker. It appeared these had shrunk as my bag stuck out far too much. I was then anxiously sat staring at half of my suitcase poking out of the overhead compartment and wondering how on earth the air hostess would be able to make it fit. It turns out that she couldn’t and as she asked everyone who’s bag it was. I meekly said mine and slunk a bit lower. My suitcase was then heaved out of the overhead compartment, accompanied by tutting and glares from the air hostess, and was then removed to underneath the plane. This wasn’t the only contributing factor for the flight being delayed by forty minutes but it certainly didn’t help and it didn’t dd to my popularity. I just hoped they wouldn’t spot my computer bag half wedged under the seat in front because it wouldn’t fit all of the way. I cleverly disguised it with my scarf and I got away with it. Either that or the air hostess was just too flustered to acknowledge my additional error.
We finally, and rather bumpily, touched down in Manchester. We then spent the next few days with the lovely Murray family for a special lady’s birthday. We were the surprise guests for this birthday meal and attracted a bit of attention as we stealthily hid in reception and then crawled between cars. We then had our first Sunday dinner for a long time and what better way to celebrate being home than baking a sticky toffee pudding to accompany it! Well, I was pleased with my attempt but I am not so sure about the other diners.I think my Grandparents care too much to be critical and the others were just thankful they weren’t my now infamous glowing beetroot brownies or sweet potato and pumpkin pie.