Last weekend I flew to the UK to attend a party for one of my former bosses Heidi at cruise.co.uk. Heidi left last year for early retirement and has kept in touch with many of us since her departure. A much loved and missed member of staff, when I heard she was having a big party for her 60th Birthday, I knew I had to fly over to attend her special day.
I flew into Gatwick where my colleague Gina met me and after £13 to get out of the short stay car park (daylight robbery) we headed off on the 2.5-hour drive to Redditch. We had booked into a hotel for the night and by the time we arrived, we wanted to dump our stuff and get something to eat before we had to get ready for the night ahead. The hotel looked lovely from the outside and although the room was clean and comfortable the rest of the hotel and staff left a lot to be desired.
The bar was still serving food and we both opted for a baguette with lemon chicken on a bed of guacamole and tomato. I can assure you it was not as described, what we received looked like Iceland’s chicken strips deep fried and placed on a dry bit of toasted ciabatta with finely cut avocado which was tasteless and rubbery… This along with some thick awful battered calamari and 2 x cokes came to £25.90. No wonder I left the UK at the prices being charged!
We then headed off to celebrate Heidi’s big night and it was great to see faces from work that had managed to make it too. Heidi was very surprised to see me there, especially as I live in Spain and was so pleased that I had made the effort for her. As I told her she is my favourite American.
The following morning we set off after a much needed McDonalds breakfast back to the South. My good friends Becky and Dal were meeting me on route and I was spending the next few days with them in their new home in Kent. Other friends popped down on the Bank Holiday Monday and we all went for lunch in a local pub, which is something I haven’t done for a long time. The food was a lot better than the hotel and half the price! We decided to do a childhood revival and have a visit to Rochester Castle but that was closed, so we ended up touring the cathedral and visiting a retro sweet shop before heading into the pub for a quick drink and then home.
It was a very chilled few days, catching up with them and their now adult daughter. Dal and I have been best friends from the age of 11 and 33 years later we are still the same with one another and as close as ever. So these times are truly cherished.
So homeward bound and I am all set for my flight home from Southend to Malaga. After about half an hour in an announcement is made asking if there is a qualified medic onboard, not a good announcement to hear.
Sadly a gentleman travelling with his family was taken poorly not long after take off and the captain had to make a decision to divert us to Madrid so that the man could receive urgent medical assistance. We were grounded in Madrid for approx 2 hours, so it wasn’t too much of a delay. The staff on Easyjet was great and kept us all informed of what was happening. I just hope the man was OK and him along with his family was able to carry on and enjoy their holiday.
So after a weekend of surprises, laughs, memories shared new and old and an unexpected delay home. I am back to work and home where the prices and food are much cheaper and better than the UK!