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After two long years in England, when Spain was an itch that had to be scratched, a golden opportunity came along, which couldn't be ignored. So here I am back in Spain ~ again, just me and my dog on the sunny Costa Blanca, ready for another adventure!

12 June 2014 @ 10:57


Show me a woman with an obsessive cleaning disorder, who spends her days washing  and ironing, cleaning and polishing, sweeping and hovering, for hours on end, and I’ll show you one who would rather sit writing ‘stuff’, whether it be on the computer, or in dust on the telly.

However, once I’m on my way to Stansted airport, en route to Spain, I find myself verging on the edge of a different sort of OCD, the Obsessive Compulsive one, which makes me do the same things, every time I fly.

I won’t deny it, I gets excited walking into the airport. I love the buzz, even if Stansted often has the ability to infuriate me, as well as make me very happy in equal measure. 

Unless you can get your smalls in one small carryon bag, we all know the drill. Even now they’ve introduced ‘baggage drop off areas’ the queues are just the same.

We just have to check in twice now, once online, AND at the baggage drop off area. It’s just the same thing in disguise. A desk by any other name springs to mind.

I like to get there early, buy some girly magazines ( NO not those sort), a huge Mocha Coffee from Pret, then it’s a long happy wait, and a people watch for me, till the information board calls me, and I make my way to gates 42-50. 

Those are the ones where you go down the escalator, walk what seems like miles, and then go up the escalator, and then walk what seems like more miles. After that, your gate is always the one at the end, and if its gate 50, good luck, that’s another frolic on the escalator and back into the bowels of the departure lounge.

It’s at this point that my mild obsessiveness starts to kick in.  If I haven’t bought my priority boarding pass online, I always buy it at the airport. It’s exorbitantly priced, I agree. But to a disordered woman like me, it has to be done. It’s part of my flying ritual.

I head to the boarding gate, and stand in the left hand PRIORITY BOARDING queue. And that’s when my eyes go into overdrive. I find myself peering ahead of me, and if I spot ‘OTHER QUEUE’ on a fellow passengers boarding pass my indignation meter goes off the scale.

After all, I’ve bloody well paid to be in this queue, any interlopers can totter off to the back of the ‘I’ll get on the plane just as quick’ queue. Go on, do one. I'm the silly one here, let me have my moment!

I wonder if I should point out their oversight, or wait for Miss Efficient to check for their Priority Boarding right of passage, and whose day is only made when she can’t fit your bag into the ‘ does your bag fit’ thingy, and if it doesn’t, smiles smugly as she charges you a small mortgage to actually take you’re not so small smalls on the plane.

I ALWAYS board the plane from the back, and my seat is ALWAYS 4th from the back on the right hand side, and it’s ALWAYS an aisle seat.  God help anyone who is already sitting there. MY hand luggage ALWAYS goes in that little overhead luggage cubby hole. The single one. Never any other.  I paid to get there first, it’s mine I tell you. Mine.

And then I sit and watch as the ‘other queue’ take their seats and the Ryanair kerfuffle begins.  I know you’ve ALL seen it. As the plane fills up, there’s nowhere for the luggage to go. The blue clad beauties shuffle bags, and when they simple don’t fit into the over-head locker, then they stoically stow them under seats. They insist on separating families and friends, as if their badge of honour wings depended on it.

A kind of calm pervades the cabin as we prepare for take-off. I’m in shreds because, in  case you hadn’t got the message.......  

I BLOODY HATE FLYING!  I really couldn’t have picked a more unsuitable lifestyle.

We reverse slowly out of the gate and head towards the runway. Miss Ryanair x 2 are doing their thing with the gas mask and blowy up life jacket.

Miss Ryanair number 3 ALWAYS runs up from the rear just after they’ve pointed out the emergency exits.   Have you ever wondered why she’s always late into the safety check party? 

Well I did wonder and so after about 20 flights I actually asked.

It’s because she has to work the switch that lights the floor to show the exits during the safety talk.  Job done, she joins in with the others, even though hardly anyone has the good manners to listen.

‘Cabin Crew seats for take-off please’ comes next, and I’m ready.  The engine revs up, my hands go over my ears, and I shut my eyes tight and brace myself for that moment when the wheels have left the runway. To be honest, I’m not even that keen on lifts, so now is not my moment.


At 30,000 ft above the clouds I always eat the sandwich I have bought with me, and, I always buy Sour Cream and Chive Pringles, and treat myself to the most exorbitantly priced, smallest bottle of wine in the history of aviation. 


But then, when the rear cabin door opens, and the blue sky and heat greets me, I actually do know exactly why I put myself through all my silly rituals.

I'm back in SPAIN!


Three things that make me wonder:

At Stansted:  Why do they need to hold you like cattle, at the door leading onto the tarmac, to wait for the plane to be ready? 

Why can’t you simply wait in the departure lounge until the plane is completely ready?

At most Spanish airports:  Why, do they lead you out onto the baking hot tarmac to wait for the plane to be ready? 

Why can’t you simply wait in the departure lounge until the plane is completely ready?

Why is your suitcase always the last one loaded onto the carousel?

That one’s easy, it’s Sods Law!

 Do you have any funny little rituals that you follow to take

the stress out of difficult situations.


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Like 2


SandrainAlgorfa said:
12 June 2014 @ 15:13

Sounds a lot like me Rosie. I hate flying - I'd much rather drive either 520 miles to Santander or Bilbao for the ferry, or else 1200 miles through Spain and France for the tunnel now we have Paddy.

I tend to fixate on what other passengers are doing to annoy me, because that stops me howling my head off and saying 'Stop the plane - I want to get off!'

RiojaRosie said:
14 June 2014 @ 07:35

Thanks for your comments Sandra. In the scheme of things I do know it's irrational fear, but although Ryanair gets a bashing, and deservedly so, for some of their more stupid rules and regulations. It is, in my view, value for money travel, you get's what you pays for really!

People who say, 'I'll never fly Ryanair again' are usually fibbing. They will.
Or perhaps someone reading this, REALLY will have stuck to their guns and NEVER flown with Ryanair again!?

fazeress said:
03 August 2014 @ 08:35

Hopefully now you can book your seat you are assured that it will be yours, the one you need to sit in! 😊

fazeress said:
03 August 2014 @ 08:35

Hopefully now you can book your seat you are assured that it will be yours, the one you need to sit in! 😊

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