Well I'm officially on my first work trip abroad - enjoying the sights of Ireland! When I say sights, I mean so far I've sort of been in the hotel and am now on my way to an office. But who cares says I? Not I, says I!
So far the journey has been interesting - yesterday I spent a marvellous 6 hours in Birmingham airport. At first this wasn't so bad, I set up my laptop in the corner of a coffee shop and got to work and chain drank coffee so I could stay in my seat. But then I reached that awful point of no return where you realise you are dying for the toilet...but when travelling alone this involves packing up everything and going to relieve yourself, then returning and havign to buy MORE coffee to get back in. Then there's the dilemma that the 90 men in suits who've been eagerly eyeing up your plug socket (not a euphemism) will sneak in and you'll be powerless (pun intended) to do anything about it. So I tried to ignore my ever inflating bladder and carrying on working but I noticed the calls I was making were getting higher and higher in pitch and my leg was shaking intolerably. So relieving myself happened. I should add, after I'd packed up and gone to find a loo. Not in the coffee shop.
After losing my spot by the power supply I thought I might as well go and check in and sit in the lounge - however, being the naive little swan that I am I'd forgotten all about the no liquids rule. Bugger. I should mention at this point that right now I have sun burn. Awful sunburn. Sunburn that looks like I modeled my skin tone on Battenberg cake. It's really not great. So in my bag I had many lotions and potions for the treatment of this horror. I was rather loathe to throw them away as the security woman suggested. I thought about squirting them in her eyes and running but thought I wouldn't get far. Security meanie suggested I go to left luggage and see about leaving my products there until I returned the following day. Left luggage informed me that it would cost £15 per item. I informed left luggage that they were bottles. I was not paying someone £45 to baby sit some bottles for me. Left luggage asked if they were bagged. I said no. Left luggage sucked in some breath and said £15 per item. I said I was more than happy to go and find a bag. Left luggage sighed sadly and said it would probably still be £15 per item but a bag might help. I left left luggage and wondered what kind of luxury my soltan might have enjoyed had I left it in this Mecca of a product hotel.
I mosied over to Boots who very helpfully offer 100ml bottles for the decanting of your potentially orphaned moisturisers. This made me a very happy bunny and I spent a brilliant 10 minutes in the lounge squirting everything from a big bottle to a small bottle. It was pretty much how I remember primary school being. Only better and I had a smug feeling of being the winner. I walked back to security with my head held high, ready to show her what a clever wee thing I had been, only to find she'd gone off duty and there was only a bald man there who couldn't have cared less about my bottle genius. Poo.
At this point I discovered that if I wasn't going to be fleeced for luggage charge I would need to be able to cram all my belongings into one bag and then smoosh that one bag into the tester cage. This necessitated the wearing of a large amount of the clothes I had in the bag. Having crammed everything in and got through, looking now like a tomato coloured Michelin man with copious bottles, I reached the scanner where they asked me to remove all layers and to take everything out of my bag. I naturally complied but the removal of the jacket layers only meant that everyone in airport security saw the sunburn of doom.
Once on the plane I made friends with a man named Seamus who was mightily helpful and told me about every single Irish comedian and club he could think of. Naturally I promised to go to all of them and tried to think up some interesting questions about his animal vitamins firm. All I could think to ask was 'Do you have to make them look like grass to get the cows to eat them?'. Seamus doesn't have to make them look like grass to get the cows to eat them.
Tune in soon for the second part...