Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The wanderer returns

So I am on the motorway, on my way to the airport.  It is a beautiful day. There is bright sunshine, there is birdsong, there is joy in my heart.  The Shah is coming home.  I have checked online and I know that his flight landed a few minutes early - he has not been the victim of some dreadful accident/plane crash/alcohol-induced multiple organ failure and he has clearly not won a million dollars and buggered off with a Las Vegas stripper, so all is right with the world. My mobile rings.

"Where are you?" says a voice, sounding rather tetchy.
"Er, not far away - the traffic's a bit heavier than I thought it would be," I reply in my best soothing voice.  "You ok?"
"Airports put me in a bad mood," replies the Shah inexplicably.  "Come up the ramp - I'm waiting at Departures."
"Can cars go up it?" I ask
"No - only taxis - it'll be fine," comes the reply.  I should point out now that "It'll be fine" is a well-worn mantra beloved of the Shah - usually employed when he is about to embark on some action which is ill advised/utterly stupid/illegal/impossible.

A little further along, I approach said ramp. There is a barrier over it and there are two blokes in high-vis jackets manning said barrier. There is also a sign which reads "Authorised Vehicles Only" in large, unfriendly letters.  I phone the Shah.  He answers sounding even tetchier.  I explain.
"Oh, just drive up it anyway," he says impatiently.
The Shah gives a growl of irritation.  
"I'm heading to the bit signed "Passenger Drop-off" I say and hang up.  Unfortunately, the rest of the world is also heading to the Passenger Drop-off, so I queue for a bit and try not to catch the eye of any of the machine-gun toting Police who are swaggering around the joint.  Eventually, I manage to park and ring the Shah once more to tell him where to find me.
"WHAAAAAT?" he bellows, sounding out of breath and thoroughly infuriated. 
"Come out of the terminal building and turn right.  I'm parked just along there."
"Fuckrrs!" bawls the Shah.  "Send you all round the feckin' houses, just to come down one level..."  just then, I spot a familiar figure stumping along in the distance.  Funny how you know someone so well, you don't need to see any detail - just their gait gives them away.  He reaches the car and I open the boot.  A gigantic pile of school books, uniform, paper, pens, sports kit and general detritus is revealed.
"WTF?" The Shah's nose is beginning to develop little beads of sweat*
We try to balance his suitcase on top of the mountain of crap.  It slides straight off.  At this point, I start to laugh.  This is not a good idea.  The Shah's visage has gone a strange mahogany colour and I fear he might have an infarct on the spot, so I stop laughing. Luckily, the Shah also sees the funny side, and we spend the next 10 minutes humping suitcases around in and out of the car giggling helplessly.

So we are on the motorway.  It is still a beautiful day.  There is bright sunshine, there is birdsong, there is joy in my heart.  The Shah has come home.  In my head, I have a rosy little vision of us having lunch in the garden...some french bread, still warm...some Brie...Salami....olives....a bottle of wine maybe...a lazy afternoon.

The Shah's voice breaks into my reverie.
"You couldn't put your foot down a bit, could you?" he asks, patting my hand vaguely.  "Only I need to get back for the hockey tournament..."

The only sound to be heard is that of my bubble bursting.

*This is a  peculiarity of the Shah - his nose sweats before the rest of him.  If you ever meet a grumpy-looking Indian bloke with a sweaty nose, you know who it is.


  1. We can't help ourselves can we? we love them..

  2. The fact that he also laughed when putting the suitcases in the boot is a good sign. My ex-husband would have grabbed all the stuff in the boot and chucked it on the road. Really, it did it once.

  3. Libby - yes, even when they return home and fall asleep instantly from the mixture of jetlag and sport and don't wake up for 15 hours!

    NSM - I think a sense of humour is one of the most important qualities in anyone...and the ability to retain it in times of stress!

  4. I won't say I told you to book yourself a trip away to time perfectly with his arrival - oh but I just did! :p

  5. Ah, I can just picture it! I've also picked upt the husband from the airport with happy, smiling children only to find that I'd forgotten to empty the boot and there is no room for his bags. He wasn't quite so good humoured about it!

  6. Taz, you are a woman of great wisdom and I should have listened to you. At least I have time off from today until after Easter so it's not all bad!

  7. WG - I don't believe a word of it. I have never known RJ to be anything other than charming. lol!


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