Sunday, July 17, 2005

Just when we thought we were going home…
We managed to get packed and cleared out before the 10 o’clock deadline. Our cases were stuffed full of goodies to take home! After having lunch with a friend, she led us to Birmingham airport and stayed with us for a coffee. Then we went into the terminal to wait …. and wait.

At first the plane was delayed. Eventually we were called and got onto the plane; After a few minutes the pilot announced that the air was not circulating around the plane correctly and so he couldn’t fly us to La Rochelle; We all trooped off and back into the terminal where we waited long enough to get vouchers for food.

It was getting pretty late by now and as a resident of one of the villages around La Rochelle airport, I know that there is no flying permitted after around 10pm. Our flight was cancelled! All was not lost, we were sent to a hotel at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre; the Crowne Plaza and told that we would be collected at 7am for the next flight to La Rochelle.

We were rather pleased with the hotel. Internet in every room, king-size beds and very comfortable. Olivier had his own room. I was really worried about him being on his own, but he loved it. Across the hall from us was the ‘Marc Bolan room’, I presume he had stayed there sometime during his career.

The shower was great. Any one who has sampled English plumbing will know what I mean. We set off on the bus for the airport at 7.30, a little change of plan, but at least everyone was ready. On checking in, our cases were way too heavy (7 kilos), but as we hadn’t been charged the day before we were let off . When we arrived at the terminal out flight was delayed!! (The hotel where the crew was staying was evacuated during the night because of a bomb scare so they were allowed extra rest) The plane arrived an hour late in La Rochelle, some of us 17 hours late.

Home at last…..not quite. We have a special taxi card which works 24/24 except when they don’t answer the phone, which happened to us! Fortunately one of Rob’s colleagues was in and came to take us home in her small car, it was a tight fit and the car was making a strange noise, but we made it!

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