Now there’s a nip in the air and the flip-flops have been wistfully put away, perhaps you’ve forgotten the irritants of low cost air travel, especially if you’re travelling en famille.
Let’s start with the booking, when your heart is aquiver with excitement at what lies ahead. Looking online, those flights really do seem good value. Ah yes, but you haven’t factored in the fact that you need a bag, probably two at least, if you’re a family of four. Bang goes a hundred quid.
Speedy boarding?! Why would you want to pay extra just for getting on the plane? Surely we’re all getting on the plane, unless that’s some new sinister twist, where those that haven’t paid extra are meant to charge down the runway and hurl themselves through a window at the last minute. What added delights are provided for those that are first - a little bag of nuts and a snifter of G&T? I think not.
Purchasing the tickets entails another thirty pounds in undisclosed booking charges. Why? Buying the ticket is not an either/or option. So there’s your tickets, at double the price they were when you first looked. Don’t forget to check-in online and print out your boarding pass with each person’s ticket on a separate piece of paper, will you? Because it’ll be another FORTY POUNDS EACH if you have the temerity to turn up at the airport without having done so. Here’s the thing – if I have already checked in, why am I still standing in an incredibly long line at the airport to reach a luminous top lady wearing too much make-up? Ah yes, it’s a check-in.
Next we get to the mysterious strictures surrounding the weight of baggage. It is acceptable to have two bags of 15kg but not one of 10kg and one of 20kg. Are we worried about the baggage handlers' ickle wickle arms being pulled out of joint by uneven distribution? The terminal is awash with people frantically repacking, displaying their smalls to all and sundry as they desperately try to cram half the contents of one bag into another. Well, that’s really speeded things up now. Happy days.
Finally, the bags have gone - to be hurled about out of sight and we can proceed to ‘security’. I can understand why knives, scissors, tweezers(?) etc are not allowed in hand luggage . If someone were to be tipped over the edge due to the indignities of the travelling process, these might be employed in an inappropriate fashion. A small plastic bottle of water and a tub of moisturiser bigger than the allotted 100ml. Phew! Hold your horses! I’m not making light of the terrible actual and attempted terrorist acts that have occurred, but it’s time to look at the situation again. All these people desperately glugging down their drinks and then hopping about in agony because they need the loo while they’re still queuing are not planning anything sinister. It’s a ploy on the airport’s part to make you spend more cash in buying replacement drinks.
After the five mile hike to the gate, it’s time to board. The contradiction in terms known as the ‘Speedy Boarding’ call results in 98% of the departure lounge bundling towards one small door in a heaving mass then breaking into an undignified trot to the plane to ensure they’re not parted from their companion for as much as 90 minutes.
On board the crew spend twice as long rearranging the plane once it’s realised some children have no seat anywhere near their parent. Once, when returning from Bergerac with my two under-fives, I was marooned in the aisle not able to see any free seats, let alone together. Eventually, a crew member announced, ‘Would any passengers mind moving, so the “lady” and her children could sit together...?’
Everybody stuck their noses into their free bag of nuts and G&T thinking, ‘I’ve paid my £5 Speedy Boarding fee, I’m buggered if I’m moving.’
The crew member then added: ‘If we don’t get underway in five minutes, we’ll miss our slot and be here for four hours.’ The entire plane rose as one body and we were seated in the twinkling of an eye.
In honour of the Jubilee or the Olympics or something I ironed 2 pairs of culottes and a skirt yesterday. I don't iron, on the whole. The last recorded instance of it was in 1496 I believe. But occasionally even I realise that something is just too crumpled to wear au naturel. Damn you 100% cotton summer wear!
I cannot understand why people claim to like ironing, even going so far as to do sheets and underwear. These people need to be removed in jackets that keep their arms snug. After about a year (3 minutes perhaps in truth..?) of ironing this sodding skirt I thought, 'this panel looks familiar...' Yes, I'd gone all the way round and was doing the same bit again. BECAUSE I AM RUBBISH AT IRONING AND COULDN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE. Actually, that's a slight exaggeration. It did look marginally better – the creases were ironed rather than un-ironed creases.
'Oh, but you can watch the telly while you iron', say the defenders of it. I don't want to watch the telly while I'm ironing. I want to watch the telly while I'm watching the telly. Lying comatose on the sofa – surely what it is designed for – perhaps going so far as to sup some wine and munch a bit of choccy. I don't want to have to be continually missing the arched eyebrows of Margaret, Goddess of The Apprentice, in her all-too-brief appearance, because I'm trying to negotiate a tricky pocket.
And don't get me started on the medieval instrument of torture that is the board. What idiot designed this mousetrap like sliding snappy hinge thing on the bottom? In my Room 101 – the Orwellian one rather than the increasingly flabby TV version, I would be locked in a room filled with wasps and a never-ending pile of ironing, that Sisyphus –like (Google it, youngsters!) I would be compelled to keep attempting to clear.
Ironing. It can jog right on.
Recently I read an article entitled ‘Why are women’s friendships so darn complicated…?’It bemoaned the fact that all women filled their time with vendettas, feuds and bitching sessions against other females who they purported to be their friends.
This article was written by a man leading me to think why are men’s opinions of women so darn clichéd…? It would be like me saying all men ogle scantily clad FHM lovelies (oh hang on…..). Men may say they prefer their uncomplicated friendships, centred around activities and bloke-y type conversations about certain topics. Yet when they face difficulties in their lives, they need to talk too, probably turning to the women in their lives to do so. It is part of the human condition surely, to be moved by emotions.
It is true that there are women in the world who take great delight in excluding certain other girls from the inner circle. Their personalities are an unattractive blend of snide, vindictive and spiteful. I have encountered these females through school, university and sadly well into my adult life. Generally, these are not the woman I tend to associate with, preferring to keep a safe distance from the former group.
My friends are women I can implicitly trust. They are generous, thoughtful and caring. I mean true friends here, not the many acquaintances one seems to accrue by being on Facebook. (I don’t stage vendettas against them either, to be clear). Our busy lives mean we may not be able to see or be in touch with people as much as we would like, but we can pick up the threads of friendship easily when we do. We support and want the best for each other. We are not jealous of these friends’ other friendships. That sort of attitude has been left behind in the playground for us.
I would argue that this is the more typical attitude of women to each other when they have passed the age of fifteen. By and large, this jostling for supremacy among the younger, more vulnerable female species is to establish who is top dog (or cat) and therefore worthy of the man’s attention. And while women are still judged more by their physical attractiveness and ‘marriageability’ than their achievements, this behaviour will remain rife. Enjoy FHM (Page 3 in all but name) boys….
some of these...
Rants appeared as ‘My Pet Peeves’ for a blog on The Argus. Everyone has pet peeves. Maybe yours is 'people who have pet peeves'. That's fine. You bog off and be peevish about that. These are my peeves and I'll cry if I want to.