My watch buzzed and my pillow muffled the beeping of my phone.
4.30am – time to get up.
I climbed down from my son’s bunk – it had been another night of musical beds.
I crept downstairs to the toilet – but before I could even make it to the living room and my carefully laid out clothes – I heard footsteps.
KD’s fingers appeared on the toilet door and his squinting, chubby face – eyes half obscured by a too-long fringe – loomed out of the darkness. He was clutching a sporran filled with pennies.
“What are you doing up?” I crouched to cuddle his warm little body.
“I didn’t want anyone to steal my money,” he informed me.
I tucked him up on the couch with a fluffy blanket, dressed quickly and put cartoons on so I could do my makeup in peace. When the taxi arrived and I kissed him goodbye he burst into noisy sobs.
“I want to come too mummeeeeeeeee” he wailed.
Rod appeared looking dishevelled and scooped him up so I could leave without the histrionics waking the Wee Man.
The driver wanted to chat, but I was trying to check in online and the FlyBe app wasn’t cooperating. Eventually I emailed myself the boarding pass and took a screenshot to make sure.
It was all going swimmingly until I realised there were two flights leaving for London City at 6.30 – with one letter of difference. One was at Gate 5. The other – the right one – was at Gate 28. I sprinted but I was met by a red screen and a rude high vis jacket.
Desperately I turned to the other, older lady and gasped, “I need some help please, how do I rebook?”
“It’s OK love, just go to SwissPort next to baggage claim, they’ll help you out,” she said kindly.
I repeated SwissPort, SwissPort, SwissPort as I sprinted all the way back through the airport – almost to the fucking taxi rank.
“There’s another flight at 7.10, that will be £111 please,” the SwissPort woman announced.
I was actually relieved it was that cheap – and smiled at the boiling Irishman next to me who was being charged £55 to check in at the airport. “That’s still only half the money I’ve wasted,” I remarked and he smiled a bit.
All she gave me was a receipt – I still had to make it to the desk for my boarding pass before tackling security all over again.
“This happens every single day,” the check-in clerk told me. “You’d think they’d do something about two flights so similar.”
Her sympathy was nice, but her typing skills were slow. I glanced at my watch. 6.34am. I then took it off, and my bangle, and my jumper so I’d have a survivor’s chance at security.
I was that person pushing past everyone going “excuse me, sorry, so sorry, I’m going to miss my flight again, sorry” (yes I actually said again, they must have thought I was a rocket). I made it through the scanner (woop) but where was my boarding pass and drivers’s licence? They were right there on top of my jacket…
“Excuse me?” I said loudly and too high. Thank the fucking fuck the security guy found it on the floor. He passed it to me with a look but I could only grab it and run. Except I couldn’t run could I? Suddenly every child in the whole western world was in front of me, every passenger had a bag the size of a small four poster, every walkway was suddenly out of order…
Ladies and gentlemen – I made it onto the 7.10 with four minutes to spare. It too left from Gate 28.
My hair is frizzy, my back is soaked with sweat, but I’m typing this from the ExCeL Arena in London and I made it here (after missing just the one DLR train) BEFORE THE EXPO OPENED.