Despite the lurid stories and tales of doom, Montrose turned out to be pretty damned all right for chaps like moi.
An hour’s drive south of Aberdoon on the A90 (despite TomTom’s attempts to take us to God knows where) through verdant rolling countryside brings one to a sensibly proportioned harbour (unlike the crammed maritime chaos wot is Aberdeen these days) and a ship parked where it said it would be and waiting, arms flung wide to welcome your truly. It was a bit of a complicated beast and needed two ‘full’ half days to complete. This meant an overnight in the fair town and sleepover at the Park hotel. All very nice to be honest.
The trip back down ‘sarf’ was marked by a few odd things though.
Losing the keys to the hire car whilst at the return carpark and re-arranging bags. Talk about an embarrassing senior moment. For 45 minutes moi, and three Hertz folks searched my bags (several times) the car (several times) my standing clothes a dozen times, under the car, around all the other nearby cars, people around and thereabouts near the car were questioned too. Horrid, sense of surrealism, and then they were found, in the bag that had been searched so many times before. Goodness gracious, what a twat.
Anyway, that done, into the airport. Friday afternoon mad chaos busy. No where to sit and start writing up the report. Four hours of hanging around people watching. Saw an old lady and her, I presume son (in his sixties, her in her 80s), waving off her relative and then her screwing up her face in anguish, and crying and then sobbing and then REALLY SOBBING with all the body language of someone who’s in complete despair. It was very upsetting and I joined in with the tears too. There was nothing else that could be done. Moving stuff, very much so. Feel wet eyed at the thought of it some three days later. Dear lady, I hope she feels better now.
A large and prattily attired stag party lurched into the departure lounge later on. Full blown British twat mode at full volume. It’s a unique trait of this home island of ours. Hmm. Anyway after what seemed like an age when there was genuine horror at the thought of them being on the same flight to Lundunn Tarn as shocked at sea, said party lurched and wobbled their inebriated way to a Sumburgh flight. Thank goodness for that. Good luck Shetlands, you’ll have needed it.
Then joy of joy the BA Embraer 170 landed and parked outside the window and it was time to fly to London City and jump into Graham’s Taxi to Westbrook. The traffic parted and the roads cleared and we were home in in an hour and ten minutes. A record and no mistake your honour. Maybe it’s a sign of better things to come?
There’s a little prick (ooh madam) to burst your happiness balloon, in the case here, it’s Peterhead, later this week. Groan and groan and groan.