If there's one thing I inherited from my late Father, is an almost pathological need to be on time (yes, I'm aware that sentence looks odd). As a child, the morning of going on holidays was always the same routine, with everyone expected to be ready far too early, and my Dad driving my poor Mother mad. It was the way he was. My next eldest brother is the opposite. If he says he'll be there at a certain time, add an hour, minimum. Me, I like to be on time, and especially when travelling. I admit I get stressed if schedules seem to be slipping, but I usually plan well ahead.
Today was one of those days as we began our two week holiday back to Ireland, with a short break to Portugal in between. The tomtom said we'd need an hour and fifteen to get to Düsseldorf airport. I planned on us getting to the carpark one-and-a-half hours before the flight to give us some leeway, and not to be so early that we're trying to entertain a four-year-old in a boring departure lounge. We left the house 10 or 15 minutes late, but no big deal, we easily made that up by doing 180kmph on the autobahn until... until a traffic jam. On a Saturday morning. We lost the time we made up, and then lost another half hour. Ok, not a complete disaster, we were in the long term car park an hour ahead of the flight. We'd just need to hop on the sky train from the car park and we'd be at the terminal in 3 minutes. Ah, but no. The sky train is down for maintenance. We have to wait for a bus. It eventually comes, but instead of dropping us at Terminal C Departures it disgorges everyone at Arrivals somewhere between A and B. By the time we get to the check-in desk it is 40 minutes before the flight and there is nobody there. It takes another five to find out where we can talk to someone, but the insipid little man just says no, too late, the counters close 45 minutes before the flight and there's nothing he can do, despite my wife pleading, my son starting to cry because he won't see his Nana today and me developing a large throbbing vein on my temple. And of course, Saturday is the only day that Aer Lingus do not have a second, later flight from Düsseldorf to Dublin. Of course! But we can get on the same flight tomorrow, for €75 a head. What choice do I have? My son still hasn't stopped crying, and doesn't, until we suggest that we'll go into the countryside and find a place to stay so we're "on holiday".
We did half of that. The Ruhr area isn't exactly blessed with bounteous areas of nature, so we were more than halfway to Munster before we stopped for a massive feed (I actually wrapped up some of my ćevapčići and had them later on there were so many) and found a nice place to walk amongst fields of rye, find a dead deer, an asparagus graveyard (Mark, don't look!) and lots of interesting coloured beetles and jumpy things. We made the best of it really.
Now, I'm going to dry hop that bloody Klosteiner and have a beer.
Tomorrow we're going to leave 45 minutes earlier, just in case...