So we left you having got through security and on our way to breakfast. The time is now 4:30 in the morning. We had breakfast at the Grain Loft. All around the place they had signs saying “please review us on TripAdvisor”. Don’t you worry, I will do. Actually I have become a bit addicted to reviewing things on TripAdvisor. They have this “gameification” of reviews. So they offer you badges and rewards for the more reviews you write. I am now a senior contributor, a restaurant expert level 5 and an attraction expert level 6. They keep seducing me by saying things like “only 2 more reviews and you will be at the next level”. So you do that, and then you realise that you are 5 reviews off the next level…and so it continues. It’s like a video game for the over-opinionated.  

“Are you coming to bed darling?”

“In a moment, just one more review and I’ll be a restaurant Ninja”. 

So the Grain Loft is a basically a bar that serves food. Even at 4:30 am the beer was flowing (much to our discomfort later…but I’m getting ahead of myself). Karen tried to make a few changes to the cooked breakfast. No chance. Now compare this to the lovely Polish chap at “The Estuary” at John Lennon Airport the previous week who basically just gave us whatever we wanted and began throwing in double egg and all sorts (now they did get a good review). Karen did ask for no beans, at which point the server said “why not just get them separately in case someone else wants them. The money you are paying you may as well”. That pretty much sums up the value for money you get from these places.  

After we had eaten we headed off to the gate. So far so good. Nikki and the P’s always pay for Speedy Boarding and we were on row 2 of the plane (unlike last week when we were on rows 22 and 23). So far so good. Then it happened.  

I’m not sure if you saw the other week about a bid to reduce the amount people can drink before they board a plane? Well I support that bid, 100 percent. 5 scouse lads came on worse for wear. Well, it was past 5:00 O’clock…in the morning. One was on the front row and the other four had aisle seats, one right next to Rachel. Mum, dad and Nikki had taken up row 2 seats A-C, Karen and I had seats D and E and seat F was taken by a very quiet gentlemen who was obviously a frequent business flyer. On row 3 it was carnage. 

The five of them rolled in (literally) at the last minute and took over the plane. You know how you instinctively recognise that shenanigans are afoot, like when a child is too quiet? It was like this with them. They put bags in the overhead locker, but not the entire contents of the bag if you get my drift. You know that announcement about “not consuming your own alcohol on the plane”?, I think they took that as a challenge, not an instruction. 

The two stewards at the front of the cabin were both called Ian. Let’s call them big Ian and little Ian (or big Ian and dyed hair Ian as mum called them). Big Ian was the head steward and he clocked this bunch as soon as they walked in. He looked in the overhead locker and said: 

“Didn’t you have some duty free up here?”

“Yes” they said sheepishly knowing that it was now clanking in their pockets

“Well someone’s nicked it” 

He then went on to confiscate it and we had 2 and half hours of cat and mouse as they passed their contraband between them in rolled up in fishing magazines (which was a new technique to me) and generally disrupted the plane.
I was just glad I had my lovely noise cancelling headphones, so I could sit back and enjoy last week’s Dr Who in peace…only to discover that I hadn’t charged them up since Poland so they were no good. Luckily I had my running Bluetooth headphones with me…but they only seemed to work out of one ear..so I had to resort to my third set of wired (I know, barbaric) Apple headphones which not only sound awful, but barely try cut out the effing and jeffing from our little friends. I think it was all karma as this meant that I had to suffer nearly as much as Rachel who had the fat knob head sat next to her. (Interestingly enough, half of my readers well get upset at me “body shaming” him calling him fat, the other half at calling him a knob head. Just to reassure you…he was a fat knob head.) We were all embarrassed to be in any way related to Liverpool. Even Tibu was embarrassed and he’s Spanish! 

Eventually the ordeal was over and we got off that plane as quick as we could (that’s one advantage to speedy boarding, quick on, quick off). Queuing for passport control we could still hear them being disruptive in the queue behind us. We guessed that they would not be in the hire car queue (please not after the amount they had consumed); but there was a lovely epilogue to this. Mum was sat in the baggage reclaim (why she was sat there on her own will come clear tomorrow) and she saw one of of our little friends being apprehended by the Civil Guard and escorted away. I really hope that rubber gloves were involved.  

Tomorrow; bags and belts. 

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