As I sit, poised on the edge of my seat, my left eye twitching, clutching my wheely and passport ready to bolt for the gate where our plane is now boarding, I realise that travelling with Husband is probably not good for my blood pressure.
There are two types of travellers, those who like to arrive at the airport in plenty of time, to perhaps browse in duty free or visit Starbucks and keep stress to a minimum, and those who are quite happy to draw up outside the terminal in a taxi as their flight starts to board, saunter through security and dawdle to the gate as their name is being called over the tannoy.
Now I am not saying that one way is better than the other, but as a member of the first group, and Husband a fully paid up member of the second more, devil may care community, things can get rather tense when we travel together, as we frequently do.
I like to leave home with plenty of time built in for traffic jams, late taxis or just Acts of God. Husband will frequently ring to say he is leaving the office for the airport when I have already cleared security. Luckily I always make sure that I have all my documents with me so that if he misses the plane, I can still travel. In fairness he has only missed two flights, one due to the fact we had forgotten the clocks moved forward an hour that day and the other because he got lost on the Japanese train system somewhere between Kyoto and Osaka (easy to do when you don’t speak Japanese).
Part of the problem is the fact that we hardly ever travel with check-in baggage but carry our lives with us in carry on bags. With the low cost airlines, once the overhead lockers are full, anything left over is put in the hold which adds to the journey time at the other end as you are forced to hang around the baggage carousel waiting anxiously for your suitcase to appear. So getting your wheely on board is vital to ensuring that you go straight from the plane jetty onto a train or into a taxi. As stowing the luggage is done on a first come, first served basis, sitting in the lounge finishing an email or wandering blindly away from the gate while on the phone can be the difference between a breezing onto the plane and having the luxury of placing your bag in the bin above your head or frantically forcing your way down the aisle looking for a non existent space to cram your possessions into, at least 19 rows away from where you are sitting. Teenage Son and Daughter now insist on carrying their own documentation if they are flying with us, so they can board when they like and not wait anxiously for Husband to appear after he has vanished in a puff of smoke while taking a call.
Funnily enough I can see that our offspring are following in our footsteps. Teenage Daughter has always been slightly dippy when it comes to travelling, although we recently discovered that she needed glasses. This may explain why she couldn´t get to grips with the London Tube system as she was completely oblivious to maps on the wall or directions to the various platforms. ¨Wow, is this what everyone sees?¨she asked as she put on her new glasses for the first time and the world swam into focus. She, like her father is very relaxed about timings and thinks nothing of popping into Lush to buy a few bath bombs while she only has 20 minutes to get across London to catch a train. Teenage Son on the other hand is a whizz at getting around and can plan and execute a journey using multiple modes of transport and like me, prefers to travel with plenty of time in hand.
The slightly annoying thing is that both Husband and Daughter always seem to arrive in the knick of time while I have been gnawing my fingers to the bone waiting for them. I think the only solution is to take Teenage Daughter´s advice. ¨Chill Mother¨ she says as I am spluttering about timings. So henceforth I will ¨chill¨ and travel in splendid imaginary isolation and board the plane while still in my comfort zone and let the more relaxed members of the family waft on board when the mood takes them.