I woke up, bleary-eyed, scrambling around trying to reach for the screeching alarm. Through my half-closed eyes I saw the room was pitch-black. The sun hadn't even risen yet. My body protested as I slowly clambered out of bed, tripping over my packed suitcase on my way out. 4.30am. Why did I choose such an early flight? I was kicking myself now, desperate for a couple more hours in bed.
As I get up and brush my teeth, it all starts to sink in. I'm going on holiday with my friends. This holiday almost didn't happen - for me, anyway. We all booked it months ago, finally deciding to go on a girls holiday. There's 7 of us so it's very difficult to co-ordinate holidays between us. Sadly, not all of us had been able to make it but 6 being able to attend was still good. That was until I got a phone call 2 weeks ago.
My grandad had unfortunately passed away a couple of weeks before. I'd sat holding his warm, frail hand as he gently slipped away. I knew the funeral was going to be shortly after but I had no idea it would be booked for the same day that I was going to be going away on. As I was only going to be going away for 3 nights as it was, it felt like a terrible coincidence. I almost didn't go away. Flights had tripled in price and I suddenly wasn't feeling up to leaving the country. It all felt too much and I almost gave into the overwhelming feeling in my stomach. I was torn. Either way I was letting someone down and I couldn't deal with that fact.
It didn't occur to me initially that I could do both until my mum found a flight for £50 the day after the funeral. I was only going to be in Mallorca for 2 days but it was better than nothing. I booked the flight, feeling slightly better but still incredibly frustrated at the situation. Funnily one of my key concerns was, I really hope my friends buy tea and salami from the shop so it's waiting for me when I arrive.
The day had now come. I could finally find out if they bought tea and salami for me! As I started to wake up, my tiredness began to fade and instead I became filled with excitement. Admittedly, I don't see my friends too often these days. We all have busy working lives so it's rare for us to come together. I wondered how the weekend would pan out.
I arrived at the airport, said my goodbyes and hopped on my plane. Well, it didn't all go as smoothly as that. I bought a Pellegrino at the airport using self-checkout. I left the store and suddenly decided my Pellegrino was missing. I raced back inside and stared accusingly at the person using the self-checkout counter I'd just used. Apologising, I rummaged around his shopping for it. Had it been stolen already? Everyone watched on, puzzled until I realised with a jolt that i'd been holding it the entire time.
"Oh," I exclaimed. "It's in my hand." Hot with embarrassment, I shuffled away. I felt the eyes of the entire W H Smith store boring into the back of my head. Well, it is 6am. Maybe I needed caffeine.
I made sure to pee at the airport. I have a notoriously small bladder as I've mentioned already here (yep, the time it almost got me eaten by a hippo) and here (yep, the time I had to pee with a giant moth). I sat not-so-comfortably in the middle of the middle row on the plane - yay, I struck lucky with my seat! Elbows protruded at me from all angles. About half an hour into the flight I needed to pee. Damn you Pellegrino! Not only that, my 2 neighbours were fast asleep, the one on the aisle snoring gently. I can hold it, no worries. 30 minutes passed and I was dying. My discomfort was unbearable. I kept debating whether or not to nudge my neighbour but just couldn't face up to it. There was still an hour and a half left of flying. How would I cope?
The smell of food from the approaching snacks trolly awoke my neighbour. She opened an eye and I pounced on the situation asking to go to the bathroom. Success! At least it was until I tried to head back to my seat only to find all isles were blocked with snack trollies. No! My heart dropped. Now I'll miss the sour cream and onion Pringles! Every so often, my neighbour would spin around to see if I was returning to my seat. Her disapproving look suggested she was clearly keen to go back to sleep. I started to get agitated as around 15 minutes passed and I was still stuck. Every single person on the plane was buying snacks it appeared. My dream of eating Pringles was rapidly fading.
I'd almost given up hope of having a snack when one of the men pushing a trolly spun around and sighed, "I'll let you go past now." He reversed his trolly just enough and I sprinted towards my seat, sitting down just as the other snack trolly arrived at my isle.
"Some sour cream and onion Pringles please."
At last I arrived. I met my friends who were all delighted to see me and was over-the-moon to discover the tea and salami just waiting for me. Most of the food from the first shop had been eaten (severe Diet Coke shortage) so I had arrived just in time for another. We all left the house and I shut the door behind me.
"Oh," I began. "I can't remember if I locked the patio doors."
One of my friends handed me the key, "We'll meet you at the gates."
I nodded before putting the key in the lock and trying to turn it. I kept reminding myself that the door had a triple-lock. I felt the first lock turn and the second. The third was the trickiest. However hard I tried, I couldn't get it to open. Well, I thought. This is embarrassing. I wasn't ready to admit defeat to my friends yet so continued wrestling with the lock. It wasn't budging and I gave in and asked for help. 2 friends, Ana and Ruth came back with me.
"You guys can continue to the shops. We'll meet you there." One of them shouted as the others opened the gates.
Both Ruth and Ana tried the lock too but nothing happened. No matter how hard any of us tried, the door just wouldn't open. Theories began to spiral round. Maybe the door has expanded in the heat? Maybe it's not aligned properly?
"Maybe we could turn it the other way." Ruth suggested.
Both Ana and I decided that was a silly idea and we all continued until our hands were raw and the key were on the verge of snapping. We tried pushing and we tried pulling. Nothing. Shit, we thought. We didn't want to have to call a locksmith to bust the door open.
"Let's go round the back," I thought. "The patio doors might be open and we can go in that way."
Well, the patio doors were in fact locked so we had to go back round to the front and continue trying.
The minutes went by and we knew our friends would start to worry soon. When we were all panting with exhaustion Ana decided to ring the others to let them know what was causing the delay. "We're not panicking yet but the door isn't opening."
As Ana put the phone down, we heard the door open. We turned to Ruth who had managed to make it through.
"I turned the lock the other way. We've been turning it the wrong way the entire time."
Well, that was embarrassing. But hey I've been up since 4.30!