So we arrive at the airport. On time and thankfully sans the small piece of excess baggage Alfie had stowed away up his left nostril. (Thank you Jesus)
That's when the fun really started.
1 x large suitcase for the hold? Check.
4 x handbaggages? Check.
2 x single pushchairs each with child in? Check.
1 other child? Check.
5 x passports? Check.
1 billion x checking in tickets and other printouts from online booking? Check.
1 x slightly frazzled NotQuiteSupermom? Check.
Ok. All going well.
Until they weigh the suitcase.
I forgot to check the weight allowance.
We are 7 kilos over.
Nice Airport Lady to Mr G: "that will be £340 for the extra 7 kilos please."
Mr G: (barely audible whisper) "pardon?"
Nice Airport Lady: "Unless you can redistribute the extra 7 kilos in your hand luggage?"
Mr G: "Oooo...difficult decision."
Cue frantic unpacking and repacking scenes and NotQuiteSupermom cursing the fact that she allowed her eldest to bring his BIBLE...possibly the heaviest thing on the planet..despite her efforts to convince him that his Star Wars comic book would have been a far less weighty option (and possibly slightly more normal for an 8 yr old.)
Now our carefully packed handluggages are like carrying bags of bricks around.
Still. Onwards and Upwards as they say.
My personal favourite.
To get there we had to navigate a 10 mile maze of snaking barriers to travel (if you took the direct route) about 3 feet.
It looked as though the airport might have been expecting a stadium full of people to start queuing.
Except there were no people about.
Just us and a lone security man who could barely hide his mirth at watching us go round..and round...and round...and round...and round..(yep..you get the picture)and round the barriers.
I have to admit that had it not actually been happening to me I probably would have found watching it vaguely amusing.
Bored security man: "Pushchairs folded down..empty your pockets..children through one at a time."
Does he have any idea how long that is going to take?
2 folded pushchairs, 2 crying children after being forcibly removed from said pushchairs, 10 tonnes of fluff, 27p in 1 and 2 pence pieces, 4 hairbands, 2 fluff covered emergency dummies and 3 old smarties later....and his instructions have been followed pretty much to a T.
Unfortunately the stadium full of people the airport thoughtfully provided the snaking queue barriers for have turned up behind us and are waiting rather unpatiently. Some are even tutting. Obviously none have children.
I put my hand baggage on the x-ray machine.
Suddenly security alarms start ringing all over the place and two fairly burly (and not overly friendly looking) security guards pull me to one side.
Not overly friendly looking security guard #1: "Is that your bag Madam?"
NotQuiteSupermom (quivering slightly): "Yes officer..I believe it is."
Not overly friendly looking security guard #2: "Did you pack this bag yourself Madam?"
NotQuiteSupermom: "AH HA HA HA HA HA. Oh. Sorry. You are serious. Yes..I packed every bloody bag 2 weeks ago and then repacked them about a zillion times...and not ONE bugger helped me."
Not overly friendly looking security guard #1: "We need to search the bag as we have reason to believe you are carrying an offensive weapon in your hand luggage."
Mr G (hissing): "what did you pack?"
In delves the security guard, past the nappies, wipes, pirate figures, snacks etc etc. Into the little back pocket..wherein lies...actually...I dont bloody know. I NEVER look in that pocket.
Out comes his arm brandishing my hot pink Swiss Army Knife type gadget.
Oh. Shit. I vaguely remember putting that in the bag about 2 years ago incase I ever needed it. Ironically I have NEVER needed it. Hence the reason I forgot about it.
NotquiteSupermom: "Thats not an offensive weapon. Mr G's mother gave me that for Christmas..and its pink?"
Not overly friendly looking security guard #1...flicks open the knife part of it (in a very macho way it has to be said)
NotQuiteSupermom: "Ah. yes. see your point (literally)."
Not overly friendly looking security guard #2: "we will have to confiscate this from you Madam."
NotquiteSupermom: "Ooohhh. Really? Can I bring in some other things the Mother in Law got me for Christmas?"
Not overly friendly looking security guard #1: *sigh* "No Madam, you can't."
So off we all skip, breathing in the freedom of the departure lounge all happy and jolly after the small run in with security.
Until I suddenly remember how terrified I am of flying.
AND how "low budget" and "airline" really should not be mixed.
What also should not be mixed is a stressed out, scared stupid of flying mom and white wine.