When Twat O'Leary decided to pull his Ryanair planes out of Shannon, I found that my planned Easter trip to TDT was slightly more convoluted. I could get there easily enough, but I couldn't get back. So, in a moment of insanity, I decided it might be fun to drive instead. This meant that either I got Chemo suitably waterproofed or I caught the ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare, and then a drive almost completely across Ireland. This was going to be an adventure, and would be fun for John as well. I also wanted to surprise TDT by appearing at her front door. I told her I would be over, but didn't say when. I also laid seed to her imagination by telling her I couldn't afford the day ferry so I would be arriving in the morning after catching the night ferry. Unfortunately, I wound her up a little bit too much and got her so fed up with my winding her up, in the end I couldn't be cruel any more and revealed the truth.
We left early on Monday morning, just after 9:30am. Stopping at a friend's en route for a cuppa and to drop off a DVD, we finally arrived into Fishguard at 12:30, ready for the 2:30 sailing. I'd decided I was going to take over rather a lot of stuff. Easter Eggs, Vodka, Coke, White Cider, light bulbs (!), you know, the usual sort of thing. So, as we started to move up the queue and into the Custom's inspection shed, my bottom started to pucker. Arriving in the open ended hangar, everyone was having their papers checked. About half were being led to one side, and they were having to empty their cars out. This was not a good thing. Sure enough, I get to the front of the queue, and the Copper smiled at me. I smiled sweetly back, and he just put his thumb up to me. So I put my thumb up back. He then looked skyward, before signalling "move on." No asking for documents/passports, no pulling over to empty the car, no marigolds and orifice searches. Result.
The last time I was on a ferry was with my father, crossing the channel back in 1991 to go to his place in Germany. It was an hour or so, and when you're young, it's easy and fun. This time we were looking forward to it. Promises of cinemas, free arcades, bars, restaurants, children's play areas, all were getting me looking forward to 3 and a half hours of fun. Yes, me, not John. He was a typical teenager, with the usual reaction of "meh! Whatever." I was disappointed. The arcade was mostly empty, and only had 2 machines. Both weren't free. The 'cinema' was two projection screens showing Sky News. The children's play area was a rectangle of carpet with some large padded cubes on it. After a walk around deck where it was a) fucking cold and b) fucking wet, we ended up going to the bar where I had a pint (or two) and settling down at the back of the ship for a kip. The sea got rougher and rougher. I was coping well, but John wasn't.
Note how the wake of the ship moves, and the horizon moves up and down. It didn't seem that rough, but the occasional crashing noise and subsequent shudder told me that the ship was pitching up and down through the waves. Eventually we moved form the back, so I could go and get something to eat. The rest of the ship was littered with pissheads and bodies of people trying to sleep off the sea-sickness. John and I were having much merriment at trying to walk in a straight line, but actually ended up looking more pissed than the pissheads. We sat in the restaurant for half an hour, but being that out of sight of the horizon for that long made John even greener, so we headed back up onto deck. The sea was foggy, visibility was very short, but all of a sudden John got a text. "Welcome to Vodafone Ireland" it said. I realised we were within range of a transmitter, and then suddenly out of the gloom came a harbour wall. We went to the stairs ready to disembark, our car was right at the front of the ferry. When we got downstairs and back to the car however, they let the rows go first, so we were actualy let off about half way down the queue.
Then began the drive across to TDT. That will follow tomorrow, with added woe from being done for speeding.
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