Monday, 7 April 2008

Shoeless in Kirkwall

Listening to: Wishin' and Hopin' (Dusty Springfield)
Pigwatch: Kim nesting and pink around her hind quarters - any time now.
Weather: brightening after a horrible start

"Would you remove your shoes please sir?"


"Your shoes, sir. And put them in the tray so we can run them through the x-ray machine."

The trainee pig farmer/potential shoe bomber sighed. "This may take a bit of time. I've hurt my knee."

We were at Kirkwall airport with eight other passengers for the shortish hop over to Edinburgh, where I was to put my 15-year-old daughter on a flight to the Midlands, but they were playing everything by the book.

Relieved to be wearing clean socks, I removed my right shoe, then tried to reach the left one without falling over, considering my knee was refusing to bend and I was feeling dizzy from the very strong painkillers I had just taken. The other eight passengers waiting for the 7.40am flight were remarkably patient as I staggered, swayed and swore under my breath.

My comedy cartilage had decided to pop out sideways the night before, leaving me in considerable pain and, by the time I reached the airport, barely able to walk unassisted.

I managed to scrounge a couple of co-codamol which loosened everything up enough for me to answer the "would passenger Trainee Pig Farmer please report to baggage conciliation?" call. The Youngest and I stood there while a middle aged man rummaged through her underwear - embarrassing and very unnecessary.

At Edinburgh, The Youngest tried very hard not to look embarrassed again when I hugged her as she went off to departures and, with time to kill, it was bookshops, the Oxford Bar and Princes Street gardens, watching the drifts of daffodils where they meet the cliffs under the castle.

On the way home the Heathrow Terminal 5 fiasco held us up - three very harassed tourists clambering aboard 20 minutes late, fretting about their luggage, one wearing one of those Aussie bush hats that middle class people like to wear when they want you to know they come from the country. If I'd been a betting man, I'd have given it about 90 seconds in Orkney's winds.

I flopped into a taxi, ate an excellent piece of haddock with decidedly average chips and was in bed before I realised the very interesting new history of the Vikings I'd bought in Edinburgh was still on the plane.



Anonymous said...

Ah, the joys of air travel. So sorry to hear about your book!

The Birdwatcher said...

Its a sad job rummaging through a yong ladies underwear.I hope they don't enjoy it.

fiwa said...

Poor girl - I've never been through that particular indignation before, but I did have to put up with a search once that involved a woman feeling around my belt buckle and zipper. The lesson I learned was - never piss off the counter people, they can make your journey hell.

Your knee sounds really painful - hope it's on the mend.

FirstNations said...

what were you supposed to be hiding in your shoes, is what i want to know.

elizabethm said...

aargh no, sounds less a comedy cartilage than a major new drama. Doesn't flying just suck these days? Once on a trip to the states I had to change planes twice and each time had to take my shoes off, my laptop out of its case, have my hand luggage opened for all the world to see and all this in the same country. The treatment was reserved for foreigners of course. Hope the knee is on the mend.

Ginni Dee said...

Ouch, sorry to hear about your knee. Knees are a pain when they turn on you!! Wow, don't you hate leaving things on the plane!! Can you call the airlines? Maybe they would mail it to you. (In a perfect world! ha)

I'm so excited to hear about your piggies!! Keep us posted okay? And puleeeeaze, don't forget the photos. I'll be watching for news. I'm housemaid to 17 baby chicks. I'm loving farming, even if it is in my kitchen!! I love it!!!

Dave said...

I'll bring my bush hat with chin strap, when I come up (just three weeks to go) shall I?

Mangonel said...

Malc, you pig-farmer you, you may eat haddock in taxis in the Orkneys, but in London people will look at you funny. And This Is Not A Good Idea, in London.

I think on balance I would rather lose a knee than a book, but it's close . . .

KAZ said...

Well if you'd checked your Viking book in with your luggage you would certainly never have seen it again.

Anonymous said...

They serve haddock in taxis now?

Malc said...


I didn't eat haddock in the back of a cab - that's not done, even on Orkney. The cab dropped me at the cafe. I was trying to be brief. Sorry to mislead.

Brad said...

Sorry about the knee.

There's nothing that makes me grumble louder than loosing a good book.

Rol said...

I'm starting to wonder why anyone can be bothered flying anywhere. You're much better off if you just stay at home.

mig bardsley said...

You'd think a chair might have been found for a crippled TPF. No?

I was visualising a taxi complete with haddock, chips and ready made bed and thinking but what a pain having to get out of bed when you arrived home.
Shame about the Vikings. Hope the knee improves soon.