07:26 Cleethorpes–10:33 Manchester Airport
13:45 Manchester Airport–17:20 (i.e. 16:20 at home) Palma, Mallorca
23:00 Depart Palma
Day 236 Saturday 24 August Jeremiah 51-52
It was still dark when the alarm clock sounded at 5am. Shaving was hindered, despite having the room lights on, because it wasn’t fully light outside, on what proved to be a grey, rainy, very misty day. There were final packing, weighing and checking, before the taxi to the station arrived at 7am. There were two separate trains on the platform, with a considerable walk to the farther one. This wasn’t available at first to board, so we took shelter under the station awning with two other older lady travellers. It was a somewhat less comfortable Siemens “Class 185” today — not the “Class 170” of our previous trip…. Updated this diary. Did Day 218’s Bible reading (to 08:20) and Day 219’s (to 08:44). Shut down the computer before we got to Meadowhall, but resumed after Sheffield when it was plain that no-one would occupy the reserved-from-Sheffield seats next to us. Did Day 220’s reading (to 09:37). Played some Shostakovich: Ballet Suite №4 and the first movement of Symphony №10. At Manchester Airport, all but the first of the moving walkways in the succession of raised-level “tubes” to Terminal 2 were working this time. The check-in desks for the Thomson 13:25 TOM2640 and 13:45 TOM2644 (ours) flights, both to Palma, Mallorca, were open and the queue was short. These were the documents I produced, as well as handing over our passports for checking:
We asked about extra leg-room seats, and were offered two at the front for £20 (a two-for-the-price-of-one deal). So we checked in the hold luggage at this desk, then went across to pay for the seats and be issued boarding passes. Thence up the stairs for security checking. I got through without setting off the alarm this time. Janet’s bag was searched yet again, though. I had a piri-piri chicken sandwich, a bottle of Lucozade, and a packet of Kettle’s sea salt and balsamic vinegar flavour crisps, and Janet had a diet cola. We got them from Boot’s, and Janet had more than enough credit on her Boot’s store card not to have to pay. The two hours “airside” seemed to pass quite quickly. We bought magazines at one of the branches of W. H. Smith dotted around; mine was an issue of Time commemorating fifty years since Martin Luther King’s “Dream” speech.
When boarding started, ca.1.30pm, people with high seat-numbers boarded the plane first, so with “1A” and “1B” allocated to us, we were among the last to board. Just behind the bulkhead, with room to stretch legs out, and two windows to look out of, we decided we’d try to get these seats in future. Somebody boarding asked if she could sit in the third seat, and the cabin stewardess said she could, but would have to sit in her allocated seat for takeoff and landing; as it happened, she didn’t come back. Some of the Time articles were written in a trendy transatlantic dialect the understanding of which eluded me at key points, but the Martin Luther King stuff was mostly accessible enough. We took off somewhat late, a bit after 2pm, but landed about on time. For much of the way there was a blanket of cloud below us. It was interesting that there were sometimes several cumuli billowing up from the otherwise flat blanket.
Saturday 24 August 2013 — ?17:49:26[i]
Saturday 24 August 2013 — ?17:57:02[ii]
Crossing the coast near Barcelona
…We were waiting at the baggage-claim carousel for some time before it creaked into motion
(ca.6pm). There’d been quite a trek down a long corridor from the arrival-cum-departure lounge, then through a cursory passport check, and thence to the carousels; the luggage therefore had to travel the same distance.… Usually, one finds the holiday rep(s) just outside, but there was a
Thomson rep actually inside the concourse telling us which exit to use (№5), and another one outside, checking off names, telling us which of the coaches to board (№2). The cases were stowed below, and we got on, finding it nearly full. We were given an information sheet, explaining the embarkation procedure, and a health declaration (“any nausea or vomiting?”) to be completed by the lead passenger of the party.
Finally, there was a knock on the door, and it was the porter with the cases. In addition to the information, above, that we were given, there was in the cabin the first of the usually four-page news-sheets,
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