Monday, December 1, 2014

The journey starts here............

I've been quiet for a while haven't I?

Partly because I haven't had a lot to say, but I have also been thinking about and preparing for the trip that I have just undertaken to Israel. I booked my ticket way back in March this year when November seemed like months away so I didn't really think about it too much. I was excited to book it and thought it would be a great trip. I was going to be seeing and staying with the quilters who visited Ailsa Craig last year for the Quilts of Israel show.

Well, time marches on and then the events of the summer rather gave one pause. Was the fighting going to end soon, would I be safe and many other questions entered my head. I had friends tell me that I wasn't going and that was the end of it. I am not going to dwell on this too much, I am not a political creature and would prefer to keep my thoughts to myself as they are nothing to do with anyone else.

I decided that whatever happened, as long as planes were still flying to Israel, I was going. So it was that at the end of September beginning October I contacted Shoshi again and said that I was definitely going to be arriving as planned, she was delighted, I think, to hear that news and asked what I would like to see and do while I was there......

I gave her a long list and it wasn't long until I had an itinerary emailed to me which left me breathless, everything I had asked to see and do had been accommodated and I was not going to be idle-not that I wanted to be. I printed it off for the husband as he was staying here and not coming on this jaunt with me, as he told everyone, "It's women and quilts, why do I want to go?" People would then look at him and nod sagely. So he was being left here alone with Sir Leo Pard of the Fur for company, the lovely furry ginger cat.

All was arranged, I had my shekels and credit cards, passport and I had made gifts and had bought maple syrup for my hostesses and I had very carefully thought about what I was packing so as not to make my luggage heavy and also to make sure that everything matched everything else, so that I could mix and match my wardrobe.

To tell the truth, as the time got closer, I got more and more nervous, I really don't know why but put it down to the fact that I hadn't travelled on my own so far away for many years and I was just being silly. In the end, the packing was done, lists gone over several times, and then it was time to go. The husband was dropping me off at the bus company in London and I was travelling to the airport that way. The bus was full so not much room, a mix of passengers all silent and not taking any notice of each other....... then one of them gets a phone call. As none of us can live without a cell phone nowadays it should be no surprise, but the call was in a language other than that spoken by the majority of the bus, and went on and on... and on. In the end the bus driver told him to end the call as the rest of the passengers didn't need to hear his conversation even if we didn't understand it, it was just rude.

And so it was that we continued on our way in silence and were then dispersed amongst the terminals. Check in went well, and was easy, no hold ups, thank you Air Canada. I had plenty of time so decided to get myself down to the gate to wait for the flight. It was very quiet but I settled into a chair. Why is it that when you are in a space which is empty with plenty of other seating around, a family with children will come and sit directly behind you and then proceed to have very loud discussions? They could have sat anywhere. Oh well, no use complaining so get over it.

Time moved on, and then a group of security personnel appeared, and moved us out of the seating area as they needed to scan each of us individually. By this time it was fairly busy and there was now quite a crowd, however, it didn't take too long and then I settled in a seat while everyone started to queue. I have another question, why is it that when they board an aircraft by rows 31 to 42, when you eventually board, you find that some passengers in rows 15, 17. 25  etc are already seated? What am I missing? They are all able bodied so don't require assistance and do not have small children, I have never understood that.

Anyway, all baggage is safely stowed in overhead bins or under the seat in front of us and then it is time for cabin staff to cross check the doors and us to put our seat belts on and turn off all devices and then to push back from the gate and then make our way to the runway where there is a tremendous roar and the plane goes full pelt and then finally lifts off up into the sky....................

To be continued

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