Wednesday 23rd March
Well, firstly an apology. No blog written or posted on Tuesday. As you know I write the day before and schedule the blogs for release a day in advance. Monday my wife and I were travelling back from England, where I had been for my family get-together (my Birthday was the excuse) and my wife to see her grandchildren. It had all been quite a rush and for complicated reasons we had to be in England at the same time; this had never happened before and it was actually the first time we had ever flown together.
Monday morning and we were up early packing the last few things and planning to leave at eight in the morning for Stansted. I had read my e-mails and as I was getting in the car I read my messages. To my horror I saw a flight cancellation notice from Ryanair. No e-mail though, and we had to get the rented car back to Stansted by ten so drove there anyway. Thousands of stranded passengers everywhere; French Air-Traffic Controllers on strike, so no flights to France or Spain or Portugal – and the strike was threatened to last for three days. On the internet there were no flights back to Bergerac until Sunday, and hardly any to anywhere else either; it is the week before Easter after all. My wife, intrepid as ever, booked us with Easyjet to Geneva that day and we picked up a hire car and drove to Eymet ( a mere 600 kilometres) arriving just after midnight. We had arranged a dog-sitter but what with the Café and the dogs we were anxious to get back, and anyway as we had booked separately there was no guarantee that we could both have got back on Sunday.
So, a bit of a nightmare day really, but we are back. I can’t help but feel sorry for all those trapped at Stansted, but maybe planes are now flying or they can re-schedule. So, although I usually support the right to strike, when you see the chaos and heartbreak it causes to ordinary people trying to get to their Holiday destinations, it does make you wonder if there should not be a much better way to negotiate. And this is not the case of struggling nurses or poorly paid office cleaners but as seems more and more the case these days, quite well paid professionals who just happen to be in a position where they can cause havoc by striking. But, as we found there is nothing you can do, but just get on with life.