Yesterday was hot. I’m not complaining – Lord knows we don’t get enough warm days around here – but it was hot. Sweat-trickling-down-my-ass-crack hot. I know, you didn’t need to be told that, right?
So after a day of sweating in an office with windows that can’t be opened (because of the construction site next door), I ran home to change into shorts and a t-shirt. I had to be at the airport to collect my Mother, and if I was going to brave the RER B, it certainly wouldn’t be in my work clothes.
The RER B was as bad I had thought it would be, so, even though the quick change was a nuisance, it turned out to be a great idea. Arriving at the airport, I was happy to step out of the sticky train and into the airconditioned loveliness of Charles de Gaulle.
I say loveliness, but as anyone who has been there knows, CDG is not lovely. It is impressive and utilitarian, but not lovely.
I got to the arrivals just as my Mom’s flight was declared to have ‘landed’. ‘Posé – 19.40’, said the screen.
And then the status of the flight didn’t change.
I waited, and I waited. The Air France desk knew nothing.
An hour after the flight landed, my mobile rang.
"It’s me" said my Mother. "I’m still on the plane"
Whilst I’d been stuck in the bowels of terminal 2, I hadn’t noticed the weather outside. It had changed from hot and sunny to hot and stormy. With thunder, lightening and torrential rain. And therein lay the problem.
The aircraft was at a remote stand, and they couldn’t get the passengers off the plane and onto a bus until the risk of a lightening strike had passed.
An hour later, she called me again.
"I’m still on the plane, but it’s all ok" she said. "I have a ham sandwich, an orange juice and I can use the toilet whenever I like". Whoever said she was difficult to please?
Two hours later, almost three hours after the plane had landed, my Mother emerged from the French customs area.
I gave her a hug and the usual "welcome to Paris" and then realised that something was a bit odd. Her outfit was fine, her hair was its usual self, but the accessories….what was going on?
"Are you wearing three watches?" I said, looking incredulously at my mother’s wrists.
"Oh, erm, I suppose I am, yes" she said. "I couldn’t decide which one looked best."
"So you decided to wear all three?"
"Well, to be honest, I put all three on to see which one looked best and then forgot to choose". She said, sheepishly. "To be honest, I hadn’t really noticed it until you said".
And there we go. She’s here for the weekend.
Let the games begin.