I was scheduled to fly early Thursday morning to London, meet a friend for lunch, attend a networking event in the afternoon and then dine with a couple of clients whom I regard as friends. Then, on Friday, I’d spend the day at a conference, pressing the flesh before heading off to the airport. I’d be home in time for breakfast on Saturday. Having a stinking cold was a pain, but hey, what can you do?

Why so short a trip? Well, I have plenty of commitments at home, and leaving Mrs L home-alone shifts a lot of burden to her, on top of her full time job at school.

Once I learned that my Mum was facing up to a health challenge, I decided that getting to spend some time with her was more important than catching up with some friends. So, Tuesday night, I resolved to rejig the trip on Wednesday.

Mrs L left for work as I was getting caught up with the horrible events in Israel and Gaza. My phone started buzzing. 

Puncture. Mrs L was going to park at our local tyre shop, and I’d throw some clothes on to drive down and take her to work. I got her there only a little late, before returning to the tyre shop to wait for it to open. Leaving the car in their care, I went back up the mountain to grab a shower. I was scheduled to take Mrs L to the Doctor at 0930. We made it through the traffic in good time, and had an hour long consultation with what to do with the wife’s “Mediterranean back”. Then we nipped off to get our Covid boosters. 

I just had time to go home and cancel events on the trip, before picking up Mrs L again to take her to her restored car. Disturbingly, I was flying into Luton, where a multi-storied car park had burst into flames the night before, closing the airport. I had to doubt whether my airline would actually have an aircraft in Cyprus for my scheduled departure, even if Luton was open.

My friends had all been accommodating, but the world seemed to be throwing obstacles in my way. Still, fingers crossed, everything seemed to still be possible. 

Lightning flashed and the air cracked as a storm slid down the mountain, tripping the electrics. It was time to collect Mrs L. The storm and I descended together, the rain smashing into the tarmac. The road became a river, until at one point, it became obvious to me that Kyproulla would not make the route ahead. The standing water ahead looked at least a foot deep. Not a problem for a pick-up truck, but enough to drown a little Nissan March. I turned her around and found away around the village. 

Eventually, Mrs L, both cars and I made it home. Luton airport was reopened, and Wizz was making positive noises about its schedule. The site of my jab was sore, my cold was no better, my nose running and legs aching. Mrs L, superstitious as she is, was certain the fates were telling me to stay home. 

I set my alarm for 0300 and tried to get some rest. 

I arrived at Larnaca at 0450 to find the place unusually busy. There were no less than 8 flights to Israel before 10am.

Boarding the plane felt like a victory.

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