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December 03, 2007

Empty flight home

Hello. It has been a couple of months since we posted anything on 'A lemon tree of our own'. We were both very busy when we were back in London, and needed a chance to re-charge our blogging batteries - but we've been back home in Crete for a month now.

On our last day in the UK we had a major surprise day out. For our wedding anniversary I told Claire to be ready with her bags for the airport at 9am on the day before we flew, and then took her to Cambridge for the day. We went on a ghost walk of my own devising (which you can read about here and here) and then I took her to see Idlewild at the Cambridge Junction. I managed to keep it a surprise until we were literally queuing to get in, and she saw a poster and started hyper-ventilating "Oh my god are we going to see Idlewild!".

The downside of it all was that it meant getting a coach from Cambridge City Centre at 3am in the morning to catch our flight to Heraklion. If that wasn't bad enough, whilst we were waiting I got a phone call from the nightwatchman at the hotel where we had been staying, asking me to come back and either pay or show my receipt to prove I had paid. Given that we had paid for a full night's stay and had only had the room for a couple of hours, I was less than impressed.

20071201_emptyairport The flight itself was so strange that it felt like we might have stayed in bed and still been dreaming. We got to Stansted just before 4, and were checked in and through security in about 10 minutes. I could get used to travelling at that time in the morning! Waiting in departures we had twiddle our thumbs until Starbucks opened to get a coffee, and then we made our way to our departure gate. Where we sat with the entire compliment of our flight - all 8 of us.

Now, I had a pretty empty flight back to Crete at the start of September, but nothing prepared us for this. Including the flight-deck, we must have had a one-to-one ration with the crew on the plane. It was XL's last outbound flight of the summer, and presumably it only runs in order to be in Heraklion to pick up people who had spent the October half-term break there.

We weren't complaining though. Although I did feel a bit silly about having asked for an aisle sit when we checked in. With just 8 passengers, we ended up with entire rows each, and being moved to next to the over-wing exits so we could get extra legroom.

I dread to think what it meant for our individual carbon footprint!

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A lemon tree of our own

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