Sunday, 20 September 2009

Crusty On Tour - The Holiday Begins.

September each year is a special time for Crusty; it is the time of year when one locks up Crusty Hall securely and takes a relaxing break under Señor Sol, allowing his lips of bronzing warmth to kiss one´s velvety soft flesh as one relaxes by a pool or on a sun-drenched terrace somewhere.

This year a long awaited visit to one´s dear, dear Catalan friends in the beautiful city of Barcelona and the gorgeous town of Palafrugell, near Girona; following that, a quick flight to Granada to spend 10 days of reflection and tranquility at Crusty Villa.

Some months prior to one´s departure, one was sitting enjoying a chat and small libation in The Badger´s Snatch with landlady Fanny O´Dour and one of the village triplets, Ida Rash. We began to talk about holidays and Fanny remembered it was nearing the time of one´s annual big trip.

It was at this point during our intercourse that the Vicar came behind me. He had overheard our conversation and suggested one´s private jet should remain grounded - owing to the current economic climate - and that one should use a budget airline instead, as I had earlier in the year (One asks ... what is the point of having one´s own plane if one does not use it?). After a lengthy, heated discussion and the Vicar´s promise that his wife, Marjorie Flecks, would not sing at the Christmas concert, one yielded.

Anyhoo ... One must say that the Easyjet flight out from Newcastle International Conservatory was a rather perculiar experience. On the 9th September, Chauffer dropped one at the enterance of Newcastle International Conservatory, along with my faithful houseboy, Chu Me. Everything, so far, was going smoothly. One was expected the security experience to be unpleasant - it always is at Newcastle International; one understands the importance of security but one can still be vigilante and pleasant at the same time. Each time one sashays through the detectors and one is approached by a member of the security staff, one feels like shouting, "Crack your face and makes your arse jealous, dear!"

This time one was asked to remove one´s jewel encrusted footwear (one doesn´t remember diamonds or rubies ever being used by terrorists before) and then a lady - for want of a better word - ran her hands up and down one´s legs. When she had finished, she looked up with a face like a dockworker´s daughter. One looked down on her ... smiled ... and said, " I wonder, dear! While you´re down there would you mind refitting one´s shoes? ... Hmmm?"

That was the worst part over, one could now relax in the VIP lounge until called.

Eventually we boared the plane and Chu Me covered three seats with a thick velvet throw and scatter cushions; he hung one´s framed pictures of Mark Makes-my-mouth-water Warr and Colin his-twinkle-make-y´tingle Briggs over the seats in front (they travel everywhere with me). One reclined and fastened a seatbelt around one´s slender waist and watched as chaos ensued. It would appear that the majority of passengers had never flown Easyjet before ... if flown at all. Six people! .... Six people approached Crusty! All waving boarding cards," Do you know where the seat number is on here?"

"Goodness, dear! Does one look like staff? It´s free seating ... anywhere ... ANYWHERE!" I replied, waving them away with the back of one´s right hand.

Finally, all passengers were settled and a rather hard-faced stewardess (genes or an over excessive application of make-up, one is uncertain) greeted us with rapid succession of words that would have surely confused the foreign passengers on board; in the event of an emergency, we purr ??!!

Still, the rest of the flight was acceptable, or at least until we approached the magnificence of Barcelona´s El Prat airport. After such a silky smooth flight, it would appear that the pilot had not seen the rather large length of rapidly approaching tarmac beneath us. After an initial whack against the runway, the scream from the passengers and a spillage of gin, the plane bounced twice before the brakes were applied fiercley and all on board were propelled forward towards the seat in front. The remainder of one´s gin flew over the woman in front but, frankly, her split ends were annoying one intensely and the liquid managed to produce a far more appealing result.

The drama over, it was now time for Crusty´s holiday to begin.

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