My day yesterday began dark and early at five am when I got up to go to the George Best City Airport to fly to Birmingham for a day of training. While slightly sleepy, I was looking forward to a good day of travelling with two friends from work, some useful training and (last but not least!) a day away from the office. After a bumpy flight and Starbucks caffeine injection we made it to the offices on time. Strange but true, the accounts analysis training was (thankfully) more interesting than it sounds.
After our work day came the highlight - a visit to Birmingham's premier shopping centre called - wait for it - The Bullring. How cool is that?! Sounds exponentially more exotic than a mall. Anyway, it was huge (see pic and imagine me playing the part of wide-eyed country mouse visiting the big city) but after the early morning start and all the travelling we were a bit too tired to do battle with frenzied Brummy (read people from Birmingham) Christmas shoppers.
Having managed to get a snazzy new top for my work's 'Christmas Do' tomorrow night, we made our way back to the airport with lots of time to spare before our flight. All was going according to plan until about five minutes before we were due to touch down in Belfast the pilot announced that we would soon be landing at John Lennon Airport in Liverpool! Say what?!? Apparently, due to a power failure in Scotland (picture people eating haggis and playing bagpipes in the dark) which affected air traffic control we couldn't pass over Scottish air space en route to the Emerald Isle. Never having been keen on flying through uncontrolled airspace, Scottish or otherwise, I sat back and enjoyed my complimentary cup of tea. Somewhat unfortunately we didn't get off the plane so I didn't get to meet any Scousers (read people from Liverpool.)
In addition to the Bullring, I have to say that one highlight of the very long day was learning the lingo of my travelling companion Laura who uses a fab if somewhat indecipherable version of Cockney rhyming slang. When she found out we wouldn't get home till after midnight she exclaimed something to the effect of, 'Well, I'm cream crackered but at least were not on our Jack Jones!' which actually means 'Well, I'm tired/knackered but at least we're not on our own!' She's a talking riddle. I love it.
Well, to make a long story long, twenty hours after I set out I returned to home sweet home feeling slightly bedraggled and not much like getting up for work in the morning! Roll on Christmas vacation!