This morning I got up at 5 am to get on a red eye to London. I should say now that it was a rather infamous budget airline and so for obvious reasons I woke up anxious! I try to avoid said bus of pain if I can.

I try, I really do. I look at the price comparison, I tot things up, I will myself to suck it up and get on board but somehow the more I d0 it the less that 20 quid saving matters. I feel like I was being herded, lined up for slaughter or branding or milking maybe. I did this a lot as a kid, herding cows with my uncle in Galway and it’s much more fun to be the one bossing cows/people around than being shoved and dragged about by dower chicks in nasty blue uniforms.It ended for me when I had a public ‘difference of opinion’ with a scowling hostess who had a similar tone to Mrs Hannigan from Annie. She was indignant and there was a slight hint of vodka on her breath. She insisted my bag was too stuffed. It was, my handbag was in my carry-on because they insist upon this.

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She pulled me out of the lineup and asked me to check my bag for €50. Not a fucking chance. I had, as it happened already checked in a bag but packed light thinking I could whiz off on the other end. She wanted to charge me again. It was never going to happen. I’m not the most frugal of chicks but I don’t digest being ripped off very well. I would eat my handbag before she got a cent and I was pretty vocal about this. I stuffed my fat Filofax down my jeans, added two jackets to my person,  folded, rolled, tightened everything and with a gentle stamp managed to stuff the bag in the ridiculous allocated testing slot.

I’m not the first to do it and just this morning I saw a chick doing exactly the same thing. The best part is that people are egging you on. It’s an us versus them type scenario where ‘getting one up’ on the boss man feels like the ultimate payback. Of course it’s not and he couldn’t care less but it’s the little victories…

One would imagine the fun stops once you’ve managed to travel puffy eyed and delicate through security, walk 2 miles in heels to your gate, fight your way past the blue bird and stand in line for a first-come-first-served seat (one of which is more uncomfortable than the other so I don’t know why we bother) but NO the fun is really just beginning..

I manage to get a seat opposite to a charming man in what is clearly a woman’s missing cardigan doing a crossword with a “it’s Britney bitch” earpiece (it’s 7am, WTF) , the guy to my right is giving out to himself and scratching and puffing and I fear he may have drugs up his anus although he’s dressed like a fat banker. The woman across the aisle appears to be related to Helena Bohan Carter or at least admires her unique sense of style. And out of my eyeline but definitely affecting it is a faceless person with a BO problem that’s really quite upsetting. I think she’s wearing a blue uniform…