There’s a reason flying from Stanstead is cheap

Stanstead airport is 50 miles away from our house. Gatwick is 63. Guess which one takes (massively) less time to get to? When booking flights, going from Gatwick cost nearly double to flying from Stanstead. In a bid to actually make it out of the country I naively booked Ryanair flights from Stanstead.

It should take an hour to reach the airport from my house so to be extra sure I left an hour and forty minutes before the allotted 2 hours to check in scenario. 3 hours later we were still on the North Circular and convinced we were going to miss our flight. We went running through the airport and naturally, were both stopped at security. Luckily both bags passed the test and I’m sure the nice lady checking our bags thought I was on the brink of nervous breakdown as, with 16 minutes until our flight took off, she let us through a special door to make it faster to the gate. Sadly she gave us directions to the gate and with both of us not having a clue, we ran almost the length of the airport before figuring out we’d gone the wrong way.

I have never run that fast or far in my life and we made it, panting to the gate, with 2 minutes until take off. Only to find the gate full of very bored, drunk people complaining about the delay. An hour later and we were in the sky, on our way, situated next to a very drunk person who was brilliant entertainment value.

I know I said in my last post that Ryanair is a false economy – since then they charged £32 for us to check in online, the seats were filthy, and a sandwich on the plane was £5.50. Hopefully I won’t be flying with Ryanair again and added to that list will be flying from Stanstead.

It’s time to buy a printer

Being a digital person I have very little use for a printer and have managed to get around having one of my own by asking friends to print the odd form for me*. When it was time to go away I asked my lovely sister if she would mind printing off our boarding passes and bring them when she came to collect the dog. I know, my sister is a saint and no, you can’t borrow her. She handed over the boarding passes and I noticed there were only 2, not 4 but figured we can print the return ones from our friend’s house in Portugal. No biggie. Until we arrived at Stanstead with 18 minutes until our flight took off and the barrier wouldn’t let us through. The lady at the desk explained that we only had passes for the return trip and not the outbound one. Bugger. Luckily I had the digital passes in my Apple wallet on my phone and we were let through.

On the way back, at Faro airport, we decided it would be easier to use the printed passes as my partner and I kept getting separated at security (I *may* have forgotten my phone was in my pocket when walking through the metal detector) so this way we would always have our passes on us. Until we were stopped again. Turns out in a trip that needed 4 passes, we had two of the same one, meaning my partner could have boarded the plane twice. Lesson learnt, I may not need a printer very often and thank goodness for my iPhone but from now on, as a back up, I’ll be buying a printer.**

*one of the forms was 20 pages long – sorry!

**between writing and publishing this list the bestie has confessed that she has just bought a new printer. I will not be buying one for the foreseeable future – especially as I have a key to her house.

Getting older isn’t so bad

It was my birthday this week. It was a strange experience as, being a twin means that until adulthood you never experience a birthday on your own. Once you’re an adult and your twin is having a more interesting time of things than you, you don’t really know what to do with your birthday. Luckily, this year I didn’t have to know what to do with my day. Having arrived home  from Portugal at midnight, my very exhausted partner got up at 6am and decorated the house with Happy Birthday banners. Then began a day of fab surprises – being presented with my very own tiara – for real! It’s a Star Wars one and oh so fabulous. Seeing all the kids after 5 long days without them, a birthday dinner and of course, cake!

I can honestly say that I’ve been a lot happier in my 30s than I was in my 20s and if it means I have to get older and a bit more wrinkled then I’ll take that any day of the week. Ok it’s not so fun that everything seems to ache in the morning and the tiredness (before midnight!) is unbelievable but it’s so worth it.

Blogging for business is always worthwhile

I was reading an interesting article from a blogger, Hannah Gale, saying she was focusing on Instagram and micro blogging rather than more traditional, longer blogs due to the market trend in her field. Since writing that on 16th March she’s written another 3 posts in 10 days. This isn’t because Hannah’s hypocritical, it’s because blogs will always be relevant to anyone with their own business. While fashion and beauty bloggers (such as Hannah) will find video content and micro blogging suit their audience more, for people offering a service, a good, old fashioned blog will always be well received.

There are 2 major reasons to blog:

  1. It shows your audience how good you are at what you do. It’s your platform and you are entitled to show off your expertise using your blog.
  2. Creating fresh content that your audience engages with will help your Google ranking no end. Google indexes websites that are producing fresh content, higher than those that don’t. Writing regular blog posts is a great way of having fresh content on the website without having to re-write the copy for the entire site.

To read more about blogging for business keep your eyes peeled or sign up to my resources mailing list as my very next blog is on this subject.

No matter how old you are, meeting parents is scary

I’m an autonomous 30 something adult so why is meeting parents still such an anxiety inducing experience?

When I was married I was lucky in that I had known my husband since childhood so his mother was someone I had always known and I didn’t ever have to do the whole formal, meeting the in-laws thing.

Skip forward a few years and I’m no longer married. I have a different partner and due to his parents living quite far away, I haven’t yet had to meet them. Until this coming weekend. This time it feels as though there is so much more at stake. I am bringing 2 (mostly) lovely children and a slightly crazy dog into the equation and I’ll admit it. I’m nervous. Naturally I want them to like me, think I’m great for their son and an asset to the family.

Who knows how it will go? My (ever-patient) partner assures me it will all be ok. I’ll report back next week.