Well that was an ordeal. The day went pretty smoothly for the most part, moving stuff about and checking out of our house etc – I even managed to chill out on the sofa at Charlotte’s for an hour or two – and Clare and Austin very kindly drove us to the airport, and we even got away with checking 5 bags (probably 85kg of stuff). However, it all went downhill from there.
We had a quick drink with C&A before going through security, whereupon our bags were taken assisted for searching. Confident in my innocence I told Kelly to go ahead to the gate, assuming I would be along in a minute.
However, this was not to be the case – after waiting for the incredibly slow lady to search all the other bags before ours, mine was searched and nothing was found. On further X-raying I was told that I was concealing a lock knife. I was sure this was not true, but lo and behold there was a small (3 inch blade) knife lurking in one of the internal pockets. I had bought it in Guatemala a few years ago, and it was seemingly up to the lady whether or not it was a restricted item. Somebody higher up the chain of command informed her that it was prohibited, and I had to come over to security while the police were called. Shocked, I protested that I did not know that this knife was illegal in the UK (as it apparently is) but this persuaded nobody.
Kelly had rung numerous times, the final boarding call had occurred and they had informed the gate that I was delayed. Up sauntered two policemen, who started by asking if I had been arrested before. Nope. They then informed me that I was carrying a prohibited weapon, and that this was not acceptable. I said I had been on the farm over Christmas with the same bag, and that it must have just caught in the lining (mostly true, although I have been carrying it about for the last couple of years almost all the time).
The solution to all this? Google. I was asked the name of the farm, and upon receiving the information one policeman turned to the other and said “You couldn’t google that for me could you Pete?” One swift search later and I was being quizzed on the details of the farm.
Somerset. Pigs, cattle and some horses. Pedigree pigs. RBST stuff. Maddaford herd.
That last one did it. I was given a stern warning not to do anything like this again, and sent off to my flight – I ran at full pelt (in a massive coat, untied boots and carrying at least 20kg of bags) down to gate 11 where I was the penultimate person to board – the ultimate one begin Kelly, who had been sent off with a member of staff to find me. That was not a good start to the journey.
Still, we are on the plane (somewhere over France), I think I will probably be forgiven for my foolish mistake, and there is whiskey and curry on the way. Phew. Also I shall leave time for fuck-ups in future.