View from the Pew

                                                  View from the Pews                                                                                          

Dear Readers,

Recently I travelled out to the Canary Islands for a 10 day break to get away from the cold and snow here in Birmingham and to enjoy the warmth and a bit of sun in Fuerteventura.  The holiday was lovely but the journey out to the island was less so.

We got to the airport and promptly joined the queue for security, not because we were running late but because the queue was so long.  The line of people had extended out of the security area and was trailing back towards the escalator in the coffee shop area.  This was clearly not right and unlike anything we had experienced before so we thought we had better forgo the cup of coffee and get on with things.  Well we joined the queue and crawled slowly nearer and nearer to the scanners.  After about 30 minutes we were past the boarding card check and into the usual queue for security. Some people were so frustrated (or getting too close their flight time) they left the main queue and fed money into the machine for the express lane.  Soon however this tactic ceased to be effective; too many people were choosing this option and so it was no longer fast enough to be called ‘express’. 

We still had time before our official boarding time so we sneaked along with everyone else and eventually reached the sign telling us that we were 1 minute away from the scanners and so to get out the phones, etc. ready for checking.  Ten minutes later we reached the scanners and again had to wait for ages to get everything through the machines.  It took us 90 minutes to do something that we normally takes a third of the time.  I had to feel sorry for the lady trying to carry out a customer satisfaction survey at the airport.  Most people refused to speak to her; one passenger summed it up by saying “If I talk to you I am going end up being arrested for being abusive to airport staff.” 

If we were concerned about missing our boarding slot because of the length of time taken in security we needn’t have been.  When we got to the gate we were told that our plane had developed a ‘slight fault’ on its flight into Birmingham consequently we were not going to use that plane (good) but we had to wait whilst a spare plane was found and made ready for us (less good).  Eventually we took off from Birmingham (only an hour and a half late) and started to look forward to a relaxing holiday.  However the day wasn’t quite done with us yet. 

When we got to the airport we had to pick us the car we had rented so we joined the queue.  There was an Italian lady being dealt with and a gentleman in front of us so we figured it shouldn’t take too long.  The minutes ticked past and more people joined the queue and we began to get a bit restless.  The man in front of us obviously understood more Italian than we did as he informed everyone that the protracted discussion was about the need for insurance.  Seemingly the lady was happy to rent the car without insurance but the car company were not, surprise, surprise!  Anyway they went back and forth for more than 30 minutes, whilst we were stood there, before they came to an agreement and the lady got the keys to a car.  So at long last everyone else in the queue could pick up their cars.  We eventually reached our accommodation, in the dark at 9 o’clock at night, when we had expected to drive there whilst it was still light.

So how did I survive this stressful journey with a relatively sane state of mind?  As it happens Nick talked the day before on Psalm 139, which reminds us that God’s surveillance is intended for our security, and that was the same intention behind the all authorities’ action on my travels.  And I did arrive safely, so it all worked, even if I had to remind myself of this on an increasingly frequent schedule during the day.

As ever,

Linda Caswell