Sitting on my couch with a coffee about to watch an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia a wave of smugness washed over me…. I was 80% packed and had a full 35 hours till we’d be picked up for the airport. A viber message pinged and it was from Orlagh… my repping colleague from another life in Kusadasi and still one of my closest friends.
Me: “Sure did” (delighted with myself as I’m notorious (can’t think why) for being scatty especially around super-organised Orlagh)
Orlagh “Great.. (followed by lots of patronising clappy hand emoticons)
Orlagh: “What flight are u on actually?”
Me: “The Sunday morning flight”
Me: “O yeah arrives afternoon sorry”
Orlagh: “No, it arrives 20.45”
I felt a sense of dread and went to grab the tickets and a calendar. I looked from one to the other about 20 times before the realisation sank in …. we’re going tonight not tomorrow night fuckkkkkkkkkkkk!
I started ringing Ossie who was at work and didn’t answer for the first 40 times. When he did I was incoherent and babbling. He legged it home and raced to Dunnes 10 mins before it was to close as he had bought literally nothing, planning to use the following day to buy all his stuff. Meanwhile I was running around to neighbours to give keys and instructions with my phone clamped to my ear as they rolled their eyes and laughed at my eejitry.
I got the kids to bed and lay on my own wide awake till my alarm sounded at 3am and up I hopped with the monumental task of getting the 5 of us to Turkey in tact by the afternoon. I’m sure you can imagine or have experienced the scenes of carnage that ensued… a lost croc, a last minute poo (the husband), and a general air of open hostility.
In the taxi Conall began to ask a lot of questions about plane crashes and started muttering that he didn’t want to go. I plastered a fake smile on my face and told him that there hadn’t been a crash since 1900 when they first started making planes. I desperately hoped he hadn’t been googling or youtubing air disasters. His fear was forgotten amid duty free treats (I went with the Lancome Hypnose if you’re interested) and snacks but as we began to board he started to lash out a bit. We were boarded first and were near the back of the plane. I had to push him as his heels scraped the floor. He began to scream “LET ME OFF!!!! IT’S GOING TO CRASH!!” His eyes were unfocused, he was sweating and sheet white (Susan’s sheets, not mine, then he’d be grey or blue). I managed to wrestle him into his seat and Ossie got the other two into the seats opposite. I was worried at this stage that I’d have to leave the plane. He begged me to let him go and started screaming “SOMEONE PLEASE HELP”. He kept doing that thing toddlers do, making his back rod straight so I couldn’t grab him to hug his worries away. I was aware but unconcerned of the murmurings of other passengers. At this point a flight attendant stepped in, Darryl Sheridan (Aer Lingus) and he was fantabulous. He brought us to the back of the plane and spoke calmly and reassuringly to Conall. I explained his autism and he simply nodded as if he had realised this already. In a last ditch attempt my son asked would Darryl knock him out (Mr. T style) but Darryl shook his head and said unfortunately no but he could get him maltesers. Whatever white magic he practised, we were back in our seats within 5 minutes and I got Conall’s headphones on and goat simulator (you don’t want to know) on the tablet. Darryl checked back regularly, especially when we ran into a bit of turbulence and he gave my arm the occasional sympathetic squeeze too… I loved him and have sent an email to Aer Lingus detailing my love and admiration and expect a restraining order in the post.
We arrived in Izmir to blazing temperatures and a tantruming 7 year old (getting revenge for the flight). All I wanted was a drink and a cigarette but we were off for a week to Amish territory in Seferihisar and some time with the Ozdemir brood.