#NewSeries – Silly Willy goes to England – Arriving in England
We walked through a glass tunnel between the aeroplane and the airport. Mom pushed Willy in his pushchair. He reached out and dragged his fingers along the glass making long, sticky streaks. Mom didn’t notice and he grinned at me. He knew he shouldn’t do that.
The sky outside was grey and dreary. It didn’t look at all welcoming. Droplets of rain splattered the glass and I saw puddles on the ground outside. Mom and Nana went straight to the queue for people with red passports. Dad has a green passport, so he joined a different queue. I didn’t like that. What if we couldn’t find Dad when we got to the other side?
Our queue was short and we were soon in the biggest airport I had ever seen. Much, much bigger than the airport in Johannesburg.
“Where’s Dad?” I asked.
“He’s coming. Let’s sit here on these chairs and wait for him.”
“Why didn’t he stay with us?”
“Your dad is South African. He has to go in the queue for foreigners. We are English so we can join the shorter queue.”
“Can’t we go in the long queue with Dad?”
“We could do that but Nana gets tired if she stands for to long so I decided we should rather use the short queue and sit and wait for your dad.”
After a long time I saw Dad walking towards us. Mom and gone over and stared anxiously at the queue a few times. She smiled happily at him.
“I am so glad you are finally here. We all need to go to the bathroom and I didn’t want to have to take all the bags with us.”
Mom took Willy and I with her into the ladies bathroom. I would prefer to go to the men’s bathroom with Dad but I knew Mom would get cross if I asked her so I didn’t.
The bathroom was large and there weren’t many people in it so early in the morning. We all went to the toilet and then went over to the basins to wash our hands.
“Yuck,” squealed Willy, pointing into the furthest basin on the right hand side. “Someone has been sick.”
Someone had been sick and it looked disgusting. Mom led us to the basins on the opposite side. I was happy to be able to wash my face with a washcloth and brush my teeth but the thought of that dirty basin made me feel a bit sick.
Mom perched Willy on the counter between the basins and made him brush his little teeth. He wriggled and closed his mouth making it difficult for her but she was relentless. Willy’s teeth would be brushed. Mom managed it much to Willy’s dismay.
“I’ve never know such a child for making a fuss,” said Nana.
When we came out of the bathroom, Dad picked up Willy and we all walked to the luggage collection point together. We had spent so much time waiting for Dad and then going to the bathroom, our luggage was already on the conveyor belt when we got there.
Getting our luggage was easy; collecting our hire car was more challenging. First, we had to find the car rental place. Dad didn’t know where it was which surprised me. Dad always knows where everything is and how to get there. He asked a nice lady at Information where to go and came back to tell us we had to catch a bus.
Dad and Mom pushed the heavy luggage trollies back through the airport to a door on the other side. The wind hit me in the face as we walked outside. The bus came quickly, but not quickly enough for me. It was freezing. The biting wind swept across the road and my nose and fingers were soon burning with the cold. When the bus arrived the driver, a jolly man with a big smile, helped Dad load our luggage into a storage space underneath the bus and we were soon on our way to fetch our holiday car.
Mom rummaged through our hand luggage and found our woolen gloves, scarves and hats. The bus was warm but I put them on thankfully when we reached the car hire place. We waited for a long time before Dad came with the car. It wasn’t windy where we waited, sitting on our luggage, but it was cold and I was grateful for my gloves and hat.
Willy and I entertained ourselves breathing out clouds of smoke. It was fun until Willy got tied of playing this game and started to whine and moan.
“Would you like a lollipop?” Mom asked us.
Of course we wanted one. It was a rare treat for Willy and I to be given a sweet in the middle of the morning. Mom had black circles under her eyes and her face looked pale. She usually has pink cheeks so I knew she was tired.
At last Dad came back. He had completed the paperwork and we collected our car and set off on our English adventure.
“This car is big,” said Mom.
“Yes, it didn’t cost much to upgrade it so I did.”
Mom didn’t say anything further but she had a funny look on her face.
An hour later we arrived in Faversham where Nana’s sister lived. We were going to stay in her house while she was on holiday. Faversham is an English village near Canterbury. I had read about Canterbury which is where the famous saint, Thomas Beckett, is buried. I was looking forward to visiting Canterbury Cathedral.
Dad tried to pull the car into the allocated parking bay but it was to big.
Nana’s sister looked surprised to see such a big car. All the other cars in the street were small.
“There is nowhere to park a car that size,” she said.
Poor Dad. He had to drive the big car all the way back to the airport and get a smaller one.