Christmas, Part 4: the UK

I think we're up to Part 4 now. The UK can be summed up pretty quickly:

God-awful flight over there. We left an hour and a half, 2 hours late. Got diverted via Liverpool, because we didn't have enough fuel to carry on circling Manchester. Got told we were going to be bussed back to Manchester with our luggage. Then got told we weren't going to be bussed back, because we weren't allowed off the plane. We weren't, apparently, allowed off the plane, because we had flown in from a non-EU country, and Liverpool airport apparently doesn't have any customs and immigration staff available midway through a Monday afternoon.

A long hour or two later, we were refuelled and ready to fly back to Manchester, but Manchester was shut again because of the cold. Easyjet handed out water. Still no explanation at all in any language other than English as to what was happening - I explained to the couple behind me who spoke very little English, and who were utterly confused. No one on staff spoke any French, so they wouldn't do an announcement. My friends were still waiting for me in Manchester, ostensibly for lunch. As the afternoon wore on, lunch looked less and less likely.

Finally we took off and landed in Manchester at about 5pm. (Not quite the 12:30 promised - does anyone know if Easyjet owe me money or something? I'm doubting it, but you never know...) Finally got into town, had a drink with friends and we all went to Leeds to find our hotel and have dinner. I was shattered by this point, so undoubtedly made crap company over the evening - thank you, Jenny and Fran for putting up with me nonetheless! And the curry was awesome - I miss curry!

The next day we went to London, where we stayed in a really cool hotel near Old Street. Can't remember its name, but the staff were fantastic. Met up with my old boss for lunch, did a lot of reading by the fire in the hotel, generally did very little, until it was time to go to Paul's family for Christmas Eve. Oh, and went to the dentist. Where I found out that ten years of neglect and ignorance hadn't really damaged my teeth nearly as much as I had feared, and all I need is 2 appointments of gum torture and cleaning, and I should be back to normal again. Fabulous.

Christmas was fun - I discovered I am crap at Scrabble, which wasn't really a surprise. Lunch was lovely, as ever, and I got a fabulous Christmas present. He is now sitting on the breakfast bar near the non-working telly. Boxing Day was lovely, too - we go to see all of Paul's extended family, and it's nice (unlike our extended family, who plot ways to kill each other when we're in the same room for more than 5 minutes. No, really.)

The day after Boxing Day, we went back to France, on the Eurostar. Which had started working again by then, thankfully. We were a little worried, given Eurostar's recent history of total collapse in bad weather, but they'd sorted it all out by the time we were travelling. Which is nice.

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