Well Mícheál Carchrie Campbell (Northern Ireland Lib Dem Chair) and I are currently having a race to see who can blog the early episodes of Operation Evacuate*, over the table from each other as Bangor comes into view on the starboard side.
Hiccup One shortly after the 300 deposited me in Belfast City Centre I had a phone call from Enterprise (hire company number two) of Operation Evacuate's chequered history in getting the key incredient (ie the van) sorted. The person on the other end of the line said, "We are sorry but the van you have booked will not be available in time, will a small transit do?" My reply was no not with the size of the fridge/freezer amongst the other things that I am having to move.
So after they said a van would be available tomorrow, too late for the crossing we had booked, they said they would call back with alternatives. They did they found another van hire place that had the van we were looking for. Phew problem sorted.
Update to be fair the Enterprise Cares tweeter has replied twice to my earlier Tweets to make sure that everything was Ok.
Hiccup Two was a minor one. Mícheál ended up having to stay longer at his morning meeting
that he thought he would have to. Then on the trip in from Glengormley got on the wrong bus. So ended up going to his to pick up his stuff before meeting me. But the silver lining was that Pam Tilson called to say grab a sandwich, I'll put the kettle on in the office and we can catch up til he gets here. So we did until Mícheál turned up.
Hiccup Three the security at the port after asking to see our booking reference asked Mícheál to open up the fan. So he stepped out and used the ignition key to open the dead lock on the door. For someone who speaks English and Irish he reverted to the Anglo-Saxon when a snapping noise was heard. Followed shortly there after with a plaintive 'Stephen, come here'.
I was on the phone to McGladery's to say what had happened and could they ship down the spare set as we were immobile less than 10 miles into Operation Evacuate. I was asked if we could get up to them, I said could you taxi them down and I'd pay for that it would be quicker and cheaper. We were blocking one of the two lanes to get access to the HSS queues.
Alana and Peter who were on duty were glad we were able to laugh about it. Alana however may not have been too observant if she had looked into the back of the van. She said we'd better call our 'wives or girlfriends' to tell them we'd be late. The simultaneous comments of dirision from two out and proud Ulstermen was missed. As was a later 'It's ok hug' from me to Mícheál, which only warranted the comment 'Best not tell your wives and girlfriends'. She also asked if we were brothers, they was more sniggering from us.
Finally she noticed Mícheál's rainbow lanyard and said, "In Australia that is the sign of gay pride." We said same here. Penny dropped she asked, "Are you?", we nodded. She then outed herself, just one of the most bizarre little daily coming out occasions I've ever had. But a good laugh was had.
Update It appears that my Laptop and Blogger have beaten the MacBook and Wordpress to publishing.
* The mission which weve chosen to accept to move my stuff from Bathgate to Bangor this weekend.