We got up at 4am Irish time, had a 2 1/2 hour bus journey to Barcelona Airport, and were stopped in our tracks by a lady at the check-in who decided we had to pay for Pádraig’s case containing his supplies – something that had never ever happened ever before. While I stood back, having got very close to a melt down, we established via the sales desk that if we could supply a doctor’s letter stating that Pádraig required special supplies, they would carry his bag free of charge.

For a moment I thought we were in Germany. Usually, it is Germans who need a letter stating the obvious. (No offence intended to my German country fellows:) (And no offence intended either to any Spanish reader:) We have such a letter but didn’t carry it as we never had to show it – even in Germany!!

So we paid 50 euro for Pádraig’s bag. And this afternoon, following a tweet I posted about this, Aer Lingus kindly agreed to refund the 50 euro but reminded me to carry that letter next time! – Fair play to Aer Lingus who, it must be said, have always gone out of their way to make Pádraig’s travels as easy and pleasant as possible.

Having boarded the plane, we stood on the tarmac for over an hour waiting for the rain in Dublin to clear. The easiest part of the journey was the flight. Having arrived in Dublin, we waited for another hour to get off the plane. The special assistance crew at Dublin Airport must have been incredibly busy this lunch time! Very tired, very stressed and very much later than planned, we grabbed our bags from the belt, got into the car and drove home. Only to discover, that one of the bags we had grabbed was not ours.

So I brought it back hoping we could do a straight swap. Unfortunately, however, the owner of the bag we had picked up, had not picked up our bag. So while they were happy to get their bag back, ours is currently filed as missing.

Are we happy to be back home? We are. While travel is good and full of adventures, it’s good to be back home again (don’t klick on this link unless you are ready for some country and western from John Denver:).

Are we missing the sun, the soft warm wind on our faces, the walks, the mediterranean, the tapas, the people filling the walk along the sea, the noise of the sea at night….? Of course.

I must be honest. I don’t understand people and organisations who promise funding, who promise signatures on agreements, who promise to get back to you  – and than have to be reminded again and again and again, have to be asked about what is going on and sometimes get back and sometimes don’t. I was thinking: I have some dignity and self-respect left. I don’t need to get down on my knees and be grateful to be dealt with at least business-like by people and organisations that are being financed by me and my family. I was thinking: It’s ok to deal with hustle, I know maybe better than others that life is not hustle-free. But there is hustle that could and should be easily avoided. We all have enough of it as it is.