What if the car breaks down? What if a deluge of snow blocks Telegraph Hill? What if a car transporter tips over and blocks all carriageways at Exeter? What if all traffic is halted because someone is threatening to jump from a footbridge over the M5? So, taking into account all my ‘what ifs?’, we arrive at the airport with 3 hours to spare.

A couple of rounds of sandwiches and drinks cost us £30.

Having taken all these precautions how do we still end up being the last on the plane?

Choosing the fastest queue through security, we make good progress, or so it seemed. Then everything grinds to a halt with the chap in front.

He has waited in the queue blithely ignoring the huge posters and looping video on big screens telling us about all the prohibited items. He’s got the lot. Scissors in his hand baggage, that has to be indecorously unpacked (I hope he’s on the return journey. Either that or he habitually dresses like Worzel Gummidge.) Then he’s got a studded belt that has to come off with great difficulty. Great laced boots that take an age to unravel and heave off. Large bottles of liquids and gels that all have to be argued about and confiscated…

By the time we get through, a lady with a clipboard is calling for the last two passengers for the flight. That’s us. We are escorted rapidly across the tarmac. I glance at the pilots in the cockpit, angrily tapping their watches, and rush up the steps into the plane, now full of angry holidaymakers, all tapping their watches in unison. (OK, I made all the watch tapping bit up. No one really noticed. It’s just how I felt.)

At least the incident made me feel better about our previous trip. We had been on a plane since 9/11 so I thought we were up-to-date with airport security, but we had missed the extra ramping up of measures after the bloke with the exploding trainers. Unlike our heedless friend on this flight, I had noticed all the signs and videos, and spent my queuing time repacking. Nearly everything was wrong and had to be confiscated or bagged up.

Blooming nuisance, that man with the exploding trainers.



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