I'd worked out it would take about 2½ hours to drive to Manchester Airport, so that meant leaving about 11 am to get there in good time for check in. Seeing as it's more than 30 years since I've been there and it has changed just a tad since then, I wanted to leave plenty of time to find the car park, find our way from car park to terminal etc.
Then on the journey, G was fiddling with his watch, trying to alter the settings, when the whole thing went dead. Great! So he insisted on having my watch, saying that I could buy another during the week.
Wondering by this time what else was going to break on us, we successfully found the airport and a parking space in the multi-storey carpark.
After this, all went smoothly. We found the check-in desk and G got rid of his case and collected his boarding card. Then we wandered off to find food and to my delight also found a shop selling watches. This gave G a chance to inaugorate his new credit card. Believe it or not, he has survived until this point in his life without having one -- mainly by making me handle any transactions that required a credit card.
Wandering up to the restaurant area, I suddenly recognised it. This was the place I'd visited a couple of times before, many years ago when I still lived in Manchester. When the airport first opened, it was considered something of a day out for the locals to visit the airport, get something to eat and sit in this lounge watching the planes taxiing around on the tarmac below and taking off and landing on the nearby runway. Of course now there's quite a bit more to the airport and apart from a few plane spotters with binoculars, everyone is now much more blasé about air travel.
Once we'd eaten, it was still a little time before G could board the plane, but I set off for home as it was another 2½ hours back. If you're wondering why I'd nobly agreed to drive him all the way instead of just putting him on the train, it's because I need to make the same journey on my own next Thurday when I fly out to join him, so I was looking on this as a practice run.
Amazingly, even without a navigator, I didn't get lost at all coming home. Having said that, going home is always easier. I knew that as long as I kept following NORTH WALES on the signs, I would eventually reach somewhere familiar. It's the outward journey on congested motorways that can be fraught. However, having done the run once, I should be OK on Thursday because the airport is well signed. But I intend to leave masses of time. I can always buy a book to read while I'm waiting for my flight.