Ian left at 11.00 to go over to France for a brief visit, to meet with the builder and most importantly, as far as the builder is concerned, to give him a cheque! He set off for the airport and got his flight. Later that afternoon he sent me a message to say that he was in Limoges (and not Bergerac, where he should have been) as it had been too foggy to land the plane. Much irritation followed, including a long and cold coach ride for 2 hours and a missing car hire man, who had gone out with his mates, switched off his phone and forgotten that he needed to meet Ian with the car keys! However, eventually he turned up, Ian got the car and arrived at our neighbours (where he is sleeping on the sofa).
Bergerac apparently doesn't have a radar and so the pilots have to land the old fashioned way; by looking where they are going. His pilot had attempted to land, saw the fog and chickened out the at the last minute, when they were about 100 foot from the ground, reverting into a sharp climb. According to a more regular passenger, the Ryan Air pilots are all trainees at the moment! This theory gets more weight when you consider that the Flybe plane managed to land at Bergerac 10 minutes after the Ryan Air flight aborted!
Meantime I drove over to my mothers for a New Year visit, complete with a dinner to cook for her in her flat. We sat and chatted and she told me more about her cycling trip through France just after the war. I will write more on this later. We listened to Andrea Bocelli and when one of the tracks came on she said
"Oh, I remember my mother singing this every morning as she made the breakfast. She used to sing it really loudly and all the neighbours heard! She had a powerful operatic voice and would make my father accompany her on the piano"
I had forgotten this about her; that she had actually longed to have her voice properly trained and pursue a career in opera. She used to speak with some bitterness that she had never had the opportunities that she saw later generations get.