THANK GOD I'M ALIVE
Last weekend, however, the poker rollercoaster took me to more local shores as I returned to Waterford for the blondepoker.com Team Event. I'm not usually one to fear plane journeys, but the flight over was as stable as a rubber ladder. The plane could only squeeze in about a hundred passengers, and a guy pushed the propeller to get it started. A bird only had to fart and the plane would sway. I was surviving with just sweaty palms for most of the journey (deep breaths, deep breaths), but when the seatbelt sign flashed, I had kittens. God knows what I would have done if the oxygen mask had fallen down, I think I would have shoved it back in and pretended I'd never seen it.
I think I actually thanked God (I don't do that too often in truth) when we landed, it was such a relief. The airport at Waterford is tiny, they only have two check-in desks and three or four flights heading out each day! I think it's the only place I've been to where the bag reclaim doesn't have a travelator. Instead, they just push it out onto some metal cylinders that roll (well, sort of) the bag down. Imagine if they'd done that on the Generation Game!
There weren't too many familiar faces, and most of my time was spent comparing Nicky Power to Stewey Griffin off Family Guy (I so hope that one sticks). As is often the case, I had to ask most people their names, but in Ireland they're about as incomprehensible as Brad Pitt in Snatch, and after asking them for the umpteenth time with my head tipped to one side, I eventually conceded and just handed them the pad. I'm always shocked when it comes back with something as simple as Mike Jones or Pat Smith. As broad as their accents are, those Irish guys sure are fun, and they can play a bit too!
After a gruelling 13 hour shift, some team beat some other teams and it was done and dusted, all that was left was the journey home. I so detested the flight out, that if the weather had been bad, I would have shelled out for another flight. If anything, I was just concerned about getting travel sick, as the plane had a tendency to dip up and down. I'm not sure what I was more scared of, waking up the chap next to me by vomiting on his lap or crashing. Luckily, the sky was crystal clear so I rolled the dice.
To my surprise, there was barely a shimmer on the way back, so God knows what the first dude was on. Anyhow, I pat the pilot on the back (from my seat) and returned back to Hampstead, safe and sound, ready to catch up with some much needed sleep. Before I hit the sack, I decided to calm my nerves down and relax in front of a film. Why I stuck on Alive I'll never know.