As I may have touched upon in one of my previous entries, I manged to secure an agreement with work that any committments I had previously booked would be secured despite my move to Mumbai. So with that all sorted, I was booked (eventually) onto return flights, from Mumbai to London with Virgin Atlantic – Upper Class. I was due to leave on the 10th July from Mumbai, so that immediately reduced the time available to me to register my visa here in India.
So on the 9th July I get up early to travel to the South side of Mumbai to register my visa. I got there in good time on a pleasant morning & met up with the Solicitor who would ‘see me through the door’ to registration. I have to say that had me mildly concerned as if I couldn’t get through the door with a Solicitor how was I ever going to register?! As it transpired, I didn’t make it through the door!!
We (well, actually he) got to the front of the Queue & started speaking to the wee lady behind the counter who was apparently taking details of everyone who was looking to register. Within about 15 seconds, and without a word of Hindi understood, I knew I wasn’t registering in Mumbai. When I applied for my Visa, back in the UK, for some reason, it had Bangalore written on it… I took this to be the registration location of the company of LTSB I’d be working for. Apparently it wasn’t & I would have to travel to Bangalore to register.
This gave me an immediate issue… Bangalore was (from the Registration office) an easy 3 hours away… and then my journey to it’s registration office… at it was already 1030IST. The main reason for concern was that the Mumbai office shut at 1400. Thankfully, the B’lore office shut at 1600… so I might just make it. So off to the Airport to buy a ticket on the next available plane to B’lore!! I felt a bit like Mrs McCallister from Home Alone… but without the snow… or John Candy… pity on both counts really. Anyways, I managed to find a flight on time with the fourth plane carrier, Indigo.
I landed on time at 1430, jumped into the awaiting car (at this point I felt like someone a bit more important than Mrs McCallister… but can’t think who… Lady Penelope from Thunderbirds perhaps…) and headed for the Police High Commissioner’s Office. We arrived at 1530… 30 minutes in time!! Shortly after, my contact in the B’lore office, Raj, turned up & got to work* on the locals. Two hours later & I was a registered resident in India. My flight to the UK was safe. By 2100 I was back in the hotel finishing my packing arrangements.
And so back to my holiday to home. Virgin Atlantic’s first impression of Upper Class was awesome… a modern entertainment system, compared with the old system operated on the BA flight I’d had two weeks previous, and a meal I could eat, and *ahem* a somewhat more ** entertaining workforce, meant the 9 hours flew by (forgive the pun). I got through ‘The Golden Compass’, ‘Jumper’, ‘Hitman’ and ‘Semi-Pro’ on the movie front.
Having landed in London I headed for the hotel & got straight into bed after a bite to eat. Friday started out with me heading to the London Office (to see old friends & have a long lunch with older friends) and then I headed to Stansted for my flight to the home country and met up with the Brother. And so, after 3 days of travel I reached my own bed. Happy Boy!!
Saturday was the 12th and so I was off to the parade in Kesh. I do enjoy the 12th… I get to see all the people I’ve not seen since the last one… from School, from old jobs, from just running about the county as a kid and of course, family. We’re bit of a funny family in that regard… we tend to see each other once on the 12th and miss out the falling out bits in between… seems to work well!! I also got to have my yearly cup of tea from the back of my neighbours car… hit the spot it did.
That evening Mum, Dad & I headed to an aunt’s place for a BBQ & sat around hashing with the Aunt, Uncle, Granny, parents, cousin & his fiance (and fiance’s brother & fiance)… a funny mixture, but all good hearts & the entertainment was good. My cousin Neville, has such a Fermanagh accent… singing his words… and it’s very hard not to join in after a wee while!! It was like I’d never left!! Back at the Hetherington house, when we got home about 2200 was my brother sitting up with his fiance and a bunch of my old chums from running about the countryside!! So another few hours of chatting (under the influence of some mild jet lag, it has to be said) and catching up before bed.
The Sunday was chilled & relaxed with a wee jaunt to Church, a Mum Hetherington Sunday Dinner, and an afternoon doze. Such a good doze it has to be said that despite sleeping in the living room, I didn’t stir when the vicar rang the door bed (twice) to drop off an engagement gift for the brother. I enjoy my sleep. That evening I drove down to Kilkeel to meet up with Nico & James as I try to do every July and catch up on the (now) old married couple. Then I headed into Newcastle to dander about the prominade (sp??) in the fine July evening’s weather.
Monday really didn’t amount to much during the day, but I managed to stir to get to a BBQ to celebrate Da’s Brithday!! We headed up to his parents house & had a BBQ with a couple more Aunts & Uncles and of course our family (including Brother’s Fiance). Plenty of steak, and a few funny stories of Da’s childhood (more new ones!!) later & it was back to the house to bed.
Tuesday involved heading up Gran’s again to drop off a few wee bits & bobs and having a lovely chat in the fine July weather in her back yard. The weather was really good this week… and then out with the boys to the pictures in the evening. We watched ‘Wanted’, which I thought, ‘wanted’ a bit (no need to forgive the pun). Still, it was good to catch up with some more of the lads.
And so to Wednesday… which involved a brief shopping trip with the parents, where I picked up a copy of ‘the Chronicles of Narnia’ – which I’ve not read in years, but thought I’d best be reading again seeing as there are movies afoot which I might want to watch. I then stayed in Lurgan that evening & on the Thursday I returned to London & on to Heathrow for the return flight to Mumbai. Now, all the good work that Virgin Atlantic had done the first time wasn’t completely ruined… but their return menu… pile of pants.
And so, I’m back in Mumbai… reading & resting for this weekend. Hopefully ready for action again on Monday. Have a nice weekend.