Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Careful what you wish for (another ash tale)

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010


Sarah shares her frustrations after her flight is cancelled again.

So last night, I was a bit sad the holiday was coming to an end and the excitement of being stranded was fading. We went for our last meal together in Banff to Earls, one of our top eating spots and then stopped off for a nightcap in our hotel to say goodbye to our pal behind the bar.

But then back in the room we picked up Manchester Airport’s tweet that it had shut. We guessed straight away the flight would be cancelled and that suspicion was confirmed this morning by our lovely travel rep.

Oh dear. All hopes of returning home cruelly dashed. No prospect of rescue. Send help …

The novelty of being pampered and privileged refugees has definitely worn off. My husband Lee spent yesterday writing a presentation he was due to give to 200 fund managers next week. He was worried about presenting to such a big audience, now he’s not even sure he’ll make it there! Oh and he’s missing Jim Jones Revue tonight.

Katy, my nineteen-year-old daughter, should be spending this week preparing her portfolio of this year’s work so she can apply for entrance to second year at art college in Dundee. A year’s work is at stake and she needs to get back into the Studio. She’s missing her friends and judging by her chat she has had enough ‘family’ time.

Cartoons, Dr Pepper and Chunks Ahoy are keeping Joe’s (14) spirits high and missing his first day back at school doesn’t seem to have traumatised him too severely. Of course there’s a party on Friday back in Edinburgh and if that starts to look under threat things may kick off.

The beauty of my work is I can do it from anywhere and so far being away hasn’t affected me. The time lag is an issue but if I get up early and get all my calls done first thing it should be do-able.

The main issue for me is isolation from the office and clients – PR is all about generating ideas and opportunities – picking up on trends and news. Clearly this is not sustainable long term but surely the end is in sight?

What we need now is a big cork to stick in the top of that volcano.

PS – We got a mention in PR Week

Stuck in Banff (an ash tale)

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010


HTR’s Sarah on her never ending holiday

Oh no – looks like my moment of suspended animation has come to an end. On my way to write this blog in the park our tour rep told us the ‘good’ news. A plane is leaving Calgary at 5.00 tomorrow and I have a seat on it.

My daughter wanted to hug the rep – I’m not too sure. The last few days have been some of the most relaxed and peaceful I have ever spent. For three days nothing was expected of me. I could do nothing. Just be. And wait.

After two weeks of terrifying myself by hurtling off mountains, strapped to five foot of snowboard. Hauling myself out of my normally sedentary middle-aged lifestyle into the adrenalin-fuelled obsession of an adolescent, I finally got to have a nice sit down!

It was last Thursday when we came back from riding Sunshine Village that my husband got an email from his mum telling us about a volcano in Iceland. I didn’t pay much attention to this news and his subsequent dream about Arthur’s Seat erupting in Edinburgh threw me off track too.

But when I returned from defying gravity on the men’s downhill (three times I’ll have you know) at Lake Louise on Friday, the news had changed. All planes were grounded and we wouldn’t be flying the next day. Indeed the original estimate of a 24 hour delay had now turned into ‘maybe Sunday …’

Now I love holidays and I never want to go home – I always want to stay and for the holiday to last forever. So finally, all my dreams came true. The holiday wasn’t over and I could stay in Banff – one of my most happy places.

We’ve been bringing the kids – Katy and Joe – here for about ten years now. We love it. Everyone is here for the snow – everyone lives and breathes it. Dudes skate down main street, weaving in and out of the big muscle trucks.

Where else can you see Elk hanging out in the swing park after you’ve been for a steak dinner (with salad bar) at Bumpers? Rude Boys is a legendary retail experience all of its own, Delirium Dive is for the clinically insane, the girl in Gap will tell you the best runs at Kicking Horse.

The whole town is geared to living and playing outdoors. And the scenery – Scotland on steroids – jaw dropping everywhere you look.

So, the clock stopped on Friday and for three days we lived life in a parallel universe where we cycled around vermillion lakes, saw a bald eagle and raced a chipmunk on bikes. We had lunch with gophers and hiked to see the hoodoos. We did a fast food safari to Subway and McDonalds and picked a picnic from Nesters ‘where the locals shop’.

We scoured the internet for news and I did wonder what it would be like if that volcano kept belching out ash. When would we get home? How would we get home? It felt surreal, as if we were truly floating in limbo.

And of course now it is all over and it looks like we will be going home tomorrow. Today is Monday and I should have been back at work – so reality set in early. I skyped the office – dealt with emails – caught up with events of the last two weeks – and made plans to keep life in Edinburgh moving forward.

I have loved the last three days – magic days stolen from the real world. I know we can’t stay forever but I wish just one more day … pretty please …


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