Viva Lewes - The Hills are Alive

Saturday evening, Gatwick Airport, my first flight since the security scare in the summer. The easyJet queues are enormous, but there are only one or two in the hand-luggage-only line. We’re asked if we have anything liquid in our bags, and my companion Suzie admits to three hotel-sized plastic shampoo bottles, which she leaves at the desk. As we walk away she remembers that she also has some roll-on deodorant in her bag. We decide to risk it. She goes through the security check before me. She isn’t stopped. I empty my pockets into a plastic tray before going through. Keys, phone, fags, wallet, pen, four pairs of disposable contact lenses. “What are those?” asks the woman, fingering the tiny plastic bubbles with foil on the top containing the lenses in a drop of solution. “Contact lenses. Daily disposables.”
“You can’t take them on board.”
“How will I be able to see over the weekend?”
“Go back to check-in and put them in the hold.”
“But I haven’t any luggage in the hold.”
“You’ll have to check them in, or leave them here.”
I don’t lose my temper, but it’s close. It shows.
“You can keep one pair, for the journey,” she relents.
“Can I keep two pairs? Please?”
“OK,” she says, snapping off two pairs and giving them back to me. She throws the others into a big bucket.
Half an hour later, I’m loading Suzie’s bag in the overhead rack on the plane. A small item falls out of the pocket, and onto the floor. It’s a dolphin-shaped sachet of shampoo. “I forgot about that,” says Suzie. I scoop it up quickly and put it back in the bag. Passengers stare at me suspiciously. We are living in strange times. Enjoy the week.

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Where is it?
Cover: Red Foyer 3 by Jean Davey Winter
Above: Dangerous viewpoint: contacts must be stored in the
hold
Last week’s ‘where is it?’: Pipe Passage

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