Saturday night we made our return journey through France back to London. The journey went well and we were fortunate to have no snow en route and just a little poor visibility near Issoires and Clermont Ferrand. As we drove through low cloud, Izzy, a fan of the Snowman, started singing 'we're walking in the air' which made us laugh as we really were flying through the clouds - we could hardly see each other never mind other cars!
We arrived at Eurotunnel with minutes to spare before our checkin time and were very pleased with our progress. No sickness and 3 snoozers happily dozing in the back for 10 hours (give or take 2 hours for dinner in Auvergne - must find somewhere better to stop than the Puy du Dome services next time - any recommendations?).
BUT we were shocked to see absolute chaos at Eurotunnel. Taillights to the motorway exit. Oh no. We were shattered, it was 12.30am and we just wanted to get across the channel and into bed. We joined a queue. Well of course it had to be the slowest queue. The queue which never moved and everyone tried to weave out of. The red X came on our queue. Off it went. The queue moved an inch. It was a miraculous queue which despite the leavers still did not manage to move forwards. The queues to the right were moving forwards, new joiners were arriving and overtaking us. We were stuck - bound to our queue by bollards. I had wondered who had knocked over some of the bollards in our queue earlier - now I know why.
To our left was the Flexiplus queue. These poor blighters had paid dearly to sit in their queue and could not escape it. Sneaky people thought it would be quicker and joined the FP queue. It was not...and that is when I realised why our queue did not move. Those blinking sneaky non FP queue joiners were moving into our queue near the front as fast as the quitters were moving out.
his is when I got queue rage. You know you have queue rage when you start naming and calling other people in the queue. There was RV man, Dopio man, Rudeboy (driving Ford Focus with go faster stripes), angry Polish man and many others. I judged our progress or rather lack of it on the position of these other travellers.
We knew we were on thin ice. It wasn't long before the bright lights and slamming doors as people impatiently got in and out of their cars for a smoke, rant, moan, wander, pee etc..and this led to the girls waking. Izzy wailed first. I want to get out, I don't want to be in my seat, I want a cuddle, no more accurately I waannnna cuuudddlllleeeeeeee................repeat repeat repeat.
Dopio man was one of the FP sneaks. He changed lanes by reversing when the FP queue became shorter than ours and he realised from my hubby's face we were not letting him in.
Maisy woke up, waaaa waaa waaa - she can't say much else.
Oh god. Rudeboy got out of his car and started pushing it. He's run out of petrol I said. Oh great now we are stuck.
Jasmine woke up - my bum's numb - I NEEED to get out. I don't want to sit here. As the noise inside increased, my fury with the queues increased. RV man was still well and truly entrenched. I looked to Dopio man - he'd only bl**dy gone past us. Well would you look at that!
Rudeboy moves into another lane (he did have petrol after all)
2.30am finally we get near the front of our queue - I WANNA CUDDLE I WANNA CUDDLE - I could take it no more, I unclipped Izzy and she sat on my knee much to the disgrace of all the other new queue joiners breezily zipping up to the right of us. Damn bollards. JUST SAY IT - I am a bad MUM - YES I have driven all through France with My Kid on my knee - Of Course I haven't I wanted to scream.
Now queue to the right of us has gone X RED Cross. Focus CMax is trying to reverse and shuffle into our queue. No chance. Have you heard the screams in my car. Mrs Focus tries to wiggle nervously into our lane. I start to wave my hands - RIDICULOUS. JUST WAIT IN YOUR QUEUE. I've been here 2 hours - you just pranced up 10 minutes ago. Then PING Green light - she shuffles back again to her rapid queue and we sit again in our slow queue. "We'll probably be on the same carriage as them now" mutters hubby.
Finally we get through and join the queue for customs - "Don't you dare stop us, Don't you dare" I mutter under my breath. Izzy is still on my knee, Maisy is still wailing, Jasmine is moaning about her numb bum. They let us through. Wise men.
We are on the next train,- 'E' great except that the queue to the trains is long long long. We are stuck at the roundabout behind muppets with an R or an S who simply cannot recognise the alphabet - they are trying to argue with the poor Eurotunnel woman standing in the cold, explaining the sign clearly says only E & F can proceed...please go and wait.
Eventually they sidle off and we go to the next queue. Here we meet another man who has somehow managed to sneak through - he gets pushed to the side and blocks the queue again.
Finally we are on the train. I'm glad we didn't pay for flexiplus. RV man still hasn't made it through.