AS we were travelling together to Spain, I emailed my son Ross the details of our flights and added: "Sorry Ross, but as a matter of principal I’m not paying the absurd airline fee to book our seats together.’

"It’s only a short flight anyway, so it doesn’t really matter who we sit next to."

Ross was in row one and I was in row 11 in the aisle seat, and beside me were two women in their sixties who I soon found out were called Barbara and Betty.

Settling down after the inflight safety demonstration, throughout which Barbara and Betty gibbered relentlessly, I decided to listen to my music to drown out the cackling pair.

Next minute, the sound system came to life as Monica, our stewardess had a very important announcement to make.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a passenger on board who has a severe nut allergy.”

This seemed to have caught my hefty sized travel buddies attention as Monica continued "Which means we will not be selling peanuts on this flight, and we would ask that you check for any items you have which may contain nuts.”

Barbara and Betty immediately began rummaging through their oversized handbags which seemed to contain more foodstuffs than a Tesco carrier bag!

Next minute Betty produced a large bar of Toblerone.

“Barbara?” She seemed perturbed.

“It says on the back of the box that it contains almonds.”


“Aye, almonds."

Now, there was no chance of a peanut amnesty with this pair, and quick as a flash they had unboxed, unwrapped and practically swallowed each large chocolate triangle whole!

Swishing it down with a shared can of diet Pepsi Betty piped up: "No point in handing it in Barbara.”

Barbara couldn’t answer as she was still endeavouring to swallow the last giant triangle which seemed to have lodged in her throat.

“Best to quickly remove any chance of some poor bugger taking ill.”

She slurped the Pepsi.

“Cause we would be stuck on this runway for hours.”

And that seemed to be Betty’s justification for devouring any trace of a nut.

Refreshments served again, the duo seemed to have quietened somewhat, and I suspected that it was due to the fact that they were slurping cans of cider and munching on Pringles.

I was eventually relaxing to the sound of Whitney Houston when I was tapped on the shoulder by Barbara.

“Scuse me.” She continued to tap.

“Scuse me but Betty needs out to the toilet.”

“No problem,” I smiled, as I cleared my tray and stood up.

Shortly after Betty had crushed my delicate pinky toe on the way to the toilet, her pal informed me: “You’ll need to be patient with Betty cause she’s got a weak bladder.”

Twenty minutes later and the now familiar tap on my shoulder signalled yet another toilet break.

This time for Barbara.

Yet again I packed up my Pringles and drink and stood in the aisle as Betty felt the need to snitch on her pal.

“Sorry,” she whispered as she winked and nodded.

“You see Barbara’s got a bit of a bladder problem.”

“Perhaps the cans of cider are contributing to her bladder problem?” I sarcastically suggested, but this was over Betty’s peroxide blond head as she continued to sip her drink.

As luck would have it, just as I was settling down yet again, the battery on my iPod packed in, and, sitting in such close proximity to my travel buddies, I had no choice but to listen to the relentless chit-chat as Betty studied her magazine.

“It’s says Barbara that drama could be on the horizon when Mars and the Sun lock into a stressful Uranus in your fifth house of passion.”

“Uranus,” Barbara nodded.

“A sizzling attraction, con…. consee…. conceivably clandestine, could con….. con… con-shoo-mate a full-bodied fling!”

“Attraction,” Barbara nodded.

“Energised Mars is also in Leo which indicates that a hidden desire is about to come to frew-ish-shun.”

“Desire,” Barbara nodded.

And as she had made no attempt to reveal her hidden desires, Betty was right in there.

“Is it Boab from the Cellar Bar?”

Barbara shook her head.

“Is it Danny from the chippy?”

“I bet it’s……”

“I don’t have any hidden desires Betty,” Barbara interjected before things got out of hand.

“You know I cannae be bothered wae a man and I’m happy at the bingo with you and the lassies.”

Not giving up on her astronomical prophecies Betty persisted.

“Well it’s in yer stars Barbara,” she insisted.

Next minute Barbara grabbed the tattered magazine out of her pal's hand and began reading her horoscope before announcing.

“Betty, this magazine is two months out of date.”


Later, on seeing my cider splattered white jeans and crushed toe, Ross asked: "So how was your flight mum?”

“In hindsight Ross, the seat booking fee might have been worth every penny!”