However, there was no cause for alarm, the bus duly arrived. It was even a little early. Wielding her clip-board, a nimble, blonde bus driver stepped lightly down the steps.
I don't know how many times I'd examined that ticket to make sure I had the right time, the right day. Why didn't I ever notice the mistake I'd made with the days in my original booking? I guess you read what you believe should be there. Especially when you book on-line.
My sister-in-law tried to make excuses for me, bless her.
My sister-in-law and I are still standing there laughing nervously about my mistake.
And so the bus sails away on down the motorway with me on board. Off to Palmerston North to see my mum.
The driver switches on her microphone to tell us there are three rules; no alcohol, no smoking and no shouting at the driver. She means it. Just the other day, she says, two men who were inebriated and causing trouble, got left by the side of the road and with a very long walk ahead of them.
After we leave the coast to head inland on flat roads, there are no landmarks to speak of. I remember in the 80's when we used to make this trip in our brown Vauxhall Viva. Our sons were very young. Somewhere along the straight bit of road, just before you get to Palmerston North, they'd start to get tired and scratchy. We'd get them to look out for the rocket and a front yard full of gnomes – or was it a yard full of miniature jockeys? Maybe it was both.
The bus pulls into Palmerston North. I get out and look for Mum. She's always been easy to spot. I used to look for the red hair; these days I look for the whitest head of hair I can see.
After sampling the one Mum made - and polishing off what she had left - I just had to make some more. I used to make this slice years ago now. It has been too long.
'Citrus Fudge Slice'