We were planning on missing our usual May trip this year and having a longer Christmas/new year trip instead. Well things changed and I decided to book a surprise visit for DW staying in a lovely villa and gulp, tremble, hiring a car as you've all told me to for many long years

As a quick last minute thing, I was pricing up flights and although virgin wanted 600+ per person economy, hardly any discount for miles+money any more, thomas cook wanted a little over 200 each! So well I thought I'd give it a go for that price.

So here we are, terminal 1 in Manchester airport rather than the usual terminal 2, sitting in the escape lounge courtesy of the barclays premier airport angel scheme. Worked a treat and got us in free.

I dont know if the escape lounge has improved in terminal 2 recently but here in terminal 1 it's a LOT better than our last t2 escape experience. Compared to the toast in t2 escape, the t1 version has bacon sandwiches, egg with toast soldiers and loads more besides!

The staff in t2 escape have been quite snotty on several occasions, again in t1 couldnt be more different. Very very nice and helpful.

Of course I'm not really looking forward to the plane 200quid doesnt buy much and I understand that the seats are tiny and in flight entertainment is going to be limited to watching me try and fit into a seat. Luckily I've brought my ipad heavily loaded with films and books. SO much easier than bringing all those heavy magazines and paper books!

in flight meals were extra too but they're always awful so this time I've saved the money and bought some sandwiches from good ole boots instead.

At the other end, assuming I survive the tiny seats, we'll hopefully have a dodge charger or similar waiting for us and we'll be trying the Orlando bumper car experience for the very first time. If you never hear from me again, well, look for the rear of a dodge charger poking out from a swamp somewhere in the everglades and think of me.

In other gadget news, this it the first outing of the apple macbook air SSD. Tiny little thing, needs to be seen to be believed and instant to start up and load apps because of the 256GB ssd drive. I pondered bringing the 15 or 17 macbook pros as usual but this time thought I'd try and see if I could live with this tiny thing for a couple of weeks. so far so good! definitely a very fast little device and perfect for travel.