Saturday, December 22, 2012
Families are reuniting across Norfolk for the Christmas holidays this weekend and that means arrivals from all around the world at Norwich International Airport.
Daily flights to and from Amsterdam mean our airport has a direct link to a major European airport which can act as a gateway to the world.
Yesterday morning when the 9.10am flight from Amsterdam was running 15 minutes late, the arrivals gate was full with parents, husbands, wives and children who were waiting to greet their loved ones.
There was grandmother Bridgid Everitt, of Thorpe Hamlet, for example, waiting for her son, Richard, and his young family to arrive from Washington DC in the USA.
Richard and his wife, Janine, both aged 41, arrived with three children eagerly awaiting Christmas at their grandma’s house.
Christmas celebrations can begin for one lady in her nineties after she was treated by the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
The elderly lady was preparing to fly to Exeter to stay with her son over the festive season when she injured her leg at the airport.
The air ambulance head office is based just a few hundred meters away from the terminal and Dr Federico Mentegazzi and Critical Care Paramedic Andy Downes responded to help the patient.
An EAAA spokesperson said: “Without the help of Federico and Andy, this lady would have had to go to hospital and would have missed her flight to see her son. Thankfully, she was treated at the airport by our crew and was on the plane before it took off. We hope she has a really lovely time with her family and wish her a merry Christmas.”
Walker, 7, Austin, 6, and Orlando, 2, were all full of energy after their seven-hour flight and Mrs Everitt was delighted to see them all for the first time since July.
She said: “Richard is the first of my three children home for Christmas this year. My other son is coming up from London and my daughter and her family will be flying in from Boston Massachusetts in America.
“It certainly is lovely, it will be the first time I have had everybody at my house for many years.”
Or there was 26-year-old Justyne Brooks and her little one-year-old son, Hugo, from Hellesdon.
They were patiently waiting to see Justyne’s father, Graham Brooks, 59, for the first time in over two months.
Mr Brooks, from Lowestoft works for British Petroleum in Houston, Texas, in the USA and was coming home to see his family for two weeks.
Miss Brooks said: “He was always away when I was little, for three or four weeks at a time, so I’m kind of used to it.
“But we don’t get to speak a lot because of the time difference, so it’s going to be lovely to have him home for Christmas.”
Sally Corrigan, 51, was waiting to see her husband, Kevin, for the first time since October.
Mr Corrigan, 58, works in education in Bahrain, and was in a jovial mood as he reached the arrivals lounge, wearing a comedy mask of busy eyebrows, glasses and a big nose - as his wife always jokes that he doesn’t smile enough.
The couple, who live in Whissonsett, near Fakenham, are looking forward to spending Christmas with their two children.
Mrs Corrigan said: “He’s been living away for three years now so you get used to it, it’s kind of like women who have a husband in the forces I suppose, being away for a set amount of time.
“It’s nice having him home for Christmas because one year we did decide it would probably be alright if he didn’t come home, it’s just one day, but it was really hard knowing he was out there alone.”
School teacher Sarah Brooks - no relation of Justyne, Graham and Hugo - had quite a welcome waiting for her and her husband Daniel on their return from Dubai.
Her mum, Diane, sister, Katherine, and step-dad, David, were all waiting to see her for the first time since July.
Sarah, 27, a Spanish teacher and Daniel, 30, a hydrologist, were flying into Norwich for a family Christmas in Drayton.
Sarah’s mum, Diane, said: “We are so excited. We have a spa and pamper day lined up at Imagine in Blofield with Sarah and Katherine’s other sister, so we are planning to have a really relaxing Christmas.”
- Send us your festive photos this Christmas at www.iwitness24.co.uk