Moo is now eating Annabel Karmel out of house and home. I expect that my milk supply will have dropped accordingly and am pretty excited about working in Portugal without having to fit in four-hourly pumpings. I also think that I am really clever to have timed flights to get me there, back and job done within 48 hours.
I take hand luggage only, toothbrush, knickers, top, breast-pump, laptop, Kindle, selection of wires and plugs. As I am being frisked at the security check I see the tray with my electrical items roll along the conveyor belt, it is not followed by my handbag. I turn to find out what’s happening and feel my cheeks start to burn as two security guards untangle the knickers from around the handle of my manual pump. Exchanging confused glances they conclude that whatever the strange contraption is, I’m more likely to be a deviant than a terrorist.
Six hours on and I’m in my hotel room. I plan an hour of expressing in bed, feet up, Portuguese music TV and whatever the mini-bar has to offer. Ten minutes in and the phone rings. “We are downstairs. We asked at reception, they said you were here, we’ve booked a table for food, we can’t wait to meet you!”
After a lopsided supper I finish off in the shower.
Work goes well but my hosts are ever present and the bathroom facilities are basic. I decide to hold out until lunch and search for a comfortable loo in the restaurant. I finish my food quickly, I make my excuses, I find the toilets. A unisex bathroom with two cubicles. Cubicles with doors. Cubicles with frosted glass doors. I reason that if i can just do five minutes each side to release the pressure I can probably make it through to 5 o’clock and then, um, continue pumping in the airport. A man is holding open the door between the restaurant and the toilets and having a conversation with a woman washing her hands. I know this because I have just realised that the cubicle doors are low enough to see over whilst you are sitting on the loo.