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A Creative Spirit in Portugal

I'm getting too old for this...

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Yesterday we travelled to France to spend the next two weeks looking after our two baby grandkids while Mum and Dad are at work. Their regular child-minder is on holiday so we were bribed to ‘help out’.

Neither my husband, nor myself are good travellers and always seem to arrive at our destination stressed, ill and generally out of sorts. We are hardly the ‘Lonely Planet’ type of people, and while travel used to appeal these days our own back yard, with its amazing beaches and great weather (most of the time), holds more appeal than trekking to France mid-winter to endure double figure minus temperatures. Sigh… but how can we say ‘no’?

Although our journey to France is well practiced by now we don’t rule out the odd experience, which makes us either laugh, or want to cry.

This time we arrived at the airport to discover access to the long stay car park had changed and it was now automated. After a lot of deliberation, we decided, using our pidgin Portuguese, that we now had to scan the ticket rather than take it to the car park attendant. This was all well and good except my husband was waving his ticket at the ‘help speaker’ pinholes at the top of the ticket machine. At this point a rather irate car park attendant ran across the car park towards us and started shouting at my husband, who of course did not understand a word. The man snatched the ticket and started jabbing his finger at the scanner located at the bottom of the machine. Stupid and the ‘F’ word translates in any language.

Moving swiftly on I tried to suppress a laugh.

Once we’d run the gauntlet of luggage and security checks I was persuaded that a McDonald's burger was a good idea. It was the last thing I fancied but so was a subway roll.

Finally, with our flight called we boarded the plane with the patience of the animals queuing for Noah's Ark. With our hand luggage stashed we took our seats. I tried to sleep, but as we flew over the Alps and the plane lurched perilously from side to side, and up and down, I realised why a pre-flight burger was not such a good idea.

We arrived at our daughters knackered and were greeted with a long list of do’s and don’ts along with a comprehensive job list - I have a feeling it’s going to be a long two weeks…
Our son-in-law had a stomach bug, the youngest at seven months had had conjunctivitis and now had a bad cold and an ear infection. My little princess, she’s three going on eighteen, also had a bad cold and I was greeted with a big hug which resulted in a snail trail of glistening snot down my black jumper

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

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Updated February 10th, 2015 at 04:24 PM by PiP



  1. TJ1985's Avatar
    Isn't traveling fun?
  2. PiP's Avatar
    Fun? So is going to the dentist
  3. Kevin's Avatar
    ee-yeah... Certain liquids are known to alter the natural 'water-level' that tells your brain that what your eyes are seeing(the cabin innards) is not in line with what your ears are feeling, creating the 'air-sick'. I always, for medicinal purposes, prior to take off; 'least two...
  4. PiP's Avatar
    I'm sure a little of the 'elixir' of life would have been far more beneficial, Kevin LOL
  5. Kevin's Avatar
    A beneficial side effect of 'bed-spins'. heh
  6. TJ1985's Avatar
    By the way PiP, don't feel too bad about your slight "weakness". I'm so barf-prone that I can't watch Gilligan's Island without needing Dramamine.
  7. Plasticweld's Avatar
    Being a Grandparent who also makes similar trips a couple of times a month to very similar surroundings. I have often thought, when Linda and I were young and raising kids I don't remember my parents ever making trip to take care of my kids.

    It is not easy being Grandparents.
  8. TKent's Avatar
    Oh my. I take back the touch of envy I felt when I first heard you were headed to France Hang in there PiP!
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