Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The Shitwick Chronicles

Just our British luck, eh? Rubbish airport making sure we really earn our free hol and look like ten tons of crap by the time we actually get there.

Its enough to make you weep: after a snow-free few days, we were due to travel on the day that Gatwick airport got another three flakes and decided to cancel all services. But instead of being upfront about their inability to clean the runways, they took the shrewd route of pretending they were going to open at 12, thus luring us to make the journey only to be disappointed, and pointlessly spend £40 on their crappy car park which no doubt is non-refundable. So now we are supposedly going from Heathrow tomorrow via Madrid, adding another 2 flights to the itinerary, and making me worry even more about D-Bubz' delicate ears.

It was a pretty shitty day. I couldn't stop kissing the top of his head like worry bead punctuation, remembering that there was no point getting worked up with infants about. Little H was very good as she dealt with the cross country journey across London to end up back where we started. So its round 2 tomorrow, and thank god we don't have to deal with the inept folk at Gatwick again, but we're not out of the woods yet.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Snow way out

Amid fantasies of becoming Tilda Swinton in The Chronicles of Narnia, (complete with sleigh, but passing on the dodgy dreads, issues with woodland creatures, and tendency to anger large carnivores) I battled my way to Lincolnshire for the weekend, despite the heavy snow and heavier weather warnings. It was possibly a foolish move, given that were I to get stranded, it'd be no Islas de Canarias for this guapa, but the prospect of being beaten by the weather was not a pleasant one, and so I strapped up my huskies (mentally) and left.

Despite several friends' flights being cancelled, and more dire reports on the good old Ministry of Misery (aka the BBC), I made it to the land of cabbages and casual bigotry unscathed, bearing my young in his woolly papoose, utterly bewildered by the preponderance of white stuff, but taking it in his usual bug-eyed stride. And wouldn't you know, it did look rather like Narnia in my mum's back garden, into which she disappeared like Captain Scott twice-daily with her pack of dogs frolicking at her heels, making me long to ask if she may be some time, but fearing that was indeed the case.

And so there we were, snowed in for several days whilst would-be baby admirers cancelled daily, and D-Bubz took it as the perfect opportunity to stop sleeping through the night, which he'd been blissfully doing since just before Christmas, and revert back to the 3.5 (half)-3.5 (one)-4 formation which blighted my nights for so long. Not sure if its the upheaval, or a power game, or what, but I even gave in and tried him on the dummy again, which this time, being a big boy and all, instead of acting like he was choking he grabbed onto, and sucked balefully like Maggie Simpson - the only problem being, as a friend with bub of similar age pointed out, that its OK until they drop it, and then you run a chance of becoming Dummy Bitch. Still, better Dummy Bitch than Sleepless Bitch I suppose.

And then I got ready to grapple with public transport once more. It sucked: from having to stand outside the loo because I was on an old-skool train without any of those nice seats with room for the pram, to getting to Kings Cross all a-fluster and getting the Piccadilly line without checking for station closures, to having to go back to where I started and get the overground from Euston, before finally arriving home after a cross-country trudge over Queens Park. All of which did nothing to make me more confident on the trains - apart from the scary gap between train and platform which I worry I'll drop the pram down every time, there's the irritating business of having to find someone to help with the stairs...and asking them if they hold some kind of qualification to prove that they won't drop their end mid-flight would, I suppose be churlish, so I'll just carry on with the ulcers.

So here we are, at the final hurdle, everything crossed for a safe take-off on Wednesday. D-Bubz has a brand new pushchair, I once again forgot to get the factor 50, and I am still trying to find out for sure that they have cots in the hotels, of which we are staying at three, all with fabulous reviews on Communicating our five star status to J's 6-yr-old daughter was a simple matter of describing the estimated size of the breakfast buffet: finally, she realises we're going to be travelling in style. Fruit AND toast AND pancakes AND sausages? Her cup runneth over, and so will ours if we get there without drama, so come back soon to find out...