Is It Because I Is Back?

Hello? Is this thing on?

My body is back in the UK, but my mind is yet to accept this. Mentally I am still in the technicolour wonderland with a warmer climate where every meal is a brush with a cardiac arrest and the amount of money spent doesn’t count as dollars aren’t real money. I do quite like it you know!!

It always blows my mind that within a few short hours you go from wandering around a baking hot Disney Springs (don’t we all do that before going to the airport?) to landing in an ever grey Manchester.

I am avoiding reality for now. I haven’t dared go anywhere near the scales and I refuse to admit to myself that I have to work for a living again on Tuesday. I’m not dressed yet and I sit here in my dressing gown eating something between breakfast, lunch and supper watching people go past our window doing grown up things like jogging, walking their dogs and generally engaging with the world in a way in which I simply cannot right now.


We had a blast. We narrowly avoided a visit to a medical facility which is the exception rather than the norm for one of our trips, although we came close a couple of times. Instead, we spent more time in pharmacies than theme parks and if anyone needs a cream or potion for any ailment on earth, give me shout as we’ll have it.

That feeling of being at home over there gets stronger with every visit. I know after the amount of times we’ve been that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, but the feeling is strong.

I won’t steal any more of my own thunder as I need to get on with a trip report. I have made the token gesture of downloading all the photos to my laptop and getting them up on photobucket ready for inclusion but beyond that, the fog of jet lag and the fact that I am struggling to see the laptop over my stomach have restricted my progress…well, progress indicates that something is actually happening, which it isn’t yet.

I will say that we and especially Emily and I realised that we didn’t have enough time at Disney. We knew that before we went I think, and it was intentional that the trip would be different, but there was a feeling of being slightly robbed of time there as we inevitably missed out on some stuff that we love. As fantastic as our time at Universal and Siesta Key was, as soon as we got to the Beach Club there was a strong feeling of belonging, peace of mind and joy that reaffirmed what we probably already knew. Any future visits will be WDW centric. Still, moaning about that after almost three weeks over there seems churlish.

I feel confusingly knackered and refreshed in equal measure. Mentally it always does me the world of good I think, but physically I feel close to a hundred years old right now, not helped by gigging last night on seven hours sleep out of the previous 48 hours.

So I shall leave it there for today. I will commit to day one being ready for next Sunday as if I write it down here I will have to crack on despite my working week looking grim. Thanks to all of you that followed our trip online in real-time and hopefully I can keep your interest for the trip report to come. Oh and discussions for our next trip started before we got home….but hey, what’s new?

Till the next time….

Health, Hurdles and Heresy

So we made it. Work is done, and whether we are ready or not we’re due to fly on Tuesday.

I have to be honest, it has been a countdown that hasn’t been as enjoyable as it should have been for many a reason…

  1. Rebecca is not coming with us.
  2. The house has resembled the Somme for three weeks and the bathroom still isn’t done!
  3. Louise’s Mum has been quite ill and Louise has been worried about leaving her.
  4. My Mum has also been ill and has spent Friday and Saturday in hospital.

It has been a rocky road to this holiday for sure and here we are, literally a few hours from departure and only now are we fairly confident that my Mum can travel.

Even work had an unsatisfactory ending. It feels like I have left loose ends everywhere and in the back of my mind there are already concerns about the stuff I will have to return to.

This is normal though right? The trepidation, stress, worry and anxiety? I know it is, but we seem to be off the scale for this trip. Usually those feelings are just about whether your ESTA is really valid, you’ve forgotten something important, that property you rented will turn out to be a vacant building lot or you turn up for your flight on the wrong day. Health matters trump all of those of course and our collective fingers are crossed that everyone remains on the road to recovery.

Assuming all that turns out OK we then have other appendages crossed that we will actually have a working bathroom for showers on Tuesday when we are up at  crazy o’clock to begin our journey. We are close now, but it will be touch and go if that is the case.

Sigh….so my usual joy at finishing work for a US adventure has been tempered. Preparations continue as they must, with the added work of digging the house out from under a three-inch blanket of dust. I have also been digging out T-shirts and shorts from various dark recesses of the house. I’m fatter than I should be so the larger ones are getting picked. I’ll just have to watch what I eat over the next few weeks!!!

So having limped, stumbled and fallen over the line, we find ourselves on the cusp of departure. Louise is a whirling dervish of dust, cleaning implements and vigor and I have been similarly busy throwing stuff into skips, hosing things down and more latterly preparing Ryan for the trip.

Most of the time Ryan is my gig bag, carrying all the leads, connectors and trappings of your every day rock star to gigs and back. Having done our final gig before we leave last night, he has been emptied and restored to his rightful role of holiday rucksack. He is now sat holding our camera, passports, US sat nav and all the other stuff he is so familiar with.

I have also ticked off the equally vital task of going to the driving range with my Dad to make sure I could remember how to hit a golf ball in preparation for our 18 holes of sweaty golf whilst we are at Siesta Key. It’s all go!!

I’m quite glad we are off to Florida now as we will beat the rush created by Ant N Dec’s Saturday Night Advertisement Show. That’s a master stroke by Disney that. A ninety minute ad on prime time Saturday night telly. With a crap dollar rate and a gibbon in the White House I’m sure visitor numbers are dropping. I suspect that one show last night has generated a huge demand for this summer and beyond.

I didn’t see the show myself as I was out being a Rock God, but I caught up with some of the “highlights” this morning. I much prefer them in I’m a Celeb as this Saturday Night Noel Edmonds tribute act is a bit twee for me. I tip my hat to those responsible for the logistics of making that show happen though. Live telly, from the US, in a theme park, with links to folks in the UK strikes me as a military operation to get right. It was very impressive. That thing at the end of the show though had my toes curling I’ll be honest. I know this is heresy and I’ll be in the minority but it was all a bit of a cheesey showbiz cliché and well, I’ve said this before, but like this…

Anyway, enough of being a party pooper. It was lovely to see that the weather looks nice and hot at the moment and it’ll be nice to be back “home” very soon.

So I leave you in peace now for a few Sundays, there is packing to be done, chores to be carried out and those million and one things to get done before we start having fun.

I’ll be tweeting, facebooking, hitting up Insta (yeh, that’s right, I’m cool like that) and maybe Snapchatting but I doubt that as I still can’t work it. It was built specifically only to be used by those under 25. So follow me on any and all of those for some live videos, photos and pithy nonsense.

And away we gooooooooo….

Till the next time…..

Is It Because I Is Blue?

I feel a little guilty moaning about anything when we are so close to a Florida trip that I can smell it, but I’m gonna. We are now two weeks in to operation update our house from the 90s. Two weeks with no bathroom and it still looks like a cell in a Far East prison. We have another week to go before we have the ability to cleanse ourselves in our own home and have any surfaces in the house that are not under three inches of dust. To add to our heartache the next set of workmen turn up tomorrow to create a double bubble of renovation chaos.

I am more stressed than Trump’s press secretary. To add to all of that I have to paint the bathroom ceiling today. I will store the required paint on my protruding bottom lip.

My much feared dental trip last week passed with little or no fuss. There was a little bit of grinding action required but it didn’t last long, as tends to be the case. I escaped with a slight sweat on after ten minutes happy to be declared dentally fit for my trip.

Anyway, with all of that self-pity and woe out-of-the-way we can now begin.

Louise tells me that I am often guilty of assuming a certain level of knowledge in my blog posts. I use WDW acronyms and don’t explain anything in enough detail for anyone who hasn’t spent a large chunk of their lives in Florida. So with that in mind, will you please join in with our SDD.

What? SDD…you know…oh OK, it is our Single Digit Dance day today. We are nine days out people.

Around this time, the milestones come thick and fast. Yesterday, a few short hours after pay-day, our dollars arrived. The exchange rate is so bad that instead of actually sending me dollars they just took money out of my account and sent me a voucher for a Perkins breakfast. Not quite of course, but a rate of 1.23 hurts I can tell you. You can shove your Brexit up your arse!

Yesterday saw Louise, Emily and I go shopping for essential holiday clothes and stuff. We didn’t go together. Good God, no that would have ended in a fist fight outside of C&A. What? C&A doesn’t exist…really??  It was there the last time I went into an actual town centre. Louise and Emily went together and I spent a lengthy twenty minutes or so in one shop to get everything that I needed.

Now, one of the items I needed was a lovely new pair of trainers. This is always a necessity prior to any US trip but it is now also a tradition and a key part of the countdown process. Because I am a creature of habit, middle-aged and tight these trainers have always tended to be the luminous white Hi-Tec numbers that can take down aircraft if the sun catches them the wrong way. I have dozens of pairs of these around the house in various states of decay…

I had another pair on my feet in the shop yesterday and I was just about to head to the tills when I went all crazy. I ventured into unknown territory and tried on another brand…..and……..wait for it……colour. It was almost in jest as just before I pulled on those non-white interlopers (or interloafers) I took a look at the price tag. Now, it doesn’t matter what Jessie J says, I never forget about the price tag. You cannot spend half of the GDP of Guatemala on US holidays AND buy expensive goods on a day-to-day basis.

As my foot entered these expensive follies I was very upset. It felt like I had put my foot into a warm otter’s pocket. It embraced and caressed me like a mother cradles a new-born. It was feetal heaven. Damn it!

I then spent a good few minutes calculating what I could stop Louise buying to allow us to find room in our budget for this indulgence. To cut what is becoming a long story short, I left the shop with them. I have never spent that amount on a pair of trainers in my life. Oh, and they are blue!!  Yes, blue!!

I can only apologise. I sacrificed tradition on the altar of comfort.

Louise and Emily were out for close to 72 hours and returned with one item of clothing each. I cannot comprehend how that happens and can only thank whatever God you believe in that I wasn’t with them.

In a return to the sanity of online shopping I added some rechargeable batteries and an SD card for the camera to my list of bought items in line with another tradition where I can never seem to find the exact same items I bought before every other trip we’ve done and have to buy some more.

Louise and Emily are busy arranging all sorts of treatments and procedures that I don’t want to know the details or cost of and I too am booked in for my back, sack and crack treatment ahead of my strutting up and down on Siesta Key beach in my thong. I shall leave you to embrace that mental image for the rest of your weekend!

With gritted teeth, I am hunkered down for one last week at work, mixed with a house full of workmen, chaos and dust whilst desperately trying to remember how to write a half decent and amusing trip report.

Till the next time…..