Winter, Work and Whinging

Note to self. Don’t take time off work ever again. Sure, it’s all fun and games when you’re knee-deep in Homes Under The Hammer, viewing it through a hazy vista of drugs and self-pity, but when the inevitable return to work happens there’s more payback than you can shake a pack of paracetamol at.

So this week I have been in a meeting. I think there were changes of subject at times, but from the start of Monday until late Friday I was either physically in a meeting, some of which were down south, or sat on conference calls not quite being able to hear people, asking who has just joined and confirming that yes I can see your screen. I’ve had better weeks. All of this was endured manfully whilst still not being 100% fully fit. This lurgy just will not die.

Sure, earlier generations had jobs like coal mining, and at times that could be tough I’m sure, but they will never appreciate the misery of working in a warm office, filled with free coffee, having to listen to some blert talking down the phone line about the art of the possible and reaching out. The first victim of a conference call is my will to live.

To continue my ill-advised and unjustified whinging, added to all of this was the soul-destroying relentless winter weather. Everything feels harder in these dark, wet, cold and sometimes snowy months. Indeed, my drive down to Marlow earlier in the week was remarkable for the snow which seemed to follow me all the way down, only to be joined by freezing fog from somewhere around Warwick. I ended the drive realising that I had everything tensed with concentration for the previous four hours. I yearn for the more relaxed, lighter and warmer times for those three days in July when you don’t need a coat.

Louise now finds herself full of a cold. Clearly, it isn’t the same illness as I had. There’s no way she could handle that level of illness of course. Her affliction is a little more traditional than mine, as the mucus excess is real whereas I was too ill for such trivialities. I doubt I am to blame for passing that along. More likely she has picked it up from one of her many patients whilst undertaking one of the unmentionable procedures and treatments on them. Again, I’m sure that’s a tough job, but there’s no comparison as sometimes I have to work from home and do things like create Powerpoint presentations or write some emails. As the song goes, nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen.

With us both feeling less than brilliant, last night, with a weekend off from Mustarding, we took the chance to order in a curry and binge watch something. We absorbed all of Killing Eve off of the iPlayer and loved it. It was one of those things we’d heard good things about but hadn’t got round to watching. If you are in that same boat, seek it out. It’s a good one.

We are hoping to venture out later to the cinema to watch The Favourite so I can provide another gloriously in-depth review of that next time if I remember. I am the Barry Norman of Bolton. Anyway, things to do, must crack on….

Till the next time…..

Ill Behaviour.

Thanks for all your well wishes last week. They didn’t work, but thanks anyway.

Sweet Jesus monkey balls, I have been ill. Whatever it was that came for me took me out at the knees and reduced me to a sweaty, quivering, moaning mess for all of last week and I’m still not 100% yet. So this week’s musings will be brief again due to my continued roughness and the fact that you really don’t want me to document what I did last week. It was not pleasant.

It wasn’t a traditional cold or similar as I have been without the trademark excess mucus. Instead, it has been a high temperature that has seen me hot, cold and everything in between in the space of a few minutes. At its peak, I have been rocking myself back and forwards in bed, emitting low moans pleading for help or death, whichever would be quickest. Sleep has been a stranger for most of the week too due to the fact that I was instead locked in some hallucinogenic hell, with every muscle aching and a headache like Oliver Reed’s throughout the seventies.

It was only on Friday that I started to return to normality, and beyond bored with daytime TV and watching emails build up in my Inbox I did some work from home. I won’t claim it was my most productive day, but having lost almost a full week and cancelled more meetings than I care to think about, I felt better somehow having got back into it on a Friday, so the Monday to come won’t be as gruesome.

I don’t think they got it from me, as they wisely stayed away from my grottiness, but now Tom, Rebecca and Freddie all have colds. They went out last night to celebrate their anniversary and Freddie stayed with us.

A lovely meal, drinks and paracetamol is not the ideal mix for a night out but, they soldiered through and have just taken Freddie home for an afternoon of cuddles and TV on the sofa which always makes things better.

So with apologies for the very poor word count, I have little else to report after my lost week of illness. Hopefully in the coming days I can declare myself back to full fitness and then we can get these blogs back to the thrill a minute action fests they always are. Right?

Till the next time…..

There’s Not A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow……

This time of year is all about tradition. Today, that tradition is me googling ways to fake my own death to avoid having to go back to work. I accept that may be a little over dramatic, but right now, staring down the barrel of having to work for a living again/still, it seems the only viable option.

I have loved my time off and it has again confirmed my belief that I would be the best lottery millionaire on the planet and I demand a chance to verify that fact properly. Surely my balls must drop soon? That didn’t sound right but you know what I mean.

I have done very productive things, like playing my new PS4 games and I have re-watched all of The Thick Of It on Netflix between walking the dogs and (Louise reads this) spending hours on household chores whilst she was having fun at work.

Friday saw me gigging with Mustard again, this time in Blackpool. You can keep your Live Aids. Until you have played a Blackpool club on the first weekend after Christmas and New Year you can’t call yourself a musician. Mustard have had a busy few weeks, so much so that we had to have our band Christmas do last night like taxi drivers do, once the festive stuff is over. We went for a curry and a few drinkies and the fact that I haven’t dared step on the scales since I finished work tells you all you need to know about how I have enjoyed myself gastronomically as a whole and there will be a price to pay for that for sure.

Following last week’s news about Rebecca’s wedding (I know Tom will be an important part of the event, but let’s be honest) the save the dates have been going out this week. At this point little else needs to be done but I know for sure that Rebecca will have lists of stuff picked out already. It’s just how she is wired.

Christmas also saw a couple of Williams households crash into the 21st century. I bought Louise one of those fandangled Alexa things for Christmas and she loved it so much that she then went out and bought another so there could be one in the bedroom too. If you’d told me just a few years ago that my wife had added an Alexa to our bedroom I might have raised an eyebrow. So we are voice activated and futuristic in a big way.

We also got my Mum & Dad one. Then, for my Dad’s birthday yesterday, we added two smart sockets to their set up so they can now turn a couple of lamps on and off with just their voice. It hasn’t escaped me that with a VR headset next to our telly and us all turning stuff on and off with our voices we are finally living in that final scene from Carousel of Progress.

Even the dog looks not too dissimilar from Oli.

Thankfully we won’t be burning turkeys with our voices, more making it less dark or playing an 80’s play list.

Have I made any resolutions for this new year? No. I hate all this New Year, new you shite. If any business sends me an email with that in the title I have to burn their head office down. I should do lots of things of course. I refer you to my earlier comments about my waistline, but I also really need to finish that book I started years ago. I mean the one I am writing (or not) rather than reading, but I should of course read more as well. I could also do with finding a way to earn a living that I truly enjoy, but I guess that applies to most of the working population. I am finding the rat race routine more and more tiresome the older I become. I need to be like those couples on those property shows. One of them makes African pottery out of phlegm and dandruff in their garage and somehow they have a budget of £2.5 million.

So, I intend to milk every moment out of today, doing as little as possible before the horrors of tomorrow. If I didn’t have to walk the dogs I would consider not even getting dressed…yes, I am blogging in my dressing gown…calm yourselves. With the state of my recent diet, I may have to wear it to work too.

I always try to take off a few extra days at the end of the festive period to reduce the horror of the return, but even on the 7th day of the new year there will still be some idiot wishing me a “Happy New Year” or asking me if I had a good Christmas. Just stop it.

If you have been working all the way through, as Louise has, you are well within your rights to call me all the names you are currently muttering under your breath, that’s fine. Allow me to wallow a little.

Alexa, play my EMO play list.

Till the next time……

The Planning Has Begun…..

Right. So, a blog every week about normal life. O….K. Erm……I think I remember how this goes, but bear with, this could be a bigger car crash than normal.

Since we last spoke, we’ve been away on holiday. I’m not sure I mentioned that? I should tell you all about it at some point. I still have had to go to work most days which is remains a source of enormous and constant disappointment, and Louise too finds herself still dealing with all sorts of sores, wounds, weeping things and stuff that oozes to earn a crust. Life is cruel.

We have continued to be delighted by Freddie on a daily basis. He was round at ours yesterday for a few hours whilst Rebecca and Tom were out and about and he is just a constant source of joy. I apply the grandparent’s caveat to that, in that we only see him for a few hours at a time and can hand him back, but he’s just lovely. I know we are biased but he is just a smiling bundle of fun and he makes our day whenever we see him.

I said that he was perfect on holiday and indeed he was. We went out for our Christmas meal this year at a local restaurant and again, he just took it all in, wasn’t an ounce of trouble, which was handy as I was sat next to him, and enthralled the waiting staff.

Many of the comments on the final instalment of the trip report were about booking another trip. I know I always say that won’t be happening, before it then does, but really, honestly, it won’t. That is because other events are in the early planning stages which will involve most of our available funds for the foreseeable.

For those of you that have been around a while and have for reasons I cannot fathom but appreciate, witnessed our family grow up (apart from me) over the years, here comes another landmark.

Rebecca and Tom are getting married, and the planning has begun.

The date they are looking at is in May 2020 and, as anyone who knows Rebecca will appreciate, lists exist, venues have been vetted and one looks to have been selected now. At every significant landmark over the years there is astonishment that it is happening, as surely the girls cannot be old enough to, walk, go to school, go to a gig, have a boyfriend and pretty much everything else they have done right up until producing Freddie. But it does seem that this is real, and all the thoughts I had when we produced two girls about weddings and all that it entails are now a reality.

I think the phrase I am looking for is “shit just got real”.

The venue in the frame is one that is quite close to our house, the Last Drop Village, which makes the most sense from a location point of view and, after laughing out loud at some of the prices from other venues, seems to be the best deal too, so that worked out OK.

I suspect that this whole wedding thing will test my planning skills to the maximum, but Rebecca is the queen of lists and getting stuff done, especially when it is something as important to her as her wedding day. That doesn’t stop me being a little bit scared of what this entails. As part of Mustard, the excellent wedding band in which I attempt to play bass, I have seen quite a few weddings recently and been witness to some of the planning problems that can crop up. I am a little bit afraid. With the collective efforts of Rebecca, Tom, Louise, Emily and myself we shall, I am sure overcome, and hopefully deliver a day that Rebecca (and Tom, but let’s be frank, mostly Rebecca) has dreamt of.

As anyone who has planned and paid for a wedding will know, unless you are significantly more wealthy than I, that does not allow for holidays to happen so alas, there will be no Florida based trips that I can foresee. Lottery wins and gifts from strangers from the internet (let me know if you want my bank details) aside, it won’t be happening.

So welcome back to normal life. I’ve probably forgotten to tell you about other stuff that’s been going on. I am ring rusty (there’s a cream for that) and still in the haze of those days over the Christmas period that nobody knows what to do with themselves so these things might get better as we go. I make no promises.

This one felt like it just arrived on the page like some verbal vomit so let’s hope improvement is the ongoing trend.

Till the next time…..

Freddie’s First Florida Fiesta – Day Fifteen 12th September 2018

Freddie’s First Florida Fiesta – Day Fifteen 12th September 2018

I always vow to make serious notes on our travel home day. I usually fail and this year was no different. Don’t get settled, this won’t take long.

Despite doing nothing but moan about being tired all holiday, for reasons I cannot fathom I appear to have been awake at 3.45 am. I dozed off again around 5.30, waking properly at 8. That set me up nicely for the long gruelling journey home.

At this point, Louise was packing stuff into our cases, I of course had to venture out to buy an extra case as, much like me and my T-shirts, we simply wouldn’t fit everything in on the return leg. Favouring cheapness over quality I ventured round to the shops close to the Outback. Sensing that Louise would not be impressed with me returning with a couple of supermarket shopping bags, I drove a little further and found one of those classy gift shops.

I invested $35 in a medium-sized case that I felt had a 50/50 chance of surviving the journey home.

Once back at the villa I spent what felt like hours recycling and generally throwing stuff out. When Louise had completed the very easy task of packing everything I undertook a task that is only rivalled by landing on the moon. I had to get all the cases into the car. Every failed attempt meant wrestling every heavy case out of the car before getting them back in again in the next failed configuration. I had a sweat on and a desire to burn all the possessions we were trying to take home.

Eventually I got it all in but had to sacrifice one of the back seats, meaning that one of the passengers would be sitting on the half-sized, not quite a seat on the back row of the bus. I didn’t care which, they would have to fight it out Hunger Games style before breakfast.

With a final check of the villa and everyone crammed sweatily into the car, I set the alarm for the last time and girded my loins and other fleshy areas for the next twenty-four hours.

We made a pit stop at Winn Dixie for Freddie supplies for the journey home before setting off for Disney Springs to do the check in thing.

Not being a regular Virgin flyer I had no clue where this was and it only took one detour before we spotted it. Cases were dragged across the car park and placed on to a make do set of scales. Shockingly our main case was too heavy and with a deep joy, I had to open it and re-distribute stuff into other cases. No, really, it was no problem.

Not being a Virgin holidays customers we were robbed of $10 per person for the privilege of checking in here. Forcibly resisting the urge to outwardly show my disgust at the $60 I had just been robbed of, we set off, in a much roomier vehicle to get some breakfast for which I would happily pay double that.

We headed for the nearest breakfast place I was aware of, which was the Perkins at Crossroads. The breakfast on the final day has to be a festival of gluttony, punishing our bodies for needing to be back in the UK.

We all ordered the usual double whammy of coffee and juice and read the menu a couple of dozen times. A balloon artist (is that the right word?) came over and Freddie very much enjoyed her work.

We ordered –

Me – Big Country Skillet and Pancakes

Emily – Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Louise – Eggs Benedict

Tom & Mikey – Hearty Man Combo

Rebecca had a “Three Egg thing”. The piss poor attempt at the name of it and the lack of a photo serve as the perfect gauge of my mood at this point.

The food was excellent and the bill was $130 including a bountiful tip.

We headed back to Disney Springs for the traditional last-minute scramble for gifts. We parked in Lime.

We spent the next hour in World of Disney buying presents for those at home and Emily bought herself a Dooney and Bourke purse.

With the gifts purchased, Rebecca, Tom and Freddie decided to get a caricature done. It only took about fifteen minutes and the result was excellent.

Time was pushing on now and we needed to call at the Premium Outlets on the way to the airport so we rushed back to the car and headed in that direction.

We split into smaller groups for maximum efficiency. Louise and I went into a children’s clothes shop and bought Freddie’s winter wardrobe for back home. Mikey splurged oodles of dollars in the designer shops. We had arranged to meet up at 3.30 and Mikey was seen sprinting towards us several minutes after that time laden with lots of bags that I wasn’t sure how we’d get onto the aircraft. We did.

Onwards now to the airport. I somehow missed the turn off for the car return at the first attempt so we did a nice circuit of the airport before getting it second time around. The investment I made pre-holiday in the huge car seat bag was repaid now, as we were able to use it not only for the car seat, but also for all the random bags we now had from our shopping trip.

We found the place to check that in before going through security, slowly and then onto the monorail.

We arrived at gate 87 and I handed Emily and Rebecca my remaining dollars to fund a Starbucks run. I don’t know what I had as I always just tell the girls to get me whatever they are having. It tasted nice.

We boarded at 6pm and took off forty minutes later.

And there dear reader, my notes end. The flight, I remember, was the usual mix of discomfort, average food and a few films. Freddie was great yet again. He took a little while to go to sleep but once he did that was pretty much it. We had no free seats on the return leg alas so sleep was sparse and fitful.

We landed, got the cases, taxied home and well, got back to real life. Sigh.

So there we have it. The end. I wish I could say that I planned the dates of the trip so that the writing of the trip report would nudge nicely up to Christmas. I didn’t. What this trip has taught me is that I ain’t all that at planning to be honest. The balance between being able to show first timers as much as possible versus keeping everyone rested, and ready to go was not achieved if I’m honest. Despite building lots of rest days into the plan, our over eagerness to then use those days to not rest bit us on the arse a little bit. Ah well, you live and learn.

Before we left, all the concern, if that’s the right word, was around Freddie of course. How would he cope with the long flights, hot weather and the sensory overload of a trip like this. We had absolutely no reason to worry. He was, and I use this word intentionally, perfect. He was never an ounce of trouble and only enhanced the experience at every step. The memories of sharing his first Disney experience will always outweigh any of the inevitable tired, not so magical times we had. That, and don’t be offended dear reader, is why I have chronicled this trip here. As I did with the girls when they were young, these trip reports were always written so that we had a record of their experiences. Now, we will all always have this set of badly written drivel as a reminder of the time Freddie first went to Disney.

Hopefully, it won’t be the last, well, it won’t if I have anything to do with it.

There are no plans for further adventures just yet. Not Disney ones anyway. Other plans await us as a family which will become clear in the fullness of time.

Thanks as always for reading this stuff. It always amazes me that you do, and it is not taken for granted. I appreciate each one of your views, likes and comments.

If you and yours are undertaking a Florida adventure soon, I wish you a wonderful time and of course, as we have coincidentally landed at the end of this at this time of year, please have a magical Christmas and  a wonderful 2019 from everyone here in Mkingdon land.

Till the next time…..

Freddie’s First Florida Fiesta – Day Fourteen 11th September 2018

Freddie’s First Florida Fiesta – Day Fourteen 11th September 2018

Here we go then, with the mixed emotions of the last full day. I salute both of you that made it with me to this point. It feels like this holiday has lasted for months and indeed via the medium of this weekly bloggage it has.

It will end next week, perfectly timed as the last one before Christmas, in a blaze of  travel day melancholy. Then at some point after that, in the haze of Christmas holiday days off, there will be lots of self-reflection, self-criticism of the many planning faux pas, and joy that we were able to share Freddie’s first trip. He made the whole thing very special, but I shall not steal my own thunder as God knows, now the trip is done I will need stuff to write about each week. I’m not sure I remember how to write a weekly blog on non Disney trip subjects. Based on the last couple of months, I am also fairly sure I have forgotten how to do trip reports too.

We rose today intent to wring every last drop out of it, and I had, a few months ago, booked us into Be Our Guest for breakfast as a last day surprise for Rebecca. Beauty and the Beast is her jam (I believe that is the correct lingo) and with this trip being a treat for her 21st birthday, then it felt right to do so.

Our last quick service visit to BOG was not brilliant to be honest, but that was more down to misaligned expectations and to allow Rebecca and of course first timer Tom to experience the theming, breakfast felt like a risk worth taking.

I had already of course had to move our reservation back a bit as there was no chance of being there for the overly ambitious 9am I had foolishly selected back in the UK. It was now a more sensible 10.20 and as such, I had declared that we absolutely had to be pulling off the drive at 9.

As we pulled away at 9.20 I wondered where my authority might be. Again, I had to leather it a little to make sure we did not arrive late and we abandoned the vehicle impressively by 9.45 and got on a tram.

Security and a monorail later and we were in the park by 10.

As we entered Main Street the parade was on. It’s called something like flex it, move it, tight Lycra I think. We watched it from the corner of our eyes as we yomped at pace up towards Be Our Guest.

With that parade thing in progress, our progress was stunted a little and Mikey was prohibited from stopping for a wee to ensure we got to check in by 10.10. Well done me.

We were herded into the queue which reminded me of all the reasons why the quick service thing isn’t that great here. The family in front of us had too many children. So much so that one of them just wandered off towards the back of the queue and neither of the parents noticed. Eventually I tapped them on the shoulder to let them know that young Darlene was somewhere close to Atlanta in a van with blacked out windows. The Mum scuttled off after her and returned full of sheepish thanks and firm holds on the kid’s neck.

It took ten minutes to get to the ordering kiosk things and I did the pressing of the buttons as clearly I was in charge. I executed it flawlessly and then we, somewhat less flawlessly, searched for a table large enough to accommodate us.

All I would say is that having just blown $170 on breakfast it would have been nice not to have loiter next to some party who looked close to finishing and then having to push their post dining carnage to the edge of the table whilst waiting for someone to clear and clean the table. Anywho, with all that done, we were in, seated and you just can’t knock the surroundings.

Although these are quite disturbing to be honest.

I had a Croque Madame, but I was able to walk it off.

Everyone else had Gaston’s Feast, which was not, it turned out, a large ice cream covered in chocolate and nuts.

These were accompanied by pastries.

The food was good and as experience dining goes, you don’t get better surroundings.

We left at 11.10, eager to use our first FastPass of the day which was for Ariel.

This was one of Freddie’s favourite rides. He will carry the Ariel torch for me when I can no longer.

As I now stated as we exited, it was only right that the first timers with us got to experience the pinnacle of Disney magic and so we headed directly to the Country Bear Jamboree. There was, amazingly, no wait for the next show starting a few minutes after our arrival.

Tom and Mikey were, as you can imagine, suitably impressed.

Next, we rode Aladdin’s Carpets, which is a ride I haven’t been on for many a year.

With that done, Pirates looked to be a walk on so that is exactly what we did. At the entrance a show was underway so we watched Jack Sparrow for a little while.

I suspect that isn’t the most flattering photo he’s ever had taken, and we shouldn’t judge his resemblance, or lack of it, to Johnny Depp based upon it.

This the new redhead scene, where to bring it up to date with modern ways, sees her taking a selfie, adding a filter and moaning at the bloke for not leaving his avocado encrusted plate to soak before going into the dishwasher.

We needed a rest at this point. We made it across the way to the shaded seats and sat with a drink for about half an hour. By then it was time for our next FastPass on Splash Mountain. Louise stayed with a sleeping Freddie whilst everyone else rode.

We saw that Big Thunder had no wait at all so we fitted that in quickly before moving on to Splash.

It was 1.55 by the time we had done both of those mountains and the parade was about to start. I power walked back to Louise and Freddie to collect them and told the rest of the party we’d meet up after the parade. We found a spot for the parade which was unintentionally directly across from everyone else. Spooky.

By jingo it was hot, and we experienced a little piece of Disney magic as the cast member on a nearby stall came over and handed us a couple of water bottles for free. Our spot had Freddie nicely tucked into the shade and enjoying a cold wet towel.

Here you can see Anna and Elsa drinking in my sweaty sexiness.

“Hmm, look how the sweat stains from under his arms are almost meeting up with the one down his back!” Said Elsa

“Dreamy” agreed Anna

“Look how those shorts don’t leave much to my imagination….” said the one from Princess and The Frog, using her arms to emphasis the point.

And here, if ever a Disney character reflected my appearance….

As the parade ended we were literally melting. It was ridiculous and we just needed to cool down a bit. We headed into the nearest shop and just stood in it for ten minutes until our sweat started to dry.

Feeling a little better we headed off for a Disney first. In all these years we had never tried a Dole Whip and now we headed off to put that right.

It was delicious and very welcome in the scorching heat.

We headed for Jungle Cruise next and encountered the longest queue of the trip. It had to be endured as of course we wouldn’t get another chance this trip to ride this one.

On the trail of tidying up the other stuff we hadn’t done yet, Monsters Inc was next, so we headed in that direction.

With Louise having sat out with Freddie a lot, I volunteered to miss this one and I took him over to some benches near Space Mountain whilst he snoozed in his stroller. I left the camera with the girls though, who captured Tom starring in the show.

Whilst they enjoyed the show I sat under the People Mover listening to the same announcement every ten seconds. Another few minutes and I may have cracked. Luckily the return of the others saved me and we moved away.

Freddie now needed a feed and like everyone on this trip, food makes him happy.

Whilst he was being fed we did some wildlife photography.

We did a baby swap for Space Mountain next, with Rebecca and Tom going first. As we waited Louise used the personalised merchandise counter thing to get a new phone case done with her name on it. It would have been handy to take a photo of it to show you here but I didn’t.

We had to wait about twenty minutes for that to be made so everyone else walked down to Main Street to do some last day shopping. We caught with them, did some shopping of our own and took the last photos of the castle for this trip. The dark clouds perfectly reflected the feelings of leaving Magic Kingdom for the final time on our trip.

With a Halloween party that evening we couldn’t, as we would usually, spend the last evening in Magic Kingdom and we were headed over to Epcot for Reflections instead. It didn’t make it any easier as the monorail pulled away.

To prolong the pain, the resort monorail we were on was delayed due to some local lightning. I was starting to get concerned about our reservation at Beaches & Cream for tea as it was currently 6.10 and we were booked in at 7.20. By 6.20 we were off and we smoothly moved from monorail, to tram, to car and sped across to the Beach Club to park the car.

I’ll be honest, most of the motivation for eating at Beaches & Cream was to be able to park there so we would have a much easier exit after the fireworks. The other reason was of course the food…

That was my Reuben and it was excellent.

Louise and Mikey had a burger…

and we all had cheesey fries.

We were split over two tables, so I was too far away from the others to annoyingly take photos of their food.

Once full we walked out into the darkened delight of the Boardwalk area at night.

We made our way to International Gateway and we took up “our spot” at 8.40, feeling some last night feels.

We waited for a bit for the torches to be blown out…

And then it started…

Freddie was fine with the noise, completing a trip where he just dealt with everything like a professional. He had been an absolute star.

There were tears, lumps in throats and all the usual emotions. It was a quiet walk back to the car, for me especially. I find this bit tough. I won’t be able to articulate it here but it won’t stop me trying. It’s memories and nostalgia from previous trips, wondering if we’ll make it back to see all this again added to thoughts of going home and the mixed feelings of seeing family members and pets, yet knowing work is on the horizon. Let’s just say this is not the favourite part of the holiday.

We made our way home by 10pm (that’s why you park at the Beach Club!) and we all retired to bed.

Till the next time…..