Aering My Grievance

Wouldn’t it be nice to hear some positive upbeat holiday news around here? News of refunds effortlessly winging their way to my bank account and our new alternative holiday being booked without any hiccups and us having a countdown of sorts to a much needed getaway.

Yep that would be lovely.

Of course, no such thing has happened. Aer Lingus are not covering themselves in glory in relation to their 5-7 day “promise” for that refund. It was requested on the 27th of August and here we sit drumming our fingers still.

I chased them about three days ago. Sure they are busy and no doubt have a lot to get through but I did check in with another affected Aer Lingus customer and blog reader who requested their refund after mine and of course there’s arrived very quickly and without faff.

Sigh.

Anyway I feel much better and totally reassured as I was told that the refund request would now be passed to their Priority Team who would deal with it urgently. Firstly it’s always nice to know you weren’t a priority in the first place and secondly when I asked how long the refund would take now it sat with the Jedi Masters of refunds I was told they could not give me a timescale but maybe within a week or so. I think we need a chat about the word Priority.

For someone who plans holidays in advance, being a few weeks away from our potential departure and not being able to book is an alien concept but here we are. I can feel my ire rising (not a euphemism) and I shall be having a chat with my Irish flying friends very early next week.

Away from the will they won’t they of our holiday (listen to those cheers), it has been brought to my attention this week about some Disney vlogger drama. This is actually the second week in a row this has happened.

Last week I caught wind of some UK Youtubers who had sparked controversy by getting to Florida by first spending two weeks in, I think it was Crotia and the Disney online community had gone berserk at them. I think what they did was called “not reading the room”.

There was a lot of anger at them doing this with everyone else suffering cancelled plans and having no hope of getting there anytime soon. I didn’t care very much about this as I had never watched any of their videos and probably never will but I put it down to that age old demon where some folks start getting some attention and traction for their online activity and they begin to crave it and do stupid things.

At its most extreme I’ve heard of some (non Disney) Youtuber having a bath in bleach to generate views. That did not end well. In this case I suppose they thought being the first UK folks out there would bag them a lot of attention. Well it did but in the form of anger, unsubscribes and vitriolic comments.

I don’t really know how that little storm ended but hopefully it involved those folks getting a little perspective about online attention and the drug it can become.

This week’s drama involved The Trackers. Apparently they have been dropped from the media event list by Disney and Universal due to some “content” they posted a decade ago. It’s not really about that as far as I can see. As ever it seems there is someone or someones out there on a mission to bring them down and they have been bombarding Disney and Universal via multiple email addresses insisting they cut their ties with The Trackers due to this content that they say is not in line with Disney’s/Universal’s values. There are rumours of who that is but I won’t share those as there is no proof but suffice to say the theory is another vlogger is trying to knock them off their spot and take their place.

Success in any sphere attracts trolls I suppose. I mean I get bombarded all the time with jealousy and sabotage about my blog which has had pretty much the same number of readers for a decade. You can’t buy that sort of consistent mediocrity.

When you are The Trackers and are getting more views than quite a few TV programmes now you are always going to get divided opinions. It’s clearly too simple to say if you don’t like them don’t watch them it seems. They are and have been a consistently excellent source of information for Florida travellers over the years. Sure some of their content won’t please everyone, but how sad do you have to be to spend your time trying to destroy what somebody else has achieved.

Hopefully they will be reinstated soon but in the meantime I hope they will be laughing all the way to the bank in their Tesla and giving that troll(s) the finger as they drive by.

Shall we reconvene here next week, when my refund will absolutely have happened and our new trip will be booked, just in time for the October lockdown to drive a coach and horses through it? October lockdown? Well, the government have both not ruled it out and said they have no plans for one so I think that’s crystal clear as usual. Two days ago vaccine passports were happening but in the 48 hours since they have seemingly reviewed all the factors, that presumably they lost down the back of the couch on Thursday and now they are “definitely not going ahead with those”.

It’s the hope for competence that kills you.

Till the next time……

Yearn To Fly

It’s been a long and winding road, starting in November 2019, but the trip that never was is now officially dead.

After five sets of dates and endless stress and faff, on Wednesday Aer Lingus postponed the start of their Manchester to Orlando service until (at least) mid December. We all knew this was coming of course, but it is still a big kick in the nads when it does.

I knew that something would need to give in the next week or so as we had balances coming due in early September that I would definitely not be paying if there was no border news. Aer Lingus, thankfully, in a way, put me out of my misery….and into a new, different misery instead.

Previously when flights were cancelled we simply picked the whole trip up and moved it into the future, naively believing that by “that time” everything would be back to normal. Not this time my friends. With the US infected with lots of Delta and even more stupidity, I can see no prospect of travel to the US in the coming months.

So on Wednesday and Thursday I began the very sad and labour intensive task of cancelling everything and this time requesting refunds. I called Aer Lingus who tried to tempt me into vouchers with a 10% bonus, but there’s seems little point in that really. So full refunds were requested and then I sent back all our theme park tickets, requesting our refund for those too. They expire at the end of 2021 and I think there is zero chance of a trip before then. I can’t tell you how upset I was sending those back. It was a physical manifestation of the death of our plans. I was also very scared that the postal service will lose them and that envelope contained lots of cash value in those little plastic cards. Until I get receipt confirmed and the refund processed that will be something else to worry about.

For a few weeks now we have been chatting about what to do as and when our October WDW plans died. Ultimately our need for some sort of holiday has kicked in and we are now looking at alternative countries for a different kind of holiday, just to get some sun, relaxation and fun. I have all kinds of reservations about that. The testing regime, the ability of our government to screw holiday makers over by changing the colour of a country either just before you go or whilst you are there and the fact that frankly it isn’t Florida, are all on my mind.

However, I will be happy to go, and just not be on Teams or mowing grass for a little bit.

As far as Florida plans go, well we have none and that is never a state I like to be in. Our position now is that we will wait for the border to be opened and then see how many organs we need to sell to fund the surely ridiculous flight prices that will be used to gouge every penny from the pent up demand.

It would be par for the course now for the US to open their border, probably just after we press the “book” button on some trip to the Canaries or similar. Sure, I am feeling sorry for myself. I earned it.

When looking for these alternative holidays the constant issue of no hotel being in Florida or being operated by Disney persists. Those that “look” nice then have unsettling amounts of horrifying reviews on Trip Advisor. There’s also the fact that we haven’t holidayed anywhere else for twenty years or so (as Louise constantly reminds me) and that makes me scared of the unfamiliar.

I suspect we will find something suitable and have a really nice time, but of course, it will not shock you to know that I will be thinking about the next WDW trip the whole time, like some unfaithful ex.

We did get our Vero DVC element transferred to a credit note. We have 36 months to use that. Should be fine. right? In my gut, I suspect it will probably be next summer before we get back over there and it will probably need to be before the end of August as Freddie will start school/reception in September. We may have to sell the house to fund that trip. I mean, I like this house, but needs must!

We did briefly consider moving the trip to January, but there are only so many times you can get hurt and keep coming back for more. If by some miracle the US open up say on January 1st then you will probably have to wrestle me to the ground to stop me booking us a trip for that month. Sure, it’ll be cooler/chilly at night but not as bloody chilly as Lancashire will be!

In more cheery news I have a week off work next week. How I have enjoyed everyone I talk to at work asking “Are you going away anywhere?”. I refrain from explaining my two year struggle to get on a plane and just smile and say, “No, just relaxing at home.” If only they knew…..

In reality I will be mowing stuff no doubt, answering work emails on my phone and not lying in as long as I would like to. Oh and dieting. If we are going anywhere near a beach or pool any time soon, then for the sake of others, things need to change in a big way and quickly. With just over a month till we go, I figure I can lose say three pounds?

So as I remember sitting in our old house, watching the news of the pandemic around April 2020 and telling Louise that our August 2020 trip would be absolutely fine as there was no way this thing would go on that long, let us all marvel at my spectacular ability to get things wrong. If that trend continues in the same vein then any day now the US border will be open and I’ll be seething on a flight to somewhere else.

Fingers crossed that the return to school over here (I know Scotland are back already and seeing this) doesn’t see a huge spike in cases that may lead to even our second choice of holiday being threatened. I can’t say it often enough. You can keep destroying my overseas holiday plans as much as you like but I am not booking a bloody holiday in the UK!

Till the next time…….

White Van Man

Before we get started, for all of you that enquired about the hot tub, it’s sold. Sorry, I know that will be disappointing but I had to go with the highest offer out of the one I received on eBay, so to the none of you who expressed an interest, I am sorry you missed out.

So that was pleasing news this week. Cash in my sky rocket and the neighbours won’t need to bleach their eyes after seeing me sit in a blow up bath on the back lawn.

It’s been another rage inducing week of things getting worse Covid wise, with all the talk now of things not opening up. Biden met with Johnson this week of course and there is every possibility that having done so he launches the nukes rather than open his borders.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, mainly due to Aer Lingus telling me, honest Injun, that there were only four seats left at that price on our flight, we have had to take the plunge and get seats booked for my Mum & Dad. We’d hoped to leave things loose until later in the summer when things may be clearer about travel to the US, but their marketing technique worked and now my Mum & Dad have joined me in the speculation market surrounding holidays.

The “only four seats left” trick seemed a little fibby when I was able to request seats next to our existing booking with ease, but I am sure they were being totally honest. This triggered a series of other planning requirements that I executed yesterday. The complexity of the adding ons, rearranging and planning is high, but I am, I think, up to that challenge. My life to date has brought me to this point and I have developed a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.

Having done some research on vehicles that would accommodate our engorged numbers and all their equipment it seemed I had three choices. A 12 seater transit van type thing (with windows), a 15 seat monster or start taking lessons for my HGV licence. I opted for the first of those and we now have a “Transit van equivalent” reserved with Discount Florida Car Hire. Their flexible approach has been invaluable in all this mess. Way, way back when I was much more naïve, I had booked our (much cheaper) car hire with my usual US Rent A Car. I’m afraid their policies were still the rigid and expensive model if you wanted to make any changes so I cancelled them some time ago sacrificing my £50 deposit and haven’t looked back.

So, according to their web site this is the beast I shall be aiming down the I4 after a nine hour flight and little sleep.

So that we can secure theme park reservations for Mum & Dad an order has been placed with Floridatix for 14 day Disney tickets. They should come next week. They have heeded my advice to give Universal a miss on our first two days. It will give them time to recover from the flight, receive and get used to their scooters and not waste a chunk of change on theme parks that don’t offer that much they would wish or are allowed to do.

Two days by the Hard Rock pool should be a nice way to begin their holiday.

So it’s been a busy couple of days in the planning of the trip that never happens.

Outside of that I have fixed our boiler. I say fixed, it wasn’t really broken, and shouldn’t be, as it is pretty much brand new and state of the art, but that, like many things in this house was the problem. The previous guy liked a gadget and therefore everything is “smart” or has a remote control or both. All that had happened was a drop in pressure on the boiler. Now, I may not be the handiest of men but I have always known or been able to figure out how to do that. Not with this boiler. There was no tap or lever to do this anywhere. I watched endless You Tube videos in which plumbers skirted around the issue and when I did find a video about our specific boiler it seemed my guy had a non-standard option installed with regard to refilling pressure. Of course he did.

I even sent photos to a plumber (he asked I don’t send any more of “those” photos and keep it to ones of the boiler) and even he was stumped. After many hours, I took the front of the thing off again, pulled some bits down that were pull downable and there hiding behind a black pipe was a small brass thing. I tentatively stuck a screwdriver into it and turned and the sweet sound of rushing water and a rising pressure gauge told me I had cracked the Da Vinci Code. Why so hard?

Then, yesterday I moved onto the grass. Yes, I know I only moaned about cutting it two weeks ago, but it seems when I cut it back then I just made it angry and it has in that time put a lot of effort into making me mow it again.

I did two hours yesterday and got about half way down the field. I did briefly consider wonder how much it might be to pave the bloody thing, but I may be out there again today trying to tackle the rest. I hear lots of advice about getting sheep or similar, but we have enough pets thank you and that restraining order from the RSPCA is still in place anyway.

So, the plan has changed, again. The number of travellers increased on the Dibb Vacation Planner (the one thing I still use The Dibb for) and it now has more moving parts than our boiler. If you plan to be in Florida in September, firstly, let’s hope we get to be there, but secondly if you see a white van hurtling around WDW with two scooters strapped to the roof that’ll probably be us. Give us a wave.

Till the next time…..

Let It Lingus

Hello again. I was inundated with a message last week regarding the lack of a post last Sunday. I’m grateful for anyone giving a toss of course but I just gave myself, and perhaps more mercifully, you the day off from another post with me spouting uneducated guesses about things that are unknown. The day was filled with other stuff (mainly mowing tbh) so I just chose not to burden myself and others with the blogging thing.

Things still aren’t known of course but I’m back at it, whether I or you like it.

To quote a random millennial from off of Instagram, with regards to this bloody holiday I have been at the “I can’t even…” stage for a while. We’re all still here with no clue as to what and when the US might do and our own government, unable to avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, have somehow enabled a variant to instigate a climb in case numbers that could very well be putting Biden off letting us in.

Over in the States they are doing their best to remove all the stuff that was putting us off from going, with restrictions being removed quicker than EU citizens from the UK. Yet still, perhaps understandably with the UK having impregnated itself with this new variant for no good reason, they may well now be reticent to let us in.

Biden is over here in early June and it may well be then that we learn some more about if and when us dirty infected Brits can once more eat ourselves into diabetes in a Dennys.

Our loose and tentative plans for September have remained in place, as much as they could with zero financial commitment for a while now. Then, on Thursday the stars aligned and some real world stuff we’d been waiting to hear about fell into place and despite the nagging voices in my head telling me not to do it to myself again, flights were soon thereafter secured.

It will not be a surprise for anyone that we have still not had our refund from Virgin for our now cancelled June flights. With it now being over two weeks since I got their email confirming my request for a refund, I got in touch. Many hours passed and it turned out they had no record of my request for a refund. Seemingly they had just randomly emailed me about a refund I had not requested, confirming that I had requested it.

I re-requested it. We wait some more.

Anywho, luckily Aer Lingus, who will have the honour of carrying my not inconsiderable frame across the Atlantic, offered a deposit only booking with more flexible options for cancelling and/or moving than you could shake a Shillelagh at. So I feel as comfy as you can these days that whatever happens we’ll be OK.

I had tidied up the last piece of the June cancellations this week, being a month out from our intended Vero stay I was allowed to convert that into a credit note for future use. I got those credit notes on Friday and have started the process of rebooking our days at Vero this time in September.

Outside of holiday news, now we are allowed, we’ve done things like have Rebecca, Tom and Freddie for tea last Sunday and Freddie even stayed over at ours on Tuesday night. That’s been lovely.

I’ve done another five hours of mowing on our field and it already looks like it needs doing again. This is mainly because it has rained constantly, apart from the five hours I spent mowing, since April. I am also delighted to report that the frustrating WiFi woes we have been battling since we moved in have been defeated by my technical genius. Well, I say technical genius. I spent £40 on a new router from Amazon and a 30m ethernet cable to run to my office. Anywho, on our wireless network pre-upgrade I was getting 7 Mbps and after 70Mbps. That is the single most impressive thing I have done for many a year. Plusnet, the routers you provide are a bit shit. FYI.

Work has been a bugger recently. Lots of plates spinning, some coming very close to hitting the ground and one of my team had some horrendous family news this week and we’ve been supporting him through that in whatever way we can. It’s seems churlish of me to complain about work in light of that, but I suppose I still will.

So, in summary. We go again, again. My planner is rejigged once more and it has been so that often that it is dizzy. I had, despite the lack of interest and belief that we’d be allowed to go in September, booked theme part reservations for our September dates so that’s all good. I am now beginning to fill up the days with the important stuff. Where are we eating?

This is trickier than normal as many on-site places remain closed but we only really want two of those, Sanaa and O’hana and I’m hopeful they will be open at least by the time we go. Whether we can get an ADR remains to be seen. Other than that our list will include all of our Greatest Hits such as –

Cowfish

Hash house a go go

Teak Neighbourhood Grill

Romano’s

Olive Garden

Bahama Breeze

Cheesecake Factory

With some new ones for us, such as Antojitos at City Walk.

For all our sakes let us hope that this is it now and we get to do this trip. It is now a war of attrition and I will either have this holiday or bore everyone to death trying.

Till the next time……

Hit Me Baby One More Time

I think it’s fair to say that this time last week as I was as close as it may be possible, for me, to fall out of love with the idea of a WDW trip. Three sets of dates and over a year of endless speculation, stress and worry can do that to a person.

Well, if a week is a long time in politics then it’s currently an age in the realm of Florida trip planning. All I can say is…

I'm Ready To Be Hurt Again GIFs | Tenor

This is of course madness as we still have no solid information about when borders will re-open in the US or what ludicrous testing expense will be involved in any trip, but the tractor beam of fun and food has pulled me back in. Frankly, we’ve already missed enough time over there, especially with Freddie, so despite there being several reasons why we probably shouldn’t dive right back in, the speedos are on and I am perched on the edge of the diving board with all my flab wobbling.

With some real life stuff to bear in mind, our window of opportunity is a small one and for reasons I will probably share with you at some point, we really need to get this thing done before the end of September.

During the week, I have been slowly bringing myself back around to believing we may actually go again, ever. Even though I thought the chances would be slim of managing to thread the needle of family logistics, dates and borders re-opening, I did, despite “not feeling it” book some stuff that incurred no expense. So, car hire was secured (and wtf is going on with car hire pricing?? I want to drive it for a couple of weeks, not bring it home!) with Discount Florida Car Hire who offer no deposit, free cancellation reservations, which is gold dust in these crazy times.

I had already moved the villa booking to some dates close to what I thought we would do (sorry Matt, I’ll be changing those again any day now!) rather than just cancel it, as it is too nice of a place to risk losing, and just because I could, I did some theme park reservations. Yes, this is what me not being in the mood to plan a trip looks like. I never said I was normal.

There are some other practical considerations to the September deadline too. Our theme park tickets expire on the 26th of September. Sure, I could cancel or move them but that is hassle, and our DVC Vero booking points have to be used by the 1st of October. If those two things alone aren’t a message from the Gods I don’t know what is.

So as I sit here today, I am very much in the mind of “Christ, we need a holiday to hell with the consequences”, and my finger is metaphorically hovering over the button that has..

Alexander Vlahos on Twitter: "Just booked a holiday & now I'm all:… "

on it on the Aer Lingus web site. I can do so with a deposit, and they have what seems to be flexible cancellation/rearrangement terms should this Indian variant gifted to us by the dither and incompetence of the corrupt blancmange in Number 10 do it’s worst, we should be OK. By the way for our “new” dates (see how I am already talking as if this is a done deal?) Aer Lingus are at least £1000 cheaper than Virgin. What idiot wouldn’t book that, right?

Hey, and look, the dollar rate is 1.4ish so the holiday pretty much pays for itself, right?

Ideally, we should sit back and wait for everything to play out. The confirmation that borders will open and when and what will be needed to travel etc. My concern is that once all that is done there will be a rush of bookings and the decent flight prices I see today may rocket.

On the subject of testing, I think I saw something from Virgin about £55 tests but didn’t read it in detail as at that point I was sulking. I also wonder if the US may not require testing for vaccinated folks flying in, as the mask policies now seem to be based on those who are vaccinated, even though there is no way of knowing who is and isn’t of course. For flights, there is a way to check (my vaccine now shows in my NHS App by the way) so it may be either a vaccine or a negative test.

To be honest, my return to the fold of trip planning also contains a large dollop of not letting this thing beat me. All that time ago, I booked a trip to WDW and by hook or by crook I am determined to bloody have it. Also, should I not give myself some hard deadline by which I need to stop eating shite constantly and lose some weight I will need to do something drastic like buy some bigger clothes.

It has been a great week for the return of some form of normality should we go ahead too. The CDC in the US have issued guidance about wearing masks outside, and within what felt like minutes all the theme parks announced that masks were now optional outdoors. This makes a huge difference. Come September, based on the incredible pace of change we are seeing now, masks could be optional everywhere, but if not, popping one on as you enter an air conditioned attraction, shop or restaurant is infinitely more tolerable than having to wear one everywhere.

I would imagine as the summer progresses and assuming vaccinations keep happening and cases numbers dropping, more and more of what we all recognise as normal in WDW and beyond will return. I’m looking at you fireworks and parades. With park capacity already being increased it makes sense that these shows and parades will need to come back to give the extra guests something to do, and hopefully Fast Pass too. I have, however, thought for some time that these park reservations may remain forever though.

The data and ability to plan that this gives Disney must be gold dust. For them to know exactly how many (and which) guests are coming to a park on any given day allows them to staff up accordingly plus a million other operational efficiencies that a pleb like me can’t even imagine.

So with my “I’m done with this whole WDW trip” strop over after just a few hours I am off now to ponder booking our flights, with the worry that Biden is sat in the Whitehouse shaking his head at the UK for allowing the Indian variant in for absolutely no reason whatsoever and wondering if this continued stream of national self-harm will continue much longer.

Let’s hope this does not stop the borders being opened to UK tourists as expected in early July as rearranging this trip again may be too much for me and I’d then have to sulk about it for a few hours and then jump straight back on the planning horse and start again. Again.

Till the next time…..

Mow, Mow, Mow

Another week drifts by and it had been largely filled with more nothingness, rumour and confusion. It’s almost as if the government don’t want anyone going abroad and giving those nasty foreigners our money this summer.

I know this next statement makes me an absolute whopper, in light of the horrific scenes out of India at the hands of this virus, and of course when compared to those anywhere in the world suffering financially and with their health but as ever the ramblings here are my own little world and mostly holiday and travel related so please accept the large grain of salt provided to you free of charge. At least I am not gathering with thousands of other dickheads on the streets of London to protest that I cannot do the very thing I am actually doing.

I am getting annoyed and frustrated at the eternal state of limbo now with this trip.

There I said it. My own little temper tantrum and foot stamping written down for all to see.

I know no updates were promised or expected specifically last week but all this vaguery cannot be good for the industry, never mind my inner two year old. They are going to need notice to recruit or rehire staff, put petrol in the aircraft and other such vital safety measures.

Update wise, there was a little kerfuffle in the land of Disney Facebook groups on Thursday driven by an article in some newspaper about the US putting the UK on some do not travel list. My understanding is that’s where we’ve been for the best part of a year and nothing has changed, but crucially needs to if we are to go.

Then an article from the chap who had been my beacon of hope until now suggested that the US would open up around the 28th of June.

We are due to go on the 14th.

A few quotes from the article….

I understand the Government will reveal which countries are in the new traffic light colours of red, amber and green on either 6th or 7th May

The USA will go green before 4th July Independence Day, as Biden re-opens borders to the British as part of a reciprocal deal.”

“So, this suggests 28th June would see the US opened up.”

As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m at a point of not being arsed either way, I just wanna know.

Should that prophecy come true then we are back to rearranging again and all the faff goes with it but, if he is right we should know on or around May 10th if the US is not open for our dates, from a UK perspective anyway.

My plan B, if rearranging again is my fate is September. Why?

  1. Our current theme park tickets are valid until the 26th of September
  2. Our borrowed DVC points used to book Vero have to be used by October 1st
  3. Mask requirements may be less than they are now by late summer
  4. I don’t want to wait until January

With that in mind and in light of the article above I once again contacted Virgin during the week. Once through to someone (via text) I asked about our options and it does seem the rules change every time you speak to them. This time it turns out –

  1. As I have made two changes already any further ones would incur amendment fees and price difference
  2. When they actually went to price up the new dates I was told that my fare didn’t actually incur any amendment fees. I have no clue why.
  3. The price difference was £2500 on top of what I paid for June
  4. I had priced up the new dates on their web site and got a price that was about £900 more, but I couldn’t have that apparently as when moving dates I had to retain the same cabins, Economy Delight and Premium and with those in place the price was silly.

So we are trapped in the current dates until it is known that travel will not be allowed on the 14th of June as seems more likely now, or it is and we get to go.

I suppose if the US does not make it onto the green list for the 17th of May then that would at least allow us to move forward and do something. Maybe. Would Virgin take that as enough to allow me to cancel, as is now my wish? I will explain why shortly. My worry is that the US is on our green list, but the US don’t respond and we are waiting who knows how long to know whether we can travel or not.

Should we ever know that the 14th of June is not allowed, my current plan is to cancel my Virgin flight and book instead with Aer Lingus who have much more acceptable prices for our September dates, but of course over time that may change if and when demand increases and this frustrates me greatly.

Not really feeling motivated to do so, I had dipped my toe half-heartedly intro the ADR pool in the early part of last week only to be met with disappointment and dull dining options. I get it. Most eateries are not yet open in WDW, but all our dining plans are in the bin it seems should we be able to travel. We won’t starve of course, but much of the fun of these trips is the build up and planning of such things. All of which have not applied so far. I have made one ADR for House of Blues. None of our other planned options have been available and this popped up and seemed OK and somewhere we should have tried by now, so it is in the bag for now.

I never thought I could feel so underwhelmed less than 60 days out from a (potential) trip but these are not normal times. It’s the mixed messaging which is the most frustrating. One minute it’s all dangerous variants and the next it’s the vaccine is doing its job and the stats are incredible. I’m just venting frustration here at not being able to move on with life never mind the holiday. I know these are unchartered waters and all that, but doing our trip or not alters our cash flow significantly and not going means we move ahead with some house stuff whilst going means that waits.

How many more weeks are you going to be subjected to this self-obsessed whinge fest about visiting some theme parks?

Right, on a change of subject, and in better news, we have taken advantage of the less strict rules to spend some time in the garden. We have equipped said garden with all manner of things that a three year old would approve of as you can see.

It’s been lovely to see a bit of sunshine and family members in our new garden. This was a large part of why we moved house and we are very glad we did.

However that theory was tested yesterday when, having spent about 100% more than I ever wished to on a lawn mower I had to tackle the meadow/field thing that came with our new place. Still, judging by the lockdown paunch sported here, a few mo’ mowings wouldn’t hurt me for sure.

Apologies for the horrific quality. Louise posted it on Facebook and the only way I could include it here was to video the video.

This was about half an hour into what turned out to be around three hours of mowing. With about 5% of the field remaining the mower gave up, presumably overheated, much like the idiot pushing it.

So my endless torment linked to a simple holiday abroad continues. I’m at the point where I can’t watch vlogs currently as I get annoyed about that uncertainty and not knowing when we will return and it takes away from my usual enjoyment of vicarious visits.

I wear my tantrumming tit badge with pride.

Till the next time……