Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Friday, August 6, 2010


The older I get the more reluctant I am to consider going on

I was interested to read an article in our daily paper which reported that holidays are a source of considerable stress for many folk.

Looking back, I think my problem may have begun when our children were young. I remember the first time we had a holiday at Burntisland. We travelled by train and halfway through the journey I became convinced that we were on the wrong train. And since that time, on any train journey I’m faced with the question - are we absolutely sure this is the right train?

We hadn’t been long married when we were to spend a week at Crail, Jean in digs, and me at a YMCA camp where I was a leader. On the morning of our departure we slept in, and had a tremendous rush to catch our train. And nowadays, I’ve always got to be ready an hour before departure time, whether it’s for going on holiday or keeping a hospital appointment.

I remember one memorable occasion when we were joining a coach tour in Glasgow. The taxi didn’t turn up and the situation was saved by a neighbour who drove us to the bus station, getting there with  minutes to spare.

Flying doesn’t really bother me; apart from the worry of getting to the airport, my problem is the airport itself - the crowds and the long delays. And railways stations can be a bit chaotic too. Jean and I did a Golden Rail holiday once and on the return journey we had to change at York.
I’ve never seen a busier station and there was no sign of the Golden Rail rep whom we had been promised. At last the Edinburgh train arrived, we got on and found passengers and luggage blocking the aisles. Eventually we located our reserved seats but they were already occupied by people whose tickets showed that those seats were indeed theirs. And the explanation? This was an earlier train, running very late. Yes, this was one occasion when we really had got on the wrong train!!!

One more story! Jean and I were on a coach trip to France. After an overnight stay in a Portsmouth hotel, we had breakfast there, and then joined the coach to take us the docks. It seemed to be some distance away, for we had been travelling quite a while when Jean realised that she had left her bag, containing our passports and foreign money, in the hotel, on the floor at the breakfast table! Absolute panic!!! But not for our leader who contacted the hotel on his mobile phone, and asked them to send a taxi with the bag to our boarding point.  There was no problem - Jean got her handbag but my hair turned grey within that hour!!!

When we were at Evian, we visited Geneva two or three times, and I took this picture of the spectacular Jet d’Eau fountain. Every second
132 gallons of water shoot up 459 feet in the air.


I read recently about a couple going on holiday who had booked a taxi to take them to the airport. As they were leaving the house, the neighbour’s cat, who was a great favourite with them, dashed in just as the man was about to lock the front door. While he went back in to evict it, his wife got in to the taxi. She felt she had to explain to the driver what was keeping her husband, but, not wanting to let him know that the house would be empty for a while, she said “My husband won’t be long. He’s just saying goodbye to his mother.” A few minutes later the husband appeared and told his wife “Sorry for the delay, she was hiding under the bed and just wouldn’t come out, till I poked her with that old walking-stick.”


This is a Heinemann video called “Victorians at the Seaside.” The music is Liebestraum by Liszt.


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