Let it snow?

I’d love my kids to see real snow. It was something we were kind of hoping for when we came over for Christmas, but it hasn’t happened. Yet.
We did do some sledging in the faux snow at Snozone, and that was fun, but it wasn’t real snow.
We’re heading back home tomorrow, but suddenly, there’s snow forecast tonight. That gives us tomorrow morning to frolic in the potential whiteness, but if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll be aware that I don’t have a great record with journeys to (and flights from) Gatwick and snow.

So there are mixed feelings as the wintery weather sets in this evening.

No sleep til Sheffield

(With apologies to the Beastie Boys)

After a particularly sleepless night, this post – shared by Signe Rousseau on Facebook – hit home particularly hard. In fact, everything seems to be hitting home harder than usual today. Eina.

Every aspect of who you are as a human, every capability is degraded, impaired, when you lose sleep. What does that mean? Your decision-making, reaction time, situational awareness, memory, communication, and those things go down by 20 to 50 percent.

What was I saying? Oh yes. I’m not with it today and I’m about to head off on a 13,000km, 23 hour journey this evening.
Fortunately, I’m letting someone else do most of the driving.

Happy daze.

Hurry home

Sunday 15th July. It’s Scoop’s 4th birthday and she and the rest of the family are spending the day travelling. First, from Sheffield to London, then across the capital to Terminal 5 at Heathrow and then, overnight back home to Cape Town. Door to door should be about 21 hours. It’s functional, it’s necessary and it’s no fun for any of us, to be fair.

As I write, the flooded East Midlands are flying past, reminding me just how crappy the weather has been since we’ve been over. It’s not too bad out there at the moment, although apparently it’s raining in London. Fortunately, we don’t have to go outside once we get there.
Sadly, while we’ve enjoyed our stay immensely, this will always be remembered as the summer holiday that never really got very summery. We can count three sunny days on one hand, which, bearing in mind we’ve been in Europe for over three weeks, isn’t great.

It’s gone so quickly, but it still seems like forever since we arrived: the days in London and Paris are like a lifetime ago. It’s going to take a long evening with the photos to remember and relive the details.

But right now, gazing out at the fetid industrial heartland of… erm… Market Harborough, I’m going to try and amuse the kids for at least some of the remaining 90 minutes to St Pancras.

Brian’s Alicante Flight Pee Hell

Up early because of the little humans that reside with us – and today celebrating the sixth anniversary of my arrival in South Africa – I find myself catching up on reading other people’s blogs while the boy watches Handy Manny.

Brian Micklethwait.com – which has been a little quiet of late – returns with a couple of posts about Brian’s recent trip to Spain; and the description of his journey had me in stitches. 

At Stansted, knowing that fluids on planes are restricted, I consume a bottle of fruit juice (more like industrial waste from an artificial sugar factory really) and my tin of Tesco Red Bull Clone.  But since I am only just on time, I neglect having a piss.  On the plane, I desperately need a piss, what with the perpetual jogging that planes, I suddenly realise, subject you to.  They aren’t a bit like trains.  But, being an old git and what with all the jogging, I am, although bursting, unable actually to burst in the horrid little Ryanairplane toilet, despite literally crying and yelling with the frustration of it all.  Something to do with the same muscles that keep you standing also stopping you from pissing.  Defeated and humiliated, I return to my seat and continue bursting until we arrive at Alicante nearly two hours later, and am finally able to burst on the solid ground of Spain in a proper toilet with vertical walls, that stays still.

I’m reproducing part of it here because I think it’s one of those posts that will be taken down and gone forever when it’s actually re-read by the author. All bloggers will recognise the “Oh my Deity! Did I really write that?” moment. We’ve all been there and done that.

Equally, I think we can all agree that there are few worse feelings than not being about to pee when you need to. My story involves a night drinking in London, an underground rush to the bus back to Oxford – omitting any toilet stops because there’s one on the Oxford Tube coach – a last minute dash from Victoria Station to the bus stop, leaping on as the doors close and bus sets off and only then discovering that the on-board toilet is out of order.
At 1am, 1½ bladder-damagingly bumpy hours up the M40 later, the dry-stone wall at AC Nielsen at Thornhill Park and Ride was no longer dry. It was a urination event so lengthy, so wonderful and so memorable that the feelings of relief are still palpable today.

I hope you’re reading this now.
As soon as I get chance to review it, I’ll probably delete it.