Tag Archives: car

The journey

Sorry for the lack of blogs the last couple of days, Christmas and all that.

I blog to you today from a little town outside Leeds, that’s right, I’ve gone national! Nothing to do with the books or author stuff, just visiting friends. It’s the journey up here that got me thinking about travel in general.

There are certain rules I tend to follow when going on a long journey. Wether or not these rules make the travel easier is debatable, although they do make me feel better and more in control. An illusion I am sure as I can’t control the roads or any form of time tables. So here are the rules I follow…

1) when driving, get as far as you can before you stop at the services. Even if you or your copilot need a wee, I go by the ‘one more services’ school of thought. I suppose the real reason behind it is the hope you might do it in one stint. This gives the driver (usually a man) a real sense of pride. Why? Got me there.

2) it’s ok to be delayed before you are in the vehicle. Delays at the airport are pretty good these days. Not that they don’t happen, that’s not the good part, it’s that you now have shops and pubs. Last time I was at London Heathrow I was disappointed that the flight was on time. As soon as you get on the plane though it’s a different story. 5 minutes delay in the air feels like an eternity.

3) don’t get false hope in a traffic jam. You are sat for hours, moving millimetres at time, fighting to keep as close as possible to the person in front in case someone pushes in and extends your journey time by 20 seconds. You feel miserable (a feeling made worse by a screaming child) and then the traffic starts to move. 10 miles an hour, 20, 30, 40, you start to hope, you think this is it, we are going, the jam has ended. Then 30, down to 20, then 10, then stop. You are left feeling worse than before because you dared to hope.

4) take plenty of sweets (unless on a train). I like a good Murray mint or a Wethers original. The worst kind is the flaky chocolate as you show up looking like you’ve had an accident. Why not the train? Sweets don’t mix with beer.

The other thing that really makes me grumpy is when the information thingys tell you to stick to 40 and you haven’t moved in 10 minutes. This leads to me shouting at inanimate objects!

May your roads be clear and your flights on time.

20111228-081249.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The night before Christmas

Do you remember Christmas eve as a kid? I know I do. Not only did I want to go to bed early but I was ready at about 5 in the afternoon, even earlier if I didn’t know what I was getting. This though had a knock on effect, it meant that I would be up all the more early the next day. I was a slightly hyperactive child so when I woke up the whole house knew, and I’m sure it happened in the small hours more than once. I am also sure I am not alone in this.

Fast forward a few years, I am still very hyperactive, I still want to go to bed early but my parents now have a secret weapon at their disposal… I can now tell the time. They are now able to say ‘don’t wake us up until…’ To be fair to them, they didn’t choose 9 or 10 o’clock. If memory serves it was about 6 o’clock. That didn’t stop me and my sister coming in at quarter to 6.

Move on a few more years (I feel a little like the ghosts in a Christmas carol, the muppet one of course) and its my parents waking up me and my sister. Not because they have gone a bit mental and we have had to tell them to wait until 6am, but because we spent Christmas eve down the pub, and one year a club. I don’t think Christmas morning is the same for parents when they have 2 hungover teenagers.

These days we wake up in our own house at Christmas. My little boy is too young to know what’s going on, he wakes up at 6.45 most days. We will wake up in our house, open our presents (though to be fair they are mostly his), jump in the car and head down to my parents, where he will get even more presents (and attention).

I do look forward to the year, maybe next year or the year after, when he knows Santa is coming and gets really excited. I will be sure though to teach him how to tell the time and get him a digital alarm clock.

Have a happy Christmas eve, may your day be merry and bright and may all your children sleep in until a semi decent hour tomorrow.

20111224-073711.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: