Wow...how did we get to December already? Things are starting to get distinctly festive in London, the Shard has started to get glittery, the Salvation Army brass band was in London Bridge station playing a selection of Christmas hits this morning and a small(ish) tree -
- (with what appear to be temporary decorations) has appeared outside the News Building (you can see where someone tried to put the lights up and then threw them on the ground in frustration)... ;)
Still, I think we have about 90% of the Christmas shopping is done (a couple of gifts and the food to go), so this year, with a bit of luck we will be able to relax into it - if my last couple of bits of holiday are approved today then my Christmas break begins in two and a half weeks...! ;)
Argh...and I thought I had cleverly missed all the mess...!
With my usual platforms now completely destroyed (as I mentioned previously) - the journey into London Bridge has been much the same as normal (just slightly narrower platforms to disembark - walking up the train instead of the platform skips the queue - so no big deal)...getting home again last night was another matter entirely though (I'm hoping this was just a blip, but last night no-one knew where to go - it was bedlam) -
I'm fairly sure I visited all the remaining platforms at least twice before I found a train heading in the direction I wanted...so things aren't quite sorted yet...see how we go tonight...welcome back to work, Fink! >:P
Soooo...back from happy holidays (and look - all the new platforms are finished and open at London Bridge! So glad I missed all that nonsense...), only one day of disaster to report (holiday was largely great weather and great fun) - the day we were supposed to pack up and move from Bude to Warminster (and do Wookey Hole) we had got up early, packed up the car, unpacked the car again to find the kids shoes, packed up the car again, handed our keys back to reception, strapped everyone in, waved to Nanjan and Pops (who were there to see us off and help out with baby-sitting during the packing process - thanks for that!) turned the key in the ignition - aaaand - NOTHING!
The guys from the caravan park were extremely helpful, tried (in vain) to jump start us with the puny battery from their little white van and so we called the AA...(trying to make it sound like we were in a more terrible position than we actually were) and then began a wait of almost two hours without a single update (which I am generously attributing to the 95% lack of mobile signal in the entire South West)...when the nice AA guy finally arrived (from just up the road), he ran a battery test and held up the machine to show me the "BATTERY FAIL - REPLACE" message but was happy to let us sail away into the (now afternoon) sun so long as we didn't turn the car off until we got to Warminster (where he would arrange a new battery to be waiting for us at around 5pm)...
Off we went and (of course) the M5 was a car park, so we swung off onto to the A303 tightly crossing our fingers (which turned out to also be a car park as a direct result of the M5 being a car park)...so we covered the kids ears, cursed, and drove, very slowly, towards our destination, past signs to Wookey Hole (having no time to visit it now - telling disappointed little ones that we would have another go in October half term), time now getting tight, we pulled off the A303 onto some tiny little roads following the Garmins instructions and hit the centre of a tiny town where there was a closed road which the Garmin was absolutely adamant we take (even when we were 3 miles past it, it was *insisting* we go back before it would issue any further directions - argh)...!
It was just about now, pretty much lost, with no mobile internet to get directions from Google maps, time running out to meet our battery man that Poppy was sick...*very* sick...all over the back of the car, including getting some onto Thomas, who was not amused, and Annabelle decided that it was dinner time and started screaming like we were trying to murder her...and it was in this exact fashion that we finally clawed our way into the car park at Warminster Travelodge (after five hours on the road instead of the predicted two)...head and hands up against the windows looking and feeling a little like an Edvard Munch composition...
The battery was finally replaced about an hour later (the AA guy got stuck in traffic too), and actually, even though it seemed like it might be the cherry on the top of the cake, our dinner at Little Chef that evening was a pleasant surprise...I recommend the "foot-long" (it isn't quite) Chilli Dog... ;)
...soon! Got three days left at work (well, two and a half now)...plans are for a nice comfortable static caravan on the cliffs overlooking Widemouth Bay in Cornwall (for 7 nights) and a couple of days in Somerset (to break up the journey) visiting Wookey Hole and Longleat neither of which Flyingpops or I have visited since we got married - 3 kids ago - (those links are to my pics from 2008)!
Really looking forward to it...just hope the weather holds up! ;)
So, two things must have happened (to add this to the usual clunky mix of boxes blocking the way to have a quick wee in the boys toilets) -
The rusty old condom vending machine *almost* works (nice try - as it's still in the way it's obviously making money) but didn't (in the end) - "bear fruit"
The breath-freshener/legal high/Horny Goat weed tablet vending machine works amazingly well (it's the same amount of pound coins as the condom one)...
However, from my point of view there is only one really important fact that is *certainly* true - and Babycare, this message is for you - £1.50 for two baby wipes doesn't really cut the mustard...are you trying to set Dads up? The very next conversation is going to be - "Urm, well done for taking her to get changed, but you haven't done it very well have you??", "Fink - SHE SMELLS - did you clean her bottom properly?", "Oh just give her here"...